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Sources for gas without ethanol in it

Post in 'The Gear' started by fabsroman, Aug 3, 2011.

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  1. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    What? My old John Deere B runs just fine with it. My Dad's even older A runs ok with it. My old stationary engine runs fine with it, too.

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  2. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Oldspark – You bring up a good point, a lot of people talking about lower mileage due to ethanol. The sad part is, there are probably about as many saying how burning water, HHO gas, or some other special additive is INCREASING their mileage. Rigid EPA laboratory testing shows that is just not the case.

    Unfortunately, accurate, repeatable comparison of fuel mileage is beyond the capability of most people outside a laboratory environment. (Similar to the way it’s very hard to measure the exact btu output of a stove) For short term tests, there is just no accurate way to measure amount of fuel used. A person may look to go to the same pump and shut it off after one or two ‘clicks’. But consider car getting 25mpg and measuring over a 100 mile trip, even a difference of 0.16 gallons makes 1 mpg or 4% difference in the outcome. Given some average gas tank sizes (my 15 gallon tank is a bit less than 8" deep) every 0.020 inch in gas level is 1% difference in the outcome. If you try to extend the driving range out, things like traffic, weather, and driving style start to affect the results just as much.

    If I drive gently in my car, I can get a pretty easy 29-30mpg on a tank. A bit of aggressive driving could easily drop to 26. So if a person wants to show how ‘bad’ or ‘good’ a fuel is, a little extra goose on the pedal, or a little more gentle driving can sway the results quite a bit – even it is at the subconscious level. This ‘placebo’ effect sells more worthless fuel mileage additives than you can imagine. People drive normally and decide to try a fuel saving additive. Fill up the tank and drive as gently as possible to see if there are any savings. Suddenly they see 5-8% more mileage YAY! The news hits the internet. Over the next few tanks, driving habits return to normal and so does the mileage. Not many people want to go back and report they were wrong and got duped by the snake oil salesman, so you’ll never hear of those results.

    Same goes in reverse for ethanol – people like to show how bad it is, they may hotrod around a little more, or maybe the higher octane lets the engine develop a little more ‘pep’ and it goes to their head. Suddenly the mpg is sucked down. News hits the net and they never try the 'evil' fuel again. I once proudly proclaimed ‘watch the mileage drop 10%’, too. When I gave it the fairest test I could, and found it didn’t and I wanted to know why. The more research I did, the more positives I found with ethanol. Enough so that I try to get 10% for all the engines I have and set my car up to run E85.

    If you have a 'really' old tractor, it was probably set up to burn ethanol originally, as were model T's. They fully expected the farmer might take some of his corn crop, distill it into alcohol, save a nip for himself and put the rest in the tractor/car as cheap and easily available fuel. Though ethanol did fall out of favor after the 20's/30's and doesn't work well in the 'mid century' equipment until the late 80's / early 90's when compatibility started to be built back in.
  3. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    DanCorcoran – good question. No, I have no monetary interest/benefit in corn at all.... beyond helping put fellow Americans to work in a time when we sure need it. I’m basically an engine/performance guy – with an eye toward frugality. I like ethanol because it is a better fuel in almost every respect. Often times much cheaper to use or at least break even compared to gas, burns more efficiently, higher octane, keeps the engine/oil cleaner, etc. Certainly much cheaper than race or av gas – both of which are worthless in a stock saw. I don’t really care if you or anyone else uses it or not. I’m simply trying to ‘set the record straight’ so to speak. ie - The thought I was trying to convey is 'You should be able to use it with no ill effects - it's not worth the time/effort/money to seek out 'pure' gasoline or race fuel" not "You must use ethanol at all costs or polar bears and penguins will die."

    On the mechanics side, it’s very easy to blame ethanol for all the wrongs, charge a huge bill – and a great reason to deny warranties as well. I’ve heard of people being charged $1000’s of dollars for ‘damage’ done by ethanol (ie E85 in a non flex fuel vehicle/non converted vehicle – which truly may cause some stumbling and possibly hard starting) But I have a pretty good idea all the shop did was drain the tank and refill with normal gas, cycle the fuel pump a few times and start the engine right up. Then give the poor guy the thousand dollar bill to ‘rebuild the fuel system’.

