Testing for Ethanol in gasoline

This came up on the net previously and I wanted to do some experimenting after I paid $3.99 per gallon for what was supposed to be non ethanol pure gasoline. I hit Byrd’s Gas & Grocery just outside Benson for a few gallons for a 200cc dirt bike and various lawn equipment. The following pics tell the story of my testing. First I poured 1/2 cup of distilled water into the test cylinder then added 1/2 cup of my supposed pure, non-ethanol gas from Byrds. They separated cleanly with a mirror like appearance where they met. After agitating the sample vigorously in a capped container and pouring it back into the cylinder, the mixture gradually separated back out into 2 distinct layers of gas and water. The first pic is a bit early in the re-separation but to me it looks like Mr Byrd sells REAL Gasoline with no ethanol just like he says.

The second mix was very different. It was advertised as 10% Ethanol 87 octane. Water went into the test cylinder first then the Ethanol gas. Immediately, something different started happening. In the area where the ethanol gas met the water there was an interaction going on. It formed a distinct cloudy layer, shown in the second pic, about 1/10 inch thick between the ethanol gas and water. I assume this was the ethanol and water mixing at the boundary where they met. I then agitated the sample in a capped container and returned it to the cylinder and waited for it to separate again. This is shown in the third pic. The black marker line on the cylinder marks the original water level which has RISEN about 1/4 inch while the total volume of liquids in the cylinder hasn’t changed. This apparently shows the approx 10% volume of ethanol pulled from the gas and added to the water. I’ve seen graduated test tubes for testing the percentage of ethanol in gas and that would be interesting to see but this test was mainly to verify that there was no ethanol in my pure gas and that seemed to be proved by this test. Thanks for selling an honest product Mr Byrd.Pure Gas and Water after agitation and separation.Ethanol gas and water beginning to interact without agitation.Ethanol gas and water after agitation and sparation.


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