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Ethanol in Gasoline

Old 07-12-2007, 12:22 PM
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Default Ethanol in Gasoline

Is there a way for me to find out if I'm buying gasoline with Ethanol.

I live in Texas. There is nothing posted on the outside of the pump or on any sign near the pump or on the windows of the station. I have looked at many gas stations at this point in time. I have asked 3 different times and most of the time the person at the counter looks at me like they don't have a clue as to what in the heck I'm talking about. I wonder why. Eventually, they say, I'm not aware of anything else in the gasoline except gasoline. Whats Ethanol?

So does someone just know what states add Ethanol? Is there a chart somewhere? Is there a way to really know?
Old 07-12-2007, 01:18 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

I didn't find an answer to your question but I did find the following tip:

For those who prefer to avoid ethanol, there is a simple way to detect it. Put a small amount of water in a vial or test tube, mark the water level, add the gasoline suspected of containing ethanol; A gasoline:water ratio of 10:1 works well. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds, allow the mixture to settle until there's a clear separation between the gasoline & the "water". If there's ethanol in the gasoline, then it will be drawn out of solution with the gasoline & into solution with the water, making it appear that the water level went up.

I know that ethanol was supposed to replace MTBE as an oxygenator in all of the non-attainment zones in Texas.
Old 07-12-2007, 02:27 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

Hmm, any organic solvent including raw crude oil out of the ground is partially miseable in water and visa versa. Not sure this is going to be scientific enough to reach in definite conclusions.

MTBE use to be in typical low concentrations.

I have heard they are putting as much as 10% ethanol in our gasoline now (but they never bothered to tell us or reduce the price by 10%)
Old 07-12-2007, 05:00 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

If I remember correctly, pumps are to be labeled if the fuel contains ethanol. I am not sure if that is a state or federal law. I try to avoid gasoline with methanol in it - a 10% ethanol blend reduces your fuel economy by 10%. Some places sell an ethanol blend 1 or 2 cents cheaper and people think they are getting a deal. Not when you figure our your cost per mile.

Dan
Old 07-12-2007, 06:21 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline


ORIGINAL: RCPilot100

If I remember correctly, pumps are to be labeled if the fuel contains ethanol. I am not sure if that is a state or federal law. I try to avoid gasoline with methanol in it - a 10% ethanol blend reduces your fuel economy by 10%. Some places sell an ethanol blend 1 or 2 cents cheaper and people think they are getting a deal. Not when you figure our your cost per mile.

Dan
Many states don't require labeling at the pump. My state ... Iowa does. Even though we produce a lot of ethanol here, we can still buy gas with or without ethanol. I believe that Minnesota and Illinois , our neighbors, both require a 10% blend in all gasoline sold for over the road use. I rarely, if ever see labeling in Minnesota.

I would call a pipeline terminal, wholesaler, etc. in your area to see what blends are being sold at your local outlets. I would think they should know as they have to blend the stuff.

Now about that 10% reduction in mileage ..... I don't believe that is correct. I drive a company car quite a few over the road miles and regularly switch between 10% ethanol and regular non- ethanol fuels. I see far less than 1 mpg difference between these fuels in a vehicle that usually gets around 22 mpg. Now E-85 would be a far different matter but I won't go there.

Whats so bad about ethanol anyway? I just recently went through several of my carbs and refitted my tanks with new lines and I could see no signs of deterioration from using ethanol blended fuels. All of my carbs were just opened, cleaned the screens, checked and reassembled with no new parts. I started a thread about ethanol several months ago pointing out that in several areas of the country and depending on the time of year, etc, fuels have chemicals in them that are far more damaging to rubber components than ethanol. For example Toluene and Xylene. These are often blended at percentages far greater than the 10% ethanol.
Old 07-12-2007, 06:28 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

I don't think our state has such labeling laws...its very "business" friendly. Some would say TOO business friendly!

I don't Ethanol is damaging to the motor per se, I just think its a performance hampening chemical that I would rather not have. You have a container of gasoline and a container of Ethanol and put a match to them, you can see a definitive difference in the flammable and explosive properties of each substance.
Old 07-12-2007, 06:43 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline


ORIGINAL: 3d-aholic

I don't think our state has such labeling laws...its very "business" friendly. Some would say TOO business friendly!

