Fuel Economy Test: Using Acetone as Fuel Additive

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy' started by SnowFire, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. SnowFire

    SnowFire Member

    Fuel Economy Testing of Acetone as a Fuel Additive

    I have been testing the effects of using acetone as a fuel additive and wanted to share my preliminary results. I have published a spreadsheet of my current results (see link below).

    Fuel Economy Test with Acetone - (Google Spreadsheet)

    First off, I tried to make this testing as scientific as possible but it is not full proof and if you see issues/problems please let me know. THIS TEST IS STILL ONGOING SO STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES!


    Background Info:


    I drive a 1988 Toyota Camry, 2.0L engine, front wheel-drive with automatic transmission. I use Mobil 1 0W-30 Advanced Fuel Economy Synthetic Oil with a FRAM Oil Filter and keep my tires at a maximum pressure of 45 PSI. I drive between my apartment in Maryland Heights (Westport Plaza area) to UMSL on a daily basis. I do not speed but maintain 58-62 mph on the highway and coast to intersections with red lights. I do not use my A/C but open my windows a crack when on the highways and roll them half-way down when driving in the city. I also do not vary my driving very much, meaning I take the same routes and limit travel outside of my home-area.



    Materials & Ingredients:

    I fill up my car with 87 grade gasoline from QuikTrip. I use laboratory grade acetone which is 100% acetone (technical grade acetone found in most hardware stores contain 95% acetone and up to 5% water which can hurt fuel economy). I used a Kimax 100 mL graduated cylinder (with accuracy of +/-0.6 mL @ 25 degrees Celsius) to measure out how much acetone to add.



    Experiment A - (Part 1 of 2)

    The first portion of the test I ran 10 tanks of gas and drove approximately 3500 miles without acetone and now I have started using acetone as a fuel additive. I believe this will reduce the standard error of the calculations while using weighted averages. Prior to starting Part 2 I made sure my standard error was less than 1% (0.880% I believe).




    Experiment B - (Part 2 of 2)

    After filling up I use the spreadsheet to make on-the-fly calculations on-site to determine the correct amount to add after filling up. I round all calculations up to the next milliliter. You can see how much I have added by the concentration listed in units of milliliters of acetone per gallon of gas (mL/gal), I figured this would make it easier to keep track of what was going on. I have completed the 1st tank of gas and will proceed to test 9 more tanks with using acetone as a fuel additive (or continue testing with more tanks of gas until standard error is below 1%).




    Regarding Updates & Results

    I will post updated results as I get them. The Google spreadsheet will be updated each time I fill up. I encourage all to voice their opinions if it is constructive. Thanks again and I hope this helps.


    -Pete Chang


    Fuel Economy Test with Acetone - (Google Spreadsheet)






    UPDATES

    No Acetone Baseline (Weighted Average): 28.895 +/- 0.218 MPG
    Acetone Baseline (Weighted Average): 32.098 +/- 0.114 MPG

    Total Running Fuel Economy (Weighted Average w/ & w/o Acetone): 29.600 +/- 0.151 MPG



    1st Tank w/ Acetone: 33.833 MPG (Acetone Baseline = 33.833 MPG)
    2nd Tank w/ Acetone: 34.207 MPG (Acetone Baseline = 34.018 +/- 0.073 MPG)

    3rd Tank w/ Acetone: 28.917 MPG (Acetone Baseline = 32.098 +/- 0.114 MPG) No OverDrive & Severe Rain


    Fuel Economy Test with Acetone - (Google Spreadsheet)
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  2. SnowFire

    SnowFire Member

    1st Tank: 33.833 MPG

    361.3 miles driven (142 mL Acetone + 15.9 gal. Gas)


    +17.89% in Fuel Economy (Compared to Previous Weighted Average)

    +1.392% in Fuel Economy (Weighted Average Comparison; Before & After)


    OLD Weighted Average (Before): 28.895 +/- 0.218 MPG
    NEW Weighted Average (After): 22.297 +/- 0.193 MPG
     
  3. Vooch

    Vooch Well-Known Member

    Dude - good luck

    keep us posted
     
  4. SnowFire

    SnowFire Member

    2nd Tank w/ Acetone: 34.207 MPG


    359.1 miles driven (97 mL Acetone + 10.498 gal. Gas) - [Concentration: 9.05385 mL/gal]

    +17.730% in Fuel Economy (Compared to No Acetone Baseline)



    New Weighted Average (w/ Acetone): 34.018 +/- 0.073 MPG
    Old Weighted Average (No Acetone): 28.895 +/- 0.218 MPG


    1st Tank w/ Acetone: 33.833 MPG



    Fuel Economy Test with Acetone - (Google Spreadsheet)
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  5. pcs0snq

    pcs0snq Well-Known Member

    I have to ask....Maybe I missed it, but I'm assuming you are doing this to save $$$ on your fuel expenses as opposed to more power. What is the cost of that 100% acetone and are you sure it will not harm anything in the engine or fuels system?

    http://www.statsoft.com/textbook/stexdes.html

    take a look at the link above. There's a real science to testing
    DOE is what the science is for this.


    good luck
     
  6. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    I would suggest that it would be more accurate if you didn't know which tanks had acetone in them. If you controlled tanks for another driver or they for you it would eliminate any driving variation.

