Backcountry Pilot • Auto Fuel ???

Auto Fuel ???

Nothing happens without it. Discuss fuel locations, quality, alternatives, and anything else related to this critical resource.
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Auto Fuel ???

Flight:
On my 182 I mix auto fuel and 100LL to save money about 30-50%.Several years ago there was(is--Texas Skyways about 30 grand)a STC for using E-85.After reading this article( http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/e85 ... -test.html} I believe it would severally limit range and safety in aircraft engines.As far as I know the fuel we get at Arco or Texaco or Shell is 10-15%-I know my fuel mileage is down in my 2003 Chevy Pickup--from 23 down to 17 on the highway.I've bore-a scope my engine and it seems to have cleaned up the carbon on pistons and valves.Hardly scientific but it looks better on clean.I have a 0-470-R with about 1500-1600 hrs-good compression and burns about 1 qt.for 12-14 hours.I cruise at 2300rpm and 21 inches.I lean pretty good with just leaning by sound and my Digital Manifold Gauge.

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Bill Reid PAMA>AMT>VHPA>
A&P/I.A.CPA Rigger,Pilot Boulder City,NV.BVU
"Have tools can travel"
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Bill,
The STC was not for E85 but for AGE-85, not the same as what is in the gas station pumps. Texas Skyways has the STC for the 180/182. It was about a hundred bucks last time I had contact with them. You could run any mix of AGE-85 and Avgas by adjusting your mixture for whatever was in the tank.

The only safety consideration I am aware of would be the reduced range. I am not recommending this for you or anyone else but just putting it out there.

Car engines on E-85 suffer more mileage loss than aircraft engines on AGE-85 because car engines today have very low compression. Aircraft engines take better advantage of ethanol's higher octane and convert that to better mileage/efficiency. Just the way that the higher compression car engines back in the pre-converter days needed premium octane gas and got better mileage with it. Even though the energy content of regular and premium gas have the same btu's of energy, premium would deliver better mileage with the higher compression engine and would not ping at acceleration.

For mixing regular gas and Avgas, there is a lot of that done here too with older aircraft engines and the users swear by it. They are using 50/50 mix with a couple oz. of Marvel Mystery Oil. Can't vouch for the science behind it but it has been done here for many years with good success and cleaner engines.

One other thing, if you get the chance to throw some 20-30% ethanol in that flex vehicle you will see no mileage drop compared to regular. At the risk of being hauled off by the gas pump police, I have run this in every vehicle I have and get the same mileage. One did better.
Just making a plug for made in the USA.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

dirtstrip wrote:Bill,

Just making a plug for made in the USA.


I am all for make it in the USA. Lets get to all the stuff underground made in the USA. Alaska is in the USA.

Tim
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

damn sure wish I could use car gas....av gas is out a sight.... #-o
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Bill, I agree with your findings that the engine is cleaner after running ethanol in the fuel. I'm using E50 in my 1992 Toyota 4x4( mixing E85 and E10) and the oil stays clean looking until I change it. After my mom went to the nursing home, I started using E30 in her 2000 Buick LeSabre and it still gets the same ~ 400 miles when the low fuel light comes on( she ran E10 except on a trip when E0 was all we could find). That car doesn't seem to differentiate between E0 or E30----it gets high 20's mpg. I bet if you could separate the ethanol from the E10 you are using that is dropping your mileage so much( making E0), you'd find the same reduced mileage.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

qmdv wrote:
dirtstrip wrote:Bill,

Just making a plug for made in the USA.


I am all for make it in the USA. Lets get to all the stuff underground made in the USA. Alaska is in the USA.

