View Full Version : Save on gas?

03-22-2005, 10:52 PM
This from the “I have no idea if this really works but it’s interesting reading” file, it’s claimed that the small addition of acetone to gas increases mileage of your car. Perhaps some chemical engineer on the list would like to comment? This one is way outside my expertise. Article below

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Acetone In Fuel Said to Increase Mileage 15-35%

Readily-available chemical added to gas tank in small proportion
improves the fuel's ability to vaporize completely by reducing the
surface tension that inhibits vaporization of some fuel droplets.

by Louis LaPointe

Adapted by Sterling D. Allan and Mary-Sue Haliburton with
LaPointe's permission for Pure Energy Systems News

Acetone (CH3COCH3), also called dimethylketone or propanone,
is a product that can be purchased inexpensively in most
locations around the world, such as in the common hardware
store. Added to the fuel tank in tiny amounts, acetone aids
in the vaporization of the gasoline or diesel, increasing fuel
efficiency, engine longevity, and performance -- as well as
reducing hydrocarbon emissions.

How it Works

Complete vaporization of fuel is far from perfect in today's
cars. A certain amount of fuel in most engines remains liquid
in the hot chamber. In order to become a true gas and be fully
combusted, fuel must undergo a phase change.

Surface tension presents an obstacle to vaporization. For
instance the energy barrier from surface tension can sometimes
force water to reach 300 degrees Fahrenheit before it
vaporizes. Similarly with gasoline.

Acetone drastically reduces the surface tension. Most fuel
molecules are sluggish with respect to their natural
frequency. Acetone has an inherent molecular vibration that
"stirs up" the fuel molecules, to break the surface tension.
This results in a more complete vaporization with other
factors remaining the same. More complete vaporization means
less wasted fuel, hence the increased gas mileage from the
increased thermal efficiency.

That excess fuel was formerly wasted past the rings or sent
out the tailpipe but when mixed with acetone it gets burned.

Acetone allows gasoline to behave more like the ideal
automotive fuel which is PROPANE. The degree of improved
mileage depends on how much unburned fuel you are presently
wasting. You might gain 15 to 35-percent better economy from
the use of acetone. Sometimes even more.

How Much to Use

Add in tiny amounts from about one part per 5000 to one part
per 500, depending on the vehicle -- just a few ounces per ten
gallons of gas. This comes to between 0.075% and 0.350%


Figure 1: Percentage MILEAGE GAIN when a tiny amount of
acetone is added to fuel. The curves A B C show the effect
on three different cars using different gasolines. Some
engines respond better than others to acetone. The D curve is
for diesel fuel. Too much acetone will decrease mileage
slightly due to adding too much octane to the fuel. Too much
also upsets the mixture ratio because acetone (like alcohol)
is a light molecule.

After you find the right amount for your car per ten gallons,
and you are happy with your newfound mileage, you might want
to try stopping the use of acetone for a couple of tanks.
Watch the drop in mileage. It will amaze you. That reverse
technique is one of the biggest eye openers concerning the use
of acetone in fuel.

In a 10-gallon tank of gasoline, use two 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 too. Use about a teaspoon of acetone
in the fuel tank of a lawnmower or snowblower.

Where to Get Acetone

The pure acetone label is the only additive suggested and is
easily available from most stores in 16-ounce plastic bottles
and in one-gallon containers from some large farm supply
stores. But any acetone source is better than none. Containers
labeled acetone from a hardware store are usually okay and
pure enough to put in your fuel. We prefer cans or bottles
that say 100-percent pure. The acetone in gallons or pints we
get from Fleet Farm are labeled 100% pure. The bottles from
Walgreen say 100% pure. Never use solvents such as paint
thinners or unknown stuff in your gas. Toluene, benzene and
xylene are okay if they are pure but may not raise mileage
except when mixed with acetone.

Adding Acetone to Your Tank

When you fill up with fuel, note the number of gallons added,
then calculate the right amount of acetone to add.

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.

One option is to get a small graduated cylinder (available
from science supplies store or some pharmacies). The small
ones have larger intervals between markings so that it is
easier to fill them to the level desired. The narrow cylinder
can be held to the neck of the can to catch all drips. Then
from the cylinder you can pour neatly into the tank. The small
pouring spout suitable for laboratories prevents drips onto
the paint.

Being etched with neat lines at each milliliter, these
graduated cylinders are also good for measuring precise
amounts -- in ounces or milliliters.

Additional Benefits

In addition to increased mileage acetone added to fuel boasts
other benefits such as increased power, engine life, and
performance. Less unburned fuel going past the rings keeps the
rings and engine oil in far better condition.

