Automotive

Ontario hiking ethanol content in gasoline to help fight climate change

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 3rd, 2020 4:30 pm
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
9174 posts
3216 upvotes
Toronto
craftsman wrote: ...

So please, before you start trying to kill the messenger, try to use google before you make a fool out of yourself.
As I said, the onus is on you to show your source and not for the reader to research your claims.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
9174 posts
3216 upvotes
Toronto
Interesting historical fact: the first Ford Model T's were designed to run on ethanol or gasoline. This was because gasoline was not commonly available in 1908 and farmers could produce ethanol very cheaply and use it to fuel their vehicles. Ethanol also made a comeback as an automobile fuel during WWII when gasoline was strictly rationed. We've come full circle.

AFAIK, the trend over the last 10 years or so to use ethanol is political more than anything else. Not environmental politics either but a means of subsidizing (primarily US) farmers. From an automotive perspective, the vast majority of new cars will handle pretty much any allowed gas/ethanol blend from a Top Tier gas supplier and owners won't really notice much difference in performance or costs.
Sr. Member
Aug 8, 2004
610 posts
379 upvotes
Ottawa
Jimbobs wrote: Interesting historical fact: the first Ford Model T's were designed to run on ethanol or gasoline. This was because gasoline was not commonly available in 1908 and farmers could produce ethanol very cheaply and use it to fuel their vehicles. Ethanol also made a comeback as an automobile fuel during WWII when gasoline was strictly rationed. We've come full circle.

AFAIK, the trend over the last 10 years or so to use ethanol is political more than anything else. Not environmental politics either but a means of subsidizing (primarily US) farmers. From an automotive perspective, the vast majority of new cars will handle pretty much any allowed gas/ethanol blend from a Top Tier gas supplier and owners won't really notice much difference in performance or costs.
Correct me if I'm wrong but top tier doesn't have anything to do with ethanol?

It just means that the supplier is using cleaning detergents in a concentration that's effective at keeping the engine clean.

It does not mean that the supplier is taking the same precautions as Costco at preventing water in the tank.
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
20702 posts
14157 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
dasvedania wrote: Just skip the eco green bullshit, can some one confirm if ethanol create problem in engine in long run.
I am already raped by c tax at pump, don't want to get raped again with broken engine.
The key thing is that ethanol mixed gas doesn't like to be stored for any length of time so you have to regularly use up a tank faster than if you had straight gasoline. A good bonus for the Wintertime however is that ethanol works great as a gas line antifreeze since it attracts moisture and then lowers the freezing temperature of the water. Before ethanol was added to our gas at the pump, we had to buy ethanol in small bottles to add to the gasoline ourselves when we filled up.

Ethanol is harder on any rubber or plastic parts that might be in the fuel system. Yes, the current fuel systems are 'designed for it' but realistically none of the current fuel systems on the market have been tested under real conditions for very long periods of time - just simulated conditions in the lab and testing benches to have a good idea of what happens but not a perfect idea of what happens.
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
20702 posts
14157 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Jimbobs wrote: As I said, the onus is on you to show your source and not for the reader to research your claims.
With modern tools like search engines, the real onus is for people to learn to research things themselves rather than being spoon-fed information.
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
20702 posts
14157 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
michael007 wrote: Correct me if I'm wrong but top tier doesn't have anything to do with ethanol?

It just means that the supplier is using cleaning detergents in a concentration that's effective at keeping the engine clean.

It does not mean that the supplier is taking the same precautions as Costco at preventing water in the tank.
Actually, I would ask the author if he has any reference to his claim. After all, from his perspective, the onus is on the author to supply the source which he has done.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 1, 2016
989 posts
537 upvotes
Toronto
It's easy to fall into the line of thinking that "one solution per problem”; as we're taught in schools, further reinforced by standardized testing.
The reality of life dictates that many issues have no single "right" answer/solution. Global warming is no exception and requires an multi-pronged approach. Due to the scale, practicality, and implementation. Furthermore, it’s risky to over invest in any single solution; especially when the fate of our home planet hangs in the balance.

