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dadof2

Ethanol And Other Additives In Fuel

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Modern fuel wrecked the Miller fibreglass tank I had on my last TY,it also blocked jets and made the throttle stick. I've been using Aspen fuel (As Charlie is using)  for a long time now in all my bikes,chainsaws and strimmers.The only downside is the price... ALL the engines start and run better on it,and the fumes don't give me headaches like normal unleaded does.

 As Woody says,I'm no chemist either,so I don't know what it is that is nasty about modern fuel,but I do believe that oil companies will use whatever cr-p they can get away with to make a profit.Like Corus said when shutting down Llanwern steel works " we are in business to make money - not steel..."

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As Woody notes, the early cars including the model T ford ran on ethanol until petrol became available. Ethanol probably did not matter until the 1960s as prior to that the parts of the engines exposed to the fuel were rebuilt routinely and so did not have time for many of the negative effects to take place. Also fuel contained other substances (now removed for emissions / health reasons) that counteracted the negative effects of ethanol. 

Ethanol attacks some metals and many plastics, some severely and rapidly, that is fact and well documented in studies.

Although ethanol could be put in petrol since petrol was invented. In the UK the addition of ethanol pretty well ceased a few years after the end of WW2. It was an EU directive in 2005 that aimed to have 5% ethanol in petrol by 2014 and 10% by 2020 that has led to the present problems. The amount of etanol added varies from area to area and brand to brand. That may be why jonnyboxer has not had any problems, he is quite probably buying petrol with little or no ethanol. Someone elsewhere however may be routinely buying petrol with 5% or more. The pump should be labelled E10 not suitable for all vehicles if the content is more than 5%.

In addition to its component damaging properties ethanol can affect driveability and performance. Kawasaki for example say that some of their current models may not be able to run properly with more than 5% ethanol.

Although adding ethanol increased the octane rating it does not increase power unless the engines compression is raised. Ethanol needs a ratio of 10 parts air to 1 part ethanol, much different to petrol which needs 14.7 parts of air to 1 part petrol.

Given what is known about ethanol it is probably wiser to avoid it if you can and certainly if you have an engine that does not seem quite right its worth cleaning out the fuel system and putting in good quality ethanol free fuel.

Edited by dadof2

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Modern fuel wrecked the Miller fibreglass tank I had on my last TY,it also blocked jets and made the throttle stick. I've been using Aspen fuel (As Charlie is using)  for a long time now in all my bikes,chainsaws and strimmers.The only downside is the price... ALL the engines start and run better on it,and the fumes don't give me headaches like normal unleaded does.

 As Woody says,I'm no chemist either,so I don't know what it is that is nasty about modern fuel,but I do believe that oil companies will use whatever cr-p they can get away with to make a profit.Like Corus said when shutting down Llanwern steel works " we are in business to make money - not steel..."

 

The guy riding behind does not get achey eyes?

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I have most recently experienced softening of a glassfibre tank and that was using Shell V-Power nitro+ pump fuel with castrol A747. It has completely ruined a brand new, supposedly ethanol resistant tank.

 

I did read Charlie Prescott's hobby site extolling the virtues of Aspen, but I had already researched it myself many months ago. I have purchased Aspen 4 locally, to use in both my four-stroke and two-strokes and contacted Anglo-American Fuels directly who confirmed that I can mix with any 2T oil that mixes with current pump petrol, without any issues.

 

One guy ciontacted me and said his bike had carb freezing issues with Aspen, but that is quite common with some bikes where I stay anyway!

 

Aspen is free from ethanol, aromatics and benzine.

 

I don't think the separation of ethanol from pump fuel is a good idea, you are left with a quantity of contaminated water at the end of the process, where do you dispose of that in both a safe and environmentally considerate manner.

 

Aspen is not cheap to buy, but neither are trials machine fuel tanks and fuel systems etc.

 

I thought I was alright until I couldn't get the cap off the Bultaco tank that was depleting inside!

 

Big John

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It's Aspen fuel for me as there's no 4* my way.

Even my local BP ultimate has ethanol in it.

Modern vehicles are designed to cope with ethanol - older ones aren't.

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The guy riding behind does not get achey eyes?

No,and I like to be kind to my fellow riders,but the truth is at trials speeds you breathe more of your own bikes fumes than you would imagine.The exhaust from my AJS on Aspen fuel smells more like a woodburner than a petrol engine,and it suprises me how often I can smell it as I'm riding between sections,the wind clearly pushes the fumes in front of you.

Edited by jon v8
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It's Aspen fuel for me as there's no 4* my way.

