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BHT in Gasoline

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Old Baldy, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Old Baldy

    Old Baldy Senior Member

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    I ran out of Stabil and don't want to drive 10 miles just for that stuff.

    How much BHT should I use to stabilize my 2 gallon container of fresh gas I use for the mower and snow blower?

    Thanks for any info.
     
  2. Bryan

    Bryan Senior Member

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    Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw say in their book Life Extension that you can add about 1/4 teaspoon of BHT to a gallon of gas to slow autoxidation and keep small engines like lawn mowers running smoothly. I suggest using a somewhat smaller amount than that. BTW, I do that with my own lawn mower, and it seems to work great.

    However, I'd resist the temptation to add BHT to any automobile gas tank. I have no idea if BHT is compatible with catalytic converters and other modern emission control equipment.
     
  3. Old Baldy

    Old Baldy Senior Member

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  4. Old Baldy

    Old Baldy Senior Member

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    http://chemistry.about.com/library/weekly/aa082101a.htm

    Keeps oils and fats from going rancid.

    I use it alot in my homemade soaps. For homemade creams (i.e., for MPB) I use Germaban IIE for the water component. But BHT works very well in soaps because the water evaporates eventually.

    Alot of people put in a pinch of BHT whenever they open a container of cooking oil and salad oils, etc.

    I knew you don't need much of BHT but I didn't know the rate to apply to gasoline, (i.e., which has an oil component that goes gummy over time).

    It wouldn't surprise me if some BHT was in Stabil.
     
  5. tembo

    tembo Member

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  6. Bryan

    Bryan Senior Member

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    I'm almost certain that the product mentioned at that site is simply pure BHT. I think the word "Ethanox" is just a tradename they use.

    I'm also glad that they say that "Ethanox BHT" is "suitable for use in gasoline, jet fuels, turbine oils, hydraulic oils", etc., because that implies that it IS safe for modern automobiles. Now I'm tempted to start adding a little of it to the gas tank of my car, considering that I'm driving less and less, and each tank of gas is sitting around longer and longer.

    BTW, OB, I have a problem with your claim above that "BHT is used in modern day gasoline production." While it's obvious that BHT is available as a supplement to put in gasoline nowadays, I don't see any indication that it's used in the actual production of gasoline by the oil companies. In other words, I don't think the gas you buy from a gas station comes with BHT already pre-added! :) Do you know any differently?
     
  7. Bryan

    Bryan Senior Member

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    To add a little to what OB said: butylated hydroxytoluene. BHT is a powerful, synthetic fat-soluble antioxidant. It's widely used in foods, drugs, and cosmetics to slow oxidation and prolong their life.

    It's used in TINY amounts. As little as 0.05% (that is NOT 5%, that's only five hundredths of 1%) added to something like cooking oil can greatly slow oxidation and lengthen shelf-life.

    Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw (of Life Extension fame) popularized the theory that BHT may also contain chemical properties that can fight certain kinds of viruses, including the herpes virus and the AIDS virus.

    Some people go so far as to take actual supplements of BHT. Pearson & Shaw, at the time they wrote Life Extension, were taking 2 grams/day of BHT, which is about a thousand times the amount people were getting from normal dietary sources when BHT usage was at its peak.
     
  8. Bryan

    Bryan Senior Member

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    By the way, NDGA (nordihydroguaiaretic acid) is even more potent than BHT. I've read that as little as 0.01% (1 hundredth of 1%) added to fatty material can be an effective antioxidant. The only problem is that it's FAR more difficult to obtain than BHT, and much more expensive. I have a small amount which a friend got for me from a chemical company. BHT, on the other hand, can easily be ordered from beyond-a-century.com, and probably other places, and it's cheap.
     
  9. Bryan

    Bryan Senior Member

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    OB, how much does Stabil cost?

