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Acetone in gasoline

  1. Sep 8, 2012 #1
    I was cruising the web for race fuel ideas and found this. I had to comment...


    The UOP Shadow team ran a Can-Am car in 1971 and their crew chief was a self taught engineer named Peter Bryant, a really smart guy. UOP sold unleaded fuel and back then they had no readily available unleaded racing fuel so they (UOP) had to come up with something or look a bit idiotic running someone else's gas in there cars. They came up with a mixture of 55% "isooctane" (i.e. precisely 100 octane unleaded) and 45% regular old acetone off the shelf. This made for 104 octane fuel. Peter was worried about it eating the fuel system up but they had no problems. They ran a 497cid BB Chevy producing 735bhp. I think it was 13:1 static compression ratio in the naturally aspirated car (101). Acetone most definitely works as a fuel system safe octane booster (I don't know about people safe) and if you do your home work you will find higher octane fuel will make for better fuel milage as long as the computer can take advantage of it and advance the spark timing to compensate. It won't make massive differences but it will make a difference. I'm not sure of the cost to benefit ratio though.

    My two bits. :wink:

    Side note: The Mercedes and I think AutoUnion ran a Shell fuel blend in there Grand Prix cars in the late 1930's that included about 10% acetone in the mix.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2012 #2
    I don't know about acetone but I have been running a 50% blend of ethonol/methonal (depending on market price) in my car for years. There is slightly less btu per gallon but the power and mileage difference are pretty insignificant and it's much cheaper than gasoline even after paying road taxes.

    I could run higher blends but I don't want to tax the fuel system too much. The equivalent octane rating for ethonol is over 100 (not really important for a stock Corolla so I don't remember the exact number) so if you are looking for a way to cheaply boost 'octane rating' this works quite nicely, just be sure to richen your fuel mixture ;)
  4. Sep 9, 2012 #3
    Thanks for the info. I hadn't thought of that and it would be a great blend for a blower/turbo car.
  5. Sep 9, 2012 #4
    Just some fun fuel trivia, here's the fuel formula Shell blended for Mercedes back in the late '30's:

    86.0% Methyl-Alcohol
    4.4% Nitro-Benzole
    8.8% Acetone
    0.8% Sulphuric Ether

    The ratios were varied slightly for climatic conditions.

    I wouldn't have wanted to be the driver behind the car! :yuck: lol
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