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  1. #1
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    Have some old E-85...Safe to use or should I toss it..?

    I have a couple 5 gallon jugs of E-85 in my garage...Been in there sealed (cool, dark place) for about 2-3 months...

    Needed to do some testing on some maps from Jake since I finally have some time...but wondering if I should use up the old stuff or just toss it? Sorry for the waste of time thread just curious what some of you guys would do..
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  2. #2
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    i wouldnt use it ethanol fuel is not known for its long shelf life..

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    Slosh the fuel around in the can to mix it up then pour some into a clear container. Is it cloudy?

    Maybe chill a sample in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer. Do you see phase separation?

  4. #4
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rdeterman Click here to enlarge
    i wouldnt use it ethanol fuel is not known for its long shelf life..
    Ok leaning towards not using it...Or buying a cheapo E85 water measuring thing to test this batch and also for any future batches...Should come in good use

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ajm8127 Click here to enlarge
    Slosh the fuel around in the can to mix it up then pour some into a clear container. Is it cloudy?

    Maybe chill a sample in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer. Do you see phase separation?
    Havent checked if its cloudy yet since I havent opened em...but will check tonight...either that or just wait for this E85 measuring tube to come and then test accordingly
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  5. #5
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    I have read that ethanol really doesn't go bad by itself. Think about liquor stored for years in a cabinet, or a cask full of whiskey aging at the distillery. The problem you will have is water. Even hot, humid summer air can have a lot of humidity in it and if that air gets trapped in the gas can and then condenses, I'm really not sure if that is enough water to cause problems. However, I know the ASTM (ASTM D 4806) uses a sight test as a sanity check for the quality of the fuel. If it is cloudy it should not be used. Chilling it will encourage phase separation as a result of absorbed water. If it is still clear after it gets cold, it might still be good.

    What test are you going to perform?

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    IMO 2-3 months is nothing, but I live in a dry climate. I ran about 20 gallons of E85 through my car this summer that had been in the shed for about 5 years. Maybe not ideal, but no issues with it. I was running about a 20% E85 mix at the time.

    If you're wondering why I had that much old E85 around it's because I got out of the game for a while and didn't know what else to do with it. Boulder is very environmentally conscious, so once I got a car that I could run it through, it was easier to burn it in the car than get rid of it any other way.

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    E85 doesn't last for $#@!. I can sometimes tell the difference between a mix at the beginning of the week and then end. That being said, it may just be because it is mixed with gas or something. I'd definitely run it if I had it sitting around, I just wouldn't try to set any world records on it. I'd probably get rid of it in a couple 25% mixes and then go buy new E85 from the gas station.

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    you could order a cheap ethanol tester to be sure but i would still pass on it

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rdeterman Click here to enlarge
    you could order a cheap ethanol tester to be sure but i would still pass on it
    This is why I am curious what test the OP wants to run. The ethanol content test uses water to pull the ethanol out of solution with the gasoline. Based on the volumes of each liquid, it is possible to determine the ethanol concentration of the original sample. If the fuel is already contaminated with water, you may or may not be able to tell from this test.

    In addition to the concentration of ethanol in the fuel, it is also important to verify the fuel has not absorbed excessive water. This is why I recommend checking to see if the fuel is cloudy which indicates it has absorbed so much water phase separation is beginning to happen. Even if phase separation is not present at room temperature, chilling the sample will encourage phase separation, if it is going to happen. If the fuel is still not cloudy after being chilled in the freezer overnight, (about 0 F) you can be confident that the outside ambient temperature will not drop that low, and therefore phase separation will never occur.

    Honestly, if the fuel has been in a sealed container with minimal air present in the container (minimal possibility for the ethanol to absorb water from the air) it is probably alright. A little bit of water is probably not a problem, after all people inject methanol and water into their engines all the time. You have to make sure there is not so much water present that the fuel will phase separate into two distinct solutions.

    Just as a sanity check, you might want to take a small amount of the fuel in question and ensure it burns when a flame is brought to it. Just a spoonful or so. I'm not responsible if you burn down your house.

    If the ethanol content of the fuel is correct (make sure to account for the month the fuel was purchased, i.e. the adjustments made seasonally to the ethanol content of E85), and if the fuel will not phase separate when chilled in the freezer, and if the fuel burns energetically, then it is probably alright for use.

  10. #10
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    Moved to General Automotive.

  11. #11
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    Checked last night with a small sample...Seems clear even after chilling for phase separation..

    Ordered the cheap E85 tester tube for future use..For this leftover E85 what im gonna do is just add a couple gallons to each pump gas fillup to clean up timing...That way I can just slowly get rid of it and it wont be wasted...Rather not do testing on E50 maps with something im iffy about...so figure this would be the most smart way to use it
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  12. #12
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    Thanks everyone for the comments/input...appreciate it
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