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Old 04-10-2018, 07:41 AM   #1
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Non - Ethanol Gas Wow!

On our winter trip south we saw "Non- Ethanol" Gas. What the heck,give it a try. Wow. I don't think it was my imagination but what a diff. My 5.3L purred and pulled like it never has. Now i feel like a junkie and i want my "Non Eth"
Non scientific but it felt like more HP,less shifting and better MPG. Can this be true?
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:50 AM   #2
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It's true to a small imperceptible level. You imagination was playing more into it than anything else. 10% ethanol won't make a significant change in power nor mileage. Although ethanol has less btu content than gasoline, a 10% content will only make about a 1 - 2% reduction in economy. Ethanol, however, has a HIGHER octane rating than gasoline, which your onboard PCM can take advantage of, assuming the fuel blender doesn't start with a lower octane base stock. If the pump label is to be believed, 87 is 87, 89 is 89, and 91 is 91, etc.

E85, if you have a flex fuel engine will reduce economy about 15%, but still, there is no perceptible power difference. Otherwise, Indy cars and F! cars would just be putzing around the track.

So, to answer your question, no it can't be true. Other ethanol haters will chime in, but the science and my factory rep career experience begs to differ. The conversation can and should take a different track when dealing with marine environments and some small engine applications.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:05 AM   #3
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Maybe. They sell non ethanol regular and premium at liberty gas station in Winchester Va. I use this for small engines ie. lawn mowers, chain saws, weed wackers etc.etc. They sell non ethanol gas at Airports and boat docks as well. I wonder how much energy is used to turn corn into gas additive. Is it worth it?
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:21 AM   #4
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There are websites that can help find ethanol free fuel. Here are two:
http://www.buyrealgas.com/states.html
https://www.pure-gas.org/

I measured fuel mileage in my truck with the 5.3 L. I tried it towing and running solo. I could not tell any difference.

add edit:
IMO it is more important to buy "Tier 3" fuel. It has additives that help keep carbon buildup from forming in the engine and make it's exhaust is cleaner. The engine runs more efficiently this way.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:59 AM   #5
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My 3/4 ton consistently gets 1 mpg better mileage with non GMO corn gas. Im sure its hard on your fuel system beings it is corrosive, thats why its hard on older fuel systems.
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by knunut View Post
On our winter trip south we saw "Non- Ethanol" Gas. What the heck,give it a try. Wow. I don't think it was my imagination but what a diff. My 5.3L purred and pulled like it never has. Now i feel like a junkie and i want my "Non Eth"
Non scientific but it felt like more HP,less shifting and better MPG. Can this be true?
Absolutely.
The ethanol has less energy than gasoline, so it takes more to do the same work, and conversely gets less work done on a given volume.
So, you ask, why did NASCAR mandate ethanol in race cars, that are trying to squeeze every last HP out of engines?
$30 million dollars from the ethanol industry!
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Old 04-10-2018, 09:58 AM   #7
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I wonder how much energy is used to turn corn into gas additive. Is it worth it?
Yes, it's worth it. Ethanol was not added to gasoline to reduce dependency on foreign oil; to get the same performance, you have to burn more gasoline with the ethanol than you do without the ethanol (10% ethanol reduces fuel economy by more than 10%). It takes more energy to make ethanol than you get from burning ethanol, same as it takes more energy to make gasoline than you get from burning gasoline. You can't finesse physics. In other words, "Entropy— It's not just a good idea, it's the law." It always takes more energy to produce ANY fuel and transport it to the point of use than you can effectively use when you burn the fuel.

The purpose of the ethanol additive is to replace carcinogenic additives in the non-ethanol gasoline. Ethanol burns cleaner than the MTBE (Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether) that it replaced. Even non-ethanol gasoline doesn't use MTBE anymore; it uses a chemical called ETBE, which is derived from ethanol and isobutylene the same way that MTBE was derived from methanol and isobutylene. So even non-ethanol ETBE gasoline requires ethanol to manufacture.

It's the next step in the evolution of motor fuels, same way that unleaded gasoline added MTBE to replace lead back in the 1970s.