    On the practical side, any modern fuel system is going to be fine on E10. I don’t know that you could even buy a natural rubber, leather or low grade plastic seal anymore. Any modern polymer O ring or seal would be fine. Manufacturers know E10 is out there and it’s easier to spend one cent more for a quality O ring than have thousands of service calls and a bad rep for a leaky saw. After 8 years on E10, my Husky 350 is running strong (still on the original spark plug) and tearing through rock hard hedge most of the time. A 22 year old jet ski and another 16 years old both see E10 and run great - it actually eliminates water/fuel issues.

    As far as environmentalists, they dislike everything – there is not much way to keep them happy. They would probably freak because my recycle bin is made of plastic, or my compost bin is made from CCA treated wood. I don't think E85 is any worse for the environment than gas - I'd much rather live next to a distillery versus an oil/petrochemical refinery. Plus, I've been known to actually and purposely spill a few shots of ethanol in liquid I intend to drink. Don't think I'd want to try that with even a few drops of gas. :)
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    A good point - you may see a drop when E10 is used, though I would suggest the truck getting nearly equivalent mileage is proving it's not the 'fault' of the fuel specifically. ie - given a properly functioning engine, there is minimal mileage difference in the fuels.

    Is it possible the older car has worn fuel injectors, worn fuel pressure regulator/pump, weak ignition system/old spark plugs, slow responding O2 sensor, slight vacuum leaks or other aging components and E10 makes some existing problem worse which causes a disproportionate drop in mileage?

    The sad part is, there are research engines in labs across the country (ricardo.com, etc)which are fully capable of generating diesel like mpg efficiency on E85 fuel, which is dollars per gallon cheaper than diesel. Yet no major car company will step up and actually build these 'E85 specific' engines.

  5. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Put a small amount in it and it "cleaned" out the gas tank and would not run worth a crap in just a few min. so drained it back out as I did not want to deal with it.
    My friend who checked out his milege is a perfectionist when it comes to his cars so the 10% drop (for him) is spot on.
    I am sure some people give it a bad rap when it is something else but some marine gas stations will not sell it period do to the problems.
  6. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    "DanCorcoran – good question. No, I have no monetary interest/benefit in corn at all…. beyond helping put fellow Americans to work in a time when we sure need it. "

    Since the federal government must subsidize every gallon of ethanol sold (using taxpayers' dollars), it'd be much more efficient to build or rebuild infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) with that money to put fellow Americans to work. As it is, it raises corn prices, reduces acreage used for other crops (thus increasing their price, too) and increases profits for farmers. Why not just continue or increase farm subsidies, instead of forcing everyone (except those living in corn-producing states) to put it in their tank?

    You pays your money and you takes your pick.
  7. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Plus, corn uses a lot of water at every step of the way from seed to final product. Nebraska alone has a consumptive use of almost a trillion liters of water per year from ethanol production, most of it (about 90%) drawn from groundwater reserves.
  8. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Actually, I believe a bi-partisan group led by several republican senators recently voted to do away with the ethanol blending credits. Though it's not like the government doesn't subsidize oil through massive tax breaks or no taxes for oil companies, financing a standing army, 2-3 wars and military police forces to protect the terminals and shipping in some of the more shady countries.

    While it's true there is water use, that water is mainly returned back to the atmosphere as clean water, evaporation from fields, etc. Distilleries are upgrading to new technology which allows re-using the distillate, further cutting the need for water. On the flip side, water used for oil production is mixed with toxic chemicals as 'drill mud', injected deep underground where it either stays, or begins to leach out into ground and drinking water - all while still carrying the toxic chemicals (re: 'fracking') Water used in refineries can also become heavily contaminated requiring expansive processes to clean it up to minimum standards for disposal.

    As far as price, corn is currently about $7/bushel - about 12 cents per pound (AND we're making 15 billion gallons of ethanol!). A couple days ago, the wife wanted a bag of [url-http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00025H3CQ/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000I1PM0O&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0H82KS9GV9VXGB48K7H9]potting soil[/url] for some re-planting...$8 for 40 pounds, or about 20 cents per pound! - so corn is about half the price of dirt right now!?!?

    Again, I won't claim ethanol is perfect, though compared to oil, I can't see where it is any worse. Come to the midwest and spend a few days in the fresh air surrounded by cornfields, then go somewhere and spend a few days surrounded by oilfields and petrochemical refineries - see what your preference is.

