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altair
03-22-2018, 05:54 PM
71190711917119271193I had a clear container of fresh regular gasoline and after about 5-6 days there was a visible quantity of product on the bottom of the container, I thought was water. I separated the product "water" only to find it wasn't water. With a small amount in a metal container it burned very readily with a clean flame (first picture) the second picture was gasoline that burned much more readily with considerable black smoke. Could this foreign product be ethanol? I contacted our local refinery lab and was assured that ethanol and gasoline will not separate. Could this be a myth?

altair
03-22-2018, 06:00 PM
I have a second container of fuel for a retest. I also consulted with a journeyman carburetor man and he said that the ethanol will separate.

StudeRich
03-22-2018, 06:01 PM
There is NO visible difference in the flaming pics, I guess you had to be there. ;)

altair
03-22-2018, 11:39 PM
711967119771198I rephotographed the test for more clarity the smaller flame is the product from the bottom of the container and the second picture is gasoline. The two clear plastic containers contain regular gasoline the one on the right has the separated product removed, the product burning in the first picture, and the container on the left still has the product mixed within. I will let it sit for several days and see if it also will separate.

gordr
03-22-2018, 11:43 PM
If you add water to alcohol-adulterated gasoline, the alcohol will dissolve in the water, and separate from the gasoline.

Chris Pile
03-23-2018, 01:24 AM
Yes, ethanol will separate from gasoline in newer blends. It's not cool.

345 DeSoto
03-23-2018, 09:35 AM
What will happen is that the ethanol will absorb water (from the humidity) and THEN start to separate out of the gasoline. Once it has absorbed enough water, it will no longer burn...

altair
03-23-2018, 02:15 PM
The containers in question are both sealed and no moisture was able to enter. The gasoline was purchased at a local station and it was fresh. The first test was fresh gasoline in a clear sealed plastic container. After about 6 days is when I noticed the separation inside the moisture free container. This leads to my concern that if you had 10 gallons of regular grade gasoline in your tank containing 10% ethanol, you would have 9 gallons of gasoline and 1 gallon of alcohol. If it sat undisturbed for a short time separation could occur and the result would be 1 gallon of alcohol at the bottom of the tank and 9 gallons of gasoline on the top. The product that separated did burn very clean with no residue remaining and no moisture. The separated product was left in an open container for 3-4 hours and at least 50% had evaporated. I am not a chemist but this is interesting.

altair
03-23-2018, 03:04 PM
71204A further point on the separated product, it evaporated further and left an odorless oily substance in the jar. On a side note, my son was working on an older motorcycle and inside the carburetor bowl was the remains of an oily substance that he could not identify or determine where it came from. The foregoing may shed some light as to what the oily substance may have been.

Skip Lackie
03-23-2018, 04:51 PM
Modern gasoline is a complex mixture of flammable hydrocarbons, many of which were not in the raw petroleum, but were created by the refinery. These additives, some of which are proprietary to each oil company are intended to improve performance, reduce exhaust emissions, and delay deterioration. Such chemical additives as olefins and isoparaffins, while flammable, are far less volatile than either raw gasoline or ethanol, and will take a long time to evaporate after the volatile components have gone.

altair
03-23-2018, 07:15 PM
Skip: Obviously by your words you have an association with the hydrocarbon industry. I would therefore assume that the oily residue in the fuel is any one of various oils associated with the paraffin family.
With the various additives in our fuels it would be most likely a good practice to agitate or mix the fuel.

Dick Steinkamp
03-23-2018, 07:49 PM
My wife and I are both retired. We don't drive much. The daily drivers will often go 3+ weeks between fill-ups. My 3 collector cars go even longer between fill-ups. All 5 use E10. I don't experience any degradation in performance or fuel mileage that you would think would occur if the fuel was separating during that time. I wonder also about the fuel in gas station and refinery storage tanks that is likely often in the same tank for over 5-6 days.

Is any body experiencing drive-ability issues after the fuel has been in their car's fuel tank for 5-6 days?

studegary
03-23-2018, 09:08 PM
My wife and I are both retired. We don't drive much. The daily drivers will often go 3+ weeks between fill-ups. My 3 collector cars go even longer between fill-ups. All 5 use E10. I don't experience any degradation in performance or fuel mileage that you would think would occur if the fuel was separating during that time. I wonder also about the fuel in gas station and refinery storage tanks that is likely often in the same tank for over 5-6 days.

Is any body experiencing drive-ability issues after the fuel has been in their car's fuel tank for 5-6 days?

I filled up my PT Cruiser this week. When I went to record the information, I discovered that the last time that I purchased gasoline for it was last November. I do drive it at least once per week after having the battery drain completely down after sitting only seven weeks. I do notice a drop off in operating performance with old gasoline in this car and others, but the drop off is not consistent from tank to tank. Of course, fuels are formulated different for different seasons, at least in this part of the World.

