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  1. #1
    Frank
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    Ethanol in gasoline/petrol

    I think it is common knowledge 10% of ethanol is mixed in with gasoline in the US. Why is there ethanol in gasoline?

    I was driving by several CITGO gas stations this weekend and all advertised their Premium gas does not contain any ethanol. So I guess that's the real, hardcore stuff. I like the idea and was curious if there was any benefit to this. I had about 40 miles of gas left in my tank when I filled up at CITGO. After 345 miles of mostly 55 - 60 mph roads at steady speed with almost no traffic, the SID readout was an average 37.3 mpg and after a fill up, calculations in the Garage fuel tracker showed an average of 36.9 mpg. Pretty amazing by itself. A few days earlier, I did that same stretch of road in the other direction and the SID showed 35.0 mpg so a 2.3 mpg difference.

    This is not an exact comparison, of course. There are other factors like wind, temperature and elevation difference between A and B. But I thought 2.3 mpg difference between Shell/Mobil I usually fill up with (before this trip) is pretty significant. Is this because of the lack of ethanol in the CITGO premium? Interesting enough, CITGO is not even considered a top tier gasoline.

    Unfortunately, the closest CITGO gas station is about 20 miles from my home. Are there any other gas companies that do not add ethanol to their (premium) gas. The pump showed CITGO premium was only 91 while Shell, BP and Mobil often show 92 or 93 RON for their premium.

    Is ethanol added to petrol / gasoline in other parts of the world? Is it even possible to get better gas mileage with 100% gasoline instead of 10% ethanol (E10)? Are there any other benefits of using 100% gasoline (E0)?

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  2. #2
    Dave T.
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    It's a known fact that ethanol worsens gas mileage. However, some policymakers like it because it helps the farmers and is a renewable resource.

    Top Tier gas is advantageous because there are fewer carbon and other deposits on the intake valves due to a higher standard for anti-deposit additives. However, one of the requirements of Top Tier gas is ethanol. It's mentioned in the Top Tier gas website in the technical specifications (length and boring section, no slick graphics). So if you want ethanol free gas, it can't be a Top Tier brand.

    I also did a study, yet unpublished, but someday on Saabworld.net where one arm of the study was to use the SID. The SID is optimistic but is not entirely inaccurate so you can make some conclusions from the SID gas mileage reading.

    It's good to see that knowledge, such as worse gas mileage with 10% ethanol gas, is validated with real life testing and experience.

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  3. #3
    Frank
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    Here is a helpful site: Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada

    There is one gas stations in the town where I live that sells ethanol-free gas. I think someone mentioned before they sell it in summer only. I also read ethanol is bad for marine engines so many marinas sell it like that as well.

    So is ethanol-free 90/91 octane better for a Saab turbo engine than 10% ethanol 93?

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  4. #4
    Renato Piereck
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    On my trip across the US I always fueled with non ethanol gas if available. On days I had ethanol gas I experienced a good drop in gs mileage, from 3 to 6 mpg on a tank. I'm the kind of guy who will go out of his way to fill up with ethanol free gas, I think it's worth the savings and also on older cars (like my C900 and possible the NG900) the fuel lines aren't designed to take ethanol, and will corrode over time.

    Lil' ethanol-free gas story: When I was in Alabama from October to December 2011 I found this ethanol-free only gas station a few miles away, it was in a small town where everybody were black. This being Alabama I guess the white folks don't go there, so at first I got some looks for gassing up there. But I'd go in, buy me a Coke, and snacks for my short weekend road trips, so after a while the people in the gas station got used to me. One day one of the attendants saw my license plate, from Alaska, and she commented that now she knew why I gassed up there, because I wasn't from Alabama. I told her I was there for the ethanol free gas only, I could care less if the white people from Alabama didn't go there. It was odd seeing this kind of segregation still existing in America, but that's Alabama for you.

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    Now: '00 Saab 9-5 Aero Combi - '89 Peugeot 205 CTI - '91 Peugeot 309 GTI
    Gone: '87 Saab 900i - '95 Saab 900 SE Turbo

  5. #5
    Bruce Richardson
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    You lose volume with ethanol added to gas, plus it being from the alcohol family it asborbs water real well, right out of exposed air even. So over time it puts water into your fuel system. Most older cars (pre 2008 ) doint have good enough fuel system componets to handle the corrosive nature of Ethanol based fuels without an additive now and then to help out. Flex-fuel cars have stainless fuel lines, Butyl- rubber seals and real good water-seperator fuel filters to handle Ethanol based fuels

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  6. #6
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    A few weeks ago I went to a gas station offering ethanol-free 93 octane gasoline to fill up before a 4 hour highway drive back home. I found the station using an app called "Pure Gas". You can find it on the Apple app store. Its free and will show you where you can find ethanol-free gasoline almost anywhere in the country (u.s.a.) Pretty neat. I ran the tank down as far as I could before filling it up. OMG - the tab was $52.! at $4.22 per gallon. I didn't see or feel any performance difference out on the highway. I had the cruise set at abt 78-79 mph for the first 2 hours. Mileage was abt 25 mpg. During the approach and drive thru Atlanta had to slow down to abt 65-70, mileage went up to abt 27-29 mpg. Numbers I've seen before using ethanol-containing gas. Obviously, Mileage was impacted more by speed than gas type. During my work commute during the next 2 days I "thought" maybe the performance was a little better during accelerations in the mid-range 25 mph to 45 mph band but it could've been my imagination. I'll try the experiment again after a Stage 1 tune (hopefully in next 2 months?) Now that gas prices have dropped significantly I can fill up with 93 ($3.11 per gal, a few days ago) instead of alternating 89/91 and 93 (and haven't noticed any difference between these, all with 5% to 10% ethanol content).

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  7. #7
    Saab Addict
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    That locator site only listed one for New Jersey, a Sunoco which is out in the middle of the "Pine Barrens" and miles from nowhere in a town of one deli and breakfast stop and a canoe rental. I have a feeling it was just left up there gather dust.

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    Semper ubi sububi in caput tuum

  8. #8
    Frank
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    It's often offered in summer and primarly used for boats, vintage cars and other recreational vehicles. Not sure of the price difference in Michigan so I'll need to check what's selling for these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pbuck1 View Post
    I found the station using an app called "Pure Gas". You can find it on the Apple app store. Its free and will show you where you can find ethanol-free gasoline almost anywhere in the country (u.s.a.) Pretty neat.
    Thanks for the tip.

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  9. #9
    Saab Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by tunnanxwd View Post
    That locator site only listed one for New Jersey, a Sunoco which is out in the middle of the "Pine Barrens" and miles from nowhere in a town of one deli and breakfast stop and a canoe rental. I have a feeling it was just left up there gather dust.
    How close to NY or Penn. are you? I looked at the map and there are some stations there - whether or not they're close enough to make it worth the trip .....

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