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post #1 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 9:23 am Thread Starter
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Question ethanol free gas

Several stations (the native American stations and the "FastTrack in Camden for their High test) in central New York are not posting that they have ethanol free fuel available. My Question: is there an easy way for the buyer to confirm this claim.

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post #2 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 9:35 am
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Re: ethanol free gas

In a test tube (or similar) put a small amount of water in the bottom, note the level of the water, and then fill the tube with a fuel sample. Put your thumb over the top and shake vigorously for several seconds and then let the water settle back to the bottom.

If there was ethanol present, the apparent volume of the water will have increased substantially. The water will "suck" any alcohol out of the fuel. The alcohol would much rather dissolve with the water than with the gasoline.

It works best if the initial ratio of water to fuel sample is about 1 to ten, but it isn't very critical. It is the test aircraft owners are using to detect alcohol, which is verboten in aircraft.
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post #3 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 12:54 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by niel_petersen
In a test tube (or similar) put a small amount of water in the bottom, note the level of the water, and then fill the tube with a fuel sample. Put your thumb over the top and shake vigorously for several seconds and then let the water settle back to the bottom.

If there was ethanol present, the apparent volume of the water will have increased substantially. The water will "suck" any alcohol out of the fuel. The alcohol would much rather dissolve with the water than with the gasoline.

It works best if the initial ratio of water to fuel sample is about 1 to ten, but it isn't very critical. It is the test aircraft owners are using to detect alcohol, which is verboten in aircraft.
That seems like a great way to remove the alcohol from fuel - is alcohol that bad in the fuel that it's worth the trouble of removing it?

BJ

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post #4 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 12:59 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjedruszczak
That seems like a great way to remove the alcohol from fuel - is alcohol that bad in the fuel that it's worth the trouble of removing it?

BJ
Maybe it would be ok to use in something low compression and cheap like a lawn mower, but not in any airplane or fuel injected engine. Who wants to guess what the residual octane might be?

And don't think of drinking the water alcohol stuff..........
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post #5 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 1:27 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

By "alcohol" I assume we refer to ethanol and/or methanol, both of which are actually great performers in internal combustion engines as borne out by the methanol and ethanol fuelled racing engines. Both ethanol and methanol has significantly higher octane ratings than "pure" gasoline, and can therefore be used in engines with compression ratios much higher than would be possible with "pure" gasoline, whether fuel-injected or carburetted.

The engine needs however to be designed or adapted for operation on pure ethanol or methanol, specifically since alcohol has a much lower heating value than gasoline requiring lower air:fuel ratios and therefore an increased volume of fuel. Advantages of alcohol as a fuel include much improved cooling, cleaner combustion, and about 20% less carbon emissions.

The reason ethanol and methanol are prohibited in aviation fuel is due to alcohol's volatility that could result in a vapor lock at altitude, its incompatibility with certain rubber materials used in the fuel systems, phase separation at altitude that may cause dissolved water to condense out of solution, and the lower heating value that decreases the aircraft's range. All factors that are irrelevant for land use.

Today's vehicle engines are designed to accommodate the alcohol/gasoline blends in use, and typically a 10-15% ethanol blend has very little impact on a modern engine, if at all noticeable. The blend does raise the octane rating by about 3 points, but one would expect slightly increased fuel consumption (about 3%) and perhaps marginal power loss if the engine management system fails to compensate for the alcohol.

I haven't found any compelling reason yet to avoid alcohol blended fuels. I certainly notice no adverse effect using it in my LT or for that matter in any of the other vehicles, motorcycles and small engines.

André Strydom
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post #6 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 2:26 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

I find that both my LT and my FJR run okay on Methanol enriched fuel with the mixture at 10%. I find that both machines do not run so well on ethanol blended fuel. Fuel milage drops and they run a lot rougher.
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post #7 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 2:42 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by andres
By "alcohol" I assume we refer to ethanol and/or methanol, both of which are actually great performers in internal combustion engines as borne out by the methanol and ethanol fuelled racing engines. Both ethanol and methanol has significantly higher octane ratings than "pure" gasoline, and can therefore be used in engines with compression ratios much higher than would be possible with "pure" gasoline, whether fuel-injected or carburetted.

