Ethanol Free Gas - Is It Worth It? - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-23-2019, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Ethanol Free Gas - Is It Worth It?

So I've been doing a lot of research lately, and I wanted to bounce a few ideas off some of the older and wiser folks of this forum. Long story short, does ethanol free gas make more power than e10 fuel running on the same tune? I don't know, seems like I can't find any dyno results of someone running back to back runs, same exact tune and conditions, with the different fuels.

The pros of ethanol in fuel is that it's a natural octane booster which allows for more ignition timing which in turn can create more power, when tuned for it. But most motorcycles are tuned to run on 87-90 octane, and usually they prefer ethanol free gas (yet run on e10 anyways) wouldn't it make sense that they would make more power with 100% gas? What has my attention is that since the fuel by me is 10% ethanol by volume, and ethanol has 33% less energy by volume, technically my fuel has about 3.3% less energy in it per gallon than pure gas would. The EPA confirms this by claiming that using e10 will net a reduction of 3% less mileage in a vehicle. Is this a result of the fuel burning with 3% less energy? Is it wrong to assume you could gain about 3% power from running E0 fuel?

I found this article from 2012 published by Motorcycle Consumer News, explaining how easy it is to remove ethanol from pump gas on your own. http://www.ssegal.com/files/Ethanol.pdf

According to this article, it wouldn't take much time at all out of my day to be able to make it. It is stated that removing the ethanol from the fuel will lower the octane rating about 2-3 points, but that does not concern me too much, as if I start with 93, then reducing it to 90 still leaves a hefty margin of safety to what is safe to run in modern motorcycles. This would mean I wouldn't have to worry about adding back in an octane booster to safely burn the fuel, so cost wont be an issue either.

Obviously financially it makes no sense to run straight gas for commuting as you are losing 10% of the fuel by removing the ethanol, but if you were planning on going out for a ride or a track day, removing a little bit of gas to net a 2-3% power gain sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.

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post #2 of 7 Old 01-23-2019, 07:35 AM
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Why not just buy ethanol free gas?

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post #3 of 7 Old 01-23-2019, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Where I live, and like much of the country, it doesn't exist. Like, at all. I don't believe there is a single place to get it on long Island.

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post #4 of 7 Old 01-23-2019, 09:43 AM
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Here in Texas, Ethanol free gas is also 30% more expensive if you do find it. Currently $2.19 vs $2.99 at Monday's stop. I'd not considered doing self separation, and it IS an interesting idea.

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post #5 of 7 Old 01-23-2019, 10:01 AM
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In an effort to be as brief as possible, I'll say this:

Alcohols make more power primarily by the increased compression ratio they can handle, not by the amount of ignition advance.
It is not just a simple matter of the fuel's BTU content.
And in a normally aspirated engine, whatever power spread there is between the fuels will diminish with reducing air density, even if the fueling is optimized.

10% eth in gasoline will result in slightly reduced torque and therefore also power.
The effect would be diminished some if the fueling was slightly tweaked to optimize the injected volumes to reflect the slightly altered stoichiometric ratio of the E10 as compared to pure gasoline.

10% eth in gasoline is a fairly common upper limit of allowable eth in gas re engine manufacturer's warranties, Honda 919 included.

Eth' in gasoline is harder on the sealing elastomers in the fuel system, 919 fuel pressure regulator diaphragm noted in this regard.

Eth'd gasolines are poor storage fuels, the higher the eth' content meaning the more so, and meth' is really bad (is there actually still any meth' even used in the USA these days?).

Here in Canada, some 91+ pump octane gasolines are eth' free.
A good strategy is use E10 for the riding season and store with eth' free 91+.

Chasing a shred of real world power in a 919 with eth free regular is a pointless endeavour, when tangible gains are available by optimized fueling by a PC and optimized shift points in particular.
In my opinion that is.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-23-2019, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanktm View Post

The pros of ethanol in fuel is that it's a natural octane booster which allows for more ignition timing which in turn can create more power,
A bit more, specific to the above statement.
More lead does not create more power.
Higher compression ratio and peak combustion temperature do.
Lead is a function of fuel particulars re flame front velocity(rate of burn), and combustion propagation rate of the combustion chamber design (piston top is part of the 'chamber).
Lead actually consumes energy, as it builds chamber pressure before TDC.
Today's combustion chambers are way faster than days of old, which has allowed higher compression ratios for any given octane, as well as reduced lead.

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post #7 of 7 Old 01-23-2019, 01:05 PM
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The biggest issues with ethanol in the gasoline are ethanol's ability to absorb moisture from the atmosphere and it's corrosive effects on fuel system components. Here in NC, ethanol-free gasoline runs around $3.10 a gallon for 89 or 90 octane while the regular 87 octane fuels with ethanol are running around $2.10. However, I run the non-ethanol stuff because I just don't want to bother with the side effects of the alcohol in the fuel. Also, when I fill the tank on my bike(s) I'm never quite sure how long it will be before I can ride again and I absolutely do not want alcohol sitting in my tank for weeks on end if the weather turns foul. If I'm out on a long ride, I will fill with 10% ethanol fuel but I always try to get that stuff burned up before I let the bike sit very long. Besides, how much fuel do you burn a month in a motorcycle. The cost difference is really a minor issue in the scheme of things. You spend $10,000 on a bike and then go cheap on the fuel? Doesn't make sense.
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