Tim


Tim & Flight

:idea: Lets start with giving the drillers a good kick - If U.S. oil company's a agreement to Build a refinery for every 100 wells in the ground,local refinery yea there's a concept. Jobs would florish in the oil industry.And charging no more than say $50.00 dollars(measured on 2001 dollar) a barrel to consumers at the pump -give them a permit to drill here http://www.nextenergynews.com/news1/nex ... 2.13s.html. It'd put the Arabs on the unemployment line overnight or get them to come down or starve and eat there precious oil-they also must build the refinery without gas a hole.Get the farmers back to producing corn for eating domestically rather than gas a hole.If Arabs want to send crude here get them to build refiners for U.S. consumption in the U.S.A to ship there products here.The U.S. economy would once again skyrocket and we've have more jobs. We need to kick-start this and keep it flowing. A customer of mine went to work last fall in North Dakota driving a water injection truck in oil fields,makes 3-4 grand a week ! They can fill a railroad tank car in 28 min. -send to refinery -but have to wait 5 weeks to get tank car empty and back to pick up more crude. Alaska is a whole new ball game --- LETS DRILL BABY DRILL and get back to #1 position and keep rolling. If the price of fuel dropped by 1/2 in the U.S.A. it would send shock waves heard all around the world.Start lets all drive big pickups and SUV's -allow drinking and swearing and smoking again. I don't smoke and wouldn't take it up again but get rid of this "politically correct "BS . Let's take care of the U.S.A. first---kick out all the illiagle aliens and get our country back. If you don't work you don't eat or have a house .Send all the tree huggers to Canada or new foundland to protest and to work on there solar powered bike. No more free rides -- and get rid of no-bama and his commie buddies .Put harry, hillary ,and pepolse' picture on milk cartons. Lets kick some ass and we don't want names. GET'ER'DONE ! =D> =D> =D>
Last edited by 182 STOL driver on Sun May 15, 2011 8:37 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

If you burn 100% ethonal you will burn 60% more fuel to get the same work as gasoline. If your run for the hamburger now burns 10gal. and you swithced to E-100 you would burn 16gal. Any blend of the two fuels will effect the mileage accordingly. Some things i have noticed:
- while i get less mileage with ethonal added fuel the price is not reduced so i burn more fuel and spend more money . sneaky little buggers them oil companies.
- it's always good to go home grown and help the farmers - did anyone notice that ethonal was not considered a viable fuel until exxon and BP and others had bought up just about all the farms - funny how that happened - so now the big oil companies can feed us and fleece us.
- air cooled engines just LOVE ethonal - you are putting so much fuel through that they never get hot - just ask anyone that has raced a volkswagen air cooled on alcohol.
- most cars nowadays have compression ratios up around 10:1 which gives good mileage - the computer controls and combustion chamber designs have made this possible with lower grade fuels.

I think these blended fuels are definately part of our future, i just wish some one would come up with a blend made from water/dirt/sunshine that i could brew at home, cause i just hate using corn for fuel.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

What, is it April Fools already??? :lol:


dirtstrip wrote:Car engines on E-85 suffer more mileage loss than aircraft engines on AGE-85 because car engines today have very low compression. Aircraft engines take better advantage of ethanol's higher octane and convert that to better mileage/efficiency.

Not true. Only the highest compression piston aircraft engines are higher than today's cars. Most newer cars (late 90's onward) have a compression ratio between 9:1 and 10:1. For example, my 2000 Ford Ranger has a 9.3:1 ratio. Compare that to my aircraft engine that has a 7:1 ratio. My airplane would suffer far more mileage loss.

180Marty wrote:I bet if you could separate the ethanol from the E10 you are using that is dropping your mileage so much( making E0), you'd find the same reduced mileage.

Ethanol has less energy per gallon than gas. If you go to pure gas, you've got more available energy. If you're not getting the full energy from pure gas, then there is something wrong with your engine.

175 magnum wrote:- air cooled engines just LOVE ethonal - you are putting so much fuel through that they never get hot - just ask anyone that has raced a volkswagen air cooled on alcohol.

A minor correction: Actually, the ethanol burns cooler. Putting more fuel through an engine won't cool it, unless you make it so rich that unburned fuel is getting pushed out the exhaust. Then, the unburned fuel can carry away some of the heat, but your mileage goes to hell because you're throwing fuel away.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

qmdv wrote:
dirtstrip wrote:Bill,

Just making a plug for made in the USA.