The engine needs however to be designed or adapted for operation on pure ethanol or methanol, specifically since alcohol has a much lower heating value than gasoline requiring lower air:fuel ratios and therefore an increased volume of fuel. Advantages of alcohol as a fuel include much improved cooling, cleaner combustion, and about 20% less carbon emissions.

The reason ethanol and methanol are prohibited in aviation fuel is due to alcohol's volatility that could result in a vapor lock at altitude, its incompatibility with certain rubber materials used in the fuel systems, phase separation at altitude that may cause dissolved water to condense out of solution, and the lower heating value that decreases the aircraft's range. All factors that are irrelevant for land use.

Today's vehicle engines are designed to accommodate the alcohol/gasoline blends in use, and typically a 10-15% ethanol blend has very little impact on a modern engine, if at all noticeable. The blend does raise the octane rating by about 3 points, but one would expect slightly increased fuel consumption (about 3%) and perhaps marginal power loss if the engine management system fails to compensate for the alcohol.

I haven't found any compelling reason yet to avoid alcohol blended fuels. I certainly notice no adverse effect using it in my LT or for that matter in any of the other vehicles, motorcycles and small engines.
My cars handle the poisoned gas pretty well, but there is a measureable loss in fuel economy of 3-4%. My power tools don't like it at all. My 25 year-old Troy built tiller had the fuel valve seals swell up so badly I couldn't turn the valve. I thought it was just old age until I ran a tank of non-ethanol gas through it and had the valve start working slick as new again. It took only one tank to undo the damage from the ethanol.

As for my LT, I am not sure, but it developed a sag when starting out particularly in warmer weather at the same time that my last local station switched to ethanol. I can't be sure that the correlation indicates cause and effect, but I suspect the ethanol is related to the sag.

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post #8 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 3:26 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by andres


I haven't found any compelling reason yet to avoid alcohol blended fuels. I certainly notice no adverse effect using it in my LT or for that matter in any of the other vehicles, motorcycles and small engines.
It seems like I'm not getting as many miles per gallon as I used to on premium gas, without the ethanol. Seems like a reduction of about 10/15 %.

Dano
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post #9 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 4:35 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

A local BP station is selling what they call 100% gas. It is only in the mid grade, rated at 89 octane. Would the members of this forum use this?
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post #10 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 4:39 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

I have owned three flex fuel vehicles. They run great on everything up to E85. In fact they produce maximum horsepower on the E85 because as stated above, the octane rating of alcohol is much higher than gasoline. This allows a greater advance in the timing and great horsepower. The problem is that the number of BTUs in a gallon of gasoline is higher then the number of BTUs in a gallon of alcohol. All my flex vehicles lost ten percent of their fuel mileage when running E85. So unless you are paying 10 percent less for the E85, it's costing you money to run it. Most modern engines will tolerate up to 15 percent alcohol in the fuel, but you will lose 3 to 5 percent in your fuel mileage. So it's just something to consider when you buy that mid-grade fuel. If it's ten percent alcohol, it needs to be 5 percent cheaper to break even on the mileage.

Yes, I would gladly run mid-grade 100 percent gasoline in my LT.


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post #11 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 4:53 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

In Canada, maybe other places all Shell premium is alcohol free which as it turns is why I have never had any problems with my lawn mowers etc - siphon gas for them from the motorcycle

Gary
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post #12 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 5:53 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
I have owned three flex fuel vehicles. They run great on everything up to E85. In fact they produce maximum horsepower on the E85 because as stated above, the octane rating of alcohol is much higher than gasoline. This allows a greater advance in the timing and great horsepower. The problem is that the number of BTUs in a gallon of gasoline is higher then the number of BTUs in a gallon of alcohol. All my flex vehicles lost ten percent of their fuel mileage when running E85. So unless you are paying 10 percent less for the E85, it's costing you money to run it. Most modern engines will tolerate up to 15 percent alcohol in the fuel, but you will lose 3 to 5 percent in your fuel mileage. So it's just something to consider when you buy that mid-grade fuel. If it's ten percent alcohol, it needs to be 5 percent cheaper to break even on the mileage.

