Features

November 2008 Issue

Bench Tests of Five Ethanol Gas Additives Yield Surprising Results

None of the five products tested were capable of preventing phase separation, one of the most troublesome problems associated with ethanol gas.

Since the introduction of ethanol fuels at dockside pumps, we’ve had a slew of reader inquires about the effects of E-10 on fuel lines, fuel tanks, two-stroke engines, and four-stroke engines. We recently tested some products designed to address these issues, specifically those that claim to combat the problems associated with phase separation in E-10. Practical Sailor tested: E-Zorb from Marine Development Research Corp. (MDR), Sta-bil Marine Formula Ethanol Treatment from Gold Eagle, PRI-G from Power Research Inc., Star Tron from Star brite, and Techron from Chevron. The claims of each product varied, but the test products fell into one of these general categories: conventional fuel storage additives, ethanol fuel storage additives, and restorative gas additives. Our tests looked at whether the additive itself would leave ash deposits, gum deposits, or residue that might cause contaminated lubrication oil; whether an additive had a tendency to emulsify, suspend, or absorb free water; and whether the additives could delay the onset of cooling-induced phase separation.

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