• Facts About Fuel Additives & Treatments

    by SeriousOffshore

    If you’re putting it in the fuel tank of your boat and running it through your very expensive engines, it’s probably a good idea to know what’s in it. And more importantly, what it does. You don’t have to be a chemist to have a basic understanding of what’s in some of these products and what they’ll do in your fuel system- good or bad.
    Below is a list of selected fuel system additive and gas treatment products that may be used by engine owners to prevent, improve or correct fuel system issues.

    Now that E10 gas has widespread distribution, many products which once were safe when used in conventional non-alcohol fuel, may now pose unnecessary risks and danger to engines running on ethanol blend renewable fuels.
    Ethanol alcohol, used for oxygenating E10 and E85 fuel, is a solvent, cleanser, antifreeze and it readily absorbs water – Many fuel system treatment products have the same exact properties.
    There are many alternative names for alcohol and ethanol compounds so it’s wise to review the ingredients of fuel treatment products before use. You’ll find these on the manufacturer’s MSDS (material safety data sheet) that is required to be provided under law.
    Fuel System Cleansers
    Gumout Winter Fuel Injector Cleaner contains isopropanol alcohol 30-50%, plus detergent mixture, petroleum distillate(s) and trade secret formula. Notes: Product page states to use with every fill-up, but does not advise that will increase alcohol content over 10% when used in E10 gas.
    Mercury Marine Fuel System Cleaner contains 15% isopropanol alcohol and napha solvent. (Equal to a .03% increase in alcohol per gallon.)
    CD2 Engine Tuneup contains methanol (60-70%), Isopropanol (20-30%), 2-Butoxyethanol (10-20%) and Diacetone alcohol (10-20%). (Equal to a .75% to .8% increase in alcohol per gallon.)
    Octane Enhancers
    Turbo Octane Boost 108 (North American Oil Co. and Blue Magic Company) ingredient list includes only Methanol and t-Butyl alcohol.
    Gasoline Fuel Stabilizers
    StaBil Fuel Stabilizer: Gold eagle Co. Proprietary or trade secret ingredient(s) and hydrotreated light naphthenic distillate solvent extract (mineral oil).
    PRI-G and PRI-D: Power Research Inc.
    Primary ingredient = Shellsol D60, a hydrocarbon solvent. See the Shellsol description below. Also contains amines and organic dispersants. Risk of attracting and absorbing water = Very Low – Insoluble in water.
    Neutra Fuel Stabilizer: Schaeffer Mfg. Company
    Primary ingredient = N-Butyl Alcohol. Also contains cresylic acid…
    Risk of attracting and absorbing water = High.
    Fuel Conditioners
    Evinrude BRP/OMC 2+4 Fuel Conditioner contains 95% alcohol. MSDS includes information supporting product is not appropriate for use in alcohol blends of fuel, E10. For example MSDS states, “Soluble in water”…”Incompatibility (Material to Avoid) Strong Oxidizing agents…”, etc.
    Fuel-Testers Note: Ethanol is a “strong oxidizing agent” used to oxygenate gasoline. 2+4 is manufactured by Gold Eagle Co.
    Gas Treatment Products
    STP Oxygenated Gas Treatment – Most STP gas treatment products contain naphthalene – solvent naphtha, petroleum distillates, stoddard solvent, trimethylbenzenes (mixed isomers), trade secret ingredient, and other similar type chemicals.
    K100 G Marine Gas Treatment, K100 MD, K100 MG, and other similar K-100 products: Kinetic Laboratories Inc.
    Primary ingredients = 2 Butoxyethanol, Ethylene Glycol, Monobutyl ether…
    Risk for attracting and absorbing water = High – Contains alcohol.
    The K100 marine brochure and website falsely state, “Eliminates water and all water related problems, (Misleading and impossible claim)….”Stops phase separation in E-10 fuel”, (Again, scientifically impossible claim).
    Description and Definitions of Fuel and Additive Ingredients
    Ethylene glycol is an alcohol widely used as an automotive antifreeze and in the plastics industry for the manufacture of polyester fibers and resins.
    Naphthenic Petroleum Oil = Mineral oil, petroleum distillates, hydrotreated light naphthenic.
    N-Butyl Alcohol: A petroleum hydrocarbon and additive solvent. Also known as 1-Butanol, n-Butanol and Propylcarbinol.
    It is commonly used as a solvent for fats, waxes, shellac, resins, gums, and varnish. Soluble in water, disperses.
    Shellsol: A petroleum distillate, evaporating, mineral spirits type hydrocarbon solvent with a limited aromatic content.
    Mineral spirits are commonly used as a mild solvent, cleaning and degreasing machine tools and parts, and paint thinner or alternative to turpentine. Especially effective in removing oils, greases, carbon, and other material from metal. Mineral spirits may also be used in conjunction with cutting oil as a thread cutting and reaming lubricant. Also referred to as a white spirit or stoddard solvent. Insoluble in water.
    2-Butoxyethanol is an organic solvent and glycol ether, frequently found in cleaning products. It is difficult for consumers to know whether a product contains this chemical because manufacturers are not required to list it on the MSDS.
    How to recognize ingredients that are an alcohol:
    Review the wording and letters of each ingredient listed on the MSDS and package label. Many alcohol (ethanol type) chemical names end in “ol”. E.G. ethan”ol”, methan”ol”. Sometimes the common name of alcohol based ingredients is not so obvious.
    E.G. Carbon disulfide = Alcohol Sulfuris, Aromatic Spirit of Ammonia = Ammonia in alcohol.
    Common and Chemical Names of Alcohol:
    alcohol, grain=ethyl alcohol, alcohol sulfuris=carbon disulfide, wood alcohol=methyl alcohol,
    ethanol = ethyl alcohol, methanol = methyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol = isopropyl alcohol…
    Our primary intention is to make you more aware of the ingredients products contain, so you can make an informed decision if the product is suitable for use with E10 or E85 ethanol alcohol gasoline blends. Information listed below was obtained from public sources, including official MSDS, scientific literature, research and journals, product company’s brochures and websites. The product listing above is not intended to give advice or recommendation for gas treatment or fuel additive products.
    Some companies that manufacture and sell fuel treatment products are using deceptive marketing tactics, to convince you that they have a product which will “prevent and fix” all ethanol-related fuel problems – No such miracle product exists!
    The only product that can safely and effectively remove water from E10 gasoline is Hydroburn by Cim-tek petroleum equipment company. Advanced fuel purifying equipment (costly) can also remove water from contaminated gas.
    Gas contains hundreds of chemicals and compounds – All added by the fuel companies to provide the best quality of gas possible. Gasoline sold to the public contains stabilizers, preservatives, dyes, oxygenators, octane enhancers and much more.If there was product or chemical which could simply prevent all the negative side-effects of ethanol in fuel, the major gas companies would already be adding it to the gas produced.