    Don't use it if you don't want to, just understand marketing companies are creating a problem (evil ethanol) where none exists and using the opportunity to sell high priced boutique 'no ethanol' fuel. Then when the engine carbons up and the carb is coated in varnish due to this fuel, they sell you the 'solution' - such as Seafoam or other fuel system cleaner - which is in large part alcohol! to help clean the engine.
  9. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I've been running three cars, garden tractor, ATV, snowmobile, chainsaw and who knows what else with the ethanol gas now for the past two or three years . . . and honestly . . . other than taking a few precautions for long-term storage to avoid any separation issues I have had zero problems.
  10. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Good point, and I certainly think it's leaps and bounds better than fracking for natural gas. But much of that clean water vapor created from groundwater in the heartland ends up in my backyard, not where it originated. One thing we can never allow to happen is to lose our fresh water resources. Do that and we are doomed.


    Yes, how ironic is that! But don't forget the excavating, delivery, packaging, shipping, trucking, handling, retail payroll, etc. Want cheap dirt? Dig it yourself.

    Sorry, but there is definitely a problem using ethanol in chainsaws. I have no beef with using it in cars when and if it can be produced more efficiently, but I don't see why my state is forcing me to ruin my saws by making E-free gas totally unavailable.

    BTW I called a few local airports and they told me it was against NY state law to pump avgas into anything but an airplane. The reason is because it is taxed differently than non-aviation fuel. A guy at one of the airports let a little tip slip, though. He said that some of the small strips have unattended pumps. If they accept my card, I should be able to slip in and out with several 5-gallon cans of avgas without being bothered by anybody. I would, however, be committing a crime by using it in my saws.
  11. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Jack dont know crap about shine! :cheese:
  12. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    All I know about this is from our parent company selling the conventional gas to marinas. ALL the marinas hate the ethanol. When we were finally able to deliver conventional gas to marinas labeled as "recreational" EVERY marina that could afford it jumped on it.
  13. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    That's because no one wants to get stuck with gallons and gallons of ethanol gas at the end of the season!
  14. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Fact- the farmers will be growing a crop in Nebraska. fact- they will probably water it. Might as well be corn.

    OldSpark, I'm glad you clarified that you tried ONE tank of ethanol fuel in your tractor and that it didn't work. That, to me, means very little for ethanol in general, and likely more about your source, or varnished tank, or the gas can, or the compression on your tractor, or ???

    I've used very many gallons in the B and it continues to run fine. On the farm we have run literally millions of miles on ethanol and have no bad effects that we can put a finger on. The things that die on our equipment are almost never engine related. We are talking transmission failures, 4x4 components, bodies rusting around the drivetrain, but never ever the engines. We did have a v6 skylark that we rebuilt the engine around 180,000 miles, but that's all that I can think of. Probably only half of its life was on ethanol blend, though. Just traded off a perfect running car with 135k miles of almost all ethanol, still have a jeep with 132k miles, last 100,000 miles were mine with ethanol, and the CR-V has 172k miles on it of ethanol mostly.

    Show me some real ethanol use data on a handful of fleet cars vs a handful of fleet cars on nn-blend and we'll talk. Not some guy that claims it hurt him 10%, that's not science.
  15. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I am sure the data is there on any e85 car. My Mom complains about less mileage on her 2011 impala sure the info is on the new cars.
  16. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    "OldSpark, I'm glad you clarified that you tried ONE tank of ethanol fuel in your tractor and that it didn't work. That, to me, means very little for ethanol in general, and likely more about your source, or varnished tank, or the gas can, or the compression on your tractor, or ???"
    I said in my post it cleaned out crap in the tank and that is what caused the tractor to run bad, and it was not a full tank only abaout a gallon and a half mixed in with regular gas. You guys can say all you want but too many real life stories about in a negative fashion and my own dealings with it to make me feel any different. One person who worked in the forresty industry in Maine was forced to use it in their fleet and he hated it for the very same reasons, it is a fact it has less energy and your mileage goes down, how much may vary as some one stated.
  17. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    FACT - without massive subsides ethanol would not be in gasoline. And that fact is more than enough for me to look askance at the whole scheme.
  18. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    1. Corn transpires lots more water per acre than a crop like wheat, rye, oats, or soybeans - about 1.5 million liters of water per acre per year. That's the equivalent of about 15" of rainfall, about 1/2 of the yearly average rainfall in Nebraska.

