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  1. #1

    Default Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    Is it safe to mix ethanol (E10) gas with non-ethanol gasoline for use in outboard engines?

  2. #2
    Supreme Mariner Frank Acampora's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    If the non-ethanol gas has the additive MMT, then NO it is not acceptable. It will goo up your tank and engine if mixed with ethanol. Since you don't know what's in the non-ethanol, be safe. Burn all the non ethanol gas first.

  3. #3
    Admiral
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    You have probably done it many times and have never known it, the two are 100% compatible.

  4. #4
    Supreme Mariner Frank Acampora's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    Beg to differ! MMT and ethanol in the presence of moisture WILL form a gel that clogs fuel filters and carbs. Ask the guys that I charged over 100 bucks each to clean out their outboards last year after they were stuck on the water.

    Do not confuse mixing them in autos where the tank remains relatively dry and the fuel is used rather quickly with boats where there is always some moisture present and fuel MAY last more than a week.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    My experience is from about 20 years of running both products and mixing them without concern. We were one of the first places in North America to start using blends, at first it was seasonal and we had to switch back and forth twice a year. Now most locations only use blends, but this changes due to availability of fuel without notice. I have never seen or heard of incompatibility of the two products.

    Don't take this as an approval of E 10, I don't like it, just that the two can be used together.

  6. #6
    Rear Admiral Fireman431's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    Well, Boaty...there's your answer(s).

    Clear everything up?
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    I have an E85 Jeep, and it's fine to combine e10 & e85. The only requirement that i can recall is that i need to use a special synthetic oil. I would have to imagine that there would be little harm in mixing e10 and non-ethanol in an outboard engine. It's just going to dillute the mixture. The fuel filter should take care of the rest. I'd suggest not using any e85 though!

  8. #8
    Admiral
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    I looked around and tried to find something discussing the MMT and E 10 problem, all I could find was information on its toxicity and it being banned in some places, much of this was old info. This doesn't mean there isn't a problem, just that I couldn't find anything on it.

  9. #9
    Lieutenant Commander 109jb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Acampora View Post
    Beg to differ! MMT and ethanol in the presence of moisture WILL form a gel that clogs fuel filters and carbs. Ask the guys that I charged over 100 bucks each to clean out their outboards last year after they were stuck on the water.

    Do not confuse mixing them in autos where the tank remains relatively dry and the fuel is used rather quickly with boats where there is always some moisture present and fuel MAY last more than a week.
    I believe you mean MTBE, not MMT. The combination of gasoline, MTBE, ethanol, and water, has been shown to form a gel like you mention. However, MMT has not been shown to have this effect as far as I know. MMT has other problems and should be avoided, but I don't believe it causes fuel gelling.

  10. #10
    Admiral
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    And MTBE is no longer used.

    One of the other possible issues with MMT was a build up of deposits on sensors.

  11. #11
    Petty Officer 2nd Class KermieB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    Our DNR stopped using mixed fuels because they were burning up outboards long before their time. The ethanol mix burns hotter and in the warmer waters here in the south, they continue to have overheating problems. They contract fuel purchases only with stations that sell 100% gasoline.

    I frequent a lake near my home that serves a nuclear power plant and the water temp is already at 89 degrees and they aren't even using the nuclear reactor. When they generate nuclear power, the water temp near the inlet canal will be above 100 with no problem.

  12. #12
    Admiral
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    Quote Originally Posted by KermieB View Post
    Our DNR stopped using mixed fuels because they were burning up outboards long before their time. The ethanol mix burns hotter and in the warmer waters here in the south, they continue to have overheating problems. They contract fuel purchases only with stations that sell 100% gasoline.

    I frequent a lake near my home that serves a nuclear power plant and the water temp is already at 89 degrees and they aren't even using the nuclear reactor. When they generate nuclear power, the water temp near the inlet canal will be above 100 with no problem.
    Again, decades of use here and no such problems.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    Here is a reply I received from an outfit here in Florida, Tampa area when I asked the exact same question. They are heavily involved in cleaning and replacing fuel tanks in boats mostly due to the use (or mis-use) of ethanol. Hope this sheds some light.Mr. Villafranca;

    Sorry for not answering back sooner, but the fuel environment is going nuts since the weather has changed.