    Any difference could be because you want the acetone to work and are consciously or unconsciously compensating.
     
  7. cam9264

    cam9264 Well-Known Member

    Keep up the good work i am very interested in the out come of this test especially the results long term , one sugestion is to keep going lower on the dose because else wear i have read that with acetone more is not nessarlly better good luck
     
  8. Shan

    Shan SGII Equiped FIT Driver....finally!

    I am with Paul on this.

    Also, how many miles are on that 88??? This is my bet. The Acetone will do some good at first by cleaning the fuel system and possibly clean the intake and head(carbon build up). There you will see increased mpg as should be expected but it will level off and the absence of Acetone will show no difference in the mpg. This is assuming you don't go over board with the acetone and damage some sensors and/or seals in that old car. I would be very worried about the seals and sensors.

    Good luck.

    Shawn
     
  9. SnowFire

    SnowFire Member

    Thanks for your input guys. Here's what I do. I am a college student and I take the same route to my university and back. I don't travel outside my home area much only to Wal-Mart for the essentials and the grocery store down the street. I coast in neutral at the same places and maintain a speed of 58-62 mph on all highways.

    On the spreadsheet I have listed some work done on the Camry. My 1988 Camry has a little over 224000 miles on it. Variations in driving is possible but seeing as how I take the same routes and limit my driving to the same few places I think any impact from these variations will be minimal. I also consciously hypermile all the time (with and without acetone added). I just installed a SunPro tachometer and will keep the engine below 2000 RPM on the highway and while city driving.

    The spreadsheet may be complex but it contains a lot of information. If you have questions regarding any aspect of my experiment including what I have put on the spreadsheet don't hesitate to ask.

    After running 3500 miles or 10 tanks of with using acetone as a fuel additive (whichever comes first). I will stop using acetone, while continually calculating the decreasing concentration of acetone to gas (in milliliters/gallon). Theoretically if the acetone is cleaning off the carbon build up I should see improvements level off as Shawn said. Either way I will alternate between 10 tanks or 3500 miles with and without acetone indefinitely to gauge possible long term effects of using this as an additive. I am going to drive this car until the engine or transmission wears out, have it rebuilt or replaced and continue this experiment.

    -Pete
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  10. SnowFire

    SnowFire Member

    The cost of the acetone is free. I obtained some from my university research laboratory (I am a chemistry major). But I did scout the places to buy acetone from and found that Sally's Beauty Supply has the cheapest and most pure for approximately $10-15 (chemical companies charge ~$30 for a gallon). I do not recommend using hardware acetone (paint thinners) such as Kleen Strip as the MSDS reveals that it contains 95% acetone and upto 5% water which I believe will decrease fuel economy. I have pasted the product link from Sally's Beauty Supply below as they may have stores near you.

    Pure Acetone Manicurist Solvent - (1 Gallon) from Sally Beauty Supply for $17 + tax

    If you join Sally's Beauty Club you can get it for $11 + tax. It costs $5 per year and the discount can be used on the first purchase, plus they give you a $5 coupon to use on your next purchase which pays for the enrollment fee itself.

    -Pete
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  11. Shan

    Shan SGII Equiped FIT Driver....finally!

    Aw, Chemistry, how I do miss it. I have a BS in Chemistry and attended Grad School as well for it but I don't do much of it now, my research was molecularly imprinted polymers and Organic Chemistry. So, you are steeling the acetone from the lab??? HAHA! I hope not, they wouldn't look at that too highly.

    Even if Acetone improves mpg it will not be enough to off set the price at $10-15 a gallon and you haven't even looked at the emissions side of using acetone which would be another experiment in itself.
     
  12. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    I see from the spreadsheet that the tanks need to be closer to the 10 gallon fill-up range.
    Have you recorded:
    Daily air temps to use as an average?
    Rain or weather conditions as a value to average?

    I live about 120 miles from STL and experience the differences of day/night time temps and conditions on MPG.

    Have you checked on the effects of acetone on the rubber components in your fuel system?

    What worries me about many people adding acetone to their tanks are the telltale sign of streaks with no paint under the fuel filler door!:eek:
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
  13. SnowFire

    SnowFire Member

    I disagree the cost of the acetone is well worth the improvement in fuel economy even if it only yields an extra 5%.

