Methanol + E10 + SEFI/MPFI = mpg gain? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 06-28-2008, 10:31 AM   #1
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Methanol + E10 + SEFI/MPFI = mpg gain?

EDIT: Methanol by itself doesn't seem to do it, read later posts, seems to be some effect in combo with TC-W3 outboard oil in *small* quantities.

Hi folks,

Starting another thread on this because 1st thread title was less than obvious, and may or may not be what is happening. Original thread here...
http://www.gassavers.org/showthread.php?t=7961

So here's the short version. I theorised that methanol may promote dehydrogenisation of ethanol in contact with catalytic metals and metal oxides in amounts equal or greater to 5% of the proportion of ethanol in the fuel. Which is 6.5oz per 10 Gallons for E10.

So I put 16.9oz, 500ml of "Methyl Hydrate" fondue fuel methanol in my last tank (15 gallons) and got an apparent gain of 6% higher than my previous best tank, 15% gain over average and 10%ish over highest other additive free tank. See gas log of 27/06/08. Gas in Ontario is meant to have a mandated 5% ethanol now, but that can be credit traded between companies, so actual percentage of ethanol in this test tank is unclear. I'm suspecting about 5%. I'm looking forward to trying a true E10, and I'm positively salivating at the prospect of E85 eventually becoming available locally.

So maybe in multipoint and sequential fuel injection systems, the catalytic activity of the metals in the intake port, where at low load, fuel sits and evaporates because it is sprayed before valve opening, when the ports are hot, is promoted sufficiently by addition of methanol to an ethanol containing fuel to make small quantities of hydrogen and an acetone like ketone. Or maybe it doesn't, but my mpg seems to have got a boost.

In theory this works when several conditions are met.
i) Low load, highway cruise etc. At higher loads injectors are spraying through an open valve, meaning very little ethanol wlll contact a surface that might catalyse anything
ii) SEFI or MPFI, fuel needs to sit in a hot intake port for this to begin to happen, this does not occur to a great enough extend on TBI or carbed cars.
iii) Ethanol in the fuel.
iv) Long enough trips to get the engine nice and hot, I hear engine note change at about 1/3 sweep of my temp gauge where hot weather running temp is around half sweep. Since I typically see about a quarter sweep in winter, then effects may fall off in cold weather unless steps are taken to keep heat in the engine (grille block etc)

It may be incompatible with...
i) acetone. Since acetone like ketones are produced and acetone ratios supposedly critical, it may not give any gain when used with acetone, But acetone is reported to give no gain in E10 anyway, so this shouldn't really be much of an issue.
ii) HHO, since a good HHO system, may be putting more H2 in the motor than this will, and gain of that might be hitting mechanical limits of engine, further gain with the amounts this produces may be unnoticable. With a 2 bolts in a jar or weak system you might see a gain still. Also dehydrogenation activity at the temperatures typical in an intake port is inhibited by prescence of water. At temperatures of 200 or 300 centigrade the steam will help, but a "wet" HHO system will likely not see gains from this. Also if the system is spitting or misting Lye/NaOH, baking soda or pottassium hydroxide into the intake, this may strip the protective oxides off aluminum alloys and allow methanol to attack them. So if your HHO is doubling your milage or better, expect nothing from this.
iii) Top end lubes, 2 stroke oil, torco etc... I suspect that these are particularly likely to coat your intake ports with a film that will prevent any ethanol/metal dehydrogenisation activity taking place.

Safety....

Methanol is a poison, be particular careful not to breathe the fumes, spill any on skin etc. Ethanol competitively inhibits methanol absorption in the body, so if you do accidentally soak yourself in it, wash it off and have a beer.

In engines, methanol is said to be harmless up to concentrations of 20oz per 10 gallons, per the makers of HEET methanol based gas line antifreeze.

Getting it...

Methanol is available as HEET gas line antifreeze which is 99% pure, also as "Methyl Hydrate" fondue or chafing stove fuel at many grocery stores, general merchandise stores, and dollar stores, it is dyed blue. In hardware and paint stores it's in the thinners section "Methyl Hydrate" for thinning shellac. These latter two are supposedly 99% pure according to biodiesel folks who use it for transesterification. Racing methanol is reportedly only 92% pure, windshield wash which some folks spray into their intakes is generally between 40% and 60% pure. Don't use either of these for this purpose as we are suspecting that water hinders the reaction.

Q: How come nobody noticed this before?
A: Maybe because winter FE, when methanol antifreezes are used, the gas mileage is in the pan anyway, and if you've got water contamination to cure the water inhibits it, and engines don't get hot enough in winter. If it's used in summer, again it's for likely water contamination.

