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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Discussion Starter #1
I have been trying to find out about the 10% Ethanol quantity.
What actually is used to lower the burn rate of the higher octanes?
Up here in the Seattle area we have 87, 89 and 91 octane. The pumps say 10% Ethanol.
So does the 87 only have 6 %, and the 89 have 8%, and the 91 have 10% ethanol ?
What make the difference in the octane and burn rate?
Maybe other additives?
A lot of you guys know more about fuels than I do.
 

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2002, Shadow Spirit 1100
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1,260 Posts
I have been trying to find out about the 10% Ethanol quantity.
What actually is used to lower the burn rate of the higher octanes?
Up here in the Seattle area we have 87, 89 and 91 octane. The pumps say 10% Ethanol.
So does the 87 only have 6 %, and the 89 have 8%, and the 91 have 10% ethanol ?
What make the difference in the octane and burn rate?
Maybe other additives?
A lot of you guys know more about fuels than I do.
Good question. I never thought about the ethanol content rating by octane but it makes lots of sense. Talking fuel, has anyone ever used Coleman fuel for winterizing? It is ethanol free and 100% fuel. At least filling the carb portion then shutting the fuel off is what I was thinking,. I have had Coleman fuel sitting around for many years and it still works. Just a thought,
 

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From what I understand about gasoline companies and my time in the oil field, ethanol was added to gasoline to cut down on costs. My numbers may not be accurate but it's the gyst that counts. Ethanol is more like 100 octane, and is a cheap alternative to racing fuel if your engine is designed to handle it. Ethanol can deteriorate certain rubber and plastics and once evaporated will leave a residue. Different fuel companies have different qualities of fuel, and the amount of ethanol added may very based on each individual batch they produce. I personally have a diesel truck, so whenever I do buy gasoline I only get non ethanol because it tends to sit for a while. If you wonder why unbranded gas stations have cheaper fuel than name brands it's because they usually buy fuel at the lowest bid from wholesale producers and its ethanol content may be higher than that of a quality brand that has higher standards. If that sounds like crap rolling of my tongue please correct me. I just woke up.
 

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2015 Shadow Aero, 1972 Triumph 650 Tiger
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Octane S L O W S combustion and so if your motor is pinging, the octane content of the fuel should be increased. And when I added Shell Premium to my gasoline, my Dodge 318 motor ran smoother and started more easily in the morning.
 

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All octanes have the same amount of ethanol 10% except for the stations that sell 15%(don't ever use that).
Not all. Some stations here have 91 with no ethanol. I start using that as the season winds down in the fall so it gets stored E free.


Sitting on my VTX making Vroom Vroom noises.
 

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2015 Shadow Aero, 1972 Triumph 650 Tiger
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Not all. Some stations here have 91 with no ethanol. I start using that as the season winds down in the fall so it gets stored E free..............
Better quality gasoline (100 octane) can be had in England, New Zeland, and at your local airport. California has THE WORST gasoline ever because of all of its crappy additives that will degrade into some kind of gunk in less than a month.
 

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Better quality gasoline (100 octane) can be had in England, New Zeland, and at your local airport. California has THE WORST gasoline ever because of all of its crappy additives that will degrade into some kind of gunk in less than a month.
If I could get 87 without E, I’d get it. I’m not fond of the 91.


Sitting on my VTX making Vroom Vroom noises.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Discussion Starter #12
So my question is how do they get 3 different grades of octane for detonation control, when all it says is 10% ethanol.
Are there other chemicals that change it ???

One thing I read was ethanol has a rating of 113 octane.

E15 can be from 10.5 to 15 % = Alternative Fuels Data Center: E15

E85 can be from 51 to 83% = Alternative Fuels Data Center: E85 (Flex Fuel)

I gets more confusing as I search.
 

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Ethanol is cleaner burning and absorbs water.

?????????????

ETHANOL absorbs water??

I`m not sure about that.

What the oil industry wag then did was to play a semantic word game by substituting the word "attract" with "absorb," and "air" for "environment." The words attract and absorb are two different things, with two different meanings:
  • Attract - to pull to or draw toward oneself or itself (as a magnet attracts iron).
    Absorb- to take in and make part of an existent whole (as a sponge absorbs water).
And the words environment and air have different contexts:
  • Environment - the immediate adjacent surroundings (as in the type of environment in which you live).
    Air - the mixture of invisible odorless tasteless gases that surrounds the Earth.
Methanol or isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol, IPA) might do that , But not corn made Ethanol.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Discussion Starter #14
When ethanol first came out and I would change a fuel filter on a car it smelled like Jim Beam.
It should be for drinking not burning !
 
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1997 Honda VT 1100 C2 Shadow ACE
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As stated above, ethanol has an "octane rating " of about 115. Octane rating is related to how fast fuel burns in the combustion chamber, with higher ratings = slower burn, making the use of more compression and/or ignition advance possible to improve power without detonation or preignition. Ethanol also has more oxygen in it than gasoline which helps achieve a more complete combustion. Incomplete combustion yields carbon monoxide ( CO ) which is poisonous, complete combustion yields carbon dioxide ( CO2 ). That's why the pure 91 octane gas is also called " non-oxy ). Ethanol also lowers combustion temperature, resulting in less NOx emissions too. Ethanol also has less energy density than gasoline, so you get a little less power from it than the same amount of pure gasoline. My Shadow gets a steady diet of 91 non-oxy, mainly because I feel it runs a little better on it, and I don't have to worry about the residue that ethanol leaves in my carbs. Ethanol also absorbs water, which can get left behind and cause corrosion when the ethanol evaporates.
 

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There are several methods to increase octane rating including further refining and based on additives. remember there were different octane ratings well before E10. Plus E10 does not mean 10% ethanol. It means not more that 10% ethanol but could be less. This allows the refinery to produce a fuel and then add enough ethanol so the final blend is 87. It could be 5% ethanol. It could be 0%. Ethanol is 113 octane so its simple to measure the blended fuel and then add more refining or ethanol.

Since the regulations stipulate not more than e10, no one blends 10% so typically 8% or under. You my notice the PON sold is 87 and then 91 (with 89 being a mix at the station.) This allows for a 1 octane variation and still remaining within spec ie an 86.5 and an 87.5 can be sold as 87 etc

The typical starting octane for an 87 is 85 which is about the same octane rating of fuel when the high octane ingredients of ethanol have been removed ie evaporated. Thats the reason, for long term storage, I fill with E10 89.
 

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2015 Shadow Aero, 1972 Triumph 650 Tiger
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Ooohhh boy, this thread is gonna' be a long one.
 

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All octanes have the same amount of ethanol 10% except for the stations that sell 15%(don't ever use that).
Not here in WA, we have separate pumps and nozzles with separate tanks in-ground for totally contamination free Ethanol free gas. Sure it costs more but I like it, especially for storage. No harm using E10 if you ride a lot and it doesn’t sit.
 
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