Making non-ethanol gas out of ethanol gas (E10) – Dave’s Garage

Dave was super busy this month so the staff at Wheel Tracks decided to go with a story that Wendell Nobel mentioned about making non-ethanol gas out of ethanol gas (E10). The hope is that members will not try the process but instead will more thoroughly understand this ethanol problem that we have.

Wendell Noble tells a story of an article he read of someone in the Northeast Kingdom removing ethanol from his gas for his chainsaw use. The gent simply adds water to five gallons of the dreaded E10 gas. The water speeds the separation of the ethanol and settles to the bottom of the gas can. The gent then siphoned off the non-ethanol gas on the top. He uses the “stuff” on the bottom, the water and ethanol mix, to wash his windows! (who wodda guessed). Here is a more detailed process taken from an internet story……

How to make your own ethanol-free gasoline… Ethanol is the scourge of owners of old cars, motorcycles, boats, and many other gasoline-operated vehicles and implements. E10 (10% ethanol) is pretty much the only available gasoline in most of the country now, with a few stations offering ethanol-free gas. And E15 (15% ethanol) is coming soon, recently approved by the EPA for 2001 and newer cars – even though the car manufacturers don’t want it. You can thank the ethanol lobby for that.

What’s the problem with ethanol? The biggest problem is phase separation. Like brake fluid, ethanol is hygroscopic, which means it bonds very easily to water. If there is moisture in the air (which there always is), the moisture bonds with the ethanol. The combination of water and ethanol is heavier than gasoline, so it falls to the bottom of the gas tank, where the pickup is. Let it sit for any length of time, particularly with a partially-full gas tank (because the air space left will contain moisture, and will expand and contract with heat, sucking in more moisture-laden air), and your tank will have a layer of water/ethanol mixture on the bottom. This is called phase separation. Guess what gets sucked into your engine the next time you start it? The water/ethanol mixture will burn in your engine, but it will burn much leaner and hotter, with the potential for serious engine damage as a result. Ethanol is particularly corrosive to plastics, rubber, aluminum and fiberglass when compared to straight gasoline.

So what is the solution? Well, you can check out the web site to try to find a gas station near you that sells ethanol-free gas. Hint: many boat marinas sell ethanol-free gas, because with the added moisture in a boating environment, E10 plays havoc with boat engines. How do you remove the ethanol from E10? It’s quite simple, actually – just add water! Remember, ethanol bonds strongly to water. All you need to do is add some water to the gasoline, agitate to make sure it mixes well, then let it sit for a few minutes. The water will bond with the ethanol, and it will phase-separate out, falling to the bottom of the container. So how much water do you add? It depends on a few things, including the actual concentration of ethanol (which will vary – it’s seldom exactly 10%), and ambient temperature. Dave’s testing shows that the optimal amount of water is 2% by volume of the E10. That’s 2.56 oz per gallon, or 12.8 ounces for a five-gallon gas can. Remember that extra water will simply separate out, so two cups (16 ounces) of water in a five-gallon gas can is safe. You should use distilled water only, to avoid leaving behind any minerals or other additives that your engine may not like (does fluoride keep your carburetors clean?).

Please folks, Wheel Tracks suggests that you do not try this procedure.
Isn’t it amazing the lengths folks have gone to operate their gas engines without E10?

One wonders if you line up twenty politicians in a row and ask why we have ethanol in our gas, what ridiculous answers we would hear.

Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

3 thoughts on “Making non-ethanol gas out of ethanol gas (E10) – Dave’s Garage”

  1. Small airplanes have a drain cock at the bottom of the fuel tank. Before each takeoff some is drained off to make sure there is no water there. Might try putting a drain cock in my car.

    1. Teue : the ehtanhnol in E10 havve ruined many of my carbuators causing a complete rebuild pretty much at the satr of ever y season of storage. Even if have a water seperator because E10 binds with the condisate formed in the fuel tank and even if you run the carb dry theire is still old gas left in the bowl and turns to sluge blocking the jet and fine ports. I would like to distill the gas and aisicall let the alcohoal evaporate out of the sh1tty gas the government requires before it has a chance to combine with water creating all your lawn equipt. It’s damgerous and Don’t reccoment using fire in the process. water boils at about 225 drgrees but if it hasnot been infect wit musch water yeat like right at the pump. It should boil out the alcoholl before it has a chance to aborb the alcohol causing it ti no combine with the water and forming a new compund that evaporates at a much higher tempterture rate to reove the worthless government restrictions. Government once again bleeds our pockets and forces a new lawn mower, chain saw, power washers snd snow blowers, boat motors etc. using water seperators don’t work because the new compond is no loger water aand doesn’t seperate.
      Taking into account alocohol from distilling it from new gas should evaporate the ethanal out of the fuel, From my breing days the alcolol tends to evap the alcohol starting around 190 degerres to go to the cooling coils to making the the moonshine and stops at 225 fegrees at 200 to 225 degrees which is basically steam. Useing fire to heat you still is out of the question since gas vapors are veavy and will catch fire so an electric powered on induction heat or a heat blanket should work. Trouble is I don’t know how hot gas will combust before getting the Runnig the alcohol out of your gas. .
      Another les dangerous method is driving out of town and buying farm gas without engine ruing alcohol our government screwed up. It’s just keeps our kids from learning how to mow the lawn and gives millions of illegal aliens jobs because it cost to much to replace your equiptment every year and the Mexicans have expensive mowers, do a crappy job and since their quipment never stops running the crappy gas doen’t have time to have the gas go bad. I’ve started old equiptment with gas from thirty or forty years ago without any problem. The EPE exist to do nothing more than steal our money.

      Another meathod I found that works well it to always keep your gas tannk full even after months of storage because their is no room for condensation to form in the case of boats and water craft just pump up the bulb to keep the carbs full and not let water to absorb in the tanks.

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