No Alcohol Gasoline... Any Advantage?

Discussion in '4-Stroke Engines' started by MikeJ, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    I'm sure most of us have complained at least some about the 10% ethyl alcohol in otherwise perfectly good gasoline. If the alcohol was removed, would the purified gasoline prove to be any better for the engine? How about performance?

    I made a batch of my own nearly-alcohol-free gasoline today. For those who like to tinker, here is what I did...

    Got an empty 750 ml clear plastic bottle from the trash. It held vodka last night, so I knew it would not dissolve.
    Poured about one-quarter (about 180 cc) of its volume with tap water and noted the water level.
    Poured about three-quarter (about 565 cc) of its volume with mid-grade ethyl alcohol gasoline.
    Capped it tight and shook it good and hard for about 15 seconds to mix it well.
    Let it sit for a few minutes. Noted how much the water volume rose. The gasoline volume dropped by about 10 percent (expected).

    The gasoline above the water line is nearly alcohol free. It appeared a little cloudy; maybe from additives that were affected by the water?
    Very carefully poured off the gasoline (about 500 cc) into a clean container. The water got poured onto some weeds and evaporated.

    I have not run the alcohol-free gasoline through my 160 cc Honda bike engine yet. I will run it through the 15-year old B&S lawnmower engine first.

    I expect the engine to run just fine, just like engines of the pre-alcohol gasoline days.

    Does anyone (especially the petro-chem and race guys) have any thoughts if more power will be produced at wide open throttle?

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012

  2. Richard H.

    Richard H. Member

    Gotta say shaking a glass bottle full of gasoline good and hard kinda gives me the willies.
    Other than that, after you run several tank fulls through your Honda with this, get back to us.
  3. Old Bob

    Old Bob Member

    Nope, if tuned for it, the gas with the alcohol in it will produce more power than gasoline without it.
    Newer engines are tuned for up to 10%.
  4. grinningremlin

    grinningremlin Active Member

    In the RC game it's common to do just what you did, I think mostly because of the damage alcohol can do to rubber parts in the carb, mainly 2 strokers are concerned, but it rings true, clean something outside your engine made of rubber with alcohol, it will dry and begin to crack.
  5. GreenMantis

    GreenMantis Member

  6. Old Bob

    Old Bob Member

    that site and that person should be ignored

    "add moth balls to your gas"

    that myth was busted about30 years ago
  7. Dankoozy

    Dankoozy Member

    How does kerosene improve it in any way, I thought it would only drag down the octane rating? I have loads of it (the heating for the house runs off it). Newer engines will take E10-E20 and there are special 2-stroke oils around that aren't so much affected by ethanol.
  8. GreenMantis

    GreenMantis Member

    Kerosne actually has 10% more BTU energy than gasoline, it can be spark ignited, and it's one of the best lubricants there is. They use it as the lubricant in the manufacture of aluminum foil, in fact. The extra lubrication will increase engine life, and I think it cleans out the fuel tank and lines, too.
    And although kerosene will lower the actual octane slightly, by dilution, it will increase the appearant octane, since it doesn't have the same tendancy to predetonate that gasoline does.

    I personally tested the mothballs trick, back in the days before there was alcohol in all the gasoline, in my motorcycle, so that I could drain tank out all the way when switching fuels around, using pump gas, pump gas plus mothballs, and as a control, 100 octane aviation fuel procured from the local commuter airport. I consistantly got 50% better milage from the aviation fuel, and the mothball mix (which were about the same, except for the price), than I did on straight pump gas, so I continued to use the mothballs ever since. That bike alsways got 50% better milage than it ever did before (on pump gas alone), from then on. It's not a myth. I also tested it in a generator I used every day, which ran 4 to 4-1/2 hours on the pump gas, and ran 10 to 12 hours on the mothball mix, or the aviation fuel. The only difference there was that there was a lot more carbon build up with the mothball mix, but then, aviation fuel is specially made not to do that in engines that run at one speed all the time.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  9. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member


    Just that if the engine sits around for a while, the alcohol will absorb moisture and that's not an ideal situation inside the engine.

    One thing that graphically brought this concept home was seeing how much water accumulated on the inside of the rocker covers when an alcohol dragster had the covers pulled off to inspect the valve clearances.
    There were pearls of water on the inside. I couldn't believe how much water accumulated inside the engine after it had been shut down for only half an hour.
  10. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    In my home town there's a station which sells 100% gas. Low compression engines (below 9:1 compression ratios) run best on 87 octane. Higher octane needs higher compression. The 100% gas makes all my small engines run smoother. However the newer engines it doesn't seem to matter. Therefore run 100% gas in old engines but save your money and run alcohol mixed gas in newer engines.