Author Topic: Fuel today and yesterday. Differences in Europe and US.  (Read 195 times)

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Offline Magnus

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Fuel today and yesterday. Differences in Europe and US.
« on: March 07, 2013, 12:04:09 pm »
Fuel today and yesterday. Differences in Europe and US.

This is a topic that will need more and more attention as time goes on I think.
This was discussed in another forum, but i thought I'd post what i wrote here so you can see and comment too.

Fuels are changing constantly and are getting more aggressive lately.
This has nothing to do with the Ethanol, but the other stuff added to gas.

I tested "pure" ethanol and that is not aggressive either. The oil however has a hard time mixing with Alcohols. I address this more in end.
This made me wonder so I had a look on the content in the gas sold here. It showed elevated levels of Benzene and fat acids, substances that are aggressive to plastic and rubber.
You see this here among the few that run on gas station gas and mix them self, it is a huge difference. Even the occasional users have issues with stiff membranes that sometimes even crack, dissolved gaskets etc.

Some of burned saws can be explained by the fact that the saws aren't adjusted for the fuel that is available at sight upon delivery.
In factory here they are tested and at this test run on Aspen fuel to get the correct emissions and values. Once in hands of user it can be a bit tricky especially for the saws not bought at a dealer that run it and sets it up right.
Box stores are a fine example.

As Husqvarna has their mind set on Alkylate fuel (was the driving force behind developing of Aspen fuel) and think this is the only fuel that is run in saws, they seem to choose material that is less resistant to the aggressive parts of the gas bought in stations.
Here we use alkylate fuel, and this is not aggressive at all as there are no benzene, fat acids etc.
Here it is simple as we have Alkylate fuel available everywhere, but in US it isn't.
Aspen fuels are trying to set up a US market, but it takes time.
In Canada it is available.
Please keep in mind that different fuels need different settings and Alkylate is a bit special. It will burn all old oil and carbon in used saws and this can be a problem. I clean saws run on gas/oil mix before running on Alkylate, even then it can take time until all crap is burned up.
The benefits to Alkylate is many and in new saws it is without a doubt best option.
There are other distributors and manufacturers of Alkylate fuels within US so I bet it is just a matter of time now until someone bites this apple!

Just to be able to run the saw without the heavy head, smoke and smells are a wonderful thing.
I even run indoors!

Dealers sell it here, that is were most is sold.
Mobile units that have tank, pump, everything needed in one place/unit.

Gas stations have it too, but rarely in bulk, just cans of 5 liters. And way too expensive...

It is not much more expensive then regular gas+oil mix here if you buy in bulk at a dealer.

Alkylate fuel is the purest form in the gasoline string.
It is as gas was up until mid 30's. then stuff got added to it.
That is why floats in the carburetor of the old engines could be made out of cork and shellac over it. Fuel was not aggressive so it would work just fine.

Aspen is a brand that is developed by Husqvarna/Elux.
There are others, but this is what is used here.
Aspen is a strong/leading brand here in Europe, Germany included!
Still Aspen is just a brand of Alkylate fuel, not a type of fuel.
This is a common misunderstanding.

There are other distributors of alkylate fuels in US.

Those in to old saws might know of Mike Acres.
He is a distributer of Aspen in Canada and involved in the marketing there.
He was here for a visit and we had a chance to talk face to face a bit.
It was great to finally meet Mike!

For making saws a bit more resistant to fuel system issues I try and find hoses and carb materials that are a bit better.
The carb kits are not always of the best quality, but i found those I ordered thru Blount and directly from makers (Tillotson/Walbro) a bit better.
Not 100% sure about this as there are a bit to many factors involved and i rarely get to test this as 95% of my customers use Alkylate fuel in some form.
Of the saws I service there is not many with fuel issues that run on Alkylate.
With few exceptions the others all have fuel systems issues within 6 months. I have experience of this and can help make it tolerable for those that has to run on gas mix.

We have minimum 14% Ethanol in commercial gas here next year I think it was it will be 20%.

