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Ethanol Free Gas!

Post in 'The Gear' started by EatenByLimestone, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I live in Iowa in the country with corn all around me and I think it sucks, a guy I know (married into my family) who's dad in on the ethanol board loves it when I say its crap.
    All sorts of non ethanol gas here, 87, 91 and 93.

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  2. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    One enemy of organic/aqueous suspensions is time. Allow it to sit long enough and it often will separate into organic and aqueous layers. Once separation occurs, all sorts of issues may appear. Another enemy that is particularly relevant to this discussion is temperature fluctuation. Since we don't control atmospheric water in gasoline storage tanks, temperature fluctuations will cause condensation, which in turn will get into the fuel. Get enough water in the fuel and saturation occurs; saturation leads to separation.

    You would have been better served using Seafoam. Remember the rule that "like dissolves like." The naphthenic hydrocarbons and other cycloalkanes can conform to be much more like varnish molecules than the tiny and very polar (in relative terms) ethanol molecules. Heck, rubbing alcohol would have been better than ethanol. The isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) is also found in Seafoam and Sta-Bil ethanol treatment. These are much better alternatives to ethanol.

    Here you are comparing apples and oranges. Your booze is primarily ethanol and water (plus a little flavoring). CH3CH2-OH (ethanol) and H-OH (water) are very similar in size and polarity and are 100% miscible. The long chain hydrocarbons and isooctanes in gasoiline are much bigger than CH3CH2-OH and are far less polar than either ethanol or water. The gasoline hydrocarbons are more "unlike" ethanol and water so there is a greater tendency for separation into organic and aqueous layers.

    Here you need to realize that carburetor diaphragms are made of flexible rubber-like polymers. The glass and plastic that holds your booze, whether top shelf or rot-gut, is not used in carburetors because they don't have the physical properties needed in a carb.

    High octane rating is not the the only characteristic of gasoline formulas that makes it desirable. What about total energy per gallon of fuel and mileage? Ethanol loses there.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
    NateB, mudr, CenterTree and 2 others like this.
  3. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Also when in say a boat that may sit all winter, yes it absorbs that water and can burn it but now that saturated ethonol molecules are attached the the heavier water molecules. This leaves an area on the bottom of the tank that is mostly E and water. It will burn yea bit what's the octane?? This is where the out board guys, me included hate it. This is where pistons are burned etc.

    Also not sure where you hot your has that turned bad in a few months?? Only fuel in last 10 yrs I've had do that has been some E10 that turned to a bad smell in fuel in 6 weeks!! The pure gas I buy in my boat is sometimes 9-18 months old and no trouble with starting.
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Exactly – with gasoline the separation happens almost immediately. Well, I even hate to use the word ‘separation’ – usually there is hardly any mixing – the water just falls to the bottom. When alcohol is the ‘organic’ the water stays in suspension indefinitely. At the low % water we’re talking about from moisture in the air, and general atmospheric conditions, the gasoline/water/alcohol is stable as well.

    I’m sure many other chemicals may have been better to remove the varnish, Heck, I guess I could have just used ‘paint and varnish stripper’. But don’t miss the point…ethanol was available, it was cheap, and it worked essentially instantly. When it’s present in the gas, it helps keep the varnish solubilized before it can even form.

    Not sure where we wound up back on organic and aqueous layers, but yes, the point is to show the difference is apples and oranges. Long chain hydrocarbons are always breaking down into something else, getting kinked up with one another, turning into tar, sludge, varnish and generally doing strange things. Ethanol is basically ethanol unless something pretty extreme happens to it.

    I wasn’t trying to say they use the actual plastic bottle in the carburetor... though I think I did see that in an episode of MacGyver once. I was trying to emphasize that if a cheap, disposable bottle can withstand ethanol, surely the highly engineered polymers in a carb can withstand it.

    Again, I think this is missing the point of this thread. People are talking about driving all over the county to track down ‘real gas’ and/or paying exorbitant prices per gallon …or even per quart for ‘race fuel’, ‘av gas’ or whatever. If you look at it on a BTU basis, E10 has what… 3% less BTU than ‘real gas’? Even if the BTUs converted directly to engine power, I would cut for 60 minutes on a tank of E10, you cut 3% longer or 61 minutes and 48 seconds on ‘real gas’. To me, its not worth much of a drive, or paying even a few cents more for that 1:48 … after an hour, I’m usually ready for a break anyway!
  5. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Loc: Midwest

    Fellow American.

    Though I have known some folks out VA way to get after some ethanol as well. Pretty dang good 'shine... have no idea where they got the corn, but it was good drinkin' once it was in the bottle.
  6. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    If E has 3% less power why when I put E85 in my truck u went from 15-16 MPG to 9-10 on the 2 totally desperate tanks I used it in?
  7. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I think we're talking two different things. I mentioned 'E10' which is 90% gasoline / 10% ethanol. You are talking 'E85' which is 15% gasoline / 85% ethanol. The E10 is about 3% less btu compared to straight gas, the E85 is about 33% less.

    The 3% is virtually unnoticeable and is sometimes actually made up because the ethanol burns more efficiently, so more of it's energy can be converted to work in the engine. Most reports have E85 at about 20-25% loss in mileage - again, some of the btu loss is made up due to more efficient combustion.

    You report about a 40% loss with those numbers, so obviously your truck is not a good candidate for E85 unless there is a large price difference between it and gasoline. If it was the '80 Chevy or 90 Ford mentioned in your signature, then either of those should really have a conversion to properly use E85 which would probably bring the mileage back in line with the averages.