If you don't like the reduced performance of E-whatever gasoline versus non-ethanol gasoline, you could always switch to diesel. The difference in performance between diesel and biodiesel isn't as large as the difference between gasoline and ethanol.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:12 AM   #8
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Non-Ethenol

Fuel with ethanol has a shorter self life as well and is destructive to boat and small engine applications. Being in the automotive repair business our biggest problem was snow birds heading south and topping off vehicles for storage. Come back in 3-4 months only to find hard starting or no start at all. Give the old sniff test and it smells like something other than fuel. I still go to airport and fill cans with 100LL for my small engines. Much better controlled fuel...
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:19 AM   #9
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But older diesels like my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI and my 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins are labeled for a maximum of 5% bio-diesel and we now have some states forbidding the sale of anything but 20% bio-diesel. 20% will destroy both my fuel filtarion system and engine. So I always look for just pure diesel and avoid those states that have been captured by the "bio whatever" lobby.

When my Mercedes was newer with an in place extended warranty, Mercedes service told me that use of over 5% bio-diesel would void my warranty.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:26 AM   #10
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I'm in the same boat. My Titan XD specifies no greater than 10% biodiesel. So, no Illinois or Minnesota for me (so far)
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:30 AM   #11
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by knunut View Post
On our winter trip south we saw "Non- Ethanol" Gas. What the heck,give it a try. Wow. I don't think it was my imagination but what a diff. My 5.3L purred and pulled like it never has. Now i feel like a junkie and i want my "Non Eth"
Non scientific but it felt like more HP,less shifting and better MPG. Can this be true?
Same octane? All the non eth gas I’ve seen was 92
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:47 AM   #13
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Non-ethanol usually costs more, so any mileage gains are a wash.
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:21 AM   #14
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Yes, it's worth it. Ethanol was not added to gasoline to reduce dependency on foreign oil; to get the same performance, you have to burn more gasoline with the ethanol than you do without the ethanol (10% ethanol reduces fuel economy by more than 10%). It takes more energy to make ethanol than you get from burning ethanol, same as it takes more energy to make gasoline than you get from burning gasoline. You can't finesse physics. In other words, "Entropy— It's not just a good idea, it's the law." It always takes more energy to produce ANY fuel and transport it to the point of use than you can effectively use when you burn the fuel.

The purpose of the ethanol additive is to replace carcinogenic additives in the non-ethanol gasoline. Ethanol burns cleaner than the MTBE (Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether) that it replaced. Even non-ethanol gasoline doesn't use MTBE anymore; it uses a chemical called ETBE, which is derived from ethanol and isobutylene the same way that MTBE was derived from methanol and isobutylene. So even non-ethanol ETBE gasoline requires ethanol to manufacture.

It's the next step in the evolution of motor fuels, same way that unleaded gasoline added MTBE to replace lead back in the 1970s.

If you don't like the reduced performance of E-whatever gasoline versus non-ethanol gasoline, you could always switch to diesel. The difference in performance between diesel and biodiesel isn't as large as the difference between gasoline and ethanol.
Protag, I'm usually (99%) of the with you on all your posts, but you are factually incorrect here on several points:

1) Ethanol WAS encouraged by the Feds to reduce dependency on oil. (albeit, among other politically convenient agenda items) Especially E85, but E10 as well...although some ethanol is needed as an oxygenate to replace MTBE (a carcinogen). That's why most "e10" pumps say "up tp 10% ethanol". When gas is cheap and ethanol is high, blenders will put in just enough to comply with EPA oxygenate standards. When gas is high and ethanol is cheap, they put in 10% (actually they are allowed a bit more to be within compliance). You will know when this scenario is in play when E85 gets 15 - 20% cheaper than E10. (At least here in the corn belt, where distribution of ethanol is cheap(er) from field to pump. You guys in the south and the southeast will have to wait for these economics until other feed stocks become practical).

2) 10% ethanol DOES NOT reduce mileage by 10%. E85 reduced economy by 15 - 20%, so you do the math on E10. It's more like 1 - 2%.