I was following a study made here involving 85% ethanol.
Saws were run a season and this was without bigger issues.
They needed modification in order to get more fuel so they could run right, but other than that it seemed to work fine.

This ethanol thing is Bullshit from start to finish!
It is of little environmental gain to use and it is not cheaper if run on for a while here as it consumes more fuel. That said I don't think that is what is the real crook, i think that is the stuff absent in AV fuel and Alkylate, the Benzene fat acids and other things.

If there was interest of this it would be a different price to get it from US rather than getting it from here as stated earlier there are other distributer and manufactures of alkylate fuel.
It is shipped here from US, then shipped back again with our taxes and prices. No wonder it is expensive!
Instead of finding same product in US it is a European sold there...

There are options available pretty easily that isn't aggressive.
AV-gas is one example availeble in US.
I tried this when I was visiting William and with exception of smell it seemed pretty good.
I think this is a good option and very similar to Alkylate fuel as it has little additives.

Same thing there with settings, different fuels different settings.

You can learn a lot by looking back in time and see the changes made. Petrol/gasoline then had not much fat acids and no Benzene in it. It was like alcohol, not very aggressive.
Ethanol/Methanol is not a new thing per say, but the argument for it today is new. I doubt it is a good replacement for environmental purpose, most for the production of it.

When they started adding crap in the gas to be burnt up in the engines they had no thoughts of what was left in the fumes or what happen to the substances in combustion.
Exhaust tests was to put a hand in front of outlet and it should not be too wet!
They would laugh today if they would see how much money is put to change products to fuel instead of vice versa.

There are engines that run on Methanol and Ethanol without the trouble seen today in the commerce gasoline/petrol.
These Alcohol fuels are NOT aggressive.
They don't eat seals, lines membranes or gaskets.

Octane is another thing often discussed in fuel debates.
In the old day's the octane was pretty low and engines were rarely of high compression.
In saws the compression is pretty low and octane refer to the amount of pressure applied to self ignite prior T D C and work against the rotation by expanding while piston is still supposed to compress and thereby work against itself and there will be little or no power produced.

Since the compression is pretty low saws can run on very low octane. In tests done by two major saw manufacturers, it is shown most saws run down to 80-83 octane without issues.
Most fuel here have 92 or 95 octane. We have 98 and 100 too, but it is not used in regular saws.
Aviation fuel I believe was up to around 100 octane, but i cant remember for sure, marginal was more then adequate anyway.

It is not often seen that there are damages due to low octane, but sometime they pop up. Usually when someone bought really old gas very cheep or found a can some were they decided to run up.
It is pretty unique as it most often burns a hole in top of piston. It looks like a crater from a asteroid impact. It can burn of intake side top edge too, but then it is likely noticed in performance.
When working on supercharged engines this is a factor to think about, but rarely so with saws.
Octane is measured here with two standards Ron and Mon. In USA it is Pon that is standard and the differences in the systems of measuring is not that big.
You could say it is more reliable to measure with Mon than the other two.

Octane number on the E85 is 104 octane (Ron).

As I understand it AV gas is available in US with in several grades:
80 octane, 90 Octane, 100 octane unleaded and 100 octane low-lead.
(Thank's Erik for this information)

We can not buy AV gas anymore here unless you have aircraft and have it on a airport some were.

There is a lot to learn on this subject on internet and it is clear the fuel changes constantly.
Learning more helps to understand and choose materials and make settings in fuel systems etc.

The two stroke oil is another thing that needs to be considered with the fuels today.
Very few oils mix with Alcohol.
Those who do mix are synthetic and thoughts of that can be addressed in another thread.
If oil that don't mix with alcohol is used you have a percentage of not oiled fuel in a engine that is depending on 100% oil mixed fuel.
If you have 10% Ethanol and a not so good oil bought in a supermarket some were 90% fuel will be with oil, 10% straight up. This too is a contributing factor to the problems.

Chainsaw nut!

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