I don't Ethanol is damaging to the motor per se, I just think its a performance hampening chemical that I would rather not have. You have a container of gasoline and a container of Ethanol and put a match to them, you can see a definitive difference in the flammable and explosive properties of each substance.
I don't believe that Indy cars consider ethanol a performance hampering chemical! They run 100% of the stuff this season. Switching from 100% methanol 2 years ago and a 90 / 10 blend of methanol / ethanol last season. Like any alcohol fuel, you have to burn more of the stuff ( liquid volume ) compared to gasoline but it can make very good power. Look at a glo engine that has been converted to gas .... makes less power. Or another comparison ..... gas engines converted to glo make more power. I know its methanol in glo fuel but the energy is similar to ethanol. Gas engines (ignition) run on straight methanol or ethanol / oil mix would surely make more power than on straight gas ..... at the expense of having to haul around a much larger gas tank.

Oh well, as long as we have ethanol blended in our gas, there will be a controversy.
Old 07-12-2007, 07:03 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

If you compare the heat of combustion of Ethanol and Octane (the primary constitute in gasoline), you would see that heat of combustion makes Octane a better fuel.

For equal masses of ethanol and octane, approximately 60% less energy is extracted from ethanol as from octane (delta Hcomb ethanol = -1367kJ/mol vs -5470kJ/mol for ethanol if i remember correctly). When considering the two in liquid form as is most useful if inverstigating ethanol as a fuel, the ratio converts to 70% due to ethanol's density of 0.785g/mL vs 0.678g/mL for octane. Furthermore, when blended at the 10% level, approximately 3.5% more petrol is required compared to what would be needed if there was no oxygenating ethanol present in the fuel.
Old 07-12-2007, 07:48 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

For a few years in my younger truck driving days, I drove a gas tanker and handled the delivery of blended gas, and fuel oils as well as jet fuel. We, as drivers, did the blending by making another stop to take on 10% to each compartment. Products are, or at least were, always stored separately. For instance, jet fuel is K1 kerosene with a Phillips 66 additive we had to make another stop to get. We took on 10% of this product as well, and it served to block the growth of fungus in the fuel that could plug the tiny filters on jet engines. K1 combined with this additive created the jet fuel.

You could phone your local distributer to see if they blend. Here in Ohio, the pump must be clearly labeled if it dispenses blended gas. Methanol or Ethanol was never added to High octane though. That remained pure. Low and mid range octane could contain it.
Old 07-12-2007, 08:02 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline


ORIGINAL: 3d-aholic

If you compare the heat of combustion of Ethanol and Octane (the primary constitute in gasoline), you would see that heat of combustion makes Octane a better fuel.

For equal masses of ethanol and octane, approximately 60% less energy is extracted from ethanol as from octane (delta Hcomb ethanol = -1367kJ/mol vs -5470kJ/mol for ethanol if i remember correctly). When considering the two in liquid form as is most useful if inverstigating ethanol as a fuel, the ratio converts to 70% due to ethanol's density of 0.785g/mL vs 0.678g/mL for octane. Furthermore, when blended at the 10% level, approximately 3.5% more petrol is required compared to what would be needed if there was no oxygenating ethanol present in the fuel.
Better fuel for over the road applications, I won't dispute that. And your 3.5% more fuel volume compared to pure gasoline is probably pretty close to the real world difference I see in my company car when I switch between blends. And if you are looking at pure power per unit volume of fuel, I can't dispute your numbers.

But ethanol / methanol as a fuel will produce more HP in just about any properly equipped race engine out there. Over the years I have seen many examples. A simple one would be local dirt track racers. Yes moderator, I know this is way off topic but most things written in these threads are! Most IMCA modified cars use methanol for fuel. Ethanol could also be used and has been in some cases. In a few cases, some racers choose to run racing gasoline instead of methanol and pay the price in far less HP. They choose to do so because they only have to haul around a gas tank that is half the size needed for an alcohol fuel ... less weight. But they also have to run a far larger radiator and performance is lacking. Alcohol simply makes more HP than racing gasoline in these engines. They sound different, have a very different torque curve with the same cam timing, etc. Mixture is also far more tolerant than with gasoline.

