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Old 03-20-2014, 01:52 PM   #15
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Ethanol is a solvent. It won't gum anything. It will dissolve old deposits left by low quality gasoline. The gum comes from petroleum. That's why detergents are added to quality gas. To keep impurities from sticking to the system. Poor gas causes gumming, not ethanol.

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Old 03-20-2014, 02:59 PM   #16
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Corrosion is a BIG issue with anything that has a carb on it and a steel gas tank. Ethanol does absorb water and forms a corrosive sludge in your steel gas tank and then it rusts. In carburetors the combination of brass jets and cast aluminum float bowls and a polar solvent is guaranteed corrosion. I have several motorcycles and all of them have had ethanol related corrosion problems. The jets have green corrosion clogging them up. I have also had rubber problems on my 95 Ranger truck. The fuel filler hose swelled and cracked. That was a $400 part. I expect ethanol has cost me $1000 in parts not to mention the labor. My cars that I drive every day don't care but the mileage is less. The air maybe 10% cleaner but if you use 10% more gas what is the gain? Now add all the expense and pollution of farming the corn and processing it, the overall gain from an ecological standpoint is way negative. Even the Sierra club knows this.

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Old 03-20-2014, 03:32 PM   #17
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The air maybe 10% cleaner but if you use 10% more gas what is the gain? Now add all the expense and pollution of farming the corn and processing it, the overall gain from an ecological standpoint is way negative. Even the Sierra club knows this.
Perry
Just returned from a long trip (not towing) from states with non-ethanol gas and "enjoyed" 17+/- mpg consistently at cruise with my Sube - and when I got back to Montana (and 10% ethanol it dropped back to my winter (when we can't get pure gas) normal of 14-15. The problem is that the "cleaner air" environmental gain was certainly off-set by the extra gallons of gas burned to accomplish the trip.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:05 PM   #18
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I have been mixing non-ethanol and ethanol gas for almost 2 years, and never had any "brown sludge" issues. When I am close to a non-ethanol station, I fill up and when I need gas and can't get to a non-ethanol station, I fill up with ethanol. Anyone with a water borne engine, definitely doesn't want ethanol. I bought a Sears lawn mower last year and it lasted 3 weeks before it quit running. Come to find out the ethanol had eaten up the gas lines and Sears had to totally warranty the entire fuel system. There seems to be a rash of fuel pumps going bad and I expect that one should replace fuel filters a lot more often if you use ethanol gasoline. The farmers love their corn prices for ethanol, but no one else does.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:59 AM   #19
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Ethanol is fine in most engines when it does not sit for long periods of time. It is the time factor that gets you. After a month of sitting, you are asking for trouble. Stihl lawn equipment won't warrantee the fuel system on anything that has had ethanol in it. They have some sealant around the welch plugs in the carbs that turns to a gel and clogs things up. Those chain saw and weed eater jets are tiny.

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Old 03-21-2014, 10:20 AM   #20
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You guys are making my inner chemical engineer cry


- anhydrous ethanol either by itself or in solution with other traditional gasoline components is hygroscopic. It will absorb water. To a point it will tend to keep water in solution with the alkanes. A simple way to test for the presence of ethanol in gasoline is to add water to it and measure how much ends up in solution. Many test kits are designed around this.

- HEET traditionally contained anhydrous methanol, which has similar properties but will reduce the freezing point of water to a greater degree resulting in faster clearance of ice from fuel lines and filters. Isopropanol is also sometimes used. Who knows what the forumulation is any given year

- I don't know about you but any small engines I have had since the 1980s all need a carb kit whether or not they've seen any ethanol. Manufacturers and shops find it convenient to blame the fuel for problems that are caused exclusively by low quality elastomeric parts and NOS elastomeric parts that have deteriorated due to age.

- Fuel deteriorates due to a combination of heat and time with exposure to air and condensation hastening the process. I don't drain the fuel from my lawn mower over the winter and it runs fine in the spring. I drain the fuel from my snowblower because otherwise it won't start in the fall. This was just as much of a problem in 1980 as it is today.
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Old 03-21-2014, 10:24 AM   #21
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Ethanol is a solvent. It won't gum anything. It will dissolve old deposits left by low quality gasoline. The gum comes from petroleum. That's why detergents are added to quality gas. To keep impurities from sticking to the system. Poor gas causes gumming, not ethanol.
It's not a materially better solvent than the alkanes already in the gas.

