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California and Federal Ethanol Requirements

Refiners are currently faced with the need to reduce the sulfur content of their gasoline to comply with federal and state regula­tions. As such, it is important that the sulfur content of ethanol be kept to very low levels. The Federal Government has adopted a requirement that denatured ethanol used in conventional or refor­mulated gasoline contains no more than 30 ppm sulfur, beginning January 1, 2004. The State of California has adopted requirements that are more stringent and require a lower sulfur level, and that place limits on other compounds as well; these California standards are given in Table 16.3.

Additionally, the State of California places limits on the dena — turants used to denature ethanol that is blended into their gaso­line. These requirements are set forth in the following table. These are only applicable when ethanol is denatured at the maximum permitted level of 5.00v%. When used at lower denaturant levels higher concentrations of specified components are allowed. For example, in the case of benzene the 1.1v% specified is based on 5% denaturant. At 2% denaturant the product could contain 2.5 times that amount, i. e., 2.75v%, because it is only 40% of the maxi­mum level and therefore equates to the 1.1v% benzene level of a 5v% denaturant. The state of California denaturant standards are given in Table 16.4.

Table 16.3 California denatured fuel ethanol specifications (in addition to the performance requirements in ASTM D 4806).

Quality Parameter

Limits

ASTM Test Method

Sulfur, mass ppm, max

10

D 5453

Benzene, vol.%, max

0.06

D 5580

Aromatics, vol.%, max,

1.7

D 5580

Olefins, vol.%, max

0.5

D 6550

Table 16.4 State of California denaturant standards.

Property

Specification Limit

Test Method

Benzene, vol% max

1.1

ASTM D5580-95

Olefins, vol% max

10

ASTM D6550-00 (modified)

Aromatics, vol% max

35

ASTM D5580-95

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