Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Ethanol Testing

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Ethanol Testing


    Ethanol Testing

    As a spin-off thread from a previous discussion concerning Ethanol in Gasoline, I am beginning another round of practical tests.

    I have prepared a number of gasoline samples that I will be stored in an unheated detached garage in Northern Ohio.

    Ohio is subject to true seasonal changes. There are multiple days in the 90’s during the summer. Winter temperature in the upper teens are quite common and it can be expected to go below Zero °F at least once.

    I have acquired a $10 sample each of E0(Ethanol Free), E10 (10%), and E85 (85%) Gasoline. I expected E85 to be readily available but it required a 15 mile round trip to the closest Gas station. E0 was even harder. A 55 mile round trip to a gas station just outside of a popular boating community was required. The pump was even labeled “Boat Gas, 90 Octane, Ethanol Free”. Although E85 is not recommended for any aviation use, it should serve as an extreme example of the properties of Ethanol. The logic being that if E10 supposedly absorbs water out of the Air, E85 should absorb a LOT of Water out of the Air.

    A short tabletop experiment showed that E0 will not absorb even One drop of water. As expected!
    E10 will absorb about 0.5% water by weight (As expected) before it starts to phase separate and become cloudy.
    And E85 will absorb a whopping 20% weight of water.
    You could pour just about 4 gallons of water into a 20-gallon tank of E85 without it separating. Impressive!
    This is also my first encounter with E85. It definitely does NOT smell like gasoline. It smells like a weird mix of vodka and vinegar.
    Also considering that I paid $2.19 a gallon for the E85, if you consider it to be 170 proof vodka, a fifth of vodka should be selling for about $0.50. What a profit maker!

    On to the testing…

    Day Zero (25 Oct 2018) …

    I have a number of 2 gallon Red Poly Fuel cans. Each was filled with 6.00 pounds (About one Gallon) of E0, E10, and E85. These three containers will be stored in the garage on the concrete floor and we will have a look at them around the first of April. The spout seal rings of all three containers will be opened a half turn to break the seal and allow the cans to “Breath”, simulating a vented fuel tank, or at least poorly stored fuel.

    Another set of samples of have been poured into 3 Canning Jars. 500 Grams (About a Pint) of E0, E10, and E85 were accurately measured into each glass jar. The seal lids have been turned upside down to prevent sealing and the sealing rings are loose and are just there to prevent the flat lids from sliding off and dirt/dust from entering. Again, simulating vented fuel tanks.

    As an interesting additional experiment, so that there will be something to see in the event that nothing at all happens, a fourth jar was filled with 500g of E10 gasoline and water was added one drop at a time until phase separation just started to cloud the normally clear gas. Then 2 more drops were added to be certain the fuel was fully saturated.

    Here is a photo of the four jars on Day Zero. A piece of blue tape was attached to the background to help show the condition of the contents. The E10 wet sample was initially cloudy. The water falls to the bottom of the jar after an hour making the gas appear clear. I have circled the size of the water pool as seen on the lower right-hand corner of the E10 Wet sample to record the size of the water puddle. The jar was re-shaken for the photo.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	DayZero.jpg Views:	2 Size:	169.3 KB ID:	1140007



    Another pair of samples of the E85 and E0 fuel in completely full Canning Jars have been saved. These will be used as reference samples to see how much water the open samples have absorbed over the winter. E10 is easy to come by, so in the spring, I will just obtain some fresh gas for the E10 comparison. Past experience has shown that 0.5% water absorption is the norm.

    Day One (26 Oct 2018)…

    The samples have been in the back garage for 24 hours. The samples were prepared at room temperatures near 75°F. It has been the in lower 40’s the last day. As might be expected, the water puddle in the E10 Wet sample has grown due to the fuel not being able to absorb as much water at lower temperatures. The bubble is now about 3 times the diameter it was at the start. None of the other samples are showing any water but all the samples are now about an 1/8 inch lower due to evaporation.

    I invite you all along as we see what happens over the next 5 months.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Great idea! I will be very interested to find out what results you come up with. Thanks for doing this!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you for doing all this.
      Regards

      Frank

      Comment


      • #4
        Day 21 (15 Nov 2018)...

        Three-Week Update.

        The Small samples in the Jars...
        E85 shows no Water and has lost 9.5% by weight.
        E0 shows no Water and has lost 12% by weight.
        E10 Dry shows no Water and has lost 15% by weight.
        E10 Wet shows the same water that it did on day 1and has lost 15% by weight.

        The Large samples in the Poly Gas Cans...
        E85 has lost 3% by Weight.
        E0 has lost 4% by Weight.
        E10 has lost 5% by Weight.

        Comments...

        E85 appears to be evaporating slower than the Petroleum-based fuels.
        The literature reported this was to be expected.
        I can assume this is because the first fractions to evaporate will be the lightest ones.
        Butane is the lightest common component of gasoline and E85 does not contain as much of it as the E0 or E10.
        It will be expected that now that the Butane in all of the samples is mostly gone, the overall evaporation rates will be lower from here forward.

        The E10 samples have lost slightly more weight than the E0 sample.
        I might attribute this to the fact that in Ohio, Winter blend Gas (Sept-May) contains higher levels of Butane than it does in the summer.
        The E0 gas I obtained was sold as "Boat Gas" and, as the boating season is over in Ohio, it is likely the E0 I obtained was left-over Summer Blend.
        It can be expected that the E0 tanks at the marinas will not be receiving any re-fills over the winter as all the boats are out of the water in anticipation of the lakes freezing over.

