Author Topic: Gasoline Storage  (Read 3840 times)

Offline Oniwaban

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Gasoline Storage
« on: February 12, 2012, 09:22:13 AM »
Copied this over from a reply i made to a friends post on another blog, thought it might be helpful.
Regarding your question earlier on how long stored gasoline will be good for, there are many variables. Firstly I will address the container. A well sealed metal container is best, better than that is an in-ground tank. Plastic containers will breathe... allowing the light hydrocarbons to evaporate from the fuel, leaving the heavier (less volatile) hydrocarbons behind and degrading the quality of the fuel. Even stabilized fuel in a plastic container will degrade as fast as non stabilized fuel. Fuel stabilizer works by forming a film on top of the fuel stored in a container, reducing, not preventing the evaporation of the light hydrocarbons from the surface of the fuel.
Next is type of fuel stored. Most fuel available now has a mix of 10% ethanol. Alcohol absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. While in solution in your tank, in time the alcohol WILL absorb moisture from the atmosphere. This makes it more dense and sink to the bottom of the container, if this is a fuel tank attached to an engine, all fuel pickups work from the bottom of the tank. Sucking in the moisture laden alcohol into the engine first. Which is a problem, because alcohol mixed with water will not run most engines well. Second, the water and alcohol mix will rust a metal container or tank.
So, don't plan on long term storage of ANY gasoline with ANY amount of ethanol, 2 weeks is its limit for quality regardless of container or treatment.
Now you see the importance of finding a source of fuel that does not contain ethanol.
Stabilized high octane fuel is best, the higher the octane the more stable. Octane is a rating of the consistency of the light hydrocarbons. Higher octane fuel burns at a more consistent temperature. Lower octane fuel burns more inconsistently, usually hotter. Farther apart in detonation and combustion under pressure. Thats why low octane fuel can make your car's engine ping. The timing of the engine compression, ignition are more specific than that of the fuel.
In a best case scenario, high octane 93 or higher gasoline stabilized properly in a well sealed,full metal container kept at a cool consistent temperature, above ground should last about 2 years.

nelson96

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Re: Gasoline Storage
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 06:24:24 PM »
+1 . . .  Good info.

How about diesel, same advice?  How long does it store in comparison?

Offline Oniwaban

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Re: Gasoline Storage
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 12:36:51 AM »
diesel lasts much longer, the treatment for storing diesel is different from gas. there is an enzyme additive that keeps bacteria from growing in diesel.

Offline tipafo

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Re: Gasoline Storage
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 09:34:05 PM »
Good information.  Thanks.

I've been wondering about storage of the containers.  Do folks just keep several cans in the garage?  In a stand-alone shed?

What about ventilation?  Volume of the storage space vs. fuel off-gassing?

Temperature/humidity/other (automatic?) environmental controls?

Security vs. accessibility?

Risks of explosion, other hazards of storing various fuels?

In the case of limited combined storage space, how far apart should sealed food containers be from fuel containers?  Ten feet of open space?  A few sheets of drywall/plywood, etc., separating such items in a "side by side" arrangement?

Thanks again.

Offline Oniwaban

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Re: Gasoline Storage
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 10:12:02 PM »
Well, as for the safety concerns. Gasoline is in my experience an extremely stable fuel. I work in a small shop with spilled gasoline all over, have a 5 gallon home depot bucket full of old gasoline I use for parts washer open on the floor next to my workbench. And I smoke... You can take a lit cigarette and toss it in the bucket and it will be extinguished. Please forgive me for my behavior but its my job and I do it all day everyday. Its the vapors that are dangerous, it would have to be a pretty small area like a closed storage cabinet with open containers of gas inside that would be a problem. It truly does need to be atomized into the air in order to pose a problem. Think about it, you drive around in your car at highway speeds with a big ass tank-full of the stuff everyday. As long as the fuel is stored in sealed metal containers the risk of any ignition by normal means is well within the dont think twice about it range. Plastic is another story. You get what you pay for, metal containers will last a lifetime or 2, maybe more if cared for. Plastic containers expand and contract so much with temperature the develop cracks. Just seasonal temperature changes are far too much for them to withstand.
Off gassing from metal cans should not be a concern in tainting other supplies.
Any cool dry place is fine, most important is to keep them out of the sun. Garage or the like is good. I keep mine in a rented self storage building, with the generator.
The only 2 chemicals I am very careful never to introduce to each other are brake fluid and bleach. Keep these as far apart as you can. Like not even in the same building. Very dangerous combination.

nelson96

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Re: Gasoline Storage
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 10:41:49 PM »
The only 2 chemicals I am very careful never to introduce to each other are brake fluid and bleach. Keep these as far apart as you can. Like not even in the same building. Very dangerous combination.

Okay, now I gotta know . . . .  What will happen?

Offline Oniwaban

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Re: Gasoline Storage
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 05:22:08 PM »
FIRE!

Offline tipafo

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Re: Gasoline Storage
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2012, 09:21:03 PM »
Thanks, Oniwaban.

I thought I might be too worried, but I'd sure hate to have been wrong.