ethanol (separated from germany's re fiasco)

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  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: ethanol (separated from germany's re fiasco)

    White gas actually refers to two different things. The stuff used in Coleman lights is actually naphtha. White gasoline is unleaded in the days of tetraethyl lead.

    Around here we have "farm gas" which is dyed purple in order to identify it. The difference between it and 'regular' is the lack of (some) taxes. It can be used by anyone for any off-road machine. On-road you need a farm permit.

    BTW, early Wankel engines built by NSU boasted the ability to run on anything kerosene grade or better!
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 927 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: ethanol (separated from germany's re fiasco)

    Marc,
    Are you sure that purple is ''farm gas"? I remember purple being 110octane aviation gasoline, and the price would be astounding. Dyed diesel is red and equals furnace oil...hence the locks on farm fuel tanks. No more bulk tanks for school buses with my employer/company...too much consumption for the km's driven...folks were siphoning or pumping it out for furnace use.

    Ralph
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: ethanol (separated from germany's re fiasco)
    Ralph Day wrote: »
    Marc,
    Are you sure that purple is ''farm gas"? I remember purple being 110octane aviation gasoline, and the price would be astounding. Dyed diesel is red and equals furnace oil...hence the locks on farm fuel tanks. No more bulk tanks for school buses with my employer/company...too much consumption for the km's driven...folks were siphoning or pumping it out for furnace use.

    Ralph

    Ralph,

    I've never seen aviation fuel out here, so I don't know what colour it is. "Marked gas" is a purple-red-magenta shade. The truck I just bought has 1/4 tank full of it and technically I should have removed it instead of diluting it with 10% ethanol-blended Mohawk. :p

    Marc
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: ethanol (separated from germany's re fiasco)

    One and All -

    I haven't had the time to browse through 4+ pages of comments on this thread, so maybe the topic has already been touched on. But here goes:

    We're your classic snowbirds. Summer in western Canada, winter in the southern tier of states in the USA. I've noticed a peculiar phenomenon with gas consumption between the two ends of our migration. I can reliably drive 480 to 500 kilometers on a fill of gas in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, but I can only get 390 to 410 out of a tank of gas in Texas (Houston area). This is a difference of about 90 km or 56 miles. And, I've noticed this difference in mileage (or kilometrage) over a period of three or four years now.

    I'm driving a Grand Am manufactured in Lansing, MI specifically for the Canada market, hence "kilometers." Note also that I'm trying to keep this discussion simple by not presenting kilometers per liter, miles per gallon, etc. I'm talking about the distance I can drive from the moment I top off the tank until the tank-empty warning light comes on and I perform the next fill.

    Now I realize that there are a whole bunch of differences between Calgary at 3000+ feet, and Houston at -5 ft. How much I can top off the tank at any given fill. How long I wait after the warning light comes on before I refill. Different countries. Different gas blends for different climates. Different seasons. Different ways of measuring or estimating octane. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

    But, doesn't a consistent difference of 20% seem a bit excessive, even with all those differences?

    Any comments or explanations for my observations?

    Has anyone else noticed the same?


    Or, have I been hanging around gas pumps too long, sniffing too much of that alcohol blend?
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,087 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: ethanol (separated from germany's re fiasco)

    the alcohol added to the gas, will reduce it's power content, and some reduction is noticable. alcohol is about 20% less power than gasolline, but with a 20% mix in the tank, you should only notice 5% loss.
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  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: ethanol (separated from germany's re fiasco)

    Personally, I have no idea but I wonder if ambient temperature or ambient air pressure might have any impact on the volume of liquid that makes it into the fuel tank?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,148 admin
    Re: ethanol (separated from germany's re fiasco)

    There is an argument about that in California... Sometimes the fuel from the refinery is "hot" when it goes into the underground tanks and pumps to the cars.

    State law requires refineries (and other large fuel transfers) to be temperature compensated--but retail fuel is not required (and not compensated for temperature).

    From what I have read, it probably is not going to make a big difference.

    For hybrid cars (Prius specifically), cold temperatures cause lots of fuel use because the engine runs much more to keep warm/operating temperature. Blocking part of the grill will help keep temperatures up in mild to cold weather and reduce engine runtime (and enable "hybrid" type operation).

    See post #13 by Tony/Icarus from this thread.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: ethanol (separated from germany's re fiasco)

    Lots of things affect the way a vehicle runs and what sort of economy it gets. The factors can indeed add up to 20% or more. Temperature, humidity, and elevation all affect air density. Modern cars should be able to sense this and adjust mixture accordingly, but the way the vehicle is set-up for 'optimum' performance in the first place will determine the outcome when circumstances change.

    I've often found my trucks run better up North, where the air is thinner and dryer. I figure it's because even though the air is less dense, it actually has more oxygen in it as opposed to the pollution-laden gunk that poses as atmosphere around Vancouver. :p
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 927 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: ethanol (separated from germany's re fiasco)

    Or maybe Marc, when you're not in the city your driving is more relaxed, less on the throttle on the brake trying to avoid loonies and their Hummers. :grr

    I find I drive everything like I drive my school bus now...relaxed and "'we'll all get there together'' attitude.' Drives other people nuts. Speed limits are maximums, not minimums...that really drives pushy drivers crazy. :cry:

    Ralph
  • cow_ranchercow_rancher Solar Expert Posts: 117 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: ethanol (separated from germany's re fiasco)
    I've often found my trucks run better up North, where the air is thinner and dryer.
    True, I remember from my ground school course for my pilots license that up in Alaska they have large ballon tires on the planes up there to land and take off from the sand bars in the rivers, the reason that was given that they could was the cold dry air and being at a lower elevation... True/False but I know that they do it.

    Rancher
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