Yes, I would gladly run mid-grade 100 percent gasoline in my LT.
If you only lose 10% MPG running a fuel with 27% less energy per gallon, you are doing pretty well and likely violating the laws of physics! Watch out for the science police!!


http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_e85.html

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post #13 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 6:03 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDiver
It seems like I'm not getting as many miles per gallon as I used to on premium gas, without the ethanol. Seems like a reduction of about 10/15 %.
+++111 my experiences exactly!

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post #14 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 6:29 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

I think the reason I only lost 10 percent on mileage is the vehicle computer which adjusts the fuel mapping based upon alcohol content. So while the E85 has 27 percent less energy, the engine can use it more efficiently using higher timing, etc. Diesel has a bunch of energy in it, but I bet you'll get zero miles per gallon with a tank of that in your flex fuel car.


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post #15 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 6:41 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
As for my LT, I am not sure, but it developed a sag when starting out particularly in warmer weather at the same time that my last local station switched to ethanol. I can't be sure that the correlation indicates cause and effect, but I suspect the ethanol is related to the sag.
I ran 10% ethanol (95 Octane rating) in the LT for about 3 years, and suffered the same type of lag at take off while using it. Eventually gave up and paid the difference (+15c/litre) for the higher priced 100% petrol (95 Octane) and since then it purrs along, no lag or hesitation. The issue was there through summer and winter, at near sea-level conditions.
My partner had similar issues in her Japanese built car (Honda CRV), which was designed to take ethanol blends, so refused to use it. She just bought a Subaru and can guarantee it will never see an ethanol blend go through the tank cap.

Chris
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post #16 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 6:41 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
I think the reason I only lost 10 percent on mileage is the vehicle computer which adjusts the fuel mapping based upon alcohol content. So while the E85 has 27 percent less energy, the engine can use it more efficiently using higher timing, etc. Diesel has a bunch of energy in it, but I bet you'll get zero miles per gallon with a tank of that in your flex fuel car.
Advancing the timing has an extremely small effect on thermodynamic efficiency. The only way to change that measureably in a normally aspirated engine is to increase the compression ratio. I don't know of any production engines that can do that.

I'd sooner suspect that you didn't really have E85 fuel (85% ethanol), but rather a blend much richer in real gasoline. If you checked the link I provided, it said that fuel advertised as E85 might have as little as 51% ethanol. That would correspond to more like 15% fuel economy loss.

Also, depending on how you compute your MPG, you can easily be off 5-20%. I know MANY people who check their mileage once or twice a year while on vacation on the interstates and then tell me that their car averages 30 MPG.

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post #17 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 6:49 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

I use "Regular" gas in my LT year round. Here in Tucson that means temps over 100F but rarely below 32F.

When I bought my LT in 2000 I ran the highest octane rated fuel, "Premium". When I tried regular in the winter time my LT ran fine. During the summer I gradually went from premium to regular, fearing that she would ping on regular. She runs fine on regular during the summer.

Last Dec I was riding in temps below 40 approaching 32F according to the temp display in the LT.

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post #18 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 7:11 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by cws
I ran 10% ethanol (95 Octane rating) in the LT for about 3 years, and suffered the same type of lag at take off while using it. Eventually gave up and paid the difference (+15c/litre) for the higher priced 100% petrol (95 Octane) and since then it purrs along, no lag or hesitation. The issue was there through summer and winter, at near sea-level conditions.
My partner had similar issues in her Japanese built car (Honda CRV), which was designed to take ethanol blends, so refused to use it. She just bought a Subaru and can guarantee it will never see an ethanol blend go through the tank cap.
Unfortunately, I have no local source of real gasoline so I have to suffer the LT sag... I am hoping the drought will cause sufficient food shortages and price increases that our politicians will come to their senses and stop using food for fuel.

