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Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump #5162730 07/16/19 04:30 PM
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RayCJ Offline OP
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A while ago, a thread was discussing mid-grade fuel and someone mentioned that virtually all stations blend mid-grade at the pump by mixing regular and high octane gas.

FWIW, a "High's" gas station opened in my area that sells Carroll brand fuel. Upon speaking to the manager (who happened to be outside while tanker deliveries were being made), I was informed they have separate tanks for mid-grade and it's delivered to them as such (i.e. not mixed by the driver when filling the tank).

Just passing along first-hand information because statements in that previous thread implied that all modern stations mix at the pump. This station is brand new, built from the ground-up and six months ago, was an empty lot. Suffice it say, don't count on mid-grade being fresh gas unless you have specific knowledge about the station.


Ray

Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: RayCJ] #5162759 07/16/19 05:01 PM
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I never knew stations blended their grades to get "mid" grade fuel but it makes perfect sense. I think having a dedicated tank for it nowadays is a mistake for (at least) a couple of reasons: 1) An add'l tank, pump, valves, etc to maintain by the station, 2) Data I've seen says regular outsells premium by 10x and premium outsells mid-grade by 2x so a station loses volume/bulk discounts by buying mid-grade when they could purchase more of the other two grades.

Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: RayCJ] #5162813 07/16/19 06:19 PM
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hatt Offline
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I'd look at the fuel caps sitting in the parking lot before trusting a "manager." There is normally a key somewhere where you can see what tanks they have.


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Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: hallstevenson] #5162825 07/16/19 06:47 PM
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RayCJ Offline OP
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Originally Posted by hatt
I'd look at the fuel caps sitting in the parking lot before trusting a "manager." There is normally a key somewhere where you can see what tanks they have.


And since this place is two weeks old, I could easily see the 4 different color fuel ports in the ground as pointed-out by the "manager". One color each for regular, mid-grade, premium and diesel. I'll also point out this guy was working his tail off and demonstrating some pretty good judgment and ability. He's been with High's for 5 years and got transferred to this new location and was extremely short staffed. As we spoke briefly, he asked if I could refer some hard working people over his way.

Originally Posted by hallstevenson
I never knew stations blended their grades to get "mid" grade fuel but it makes perfect sense. I think having a dedicated tank for it nowadays is a mistake for (at least) a couple of reasons: 1) An add'l tank, pump, valves, etc to maintain by the station, 2) Data I've seen says regular outsells premium by 10x and premium outsells mid-grade by 2x so a station loses volume/bulk discounts by buying mid-grade when they could purchase more of the other two grades.


Yeah, it makes perfect sense to mix at the pump but, I could also see how that could get tricky for places that carry both E10 and E0 etc. And Yes, I've read basically the same info about sales proportions of regular vs premium vs mid-grade.

My vehicles do fine on 87/E10 and that's all they call for but, for good measure, I mix regular and premium in my GDI vehicle during the hottest months of summer.

Ray

Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: RayCJ] #5162980 07/16/19 10:01 PM
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I suppose the refinery can mix the high test and low test before pumping it into the tanker and the station could add a dedicated tank. But why?


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Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: RayCJ] #5163000 07/16/19 10:59 PM
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As was also mentioned in the other thread, many, but not all stations do blend on site. There are a lot of stations around here that do not blend on site, but have it delivered as midgrade in separate storage. For some, it has meant an open door to selling E15 Super 88 octane here without a total redo of the pumps - it was already a separate tank. (Ie: Blending E10 87 and E10 91 isn't going to get you to E15 88... Simple math)

Also, it usually is not the refinery that is doing any blending - that is happening at the fuel terminal, which may or may not be at the refinery (and in fact is usually not at the refinery).

Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: RayCJ] #5163249 07/17/19 08:39 AM
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I'm going with the caps in the parking lot. IIRC, the narrative of that thread was most of the stations blend. You found one that didn't.


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Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: RayCJ] #5163258 07/17/19 08:56 AM
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I'm not from MD, but I've been in the fuel business for a while. None of the gas stations I've dealt with in the Midwest have midgrade tanks, everything is blended at the pump. We also almost never have ethanol free gas as your typical gas stations, but that would be a separate tank.

