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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Diesel Fuel Lubrication Engine Additives Forum

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 05-30-2003, 07:48 Post: 55970
Mrwurm



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  0% Ethanol

I have just noticed that both of the gas stations in my town have stickers on the pumps that say 10% ethanol. Is this bad for my cars or equipment?






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 05-30-2003, 09:04 Post: 55978
Billy

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  0% Ethanol

I have heard of 10% ethanol gas dissolving some of the gum and varnish found in gas tanks. Causing problems with the fuel system.

I used some in a Mazda GLC a long time ago. On the first tank the engine started cutting out. I quit using the ethanol and the problem stopped.






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 05-30-2003, 10:59 Post: 55989
AC5ZO

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  0% Ethanol

Ethanol is not generally a problem. The reason that it is put into gas is that it provides some oxygen in the fuel mix that leans out the combustion to lower pollution.

A secondary reason to use ethanol in gasoline is to disolve water in a gas tank back into the fuel stream. Water gets into the tanks directly from the pumps on occasion, but most often comes from condensation that happens in humid environments. As the temperature cools at night, the humidity in the air inside the gas tank condenses and goes to the bottom of the gas tank where it accumulates. Ethanol works as an intermediate solvent that can disolve both water and gasoline, so it drys out the gas tank.

Ethanol is typically mixed in gas during the winter, because the pollution potential is higher and that is also when water in the gas is the biggest problem.

I expect that if your car ran rough with a first tank of gas/ethanol, that you had quite a bit of water in the tank and it was the water that was causing the problem. If you continue to use gas/ethanol, it should clear up on its own.

It is also best to not keep the fuel at a very low level in the tank for a long time. This encourages condensation. The condensed water that is covered by gasoline just sits on the bottom of the tank causing the tank to rust out and leak. If you get enough water condensed in the tank, it will also cause engine roughness by blocking the fuel inlet.

Ethanol can cause aluminum to corrode in the fuel system if it is used at very high levels, but 10% or so is safe for most any vehicle. I use it without problems and it is my gas of choice to store in fuel barrels or cans.






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 05-30-2003, 11:15 Post: 55992
Mrwurm



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  0% Ethanol

Great response, thanks

Jerry






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 05-30-2003, 12:27 Post: 55998
slowrev



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  0% Ethanol

Remember too that ethanol is a US farm product, not imported from the middle east.






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 05-31-2003, 05:28 Post: 56069
TomG

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  0% Ethanol

It's probably been mentioned here before but this is a gasoline engine subject. Far as I know diesel engines and alcohol don't mix. Water from condensation that's picked up by the alcohol and carried beyond the fuel filter bowl into the engine causes injector problems. Any fuel additive should be diesel rated, and many additives for diesel fuel specify 'Contains No Methanol.'

Until recently I thought that alcohol added to gas was for conservation reasons. I read a novel where part of the story involved fictional intrigue between producers of ethanol and an alternative additive. That was the first I heard that they both have to do with pollution and little else as AC mentioned. Seems like ethanol would make some very expensive gas if the production wasn't subsidized and the alternative gets into ground water and doesn't leave.






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 06-01-2003, 20:49 Post: 56196
Chief



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John Deere is doing some demo testing with "e diesel" which is a blend of diesel and 15% anhydrous ethanol.






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 06-02-2003, 06:55 Post: 56239
TomG

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That is an interesting link. It'll be interesting to hear the process for producing anhydrous alcohol.

My knowledge of process is ancient and I don't know how the gasohol now used is produced. I think it uses corn but I don't know if it's a fermentation/distillation process. As I recall, anhydrous alcohol can't be produced by ordinary distillation. Sounds like I can spend some time getting more current on these things.

There's more 'as I recall stuff' which may be entirely out of whack. A problem with anhydrous alcohol is keeping it that way. Alcohol has great affinity for water and absorbs it from it from the air, but the problem is much greater with methanol than ethanol. People who used methanol based tape head cleaners tend to leave the bottles uncapped and ended up putting more water than alcohol on their tape heads before the bottles were used up. I imagine part of the research will deal with condensation issues--it'll be interesting to follow. For present engines and fuel, the main thing is to avoid adding methanol based anti-icers to a system where water from condensation is already present. I've heard unconfirmed stories about water turning to steam in the injectors and ruining them.






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 06-02-2003, 09:59 Post: 56266
AC5ZO

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You can make 90% ethanol with distillation. After that it gets difficult requiring vacuum distillation and/or drying agents like calcium chloride. Both of these processes are fairly easy to do and are significantly less complicated than an oil refinery.

As far as the cost to produce is concerned, I am not sure whether it is cheaper to produce gasoline rather than ethanol. I would tend to think that it may be a toss-up depending on the world situation. There may be some subsidies, now, but if the market is made and engines are manufactured to use it, it has some real advantages. The technology for the engines is available. Indy cars, sprint cars, top fuel dragsters and other race vehicles run on alcohol and alcohol mixtures. Torpedoes on submarines were using ethanol even in the 1940s.

Ethanol can be made from a variety of crops that are easily grown in North America. It can be scaled up to very large operations easily. And, a new crop of it can be grown every year.

When you talk about subsidies, then you have to consider the subsidies for the oil industry as well. If the cost of diplomacy, foreign aid, and military action to assure the free flow of commerce and trade are factored in, then oil is pretty expensive. We may see those costs as a portion of our taxes, but if the oil companies were required to negotiate their own international trade agreements and maintain ALL of their own security, then you would see this directly in the price of the oil products. It is easier to protect grain production in North America.

I don't want a bunch of flame mail about being anti-military, because nothing could be further from the truth. There are many reasons to have the politicians and military keeping the world safe, but all I am saying is that we do not allocate those costs around to those who benefit most directly from their actions. That is a subsidy.

I grew up on a farm and we raised a lot of corn and wheat. Those and other grains are easily converted to ethanol as well as some other plants that grow in dryer desert regions. I am all for it. And while we are sort of on the topic, I might as well mention bio-diesel which is made from soybeans. The same arguments apply. Bio-diesel is made by treating soybean oil or even used cooking oil with chemicals to convert it into a product that will burn in most diesel engines alone or when mixed with a portion of conventional diesel fuel.

We are going to need petrolium for a long time to come, but we produce a lot of our own in North America. If we were able to produce much of our fuel from farm crops, then we could certainly cut our need for imported oil.






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 06-02-2003, 10:18 Post: 56272
Chief



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Biodiesel is my pet issue. You can make biodiesel from just about anything. Burns cleaner and keeps the fuel system and engine cleaner, as well as much higher cetane value depending on base oils used. (animal fat makes the highest a bit over 60 cetane) Current prices for biodiesel or B-100 have recently broken the $2 a gallon barrier. Last i checked it was $1.90 is you purchased in bulk. Just have to use a good additive package to prevent gelling and microbial growth. Biodiesel is made by mixing strong base (lye & methanol) = methanone in correct titration with an oil (veggie or animal). Must be kept warm and circulated to allow the chemical reaction to complete. Maybe 12 hours depending on batch size. Forms into 2 layers, bottom layer is glycerin and the rest is biodiesel. Run it through a VERY good filter water separator, add additives, and your done.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Diesel Fuel Lubrication Engine Additives Forum

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