    I did some Googling on it to see what's in it, and all I could find out is that 5% of the stuff is some mysterious "proprietary" substance which they refused to divulge. Judging by their recommended doses of Stabil to be put in gasoline, it wouldn't surprise me one little bit if that "proprietary" ingredient really IS just plain BHT! :)
     
  10. Old Baldy

    Old Baldy Senior Member

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    Bryan: I'mjust guessing about BHT in Stabil.

    Around here in Detroit, I've heard over the years from some car buffs that they thought BHT might be in gasoline along with other addivites. But I'm making a guess. It might be the car buffs were stating a derivative of BHT or similar additive is used nowadays. (But, why then does gasoline start to go bad in about 30 days? Makes me think you have a good point.)

    You're probably right about no BHT in gasoline additives because I can't find any specific mention of it in my internet searches.

    I think the last 10 ounce bottle of Stabil I bought cost about $7.00 with tax. It takes one ounce per gallon. So it ain't nearly as cost effective as BHT (i.e., if BHT works ok.)

    You've never had gummy deposits when you've used BHT so it must be ok. I don't see why it wouldn't work in a gasoline engine. How much do you use per gallon?

    Another guess, Stabil is 95 percent "Marvel Mystery Oil" and 5 percent something else, of which a part could very well be BHT.

    Look up Marvel Mystery Oil Bryan, it's another "mystery" concoction. Some car buffs around here say all it is is an expensive transmission fluid concoction with other minor additives. But I really don't know.

    You may already know of this site, it's a good one IMHO:

    http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/
     
  11. Bryan

    Bryan Senior Member

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    Yeah, it would apear that there's nothing like that already being added to gasoline by the oil companies; if it were, products like Stabil wouldn't provide much extra benefit. But why on earth don't the oil companies already do that, especially considering the higher cost of oil/gas nowadays? One would think that preserving that precious commodity would be even more important NOW, compared to years past.

    The Gold Eagle Web site states specifically that 1 ounce of Stabil is recommended for 2 1/2 gallons of gasoline, so it does seem that the cost of the stuff is fairly reasonable. Check it out:

    http://www.goldeagle.com/sta-bil/faqs_s ... a-bil&ID=3

    "How much STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer should I add to fuel?

    One ounce of STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer for every 2-½ gallons of gasoline, gasoline/oil mixtures, or ethanol blends is the recommended dosage level."

    But my concern with adding BHT to automobile gasoline is that it _might_ damage the catalytic converter, or some other modern emissions equipment. I have no doubt that it would markedly slow down the formation of gummy deposits from autoxidation.

    I've been adding only 500 mg per gallon to my gas can, and then gently swirling it around in the can until it starts to dissolve. I go back and swirl it around some more every day for the next day or two, just to make sure that the stuff is dissolved.

    As I gain confidence with it, I may start using even more BHT! :)

    Thanks for the link. Some interesting stuff in there!

    I wasn't familiar with the product "Stabil" when you first mentioned it earlier. But I swear that while I've been adding BHT to my lawn mower gas can for a long time (a few years), I've also wondered about adding it to my car gas tank. I've wondered how I would go about doing that, since I'm sure you've noticed that it takes a long time for BHT crystals to dissolve completely. I've always thought to myself that the best way would be to add the proper amount of BHT to a small quantity (maybe a couple of ounces) of something like upper cylinder lubricant, or some other appropriate petroleum product, then thoroughly stir it or shake it until the BHT is dissolved. Then it could be easily added to a gas tank during a fill-up, and it should spread around easily to the entire contents of gasoline.

