Sunoco non ethanol fuels

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,882
South Jersey
Thank-you. I live in a town with two major oil refineries and one small specialty refinery and even the people in the lab doing quality control refer to themselves as "petroleum engineers".

You would think we would have some of the cheapest gas in the state but it seems to get less expensive the more distant you go from the refineries. Go figure! Even the petroleum engineers I know can't explain this odd fact to me (nor do they try to pretend they understand it).
I live in NJ with no nearby refineries. My colleague in Houston, where there are many refineries, pays 30 cents more per gallon.
It is a matter of demand, supply, taxation, production costs, logistics, and politics. In a state where there is no state income tax, they must get their money from somewhere, so fuel is a lot more expensive than in other states, due to taxation. A very efficient refinery can make fuel cheaper that a very old inefficient refinery can, another factor. And there are many, many more. It is very complex.
 

sportbikerider78

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2014
2,493
Saratoga, NY
"Phase separate", you say, "isn't that a problem caused by alcohol in the gas?". No. There are a lot of myths out there designed to make ethanol look worse than it is. Ethanol formulated gasoline is 100's of times less likely to phase separate than ethanol free gas. Pure gas, without alcohol, can only hold a miniscule amount of water before it phase separates. Just the normal condensation in a fuel tank only half full can collect enough water to separate from non-ethanol fuel. Ethanol fuel can absorb quite a bit of water and pass it out the tailpipe along with the normal moisture of combustion. Back in the day of ethanol free fuel, that's all the moisture it took to cause rough running or a no-start situation. Two bottles of "mechanic in a can/alcohol" were only needed if you had rainwater leaking in your tank.

How short our memories are (and how many urban myths are created and endlessly passed along).
True, but when you add 2 stroke water to the mix, it still doesn't mix with water. And the ethanol can suspend more water in it with all of the alcohol in the gas.
Now you have 2 problems instead of one. Concentrated oil. Concentrated water.

It can also corrode parts inside the carb.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,829
Northern NH
Being a petroleum chemist, I can agree with most of the above. If somebody is interested how gasoline is made, let me know.
Thanks, Its a bit difficult to condense 150 years of petroleum technology into a couple of paragraphs into somewhat non technical language that someone has a chance to understand ;).

As for me, I have a local gas station that sells 93 octane ethanol free fuel. We have a big ATV and snowmachine recreational industry in the area and most of the owners make sure that at the end of the weekend when they drive home that they run at least a tank through their toys so that they can sit for awhile without gumming up. A lot of them run it all the time.
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
I live in NJ with no nearby refineries. My colleague in Houston, where there are many refineries, pays 30 cents more per gallon.
It is a matter of demand, supply, taxation, production costs, logistics, and politics. In a state where there is no state income tax, they must get their money from somewhere, so fuel is a lot more expensive than in other states, due to taxation. A very efficient refinery can make fuel cheaper that a very old inefficient refinery can, another factor. And there are many, many more. It is very complex.
I'm comparing gas in the same state. Tax is the same. The inland rural areas with cheaper gas get it from the same refineries. So, none of your explanations make sense in this comparison.
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
True, but when you add 2 stroke water to the mix, it still doesn't mix with water. And the ethanol can suspend more water in it with all of the alcohol in the gas.
Now you have 2 problems instead of one. Concentrated oil. Concentrated water.

It can also corrode parts inside the carb.
You're not making sense. "2 stroke water"?? I have no idea what you're trying to convey.
 

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,882
South Jersey
I'm comparing gas in the same state. Tax is the same. The inland rural areas with cheaper gas get it from the same refineries. So, none of your explanations make sense in this comparison.
Like I said, it is very complex, with a huge list of factors effecting the price.
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
Like I said, it is very complex, with a huge list of factors effecting the price.
Sounds complicated. Same refinery, same tax rate, same gas, different price. The truckers must pay the refineries to truck it. ;)
 
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WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
True, but when you add 2 stroke oil to the mix, it still doesn't mix with water. And the ethanol can suspend more water in it with all of the alcohol in the gas.
Now you have 2 problems instead of one. Concentrated oil. Concentrated water.

It can also corrode parts inside the carb.
OK, I edited it for you.

Even with two stroke oil added, E10 will mix just fine with water as long as there is not so much water that the mixture reaches the saturation point. Non-ethanol cannot mix with any significant water so it immediately phase separates with the water ending up on the bottom of your tank. It takes quite a bit of water for that to happen with E10.

This is the fallacy that has spread around the Internet like wildfire. The truth of the matter is that as long as the fuel is fresh, and your fuel breather system and tank prevent excessive water from entering, you won't have a problem. With humid air it's important to not let it sit with a partial tank for any length of time. Non-ethanol fuel collects water from condensation and can't absorb it so it sits on the bottom and corrodes or causes sputtering/difficult starting, etc. E10 absorbs, not only condensed water from the sides/top of the tank, but also directly from humid air. But it can hold a certain amount in suspension until burned where the water will pass through without causing sputtering (because it is in an even suspension). Due to the fact that E10 can absorb water directly from humid air, it is important to have good fuel management practices (but these are the same practices that should be followed with non ethanol fuel as well).

