Ethanol Basics Ethanol (E10-85) Information
What is Ethanol?
It is a member of the alcohol family and is one of the alternative fuels for gasoline. Anhydrous ethanol (meaning without water) usually has water content of ½ percent or less and is currently the only ethanol that can be safely blended with gasoline.
Hydrated ethanol (up to 4% water) will not safely blend with high concentrations of gasoline but can be used in pure forms as a substitute for gasoline. (E-85)
Ethanol is a renewable fuel and can be made from a wide variety of crops and vegetation including sugarcane, corn, sugar beets, Etc. However one of the highest yields is from sugarcane. It can also be made from coal, natural gas and other petroleum products but that defeats the intent of decreasing foreign oil dependency and air pollution. The newest experimental technology is an ultra-high yield Algae for ethanol and bio-diesel production. The net yield/energy return ration is higher than existing methods. (More than 15 to 1)
What Engines Can Safely Use It?
Ethanol blends of up to 10% (E10) can be used in any gasoline engine without modification. However we racers blended E10 for our tow vehicles back in the 70’s & 80’s and found that extended use caused some rubber and plastic hoses and carburetor gaskets to swell, dry and crack or dissolve especially if they were already a bit old or worn. Today, many newer hoses and components are now compatible with ethanol/methanol and will usually be marked or labeled accordingly.
If your fuel blend is over 10% (E20, E30, E50, Etc.) it cannot be safely used unless your vehicle has a flexi-fuel engine or you modify your fuel system accordingly. (Flexi-fuels are usually E20 or higher) The reason for this is your engine needs a higher volume of ethanol fuels as compared to pure gasoline. Yes, that translates into a slight decrease in fuel mileage. (10%-15%) After each race we blended our left over racing ethanol with gasoline and used it in our tow vehicles. We found that a 10% blend decreased our mileage by 10-20 percent. However we could increase the ignition timing to get a horsepower boost of 5-10%. (Great for towing in mountain areas)
Ethanol Fuel Handling and Storage:
First, it will quickly absorb any available free-water from the bottom of a tank and even absorb moisture right out of the air in a very short period. (Called a wicking action) That can have an immediate effect and result in a loss of 5-15 octane points evidenced by valve pinging, if not treated it will soon lead to fuel separation. (Stratifying) The water usually settles to the bottom of the tank and forms a milky mucous looking slime. Second, we found ethanol and methanol has a very high detergent action (cleaning) that is many times more powerful than pure gasoline. Therefore it quickly removes varnish, scale and oxides from the walls and bottom of tanks that accumulates in the fuel system in the form of slime and crud that can clog fuel filters, carburetors and injectors.
USA Fuel Service recommends replacing all fiberglass tanks before using or storing ethanol fuels. For metal or plastic tanks more than 1-year old you should clean your tanks and remove scale, varnish and oxides before using ethanol fuels. If you don’t ethanol fuels will do it for you and clog filters and cause fuel pump and/or engine failure.
Ethanol fuel users storing fuel more than 60 days should use a premium fuel stabilizer such as “GAS-SHOK”™ or expect to have the tank and fuel cleaned annually. (Boats, RV’s, emergency generators, Etc) Ethanol fuels will absorb significant water right out of the air if stored 60 days or longer.
Ethanol Fuel Filtration Facts & Secrets:
Fuels are typically stored in many tanks at different locations and can take 30 to 90 days to get from a refinery to you. If any of those tanks have water or other contamination (and most do) some of it will likely make its way into your tank.
To help combat the growing problem most engine producers currently require owners to use finer 10-micron filters or risk a voided warranty. As a further safeguard some engines are fitted with a second 2-micron filter on the engine itself. (Yamaha, Cummins)
USA Fuel Service has pioneered the most effective method available to restore fuel quality and engine reliability. We purify fuels by adding a blend of proprietary tank cleaning additives and circulating the fuel through high volume fuel filtering machines that we built in-house. Most fuel polishing companies just filter your fuel or pump the tank dry and you lose your expensive fuel. Our process typically saves 85-90% of your fuel while cleaning the tank and filtering your fuel. In most cases our cleaning process can eliminate expensive fuel loss and disposal fees by rejuvenating your fuel to refinery fresh quality for safe use. Our process will not harm engines or components or affect warranties. We have many years of experience and a proven track record and testimonials that confirm our successes.
