The cleanest fuel for the dirtiest engines? You decide
Do you own a small engine? Do you know what small engine emissions do to your health and the environment? Do you know why small engines pollute so much? Are you tired of your small engine equipment having starting issues? I'll give you a hint, it is not the equipment, it is what goes into the equipment.
Most gasoline products contain Benzene, a product that is classified as a carcinogenic (cancer causing) to humans. It is a non-threshold toxicant - a substance for which there is considered to be some probability of harm for critical effects at any level of exposure.
Emissions from non-road sources (i.e., powerboats, lawn and garden equipment, and construction vehicles) comprise approximately 20% of all smog produced by mobile sources in Canada. The use of small engines such as those in lawn and garden machines and light industrial equipment such as portable compressors and generators results in emissions of air pollutants such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), NOx (Nitrous Oxides) and CO (Carbon Monoxide). It is estimated that such engines contributed approximately 9% of the VOC emissions from transportation and off-road sources in Canada in 2000. Smaller engines fall into two categories of two-stroke and four-stroke engines. Key issues with older two-stroke and four-stroke engines include:
- According to estimates a 70 horse power (hp) two-stroke outboard emits the same mass of hydrocarbon pollution in one hour as a new car does driving 8,000 kilometers.
- What makes them so inefficient and dirty is that the exhaust ports in the cylinders remain open for a short period of time while a charge of fuel and air flow into the combustion chamber from the intake port. This design results in some fuel exiting the cylinder before the exhaust port closes.
- Two-stroke engines exhaust up to 40% unburnt fuel and oil (and guess where that goes?)
- Environment Canada's Environmental Technology Center (ETC) in Ottawa conducted a test that showed that two-stroke outboards produce 12 times as much Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylenes (BTEX) as four-strokes, and five times as much oil and grease.
Health studies report that air pollution contributes to premature deaths and numerous health related problems, such as cardiovascular ailments and respiratory distress, leading to an increase in the number of emergency room visits and hospital admissions.
So why is this important to people in BC? Aspen Alkylate Petrol is here and if you care about your health, the environment, and your equipment, Aspen Alkylate is the fuel for you!
Aspen Alkylate Petrol was designed in Sweden over 20 years ago as an environmentally friendlier fuel. The idea of running two-stroke engines on a much cleaner fuel was raised in a report entitled 'Mindre gift på drift' which was written as part of the Swedish Government´s 'Archipelago project' (Skärgårdsuppdrag). This fuel is alkylate petrol. The fundamental idea was to use the cleanest available fuel for the most polluting engines.
Alkylate petrol is free from aromatic hydrocarbons and olefins. This means that the emissions of carcinogenic, persistent and toxic polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are up to 90% lower than with conventional fuel. Furthermore, alkylate petrol has a lower emission of nitrogen oxides and a smaller contribution to the creation of ground-level ozone.
Aspen Alkylate petrol works well as a fuel in two-stroke engines. Independent tests have even shown that engines show better performance, clean idling and lower smoke generation than the conventional fuel. It is, however, important to regularly check the gasket and pipe work in order to avoid leaks. Aspen Alkylate 2T already comes premixed with a 2% synthetic lubricant, and has been cross marketed with Husqvarna in Europe for the last 20 years.
Aspen Alkylate Petrol has two flavors, the Aspen Alkylate 2T (premixed) and the Aspen Alkylate 4T for four-stroke engines. The fuel is so chemically stable that it has a shelf life of 3-5 years because there are only around 10 ingredients while normal gasoline has over 100 ingredients, and begins to deteriorate after 30 days.
The Powerboat P1 World Championship race has just announced it will only be using Aspen Alkylate Petrol for the race boats and supports boats at the Scandinavian Grand Prix of the Sea in Gothenburg, Sweden from August 7-9, 2009.
I have had my own experience using Aspen Alkylate Petrol with a hedge trimmer, and boy did it ever make a difference! No more smoke, and most importantly no headache at the end of the day for me! I was also just at the Squamish Logging Days festival this past weekend, and spotted Aspen being used by some of the competitors. Doing a quick Google search gave me a map of the current dealers across BC. I have since picked up Aspen Alkylate 4T for my lawn mower and pressure washer, because I will not have to worry about the fuel going bad and requiring a carburetor rebuild. It's not cheap at $24 for 5 litres, but it's well worth it in my opinion.