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Acetone in gasoline and surface tension

  1. Nov 2, 2007 #1
    I've have read that putting acetone (.08% by volume)into the gasoline for your automobile helps the gas to atomize better by decreasing the surface tension of the gasoline. I have a link here.http://www.pureenergysystems.com/news/2005/03/17/6900069_Acetone/

    I tried it myself, and found the results pretty satisfying: Increased acceleration and smoother power curve.
    But then again I tried it in my '93 Ford Explorer with 155K miles on it.

    Supposedly Myth Busters did a show on it once and it got BUSTED.

    My thoughts on this matter are, that if you have a late model car than you will probably see less result than if you tried it on an older vehicle with weak or dirty injectors, or better yet carbueration.

    Anyone ever heard of this??
    Or tried it??

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2007 #2
    Bogus. Buy the scan gauge, though, if available for your vehicle. Summer makes for softer roads and routes can be changed to enable driving on concrete pavement instead of oiled roads. Mostly though your foot is responsible for 20% greater or lesser mileage. My '91 spirit came factory with such and it was an eye opener. If you want mileage increase, decrease braking.
  4. Nov 3, 2007 #3
    I understand all about driving habits that can save you gas. I apply all of them whenever I can.

    What I am talking about is same car, same route, same driver, same road conditions, etc.

    How can you just say it's bogus? Do you have any evidence to back this up. There is some truth (however vague) behind every myth. Why would someone go out of their way to write such an article. I posted a link to support my hypothesis.
    Can you find something to dispute this.

    Thank you

  5. Nov 3, 2007 #4


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    It has also been claimed that adding naptha (mothballs, lighter fluid) to gasoline will do wonders for your car's power and fuel economy. Cars are designed to run optimally on the fuels that are currently available to power them. Do you doubt this? Do you think that people should spend time and effort to debunk speculative articles that you have uncovered?

    If you can produce evidence through controlled studies that adding acetone to gasoline will produce measurable gains in fuel efficiency, you will be rich.
  6. Nov 4, 2007 #5
    I know that an increase in octane will not improve your engines performance, unless it is high compression, and it knocks and pings a lot without it.

    Plus naptha is kind of pricey last time I checked and I believe you would have to add much more than .08% to gain a noticeable increase in performance.

    I definetly understand about cars these days being designed to run on regular gas.
    But I do doubt that the car manufacturers do everything they can to optimize fuel economy and performance of the internal combustion engine, but that is not my question.

    What I am suggesting here is that maybe as an engine gets older the injectors get worn and/or dirty and do not atomize the gas as well and maybe the addition of small amounts of acetone decrease the surface tension of the gasoline and atomization is somewhat improved. After all, the increase in performance I recognize in my old truck is not my imagination.



    BTW adding mothballs to gas is an ideal way to disable the vehicle.
  7. Nov 4, 2007 #6
    Road and traffic conditions change too much, as well as driving patterns and attitude at the wheel which also affect mileage. I don't think anyone can obtain reliable data just using one's personal vehicle, you would need a fleet of same-model vehicles to get results you can trust. Even so, using a device that is so subject to human interaction is a poor way to test for fuel efficiency. A gasoline-powered generator or similar device that operates at a steady and controlled rate should be much more reliable for this.
  8. Nov 6, 2007 #7

    Actually acetone creates friction thereby increasing the burn ratio within the combustion chambers. This combined with the nature of acetone to eliminate the "varnish" left by gasoline can increase your millage in most cars today by up to 35%. There are several test sites you can visit. One such site shows what happens if you don't use the proper ratio of acetone to gasoline which predictably is decreasing your millage. 21/2 oz to 10 gals. of medium octane of gas is generally considered optimum for most later model cars. I myself have bee using it for some months now and not only have I tracked a 20% increase in millage but my acceleration rate is remarkably quick. This is not some fly by night urban legend, the idea of using acetone has been around since the early fifties. With plastics and rubber being what they are today your auto can withstand the wear which is inherit with such solvents.
  9. Nov 6, 2007 #8
    Varnish????? What varnish are you referring to? Please explain.

    Creates friction??? Friction between what components.

    How did you track your mileage??

    And post some links to those sites you are talking about.

  10. Nov 6, 2007 #9
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2007
  11. Nov 6, 2007 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    The first link just links back to the second one, which gets into conspiracy theories, which are banned here. At the third link we find testimonials that adding acetone causes engine damage.

    People do seem to claim that adding acetone can yield a slight increase in mileage, but like so many such schemes, it is most likely a lack of understanding of the complete system that makes it appear to be a viable option. That is to say that even if this works, the negatives likely far outweigh the positives.

    For years there were claims of 100 mpg carburetors and to some extent they did in fact exist, however, I don't know what the theoretical limits of the designs really were. The problem was not a conspiracy to hide the information as many claimed. Instead, the problem was that these designs were implicitly dangerous and prone to explode. In fact, back in the 70's, not too far from my home, some yahoo destroyed his garage this way. Also, I was never aware of anyone that got one to work in a real car. It seems that they could work in principle, but the real application of this idea was another matter.

    The real conspiracy was one of ignorance. I would bet that the same is true here as well. If there are papers about this published in reputable journals, then it may be discussed in an engineering or chemistry forum at that time.

    Late Edit: Jim, the member who started this thread, sent a pm stating that he is now suspicious that this may be a scam:
    Thanks Jim! It was worth a look.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2007
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