To prevent E-10 and ULSD fuel problems USA Fuel Service has two new state-of-the-art industrial strength fuel additive formulas that will dramatically reduce or eliminate potential fuel problems, increase fuel economy 10-15%, keep fuel tanks clean and maintain fuel stability and quality for 12-18 months. “GAS-SHOK” for gasoline and “DESL-SHOK” for diesel. They are the most advanced additives available and will control water and fuel quality problems in fuel tanks.
USA Fuel Service Fuel Tips:
(The #1 cause of engine failures is fuel problems)
- Always keep fuel tanks completely full or empty to avoid condensation. (Always avoid partially filled tanks)
- Always use a premium grade fuel stabilizer additive.
- Keep your tanks clean and change your filter(s) annually.
- Always keep extra filters on hand. (Onboard)
- Have any untreated stored fuels polished annually. (Spring and/or Fall)
- Never buy fuel immediately after a fuel truck delivery. (Stirs up the tank bottom trash)
- Delay fueling until well after a heavy thunderstorm or any flooded conditions.
- Ethanol (E10-85) users should be aware that water will be absorbed through fuel tank vents and fuel polishing will usually be needed for boats and vehicles stored with untreated fuels for 90-days or more.
RECAP OF ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS FOR ETHANOL FUEL USERS
Ethanol blended E-10/85 fuels has several unique characteristics not found in previous fuels.
Fact 1: E-10/85 Ethanol blended fuels are powerful solvents that:
- Strip away built-up gums and varnish in fuel systems and tanks.
- The result is particles of debris that can clog filters and fuel systems.
- The abrasive action of the particles causes premature wear of expensive injectors and fuel pumps.
THE BEST SOLUTION:
Add “GAS-SHOK” ™ industrial strength fuel additive to break down and dissolve those particles so there is no clogging or abrasiveness, it then safely burns during the combustion process and provides full power and fuel performance.
FACT 2: E-10/85 Ethanol blended fuels are very unstable and begin to break down in a very short period (30-90 days).
- The ethanol and other fuel components can begin to evaporate and degrades resulting in stale fuel.
- The symptoms are hard starts, hesitation, stalling, pinging, lose of power and can lead to engine damage.
THE BEST SOLUTION:
Adding “GAS-SHOK”™ fuel additive will stabilize and ethanol fuels for 12-18 months and enables the fuel to deliver full power and performance. It will actually restore some old fuels and dramatically improves engine performance.
FACT 3: E10/85 Ethanol fuels will absorb accumulated condensation from fuel tanks and actually attracts moisture/ humidity out of the atmosphere.
- The water/ethanol solution is suspended in the fuel until it reaches saturation.
- It then turns into a milky slime referred to as phase separation and accumulates in the tank/system.
- Ethanol represents several points of the fuels octane rating therefore after phase separation occurs the fuel has significantly lower octane and is not capable of delivering full power.
- The result is hard start, rough idle or stalling and can eventually lead to engine damage.
THE BEST SOLUTION:
Add “GAS-SHOK”™ fuel additive, the formula contains state-of-the-art ingredients that safely absorbs water. Combining “GAS-SHOK”™ with ethanol fuels will prevent phase separation. We also add powerful lubricants so suspended water safely passes through the fuel system.
The heat generated during engine combustion separates the water back out of the fuel as steam. The steam boosts power, cleans engine valves and combustion chambers which prevents carbon buildup.
**This results in a clean and water-free tank and fuel system.
With “GAS-SHOK”™ engines produce more power and run smoother.
There are no negative effects and engine warranties are not affected!
Our unique proprietary formula also adds combustion enhancers so regular grade fuel is boosted to perform like premium grade. The savings more than pay for the cost of our additive.
FACT 4: Ethanol blended fuels actually produce less BTU’s of energy.
- Lower energy means less fuel economy.
- Less economy leads to higher costs per mile driven.
THE BEST SOLUTION:
Add “GAS-SHOK”™ fuel additive with advanced combustion enhancers that restores the fuel economy. Compared to untreated fuel, “GAS-SHOK”™ will produce a minimum gain of 10% in fuel economy.
This more than pays for the cost of using it!
In tests, we found we could blend “GAS-SHOK” with regular fuel and safely run it in most engines requiring premium fuel. There was no pinging, knocking or power loss. The engines are still running perfectly after using it for more than three years.