Testing....

Dynoing this very likely won't show anything. This is because dyno runs are done at WOT. Short trips may not show anything, needs to be hot. Excessive EOCing may not show anything, needs to be hot. Fuel rate flow meters and injector duty cycle monitors should show drop in fuel usage at steady speed.

So, I'd prefer that this thread is reserved for testing, results and observations
of it's practical application and that the other thread linked at the top is used for theorising about how it might be working and the dehydrogenation process and technical discussion. Please post results here, and note what type of methanol was used, in what type of gas, and whether your motor has an iron head or an alloy head.

regards,

Road Warrior
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:51 AM   #2
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I bought one gallon earlier today. I have a 600 mile trip scheduled for tomorrow. Weather should be warm from Wisconsin to Topeka, Kansas. I'll be giving it a whirl. E10 is usually pretty easy to get in the form of 89 octane fuel in Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas that is government subsidized.

I'm not a fan of ethanol fuels, personally. In the area of SE Wisconsin, it's mandated by the EPA. But, I find the whole project interesting, so, here we go.
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:08 PM   #3
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it would be interesting to see if a car could use a computer to make the vehicle run off of different fuels (as opposed to simply mixed) depending on conditions so that energy is used most efficiently...
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:53 AM   #4
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First trips on 2nd tank observations...

With slightly cooler weather, it's taking longer for the effect to kick in, seem to get it hot enough on the first 1/4 of the trip when it's above 20C, but this morning, in air temps of 18C I'd gone halfway before I heard engine note change, around 1/3 scale on my temp gauge again. I also took some slower roads and observed that below about 85kph and 60kph, I'm getting too much draft through the radiator in sub 20C temps relative to the heat the motor is making, such that it hovers below 1/3 scale, in city driving and full speed highway it will keep up though.

The effect also seems to be keeping engine temperatures a little lower, on the hot afternoon run I had I was noticing that while I got to about half gauge, I didn't hit the fan, at similar temperatures in previous weeks I was a little worried about the age and reduced performance of my cooling system, because long highway trips at 25C+ had the fan appearing to come on every so often and as soon as I got off the highway it would be running nearly full time. It appears that peak engine temperature has been reduced by adding methanol.

So I'm kind of considering a partial grill restriction now, want to get temperature higher quicker and stop so much cooling between about 60kph and 85kph.
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:59 AM   #5
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Now that I've been thinking I remember in the 70's seeing some stations advertise "Gasohol". What was the ratio of gasoline/alcohol in that? It must not have been to extreme as it would have had to run on engines without the benefit of fuel injection.

-Jay
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:07 PM   #6
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What do these acronymns stand for please:
SEFI
MPFI
TBI
EOC (EOCing)
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeventura View Post
What do these acronymns stand for please:
SEFI
MPFI
TBI
EOC (EOCing)
The first three are various forms of fuel injection. The fourth is Engine Off Coasting. Its where one shifts into Neurtral and coasts with the engine off.
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
The first three are various forms of fuel injection. The fourth is Engine Off Coasting. Its where one shifts into Neurtral and coasts with the engine off.
Thank you!!
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:46 AM   #9
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MPFI, Multi Point Fuel Injection, usually one injector per cylinder.
SEFI, sequential electronic fuel injection, to denote MPFI with timed sequential independant fuel pulses, rather than batch or bank operation as some MPFI systems do.
TBI, throttle body injection, one big injector near the throttle plate.
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:49 PM   #10
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Bugger! That last tank went to hell. Pretty damn sure I got an overfill, due to being unable to get my choice of pump, and ending up on one that was significantly more "nose down". Wasn't gonna wait because I passed 2 other stations that had their prices 20c a gallon higher, and didn't wanna see the price go up while I was waiting around. Tank is 15G, and I had only just gone a little under the quarter and hadn't flashed the "low fuel" light on. Which when it comes full on, there's enough gas to do 40-50 miles without running it dry, so I would have guessed 3 gallons in there still. Previous fills that were around 14G, I've had the needle half that distance to E. Don't think it got short filled for previous tank though because the "Getting off F" and "first quarter" checkpoints seemed good to me. Also got stuck in creepy crawly traffic for an hour yesterday afternoon, last tank that happened to got a 20.9 and saw the kind of winds today that only got me a 21.9 on another tank. My guesstimate is sans the overfill (extra gallon) and loss in holdup (another gallon) I WOULD have got 25mpg, which would seem reasonable with wind troubles and knowing that approx 1/3-1/2 of the driving wasn't quite hot enough to kick the effect in. Anyway, hoping for better luck and smoother driving on THIS tank...
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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