Ethanol in gas


Old 08-05-08, 07:30 AM
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Ethanol in gas

I'm interested in opinions on ethanol(10) in todays gas that seems to be doing in small engines.

Complaints about gummy carbs,deteriorating rubber and plastic parts are the main issues.

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Old 08-05-08, 03:24 PM
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I am having lot's of trouble with it in smaller engines. Biggest immediate problem is that it seems to "attract" moisture. I have to drain my carb bowl in my riding mower every 30 minutes or so, thank god it is easy to get off. In my 3 liter ski boat I have to drain the fuel filter every few hours. I am really fed up and trying to find a local source not using ethanol.
Old 08-05-08, 03:58 PM
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I have found that with the lower octane gas,the methanol is a bigger problem. With the higher octane gas, it is much better to run in smaller motors. I tried to run the cheap stuff in my mower, that was a mistake. I had the same gummy stuff. I switched to the good stuff,and so far no problems.
Old 08-05-08, 04:18 PM
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Interesting comments. I guess I'll start using 89 octane rather than the 87 i have been using for years.

This " improvement" to achieve a cleaner burn is more of a p.i.a. than its worth in engines other than cars and tucks.
Old 08-06-08, 04:41 AM
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They had an article on the evening new last night about this. The small engine shop guy they interviewed said if you can't get gas without ethanol, you should use high test.
Old 08-06-08, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
They had an article on the evening new last night about this. The small engine shop guy they interviewed said if you can't get gas without ethanol, you should use high test.
so instead of REG unleaded get MED grade or super
Old 08-06-08, 04:53 PM
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This kinda makes me wonder...cause I thought all the grades of gas contained some ethanol.
Old 08-06-08, 11:37 PM
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I have no comments, since ethanol hasn't found it's way into fuel in my neck of the woods yet, and I really hope it never does.

We need to find a way around our current fuel predicament, but I am pretty certain the ethanol blends we have today are not the answer.
Old 08-07-08, 06:51 AM
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Service bulletins from both B&S and Tecumseh, dated 1995, state that their engines will run fine on mixtures of up to 10% ethanol. However, they make no mention of the downfalls.
Depending on your local & state laws, you can still find some stations have"clear" gas which has no ethanol. If you don't have "E-10" now, you will soon as the feds are pushing it hard by with holding federal funds to states that are not yet compling. You can still find "clear" gas at most marinas as they, for now, are exempt from having to have E-10.
From an article in the New York Times:
"Gallon for gallon, pure Ethanol contains 1/3 less energy than gas. (yeah, tell that to Indy car drivers, who are using 100% ethanol and run over 200mph!).
Alcohol has 3 major properties that can lead to problems:
1. It attracts water. 2. It evaporates. 3.I t acts as a cleaner.
When left in an engine,ethonal evaporates and leaves behind varnish. When first run thru an engine,( especially older, poorly maintained engines) it cleans out old deposits causing problems."
Also, do not buy anymore gas than you can use in 30 days.
Gas now starts to go stale in 30 days.
Buy 5 gallons of gas, store it for 2 months, and now you only have 4.5 gallons because 10%(the ethanol) has evaporated.
Old 08-07-08, 10:28 AM
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Oh, I almost forgot. Remember when we switched to unleaded gas? There were all kinds of rumors and speculations going around then about ruining older engines and everyone worried about if they could still use their 1964 Mustang or 1925 Model A. We are still running those cars on unleaded with few or no problems. I know this, too will pass and solutions will be found and engine makers will make their engines to run on an ethanol mix. It just takes time.
Old 08-07-08, 02:22 PM
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Update on ethonal:
E.P.A. Won’t Ease Requirements for Ethanol in Gas

Published: August 7, 2008
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency rejected on Thursday a request to cut the quota for the use of ethanol in cars, concluding, for the time being, that the goal of reducing the nation’s reliance on oil trumps any effect on food prices from making fuel from corn.

The E.P.A. administrator, Stephen L. Johnson, said that the mandate was “strengthening our nation’s energy security and supporting American farming communities,” and that it was not causing “severe harm to the economy or the environment.”

