Removing ethanol from E5 and E10 petrol

TernVI

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Disposing of the adulterated water after processing is a frequent references in the videos and accompanying comments with people suggesting that it must be taken to a proper disposal centre. However, this is not really an issue if the adulteration is solely ethanol as claimed. The adulterated water is basically just wine or very diluted spirits or even urine after a very heavy night on the booze and no-one thinks twice about that lot going down the drains.

Richard
I bet if you distilled the water that came out, there would be other things than water and ethanol.
Would you drink it?
 

thinwater

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I don’t know if this has been covered before but it’s quite easy to wash the ethanol out of petrol by adding water to the fuel and giving it a good shake. The water has an affinity for the ethanol and mops it up. Allow the shaken mix to settle for a few hours until the water layer is at the bottom and the washed petrol is clear. then decant the ethanol free petrol. There are many YouTube videos showing this.
I’ve spent too many hours this year cleaning my outboard fuel system and carb, I’m going to give this a try.
Please, let's just drop it. This is a really bad idea forwarded by ignorant people. There is a lot of that on the net. Others have mentioned most of this but...
  • The octane of the resulting gasoline will be very low, about 10 points less than with the ethanol. Knocking and engine damamge at high load are likely.
  • You are throwing away 10% of the fuel.
  • The wastewater is a hazardous waste (benzene and other components) and will require proper disposal. This is well known. Google that.
  • The gasoline will contain more water than spec; you won't get it that dry by just settling. It will be saturated. Not a lot, but it guarantees that some water will be settling out in your carb, bowl starting corrosion.
  • It is illegal. The gasoline no longer meets the require formulation for oxygenates.
The problems you are having are easily avoided. We have been using this in the US for 30 years, and most people live happily with it. I havn't cleaned a carb in 20 years (other than one time on a new-to-me motor).
  • Keep the vent closed when not in use. You need to keep the gas dry.
  • Use an anti-corrosion additive. Stabil 360 , Biobor EB, and Merc Store-n-Start are good. Also Techron. The rest are mostly snake oil.
A good way to make a tiny problem much worse. I'm a chem E and I'm not guessing.
 

penberth3

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Please, let's just drop it. This is a really bad idea forwarded by ignorant people. There is a lot of that on the net. Others have mentioned most of this but.........
Yes, it might be an interesting but hazardous experiment if you want to try a gallon for an outboard. If you want tens of gallons? Not worth the effort and could end badly.
 

RichardS

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I bet if you distilled the water that came out, there would be other things than water and ethanol.
Would you drink it?
This is precisely why I repeated in my post the claim made in all the videos that the adulteration is ethanol. If that claim is true then I most certainly would drink it. In fact, I drink something very similar to it on a regular basis. :)

If the waste is adulterated with something other than ethanol, then I most certainly would not drink it ..... but, more importantly, I would not even consider using the technique as what would be left behind would not be petrol but could be something rather different and who knows what it will do to your engine?

Richard
 

oldmanofthehills

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Disposing of the adulterated water after processing is a frequent references in the videos and accompanying comments with people suggesting that it must be taken to a proper disposal centre. However, this is not really an issue if the adulteration is solely ethanol as claimed. The adulterated water is basically just wine or very diluted spirits or even urine after a very heavy night on the booze and no-one thinks twice about that lot going down the drains.

Richard
you will disolve out all the detergent, biocides etc and these are poisons to the watercourse. However they may be of vital use to your engine and fuel system. Plus of course there will be trace petroleum type products in the rinse

I am still unclear why anyone needs to remove the small amount of ethanol as is a common additive in many regions and their vehicles work fine
 

penberth3

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I've just checked, and pure ethanol is 113 octane. Which I find interesting, because it shows I was wrong about something: I had always thought that air-cooled Beetles converted to run on ethanol in Brazil had a lowered compression ratio because the fuel was low octane, which clearly it isn't.
Maybe the motor fuel wasn't 100% Ethanol. Diluted with, er, water?
 

oldmanofthehills

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Maybe the motor fuel wasn't 100% Ethanol. Diluted with, er, water?
Water increases the effective octane and used both to cool wartime piston aero engines combustion and also by evaporating to steam give some power boost. Inlet track injection systems as used on some cars as a mod didnt cut the mustard as really need more sophisticated injection.
 