    2. It's not just the water to grow the crop, it is also the water used to produce the ethanol.
  19. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I don't know aout the farmers in NE, but my dad would go belly up in a year if he tried to make a living off of wheat or rye, so I'm totally biased about this sort of thing. Trust me, he's not getting rich off of corn. There were many years when the Bins were empty cause we sold it all to pay the bills and put food on the table. There were many years where loans were needed to keep the farm alive.
  20. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    As the saying goes there is more than Corn in Indiana.....Not Really :cheese:
  21. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    The truth come out but at least he is honest about it, I wish the ethanol thing was a better deal but its not for the most part, when we can make it from other things that grow on marginal land I'm on board. Still not going to use it in certain applications and I am from the CORN state ya know.
  22. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    LoL, fair enough! BUT Jay's mom and some friend of a guy i know who's neighbor is a mechanic are not scientists. I need to see some empirical evidence that ethanol is worse. I certainly am not saying it's better, but I really haven't seen any studies that show it to be worse. You'd think that big oil companies would be spending millions of dollars to run the concept into the ground, right? Right now all I'm seeing is a bunch of anecdotal evidence, which shouldn't necessarily be discounted, just taken at face value and then lead into studies.
  23. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Farming's tough all over, ya know? My landlord would have quit the dairy business a long time ago if he didn't own tons of rental property. The co-op they were with was paying them the same lousy whatever per hundredweight for years, even though the cost of operating the farm increased exponentially. Rents like mine bring in enough dough to pay the home bills while he gets to play farmer until he dies or gets too sick to ride on a tractor. With so many farms around here tanking over the last twenty years, he's doing great just breaking even.

    Corn is king, no doubt. Feed lots and ethanol will keep it that way for a long time. I still don't want it in my saws, though.
  24. GordonShumway

    GordonShumway Member

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    When I was doing my test I tried several tanks of ethanol vs non-e. I ONLY drive my car to and from work. 40 miles one way all highway, not a lot you can fudge there. I did not go into the experiment wanting to discredit ethanol. I simply wanted the most bang for my buck. So tell me what my incentive would have been to fly down the highway like a bat out of hell when running ethanol vs. milking the pedal by coasting up all hills and turning off the car going down hills with non-ethanol? I have a 1993 Prism. When I ran ethanol gas I was getting between 31-32 miles/gallon. Without I was getting 35-37 miles/gallon. The 10% was approx. With the amount of driving I do each day it only makes sense to try to be the most efficient bc those re-fuels add up quick. Perhaps the year of car does make a difference along with the type. But my odometer doesn't lie. I hear it said that folks want to see real lab results, that would be great. I would like to add that I would like to see lab results that have no political ties to a political agenda from a lab that does not receive gov. money. My intent was not to turn this into a political rant. I was simply stating in the original post that I wasn't aware that non ethanol gas has been removed completely in parts of the country, since I myself only use the non-ethanol. I suppose in due time it will be removed from all places.
  25. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

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    Don't waste your time with a trip to PA. There is no more ethanol free anywhere in the state at traditional gas stations, and it stopped being available on 8/31/2010. It was optional at higher cost until PA built and began running an ethanol producing plant. Not sure about farm stores or marina's.
    Anyone can input into Purgas.org. I had corrected several entries for my local area. Someone added stations because there were no stickers on the pumps at those stations that stated an ethanol addition to the gasoline. In PA the stickers are optional and laws vary state to state. I have tested gas from local stations with a test kit that uses water, not just relying on vehicle mileage displays or calculations. This is the only reliable way to be sure regardless of any sign posted or website. We even had 1 station put up a sign saying "no ethylnol". Of course the was none, there is no such thing. I filled up there once and watched the milage display in my 300C slowly drop while waiting at the red light by the station. Definate measureble results.

    I have documented a 12% drop in economy in my Dodge as well and I am pro non ethanol, especially in small engines.

    Hopefully the loss of gov't subsidies and increasing pressure of food prices will make ethanol spiked gasoline a thing of the past.
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