Even my local BP ultimate has ethanol in it.

Modern vehicles are designed to cope with ethanol - older ones aren't.

 

Maybe the engine but not the carb, especially if ethanol sits for a time in the bowl. To ensure I never have fuel issues I always use the same blend.

4gl 100LL Avgas mixed with 1gl Sonoco110 leaded race. 

The only reason to mix race fuel with avgas is; avgas is designed for a constant rpm. Being run in a trials bike straight avgas may be a better choice but I run that blend in my 2t Husky also.

The blend is like nectar to the motor and doesn't smell bad on the trail.

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I've been running Ave gas for years now in my bikes and small engines ...And everything always fires up with no issues , and it helps I've got a small airport about 3 miles away .:) And I use only eth free premium in my van , whenever possible , the mileage difference is worth it to me .... 

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I run what ever is cheap. Sometimes E10, sometimes regular. Have used an old can of 50:1 in my 4rt before. Apart from a puff of smoke it doesn't seem to care.

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No,and I like to be kind to my fellow riders,but the truth is at trials speeds you breathe more of your own bikes fumes than you would imagine.The exhaust from my AJS on Aspen fuel smells more like a woodburner than a petrol engine,and it suprises me how often I can smell it as I'm riding between sections,the wind clearly pushes the fumes in front of you.

 

We had a guy on an old montesa cota and I think he used aspen aswel (or maybe some other premixed gasoline). Really was nasty stuff.

 

But I can imagine a woodsman does not want to have nasty fumes around him aswell.

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I run what ever is cheap. Sometimes E10, sometimes regular. Have used an old can of 50:1 in my 4rt before. Apart from a puff of smoke it doesn't seem to care.

 

I use my old bits of 1:25 and 1:100 in my scooter, runs great on it and otherwise I would have to dispose it

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Apart from such stuff probably being hard to find in the UK, its use is not permitted under ACU rules which, if I recall correctly, only allow the use of standard pump petrol.

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Apart from such stuff probably being hard to find in the UK, its use is not permitted under ACU rules which, if I recall correctly, only allow the use of standard pump petrol.

 

Correct up to a point 2/4, but I bought Aspen from Peter Bremner's place of work and AVGAS is not pump petrol either. There are over 200 outlets selling Aspen 2 and 4 stroke in 5ltr canisters.

 

It's very low odour to handle, no aromatics, benzine or ethanol, I feel a lot safer with this stuff in the Batcave than pump petrol!

 

Oh and BTW - When did you last see an SACU official test fuel in a trials bike at an event?

 

Only drawback is the price £18.00 for 5 ltrs. Do some research on it, it is made from the higher part of the cracking and distilling process.

 

It has been worth it from my perspective.

 

Big John

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Dad of 2 gasoline aka petrol was not invented in the UK. It is a byproduct of crude oil and was discovered by the distillation process and that process has been in place for centuries all over the world. One can't claim credit for the invention of a naturally occurring compound.

Ethanol is a solvent and yes it will "attack" components commonly found in engines if those components are not protected as any solvent should. Sulfides and chlorides also in fuel will attack metal and rubber much more agressivly if contents are left in critical quantities. Its not just ethenol that's bad here. Actually ethanol is great allowing water that will inevitably end up in your fuel and sending it out the tail pipe with out issue. With out ethanol you would have water droplets either cause miss fires or freezing up in the system. You have rain in the UK (no you didn't invent that either) and that rain will end up in you fuel holding tanks and your vehicles.

Have you ever seen adverts that fuel will help keep your engine clean? Well that can't be done with out some tricky chemistry and that chemistry doesn't always know what is friend of foe. Ethanol isn't the enemy here its etenol along with the incredibly complex mixture of chemicals that the fuel companies add to the base by product. You just have to know how to protect your fuel system or get comfortable replacing some things every once in a while. No fuel is perfect which is why there is so much attention around the energy topic in this world.

Furthermore you wouldnt want your two stroke oil to combine with your fuel regardless of ethenol. The oil is there to lubricate the fuel is there to burn. You wouldn't want those two to combine or trade places. You want them to be delivered side by side to the engine so they can do their jobs. All things in fuel have a job to do. I know a few things about fuels because of my background too.

--Biff

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There are a number of things I have not seen an SACU official check in a long time John eg noise, approved tyres, ball end levers but I nonetheless comply with the rules.  However I would suggest that the rule on pump petrol did not foresee the current situation but was really intended to outlaw "performance enhancing" fuels, though must have an environmental aspect too.

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