A tiny bit of acetone in diesel fuel can stop the black smoke
when the rack is all the way at full throttle. You will notice
that the exhaust soot will be greatly reduced.

Acetone can reduce hydrocarbon emissions up to 60 percent. In
some older cars, the HC readings with acetone went from say
440 PPM to 195, as just one example. Though mileage gains
taper off with too much acetone, hydrocarbon emissions are
nevertheless greatly reduced. Pure acetone is an extremely
clean burning fuel that burns in air with a pretty blue,
smokeless flame.

Acetone reduces the formation of water-ice crystals in
below-zero weather which damage the fuel filter.

There are no known bad effects and every good reason to use
acetone in your fuel. I have never seen a problem with
acetone, and I have used ACETONE in gasoline and diesel fuel
and in jet fuel (JP-4) for 50 years. I have rigorously tested
fuels independently and am considered an authority on this
important subject.


Keep acetone away from painted surfaces, such as the paint on
your car under the gas tank opening. Acetone is the key
ingredient in paint remover. In addition to paint, fuels,
including acetone, can also dissolve asphalt and most

Never allow skin contact with it. It can damage clothing as
well. Don't breathe it. Keep children away from all dangerous
chemicals. Read the directions on the container.

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. Gasoline and/or acetone
will dissolve cheap plastics, so be sure the container you
store it in will not deteriorate.

Solvents that can evaporate through plastics (which are, after
all, derived from hydrocarbons) should not be stored in any
such permeable materials. Keeping a plastic bottle inside the
car, especially the SUV or wagon type without a trunk, could
expose driver and passengers to small amounts of fumes
evaporating through the plastic – unless you always drive with
windows open.

No Issues with the Engine

I have soaked carburetor parts in acetone for months and even
years to see if there is any deterioration. Any parts made to
run with gasoline will work with acetone just fine.

Contrast with Alcohol

In contrast, alcohol has been shown to be corrosive in an
engine, yet they put THAT into gasoline. Alcohol in general is
anti-mileage. Alcohol is no good in fuels. In Brazil, millions
of engines and fuel systems were ruined by alcohol.

Furthermore, alcohol increases surface tension, producing the
opposite effect from acetone. Alcohol in fuel attracts water.
This hurts mileage because water acts like a fire
extinguisher. Some cars may run badly and even quit due to the
incombustible nature of the water-laden fuel. We know of a
dozen cars that recently stopped running due to water in the
alcohol and gas mixture.

In below-zero weather, the water and alcohol form abrasive,
icy particles that can damage fuel pumps.

Hasn't Been Warmly Received

Questions asked of someone in the petroleum industry regarding
ACETONE will often automatically trigger a string of negative
reactions and perhaps false assertions. We may have heard them
all. The mere mention of this additive represents such a
threat to oil profits that you may get fabricated denials
against the successful use of acetone in fuels.

The author has never found any valid reason for not using
acetone in gasoline or diesel fuel. Plus it takes such a tiny
amount to work. No wonder they fear this additive.

Political Action

You might Email this article to your government
representative. After sufficient data has been collected, and
that data supports the conclusions presented here, ACETONE
should be ordered by Federal Law to be present in all fuels.
While you're at it, request that vehicles be equipped with a
MPG read-out to make it easier for consumers to know what is
and is not working to improve their mileage.

If You Want to Do Independent Testing

For those of you who like to see the data yourself, there is a
great little device available to check your exact gas mileage
and more. See ScanGauge.com for an instrument that fits any
car1996 or newer. It measures your real-time MPG, inlet
temperature and many more details as you drive. This
inexpensive tool should end a lot of debate over what works
for mileage and what does not. We use the TRIP function to
average the MPG at a steady 50 MPH both ways.

Since the fuel from every gas station is different from the
next, the MPG performance will also vary. Then there exist a
wide variety of additive choices at the terminals that affect
quality. Also other variables in the cars performance such as
warm external temperature versus cold external temperature,
using the AC or not, headlights or not, incline of drive, etc.
Try to eliminate as many of these variable as possible in your
comparative testing.

Be consistent where you buy your gasoline because different
gasolines vary tremendously. The best gas and the worst gas in
your neighborhood will likely have a 30-percent spread in
mileage. Same for diesel fuel. (In my experience with repeated
test results, I have found that Texaco, Chevron and Canadian
Shell deliver excellent gasoline mileage.) Try to keep down
the number of variables wherever you gas up by using the same
station, same pump, same grade or same octane before testing.