I am all for make it in the USA. Lets get to all the stuff underground made in the USA. Alaska is in the USA.

Tim


Like always, anything to do with ethanol or gas will torque some off and make some happy. But to make sure everyone gets something, my state of South Dakota that is home to much corn ethanol is about to become home to the nation's first new oil refinery in 35 years, from Canadian tar sand crude. My question is why not the Bakken oil of North Dakota?

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financia ... 6JU881.htm
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Kevbert, You truly don't understand octane rating and what a higher rating can do for you. There is so much more to it than energy content alone. Try putting some 84 octane E0 in your 87 octane engine and see if your mileage is better.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

My neighbors got home a couple of weeks ago. He is a pipeline inspector and they have been working the Keystone that just got completed from the Canadian border through S.D. down to Cushing ,OK. They said if the litigation can get figured out, it will keep going to the Texas coast. That means Canadian Tar Sands oil and maybe Bakken oil will be able to be exported possibly. By the way, that Tar Sand stuff takes massive amounts of energy and water to produce. Heck, maybe as global warming causes sea level to rise, they can pump that water down to extract the oil and it will be a win/win. My sister's yard is about 5 feet above sea level but she figures she'll be gone by the time it is under water.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

180Marty wrote:Kevbert, You truly don't understand octane rating and what a higher rating can do for you. There is so much more to it than energy content alone. Try putting some 84 octane E0 in your 87 octane engine and see if your mileage is better.


I've worked as an engineer in that industry, writing engine control software. I submit you owe me an apology. You are way out of line making insults against my level of understanding.

There is a latency from when the spark fires to when the fuel actually burns. So, the spark fires some number of degrees before the piston hits TDC, and ideally, the fuel burns immediately after TDC. Fuels with lower octane ratings burn faster. If it's a low enough octane rating, then the fuel burns before the piston hits TDC, and it knocks. On an engine with a computer, if it sees a signal on the knock sensor, then it retards the timing to compensate. The result is less power. It will take you longer to accelerate up to speed, but you don't use anywhere near full power at cruising speed in a car. Your highway mileage will suffer very little, while city driving mileage will see a big drop.

Mix in some ethanol, and you raise the octane a little, but also reduce the energy of the fuel. In this scenario, you still have full power, but you have to burn more fuel to get it. The oil industry compounds the problem by using sub-octane gas when they mix up the ethanol blends. This really improves their bottom line, but at the expense of the consumer who must buy even more fuel to go the same mileage. Both highway and city mileage will suffer in this scenario compared to burning pure gas with an octane rating which your engine requires.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Kevbert

What you do not understand is that if you grow corn and have an interest in the eth plant you are constantly getting hyped up on just how great it is. If you do not understand what I am trying to tell you, just talk to a guy that has invested most of his savings in alpacas. :D

Tim
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Kevbert, before I apologize, I'd like you read this. This is real world and not some engineer figuring on paper. I'm experiencing what the Toyota experienced with the E30 and Dirtstrip seems to find the same thing. I'm pretty sure you've never had E30 in your car---am I wrong? Another thing for you to contemplate, If the oil companies weren't producing sub octane that is cheaper to make, how much more would gasoline be priced?
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Marty, I've worked on the ECU's of a couple of engines, not just pure gas, but also ethanol blends, pure ethanol, propane, methane, etc., in addition to some trade secret research technologies that I can't mention.

There is no sensor to tell the ECU what type of fuel is coming down the fuel rail, so the ECU is never optimal for a given fuel. The ECU has to rely on the available sensors (air inlet temp, mass air flow, coolant temp, throttle position, crank position, tach, oxygen sensor, etc.) and then it controls the timing and pulse width of the injectors, spark timing, etc. Once automakers started modifying their engines to accomodate ethanol, there was no single setting that worked perfectly for all fuels, so they use settings that will accomodate a wide range of fuel blends. Because the fuel distributors have a less than perfect record of mixing the exact quantities of ethanol and gasoline, the automakers tend to tune the system for a higher level of ethanol to avoid catastrophic problems. So, the engine is now no longer optimized for pure gasoline.

