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Old 06-02-2008, 09:46 PM
 
Location: WA
4,067 posts, read 13,372,339 times
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Very few states have gasoline without ethanol anymore. I last saw it in Wyoming.

Ethanol does reduce the energy content of gasoline but has a high octane rating so you probably won't notice much difference except a slight decrease of mileage. Octane ratings will vary from state to state with 93 being closest to the old leaded 'premium' but 91 is usually adequate.

I feel my car runs best on straight gasoline but I can't buy it here.
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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Our "regular" grade automotive gasoline at altitude is 85 octane. The cars run fine on it because of the lower BMEP's due to the higher density altitude. Our base elevation is 6,000', so we're more concerned with vapor pressure of the fuel than octane.

From the few local stations that sell 10% ethanol gasoline blends, we typically get 10-15% poorer fuel economy in our cars. It's a real rip-off compared to paying the same pump price for "real" gasoline without the alcohol.

100LL AVGAS is required by specification to have no alcohol in it due to the corrosive properties of the alcohol on the fuel tanks, fuel lines, carb floats, etc. The alcohol blended fuels also don't have the storage stability of "pure" gasoline (alcohol is hygroscopic, ie, attracks moisture from the air). This is an area of intense interest to the aviation fleet and the FAA at this time, as most of the GA engines flying today were designed to run on 100LL octane fuel per Federal mandate that this was to be the compromise fuel supplied to the aviation industry. For those of us flying older aircraft designed for 80 octane fuel, the 100LL is actually damaging to our motors with higher carbon build up and oil contamination. A recent rumor re AVGAS supplies is that the Fed's are working on a new spec fuel which will require the 100LL designed motors to have their compression lowered to run without detonation on the new fuel. The big problem for AVGAS is it's unique properties which aren't needed for automotive use; at this time, all of the 100LL in the USA comes from a refinery in PuertoRico and must be tankered/trucked in with no other fuels allowed to be in those containers due to the lead contamination from the 100LL. Long ago, when leaded fuel was the norm, AVGAS could be transported via pipelines, but no longer.

Of passing interest in the ethanol fuel economy issue ... the USPS ordered a new fleet of 30,000 alternative fuel capable vehicles last year. They're now in service, and the USPS has released data showing that the fleet uses 1.5 million gallons per month more gasoline than the vehicles they replaced. They're especially hard hit in the areas of the country where E-85 fuel is not readily available.
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Cold Frozen North
1,926 posts, read 3,226,385 times
Reputation: 1206
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Our "regular" grade automotive gasoline at altitude is 85 octane. The cars run fine on it because of the lower BMEP's due to the higher density altitude. Our base elevation is 6,000', so we're more concerned with vapor pressure of the fuel than octane.

From the few local stations that sell 10% ethanol gasoline blends, we typically get 10-15% poorer fuel economy in our cars. It's a real rip-off compared to paying the same pump price for "real" gasoline without the alcohol.

100LL AVGAS is required by specification to have no alcohol in it due to the corrosive properties of the alcohol on the fuel tanks, fuel lines, carb floats, etc. The alcohol blended fuels also don't have the storage stability of "pure" gasoline (alcohol is hygroscopic, ie, attracks moisture from the air). This is an area of intense interest to the aviation fleet and the FAA at this time, as most of the GA engines flying today were designed to run on 100LL octane fuel per Federal mandate that this was to be the compromise fuel supplied to the aviation industry. For those of us flying older aircraft designed for 80 octane fuel, the 100LL is actually damaging to our motors with higher carbon build up and oil contamination. A recent rumor re AVGAS supplies is that the Fed's are working on a new spec fuel which will require the 100LL designed motors to have their compression lowered to run without detonation on the new fuel. The big problem for AVGAS is it's unique properties which aren't needed for automotive use; at this time, all of the 100LL in the USA comes from a refinery in PuertoRico and must be tankered/trucked in with no other fuels allowed to be in those containers due to the lead contamination from the 100LL. Long ago, when leaded fuel was the norm, AVGAS could be transported via pipelines, but no longer.

