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Old 03-26-2012, 03:55 AM   #1
Azalin
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Default Ethanol in gasoline

Is it good or not? The gas i use is Shell 97 octane pump gas. I have sent an email and asked about the ethanol ratio in their gasoline. They answered "none". What if a gas contains ethanol?

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Old 03-26-2012, 05:10 AM   #2
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We have premium unleaded gasoline here and 10% ethanol.. i only use the premium.

The following statement comes straight from the zenoah manual so i therefore never use ethanol based fuel..

I guess if you had a custome carb with ethanol proof seals, etc then it would be ok in that instance only.

1) Never use any alcohol fuel or alcohol added fuel, or the rubber parts in the carburetor
and engine will be damaged.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:45 AM   #3
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So you are using a different carb than stock carbs.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:52 AM   #4
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If it's a concern, you can always include an additive like STA-BIL Marine.

Helps with the ethanol and will make you fuel store much longer.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:40 AM   #5
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No, this time its not about shelf life. A company sells gas wih ethanol and B company sells the same gas without ethanol. Just want to know which one is best for a zenoah engine with walbro carb.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:48 AM   #6
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I would run non-ethanol. Other then better shelf life, better for rubber gaskets like said before, you'll have more efficiency then ethanol blended fuel. I know for cars, the higher the percentage of ethanol, the lower the mpg.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:11 AM   #7
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Definately buy the fuel without ethanol if you can get it.
Here in the US it's getting harder and harder to find gas that has not had ethanol added to it.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:22 AM   #8
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@Azalin - no i'm running a std carbie - so i use premium gas (no ethanol) here..

Actually I use shellite a lot.. more expensive ($25 for 4 litres) but hardly smells.

I was basically say that if you had a special carbie that had alcohol proof rubber then it would be ok...

Over here in Australia - some smart polititians wanted to make themselves look wonderful and mandated that all petrol stations should sell 10% ethanol petrol. That resulted in many of our stations selling just premium unleaded (more expensive) and ethanol based as a lot only had 2 pumps per outlet. So the common "regular" unleaded has disappeared a lot and been replaced with 10% ethanol..

What the smart politicians don't publicise is that the ehtanol based fuel is less efficient so you end up using more so no environmental gain really..

Also - many many of the cars here did/donot have ethanol proof seals/rubbers - so it resulted in a lot of fuel pumps breaking and other engine issues, such as seals, etc... all leading to more inefficient engines in the long run.

when you count the inefficiencies of these plus the energy required to make these replacement parts, plus now the suffering engines running way less efficient - I beleive it's resulted in more pollution overall and not less carbon emmission..

But the politicians don't count that - they just say they saved 10% emissions because the fuel is 10% ethanol.. and all the stupid greenies beleive them
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:47 AM   #9
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In the state of the US that I'm in, Minnesota, our elected "dignitaries" have pushed a mandate from 10% to 20%. Even though like you said most cars would not run our stand up that well on it.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:22 PM   #10
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Ethanol has been in California gasoline for years. When they outlawed MTBE, ethanol was added as an anti knock agent. I have not had any problems chainsaws, blowers, etc. They use the same carbs. I think there may be a little more stigma attached to ethanol than there should be.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:32 PM   #11
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1) Ethanol is not less efficient. It is less energy per gallon, so you burn more gallons. But engines burn fuel by weight anyway.

2) MTBE and ethanol are oxygenates. Not octane boosters, although they may do that. Both were/are mandated in many areas to reduce emissions.

In fact, ethanol containing fuels, even at the same octane (sic, we used AKI in the US), can cause engine damage similar to low AKI. In my race car class, running a pretty stock Ford Escort engine, we were breaking pistons, even on premium fuel containing ethanol, when regular non-ethanol was fine.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone View Post
1) Ethanol is not less efficient. It is less energy per gallon, so you burn more gallons.
Exactly! Less effecient.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJSnider View Post
Exactly! Less effecient.
No.

Efficiency is the amount of (for cars) chemical energy that is converted into mechanical work by the engine. The fact that ethanol has less energy per volume is not efficiency related. In fact, if you tune an engine to run ethanol (or a blend) you can extract slightly (for the blends is basically nothing, but for high % you can get a percent or two) better efficiency.

Adding ethanol to petrol does slightly reduce the greenhouse effect of the fuel (since ethanol is produced from plant material all the carbon produced burning it was pulled from the air to grow the plant). But, at least in Aus. it was not added to fuel for environmental reasons, but to prop up the sugar cane industry.

No modern car engine should be at all damaged by 10% ethanol in fuel, and its hard to see what in a 2-stroke could be damaged, certainly everyone around here uses standard fuel (10% ethanol) with no issues I have heard about. But then the little 2-strokes in such tools will run on practically anything that burns.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:03 AM   #14
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1) Ethanol takes more energy to produce than you get out of it, even when used in an engine tuned for it. You are absolutely correct that ethanol use is a way to hide support for farm crops.