Now why, oh why, didn't the American Coalition for Ethanol, "the grassroots voice of the U.S. ethanol industry" :lol: , use BMWs in their test?

BMW is an example of a car company that has a less than enthusiastic attitude towards ethanol in the fuel. If fact, if you google, you will find that after having too many ethanol related problems, BMW dealers have tested the percentage of ethanol found in the tank on cars brought in for warranty service, and if it exceeded 10%, they denied the warranty coverage. The ECUs in BMWs are much more optimized for pure gas than for ethanol blends.

The cars that the ACE found to get better economy with E20 and E30 are tuned to be optimal for higher levels of ethanol, which is making them sub-optimal when running on pure gasoline. In essence, there is something wrong with the engine, because it is now improperly tuned for gasoline. That just reinforces the original point that I made about something being wrong with the engine.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Facts are facts....................... Taken from Wiki....... Energy produced from a given volume is listed....
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Gasoline contains about 35 MJ/L (9.7 kW·h/L, 132 MJ/US gal, 36.6 kWh/US gal) (higher heating value) or 13 kWh/kg. This is an average; gasoline blends differ, and therefore actual energy content varies from season to season and from batch to batch, by up to 4% more or less than the average, according to the US EPA. On average, about 19.5 US gallons (16.2 imp gal; 74 L) of gasoline are available from a 42-US-gallon (35 imp gal; 160 L) barrel of crude oil (about 46% by volume), varying due to quality of crude and grade of gasoline. The remaining residue comes off as products ranging from tar to naptha.[10]

Volumetric and mass energy density of some fuels compared with gasoline (in the rows with gross and net, they are from [11]):

Fuel type[clarification needed] Gross MJ/L MJ/kg Gross BTU/gal
(imp) Gross BTU/gal
(U.S.) Net BTU/gal (U.S.) RON
Conventional gasoline 34.8 44.4[12] 150,100 125,000 115,400 91-92
Autogas (LPG) (60% Propane + 40% Butane)[citation needed] 26.8 46 108
Ethanol 21.2[12] 26.8[12] 101,600 84,600 75,700 108.7[13]
Methanol 17.9 19.9[12] 77,600 64,600 56,600 123
Butanol[2] 29.2 36.6 91-99[clarification needed]
Gasohol 31.2 145,200 120,900 112,400 93/94[clarification needed]
Diesel(*) 38.6 45.4 166,600 138,700 128,700 25
Biodiesel 33.3-35.7 [14][clarification needed] 126,200 117,100
Avgas (high octane gasoline) 33.5 46.8 144,400 120,200 112,000
Jet fuel (kerosene based) 35.1 43.8 151,242 125,935
Jet fuel (naphtha) 127,500 118,700
Liquefied natural gas 25.3 ~55 109,000 90,800
Liquefied petroleum gas 91,300 83,500
Hydrogen 10.1 (at 20 kelvin) 142 130[15]

(*) Diesel fuel is not used in a gasoline engine, so its low octane rating is not an issue; the relevant metric for diesel engines is the cetane number

A high octane fuel such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has a lower energy content than lower octane gasoline, resulting in an overall lower power output at the regular compression ratio an engine ran at on gasoline. However, with an engine tuned to the use of LPG (i.e. via higher compression ratios such as 12:1 instead of 8:1), this lower power output can be overcome. This is because higher-octane fuels allow for a higher compression ratio—this means less space in a cylinder on its combustion stroke, hence a higher cylinder temperature which improves efficiency according to Carnot's theorem, along with fewer wasted hydrocarbons (therefore less pollution and wasted energy), bringing higher power levels coupled with less pollution overall because of the greater combustion efficiency. Also, increased mechanical efficiency is created by a higher compression ratio through the concommitant higher expansion ratio on the power stroke, which is by far the greater effect. The higher expansion ratio extracts more work from the high pressure gas created by the combustion process. The applicable formula is PV=nRT. An Atkinson cycle engine uses the timing of the valve events to produce the benefits of a high expansion ratio without the disadvantages, chiefly detonation, of a high compression ratio. A high expansion ratio is also one of the two key reasons for the efficiency of Diesel engines, along with the elimination of pumping losses due to throtttling of the intake air flow. A high compression ratio can be viewed as a necessary evil in order to have a high expansion ratio.

