Ethanol in Gasoline, BAD?

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ewilkerson's picture
ewilkerson
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Posts: 390
Ethanol in Gasoline, BAD?

Obviously, it was political to put Ethanol in gasoline, because of its' LOW energy content.  I am going to buy a moped and store 50 gallons of gas.  Does anyone know about the dangers of Ethanol separating from the gas due to moisture and harming engines?  Do the gas stabilizers work?  I would appreciate any help on the subject.

 

Ernest

jrf29's picture
jrf29
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Re: Ethanol in Gasoline, BAD?

If anything, ethanol will improve the storage characteristics of gasoline in a small airtight container.  Ethanol is highly hygroscopic, attracting and binding any water that may be present in the gasoline.  Before ethanol was routinely added to fuel, people would add alcohol products such as "dry gas."  This is no longer necessary now that ethanol is added to all fuel.

The moisture problem that you are referring to is a side-effect of the hygroscopic nature of ethanol: in large underground storage tanks where moist air is constantly being introduced from outside, the ethanol in the gasoline can absorb so much water that a layer of ethanol-saturated water will form at the bottom of the tank (leading to, among other things, the growth of certain species of bacteria that excrete metabolic byproducts which are highly corrosive).  If you are using smaller airtight containers this should not be a problem. 

For this reason, try not to buy gasoline from gas stations that see relatively little business: their gas may have been sitting in the underground tank for many weeks, absorbing water.  To be extra safe, add an extra dose of "dry gas" (ethanol or isopropanol) in case the ethanol that is already in the gas is close to being saturated with moisture.

Fuel stabilizer does work -- it will prevent stored gasoline from oxidizing, a slow process that takes place in the presence of oxygen, and results in the production of gums, tars, and resins. 

Basically, fuel stabilizers are a variety of chemicals more prone to oxidation than gasoline, and so they prevent the oxidation of gasoline by being preferentially oxidized themselves.  This is the reason why fuel stabilizers will only protect the stored gasoline for a certain number of months: once all of the stabilizer has been oxidized, oxidation of the gasoline begins.  The more stabilizer that is added to the gas, the longer the gas will be protected from oxidation.

Theoretically, if gasoline is stored in an airtight container that is never opened (do your research: many plastics allow oxygen molecules to seep through -- better yet, use a metal container approved for gas storage), once the oxygen present is exhausted, the stored gasoline should be good almost indefinitely.

ewilkerson's picture
ewilkerson
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Posts: 390
Re: Ethanol in Gasoline, BAD?

Thanks for all the great information.  I had gotten some bad things off the Internet.

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
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Posts: 572
Re: Ethanol in Gasoline, BAD?

Use your stored gas every month and replenish it.  Gas doesn't keep well over a year.  Make using it a part of your preperation.  When you really need it you will have a fresh store of gas.

silvervarg's picture
silvervarg
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Joined: Mar 28 2010
Posts: 57
Re: Ethanol in Gasoline, BAD?

Since the original post was to keep 50 gallons for a moped it seems clear to me that the author is aming for a way of transport after normal gas stations has closed after SHTF-scenario.

So, replenish the stored gas every month is simply not possible unless you have a stock that is very small. A small stock on the other hand will only benefit you for a very short time (e.g. one month) after SHTF-scenario.

So, we have a few options:
1. Find a way to store fuel long term. E.g. by having air-tight containers etc.
2. Find a renewable source of fuel that works in the vehicles we use. E.g. run on bio-disel or 100% ethanol.

 

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