EDIT: I drive my Acura five or six days per week. I fill the tank about once per month. I usually notice an improvement with fresh gas (same grade, same brand, same station).

Skip Lackie
03-24-2018, 08:37 AM
Skip: Obviously by your words you have an association with the hydrocarbon industry. I would therefore assume that the oily residue in the fuel is any one of various oils associated with the paraffin family.
With the various additives in our fuels it would be most likely a good practice to agitate or mix the fuel.

Thanks, but no -- no experience with the hydrocarbon industry. A degree in chemistry back when the dinosaurs still walked the Earth, but no real experience as a chemist thereafter. But for about ten years (1991-2000) I wrote an occasional column for TW that focused on how various legislation (mostly US) would affect the old car hobby. Most of those articles focused on the introduction of reformulated gasoline and the addition of oxygenates to reduce exhaust emissions. That responsibility forced me to subscribe to Science Magazine and regularly review what the EPA was posting on its Website. A lot has happened in the past 18 years, so I need to make sure I keep my comments rather general in nature.

Modern gasoline does have a much shorter shelf life than it did 25 or 30 years ago -- but that's okay with most people who drive modern cars with sealed fuel tanks that are driven regularly. Studebakers do not have sealed fuel tanks and most are not driven regularly. Obviously, driving the car regularly will keep fuel components pretty well mixed up. If you have ever read the label on a can of Stabil or other fuel additive, it always recommends adding the elixir while filling the tank with fuel. This ensures that the longer-chain molecules in these additives will get fully mixed up with the gas. Some of these additives do claim that they will delay/prevent the deterioration of gasoline, including slowing the separation of the fuel into its different components.

345 DeSoto
03-24-2018, 10:06 AM
I only put non ethanol premium fuel in my Sky Hawk. Burns clean, and has more "pep" than 10%. If I've never put E10 in it, how do I know? Experimented with it in my Jeep...

studegary
03-24-2018, 11:08 AM
I only put non ethanol premium fuel in my Sky Hawk. Burns clean, and has more "pep" than 10%. If I've never put E10 in it, how do I know? Experimented with it in my Jeep...

That is an advantage to your part of NYS. In this part of NYS, stations are required by law to only dispense 10% alcohol fuel.

altair
03-24-2018, 07:23 PM
Our local Chevron Station dispenses non ethanol 94 grade gasoline, I think I will buy that in the future for my Stude that is only run occasionaly.

Ron Dame
03-24-2018, 07:36 PM
I wonder how much it would help if you placed some film over the filler and vent during long storage? Of course you better remember to remove it when you start to drive again

altair
03-25-2018, 02:39 PM
It is unfortunate that our vehicles do not have a convenient means to drain the bottom of our tanks at regular intervals. With a bit of ingenuity means could be provided to periodically drain small amounts of fuel to assure no contamination. Maybe a spring loaded petcock at the bottom of the tank, electric fuel pump with an auxiliary line to a container or some other means to rid the tank of contamination. Small aircraft have a spring loaded pet and before every flight small amounts of fuel are removed to assure the quality

Ron Dame
03-25-2018, 04:09 PM
It is unfortunate that our vehicles do not have a convenient means to drain the bottom of oour tanks at regular intervals. With a bit of ingenuity means could be provided to periodically drain small amounts of fuel to assure no contamination. Maybe a spring loaded petcock at the bottom of the tank, electric fuel pump with an auxiliary line to a container or some other means to rid the tank of contamination. Small aircraft have a spring loaded pet and before every flight small amounts of fuel are removed to assure the quality

Not a bod idea, and should be fairly easy. Pilots do this, why not us? What about a diesel water seperator?

TWChamp
03-25-2018, 08:44 PM
My 50 has a drain plug in the lowest point of the gas tank, but it looks like it's never been out, and looks like it wouldn't want to come out, so I'll not even try.

lumpy
03-25-2018, 10:58 PM
I wonder how much it would help if you placed some film over the filler and vent during long storage? Of course you better remember to remove it when you start to drive again While that is a good thought , a carbureted fuel system also has vents at the carb. Therefore it is not sealed like modern FI systems. Please don't let your collector car sit too long with ethanol fuel in the tank. Iv'e seen the Damage :mad:

(S)
03-26-2018, 01:06 AM
I was using some gas and left it open a few days. It looked like it had 'settled' as if there was water globs on the bottom.
I was all suspicious of the gas too but-

I think what had happened is that the moisture in the air is attracted to the Alcohol or something in the gas. You would need an airtight box to rule it out.

It is known that different chemicals in the gas do not 'like' bare steel , certain rubber, aluminum, and cast car parts, AND the AIR around us, so get an additive, or run it out of gas with that NEW additive they sell for boats and mowers and saws before you leave it for a long period. A bare fuel system is now open to the elements in the air without its protection.

Modern cars use plastic gas tanks, stainless lines and are (almost) not vented because of all of the EPA stuff on them that keeps the gas fresh. Gas left in a new car is fine for over a year.