In the case of global warming, there are a multitude of options:

=> Transition to EVs
=> Renewable energy (Solar, wind, etc)
=> Reduce meat consumption (e.g. Meatless Mondays)
and/or reducing consumption of specific types of meat (e.g. Beef)
https://static.ewg.org/reports/2011/mea ... oteins.jpg
=> Nature conservation / expansion (depending on the region)
=> Stricter environmental policies

Controversial Example:
=> Bill Gate's foundation funded a project using planes to pump tons of dust into the stratosphere (or higher?) to reflect/reduce sunlight from reaching earth. This project has been heavily criticized due to risks of increasing natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, etc... and the response from the research team is "While these risks are very much real; so is global warming." - a crude but powerful and to the point statement on our current crisis

The list of crisis we face as humanity continues it's journey will keep growing.
Perhaps, what we need isn’t more solutions seeking problems and vice versa… but intellectual evolution seeking an audience.
Pixelation~
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2015
1026 posts
1141 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I already stick to Shell 91 and Costco 91 which don't have ethanol afaik, so I don't think this will affect me as much!
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
9174 posts
3216 upvotes
Toronto
craftsman wrote: With modern tools like search engines, the real onus is for people to learn to research things themselves rather than being spoon-fed information.
You stated "statistics show ..." without showing the source of those statistics. The onus is clearly on you to state where those statistics come from in the first place. Otherwise, you may as well have written: "it's a well known fact ...", or, "as everybody knows .... ", etc. Anyway, all off topic ...
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
9174 posts
3216 upvotes
Toronto
michael007 wrote: Correct me if I'm wrong but top tier doesn't have anything to do with ethanol?

It just means that the supplier is using cleaning detergents in a concentration that's effective at keeping the engine clean.

It does not mean that the supplier is taking the same precautions as Costco at preventing water in the tank.
From the Wikipedia page on the topic: "Top Tier fuels must maintain levels of detergent additives that result in a higher standard of engine cleanliness and performance as compared to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirement. In addition, Top Tier fuels may not contain metallic additives, which can harm the vehicle emission system and create pollutants."

And from https://www.toptiergas.com/why_top_tier/ "TOP TIER™ is recognized as a premier fuel performance specification developed and enforced by leading automotive and heavy duty equipment manufacturers."

I wasn't trying to suggest that the Top Tier designation itself includes any specific reference to ethanol good or bad but simply that it's the only "quality" standard for gas supported by (some) manufacturers and oil companies.

EDIT: There is a technical document on the Top Tier site which includes references to ethanol:

4.3.1.2 Base Fuel. The base fuel shall conform to ASTM D 4814 and shall contain commercial fuel grade ethanol conforming to ASTM D 4806. All gasoline blend stocks used to formulate the base fuel shall be representative of normal territory refinery operations and shall be derived from conversion units downstream of distillation. Butanes and pentanes are allowed for vapor pressure adjustment. The use of chemical streams is prohibited. The base fuel shall have the following specific properties after the addition of ethanol:

1. Contain enough denatured ethanol such that the ethanol content is no less than 8.0 and no more than 10.0 volume percent as measured by ASTM D 4815 or D 5845. In markets with lower fuel ethanol content, fuel matching the market conditions of fuel ethanol content can be used up on approval.
2. Contain no less than 8 volume percent olefins as measured by ASTM D 1319 or D 6729.
3. Contain no less than 15 volume percent aromatics as measured by ASTM D 1319 or D 6729.
4. Contain no more than 80 mg/kg sulfur as measured by ASTM D 2622 or D 5453.
5. Produce a 90% evaporated distillation temperature no less than 290F as measured by ASTM D86.
6. Produce IVD no less than 500 mg averaged over all intake valves.
7. A Certificate of Analysis showing both the detailed test fuel composition results and source should accompany the additive results package. This certificate should also contain the unwashed and washed gum level of the base fuel according to ASTM D381.
Last edited by Jimbobs on Nov 30th, 2020 3:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2009
4127 posts
4352 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
michael007 wrote: There's a lot of gas stations selling ethanol free premium.

https://www.pure-gas.org/
I wish people would stop posting that site because it's inaccurate. It lists Esso 91 as being ethanol free in Ontario but it's not. Especially Esso contains a lot of ethanol I think up to ~10% it says on the pumps. CT gas is not top-tier so I would not use it.

The only consistent ethanol free gas station I've found in Southern Ontario is Shell 91.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 27, 2014
7499 posts
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Canuckland
People keep parroting EV yet there are only a handful of charging stations in the major highways. How can you drive 12 hours in an EV without recharging along the way!
Sr. Member
Aug 8, 2004
610 posts
379 upvotes
Ottawa
Jimbobs wrote: From the Wikipedia page on the topic: "Top Tier fuels must maintain levels of detergent additives that result in a higher standard of engine cleanliness and performance as compared to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirement. In addition, Top Tier fuels may not contain metallic additives, which can harm the vehicle emission system and create pollutants."

And from https://www.toptiergas.com/why_top_tier/ "TOP TIER™ is recognized as a premier fuel performance specification developed and enforced by leading automotive and heavy duty equipment manufacturers."