Of passing interest in the ethanol fuel economy issue ... the USPS ordered a new fleet of 30,000 alternative fuel capable vehicles last year. They're now in service, and the USPS has released data showing that the fleet uses 1.5 million gallons per month more gasoline than the vehicles they replaced. They're especially hard hit in the areas of the country where E-85 fuel is not readily available.
Interesting discussion about AVGAS. I used to use it in a Chevy big block with 13:1 compression ratio to prevent detonation. At the time, it was a $1 per gallon cheaper than comparable leaded racing gas. Used it for many years that way. Only problem was hard starting when the temperature was below 30 degrees. You needed to somehow preheat the intake manifold and carb to make starting easier. There was a very sweet smell present from the exhaust.
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:55 AM
 
Location: Earth
4,214 posts, read 12,088,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
Ethanol does reduce the energy content of gasoline but has a high octane rating so you probably won't notice much difference except a slight decrease of mileage. Octane ratings will vary from state to state with 93 being closest to the old leaded 'premium' but 91 is usually adequate.
How high of an octane rating?

I had someone recommend putting E85 in a high performance car I own. It needs premium fuel, 92 at the least to be exact.
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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DO NOT PUT E85 in a car that is not specifically designed for it.
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
33,804 posts, read 29,233,166 times
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Ethanol in the fuel means I no longer have to use "dry gas" to sop up the condensed water in the winter.

Anyone remember AMOCO 103 octane no lead gas from the 60's? Good stuff!
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Cold Frozen North
1,926 posts, read 3,226,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
Ethanol in the fuel means I no longer have to use "dry gas" to sop up the condensed water in the winter.

Anyone remember AMOCO 103 octane no lead gas from the 60's? Good stuff!
Or the Sunoco 260 and the ability to custom blend your own ratio at the pump.
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:52 AM
 
681 posts, read 1,793,810 times
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Ethanol and MTBE have been added to gasoline for, in my opinion, two reasons:

1) For cleaner burning... it's often said that these gasolines are "oxygenated".

2) So that the gasoline / crude oil consumption per gallon of motor fuel is less. A blend which is 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol will only use 0.9 gallons of gasoline per gallon of fuel... bingo, 10% savings on gasoline demand.

When I went out to the Midwest last summer on my honeymoon, I saw plenty of gas stations which advertised 100% gasoline. North Dakota had tons of them, for sure... and if that ain't the Corn Belt, I don't know what I was seeing when I thought I was passing miles and miles of corn farms. The amusing thing is that the E10 gasoline is called "Supreme" and the 100% gasoline is called "regular"... and the "supreme" stuff is cheaper than the "regular". Let's face it, you get more energy when you use gasoline... so, if you can, use gasoline.

As for switching from leaded to unleaded and folks getting up in arms about that... well, there's a thing called a LEAD ADDITIVE. To this day you can buy it in auto parts stores. To turn unleaded gas into properly leaded gas, you buy a sufficient quantity of lead additive and add it to your unleaded gas. That's pretty simple. There ain't no way to turn E85 into gasoline. You can't fill your tank with E85 and then put in a "gas additive" to turn it into gasoline... you need to add over eight gallons of pure gasoline to one gallon of E85 in order to get that ethanol content down below 10% of the total.

I'm still not crazy about E85. It's too expensive given its lower energy content... you actually pay more per mile traveled using E85 than you do using gasoline. Maybe I'm just too much of a redneck, but I say that we should go to the Arabian oil-producing countries and demand cheaper oil with the threat of cataclysmically destructive retaliation if they don't provide it. America is the most powerful country in the world and we're being held prisoner by people who still ride camels 'cause that's all they've got... it's like a Great Dane being imprisoned by a chihuahua. At the very least, we should stop feeding their sorry butts. They live in the desert. They can't be able to make much food. Let 'em try to drink their oil. If we park the edible gravy train, those desert rats will be throwing free oil at us, BEGGING us to continue supplying them with food. You know they're manipulating the market and laughing at us in the process... first they said they had no more capacity, then Saudi Arabia opened up 300,000 more barrels per day... now it turns out they could do 2,000,000 more barrels per day. Don't tell me this wasn't some grand plan all along, to artifically depress supply and raise prices.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:54 AM
 
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I doubt most people consider North Dakota part of the --"corn belt"
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Cold Frozen North
1,926 posts, read 3,226,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
I doubt most people consider North Dakota part of the --"corn belt"
Actually, there is a lot of corn raised in the eastern part of the state. The Red river valley is very fertile with rich black soil. I've driven through North Dakota 4 times through different parts and seen lots of corn. The western part is a completely different story. But, you're right it wouldn't be considered the hard core corn belt like Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.
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