Anyway, back on topic .... I know our model engines are not race engines but I have run both 10% ethanol blend and straight gasoline fuels in a broad range of gassers and I can't tell any difference at all between the fuels. I just don't believe that our relatively low performance, low compression gas engines really care much about what fuel they are fed. Even so called high compression engines such as ZDZ are still fairly low compression.
Old 07-12-2007, 08:08 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline


ORIGINAL: ram3500-RCU

For a few years in my younger truck driving days, I drove a gas tanker and handled the delivery of blended gas, and fuel oils as well as jet fuel. We, as drivers, did the blending by making another stop to take on 10% to each compartment. Products are, or at least were, always stored separately. For instance, jet fuel is K1 kerosene with a Phillips 66 additive we had to make another stop to get. We took on 10% of this product as well, and it served to block the growth of fungus in the fuel that could plug the tiny filters on jet engines. K1 combined with this additive created the jet fuel.

You could phone your local distributer to see if they blend. Here in Ohio, the pump must be clearly labeled if it dispenses blended gas. Methanol or Ethanol was never added to High octane though. That remained pure. Low and mid range octane could contain it.
I also drove a tanker for a year or so some 33 years ago! Am thinking of doing that again as a part time job in retirement. I really enjoyed it but got away from it because it just didn't pay enough to support my expensive hobbies! No alcohol blending in those days. That was when unleaded just came out though and that was quite an experience as leaded fuels were still in use at the time and it was a chore to keep them separate and the unleaded uncontaminated.
Old 07-12-2007, 08:40 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

It still doesn't pay enough and dispatchers are worse than they ever were. So are automobile drivers and legal systems. Once you accept a trucking job they believe that you just sold your soul to the company and you no longer have a personal life.
Old 07-12-2007, 08:54 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

Yeh, I have heard before that the high octane is not blended but then I read on the Internet somewhere that the laws are getting written that everything must be blended.

I don't know. I know they are not labeling it though.
Old 07-12-2007, 08:55 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline


ORIGINAL: Silversurfer

It still doesn't pay enough and dispatchers are worse than they ever were. So are automobile drivers and legal systems. Once you accept a trucking job they believe that you just sold your soul to the company and you no longer have a personal life.
If thats what I run into, I simply won't do it. Its just a thought right now and an altenative to being a WalMart greeter!!! Silver, didn't I read once that you also drove a tanker once in a previous life?

I do believe that things are simpler here in Iowa than in a more regulated, populated state such as CA.
Old 07-12-2007, 09:02 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

Ethanol works good in large big block engines. Makes the combustion nice and smooth. Not good for lead foot drivers racing from stoplite to stoplite unless their engine is tuned to not cook itself while idleing. Ethanol burns at a concistent temperature. Also has a tendency to rust gas tanks that are not moisture tolerant. Probably why todays gas tanks are plastic.
Old 07-12-2007, 09:33 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline


ORIGINAL: 3d-aholic

Yeh, I have heard before that the high octane is not blended but then I read on the Internet somewhere that the laws are getting written that everything must be blended.

I don't know. I know they are not labeling it though.
High Octane, called "premium unleaded" at most places in Iowa can be either blended or not .... depending on the outlet. I've even seen a few stations that handle 100 octane unleaded racing gasoline, most of this is a 10% blend. Mostly used by the street rodders. Again, always labeled here. I tried some of this stuff in gassers and it seems to run OK but sure smells better than regular gas. But at almost twice the price, I'll stick with the 87 or 89 octane stuff.
Old 07-12-2007, 10:43 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

ORIGINAL: Truckracer


ORIGINAL: ram3500-RCU

For a few years in my younger truck driving days, I drove a gas tanker and handled the delivery of blended gas, and fuel oils as well as jet fuel. We, as drivers, did the blending by making another stop to take on 10% to each compartment. Products are, or at least were, always stored separately. For instance, jet fuel is K1 kerosene with a Phillips 66 additive we had to make another stop to get. We took on 10% of this product as well, and it served to block the growth of fungus in the fuel that could plug the tiny filters on jet engines. K1 combined with this additive created the jet fuel.

