Removing Ethanol form Egas
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Thread: Removing Ethanol form Egas

  1. #1
    Senior Member sponge's Avatar
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    Removing Ethanol form Egas

    Since there seems to be some interest in this I will post a couple pics of removing the ethanol form Egas.

    I did this on a small (100mL) scale first. I added 80 ml of Egas to the graduated cylinder then 20 ml of Reverse Osmosis filtered water. (In all of my chemistry labs we get good results with RO water in place of distilled).
    20170228_101835.jpg

    I then transferred the mix to the flask and gave it a good shaking. and then transferred it back to the graduated cylinder and let it separate for a few minutes.
    20170228_101905.jpg20170228_101920.jpg

    2 things to note here.
    The "water" volume in the bottom has increased from 20 ml up to about 26.8 ml. And the over all volume has decreased from 100 ml down to about 92 ml
    The increase is due to the ethanol leaving the Egas and dissolving into the water.
    6.8/80*100= 8.5% increase. Which is a little shy of the "up too 10% ethanol" posted on the pump. But not too bad.
    The 8 ml loss overall is due to 3 things. 1) Wetting loss, some of the mix sticks to the sides of the flask, 2) evaporation, it is gas after all, 3) density change, The alcohol molecules "pack" more tightly with water than they do with gasoline, and hence take up less space.

    Next I attempted to up scale this process to 1000 ml
    Same process, start with 800ml Egas
    20170228_102301.jpg

    Then add water to bring the volume up to 1000ml
    20170228_102418.jpg

    This time I tried to just mix the two in the graduated cylinder (didn't have a big flask handy, and didn't want to wash one, what a bum)
    Last edited by sponge; 06-08-2017 at 09:26 AM.
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    Senior Member Toecutter's Avatar
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    Interesting. Thanks for taking the time to share

  3. #3
    Senior Member sponge's Avatar
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    Here the results of the upscale
    Attachment 107265

    After sitting for another couple minutes it came up to 240ml. this was a pretty big decrease from the first trial.
    40/800*100=5%
    This is quite a bit less than before, I think that a good vigorous shaking is pretty important if you want to get good removal. For larger scale use of this technique I would need a good sealing container that I can shake vigorously. A three liter soda bottle comes to mind.

    Another factor that you need to consider is that ethanol has a significantly higher octane rating than most gasoline. It will vary depending on what you start with but generally speaking removing the ethanol is going to lower the octane rating by about 3 points. The gas companies get away with starting with low quality gas and then compensate by adding ethanol.

    The basic Chemistry here is that Ethanol has a polar hydroxyl group (OH) attached to the end of its hydrocarbon chain. This makes it attract to water, which is also polar. Imagine a shoe box full of round magnets and glass marbles. After a little shaking the magnets will all stick together in a lump in the bottom of the box leaving pure marbles above. Same basic thing is happening here.
    Last edited by sponge; 06-08-2017 at 11:45 AM.
    Chris Vogel
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    Senior Member turbodieseli4i6's Avatar
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    I like to know what I'm getting also. I have this to check the gas.

    https://www.amazon.com/Stens-750-760...hanol+test+kit






    I love experiments like this! This kind of stuff is what I show my boys. Thanks for the thread.
    I've considered removing the ethanol, but that would also lower the octane of the fuel, since they use a lower grade gas and use the ethanol to raise the octane to the desired level.

    https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/octane.shtml

    Luckily I can drive 10 miles and buy non-ethanol gasoline.

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    Senior Member Ski Pro 3's Avatar
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    Why are you wanting to remove the alcohol from your gas if it lowers the octane rating?
    One thing this does prove is that you do not want to get water in your gas, as it will pull the alcohol out and leave a big slug of the stuff sitting at the bottom of your tank, or worse, you start your bike after it's been sitting and separating and only run it a minute or two, now having a bowl full of almost pure alcohol sitting in the carb.

    If this happens to a 2-stroke motor, it will seize upon start up. Has happened to me!
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    Senior Member sponge's Avatar
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    Ok so I sat down and did the math. 87 octane with 10% etOH removed drops to 84.1 octane. 91 octane drops to 88.556 octane.

    The formula is (starting octane - 11.3)/.9 = octane with 10% etOH removed.

    So if you are going to do this for a TW I would recommend starting with at least 89 octane. This gives you 86.3 which should be fine for a low tech TW engine.
    Last edited by sponge; 06-08-2017 at 10:53 AM.
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    Senior Member GCFishguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ski Pro 3 View Post
    Why are you wanting to remove the alcohol from your gas if it lowers the octane rating?
    One thing this does prove is that you do not want to get water in your gas, as it will pull the alcohol out and leave a big slug of the stuff sitting at the bottom of your tank, or worse, you start your bike after it's been sitting and separating and only run it a minute or two, now having a bowl full of almost pure alcohol sitting in the carb.

    If this happens to a 2-stroke motor, it will seize upon start up. Has happened to me!
    Thank you for saying that. A lot of people are hung up on engines blowing themselves up because the operator used gas with ethanol in it.

    Ethanol sucks the moisture out of the air. It will retain moisture up to a certain amount, then it suddenly becomes heavier than the gasoline it's suspended in and it sinks....as you say, to the bottom of the tank. Be it a fuel pickup or gravity, the bottom of the tank is where fuel is drawn from, resulting in whatever it is trying to run on 'pure' ethanol.

    Moisture dropout can happen by getting actual water in your gas, but also through it absorbing moisture out of the air. If your gas is in a full, sealed container, there's essentially no issue. 1/4 of a tank/can of gas and 3/4 of a tank/can of air...that's a lot of air to suck moisture out of.

    Keep your tanks and cans full if they're going to be sitting for more than a few weeks.

    No, I don't want ethanol in my gas...unfortunately, it's there, so it's important to recognize what causes the actual problem with it. (Okay, aside from the 10% loss in power....hehe)
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    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ski Pro 3 View Post
    Why are you wanting to remove the alcohol from your gas if it lowers the octane rating?
    The primary reason you want to get the ethanol out of there is the water attracting junk it leaves in your tank

    The secondary reason you want to get that crap out of your fuel is because it is less efficient, despite the octane rating, and will result in lower miles to the gallon – and let’s face it, we T’dubbers don’t have much room for that

    The third (and least) reason, is that that it eats through a lot of components commonly used in older fuel delivery systems.

    Some of these things are so small they’re almost insignificant, and it’s only when ethanol fuel is left sitting for a significant amount of time that they become evident. Japanese petrol (for instance) is already reputed to be contaminated with 5% or more of water content, so they allow for that in the manufacturing process – but it’s the ethanol that’s the enemy, especially in seldom used smaller engines.

    In order to cure this, either you start decanting your fuel – or you fire your politicians, change your agricultural policies, and start buying 250cc strimmers.

    If Trump is serious about leaving the Paris Accord regarding global warming, you may yet be in with a chance ……



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    Senior Member scotti158's Avatar
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    Fortunately, I have gas stations locally that sell ethanol free gas. A bit expensive, but saves a lot of hassle in the long run.
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    Senior Member TWrider's Avatar
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    It's amazing how many untold dollars wasted and hours of repair the populace has had to endure over the ethanol scam, not to mention the forced obsolescence of otherwise perfectly good classic machinery
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