    Conversely, I did build the engine in my car for E85 ...high compression and a well matched cam, etc ... it actually gets 1-2mpg better than it did on gasoline, and E85 is generally 10-15% cheaper. Depending on the price difference between E85 and gas, it's anywhere between a $5 and $15 savings with every fill-up.
  8. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    "Depending on the price difference between E85 and gas, it's anywhere between a $5 and $15 savings with every fill-up."

    Does that include the federal subsidy to ethanol producers, paid from federal tax revenues, and the cost to the general consumer of paying to have their engine modified? ;?
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  9. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Yep your correct it was E85 just did not use right terms. And it was my work truck which at time was an 07 dodge Dakota v8
  10. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    The 10% can drop your mileage a noticeable amount, friend of mine lost 4 mpg in his car, mine loses at least 2 or 3 mpg.
    Its not that good of product, its all over the net plus many people I have talked including one guy from Maine who the state made them run in in their work vehicles, he hated it.
  11. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I suppose it might, but also consider what is spent on the defense budget... maintaining a standing army, navy, air force, etc which is generally needed for protecting foreign oil fields, making sure shipping lanes stay open and general deterrence for anyone thinking of mucking around in the mid-east oil fields. I see one source which shows $14 billion spent on ethanol and $730 billion spent on defense - which would include a substantial amount for protection of foreign oil fields.

    How much have wars in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc cost ...not only money, but lives as well? How many terrorist acts have farmers carried out?
  12. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Sticking a gun in someone's face while they point to a 3rd party and insist that you pay isn't, strictly speaking, "terrorism," I suppose. If I do it here in Washington State it's called "Robbery in the 1st Degree." When the Fed does it it's called "farm subsidies."
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
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  13. Gunny

    Gunny Member

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    OK, we should not make this a conversation about defense spending. I agree Corey, that the price each American spends for defense is out of control or this country would not be in the financial state that it is in. Just remember to that Solder/Marine outside the wire that gets ambushed by 50 insurgents does not care about the cost of calling in a fire order to the rear. The fire order that costs $300,000 per HIMAR missile, and they send them out in 3's, that gets his rear end and his buddies back with him. I think all members and vets alike can agree the cost of war is huge, whether the lives or the $, it does not matter. All members of the service that have served in extreme danger all want the same thing, to come home! We just do what is ordered. Not exactly a great job but if not us then who? Everyone wants to be an American, not everyone can be!
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  14. Gunny

    Gunny Member

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    Let me rephrase that! All service members want to come home, and gather wood. They just may not know it!
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  15. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Gunny - yes, I agree. I did not mean my post to sound like we should send our brave service members out with a couple of wal-mart BB guns for defense. By all means, if our troops are in the line of fire, they deserve the best support we can give - I have several family members in, or retired from the services.

    The point was, people go crazy with 'ethanol subsidy' without realizing 'oil subsidy' is built into everything from defense to transportation taxes, etc. If we spent less time meddling in other government affairs to keep oil supply lines open, we could probably cut a large chunk out of defense and provide as good, or better support.
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  16. Gunny

    Gunny Member

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    Gotcha Corey, I guess when that nerve gets rubbed against/wind blows there is some defense. OR we just open up OUR oil reserve that we will never use and start being independent. Let all of the idiots kill each other and just go on our merry way. Definitely don't need to put more young men in harms way. They got wood to cut!
  17. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Okay, because we have an oil subsidy, which is bad, we should have an ethanol subsidy too? I suggest we get rid of both and let the fuels compete in the marketplace.
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  18. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    I made a Sturgis run in early August & hit a couple of ethanol-free gas stations out in the land of nothing BUT corn. The only fuel available was E-FREE 87 octane & in a fully loaded, 950 lb Geezer Glide designed to run on 91+ octane I went from 42 mpg to OVER 50 mpg. There was no appreciable increase in the price per gallon. I will take E-free at whatever octane you can get me without batting an eye.
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  19. Pdesjr

    Pdesjr New Member

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    All Conn gas has ethanol in it.Has for a while
  20. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I think Bad Wolf meant that the state of Conn. is a state which has no ethanol-free gasoline available, yet is surrounded by (in a sea of) states that do.
  21. Pdesjr

    Pdesjr New Member

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    Yea your right Dan. Misread it My bad
  22. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    This mileage difference may very well be, but to attribute that to a 3% difference in fuel might be a bit of a stretch. I've seen our Honda Insight get anywhere from 42 mpg to 92mpg on the SAME fuel, just depending on wind, weather, driving style, road conditions, etc. My bike is generally somewhere between 43 and 52. Also, at those mpg levels measuring fuel volume becomes critical too. At your 50mpg, just a 0.1 gallon, or one extra 'click' of the nozzle is equal to 1mpg difference.
  23. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Yea but your figuring MPG based on pump displayed gallons and miles on the odometer. So that "extra click" shows on the screen as fuel in the tank???
  24. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    You can nit pick the numbers but the fact is the mileage does go down and in some cases you are money ahead by buying non ethanol gas.
    They really need to make it out of something other then corn.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2013
  25. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I tested it a couple years ago and got a 3% change in mpg in my truck. Unfortunately I paid 10% more for the E free gas. I figured it was worthwhile to buy it for the chainsaw, weedwacker, blower, snowblower, and such because he extra umph would be noticed there (and I don't burn much gas in them), but not so much with the truck.

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