I wasn't trying to suggest that the Top Tier designation itself includes any specific reference to ethanol good or bad but simply that it's the only "quality" standard for gas supported by (some) manufacturers and oil companies.

EDIT: There is a technical document on the Top Tier site which includes references to ethanol:

4.3.1.2 Base Fuel. The base fuel shall conform to ASTM D 4814 and shall contain commercial fuel grade ethanol conforming to ASTM D 4806. All gasoline blend stocks used to formulate the base fuel shall be representative of normal territory refinery operations and shall be derived from conversion units downstream of distillation. Butanes and pentanes are allowed for vapor pressure adjustment. The use of chemical streams is prohibited. The base fuel shall have the following specific properties after the addition of ethanol:

1. Contain enough denatured ethanol such that the ethanol content is no less than 8.0 and no more than 10.0 volume percent as measured by ASTM D 4815 or D 5845. In markets with lower fuel ethanol content, fuel matching the market conditions of fuel ethanol content can be used up on approval.
2. Contain no less than 8 volume percent olefins as measured by ASTM D 1319 or D 6729.
3. Contain no less than 15 volume percent aromatics as measured by ASTM D 1319 or D 6729.
4. Contain no more than 80 mg/kg sulfur as measured by ASTM D 2622 or D 5453.
5. Produce a 90% evaporated distillation temperature no less than 290F as measured by ASTM D86.
6. Produce IVD no less than 500 mg averaged over all intake valves.
7. A Certificate of Analysis showing both the detailed test fuel composition results and source should accompany the additive results package. This certificate should also contain the unwashed and washed gum level of the base fuel according to ASTM D381.
None of this justifies recommending a top tier station for the topic of this conversation.

You recommending a top tier station could make someone go to a station that isn’t frequently visited. This station would have a greater chance of having water in the tank compared to a station that has lots of traffic.

So for this topic of conversation, top tier isn’t relevant.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
9174 posts
3216 upvotes
Toronto
craftsman wrote: ....
Ethanol is harder on any rubber or plastic parts that might be in the fuel system. Yes, the current fuel systems are 'designed for it' but realistically none of the current fuel systems on the market have been tested under real conditions for very long periods of time - just simulated conditions in the lab and testing benches to have a good idea of what happens but not a perfect idea of what happens.
There is no rubber in modern fuel systems at all. There may be some "silicon rubber" seals but this is not actually rubber at all, it is a highly inert elastomer.
Sr. Member
Aug 8, 2004
610 posts
379 upvotes
Ottawa
Ecsta wrote: I wish people would stop posting that site because it's inaccurate. It lists Esso 91 as being ethanol free in Ontario but it's not. Especially Esso contains a lot of ethanol I think up to ~10% it says on the pumps. CT gas is not top-tier so I would not use it.

The only consistent ethanol free gas station I've found in Southern Ontario is Shell 91.
Are you sure about Esso?

In this thread - someone contacted Esso customer service and they confirmed premium does not have ethanol

https://www.reddit.com/r/vancouver/comm ... anol_free/

——

Thank you for taking the time to contact Imperial.

SynergyTM- branded gasoline does contain ethanol, as do the far majority of all gasoline (regular, midgrade & premium) in Canada. Here are the ethanol percentages found in the fuel sold at our branded retail service stations:

· Regular unleaded gasoline (Octane 87) at selected locations contains 10% ethanol (ERUL or E10)

· Midgrade gasoline (Octane 89) at locations with E10 contains 5% ethanol (midgrade is a blend of regular and premium gasoline)

· Premium unleaded gasoline (Octane 91) does not contain ethanol

· Supreme + gasoline (Octane 93 is only available at certain location) contains 10% ethanol

· Diesel gasoline does not contain ethanol

All pumps at our branded retail service stations have a sticker that clearly state "May contain up to 10% ethanol"; however, the below provinces/territories don’t have ethanol:

· New Brunswick

· Newfoundland

· Northwest Territories

· Nova Scotia

· Prince Edward Island

· Yukon

Thank you once again for contacting Imperial; we appreciate your business.

Sincerely,

Jennah

Consumer Care Specialist
Deal Addict
Jan 17, 2009
4127 posts
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Toronto, Ontario
michael007 wrote: Are you sure about Esso?

In this thread - someone contacted Esso customer service and they confirmed premium does not have ethanol

https://www.reddit.com/r/vancouver/comm ... anol_free/

——

Thank you for taking the time to contact Imperial.

