How Long Can E85 Be Stored

Do you use E85 ethanol fuel in your vehicle? If so, you may have wondered how long it can be stored without losing its effectiveness. Knowing the shelf life of E85 is essential for those who store it for long periods, such as those who live in areas where the fuel is not readily available.

In this article, we will explore the factors that affect the shelf life of E85 and provide tips on how to maximize its longevity for optimal performance in your vehicle.

E85 is a blend of gasoline and ethanol, with the ethanol content ranging from 51% to 83%. It is a renewable, domestically produced fuel that provides several benefits over traditional gasoline, such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved engine performance, and increased octane ratings.

However, due to its composition, E85 has a shorter shelf life than gasoline. The presence of ethanol in the fuel can lead to phase separation, which occurs when the ethanol absorbs water and separates from the gasoline. As a result, E85 can degrade and lose its effectiveness over time, potentially causing engine damage if used past its shelf life.

Understanding the factors affecting the shelf life of E85 is crucial for ensuring its optimal performance and longevity.

Understanding the Composition of E85

E85’s composition can affect its storage life. It is a blend of gasoline and ethanol, containing 51-83% ethanol and the remaining gasoline. Ethanol is made from crops like corn, sugarcane, and soybeans. E85 production has a lower environmental impact as it is made from renewable resources and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

However, ethanol is hygroscopic and attracts water molecules from the air. This can cause the ethanol and gasoline components to separate, leading to fuel degradation and engine problems. E85 has a shorter shelf life than traditional gasoline, lasting around 3-6 months if stored in a sealed container and up to a year if stored properly with stabilizers. It’s important to keep E85 in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent degradation.

Factors Affecting the Shelf Life of E85

When it comes to storing E85, there are several factors that can affect its shelf life. Exposure to air and moisture, temperature, and storage conditions are among the most crucial ones. The presence of these factors can accelerate the degradation of E85, leading to a shorter shelf life.

To ensure the optimal performance of your E85 fuel, it’s crucial to pay attention to these factors and take measures to mitigate their impact.

Exposure to Air and Moisture

If you store your e85 without proper sealing, moisture and air can easily penetrate the fuel and cause its quality to deteriorate over time. Exposure to air and moisture can significantly impact the shelf life of e85, leading to a decrease in its octane rating and an increase in contamination risks.

Oxidation is the primary cause of quality deterioration in e85, which occurs when the fuel is exposed to air. This process can lead to the formation of gum and varnish, which can clog fuel injectors and cause engine damage.

Contamination risks also increase when e85 is exposed to air and moisture, as microorganisms can grow in the fuel and cause problems. These microorganisms can cause corrosion in fuel tanks and fuel lines, leading to costly repairs. Additionally, contamination can reduce the fuel’s performance and lead to a decrease in fuel economy.

Therefore, it’s crucial to store e85 in a sealed container to prevent exposure to air and moisture and ensure its quality over time.

Temperature and Storage Conditions

Properly controlling temperature and storage conditions is crucial for maintaining the quality of your e85 fuel. The storage duration of e85 fuel can vary depending on the temperature and storage location.

E85 fuel can be stored for up to three months in a well-maintained, clean, and dry storage tank at a temperature between 60°F and 80°F. However, if the storage temperature exceeds 80°F, the fuel’s quality may deteriorate, and it may not perform as well as expected.

On the other hand, if e85 fuel is stored at a temperature below 60°F, it may cause the fuel to separate, which can lead to engine problems. Additionally, the location of the storage tank should be considered when storing e85 fuel.

It’s best to keep the storage tank away from direct sunlight and sources of heat, such as radiators or hot water heaters. In conclusion, proper temperature and storage conditions are essential for preserving the quality of e85 fuel and ensuring optimal engine performance.

How Long Can E85 be Stored?

E85 can stay in a tank for up to six months without any negative effects, as long as it’s stored properly. The shelf life of E85 depends on the storage conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and exposure to air.

When stored at a temperature below 60°F and in a sealed container, E85 can last up to a year without significant fuel degradation. However, if E85 is stored at a temperature above 85°F or with exposure to air, its shelf life decreases rapidly.

The higher the temperature, the faster the fuel degradation process occurs, and the shorter the shelf life of E85 becomes. Therefore, it’s essential to store E85 in a cool, dry place and in a sealed container to prevent moisture and air from getting in.

By following these storage guidelines, you can ensure that your E85 will remain stable and usable for an extended period.

Proper Storage Techniques

To ensure that your E85 fuel remains stable and usable for an extended period, it’s crucial to store it properly. The first step is to choose the right storage container. The best option is a metal or plastic container that’s specifically designed for fuel storage. Avoid using containers that have held other substances, as they may contaminate your fuel.

It’s also important to keep your E85 fuel in a cool, dry place. Exposure to heat and sunlight can cause the fuel to degrade more quickly, so avoid storing it in direct sunlight or near a heat source. Additionally, make sure that your container is sealed tightly to prevent moisture and air from getting in.

Moisture can cause the fuel to break down and corrode the container, while air exposure can cause the fuel to oxidize and degrade. By following these proper storage techniques, you can ensure that your E85 fuel remains stable and usable for a long time.

Tips for Maximizing the Shelf Life of E85

For optimal preservation, it’s essential to keep your E85 fuel in a suitable container and store it in a cool, dry place. Recommended containers for storing E85 are those made of metal, HDPE (high-density polyethylene), or fiberglass. These materials are resistant to corrosion and can withstand the highly corrosive nature of ethanol.

It’s also important to ensure that the container is tightly sealed to prevent any air from entering, which can cause the fuel to degrade faster. Storage duration is another crucial factor to consider when storing E85.

The shelf life of E85 can vary depending on the storage conditions and the quality of the fuel. Typically, E85 can be stored for up to 6 months without significant degradation if stored in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight and extreme temperatures.

However, it’s important to note that the longer E85 is stored, the more likely it is to attract water and other contaminants, which can compromise the fuel’s quality. Regular maintenance of the storage container, such as checking for leaks and cleaning it periodically, can also help prevent contamination and extend the shelf life of E85.


Congratulations! Now you know everything there’s to know about storing E85 fuel.

From understanding its composition to factors affecting its shelf life, you have the knowledge to keep your fuel in top condition for longer.

Remember, E85 has a shorter shelf life than conventional gasoline due to its high ethanol content. However, by storing it properly, you can extend its lifespan.

Make sure to store it in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat. It’s also essential to use a fuel stabilizer and keep the storage container tightly sealed to prevent moisture from getting in.

By following these tips, you can maximize the shelf life of your E85 fuel and ensure that it remains in good condition for up to six months.

So, go ahead and stock up on E85, knowing that you can store it safely and use it when you need it.

Stay safe and fuel up like a pro!