100LL Fuel Disappearing Soon At An Airport Near You
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Lycoming Updates The Fight Against 100LL By Environmentalists
By Chris Batcheller
“The clock is ticking” exclaimed Lycoming’s Randy Jenson as he opened the forum on Aviation Fuels. An environmental activist group called the “Friends of the Earth” has petitioned the EPA to ban all leaded fuels in aviation. He went on to say “The status quo has changed”. Lycoming fully expects that the EPA will rule against 100LL fuel, forcing the industry to find an alternative in the next 5 to 7 years. They believe that this ruling will come because of global economic, political and regulatory pressure.
The country consumes 9.8 million barrels of mogas (car gas) per day and 4.5 million barrels of road diesel per day. Of the aviation fuels, Jet fuel is consumed the most at 1.8 million barrels per day due to commercial use. In contrast, a mere 20,000 barrels of 100LL is consumed per day. Randy noted that Avgas is considered a “specialty chemical” and that it stopped being a high volume fuel in the 1960’s.
Randy Jenson went on to note that high octane mogas is not a direct suitable replacement for leaded (TEL) fuels. There are several obstacles to using a mogas or mogas based fuel industry wide as a replacement for 100LL. While mogas is a high volume fuel and competitively priced, it has lower octane, higher vapor pressures, and is blended many different ways. In addition the aviation community has no voice in setting standards for the fuel.
Another obstacle is that mogas is currently blended with Ethenol in the United States, which is not compatible with aviation fuel systems. It is possible to order mogas without ethanol, but it must be purchased in a large enough quantity to make it economically viable.
The first obstacle is the octane, which is sufficient for about 60% of the fleet, but it is not enough for the high performance aircraft. These high performance aircraft consume about 60% of the 100LL that is produced. Then, there is standardization. Aviation fuels are standardized to ensure consistency of important fuel properties all over the world. There is no standard for mogas, and fuels are blended locally based on regional needs.
So Yea it's really time for all of the Enviro groupt o just shut up and go away. The idea that they want the EPA to kill off 100LL is nuts. To give al of you an idea what would happen the only aircraft you would see flying would be anything that use Jet Fuel that would mean the Loss of 100 of thousand Jobs and would shut down all most every small and medium size airports thru out the United States.
While the article states that new aircraft IE stuf build since the mid 80 could use new mogas anything build prior to say 1982 forget it. Time to send the EPA a verey big get real letter.