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#4435241 - 06/18/17 03:25 PM Ethanol Free Gasoline
HouseTiger Offline


Registered: 04/16/17
Posts: 183
Loc: Georgia, USA
Forgive me if this has already been hashed out before - several of our newest QuikTrip stations in my area are starting to carry ethanol free 87 octane petrol. It's a bit pricey, about $0.50 a gallon higher than standard 87 octane.

Question is without the ethanol, what is added to the fuel to raise/lower the octane to that 87 number? Is there going to be any long term benefit by using it in a car versus the alcoholgas? (the bike loves the stuff)

Some other stations carry an array of ethanol free ranging from 89 to 93 octane, but this QuikTrip is @ 1 mile from me. Thanks.

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#4435246 - 06/18/17 03:33 PM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: HouseTiger]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: HouseTiger

Question is without the ethanol, what is added to the fuel to raise/lower the octane to that 87 number?


Usually Toluene or Xylene.

I think it smells a LOT like 100LL AvGas.
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#4435296 - 06/18/17 04:33 PM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: HouseTiger]
Nyogtha Offline


Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 2319
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Real answer depends on refinery configuration. There's no blanket answer.

But in general, the answer would be less lower octane blend stocks like natural gasoline or light straight run naphtha are used in an ethanol free blend than one that will be later blended with ethanol.

Seasonal volatility specs allow more normal butane in pump blends in lower ambient temperature months than higher ambient temperature months, and n-butane has a high octane value. So again everything varies by season as well as refinery configuration, as well as how a refinery operates with a partial shutdown (only some units shut down).

High octane components that a lot of energy has been spent to separate & purify like toluene and xylene are normally sold as petrochemicals - when used in gasoline blends their use tends to be in the higher octane grades like premium, not 87.

100LL typically contains quite a bit of toluene and a special alkylate component, as well as tetraethyl lead. Volatility is a fixed spec, not variable IIRC.
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#4435321 - 06/18/17 05:14 PM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: HouseTiger]
dareo Offline


Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 1448
Loc: utah
Rumor has it they take 91 or 93 octane and remove the ethanol.
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#4435431 - 06/18/17 07:23 PM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: dareo]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20444
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: dareo
Rumor has it they take 91 or 93 octane and remove the ethanol.


Dumb rumor. Ethanol is the last thing added to gas as the are filling the truck for delivery. It cannot be sent through a pipeline with ethanol.

In NY the stations that sell E0 sell it has premium, 92/93 octane.
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#4435565 - 06/18/17 11:03 PM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: HouseTiger]
JMJNet Offline


Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 928
Loc: TX, USA
All I know is E0 is good for the car and it is actually have better mpg which means more efficient.

I have not done the calculation for economy on the mpg improvement vs extra price, though.
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#4435662 - 06/19/17 07:18 AM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: JMJNet]
Danno Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 1987
Loc: Northern Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: JMJNet
All I know is E0 is good for the car and it is actually have better mpg which means more efficient.

I have not done the calculation for economy on the mpg improvement vs extra price, though.


Ethanol on a 10% blend means close to 3% loss in MPG.

Trade-off: is the price of the 0% Ethanol gas less than 3% difference vs the 10% gas.
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#4435673 - 06/19/17 07:38 AM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: HouseTiger]
Olas Offline


Registered: 12/11/13
Posts: 3932
Loc: Manchester, England
Ethanol has lower BTUs than petrol so provides less power and mpg per unit consumed.

Ethanol has higher octane than petrol, so if you have high cylinder pressure and appropriate mapping it can provide more power while delivering far lower mpg due to its stoichiometry.

Ethanol can help 'emulsify' water into petrol allowing a tank of 'bad' fuel to run better than if no ethanol were present.

Ethanol has a SIGNIFICANTLY higher latent heat capacity so cools much more than petrol as it 'vaporises' into the airstream.
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#4436011 - 06/19/17 03:30 PM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: Danno]
HouseTiger Offline


Registered: 04/16/17
Posts: 183
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: Danno
Ethanol on a 10% blend means close to 3% loss in MPG.

Trade-off: is the price of the 0% Ethanol gas less than 3% difference vs the 10% gas.



Therein lies the rub. Right now our 87 standard petrol is $2.14 versus $2.64 for the ethanol-free stuff. Difference in MPG over the last two fills is a 2.1 (average) mpg gain, so I'm not sure the financial difference is outweighed by the benefit to the engine. Thanks for the responses.

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#4444572 - 06/29/17 06:58 AM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: HouseTiger]
TiredTrucker Offline


Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 3225
Loc: Central Iowa
Yeah, i look at the cost per mile of a fuel, not so much just the mpg. While higher mpg feels good, if the fuel to get there is costing more per mile to use, what is the benefit?

Really can't understand why this ethanol thing gets so many in a tizzy. We have had ethanol laced fuels in my area since the 70's. Cars and pickups were not falling apart even back then. My 1974 Pontiac Catalina used E10 almost from the time the fuel was around till the car finally died of body cancer in the 90's. The engine still was running great with over 250,000 miles on it. No other vehicle I have had that used E10 in has ever had any problem. I have rarely seen so many people so paranoid about something.
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#4445407 - 06/29/17 09:25 PM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: HouseTiger]
Tdbo Offline


Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 3224
Loc: Ohio
For the first time ever in my area, I found some ethanol free gasoline at a Valero about 20 miles from home.
RUG was $2.13.9/gal and the ethanol free 91 was $3.99.9/gal.
Needless to say, I bought the RUG.
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#4445418 - 06/29/17 09:37 PM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: Danno]
dblshock Offline


Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 2649
Loc: WI.
Originally Posted By: Danno
Originally Posted By: JMJNet
All I know is E0 is good for the car and it is actually have better mpg which means more efficient.

I have not done the calculation for economy on the mpg improvement vs extra price, though.


Ethanol on a 10% blend means close to 3% loss in MPG.

Trade-off: is the price of the 0% Ethanol gas less than 3% difference vs the 10% gas.



That's the economic equation but the E091 has also a viceral effect on the machine.
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#4445455 - 06/29/17 10:09 PM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: TiredTrucker]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 24574
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: TiredTrucker
Yeah, i look at the cost per mile of a fuel, not so much just the mpg. While higher mpg feels good, if the fuel to get there is costing more per mile to use, what is the benefit?

Remember, though, that many jurisdictions simply don't give the option, or give a very skewed option. Here, for instance, the only way to get E0 is to buy premium. Of course, that throws pricing comparisons right out the window. Interestingly, the ethanol enhanced premium (we have only one example) here costs more, since it's regular premium, plus ethanol. The same station, Husky/Mohawk, has an ethanol free premium, and a higher octane ethanol premium.

So, has anyone ever seen an E0 87 side by side, at the same station, with an E10 87, without and octane rating games or subsidies or anything else to cloud the issue?
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#4445462 - 06/29/17 10:13 PM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: HouseTiger]
dblshock Offline


Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 2649
Loc: WI.
Sure here at 54121 you have Cenex selling 87 89 91 E0 catering to the lake crowd.
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#4445510 - 06/29/17 11:03 PM Re: Ethanol Free Gasoline [Re: dblshock]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 24574
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
That's skewed, too. wink The lake crowd gets ripped off! wink
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