The lower energy content (per litre) of LPG in comparison to gasoline is due mainly to its lower density. Energy content per kilogram is higher than for gasoline (higher hydrogen to carbon ratio). The weight-density of gasoline is about 740 kg/m³ (6.175 lb/US gal; 7.416 lb/imp gal).

Different countries have some variation in what RON (research octane number) is standard for gasoline, or petrol. In Finland, Sweden and Norway, 95 RON is the standard for regular unleaded petrol and 98 RON is also available as a more expensive option. In the UK, ordinary regular unleaded petrol is 91 RON (not commonly available), premium unleaded petrol is always 95 RON, and super unleaded is usually 97-98 RON. However both Shell and BP produce fuel at 102 RON for cars with hi-performance engines, and the supermarket chain Tesco began in 2006 to sell super unleaded petrol rated at 99 RON. In the US, octane ratings in unleaded fuels can vary between 86-87 AKI (91-92 RON) for regular, through 89-90 AKI (94-95 RON) for mid-grade (European Premium), up to 90-94 AKI (95-99 RON) for premium (European Super).

[edit] AdditivesMain article: Gasoline additive
[edit] LeadGasoline, when used in high compression internal combustion
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Kevbert, I apologize for saying you don't understand octane ratings. Also, the 2000 Buick seems to go just as far on E30 as E10 or E0 and the ECU was programmed back when ethanol wasn't even much of a thought----pretty sure that ancient ECU says----I have some 93 octane fuel in the tank so I can advance the timing more than the 87 octane I was meant to deal with. I don't think the cars in the test had modified ECU's. I'm pretty sure that BMW's that run straight gasoline are in the shop being fixed quite a bit---isn't it said if you want one, you better know a good German auto mechanic? :)
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Test results can be as biased as the groups that do them. From actual experience my 97 Chev truck gets 3 mpg less using E10 and the check engine light come on when using ethanol. I don't care what a test says when it has the opposite results as my experience something is wrong. I would fill it at the place where I get mogas but with a 454 in it, it defeats the purpose driving 15 miles to get the good stuff.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Marty, apology accepted. Now as for your crack about "some engineer figuring on paper" ... :D

I don't know why your 2000 Buick is tuned for gasoline so poorly that it gets the same economy with E0 and E30. Here's some easy engineer math to predict what the difference would be if it were tuned perfectly for both of them.

Assuming that ethanol has 66% as much energy as gasoline (an average number, but depends on exact formulation of gasoline, so use another number if you know it to be more accurate):

.70 + .30 * .66 = .898, so you should burn .898 gallons of E0 for every gallon of E30.
(And of course, the break even price point would be when E30 costs 89.8% of the price of E0.)

(1.0 - .898) / .898 = .11359, so you should be burning 11.359% more gallons when using E30 instead of E0.

If you're getting better mileage on E0 than the stated ratio, then your car is tuned poorly for ethanol. If you're getting better mileage on E30 than the stated ratio, then your car is tuned poorly for E0.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

175 magnum wrote:If you burn 100% ethonal you will burn 60% more fuel to get the same work as gasoline. If your run for the hamburger now burns 10gal. and you swithced to E-100 you would burn 16gal. Any blend of the two fuels will effect the mileage accordingly.


Mileage and fuel efficiency in gas engines is not a straight line decline. There is a sweet spot with 20-30 % ethanol. I have been doing it. Do I get a drop at 10%? Yes, like everyone else and also a drop at higher percentages starting at about 40. So I am not biasing for all things ethanol.

If you do not have a blender pump available just get your tank down to about 1/3 to 1/4 and fill with E-85. It will splash blend in the tank. Go out and test the mileage.
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