BTU content of the various fuel blends

fuel-economy

#1

Is there a place that lists the BTU content of the various fuel blends used around the country in the summer and winter? For instance in the Kansas City area the EPA requires a special summer blend. Since I work in that area but live outside of it, I would like to know if it is better to go with the non-EPA blend. I am more interested in BTU’s as Octane levels don’t necessarily translate into better MPG’s. I am experimenting now, but it requires a slight detour to get the non-EPA blend and I am not sure I am saving anything.


#2

Octane does not relate to BTUs; it just a measure of resistance to knock. High octane gas has no more heat content than regular; that’s why it’s a waste of money if your car does not need it.

The difference in summer and winter blends is mostly in the volatility; this is important for cars with carburetors to make them start easier; less important for cars with fuel injection.

I would forget about summer or winter blends and just tank what’s available; your DRIVING STYLE will determine mostly what mileage you get.

Heavy fuels, like diesel, have a higher heat content per gallon. But only a deisel can get this energy out.


#3

Doc’s right. The only thing you might benefit from is ethanol content. Ask your stations whether they’re using E10. If you’re lucky, one might not be, and that should give you a slight (about 3%) mpg boost.


#4

ethanol … E10. … should give you a slight (about 3%) mpg boost.

Why? As I understand it E10 has a lower energy content. It should give reduced mileage. I seem to recall a lot of people complaining about it. (I run diesel, so I don’t do ethanol, we just get the lower energy winter blends to reduce our winter mileage.)


#5

I guess I stated it poorly - if you can avoid E10, you’ll get about 3% higher mpgs. I can’t avoid it around here.


#6

BTU’s per pound:

Gasoline, 19,000
Ethanol, 12,600
Methanol, 9,600
Nitromethane, only 5,000, that’s why dragsters burn so much of it, on the other hand, a gallon of nitro weighs over 9 pounds.


#7

no you stated this fine to begin with- - -I understood and agree with you.


#8

That’s what I see with my 89 Tracer 1.6l. A 1-2 mpg drop when using E-10. I try to avoid it but in Missouri it is mandated except for Premium. I sometimes fill up at a Caseys just outside of the EPA mandated anti smog blend zone to save a little. However the clerk doesn’t know what’s in their gas and it’s not marked on the pump. They sell Regular and Super Unleaded, sometimes for the same price.