Octane rating or ethanol. Which is more

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Basilhayden, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Basilhayden

    Basilhayden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    important? My dealer has told me to use 89 octane gas in my mower and handhelds. On the other hand, I can get ethanol free gas in 87 octane. Would the ethanol free/lower octane be better to run? Thanks
  2. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    89 in handhelds and 87 in mowers is fine...

    That being said, I have not experienced but one problem that I could even relate to ethanol...I think sometimes its used as a thing to blame for crap equipment and poor mechanic work...I'm not saying this is the case all of the time.
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  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Octane of 87 without alcohol and octane of 87 with alcohol is the same as far as octane rating.
  4. kawakx125

    kawakx125 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,130

    ethanol can and has been proven to be harder on seals and stuff in fuel systems of vehicles. it can eat certain rubbers pretty quickly. newer ones are designed with this in mind but older engines can have problems related to it. it's pretty standard around here to have at least 10% ethanol. the other issue i have with ethanol is there is less energy per gallon than straight gasoline, so you need more ethanol to make the same power. this translates to lower fuel mileage. granted at 10% its not a huge difference but it's still there all the same.
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    You've opened a can of worms now! I've said ethanol produces less energy on here before and was ridiculed.
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  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    Ethanol has less carbon per pound versus petroleum because of the oxygen in its molecule. The lower percentage of carbon is why there are fewer BTUs, therefore less energy released when it is burned or used in an engine. That oxygen in its molecule is what contributes to its corrosive properties above and beyond what is caused by its tendency to absorb water. In terms of fuel value: ethanol<gasoline<biodiesel<diesel.
  7. kawakx125

    kawakx125 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,130

    another thing i don't understand is why diesel is more expensive now, it's a less refined ''dirtier'' product
  8. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    No joke...it's because we depend on it so much for transportation of food.
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  9. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    Use only non Ethanol fuel for your equipment. No need to support the corn lobby any more than most are forced to.
    easy-lift guy
  10. MWLawnService

    MWLawnService LawnSite Member
    from sc
    Messages: 4

    Tell me about it. It makes absolutely no sense.

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