There has been much written about the use of acetone in gasoline to improve your gas mileage. If you only read what the proponents of acetone write, you would run right out to the local hardware store and get yourself a can. While it is true that acetone in gasoline can improve your gas mileage from between 15% to 35% or more, there are several things that you should consider before using acetone in gasoline to improve your gas mileage.
Acetone can be purchased very cheaply just about anywhere in the world, like auto parts, hardware, or drug stores. Added to the fuel tank in the correct proportions, acetone does help vaporize gasoline or diesel fuel, increasing fuel efficiency, performance, and engine longevity. Acetone also reduces hydrocarbon emissions, especially in older carbureted vehicles.
What is Acetone?
Acetone is a colorless, volatile liquid with a sweet odor. It is considered to be a minimally toxic solvent. Acetone can occur naturally. It is used in the production of lubricating oils, pharmaceuticals, chloroform, paints, pesticides, varnishes and lacquers. If present in water, it is more likely to biodegrade before bioaccumulating or adsorbing to sediments. Acetone will also readily volatilize and biodegrade in soil. It is also a common laboratory contaminant.
How Acetone Works
Today’s cars and trucks do not completely vaporize fuel. Some of the fuel used in most engines remains liquid. In order to be efficiently burned, the fuel must be fully vaporized.
Surface tension makes vaporization difficult. For example, the energy barrier from surface tension can sometimes force water to reach 300 degrees F before it becomes vapor. The same goes for gasoline.
Acetone in gasoline greatly reduces the surface tension. Most fuel molecules are slow with respect to their natural frequency. Acetone has a natural molecular vibration that reduces the surface tension. This results in more complete fuel vaporization while not affecting the fuel itself. More complete fuel vaporization means less wasted fuel, consequently the increased gas mileage from increased efficiency.
That excess fuel is either blown past the rings where it contaminates motor oil or sent through your exhaust system but fuel mixed with acetone gets burned more efficiently, even though the engine still thinks it is running straight gas. Therefore, your computer calls for less fuel to be used. You could get 15 to 35-percent better economy from the use of acetone in gasoline.
How Much Acetone Should You Use
Acetone proponents say that you should add in tiny amounts from between one part per 5000 to one part per 3000, or between one and three ounces for every ten gallons of gas.
In a 10-gallon tank of gasoline, use one to three ounces of pure acetone to obtain excellent mileage improvements. In a ten-gallon tank of diesel fuel, use from 1 to 2 ounces of acetone. Performance goes up too. Use about a half-teaspoon of acetone in the fuel tank of a 4-cycle lawnmower. Or you can apply it with an eyedropper.
Adding Acetone to Your Tank
When you fill up, keep track of the number of gallons pumped, and then add the right amount of acetone. Don’t overdo it. Remember, acetone in gasoline is strictly a vaporization tool, rather than a fuel additive that alters combustion. The car computer still thinks it is running straight gasoline. None of your settings have changed. None of your engine parts are affected.
Some stores sell acetone in metal cans of various sizes, which are safe to keep indoors. However, it is difficult to pour from these cans, which have a flat top and short neck from which spillage is inevitable. In any case, while handling acetone, you should be wearing rubber gloves.
DO NOT USE PLASTIC MEASURING DEVICES. Acetone is a very caustic substance and will eat through plastics. Since acetone is also the chief ingredient in paint remover. It is a good idea to keep acetone away from painted surfaces, such as the paint on your car.
Proponents of acetone in gasoline will also tell you that there are several other benefits such as increased performance, power and engine life. It is true that less unburned fuel blowing past the rings keeps the rings and engine oil in far better condition.
Acetone in gasoline can also reduce hydrocarbon emissions up to 60 percent.
Acetone in gasoline reduces the formation of water-ice crystals in below-zero weather.
Now, Here’s The Down Side
Up to this point, acetone in gasoline sounds great, right? Remember when we told you not to use plastic measuring devices? There’s a good reason for that. Acetone will dissolve plastics. It dissolves the cheaper plastics much faster than “high quality” plastics, but all plastics will eventually be affected by acetone exposure. Why is this important? Simply put, your fuel system is loaded with plastic, nylon and rubber products that can be damaged either immediately or over time when exposed to acetone in gasoline. Your fuel pump, fuel filter, your fuel lines and even your fuel injectors can be damaged through the use of acetone in gasoline. We have seen instances of acetone in gasoline dissolving the seals on fuel injectors causing expensive repairs. Older carbureted models are especially susceptible.
You must also keep acetone away from painted surfaces, such as the paint on your car and under the gas tank opening. Acetone is the principle ingredient in paint remover. In addition to paint, acetone can also dissolve asphalt as well as most plastics.
Just a few more drawbacks are:
You can never allow skin contact with it.
It may damage clothing as well.
Don’t breathe it.
Keep children away from all dangerous chemicals.
Acetone is a highly flammable liquid. Do not expose it near a flame or spark.
Acetone should be stored outside, with proper ventilation, not inside your house.
Read all the precautions on the labels.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of acetone in gasoline in an ideal fuel system may be beneficial if combined with a change in driving habits. The problem is that the ideal fuel system does not seem to exist. We have found that the continued use of acetone in gasoline, even in small amounts, will eventually damage your fuel system components. The question that you have to ask yourself is, do I want to take that chance? If acetone in gasoline was beneficial, manufacturers would be making their fuel systems acetone resistant. The EPA would be pushing acetone rather than ethanol.
Conspiracy theorists will tell you that acetone is not added to gasoline because acetone in gasoline would cut oil company profits. We have a different theory. The oil companies don’t want their equipment torn up because of the effects that acetone in gasoline would have. Just imagine the damage that acetone in gasoline would do to the equipment at your local gas station alone between the actual pumps, fiberglass tanks and rubber hoses. Customers would also be exposed to the caustic effects of the acetone in gasoline. The lawsuits could be enormous.
Our advice, stay away from acetone in gasoline. If you really want to improve your gas mileage, there are far safer products that you can use. We have found, for instance, that you can improve your gas mileage far more by extracting hydrogen gas out of water and taking it in through your air intake system. We found that we increased mileage between 27% and 62% depending what kind of vehicle was being tested.