The biodiesel crowd has problems with the substantially higher solvent power of biodiesel compared to petroleum based diesel. It causes the accumulated gunk adhered to the sides of the fuel tank, the fuel lines, etc., to come loose and clog the filters. To the point where on an older machine/vehicle you can end up replacing the filters many times to get through the first tank of biodiesel.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:19 AM   #22
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Jammer, you are right, I should have been clearer. Yes, Ethanol will absorb water in liquid form. My point (and poor use of Hygroscopic) was it doesn't absorb vapors like brake fluid...it will evaporate first. The water issue is one of poor handling and storage, allowing vapor condensate or liquid water introduction into storage containers.

I agree with your solvent analysis, except for gasoline has impurities (unless it is clear and colorless...like Amaco Ultimate $$$$). These impurities, when not accompanied by a quality detergent, will form a "varnish" or "gum" (insert your favorite slang here) which ethanol will clean off if it is used after a long usage of poor gasoline only. Or gas has evaporated out of the system repeatedly (improper engine maintenance for storage).

I THINK heet has several formulations for differing climates, but I don't use the stuff anymore, since I use E10 almost exclusively.

I agree with your last two paragraphs completely and 2 strokes leave A LOT more "stuff" behind when they aren't run dry.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:15 PM   #23
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Ethanol gas

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I have been mixing non-ethanol and ethanol gas for almost 2 years, and never had any "brown sludge" issues. When I am close to a non-ethanol station, I fill up and when I need gas and can't get to a non-ethanol station, I fill up with ethanol. Anyone with a water borne engine, definitely doesn't want ethanol. I bought a Sears lawn mower last year and it lasted 3 weeks before it quit running. Come to find out the ethanol had eaten up the gas lines and Sears had to totally warranty the entire fuel system. There seems to be a rash of fuel pumps going bad and I expect that one should replace fuel filters a lot more often if you use ethanol gasoline. The farmers love their corn prices for ethanol, but no one else does.
You are toataly wrong and misinformed about corn prices that farmers love. During ww2 corn was $1.00 bu today $4.74 per bu. corn prices have been in toilet for a long time. Farmers do not set corn prices the profit taking paper merchants at commodities market set prices. I would suggest that you do resh. before blaming farmers. profit marg. is slim less than 4% on invest of millions of $. For clarification I'm 80 yrs. old lifetime with farms. Bill
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:25 PM   #24
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I don't want to chase a rabbit here, but am I wrong that farmers are getting a government subsidy for growing corn? It is sorta like in the 1970's when farmers got paid not to grow hogs. Anyway, farmers have a ready market for corn in both food and for ethanol production. I have been dealing with farmers crops and crop damages for 30 years, but I am not a farmer, I am a lover and a golfer.
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:36 AM   #25
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ethanol & corn prices

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I don't want to chase a rabbit here, but am I wrong that farmers are getting a government subsidy for growing corn? It is sorta like in the 1970's when farmers got paid not to grow hogs. Anyway, farmers have a ready market for corn in both food and for ethanol production. I have been dealing with farmers crops and crop damages for 30 years, but I am not a farmer, I am a lover and a golfer.
What you are ref. to is gaur. prices for corn commonly ref. as loan deficiancy payments or ldp which is well under $4 per bu. no pay outs, old prog. of pay for acres not planted long gone, only conservation, filter strips for water run off, these are limited projects. As I stated before paper merchants deter. markets not farmers......................Bill
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:33 PM   #26
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I don't want to chase a rabbit here, but am I wrong that farmers are getting a government subsidy for growing corn? It is sorta like in the 1970's when farmers got paid not to grow hogs. Anyway, farmers have a ready market for corn in both food and for ethanol production. I have been dealing with farmers crops and crop damages for 30 years, but I am not a farmer, I am a lover and a golfer.
Complex topic. At current prices there is no subsidy per bushel.

There is a subsidy per acre although it is not substantial compared to the value of the crop and this is one of the last years for it due to recent changes.

There are subsidies for conservation and for crop insurance, though again, neither is substantial.

Then again there are various direct and indirect subsidies for producing crude oil.
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:59 PM   #27
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The only subsidies that I know of for producing crude oil are private investments that are willing to gamble on a drill, not much of an incentive when you think of all of the EPA and other enviro crapola a drilling company must comply with just to start a drill rig. If the Keystone pipeline goes through, you'll see a big drop in gasoline prices. Keep your fingers crossed.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:59 AM   #28
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The Keystone pipeline is about selling the distillations to foreigners. The U.S. is being treated like Nigeria: we get the pollution, someone else gets the product. Plenty of other refineries far closer to the source than Port Arthur, Texas.

As to the orginal topic, I'd use ethanol-free if I owned a gasser. But. like the diesel I buy, I'd treat all of it. The cost isn't high, IMO.
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