Your Toys & Tools & E10 Gasoline; It’s a New World

As E10 gasoline (gasoline containing up to 10‰ ethanol) continues to take over as the dominant fuel in the region, bad things will begin to happen with all of your gasoline burning toys, from your boats to your four wheelers, your snowmobiles to your chainsaws, and yes, even those non-toy things like lawn mowers and snowblowers.

All of these devices have ventilated fuel systems’; meaning the fuel in the tank is continuously exposed to the atmosphere. When the ambient temperature changes, the tank “breathes” to adjust its volume to accommodate the new temperature. Air, along with moisture, is admitted to the tank, and subject to condensation. Over time, particularly in things that aren’t used very often, this condensation will become sufficient to cause that E10 fuel to “phase separate”. That means the ethanol and water combine, and sink to the bottom of the tank, leaving a low octane gasoline layer floating on top of a water and ethanol mix, neither of which makes for a useable fuel. Your engine will run very poorly, if at all. Not Good!

Another source of moisture in your fuel tanks sufficient to cause phase separation is in the tank itself. If you’ve never had E10 in a particular gas tank, the presence of water in that tank would not have been a source of concern, as long as the amount of water was not sufficient to reach the fuel intake. This is because gasoline using MTBE instead of ethanol didn’t mix with the water, allowing for an unremarkable coexistence. When E10 is introduced to that same tank, bingo! The water and ethanol do what they do best, and you’re suddenly the owner of a tank full of trouble. Small engines that are used infrequently are particularly susceptible to this kind of mayhem. A lot of our customers talk about difficulties with chain saws and weed wackers that won’t start, or when they do start, have to run with full choke in order to develop any power at all. That’s a sure sign of bad fuel. An ounce or two of K100G can immediately remedy the problem, and continuous use will prevent future problems.

Developed primarily to eliminate moisture contamination in fuels

K100 fuel treatments from Kinetic Laboratories are proprietary formulations of complex organic compounds developed primarily to eliminate moisture contamination in fuels, with additives to improve lubricity and extend the shelf life of fuels, and to keep fuel systems, including injectors, clean and varnish free. When used with E10 gasoline, K100G or K100MG (MG has enhanced stabilizers) prevents phase separation due to its strong hydrophilic attraction to water, which is several times stronger than that of ethanol. K100G seeks out water droplets in your fuel system and breaks the bond between adjacent molecules, then permanently bonds with each molecule and encapsulates it in a combustible shell. The encapsulated water is dispersed throughout the entire tank as an inner-phase suspension and, over time, is burned off when the engine is running. The ethanol and water never mix, so phase separation cannot occur in treated E10 gasoline. K100 can also reverse phase separation in your tank if it has already occurred. First, you need to estimate approximately how much separated material there is, and then add an amount of k100 slightly greater than (105‰) the volume of the separated material and the fuel will return to its original condition.

A lot of folks also have bulk tanks for their gasoline. These are of particular concern, as they are more likely to be susceptible to water contamination because they are usually outside and exposed to the weather, and the kinds of temperature swings referred to earlier that are responsible for pulling moisture into a tank. If you haven’t switched your tank over to E10 yet, be aware that it’s very important to make certain that any water present be eliminated prior to the filling of a previously in-service tank with E10 gasoline. Drain or pump as much of the water from the tank as you can, and then add K100G to treat any remaining water. K100G encapsulates water on a one for one basis, so if you think you have a gallon of water left, add a gallon of treatment. You’ll know when you’ve successfully dealt with the problem of free water when you can “stick” the tank with a water detection paste, and there’s no change in color. So be aware, and remember that E10 gasoline requires that you take extra precautions with your fueling requirements, recognizing that the fuel stability and moisture tolerance of E10 gasoline isn’t what you’ve become used to. Treating E10 gasoline with K100G or K100MG before you have trouble is a good way to prevent bad fuel from ruining your good day.

K100 Fuel Treatments, great for all equipment, all engines, all fuels, all year!