Petrol = gasoline = fuel storage questions.

Discussion in 'Gas Engines' started by Manie B, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    Gents our fuel has got a very short shelf life.
    I guess less than 6 months, because the fuel that I had since January I had to discard in August. Our winter was cold, but our tempratures only drop to around -4 deg celcius max. for a couple of days only.

    The fuel that works well in my 5hp fourstroke outboard is "unleaded" 93 - which is nothing special - a low "octane" regular which most cars run on.
    A motor car with an electric starter would probably run ok with old fuel - BUT a pull start one cylinder engine is a definate no-no, it starts and splutters but wont run.

    The fuel turns a very dark colour and has a stink smell to it. Unfortuntaly I did not save a sample.
    This is why I have started to collect samples once a month to take pics to see how and when the colour changes. I dont know if the PET bottles is the correct plastic for long term storage, because I dont know what plastic is used for the outboard tanks.

    the question is
    how can we store petrol (gasoline) so that it has a shelf life of perhaps a year? or longer?

    are there additives that would work?
    two stroke oil? diesel? moonshine? stardust from the fairies? anything?
    I am sure it not just me with my tiny boat - ask any New Yorker if he wished he had 100 liters tucked away somewhere, and the answer would be YES

    I dont know if it would be an idea to build some kind of a polishing setup with all sorts of filters.

    here by me this fuel storage thing is going to become important
    all I need is 4x 25 liter plastic cans (5gals/ea) and that would be fantastic

    has anybody tried? - any ideas ? - any tips?
     

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  2. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    The fuel goes bad due to water being present that contains bacteria that eats gasoline. Drop a penicillin capsule into the tank and it will last longer. The bacteria lives in the water but eats petrol. The pcn kills it.
     
  3. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Periodically rotate your stock. Use oldest gas(in your truck) first and buy new when practical. Fuel with ethanol in it will go bad faster because water is always present where there is liquid ethanol. Full tanks have less room for air ergo less water vapor present in tank ergo less bacteria.
     
  4. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Hmm...penicilin.

    Might work


    I dont have problems with gasoline stored in a typical plastic outboard motor tank. Seems to be just as good after a few months of sleeping. At least Euro Gasoline.
    In the US they have corn cobbs floating in the fuel and this may cause your trusty outboard indegestion . Do you have corn cobb fuel in SA ?
     
  5. hoytedow
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    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher

  6. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    http://theepicenter.com/tow021799.html

    "The problem begins with today's modern fuels. These so-called "clean" fuels typically deteriorate at much faster rates than fuels made 20 years ago. While all fuels suffer from the problem, most at risk are the EPA mandated reformulated gasolines (RFG) that contain oxygenate additives, derivatives of methyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol. We've seen gasoline have shelf life as little as a month--particularly if it is subjected to heat and moisture."
    By Ralph E. Lewis, Power Research Inc.
     
  7. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Whoa !

    One month shelf life !.

    Honest, I leave gas in the tank for months. Nevereven think about it. The tank in my small boat with a 8hp yamaha is 18 years old...never cleaned, never had a problem.
     
  8. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Manie,

    Sorry to hear you're having premature fuel degradation.

    I use a fuel additive and never have any trouble.

    What did you do with the expired gas?
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yep, just use a fuel stabilizer and you're good to go.
     
  10. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

    The expired gas was used as cleaning fluid in the workshop, so nothing really wasted.

    I have never heard of the penicillin - but I will go tomorrow and see if anybody around here has some kind of fuel stabilizer / fuel additive
    I will keep you guys posted.

    I will also post pics once a month of the "test" bottles so that we can all see how it changes.

    It is easy enough to rotate fuel which I am doing now anyway - but it would be much less work if I could just hide 4 jerry cans away at the back and rotate once a year.

    Anyway on a much lighter note. ;)
    Sunday I was working on my rudders and tiller and auto-pilot setup.
    So much later in the afternoon after a couple of glasses of Merlot (red wine) I was listening to a new radio channel on my iPhone that only plays Big Band Swing - boy oh boy what a party all on my own - Benny Goodman - Glenn Miller - Dizzy Gillespie and lots more. Absolutely fantastic music - Big Band Swing Jazz.
    So while I was grooving on deck (in the garage) to Swing the thought struck me about the fuel.
    I mean really, what would happen if I am in the middle of nowhere, on my micro, and my fuel is rotten - Jeez that wont do - better make a plan now and start testing and making sure the motor runs ok with the fairy dust in the tank. I have got maize (corn) and brown bread wheat flour on the boat that is a year old now and is fantastic - and rice. The wine on the boat is better after the first year! Even the water is really good after 8 months.
    Whisky no problem!

    So folks, as you can see the fuel problem must be solved. ;)
    the next cruise is around the corner
    with fuel stabilizer :)
     
  11. jonr
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Location: Great Lakes

    jonr Senior Member

    Fuel stabilizer works well.
     
  12. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    [​IMG]

    Keep a bottle of this stuff in a locker if you're really worried. It'll keep your fuel in good shape for at least a year, probably 2. If you discover a bad batch of fuel, just pour some in and stir. It'll be good to go in 30 seconds.
     
  13. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    In some boating areas like Florida gas with out the ethanol is being sold.Do not add 2 stroke oil till the fuel is going to be used as it kills octane

    The local airport for tiny planes will have ethanol free fuel, while its not cheap, its cheaper than tossing fuel every month or so.

    Additives may keep the fuel bug free but the 10% ethanol will absorb moisture IF it can.

    The sealed army style "jerry cans" do not vent like outboard or inboard tanks , so are a great concept for long term home (generator?) storage .

    The only sure way to solve/remove the ethanol forced on us is to shock the fuel.

    This is done by finding a large glass container , 5 gal if you can.

    4 gal of what is sold as gas is put in then a gallon of water.

    Let it sit overnight and the gas will be on top the ethanol and water on the bottom.

    Syphon the gas ,then dump the waste.

    AS global warming has failed as a hoax , the key reason for forcing ethanol in fuel is the farmers lobby , we destroy 40% of our corn crop,
    and the many states that charge gas tax by the gallon.

    With it requiring 11Gal of fuel purchase to go 10 Gal worth of distance , an extra 10% in tax extortion keeps the state spenders happy.

    Weather the tanks , fuel system , pumps or carb is destroyed by the Ethanol is not the states concern.

    FF
     
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  14. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Fast Fred,

    Where do you "dump the waste"?
     

  15. seadreamer6
    Joined: Oct 2012
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    Location: helena,mt

    seadreamer6 Junior Member

    I second the use of fuel stabilizer. Up here in the northlands our boats sit on the hard for 7 months a year, with temps from 70 f to minus 40 f. If u don't stabilize the fuel you are in for an expensive deal in the spring.

    If your boat will be sitting for more than a few weeks u should also run it long enough to get the stabilized fuel throughout the whole fuel system.

    I've chosen to run stabilized fuel all the time. Ya it adds a little to the cost but the peace of mind is worth it.
     
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