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 Ethanol in Petrol

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Chris Olson
ronslaverda
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ronslaverda
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Ethanol in Petrol Empty
PostSubject: Ethanol in Petrol   Ethanol in Petrol I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 25, 2014 4:00 pm

For those of you in the UK I do know that certainly in the south of England that BP Ultimate and Esso Supreme do not contain Ethanol.
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Chris Olson
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Ethanol in Petrol Empty
PostSubject: Re: Ethanol in Petrol   Ethanol in Petrol I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 02, 2014 11:46 pm

What percentage are they blending in the U.K.? Here in the US it's 10%. We've run some tanks of both ethanol blended fuel, and non-ethanol (what they call "recreational gasoline" here) and there doesn't seem to be any difference in fuel mileage or performance. So since the ethanol blended fuel is 50-60 cents/gallon cheaper that's what we're using from now on.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Ethanol in Petrol   Ethanol in Petrol I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 03, 2014 3:20 am

It's currently 10% ethanol content in UK fuel, it was increased from 5% in 2013. I can't say I've noticed any difference in fuel economy or performance using ethanol fuel, as playing throttle jockey, steep hills, head winds, and heavy traffic congestion all affect the the tank range.
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bikerboy
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PostSubject: Ethanol in petrol   Ethanol in Petrol I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 03, 2014 3:40 am

The premium stuff certainly goes further in my diesel car !  I always use the good stuff in my bikes but as Meldrew says there are too many variables involved to reach a conclusion.  Having said that my strimmer (weed wacker)has just given up the ghost and it ran on the cooking stuff, I wonder if it affects the puny diaphragm type carbs !
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ronslaverda
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PostSubject: Re: Ethanol in Petrol   Ethanol in Petrol I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 03, 2014 5:19 am

The problem with ethanol is not so much the performance effect but the potential damage it can do.
Ethanol draws water from the air which is obviously not good it also forms gummy deposits if left for any length of time and can damage rubber components.
If you are not able to ride regularly and frequently refill be aware.
There is measurably less power created by petrol with ethanol in it so you might get 2 or 3 MPG out of non treated petrol.
There are many adverse effects when used in classic bikes such as rusting through of petrol tanks gumming up of carbs etc.
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Chris Olson
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Ethanol in Petrol Empty
PostSubject: Re: Ethanol in Petrol   Ethanol in Petrol I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 03, 2014 1:44 pm

At first glance it wouldn't seem to me that the Silver Wing's fuel injection system is really all that different from a car.  And cars have been using 10% ethanol here for many years (starting in 2005) with no issues.  What I have seen over time is that people that claim problems with it are unaware that their problem was really caused by older fuels that used to leave heavy deposits.  Then ethanol blended fuel is put it and its inherently cleaner burning and ability to loosen long accumulated deposits causes problems.  So ethanol gets the blame.

Ethanol has been used successfully as a motor fuel much longer than gasoline.  Henry Ford's first car ran on it because gasoline was very rare to non-existent in those days. Today, there is unfortunately a lot of misinformation regarding ethanol blended fuel that is propagated on the internet. It is best to start with the facts:
http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-6015/BAE-1746pod.pdf
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bigbird
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Ethanol in Petrol Empty
PostSubject: Re: Ethanol in Petrol   Ethanol in Petrol I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 03, 2014 6:02 pm

My $.02 says that ethanol sitting for an extended period (1 month or longer) can stratify into different density layers. The density of ethanol is .79g/cc, the density of pure gasoline .72-.77 g/cc.
Ethanol, being more dense, sinks to the bottom of gas tanks, carburetor float bowls, and filters. Fuel injected engines aren't as prone to the problems associated with stratification as are carb'd engines. On long term storage, unless the carb float bowls are totally drained, ethanol will sit in the bowl, eventually evaporating, leaving a sticky, stinky tar like substance that will clog any jets and orifices (orifii?) Owners who just run their carbs dry will often have this problem, as running a carb dry still leaves fuel below the main jet intake. The only way to get rid of all fuel in a carb'd engine is to remove the float bowl drain nut, and then run the carb dry. Even then, you might not get all the fuel out. A great product to put in gasoline is Star-tron to eliminate fuel stratification.

I ensure no ethanol problems in my engines that are winterized (scooter, gas trimmer, lawn mower, etc) by running premium fuel (which is the only gasoline in Canada that contains no ethanol) the last few tankfuls in the Fall before winter layup.

Ok, that wasn't my $.02, (maybe $.75 worth)
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Chris Olson
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Ethanol in Petrol Empty
PostSubject: Re: Ethanol in Petrol   Ethanol in Petrol I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 03, 2014 6:58 pm

bigbird wrote:
On long term storage, unless the carb float bowls are totally drained, ethanol will sit in the bowl, eventually evaporating, leaving a sticky, stinky tar like substance that will clog any jets and orifices (orifii?)

bigbird, actually ethanol is a two-carbon alcohol, CH3CH2OH.  It evaporates leaving absolutely no residue whatsoever:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol

The deposits left after evaporation of an ethanol blended gasoline are from the aromatics like benzene in the gasoline, not the ethanol.

It is another common myth that ethanol causes water problems in the fuel - it actually helps prevent water problems.  From the studies done by Oklahoma State University and the Minnesota Center for Automotive Research:
Ethanol has hydroscopic qualities in it that attracts and mixes with water. At lower concentrations of water (up to 0.5 percent volume at 60° F), the alcohol will mix and remove the water as the fuel is burned and not harm the engine. At higher concentrations, the water will separate from the fuel and pool at the bottom of its container. This “phase” separation form of water in fuel can cause rust and possibly damage the engine.

Fuel that is an E10 blend cannot absorb enough moisture out of the air to cause this phase separation [Ref  Water Phase Separation in Oxygenated Gasoline, David Korotney, Chemical Engineer, EPA Fuels and Standards Branch, 1995].  However, if condensation is allowed to occur, or water is directly splashed in the tank, water phase separation can occur. It should be pointed out that this water separation is more likely to occur in straight gasoline than in an ethanol blend.


Edit to add my own comment:
Remember back in the old days when you had problems with water in your gas, or wanted to prevent a frozen fuel line, you dumped in a can of Heet? Do you know what the active ingredient is in Heet? Alcohol.

Also a little bit of info from Sunoco Race Fuels on the effect of alcohols on octane number, since it is today used in leu of MTBE to boost octane in pump gas :
http://www.racegas.com/article/11
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hardee41
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Ethanol in Petrol Empty
PostSubject: Re: Ethanol in Petrol   Ethanol in Petrol I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 03, 2014 11:38 pm

I think the ethanol worries are "old" news. Bikes in the 80'and were recommended by dealers to not use it; my Honda dealer said it caused the caskets to gum up and fail. Later models used different material for gaskets. harley
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