Biofuels including ethanol and biodiesel (FAME) represent a renewable fuel alternative to petroleum-derived transport fuels. The aim of this work was to study the interaction between high density polyethylene (HDPE) with permeation barriers in form of polyamide (PA) and fluorination, and biofuels such as E85 (fuel with 85 % ethanol), biodiesel and B10 (heating oil with 10 % biodiesel). 10 l jerrycans made of polyethylene with permeation barrier of PA were filled with E85 and biodiesel and exposed to temperatures of 20 °C and 40 °C for 5 years. Half of the 20 l jerrycans of HDPE for filling with B10 were fluorinated at the inner layer to prevent permeation before the exposure. Tensile properties were determined once a year, and FTIR-spectroscopy was used to evaluate possible changes.
The tensile properties tensile strength and breaking elongation of HDPE jerrycan cuttings with permeation barrier decreased, but not significantly, after immersion in E85, biodiesel and B10. The elasticity modulus of the polyethylene grades was especially reduced during exposure to E85.
The FTIR spectra of HDPE jerrycan cuttings with permeation barrier showed that immersion tests for five years with the test fuels at 20 °C and 40 °C did not lead to a decomposition of the permeation barriers.
Key words: polyethylene grades, permeation barriers, compatibility, biofuels, FTIR spectra