    And indeed, it looks like that's EXACTLY what's being done with this "Stabil" product! :) The dosages they recommend (the 5% of the mysterious "proprietary" substance, and the suggestion to add 1 ounce for every 2 1/2 gallons of gasoline) seem to be right in line with what the government was testing and recommending for BHT for military usage at the time Pearson & Shaw wrote their book. My growing hunch is that the active ingredient in Stabil really is just BHT! :)
     
  12. Old Baldy

    Old Baldy Senior Member

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    Jesus Christ Bryan, I've been using the stuff for years and know I read the bottle at one time. I always thought it was one ounce per gallon!! What an IDIOT!! :blush:

    (I just looked at my empty bottle and it does say one ounce per 2.5 gallons for Godsakes!! How in the world I read one ounce per gallon years ago is beyond me. Maybe I had been sipping my whiskey? :mrgreen: )

    I think I'll just use the BHT from now on. I use up gasoline in the mower and snow blower fairly fast.

    Thanks for reading the God Da** bottle for me!! Geez Old Baldy. Here's a guy who has never used Stabil and he knows the proper ratio compared to the idiot who has used Stabil for.....hmmm......let's see..... 8,000 years!! Well, my blunder tells us we can use more BHT without apparent detriment.

    Yes, after finally knowing the true ratio of Stabil to use, I'd bet BHT is in there, and it ain't a bad price either.

    And yes, BHT pre-dissolved would be good. Some guys do that when they store their cars for the winter. They make a slurry, with stuff like you recommend, and put that into the gas tank prior to storage. I've never tried this though Bryan. So I don't really know.

    BHT is easy to dissolve if the oils are heated so I would favor pre-dissolving BHT before putting it in my cars' gas tanks IMHO. Upper cylinder lubricant would be great IMHO.

    Eventually the BHT would probably dissolve either way though (i.e., as you are driving and the car is bouncing around) but pre-dissolving is a good thing IMHO. I mean, could an undissolved BHT crystal get through to the fuel injectors and plug them up? I think the fuel filter would stop it, and eventually dissolve the BHT crystal, but I don't want to chance any type of fuel line plugging.

    A little transmission fluid in the gas tank is touted to be a good upper cylinder lubricant IIRC. Now DON"T take my word on this. Do some research. I'm only going by memory and you see how my memory was with Stabil!!

    I'm curious what your opinion is on just using transmission fluid for an upper cylinder lubricant. Since you can READ so much better than I can, do a search and let me know. Thanks.

    If you conclude "yes", then use transmission fluid as your "mother" base. Cheap and found everywhere. (What about mineral spirits?)

    I'm going to do a test sometime in the future with gasoline in a small bottle and see how quickly it dissolves about 1,000 mg of BHT. I need a clear glass bottle for the gasoline though. I don't have one handy. I'll try it in 8 or 16 ounces, you get the idea.
     
  13. Bryan

    Bryan Senior Member

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    Hey, the memory is the FIRST thing to go! Hahah! :)

    So you've been using 2 1/2 times the normal amount of Stabil all this time? Somewhere else on their site they do state that you can double-up on the recommended amount, for even BETTER long-term storage properties. So I'm sure what you've been doing up to now is perfectly okay, it's just been more expensive for you.

    The real problem, of course, is what happens during the off-seasons, like the mower during the winter, and the snow blower during the summer. Since it's almost impossible to get every last bit of gas out of them prior to putting them up in storage for a few months every year, the gas inside them still needs to be protected.

    I can just see getting stopped by a cop afterwards, and telling him: "Please don't write me a ticket for speeding, Officer! I was just zipping around (fish-tailing around corners, etc.), trying to get the BHT dissolved that I put in my gas tank!" :)

    Yeah, that would be a concern for me, too. You can bet I'd pre-dissolve the hell out of it before putting it into my Toyota.

    That's an interesting idea! I'll see what I can find out about it. I'll also ask the mechanic I take my car to about that. He's very competent, and I trust his judgement.