A very good fuel management habit is to always run your tank as low as practical. In a saw used only periodically that entails not refueling until it signals it's starting to run out. In a vehicle it is very beneficial to not always top off (instead, run as low as possible without risking running out of gas). This keeps moisture accumulation to a minimum and the fuel as fresh as possible. Because fuel does age. Yes, fuel with ethanol ages faster but the difference is not night/day as some would have you believe. Good practices will prevent problems caused by aging fuel/moisture accumulation. This was a huge problem even before ethanol but people love a good scapegoat (as long as it's not them).
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,868
SEPA
I live in NJ with no nearby refineries. My colleague in Houston, where there are many refineries, pays 30 cents more per gallon.
It is a matter of demand, supply, taxation, production costs, logistics, and politics. In a state where there is no state income tax, they must get their money from somewhere, so fuel is a lot more expensive than in other states, due to taxation. A very efficient refinery can make fuel cheaper that a very old inefficient refinery can, another factor. And there are many, many more. It is very complex.
Hi Jan- I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure there are refineries just across the Delaware river in south Philly. They are right by the airport, you can see them from 95.
 

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,882
South Jersey
Hi Jan- I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure there are refineries just across the Delaware river in south Philly. They are right by the airport, you can see them from 95.
There were 4 Sunoco refineries there, among a 120 year old plant, the oldest in the country. 3 of those 4 Sunoco plants are closed. One of those refineries was sold to Delta Airlines who planned it for jet fuel production.
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,868
SEPA
There were 4 Sunoco refineries there, among a 120 year old plant, the oldest in the country. 3 of those 4 Sunoco plants are closed. One of those refineries was sold to Delta Airlines who planned it for jet fuel production.
That's an impressive level of info. I still remember seeing all those lights and burn off flames when going to and from the airport. Haven't been that way for many a year.
 

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,882
South Jersey
That's an impressive level of info. I still remember seeing all those lights and burn off flames when going to and from the airport. Haven't been that way for many a year.
In 2000 there were 308 active refineries in the US. Now only 145.
 

DodgyNomad

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
628
West Michigan
$10 per gallon for ethanol free is outrageous.

We pay a shade over $3 per gallon here for 91 and 3.50 for higher octane ethanol free around here.

I'd never pay that for something that I wasn't racing with or competing with.
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
10 bucks a gallon! Holy 'ol dog bite. The non E10 91 octane gas at the marina where I slip my boat is only 3.85 this year. With a 150 gallon tank I'd cry.
You are comparing a canned product to a product delivered in bulk from a pump. Someone has to pay for the can, the filling of the can, the cardboard case boxes (in the case of smaller cans), the pallets to transport the cans and the workers and warehouses that load/unload and store the pallets of cans. Bulk fuel is simply pumped from a big tank into your container or fuel tank. You wouldn't fill a 150 gallon tank with 5 gallon cans if you could avoid it. Plus, it's likely more expensive to refine.

Gas from years back had storage issues and it raised hell in all fuel systems if left to sit for long. How long has Gumout been for sale???
I don't know when Gumout was introduced, probably in the early 60's. Long before ethanol was added to pump gas.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,962
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
It's $20 a gallon here, because the only thing available is that premix 2-stroke stuff in cans. $20 is also about what it costs to rebuild or replace a small engine carb, so I take my chances with the ethanol. ;p
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,568
WI, Leroy
Information I read is the ethanol portion is added at the distributor level and not at the refinery. I dislike ethanol laced fuels for various reasons- but I am stuck with it same as most everyone else.
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
Information I read is the ethanol portion is added at the distributor level and not at the refinery. I dislike ethanol laced fuels for various reasons- but I am stuck with it same as most everyone else.
You do have a choice. Ethanol free is generally around $0.35-$1.35 more per gallon than the equivalent octane ethanol blended gasoline. Here's a map of reported stations with ethanol free gasoline:

https://www.pure-gas.org/extensions/map.html

Having said that, my Stihl 026 ran perfectly for 20 years on nothing but ethanol blended gasoline save for a cracked fuel pick-up line. It was put away wet more often than not. Still runs better than new. I have a couple of other machines (pressure washer, lawn mower and a yard multi-tool) that have been run on steady diets of ethanol blended fuel and put away wet with zero problems, perfect reliability for 10-15 years.

So ethanol isn't the disaster naysayers like to portray it as. They just repeat the mantra planted by the oil industry and some people believe it and spread it around like gospel. Because ethanol blended fuels, while a boon for American farmers, have cost the oil industry billions in lost sales and lower prices. It's amazing how a little less demand can dramatically soften oil prices.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
I dislike ethanol laced fuels for various reasons- but I am stuck with it same as most everyone else.
Ethanol should be reserved for Manhattans, Martinis, and Old Fashioneds; exercising our livers, and not burning it off at a rate of 12 MPG.
 
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WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
Ethanol should be reserved for Manhattans, Martinis, and Old Fashioneds; exercising our livers, and not burning it off at a rate of 12 MPG.
There's more than enough ethanol to go around. The stuff is easy to make and it's cheap too! You can have the corn stuff, I like it from barley and potatoes. The Scottish and the Irish are the professionals. American corn ethanol? That goes in my tank to keep the water from phase separating.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,568
WI, Leroy
heat factor and the fuel washing any lubrication out of cylinders and valve train
any one remember the 1/4 mile dirt circuits- the offenhausers ( alcohol fueled) sprinters were the ones to beat back in the day