    (28.895 MPG w/o acetone)(15.9 gallons)=459.4 miles w/o acetone
    +5% improvement in F.E. = 482.4 miles w/ acetone
    +5% extra F.E. = 22.97 extra miles
    (22.97 extra miles)/(28.895 MPG) = 0.795 gallons saved = $3.18 saved (@ $4/gal)

    1 gallon of acetone can be used for 26 tanks (@142 mL per tank)
    ($3.18 savings/tank)(26 tanks)=$82.68 gross savings
    ($82.68 gross savings)-($20 cost of 1 gal. acetone)=$62.68 net savings


    Since I am currently netting an extra 17% in F.E. (rounded down) here's how it breaks down in terms of savings:

    (28.895 MPG w/o acetone)(15.9 gallons)=459.4 miles w/o acetone
    +17% improvement in F.E. = 537.5 miles w/ acetone
    +17% extra F.E. = 78.1 extra miles
    (78.1 extra miles)/(28.895 MPG) = 2.703 gallons saved = $10.81 saved (@ $4/gal)

    1 gallon of acetone can be used for 26 tanks (@142 mL per tank)
    ($10.81 savings/tank)(26 tanks)=$281.11 gross savings
    ($281.11 gross savings)-($20 cost of 1 gal. acetone)=$261.11 net savings

    These rough calculations prove that it is economy feasible to save substantially if using acetone is used as a fuel additive to increase fuel economy. The savings incurred outweighs the cost of the acetone by 300% (worse case scenario of +5% in F.E.) and over 1300% (my current +17% in F.E.). The only thing I question is the long term effects of using acetone as a fuel additive (I am also testing this). Technically speaking the amounts used are so little and diluted it should not cause damage to the fuel pump or other internal components but this remains to be seen.

    (And no, I am not stealing the acetone from the research lab. I told my professor about my experiment and he was quite interested in seeing how it turns out so he allowed me to take some home.)


    -PC
     
  14. SnowFire

    SnowFire Member

    Most of the fill-ups are pretty close to 10 gallons. With regards to air temperature and weather, I have not been recording them but I can probably back reference them with some weather almanac if I had to.

    I only fill-up the tank at night after the sun has gone down so that it is cooler (I didn't want the extra heat to evaporate the acetone). I figure since I add the acetone after I fill-up letting the tank sit overnight will allow the acetone to diffuse equally throughout the tank.

    -PC
     
  15. kapper

    kapper Member

    Did you test the Salon Formula Acetone Polish to confirm it is 100% acetone?

    What about the Pure Acetone Manicurist Solvent that Sally Beauty sells...is that 100% too?...it comes in smaller sizes that would be better for short term trial testing purposes to see if an auto reacts favorably to acetone.

    I did some testing with Kleen strip last year on my 91 Honda Accord and a few times the mpg increased, but my driving was not very consistent and it is too old for the Scangauge.
     
  16. SnowFire

    SnowFire Member

    I apologize for the mix-up. But what you pasted the Pure Acetone Manicurist Solvent is what I actually purchased. If you join Sally's Beauty Club you can get it for $11 + tax. It costs $5 per year and the discount can be used on the first purchase, plus they give you a $5 coupon to use on your next purchase which pays for the enrollment fee itself. I have not had a chance to test this yet, but it does appear to be 100% acetone. Let me run a couple lab tests to confirm if it is pure acetone.

    Pure Acetone Manicurist Solvent - (1 Gallon) from Sally Beauty Supply for $17 (or $11 w/ Beauty Club Card) + tax

    -Pete
     
  17. Shan

    Shan SGII Equiped FIT Driver....finally!

    Ok, I read things wrong. I was thinking you wanted to replace the $4/gallon gas with $15/gallon acetone. Your calculations are assuming that acetone DOES increase fuel economy. First, you have to establish that you are not merely cleaning out your high mileage gunked up motor. Good luck, I hope it works.


    Ideally you would need a control car and both should be new cars. The new cars would have no previous damage or abuse and you would need to drive them the same way and not know which one had the acetone - I know this can't happen and you probably know but I thought I would state it for others.
     
  18. SnowFire

    SnowFire Member

    That's the assumption anyways. I expect the improvement in fuel economy to level off after the acetone has sufficiently cleaned my engine. But this is a continuous test so we'll see...

    -PC
     
  19. toyota88

    toyota88 Member

    What you're doing, Pete, is very similar to what I'm doing, with similar results with similar cars (though your gas mileage improvement is better than mine, but you don't run your AC while I do run mine.) Here's a link to what I'm doing:

    http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13788

    That includes some folks' thoughts about adding acetone to the tank.

    I'm on my second tank and continue to get great gas mileage. Please let us know your experiment's continuing results! ec kostrubala
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008
  20. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Toyota88:
    The mileage you're getting with the Toyota is not even the EPA. FuelEconomy.gov shows the 88 at 26/32 for a manual and 23/31 for an automatic. If you read Beating the EPA
    you should be able to meet and exceed the EPA without pouring potentially harmful solvents into your tank.
    How many miles are on it?
    What percent is city or highway driving?
    How much air is in your tires?
    How is your air filter?
    When was your last tune-up
    Please try the basic FREE safe ways to improve your mileage first.

    What kind of mileage do you get out of the Ram?
     

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