    So what I have found, and it is difficult to pin-point, but a reaction takes place when ethanol fuels and MtBE fuels are mixed. Since ethanol loves water, we now have a third element to deal with. We know that ethanol fuel will phase separate when the percentage of water reaches 0.5% at either 60 or 70 degrees F. At this point a dark slurry will appear at the bottom of the fuel tanks. I often reference this as dark grapefruit, but actually it is the mixing of MtBE & ethanol.

    Located in http://www.enertechlabs.com/ethanol_in_gasoline.htm they also reference this goo. In addition I have attached a photo taken during a tank cleaning last summer. On the left is a pre-filtration sample bottle, next is a post-filtration sample bottle and finally a bottle of water. The matter in the pre-filtration sample bottle hadn't time to reach the black goo but given time it would have. At this stage the boat was out of service and was undergoing major cost set-backs to restore the engines.

    Hope this helps somewhat, I know there will be more questions because these are uncharted grounds.


    Sincerely,

    Luther Carrier

  14. #14
    Admiral
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    How old is that letter?

    It is my understanding that MTBE isn't used anymore, it was found to contaminate the ground water. I may be mistaken, but I think it was used for the same purpose as the ethanol....to oxygenate the fuel for cleaner burning.

    MTBE may only be banned in some areas.

  15. #15
    Petty Officer 2nd Class KermieB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    Quote Originally Posted by ondarvr View Post
    Again, decades of use here and no such problems.

    What's the average lake water temperature in Washington?

  16. #16
    Admiral
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    This is the most recent list of states I could find that ban MTBE it's from 2007. FL was not on it at that time.

    http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/420b07013.pdf

  17. #17
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    Wink Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    Well, Captain, the letter is dated April 9th, 2010- Luther Carrier is CEO of a multi million dollar company - Absolute Tank Cleaning- and I would say that his findings are credible and do not apply only to Florida.
    Here in Fl it is possible to buy non-ethanol gas at MANY suppliers ostensibly for use in recreational vehicles, commercial equipment , and marine applications. I, too, have been using it on my boat occasionally even though it costs more. The primary station that I use brings the non-ethanol gas in from Georgia and that- according to the owner is the reason for the higher price. I thought I was doing the right thing until I noticed the gel forming in the clear fuel bowl of my Racor fuel filter/water separator- hence the query to Mr. Carrier.
    I now choose to use E-10 along with Startron to prevent phase separation. I ALSO choose to use my boat quite a bit more to avoid the pitfalls of allowing the gas to sit in the heat unused for long periods which encourages phase separation. It doesn't happen in cars because of the usage and constant re-filling. My wife fully understands that the boat cannot sit for extended periods (MORE THAN 2 DAYS) because the repair bills would break the bank. That's my story and I'm sticking with it!

  18. #18
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    MMT and MTBE are two completely different things.
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  19. #19
    Admiral
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    My wife fully understands that the boat cannot sit for extended periods (MORE THAN 2 DAYS) because the repair bills would break the bank. That's my story and I'm sticking with it![/QUOTE]

    Are you ever going to tell her when they ban MTBE.



    [QUOTE=Wingpilot;2712436]Well, Captain, the letter is dated April 9th, 2010- Luther Carrier is CEO of a multi million dollar company - Absolute Tank Cleaning- and I would say that his findings are credible and do not apply only to Florida.

    This is why I posted the link and had the last sentance in my post, most of the states I frequent (BC too) have banned MTBE, but it appears FL hasn't. Kinda sucks for you guys, also explains some of differences in problems we see here (very few), with what you see there.

  20. #20
    Petty Officer 2nd Class SeanMcl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mixing ethanol gas with non-ethanol gas

    Quote Originally Posted by KermieB View Post
    I frequent a lake near my home that serves a nuclear power plant and the water temp is already at 89 degrees and they aren't even using the nuclear reactor. When they generate nuclear power, the water temp near the inlet canal will be above 100 with no problem.
    We have got to get one of these in Utah. The lake I like to boat on has a water temp of 41 right now. Still a little cool for skiing. :-)

    Cheap electricity with no air pollution AND a warm lake? Sign me up.
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