Refueler

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Thinwater and I work with Fuels ........

If anyone wants to be foolish enough to follow some dickhead Youtube Video about it ... I wish you luck.

Just to remind something I posted long time ago : Gasoline today is not straight gasoline from crackers .. it is a composite of many components calculated to create the required Octane and general spec analysis.
No true gasoline literally is on sale anymore .. other than Russian A76.
So add water and you have no idea of the result ..... I would not as an experienced blender of fuels like to speculate on the result.

OK - final bit ... Unless specifically labeled gasoline - you have no idea if its Ethanol added ... it could be MTBE ......

Wash that out and you really are in **** creek ..... and if you drink that - Hospital is next stop.
 

Refueler

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Water increases the effective octane and used both to cool wartime piston aero engines combustion and also by evaporating to steam give some power boost. Inlet track injection systems as used on some cars as a mod didnt cut the mustard as really need more sophisticated injection.
Water Injection was a common addition on Jet Aircraft .... not for Octane ... it was because of the density and its ability to carry the fuel better into the ignition chamber.

On reciprocating engines ... intercooler manifolds basically did similar ... increase the charge density.
 

penfold

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If you want ethanol-free fuel buy Aspen, or take your chances with whatever Super grade you can get. This is silly stuff and pretty unsafe.
 

Sandy

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I picked up the outboard from being serviced last week. The mechanic was singing the praises of Aspen 4. Apparently better for the engine and does not go off.

It is expensive, about £20 for 5lts, but might be worth using towards the end of the season.
 

thinwater

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I picked up the outboard from being serviced last week. The mechanic was singing the praises of Aspen 4. Apparently better for the engine and does not go off.

It is expensive, about £20 for 5lts, but might be worth using towards the end of the season.
That can actually make sense, as the last fill of the season. Very expensive, but very oxidation stable.
 

Slowboat35

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I've no idea what "Aspen" is but that that price it seems pretty daft - if you want to avoid fuel gumming over-winter then just turn off the fuel tap and run the engine dry, just as two-stroke owners, chainsawers, strimmerers etc have done for decades...Problem solved!
 

Refueler

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I've no idea what "Aspen" is but that that price it seems pretty daft - if you want to avoid fuel gumming over-winter then just turn off the fuel tap and run the engine dry, just as two-stroke owners, chainsawers, strimmerers etc have done for decades...Problem solved!
All my outboards etc. - shut of vfuel - run carb dry ... next season - 3 or 4 pulls and away they go. In fact I always run carb dry if I stop for more than a few hours.

Aspen is mainly Alkylate based ... I will leave you all to google that now. Note I said mainly.
 

Boathook

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I've no idea what "Aspen" is but that that price it seems pretty daft - if you want to avoid fuel gumming over-winter then just turn off the fuel tap and run the engine dry, just as two-stroke owners, chainsawers, strimmerers etc have done for decades...Problem solved!
Being doing with my outboard but one of the carbs became dirty and the others weren't much better. Needed cleaning to get smooth running etc. Not a cheap job ....
 

Hot Property

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Be careful, if I had sucked in more air whilst the end of the pump was alight it would explode. Elf and safety would have had a field day!
 

Medway Matt

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The MG Owners Club says that Esso super unleaded is ethanol free. This seems like a much more sensible option than washing petrol.
 

Cornishwesterly

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The MG Owners Club says that Esso super unleaded is ethanol free. This seems like a much more sensible option than washing petrol.
I thought that until I read except in Cornwall, Devon, Wales and the North of England? WTF is going on there? I read it on Essos website via Piston Heads...
 
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