        The larger containers are losing weight at a significantly (3x)slower rate than the smaller samples.
        I will propose that this may be due to the larger depth of the volume above the liquid in the containers.
        The smaller samples will overflow their vapors once the vapor level exceeds about 2 inches.
        The caps on the large containers are closer to 6 inches above the liquid fuel levels.

        All samples are showing the same water content (Zero) that they showed on Day 1.
        The water in the E10 Wet sample remains mostly unchanged since the start.
        Casual observation over the past three weeks shows that the apparent volume of water tends to vary slightly with the ambient temperature but is not showing any trend in either direction.

        Summary:
        Winter has made its appearance. There was enough snow to cover the grass last week and the overnight temperatures have fallen into the mid 20's more than once.
        Mostly nothing has happened other than the expected evaporation. It is about as exciting as watching paint dry!
        The Only water showing in any sample is the water that was intentionally added to the E10 Wet Sample and its volume has not changed to any noticeable extent.

        Expect another update in a couple of weeks.








        Comment


        • #5
          I'm a gyro Dude now! Bensen FTW

          FRANK

          Comment


          • #6
            But if the container is sealed, the fuel will not absorb anything. I store my E85 in a sealed 200L drum, stays pure for months / years. I run it in an off road racing twostroke engine, for years now, great fuel. No good in fiberglass tanks but.
            Just don't leave it sitting in your tank for months, simple.
            My development gyro engine will be running E85 in the future, with Transfer Port Injection (twostroke) clean burning fuel and with the TPI's fuel savings, brings the fuel burn almost back to a carburetored burn rate on petrol (comparing a normaly wasteful carburetored twostroke).
            Ethanol, Recycling carbon that is already in the atmosphere, worth considering.

            Comment


            • #7

              My development gyro engine will be running E85 in the future, with Transfer Port Injection (twostroke) clean burning fuel and with the TPI's fuel savings, brings the fuel burn almost back to a carburetored burn rate on petrol (comparing a normaly wasteful carburetored twostroke).

              Cool ! I'm doubtful that the injection is going to improve efficiency THAT much, but I'm curious if you are bumping up the compression to take advantage of the higher octane rating?
              I have a similar (long-term) project, but with something on 2 wheels...
              Brian

              Comment


              • #8
                Injecting into the B port reduces the fuel air spill out the exhaust port. I've done this in 2013 on a YZ 250. Was getting between 14 and 21% less fuel burn compared to a carburetored YZ. You see KTM have copied my YZ recently. Have also had an injected twostroke running E85 since 2008 ( steel tank ) this old Kawasaki runs very well on ethanol, air cooled.
                I'd back this up with some pictures, the forum even invites my to post pictures, but it won't allow when I try. So no pictures sorry.

                Comment


                • #9
                  and now I can post pictures,

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by uniflow View Post
                    But if the container is sealed, the fuel will not absorb anything...
                    That is totally true!
                    A sealed container will not come into contact with Water Vapor that causes Phase Separation or Oxygen that creates Varnish compounds.
                    It also prevents the evaporation of the lighter fuel fractions, mostly Butane, that allows for starting engines at reduced ambient temperatures.

                    The experiment going on here is to show how much if any water is absorbed into fuel that contains Ethanol in an experimental setting approximating fuel sitting in a vented fuel tank for months over a winter.
                    Common wisdom predicts that the fuel will become saturated from the water in the atmosphere.
                    It has been over a month in a cold damp garage, and not a drop of water has appeared so far.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Day 42 (6 Nov 2018)...

                      Six-Week Update.

                      The Small samples in the Jars...
                      E85 shows no Water and has lost an additional 3% for a total of 12.5% by weight.
                      E0 shows no Water and has lost an additional 3.5% for a total of 15.5% by weight.
                      E10 Dry shows no Water and has lost an additional 6% for a total of 21% by weight.
                      E10 Wet shows the same water that it did on day 1and has lost an additional 8.5% for a total of 23.5% by weight.

                      The Large samples in the Poly Gas Cans...
                      E85 has lost an additional 0.5% for a total of 3.5% by Weight.
                      E0 has lost an additional 1% for a total of 5% by Weight.
                      E10 has lost an additional 2.5% for a total of 7.5% by Weight.

                      Comments...

                      E85 continues evaporate at a slower rate than the Petroleum-based fuels.
                      All the samples have evaporated considerably less than in the first three weeks.
                      The colder temps may be a contributing factor.

                      The E10 samples continue to lose more liquid than the E0 sample.
                      The larger containers continue to lose weight at a significantly slower rate than the smaller samples.

                      All samples are showing the same water content (Zero) that they showed on Day 1.
                      The amount of water in the E10 Wet sample exhibits no noticeable change since the start.

                      Summary:
                      Winter in Ohio Continues. There have been a number of snow events with daytime highs remaining below freezing for extended periods and overnight temperatures have fallen into the Upper Teens more than once.
                      The Humidity is inversely proportional to the temperature and has routinely approached and exceeded 90% during the coldest hours of the night.

                      Mostly, nothing has happened other than the expected evaporation. It is still like watching paint dry!
                      The Only water showing in any sample is the water that was intentionally added to the E10 Wet Sample and its volume has not changed to any noticeable extent.

                      Expect another update after Christmas.

                      I add this picture to show the level of evaporation that now exists in the smaller jars.
                      The Black line above the visible fuel level indicates the level where the jars were initially filled.

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Day42.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	838.1 KB
ID:	1140617


                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X