You could phone your local distributer to see if they blend. Here in Ohio, the pump must be clearly labeled if it dispenses blended gas. Methanol or Ethanol was never added to High octane though. That remained pure. Low and mid range octane could contain it.
I also drove a tanker for a year or so some 33 years ago! Am thinking of doing that again as a part time job in retirement. I really enjoyed it but got away from it because it just didn't pay enough to support my expensive hobbies! No alcohol blending in those days. That was when unleaded just came out though and that was quite an experience as leaded fuels were still in use at the time and it was a chore to keep them separate and the unleaded uncontaminated.
Yea. I was about the same era, but we in Ohio were doing ethanol and methanol already. 80s. Sometimes I had leaded regular, no led regular, high test (as we called it), kero, all on the same tanker, and some of our trailers still had manifolds, a real nightmare. I reversed my product one night when I had 4000 leaded reg and 4000 no led. By the time I caught it, most of it was down, so I just let it run. Sticks came out because the amounts were the same. No one ever knew, but i may have killed a few catalytic converters in the little town. Winter was the worst, chopping through ice to find fill caps all night. I did learn about methanols thirst for moisture. We used it to thaw out our meters. One gallon in a 3000 gal compartment and the meter was running again before you could get back down off the tank. I keep my glow fuel tightly sealed when not fueling.
Old 07-13-2007, 07:21 AM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

ORIGINAL: 3d-aholic

Is there a way for me to find out if I'm buying gasoline with Ethanol.
....

So does someone just know what states add Ethanol? Is there a chart somewhere? Is there a way to really know?

Since this appears to have turned into a big "Ethanol Debate" thread, let's see if we can't briefly drag it kicking and screaming back on topic:

Yes. You may learn about the ethanol and gasoline legislation in all 50 states by checking http://www.npra.org/issues/fuels/state_bb/ and selecting your state of interest. FWIW, Texas law lists no requirement for ethanol, bans MTBE, and does not require labeling on pumps if Ethanol is included.

Now...since we have that out of the way...

If we're going to squabble about "mileage", and 'energy consumed" blah blah blah...let's at least use something that vaguely resembles some evidence.

http://media.popularmechanics.com/do...uture-e852.pdf

http://www.businessweek.com/technolo...519_225336.htm

http://www.popularmechanics.com/scie...tml?page=1&c=y




Old 07-13-2007, 09:16 AM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

ORIGINAL: gboulton

Yes. You may learn about the ethanol and gasoline legislation in all 50 states by checking http://www.npra.org/issues/fuels/state_bb/ and selecting your state of interest. FWIW, Texas law lists no requirement for ethanol, bans MTBE, and does not require labeling on pumps if Ethanol is included.
Ok, thanks gboulton!
Thats what I was thinking [:'(]
So its pretty much a coin flip as to whats coming out of the pump. I have been comparing gas mileage at all of these places and I don't see too much difference which I would expect even with 10% Ethanol so I'm guessing most of the stations are pumping the same thing whatever that is.

I agree with all of your articles.
However, I am of the feeling that since they subsidize corn production already the govenment should force the corn growers to put their crop up for Ethanol production or they don't get their money.
Old 07-13-2007, 05:04 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

Sorry, guess I helped get us going down another road. Once us old truck drivers get started..............you know.
Old 07-13-2007, 11:40 PM
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Default RE: Ethanol in Gasoline

Texas requires oxygenated fuel in certain "high pollution counties". In my area all gas has 10% ethanol, I can drive 30 minutes and get gas without it. Ethanol was mandated about a year ago after MTBE was deemed too toxic. Gas pumps are required to be labled if ethanol is present. I found a study on the effects of 10% ethanol in various twostroke engines. They found that it effectively leaned the air/fuel ratio very slightly, not enough to require adjustment on fixed fuel systems. The main reason we burn gasoline is because its CHEAP, you are picky about fuel then get some methanol and enjoy the extra performance.

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