The effect of the decision on fuel and food markets is hard to determine. Recently, high energy prices have led to even more ethanol production than the quota required. On the other hand, rising corn prices made some ethanol operations unprofitable, especially as oil prices started to fall.

So ending the quota might not have reduced the use of ethanol, but it might decline even with the quotas remaining in place. Still, the debate is fraught with symbolism — as a sign of unease over government intervention in the energy and food markets, with all the unintended consequences that ensue. The decision is an indication that Washington is unwilling to retreat from a policy that is very popular among grain farmers, if not among ranchers.

Companies that use corn to fatten livestock and poultry, along with others in the food business, had called for lifting the requirements, saying that their costs were rising as millions of pounds of corn were diverted from feeding livestock to fueling cars. Farmers argued that the jump in corn prices was driven not so much by the demand for ethanol as by growing demand for grain-fed meat around the world, and their own higher costs for diesel fuel.

Governor Rick Perry of Texas, a leading cattle state as well as a bastion of the oil business, made the request in late April, and the E.P.A. said it received 15,000 comments during its three-month-long review.

The rules that the E.P.A. reconsidered on Thursday set a floor for ethanol use, not a ceiling, and not even the floor was firm, because under the rules, the E.P.A. could issue a waiver if the requirement became “onerous.”

Renewable fuel use in 2004 was 3.5 billion gallons, according to the E.P.A. — mostly ethanol, which is a form of alcohol, but including some biodiesel, which contains oil from crops. The goal for this year had been 5.4 billion gallons but in December, with the price of oil soaring, Congress raised the renewables quota to 9 billion gallons for this year, and laid out a schedule of annual increases that would bring it to 11.1 billion gallons in 2009. In 2022, the quota would be 36 billion gallons.

The agency has not completed an analysis of the effect of the mandate as the quota rises.

That target requires not only more ethanol but new cars and new filling station equipment, because nationally, gasoline consumption of fuel for cars, vans, sport utility vehicles and motorcycles is only in the range of 140 billion gallons, and ordinary cars can burn ethanol in blends with gasoline no higher than 10 percent. But ethanol is part of the auto industry’s long-term strategy; General Motors plans that by 2012, half the vehicles it builds will be able to accept blends of up to 85 percent ethanol.

The long-term hope, backed up with generous government incentives, is to make motor fuel from “cellulosic,” or non-food, sources. Private companies are feverishly pursuing technologies for using wood chips, wheat straw, waste plastic and even municipal garbage to make ethanol and other liquid vehicle fuels. But none of these is commercial at the moment.
Old 08-07-08, 05:48 PM
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I use to race go karts with ethanol and methonal.years ago and had no problem. It runs leaner and had to jet for it. The biggest thing I see no in the shop is with the 2 cycle engines is with the leaner condition with the carbs and then add the ethanol on top, I recommend that 2 cycle users get the higher octane and also go a little richer on the oil mix. Where I can I run the 2cycle carbs to the rich side otherwise it takes a lot of warmup time before they will not stumble.
Old 08-07-08, 08:04 PM
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My opinion on ethanol blends is that it's all a big sham. When you consider the amount of energy required to produce fifteen or twenty pounds of corn:
First you round-up the field.
Then you no-till it.
Then you fertilize it.
Then you spray it for bugs and/or weeds.
Then you combine it.
Then you transport the corn to the ethanol plant in a truck.
Then you distill it into ethanol.
I don't know how many pounds of corn it takes to produce a gallon of ethanol (which weighs at least seven pounds per gallon,) but I'm sure it's a lot. Then consider that, gallon for gallon, ethanol contains much less energy than gasoline (once again, I'm not sure of the exact amount, but I'm pretty sure it's less than half,) it seems more energy will be expended producing the ethanol than will be produced when it's burned.
Couple that with the ignition and fuel storage problems associated with ethanol, and I don't want it in my tank.
Old 08-08-08, 08:45 AM
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What I am going to do now is instead of making drinking alcohol in my backyard still, I am going to make ethonal
Old 08-10-08, 08:34 PM
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The booze you're making in that backyard still now is ethanol. Ethanol is the alcohol you drink to get drunk.

Unless it's denatured alcohol. Then it's the alcohol you drink to get dead.

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