Incidentally, in almost all cases, the lowest octane is best
for mileage. Most modern vehicles do not have high enough
compression to justify using high octane fuels. The testing
indicates best mileage is usually obtained with 85 or 87
octane gasoline. Too much octane causes a loss of power and
economy. BUT too little octane causes the same things plus
knocking. Listen carefully to your engine for tell-tale knocks
or clicks when you start out from a light. The best mileage
points to the correct octane when the engine is properly

The ScanGauge enables you to notice these difference and then
see the difference with and without acetone added in various

Report Your Findings

PES Network Inc. has created an index page at PESWiki where
you can report your findings. PESWiki is a publicly editable
website where you can post a summary of your results, or
create a full page, with all the details you wish to report,
with images and links to video or spreadsheet data.

Other Additives Exist

There are of course other additives that improve mileage
(which also have had less than a favorable reception by the
petroleum industry). Certain octane improvers for example also
aid mileage. We recently proved that Carb Medic from Gunk can
raise mileage when 3 oz. are used with 2 oz. of acetone per 10
gallons of gasoline, even in cold weather.

Many products claiming to improve mileage are expensive and do
not really help much. Others are fakes. For instance, a smooth
flow of air into a carburetor or injector is far better for
mileage than turbulent air. Yet many people deliberately
introduce turbulent air into their engines. There are many
silly myths floating around the car industry to fool the
average person. Another is that cold intake air improves
mileage. NO. Warm air improves mileage.

Test for yourself. Take a mileage check for each and every
tank of gas or diesel fuel like we do. Your actual mileage is
NOT that of a single tank full but the average of perhaps five
tanks. To be accurate, you should not miss any checks. This
takes discipline to get reliable results. Someday your car
will do it for you with an MPG gauge on the dash. But for now,
YOU ought to keep tabs on your mileage for all our sakes.

# # #


The above story was adapted with permission from a story
reported at: http://www.lubedev.com/smartgas/additive.htm


From: Louis LaPointe
March 19, 2005

Something that might be added:

In early 2004, a SmartGas reader named Dave in New York State
filled three bottles with: pure acetone, half acetone/ half
gasoline and straight gasoline. Into these he placed O-rings,
pump diaphragms, plastic fittings, hose parts and other
neoprene/n-buna stuff. He duped my experiments from back in
the 50s. Months later he told me the pure acetone bottle was
slightly darkened. Dave had carefully marked all the parts
beforehand. He dried the parts to mike them again and noted
after six months that the growth was about one-percent to
two-percent in all the bottles, which was well within limits.
Almost unnoticeable. He put the stuff back into the respective
bottles where it may still be today. Dave has a background in
physics and engineering.

He believes that everyone should do their own testing and not
listen to the prejudiced opinions or words of others. There is
way too much misinformation out there.

When I use acetone, I often add one of several other mileage
additives into my 16 oz. Walgreen's plastic acetone bottle
which stays in the trunk so as not to carry a large quantity
container in case I get rear-ended. I am building a dyno
facility to further test all the mileage additives and get
perfect mixture figures to appear on the site this summer, I
hope. Meanwhile the ScanGauge is being used daily by numerous
persons across the U.S. running acetone and various carefully
devised mixes and lubricants. Some oils can improve mileage
substantially, notably Torco Oil.

Using the ScanGauge at 50MPH, my best mileage was 48-52 in my
Neon a few weeks ago. Then I stopped the acetone to do some
reverse testing. The next four tanks of the same Texaco gas
showed 42-43, 37-38, 33-34, 30-31. No acetone when each tank
was filled at half full. The drop was about 20 MPG overall.

The other person with me each time wrote down the results.

I am finishing a science article on the SmartGas.net site
tonight--how to go about testing.

It concerns induction and the Scientific Method.

Thanks, Lou LaPointe

See also
Acetone as a Fuel Additive (index at PESWiki)
Fuel Economy (PESWiki.com directory page)
Pure Energy Systems News

Page posted by Sterling D. Allan March 17, 2005
Last updated March 20, 2005

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03-22-2005, 11:37 PM
Don't know about the acetone part, but I checked out the ScanGauge device mentioned in the article. It looks pretty cool. Especially if you have a teenage driver in the house, and want to check how fast they have been driving your car!

03-23-2005, 12:00 AM
Don't know about the acetone part, but I checked out the ScanGauge device mentioned in the article. It looks pretty cool. Especially if you have a teenage driver in the house, and want to check how fast they have been driving your car!

I would have that problem solved as no teen would ever be allowed to drive my car ;)