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post #19 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 8:48 pm Thread Starter
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Talking Re: ethanol free gas

When this Question came up in a previous post, a poster stated that a independent lab found 25% ethanol in a high test sample. i have rebuilt my chainsaw and several neighbors have also had to rebuild small engines and tractors. The only people around here speaking well of ethanol in the mix are mechanics who are in the repair biz. Gov. is mandating 15% and a large increase in production levels. My LT lost power, smoothness, and MPG. Close to 15% I figure. The blue additive helped a lot, so ethanol free high test with no blue additive will be interesting.



Fasttrak is saying ethanol free high test, My next fillup will be a test. I'll let you know!!!!


Andres, by any chance do you work for a corn or fuel company or in either industry?

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post #20 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 11:01 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Blue additive?

Something to consider: If you are buying your 100% gasoline from a pump with one hose servicing all gasoline "flavors," you may not be getting 100% petrol when filling your LT. If the customer prior to you used _____, then the hose (and pump?) will be primed with that fuel, and your fuel will only start to flow when your fuel makes its way to the fill nozzle.

When possible, fuel from a pump with discreet hoses for each level of fuel to ensure you get why you pay for.

On the other hand, I may be wrong, as I often am...

Antony (Tripod)
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post #21 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 11:13 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

http://pure-gas.org/index.jsp

Straight gas is better than any ethanol mix.
This link covers the USA and Canada.

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post #22 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 11:18 pm Thread Starter
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Question Re: ethanol free gas

local stations do have hose for each blend.

"star*tron Enzyme fuel treatment comes in a blue bottle. sold in auto parts store and comes in at least two dilutions. same size bottle treats different amounts of fuel. NAPA has the most concentrated version.

Son-in-law returned my tractor full with untreated fuel. engine rough running and no power. treatment added and sloshed around and engine smoothed out and to my perception more power as well.

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post #23 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 11:27 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Thanks for the info on Star*Tron, Toby.

Most stations that I have been to in the Dallas/Ft Worth area have one hose for each blend, press the button for the blend (and price) you want.

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post #24 of 28 Old Aug 15th, 2012, 11:35 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Here in hell - errr - Phoenix we have no choice but to poison our vehicles with vile pollutants. It used to be that we only had destroy our engines in the summer but I think it is year round now (but I could be wrong). I always love the opportunity to go up in the mountains whether it be car or bike I always fill up outside of Maricopa County so that I can get as much gas in my tank to bring home with me, mileage goes up, power goes up and everything runs smoother and quieter.

Once I get back home and fill up there, it all goes to - well, hell
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post #25 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2012, 1:19 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by tobiwan
Andres, by any chance do you work for a corn or fuel company or in either industry?

Toby,
I do not work for a corn or fuel company or even remotely in that industry. Just tried to state the facts.

André Strydom
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Last edited by andres; Aug 16th, 2012 at 1:25 pm.
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post #26 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2012, 2:37 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Just checked the bottle, STAR-TRON 8 fl. oz. treats 128 gallon.
Got to be wicked stuff??
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post #27 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2012, 5:53 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by andres
The reason ethanol and methanol are prohibited in aviation fuel is due to alcohol's volatility that could result in a vapor lock at altitude, its incompatibility with certain rubber materials used in the fuel systems, phase separation at altitude that may cause dissolved water to condense out of solution, and the lower heating value that decreases the aircraft's range. All factors that are irrelevant for land use.
Vapor lock is not much of an issue anymore with most land vehicles, but everything else you list is very relevant to land vehicles. I don't want the rubber parts of my fuel system destroyed in any of my vehicles. I don't want less range in my cars. And phase separation is an issue with land vehicles causing fuel to go stale much more quickly when ethanol content is high.

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post #28 of 28 Old Aug 16th, 2012, 9:06 pm
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Re: ethanol free gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by kinch
Just checked the bottle, STAR-TRON 8 fl. oz. treats 128 gallon.
Got to be wicked stuff??

Picked it up today at Wally World. Just happened to be strolling past the "marine" aisle and the blue bottle was picked up in my periphery. The 8 oz. bottle to treat 128 gals. was $8.96.

Antony (Tripod)
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If you want to be happy for a year, marry.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime, ride a motorcycle.

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