3) The energy deficit to produce is less than output now. Your statement was true 10 years ago. Also, no-one wants to talk about the energy input to produce gas and diesel...like it is a net zero game. It isn't. Both fuels are positive, albeit not grossly. Gas and diesel are probably not positive if it is foreign crude, but domestic, yes. Be sure you are getting your figgers from sites not dated more than a couple years, as much has changed.
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:28 AM   #15
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It always takes more energy to produce ANY fuel and transport it to the point of use than you can effectively use when you burn the fuel.
Not sure what you mean by this. When we "produce" a fuel we're not actually creating the energy in the fuel, the energy is coming from somewhere else. Whether fossil fuels or ethanol, the energy comes from the sun. I understand that it takes energy to turn the raw materials (oil from the ground or plant material) into a usable form, but that energy is not greater than the energy contained in the final product.
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:27 PM   #16
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Is ethanol still being subsidise? Also how many of you know, that until 2017, it was illegal to have solar panels on houses in Florida. Google away my friends. Back to the original poster, I have a 100 gallon tank full on non ethanol premium gas for classic cars with original fuel systems.
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:31 PM   #17
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Here is an article from Argonne National Labs. It is from 2011, just to show how out of date many opinions are. There have been many advancements since then as well:

https://www.wired.com/2011/06/five-e...yths-busted-2/

Another from 2013

https://elibrary.asabe.org/abstract.asp?aid=13951
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:38 PM   #18
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Not sure what you mean by this. When we "produce" a fuel we're not actually creating the energy in the fuel, the energy is coming from somewhere else. Whether fossil fuels or ethanol, the energy comes from the sun. I understand that it takes energy to turn the raw materials (oil from the ground or plant material) into a usable form, but that energy is not greater than the energy contained in the final product.
Total energy input must incorporate getting it out of the ground all the way to burning it in your vehicle, for petroleum.

For ethanol it involves preparing the ground all the way to burning it.

You have to consider all the transportation of raw materials all the way through to distributing the final product. What is missing from those equations, in these discussions, is other products produced in distilling ans well as refining. It get to be pretty complicated. With ethanol, the assumption is that that ground would lie fallow if it weren't for ethanol, therefore the costs of tilling, planting and harvesting, etc. should be included. NOT, farmers will plant unless their product results in net negative financial outcomes.
haven't seem many empty fields in my travels over the last 35 years throughout the plains and midwest.
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Old 04-10-2018, 02:06 PM   #19
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2) 10% ethanol DOES NOT reduce mileage by 10%. E85 reduced economy by 15 - 20%, so you do the math on E10. It's more like 1 - 2%.
Depends. In vehicles designed to use ethanol, the loss is 2% to 3%, typically. In vehicles designed to use unleaded with MTBE (older pre-2002 vehicles with mechanical rather than computerized mixture control), the loss in fuel economy is typically between 10% and 20%.
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The energy deficit to produce is less than output now. Your statement was true 10 years ago. Also, no-one wants to talk about the energy input to produce gas and diesel...like it is a net zero game. It isn't. Both fuels are positive, albeit not grossly. Gas and diesel are probably not positive if it is foreign crude, but domestic, yes. Be sure you are getting your figgers from sites not dated more than a couple years, as much has changed.
The only energy sources that "make" energy are solar and nuclear— until you factor in the energy cost to build the devices to harvest that energy. Simple fact of physics, you never get as much usable energy out of any system as went into it. The only place where you see "energy positive" is when you convert a non-portable form of energy (factory power) into a form of portable energy (vehicle power). The simple fact is, if any process is "energy positive" you're not looking at the whole process, only a part of the process. Since some energy is always wasted as friction or non-recoverable heat in any and every process, energy in always exceeds energy out, and "energy positive" is a myth.
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Old 04-10-2018, 02:11 PM   #20
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Depends. In vehicles designed to use ethanol, the loss is 2% to 3%, typically. In vehicles designed to use unleaded with MTBE (older pre-2002 vehicles with mechanical rather than computerized mixture control), the loss in fuel economy is typically between 10% and 20%.The only energy sources that "make" energy are solar and nuclear— until you factor in the energy cost to build the devices to harvest that energy. Simple fact of physics, you never get as much usable energy out of any system as went into it. The only place where you see "energy positive" is when you convert a non-portable form of energy (factory power) into a form of portable energy (vehicle power). The simple fact is, if any process is "energy positive" you're not looking at the whole process, only a part of the process. Since some energy is always wasted as friction or non-recoverable heat in any and every process, energy in always exceeds energy out, and "energy positive" is a myth.
All bets off on non-flex fuel designed vehicles. Shouldn't even be a discussion. Just don't do it. They'll be damaged.

Plants are solar powered. There's energy in the plant. Just the same as petroleum. They are solar powered in their raw form. The energy cost we are talking about is the additional energy to make it useful for the application and energy costs to move it.
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