Smell of E85 with and without cats.

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Circlotron
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Smell of E85 with and without cats.

Post by Circlotron » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:43 am

Second last time I went to the races, quite some years ago, basically no one was using E85. Last time I went, about 6 months ago quite a few people were using it. The smell of E85 exhaust is quite distinct. Hadn't smelled it before on the road. The question is, does having a cat affect the smell of E85 exhaust a lot?

peejay
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Re: Smell of E85 with and without cats.

Post by peejay » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:32 pm

It's pretty much undetectable with a catalyst, just like a gasoline engine.

Now, catless... A few years ago, I did an engine teardown of an E85-fed engine that had turned its oil into a kind of stringy greenish goop that seemed impossible to clean off. Was not wearing gloves, because I hadn't found any gloves that didn't swell up in the presence of oil or turn slippery and useless. Developed the worst headache of all time. I was looking for the large drill bits so I could let the demons out.

Ever since then, the smell of E85 exhaust or E85 fuel makes me gag. A 50/50 mixture of ethanol and water is no problem :) but there's something about E85 that is, to use the word correctly, sickening.

Brian P
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Re: Smell of E85 with and without cats.

Post by Brian P » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:19 pm

Rich combustion of ethanol produces formaldehyde ... which is nasty.

A normal 3-way catalyst, plus enough oxygen to result in a stoichiometric mixture, will take care of it almost completely.

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Re: Smell of E85 with and without cats.

Post by econo racer » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:32 am

Brian I run E85 in my Nova. I did not know about the formalihyde . Would you direct me to where you found that out. Your scaring me. I went to E85 because I think racing gas was to dangerous to my health. You think it is worse?

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Re: Smell of E85 with and without cats.

Post by peejay » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:18 pm

I thought methanol made formaldehyde, while ethanol made acetaldehyde?

Still not good for you but I am thinking this because I remembered methanol breaking down into formaldehyde in your liver being why it is toxic.

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Re: Smell of E85 with and without cats.

Post by Roundybout » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:45 pm

Ethanol broken down in the body does produce acetaldehyde and is responsible for the hangover feeling you get. I'd imagine that's what you were feeling.

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Re: Smell of E85 with and without cats.

Post by Brian P » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:58 pm

Products of combustion will have a wide variety of chemicals, and there's probably both formaldehyde and acetaldehyde present. Both are nasty.

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Re: Smell of E85 with and without cats.

Post by peejay » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:24 pm

Roundybout wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:45 pm
Ethanol broken down in the body does produce acetaldehyde and is responsible for the hangover feeling you get. I'd imagine that's what you were feeling.
If so, I'm glad I don't get hangovers! Man, that was NASTY.

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