OP, put the address in to this website and look at the report, it will tell you how many tanks and what type of fuel is in them. And/or let us know the address.

http://mes-mde.mde.state.md.us/FacilitySummary/default.aspx


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Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: working_title] #5163695 07/17/19 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by working_title
I'm not from MD, but I've been in the fuel business for a while. None of the gas stations I've dealt with in the Midwest have midgrade tanks, everything is blended at the pump. We also almost never have ethanol free gas as your typical gas stations, but that would be a separate tank.

OP, put the address in to this website and look at the report, it will tell you how many tanks and what type of fuel is in them. And/or let us know the address.

http://mes-mde.mde.state.md.us/FacilitySummary/default.aspx


This is a really good resource but now, I'm more confused than ever. Here's the state's data sheet on their tanks. Says there are a total of 2 tanks but then shows 2 are gasohol and 1 is diesel. If you look at the report, it's pretty obvious the tanks are sub-divided into sections. Tank 1 is gasohol and tank 2 has part A (Gasohol) and part B (Diesel).

I can say that I've seen with my own 2 eyes, they have 4 fill ports in the ground and still suspect they have a separate "reservoir" for mid-grade. The manager (who was not the typical gas-station cash register idiot) responded with certainty that mid-grade had its own delivery.

Ray

Attached PDF document
FacilitySummary_20903 (1).pdf (13.27 KB, 23 downloads)
Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: RayCJ] #5163779 07/17/19 08:00 PM
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hatt Offline
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It appears the midgrade fill cap would be blue with a white cross on it. You'll have to do some more recon.


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Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: hatt] #5163797 07/17/19 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by hatt
It appears the midgrade fill cap would be blue with a white cross on it. You'll have to do some more recon.


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Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: sloinker] #5163921 07/17/19 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sloinker
I suppose the refinery can mix the high test and low test before pumping it into the tanker and the station could add a dedicated tank. But why?

Refineries have a lot more "blendstocks" than just two octane ratings. If you've ever driven by a major refinery or near a fuel depot, there will typically be dozens of above ground tanks. Not sure if they would blend on demand or if it's already been done before reaching the depot tanks.

Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: RayCJ] #5164247 07/18/19 11:51 AM
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I can give an example of a station that blends and a station that has not/does not.


Example blend and non blend

Speedway (NE Corner of the intersection) sells five different fuels: 87 E10, 89 E10, 91 E10, E85, and Diesel. 4 tank fill locations. The midgrade is blended.

Kwik Trip (SE Corner) sells four different fuels at this location: 87 E10, 88 E15, 91 E0, and Diesel. 4 Tank Fill locations. Before E15, they sold 89 octane Midgrade. No blending here.

Many other similar examples in the area.

Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: RayCJ] #5164697 07/18/19 09:02 PM
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A station that doesn't blend, will have separate nozzles for Regular, Mid, and Premium. Blenders will have one per side for those 3 grades. Some dispensers might have an extra hose for diesel, E-85, or E-15.
Also, look at at the tank farm filler caps: Red is High Grade, the Blue is Mid Grade, the White is Low Grade and the Yellow is Diesel, Brown is Kero, Bronze is E-85. Orange is vapor recovery.


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Re: Not All Mid-Grade Blended At the Pump [Re: RayCJ] #5165598 07/19/19 05:39 PM
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CLASSIFICATION::SECRET

Here's the debrief from the RECON mission (LOL: The wife and I got in & out w/o raising suspicion. The Groucho-Marx glasses, with bushy eyebrows provided adequate subterfuge).

Fill Ports:

Solid White (??? Round cover-cap located in same region but slightly smaller than the others)
White with Black X (Regular w/Ethanol. Square cover cap)
Red with White X (Premium w/Ethanol. Square cover cap)
Yellow with Blue C (Diesel. Square cover cap)

Numerous Orange (vapor recovery)

The dispensing pumps have one hose for Diesel and another hose shared between regular, mid and premium.

CLASSIFICATION::SECRET

GasolineColorCodes.jpg
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