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What is the octane rating of US (California) E85 / where to get "race E85"?

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Hello guys,

 

We are a Norwegian race team which runs a race car currently mapped on North European E85. This car is to compete on American soil, and we need to source E85 fuel of sufficient quality. As the fuel in Northern Europe has a much higher octane rating than US fuel we believe pump E85 in California has a lower octane rating than the fuel the car is mapped for.

 

1. Can anyone supply the RON/MON octane rating of California pump E85 (as available at these stations: http://e85vehicles.com/e85-california.htm)

 

2. Does anyone know where we can get "race E85" in the LA area?

 

We are coming out to race in just over one week, so all feedback and help is greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance,

Fredric Aasbo / Team Japan Auto

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Just in case no one gets back to you on the station (pump grade) version- contact the folks below to see if they have any drums in California before you get there;

 

Rockettbrand main site- look at their 112 product-116 RON, 108 MON

http://www.rockettbrand.com/productspecs/specs.html

 

California Rockettbrand dealer;

http://www.rockettbrand.com/dealernetwork/network.html#california

 

Pump grade over here in the upper midwest USA would be lower than Rockett's stuff-- 105 to 109 rm/2 summer, 100 to 105 rm/2 winter. In the upper tier of states the blend is also starting to drop to 78% pure alcohol vs summer 83% pure but I would not think California would quite be doing this yet although the chart says they might.

 

The only real difference between Rockett and pump grade is that the 15% hydrocarbon is high octane race gas and pump grade is likely 87 octane- the ethanol itself would be the same 113 octane. As you are likely aware- octane ratings for E85 are tricky because the "octane" rating for ethanol comes from it's cooling rather than the gas rating type system- thus the effect is somewhat variable. I know that Rockett did send their's to Ford's fuel labs for motor octane testing.

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... As the fuel in Northern Europe has a much higher octane rating than US fuel we believe pump E85 in California has a lower octane rating than the fuel the car is mapped for.

...

Thanks in advance,

Fredric Aasbo / Team Japan Auto

 

Greetings and welcome.  Just out of curiosity are you sure the above quote is the case?  It's my understanding Europe, Japan, and other places list the only 'RON' as the octane of the fuel while the US uses the 'Anti Knock Index' or AKI which is the '(RON+MON)/2'.  Consequently, our US advertised octane 'looks' 4-5 points lower than European advertised octane for equivalent fuel.  ie European 'premium 95 octane' is closer to our 'premium 90-91 octane'.

 

Also take caution of what altitude you will be at - California can range from sea level, or even 300 feet below if you race through Death Valley to 14,000+ft in the mountains.  This can also have some effect on the octane requirements.

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My Saab (American version) calls for an AON of 90-- from what I can tell this AON (average octane number) is R+M/2. I do not recall what the Mercedes and other Euro cars in the (US version) have on their fuel doors other than Mercedes said 91. 

 

Here is a post in a Mercedes blog that would go along with what Corey said;

"In the UK we have 95RON and 99RON, and there is a noticable difference when using 99RON, in the smoothness of the engine at idle, and quicker acceleration responce and better economy. I'm not sure what RON rating you have in L.A."

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                Research Octane Number || Motor Octane Number || Anti-Knock Index (R+M/2)

ethanol                118                                  96                            107

regular gas            92                                  82                              87

E85 (summer)        113                                  94                            104

 

(numbers rounded to nearest integer)

 

This is assuming that summer blend of E85 is 83% ethanol, by volume.  Regular gas is 87 AKI in California.

The RON and MON numbers will vary, depending who you ask!  I have spent some time researching the topic on the 'Net, and have bookmarked and saved several documents; if you would like me to share, just let me know. 

 

Welcome to the US and to Southern California!  In which racing series will your team be competing?  When and where? 

I run my 2001 Corvette Z06 on E85, and have also converted my friend's 2003 Z06 to run on 100% E85.  We get our fuel from the only known E85 retailer in San Diego County, Pearson Fuels.

 

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