2) In our race engines, the pistons were breaking off the top land (section between piston top and top ring). But they are run pretty much at full throttle or off throttle. But it was driving everyone crazy for a while. But ethanol free fuel does not do this.

There are some things in engines that are not always fully evident.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboracer View Post
Ethanol has been in California gasoline for years. When they outlawed MTBE, ethanol was added as an anti knock agent. I have not had any problems chainsaws, blowers, etc. They use the same carbs. I think there may be a little more stigma attached to ethanol than there should be.
Both my cars fuel pumps died within months of our local gas staton changing to 10% ethanol.. happens all the time,.. my neighbour owns a mechanic shop and says he's replacing heaps of parts in cars due to the ethanol - it effects rubber seals that were not designed to cope with the alcohol.. fuel pumps, carbies, injectors, etc are all effected in older cars and simply result in more pollution due to the breakdown of he parts.

As desertstalker says - no modern car should be effected - but what is modern? One of my cars is a 2000 Ford Farmont - that's modern to me and the pump went in that.. but engine is ok so far There are heaps of 90's and earlier model cars still on our roads.. a huge majority of them will most likely suffer from the alcohol eventually in some form.

It's definitely NOT a "Stigma" thing...

With regards to efficiency - in this case we are not talking about the individual efficiencies of ethanol and other fuels - we are talking about the efficiency of the end product - 10% ethaol gas vs normal unleaded gas..

you will get approx 5-10% less distance from the same volume of fuel using 10% ethanol - meaning you need to use more volume of 10% to travel the same distance in normal every day traffic. so this means you need to add that extra amount to the "emmissions" which in the end - comes close to evening out the total emissions per KM/Mile - so very little environmental gain using 10%..... take into account the added emmissions due to engine damage and replacement parts manufature - then 10% ends up indirectly causing MORE emissions in the long run.... this is because of "older" cars of course - over time and 30 years from now when they are basically all gone, then those negatives will not be relevant anymore and we will be back to simple "negligable" diferences in total emmissions..
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:06 PM   #16
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Perhaps in OZ there are more older vehicles on the rode? In California they make it difficult to keep older cars on the rode through strict air quality laws. I agree that ethanol will damage fuel systems not designed to handle it. I agree that ethanol and MTBE are oxygenates and used to lower tail pipe emissions. I also know that they increase octane value in pump gas. I used ethanol as a chemical intercooler and fuel supplement for years on my turbocharged street cars. Methanol was hard to deal with(read corrosive and poison). I was making well over 500 horsepower on 2.0 liter engines running 87 octane base fuel and supplementing with ethanol. We run E85 in cars now for the higher octane value. Trust and believe that you can run much higher cylinder pressures on ethanol than any pump gas available here. But then again, what do I know? I'm sure there are much smarter people than me on this forum just waiting to tell me I'm wrong.

As a side note, somebody better email NASCAR and let them know that ethanol is no good for racing engines. They seem to be having luck with it.
http://www.nascar.com/news/110921/e1...r-performance/

Jockstrap, I see your point about older vehicles and the pain associated with changing fuel blends. You are 100% correct in your observations. In our little weed wacker engines though, the only problem I can see, is the diaphragm in the carb maybe drying out and leaking. I have not seen this problem in the 120 chains saws my company owns which use the same walbro carbs or heli's use. When I wrote "stigma" it was not meant as a derogatory term and I hope it was not taken that way.

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Old 03-27-2012, 12:58 PM   #17
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No probs at all Turboracer.. everyone has right to their own opinions, thoughts and experiences..

When it comes to the zenoah Carbies - I can only quote what is written in the manual as i've never run mine on ethanol based fuel.. I would imagine they put it for a reason, but that could be as minor as "May" have some effect - as most companies err on the side of precaution and if there is the slightest doubt they say "don't" - also possibly there may be one or 2 in carbs in their range that may suffer and the rest ok.. who knows, I'm just speculating why they put the ethanol warning in the manual...

But at the end of the day - personal experience of people rule over a manual..
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:09 PM   #18
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I have a local station that has "NO ALCOHOL added to our fuel" on the pumps. So is that the same as No Ethanol?
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I have a local station that has "NO ALCOHOL added to our fuel" on the pumps. So is that the same as No Ethanol?
Yes.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:01 AM   #20
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Actually MAYBE.

Ask them what it means. No ethanol added, could mean they do not add any, which is not the same thing as no ethanol in the fuel. And if it is not a brand station, they are probably buying spot lots, which means they really have no idea what is in the gas.

As for ethanol and efficiency, engines don't burn fuel by the gallon or liter, they burn fuel by the pound or kilogram. It is just that we buy fuel by the gallon. Fuel air ratios are weight ratios, not volume ratios.

10% less miles for a gallon of 10% ethanol fuel would mean the ethanol contributed no energy. Gasoline has an energy density of 34 megajoules per liter. Ethanol is 24. So 10 liters of gasoline has 340 MJ/L and 10 liters of 10% ethanol has 330 MJ/L. Or a 3% reduction in the energy per volume.
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