Cleaning Petrol From Ethanol

Discussion in 'Technical Help' started by elevensies, Nov 8, 2019 at 9:49 AM.

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  1. elevensies

    elevensies Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2019
    128
    83
    lincolnshire
    Ok following on from another thread, i suggested people possibly clean their petrol from ethanol if you intend keeping a garaged bike through winter/ long periods, with fuel in the tank. sorry if this is long winded .

    The Gum we get in the tank, fuel lines and carb/ injectors is ethanol.

    Its in the fuel we buy, its there because it has a few properties the environment likes, its an alcohol, and its widely used for many things, from rocket fuel, to hand wipes. so

    why get rid? well ethanol attracts water, it absorbs it, so if you have a moderately cold, damp garage like most do, the petrol in the fuel tank will start to absorb any and all moisture, and then because petrol and water dont mix, the water held in ethanol drops, and starts to cause the damaging effect inside the tank.

    How to clean petrol from ethanol is easy:
    be outside well vented area no flames no smoking etc etc
    get a large glass demijon or any other seal able glass jar large enough to do the fuel.
    eg: in 1lt of fuel pour in 100ml of tap water
    pop the lid/ cap on the demijon
    shake and agitate for few mins
    leave for half hour or so

    you will then see you now have water settled at the bottom of your jar, you will have maybe 150ml, this is your ethanol in water, so your 1lt of petrol had 50ml of ethanol in it,

    carefully pour your clean fuel into a fuel container, and your ready to put in your tank and run.

    see the video


    enjoy and be careful
     
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  2. thebiglad

    thebiglad Old fart, still riding !

    Sep 25, 2013
    4,880
    800
    Central France
    Or you could just run your engine until it runs out of fuel, before putting it away for the winter.
     
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  3. half ton

    half ton Crème de la Crème

    Oct 18, 2013
    3,179
    1,000
    uk
    I must admit that I would prefer fuel in my tank over winter, As I assume it helps prevent rusting.
    I did post on here somewhere a while back about a cheap plastic set up to do the ethanol and water removal ....same idea as elevensies :)
     
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  4. darkman

    darkman Crème de la Crème

    Oct 26, 2015
    3,033
    1,000
    Southcoast of the UK Earth
    One thing to consider is fuel with the ethanol removed is now a lower octane rating so would req an additive to restore its rating, i have used a fuel ethanol conditioner for the last few years in my older bikes and have been pleased with the results.
     
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  5. Old phart phred

    Old phart phred Senior Member
    Subscriber

    Jun 23, 2019
    466
    213
    Ks
    I just buy the non ethanol gas, costs a bit more
     
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  6. Don the Don

    Don the Don Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2019
    31
    63
    MORAY UK
    I have used a fuel conditioner for several years now over winter on my main bike and have had no problems, Short term starting and running can sometimes produce emulsification of the oil as the engine does not get hot enough to burn any water off,
    My 89 Transalp I use all year round for work.
     
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  7. elevensies

    elevensies Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2019
    128
    83
    lincolnshire
    it will only help prevent rust if theres no ethanol in the petrol you leave in :)
     
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  8. elevensies

    elevensies Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2019
    128
    83
    lincolnshire
    no, thats not quite case at all, the RON rating is lead not ethanol, ethanol fuels are E rated so E85 E87 E99 but the petrol itself is pure as a fuel, but its the knock rate, isooctane is used to measure RON as pre ignition.
     
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  9. curly

    curly Noble Member

    Jul 3, 2016
    458
    313
    Burton Upon Trent
    Shouldn't green shield stamps be factored into this matter?
    As long as I get double green shield stamps with it, I don't care where my petrol comes from
     
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  10. Tricky-Dicky

    Tricky-Dicky Senior Member

    Dec 12, 2016
    764
    243
    Norfolk UK
    I just drain my tank problem solved.;)
     
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  11. beerkat

    beerkat Member

    Aug 14, 2019
    93
    18
    Cheshire UK
    Me too. Check out which oil companies produce ethanol-free petrol near you. It seems to vary around the country. I use Shell V-Plus. Yes it costs a bit more but having had to deal with two rusty tanks this year (not the Triumph) it makes sense to me.
     