    Something else along these same lines: I remember reading a long long time ago (this must have been back in the 1960's or 1970's) a newspaper article or magazine article about how actual Detroit automotive engineers maintain their cars, and they said something to the effect that an automotive engineer would generally throw a can of engine oil in with the gas at every fill-up (or maybe it was every other fill-up, or whatever). The impression I got at the time was that that's their simple way of getting some upper cylinder lubrication. Now, keep in mind that they were talking about the huge behemoths that we all had back in those days. They were talking about adding that much oil to a car that had a 20-gallon (or more) gas tank. If I were to do that same thing today with my little Toyota (which has a 10-gallon gas tank), I'd add only about half a quart of oil, if not even less.

    So the point here is that there's probably a range of acceptable petroleum products that you could mix some BHT with, and add to your gas tank at every fill-up. Maybe just a small amount (a couple of ounces or so) of some really light motor oil would be perfectly fine for that purpose...

    Hey, let me know how that turns out!! Also, try it both WITH and WITHOUT stirring, and see how much difference that makes in how long it takes to dissolve.
     
  14. Bryan

    Bryan Senior Member

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    Here's the entire section on adding BHT to gasoline from the book Life Extension, by Pearson & Shaw. It's fascinating:

    Gasoline Storage and BHT

    If you have difficulty in starting your lawn mower, trail bike, outboard motor, or similar infrequently used gasoline engine, you will be interested in knowing the reason for this malfunction. Petroleum is subject to autoxidation, like oils in foods and in the human body. When gasoline is left for any long period (a few months or more), gums are formed by the reaction of oxygen with unsaturated components of the fuel. BHT (also known as 2, 6-ditertiary butyl p-cresol) is a U.S. Government approved additive to gasoline to meet military requirements for gasoline stability. A half pound of BHT added to 1,100 gallons of gasoline prevented gum formation when gasoline was stored in sealed (with standard rubber washers) 5-gallon cans for periods up to two years in the Mojave desert in full sunlight, compared to a storage life of only a few months for unprotected gasoline.

    The amount currently recommended for military use is 1 pound BHT to 1,100 gallons of gasoline. For even longer storage, a chelating agent such as disodium EDTA, 100 milligrams per gallon, will chelate metal ions which would otherwise promote oxidation. BHT is effective in diesel fuel, lubrication oil, grease, and other fuels. You can add about 1/4 teaspoon of BHT per gallon of fuel. Stir until it is dissolved.

    BHT added to gasoline can solve the problem of gummed-up carburetors that make it difficult to start engines of lawn mowers, pleasure boats, campers, trail bikes, and generators. We included this information to demonstrate how the chemical mechanism underlying aging in biological organisms also cause preventable aging damage in fuels as well. Other materials besides fuels and plastics that are affected by similar aging mechanisms include plastics, rubber, paints, asphalt, and roofing shingles.
     
  15. CCS

    CCS Senior Member

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    yeah, speaking of adding stuff to gas tanks, what stops people from pumping gas out of under ground tanks at gas stations? Are they locked? Do they have holes? What if some Green Party person dumps sugar in there to reduce the number of CO2 emitting cars on the road? What if someone lights a match above the lid to see if it is sealed?
     
  16. Bryan

    Bryan Senior Member

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    I would assume they're locked.
     
  17. Old Baldy

    Old Baldy Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info. Bryan. Interesting about the EDTA also. I always have that stuff on hand. Like BHT, it's pretty inexpensive stuff.

    I never heard of the oil in gasoline in the fuel tanks of those big old cars. It would seem ok to add a little bit to our cars but I just don't know. I mean, I agree with you that it does make some sense.

    I've talked to automotive engineers around Detroit now and then and they almost always say that, of all the additivies out there, the only one they feel is worth it is fuel protection chemicals, etc. I've never asked about transmission oil though. Next time I meet one I will.

    Almost everyone of the engineers have said this Bryan IIRC. (However, my worry with transmission oil is the spark plug and other parts effected directly by combustion. But I'll tell you this, Marvel Mystery Oil and Stabil sure look and feel like transmission oil is in them.)

    And finally, I'm finding out that memory is the first thing to go! :(

    CCS: I'm pretty sure those lids are locked also.
     

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