The Need-to-Know: Ethanol-Free Gas
Recently more consumers have been requesting ethanol-free fuel. To understand why let’s review some fuel history.
Before 2003, MTBE (Methyl tert-butyl ether) was a fuel additive used to oxygenate fuel. But, in 2003, most states banned MTBE because of contamination along with environmental and health risks. Ethanol was the replacement.
Today, because of the following laws and regulations, ethanol fuel is the primary fuel offered by public gas stations.
- The Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFSP)
- Energy Policy Act
- Clean Air Act
- Alternative Motor Fuels Act
What’s the Difference with Ethanol-Free Gas?
Environmentally conscious consumers are asking for ethanol-free gas, but the problem is, it isn’t readily available. Additionally, since ethanol comes from corn, our food prices can rise with its increased use. This is because the majority of processed food has some sort of corn additive like high-fructose corn syrup.
The standard gasoline available at the pumps for our vehicles is a blend of up to 15% ethanol and gasoline. Sometimes it’s labeled E10 or E15. That’s what you get in most gas stations. So, finding fuel without ethanol is the issue.
What’s Bad about Ethanol
Besides raising our food prices, it’s corrosive to both plastic and rubber which causes problems in vehicles and machinery. If ethanol fuel is mixed with gasoline and left to sit – for example, in a lawn mower in the winter; it’s bad news and can wreck the entire engine.
It’s important to drain any gasoline containing ethanol from equipment when you’re not going to be using it. That includes your snow blowers, weed eaters, and lawn mowers. Since ethanol is made from corn, it’s gritty and not entirely clean. Small particles can get in machine engine parts and cause problems from not starting to ruining the engine and having to buy a new piece of equipment.
Separation is also a big problem with ethanol gas. In fact, if you drain it into a container and let it sit overnight, you’ll see water in the bottom the next morning. That’s why it’s so important to drain gas from your machinery when you’re not going to use it for a while
Two Main Problems with Ethanol-Free Gas
- First off is the price, it can be thirty cents or more per gallon. If you run a large fleet, that right there is a reason ethanol-free fuel is not an option.
- Secondly, it’s tough to locate. There are a few websites that list gas stations all over the US and sometimes Canada, but before you make a long trip, call first. These stations don’t always have it available, and sometimes they only sell it for equipment, not vehicles.
Where can you find Ethanol-Free Gas?
These two websites show where e-free fuel can be found.
Both of these sites use site visitor input to let them know who’s selling ethanol-free gas. It might not always be up to date, so it’s wise to call first.
For Texas, if you live east of Dallas and along the north-east border, there are quite a few stations that sell ethanol-free fuel. There’s also a station in Corpus Christi, and few in Amarillo and one in Houston.
If you have an antique vintage car, it might be worth the investigation and drive to use e-free gas because of problems associated with regular gas.
When is Ethanol Added?
Regular gas is transported through the pipelines, but not ethanol because there’s a concern it will eat away at the pipes. That’s why it’s added before the gas is delivered to the gas station and before Ricochet receives it.
Richochet does not add the ethanol to fuel.
Tips for using E10 Gas
The number one tip we can give you is not to let it sit in your tank. The shelf life is only about 90 days, so replace the gas in your tank about every two to three weeks. But if you can, get e-free gas for your small machinery like weed eaters.
Keep your equipment and engines well-tuned. Make sure you replace plastic and rubber parts that are getting worn.
Ricochet and Ethanol-Free Gasoline
As you can see, a key issue is the availability of ethanol-free gasoline. Our availability changes all of the time mainly based on the location. Ricochet Fuel Distributors, Inc. has been supplying bulk fuel since 1988. We proudly service Texas and the surrounding states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. We’d like to make you one of our satisfied customers too. For your bulk fuel needs contact Ricochet Fuel today. For more information call us at 800-284-2540.