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  12. beerkat

    beerkat Member

    Aug 14, 2019
    93
    18
    Cheshire UK
    Me too. Check out which oil companies produce ethanol-free petrol near you. It seems to vary around the country. I use Shell V-Plus. Yes it costs a bit more but having had to deal with two rusty tanks this year (not the Triumph) it makes sense to me.
     
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  13. Helmut Visor

    Helmut Visor Put on your big boy pants and man up
    Subscriber

    Oct 3, 2018
    2,104
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    That has 5% ethanol I'm afraid mate :):)
     
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  14. stevethegoolie

    stevethegoolie Elite Member

    Oct 16, 2014
    2,050
    800
    East Riding of Yorkshire
    Filled up a while back with super unleaded after visiting several garages to find some without ethanol in it, and failing miserably. Put it in anyway, more in hope than anything else. Sadly I haven't ridden since (a bit of back and knee trouble) so I've dosed it with stabiliser and Redex and have ordered some Wynns Dry Fuel which will hopefully, between them, preserve the petrol and the tank over winter. It usually works, although ethanol free super unleaded was always the best/cheapest option in my opinion! Sadly no more!
     
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  15. Helmut Visor

    Helmut Visor Put on your big boy pants and man up
    Subscriber

    Oct 3, 2018
    2,104
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    Three Counties
    I don't think you can buy ethanol free fuel in the UK due to regulations (I think 5% is the minimum allowed) whereas in the USA I believe it is still available ;);)
     
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  16. andypandy

    andypandy Elite Member

    Jan 10, 2016
    2,155
    800
    Shaw
    I've never bothered with any of the suggestions above and I doubt if most other people have either, at least just for over winter. I've never had a problem.
    I think you are all being a bit pernickerty. :)
     
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  17. beerkat

    beerkat Member

    Aug 14, 2019
    93
    18
    Cheshire UK
    Besides the modern, fuel injected Triumph, which I'm not so concerned about (because I'm assuming Triumph's engineers have thought about ethanol in petrol) I own 2 Honda sports bikes from the early '90's (RVF400NC35 & CBR400NC29 in case you're curious), before the days of ethanol. They've got carbs and bare steel tanks (I don't know if the Triumph's tank is bare steel or has been lined..I'm sure someone will tell me).
    I've had to derust both tanks this year and strip and clean the carbs. Ethanol may or may not be the cause. Classic Motorcycle Mechanics and Practical Sportsbike mags both suggest it is, and both recommend using ethanol-free petrol if possible, which is what I try to do.
    If you research ethanol-free petrol (which for most people means google it, I contacted companies directly) this is what you will find (and I'm paraphrasing to keep it brief):
    Most unleaded 95 Octane petrol in the UK contains up to 5% ethanol (government requirement).
    There is currently no requirement for super unleaded (97+ Octane) to contain ethanol.
    Esso super unleaded and Shell V+ is ethanol free across most of the UK (except Scotland and the south west..don't know why).
    So there you go. They could be lying of course but what would be the point?
    The obvious solution is to keep using the bike(s) and not leave them unused for long periods with petrol in the tank.
     
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  18. beerkat

    beerkat Member

    Aug 14, 2019
    93
    18
    Cheshire UK
    I'm curious as to how you knew the super unleaded you used wasn't ethanol-free. Presumably it said somewhere on the pump (the people who take your cash rarely have a clue..I've asked several).
     
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  19. beerkat

    beerkat Member

    Aug 14, 2019
    93
    18
    Cheshire UK
    Please don't take offence but a couple of 'thinks' and a 'believe' suggests you haven't actually checked.
    If someone can direct me to a statement from an oil company or the government or a report from anyone that contradicts what I said in my previous post then please do. I'm happy to be corrected.
     
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  20. beerkat

    beerkat Member

    Aug 14, 2019
    93
    18
    Cheshire UK
    Just had a reply from Shell UK, which I assume is their current position. It now says that standard Shell unleaded AND Shell V-Power contain some ethanol, up to 5%. This is a change from their last statement. However, Esso still maintain their super unleaded (Synergy) fuels do not contain ethanol.
     
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