Making my own ethanol-free gas?

Messages
50
Location
NJ
I found out a while back that ethanol-free gas was still legal in the next county, so I picked up 10 gallons when I was up that way, and found all my small engines were starting and running better on it. I went back to restock this spring, and found the gas stations which had been selling it could no longer get it - apparently, the subsidies for selling ethanol blends are so attractive that stations push the stuff even where not legally required! Anyhow, rather than drive all over the country with my ethanol tester I am toying with the idea of making my own by dumping some water in the gas, then pouring off the gas after the water has bonded with the ethanol - I only need 10-20 gallons a year for small engines. Only thing is, I wonder if there might be other less obvious side effects, like removal of other desirable components in the gas. As I understand it the ethanol also acts as an octane booster, but I figure this could be compensated for by starting with premium gas.
 
Messages
25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
We have E-10 gas here and the mowers haven't notice any differences... You might just need to tune the enrichment screw on your equipment to make up for the difference. All of the equipment we have is self governing, meaning it enrichen's the mixture based on load and engine RPM so that's probably why. If you have older equipment, turning the screw a bit might fix your problem. I would start with a complete tune up first if you haven't done so already. I think is is a better move than pouring water in your gasoline to try an evaporate the Ethanol.
 
Messages
3,735
Location
Miami-Dade County
 Originally Posted By: StevieC
We have E-10 gas here and the mowers haven't notice any differences... You might just need to tune the enrichment screw on your equipment to make up for the difference.
Allot of the landscapers and boat owners are screaming about the 10% Ethanol saying its ruining their equipment.. The State of Florida so far has no intentions of stopping the 10% Ethanol.
 
Messages
25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
We have had it for years and even in our older equipment which has since been replaced because it was super old (20-30 yrs) and worn out, it made no difference to us. Try another brand of E-10 gas maybe? Maybe it's an additive causing the problem and not the E?
 
Messages
6,146
Location
Illinois
The problem I have with E10 gas is in my power washer. It sets unused for so long the secondary fuel pickup point absorbs the water and then the engine barely runs. I have to totally disassemble the carburetor/tank to get to the thing. Very frustrating and a PITA. Thanks Briggs and Stratton for a wonderful design.
 
Messages
25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
I have a B&S on my pressure washer and haven't had the problem. I use FP plus in it when I store it though... Maybe that's why. Even after 2 years it fires right up...
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
44,851
Location
New Jersey
Calculate for the ratio you have, the chemical potential and partitioning factors, and youll have an answer... I recommend Stanley Sandler's Thermodynamics for how to do it. Gut feeling is that you are correct, but the calculations are required to determine if youll extract 1% or 99%... or somewhere inbetween. Where in NJ does one county have ethanol and another not?
 
Messages
931
Location
OR
If your small engines won't run on E10 then they're broken. Fix them. People that think it's somehow ruining their engines don't have a clue what they're talking about. The only negative with E10 is possible water. If you don't leave your equipment out in the rain, there shouldn't be any water in your gas. If you really must have something without ethanol buy 100LL aviation fuel. Briggs and Stratton makes that recommendation from the factory.
 

kyle morley

Thread starter
Messages
50
Location
NJ
I agree that most engines that are run often run fine on E10. The problem is with those that are not run often and spend a lot of time in storage. I have a number of older engines on collector-type machines, that were not designed with ethanol in mind, and spend a lot of time sitting, so they are particularly vulnerable to problems. Water is not a problem only if you leave them in the rain. The vented tanks on must older vehicles and engines "breathe" ambient air in and out all the time, with each change in temp and barometric pressure. With ethanol mixes, the moisture in the air in absorbed in the gas. Only a tiny bit at a time, but it builds up, and stabilizers, if you read the fine print, turn out to be pretty much ineffectual in this regard. But then I don't recall asking for advice on whether I should use E10 in the first place. I was asking specifically for comments on whether using water to remove the ethanol would have any negative effects on the remaining gas. 100LL avgas is a possible solution, but has a lot more lead than I really want to be putting through my engines. Removing the ethanol with water is cheap and easily done - it there isn't some catch I am missing!
 
Messages
7,430
Location
beaver land EH?
so, if I'm getting this right: this is more of a personal rant on E10 than being something of value? Not to be on the offensive side of things but what is you point really? *curious* p.s. west-coasters been running on E10 for over 15+ yrs, started out with Husky and Mohawk gas containing 10% ethanol, now pretty much everything comes with it. I got all my B&S, Honda,etc. small engines running on E10 straight from the dealer's lot and been using it until this day, ditto with our cars and such. Issues? Problems? Nahh! Never a problem with it. Personally, I keep all my cars and engines well in-tune that whether E10 or not will help in additional emissions reduction doesn't seem to matter anymore (replaced my 91 Mazda with a new Honda fit (already LEV certified) recently, and ditto with my wifey's Camry to a newer, cleaner-burning Camry 2.4L (certified to be somewhere around LEV or ULEV). Lastly: gas formula will keep on changing over the time and car manufacturers, with all the electronic controls and emissions, etc. shall be able to keep up to the technologies (example: flex-fuel vehicle that can run from straight gas to E85). The only part of the program that reluctant to show signs of change inline with the technological progress is human being and that seems to be very contradictory indeed. *ranting off, lurk mode on* Q.
 
Messages
931
Location
OR
 Originally Posted By: kyle morley
I have a number of older engines on collector-type machines, that were not designed with ethanol in mind, and spend a lot of time sitting, so they are particularly vulnerable to problems.
If these engines are sitting for long periods of time they shouldn't have any gas in them, period. I have a collection of engines from the 60s - a triple carb outboard, several Briggs flathead engines, and a 390 Ford big block. They all work fine on ethanol, unless the gas sits in there too long, then you will have problems ethanol or not. Sure I would rather have ethanol free fuel, but it's not nearly as big of deal as some make it out to be.
 Originally Posted By: kyle morley
...stabilizers, if you read the fine print, turn out to be pretty much ineffectual in this regard.
Stabilizers in general are hardly effectual in anything.
 Originally Posted By: kyle morley
Removing the ethanol with water is cheap and easily done - it there isn't some catch I am missing!
Nope. You will lose detergents and other additives in the process.
 
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