Friday, April 1, 2011

Pure gas

It seems that some lucky people, in parts of this great land of ours, can still obtain unadulterated, clear quill gasoline. The list of stations is maintained at Pure-Gas dot org. Hmm … they don't seem to mention whether there is MTBE in this stuff, or not. But that would still be better than ethanol. From Jerry Pournelle's mail.


chickelit said...

...unadulterated, clear quill gasoline.

Irony alert. In the chem lab, absolute ethanol is adulterated with traces of benzene used to remove water (via azeotopic distillation).

Irony is to call benzene adulterated with ethanol (to borrow the old German word for gasoline, Benzin.

You're right about the MTBE -- they need to be putting some anti-knock component in there. Maybe they're using good ol' "Ethyl" i.e., tetra ethyl lead. They still put that stuff in aviation fuel.

Trooper York said...

Man I had onion rings last night at midnight and I have some pure unadulterated gas let me tell ya!

Hector Owen said...

Hey Pollo, good too "see" you again! You too, Trooper.

Pollo, you're right about needing the anti-knock ingredient. We don't want that lead back in the gas. Maybe there's something better than MBTE? But I'll take it over ethanol any time. Problem with MBTE was, was it the size of the molecule? It got out of tanks that were holding the gasoline just fine, didn't it? Or have I got the history mixed up? I remember it was getting into the water table, was what caused the panic. And then the ADM money machine kicked in, and ethanol was not just essential, but desirable. Not to engines, it wasn't.

chickelit said...

MTBE was sabotaged by the corn lobby.

It's made from oil and gas, as was tetraethyllead (well except for the lead part which was mined domestically). If I had my druthers we'd all move to modern diesels which burn less refined blends and avoid the knock problem completely. link.

Even the NOx problem has solutions. link.

Hector Owen said...

Pollo, sounds like a plan. Is it a plan that could succeed in a free market? Or would coercion of some sort be required? I'm real tired of environmental coercion.

chickelit said...

Pollo, sounds like a plan. Is it a plan that could succeed in a free market?

For starters I think a few states like California should lower the taxes on diesel fuel or at least equalize the tax on diesel and gasoline. Here's a chart showing the disparities.
So a level playing field would be a non-coercive place to start IMHO. Natural efficiency advantages of diesel would become more apparent.
I am not too familar with refinery politics but I suspect that gasoline refining is more lucrative than diesel (which is less refined to begin with). If push came to shove in this country we could also make synthetic diesel fuel from coal (but not so gasoline).

Hector Owen said...

Yes, I love it. With the newer, non-stinky, quick-responding diesels. Now -- how to get those taxes lowered. There are probably Federal engine regulations that would need modification or removal, too. The market would take care of re-apportioning the passenger fleet quickly enough. Want to be a Federal Car Czar?