SynergyTM- branded gasoline does contain ethanol, as do the far majority of all gasoline (regular, midgrade & premium) in Canada. Here are the ethanol percentages found in the fuel sold at our branded retail service stations:

· Regular unleaded gasoline (Octane 87) at selected locations contains 10% ethanol (ERUL or E10)

· Midgrade gasoline (Octane 89) at locations with E10 contains 5% ethanol (midgrade is a blend of regular and premium gasoline)

· Premium unleaded gasoline (Octane 91) does not contain ethanol

· Supreme + gasoline (Octane 93 is only available at certain location) contains 10% ethanol

· Diesel gasoline does not contain ethanol

All pumps at our branded retail service stations have a sticker that clearly state "May contain up to 10% ethanol"; however, the below provinces/territories don’t have ethanol:

· New Brunswick

· Newfoundland

· Northwest Territories

· Nova Scotia

· Prince Edward Island

· Yukon

Thank you once again for contacting Imperial; we appreciate your business.

Sincerely,

Jennah

Consumer Care Specialist
The stations near me have Esso 93, so you're telling me that 87, 89, and 93 contain ethanol but the 91 doesn't? Seems unlucky. The Shell's say right on the pump that 91 has no ethanol, the Esso pumps say "contains up to #% of ethanol". I'll trust the pumps over a reddit post but maybe I'm an idiot.
Sr. Member
Aug 8, 2004
610 posts
379 upvotes
Ottawa
Ecsta wrote: The stations near me have Esso 93, so you're telling me that 87, 89, and 93 contain ethanol but the 91 doesn't? Seems unlucky. The Shell's say right on the pump that 91 has no ethanol, the Esso pumps say "contains up to #% of ethanol". I'll trust the pumps over a reddit post but maybe I'm an idiot.
The post was a copy of a response from the company though so to discredit it is a little weird...

it specifically said that all pumps have a sticker that says up to 10% ethanol, even in regions where they don't use ethanol in any of the grades.

feel free to email them yourself but I find this to be sufficient..
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2017
1660 posts
974 upvotes
Agree with you. I think another unintentional issue is the band-aid approach. You can only reactively course correct a dying program so much before it's useless. The 'new norm' is not the WFH state people think. It's the need to anticipate and adapt... or follow in Kodak's and Blockbuster's footsteps.

Perhaps this specific move can be pitched as an isolated measure specifically to mitigate the developing problem of people moving into the boonies, which will definitely increase carbon emissions due to decreasing efficiency (increased vehicle sales, increased rural transport, expansion of infrastructure, lower economies of scale).
ProjectPixelation wrote: It's easy to fall into the line of thinking that "one solution per problem”; as we're taught in schools, further reinforced by standardized testing.
The reality of life dictates that many issues have no single "right" answer/solution. Global warming is no exception and requires an multi-pronged approach. Due to the scale, practicality, and implementation. Furthermore, it’s risky to over invest in any single solution; especially when the fate of our home planet hangs in the balance.

In the case of global warming, there are a multitude of options:

=> Transition to EVs
=> Renewable energy (Solar, wind, etc)
=> Reduce meat consumption (e.g. Meatless Mondays)
and/or reducing consumption of specific types of meat (e.g. Beef)
https://static.ewg.org/reports/2011/mea ... oteins.jpg
=> Nature conservation / expansion (depending on the region)
=> Stricter environmental policies

Controversial Example:
=> Bill Gate's foundation funded a project using planes to pump tons of dust into the stratosphere (or higher?) to reflect/reduce sunlight from reaching earth. This project has been heavily criticized due to risks of increasing natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, etc... and the response from the research team is "While these risks are very much real; so is global warming." - a crude but powerful and to the point statement on our current crisis

The list of crisis we face as humanity continues it's journey will keep growing.
Perhaps, what we need isn’t more solutions seeking problems and vice versa… but intellectual evolution seeking an audience.
Deal Addict
Sep 4, 2006
1326 posts
1063 upvotes
Ottawa
Ultramar in Ottawa is no ethanol 91. I use it in my ELR (at least 6 months in tank), and anything with a carb (65 Impala, 65 C10, 71 Pontiac, snowblower, weed whacker. It is essential to use non-ethanol in anything with a carb that sits around between uses. On a daily, it doesn't really matter.
Deal Addict
Jul 8, 2013
2998 posts
4953 upvotes
Somewhere in AB
engineered wrote: LMFAO. I'd much rather pay more carbon tax than have more ethanol in my gas. Farming ethanol for fuel is dubiously green as well.
Yup.

Moreover, any "savings" in consuming less gas is more than offset by worse fuel economy.

So this is a total lose-lose proposition. Well, what can we expect from the government?
Be Balanced. Be Diversified. Stay Invested.

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