What Is Gas Without Ethanol?


Quick Answer

Gas without ethanol has no added alcohol in the mix. Most of the gasoline sold in the United States is an E10 mix, indicating it is 10 percent ethanol, but E85 is available for flex fuel cars. Only a few service stations sell ethanol-free gas.

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Full Answer

Gasoline manufacturers add ethanol to gasoline to reduce emissions and dependence on nonrenewable resources. However, ethanol is corrosive to engine parts made of aluminum, magnesium and rubber. It also has two-thirds the energy of gasoline. Use of E10 gasoline reduces fuel mileage by up to 3 percent. While ethanol is a renewable fuel, some consumers are hesitant to use it because it consumes corn and increases food prices.

While auto manufacturers have changed their products to accept ethanol fuel blends, small engine manufacturers have been slower to make the change. Thus, the engines on lawnmowers and other equipment are more likely to suffer damage from the fuel blend. To prevent this damage, some small engine manufacturers sell ethanol-free gasoline through home improvement and hardware stores. As of 2015, consumers must pay a premium price for such gasoline; prices range from $5.48 to over $8 per quart. Most are unwilling to pay $30 or more per gallon of gasoline, even though the manufacturer adds stabilizer for long-term storage in the equipment.

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