As the new E10 petrol enters the market, Stihl aims to dispel myths about any impact the fue will have on its petrol-powered tools.

WITH the government implementing stringent carbon emissions targets, it’s no surprise alternative technologies and fuels are being introduced to help reduce pollution. From summer 2021, the UK government has announced E10 petrol will be the standard grade available for petrol vehicles going forward.

Current petrol grades in the UK previously contained up to five per cent renewable ethanol, known as E5. However, the new E10 fuel will increase this to 10 per cent, meaning less fossil fuel is needed, reducing carbon emissions. Currently being used successfully in Europe, the US and Australia, the UK government has high hopes for the implementation of the E10 fuel, anticipating its use to cut CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year.

Many professionals will be asking how the new E10 fuel will affect their current petrol-powered forestry equipment going forward. Thankfully, Stihl equipment sold within the last 15 years can be run on either E5 or E10 petrol without any modification as the materials used in their manufacture were designed to be used with these fuels. However, equipment older than this isn’t equipped to deal with the new standard E10 fuel, mainly due to the effect ethanol can have on fuel tubing and gaskets.

Petrol with an ethanol content of more than 10 per cent can also cause running problems in engines with a manually adjustable carburettor, and therefore should not be used in such engines, whilst Stihl’s M-Tronic machines can actually be used with ethanol fuels up to 25 per cent.

READ MORE: Stihl extends petrol saw service kits range

Although the E10 fuel ushers in a new standard grade, how you store the fuel hasn’t changed. As with any petrol product, best practice would be not to store any machinery with petrol in it, to avoid any blockages in the fuel delivery parts of the tools. It’s also advisable to store E10 fuel for no longer than 30 days in order to minimise the degree of fuel segregation. Moisture in the air binds with the ethanol and settles at the bottom of the container, causing fuel segregation. Shaking the container does not help resolve this and segregated fuel can cause running problems if used.

If you’re concerned about the use of ethanol in your equipment following the E10 petrol introduction, MotoMix, Stihl’s premium, patented petrol formula, is an option. MotoMix is cleaner burning than standard fuel, ethanol-free and contains almost no olefins or aromatic components. However, if you still want to use standard petrol, Stihl can reassure users the new E10 petrol is fine to use in all Stihl petrol tools.