Gasoline is used for many things at home and at work. We use it to power a lot of things, and sometimes it would be nice to have a lot of it. We sometimes buy more than we can use, so we have to find a place to keep the extras.
Still, the question is: how long can gasoline be kept? Will it spoil?
There’s no rule for figuring out how long your gas will last. Depending on the environment, it could take a few months or even a few years. Some of these factors are heat, moisture, and oxygen.
Types of Gasoline and How Long They Will Last
If you use bad gas, there will be consequences. If you want to buy a lot of gas and save some for emergencies, you are right to be worried.
Old gas is not bad gas, but how long it will last depends on how pure it is or if you use fuel stabilisers.
Pure gasoline should be safe to use for at least six months after it was put away. Even if you store the gasoline in a container with a tight seal, it will go bad over time.
When pure gasoline breaks down, it takes a long time. The reason is that gasoline in this state is hydrophobic and won’t soak up water or humidity.
If you buy pure gasoline, the fuel won’t separate and water won’t get into it.
Gasoline stored in this condition will only last three months from the date it was put away. It’s because ethanol likes water and mixes easily with it. Any water in the container will be sucked up by the ethanol, which will cause condensation.
Condensation can get into your fuel and make it dirty. It will cause the gas and ethanol layers in the fuel to separate. So, if the amount of ethanol in your gas is higher, it won’t last as long.
Fuel Stabilization of Gasoline
These are things you can do if you want to keep gasoline for longer than six months. Fuel stabilisers are made from petroleum and can be bought in stores near you.
Fuel stabilisers will slow down the evaporation and oxidation of volatile compounds. Adding a fuel stabiliser to gasoline will make it last longer, but it will depend on the product you choose. Some last between one and three years.
If you want your stabiliser to work better, you should mix it with fresh gasoline. Mixing gasoline won’t stop it from going bad faster or make it good again.
How to spot the difference between new and contaminated gasoline
You can do a simple test to see if your old gas is still good. All you have to do is put each kind of gas into its own container. After you’ve done this, keep an eye out for the following things.
The old gas is dark and smells bad compared to the new gas. This means that your gas is no longer as good as it used to be, but it is not dirty.
Do you see ethanol and gas in separate layers? When ethanol is added to gasoline, the gas will be on top of the ethanol and a little darker. Check to see if the gas has changed colour. Look for a colour that looks like rust or sludge. If it is there, moisture and the solid byproducts of oxidation have made it dirty.
Can I use contaminated gasoline?
If you throw away fuel that you haven’t used, you might feel like you’ve lost something. But it’s a good thing. You can say that gas is like wine. Once you open the bottle, the wine starts to go bad because oxygen gets into it.
Fuel that has been tampered with is dangerous, and if you use it in your car or lawnmower, it could cause corrosion over time.
Some of the hydrocarbons will go up into the air. Those that don’t will react with the oxygen in the air to make solid gums. As you use your engine, the gum will build up in the pipes. This is a slow but dangerous process. You can compare it to atherosclerosis, which is a disease in which cholesterol builds up in the arteries over time.
Why gasoline gets contaminated
You might wonder why crude oil can last for a long time without going bad but gasoline can’t. By the time gasoline gets to you, it has been through a lot of steps and is no longer just crude oil.
Gasoline is made up of atoms of hydrogen and carbon that are joined together to make hydrocarbons. Impurities like sulphur evaporate during the process of refining oil. Acid rain is made by sulphur, which is bad for the environment. Rain hurts crops because it changes the PH of the soil.
Manufacturers add other things to gasoline to make it work better. It will give it a number for stableoctane. A higher number is better because it makes it less likely that the pressure will cause the gasoline to catch fire.
How to dispose of contaminated gasoline
When gas gets old, it may lose its ability to burn and even stop starting your car. You won’t need it anymore, so you should get rid of it. Getting rid of gasoline without being careful can be dangerous. Even though it is old, it will still be able to catch fire.
Steps to take to get rid of your gas:
Check for contamination
Check to see if the gas is showing signs of being contaminated. Check for colour and smell differences with a new fuel in a separate glass cylinder. Even though old gas won’t hurt your engine, it won’t run as well, and you can stop that from happening.
Mix old gasoline with a new one
If your engine won’t start with old gas, mixing it with new gas may bring it back to life. Adding new fuel to your old gas is a safe way to use it.
There is no standard way to mix old and new gas together. But you can make your own observations and figure out the ratio. You can decide based on what colour the old gasoline is. A safe ratio is 1:1, which gives your engine the power it needs without making it more likely that gum will form.
If you need to dilute a large amount, you should talk to an expert at your local auto shop. Ask if they can add anything to old gas to make it run better and be safer. An expert may tell you to use octane boosters or injector cleaners. It depends on what kind of engine you have.
Find a disposal center near you.
Gasoline should not be dumped into rivers or on the ground. Even though it is dirty, it is still flammable and easy to light. It will also make your water dirty and give you health problems.
You can get gas at a lot of different places. It includes the county and city agencies that take care of trash. Talk to them and ask them how you should get rid of your gasoline.
Dealing with spills
Care must be taken when moving contaminated gasoline to a container for disposal that has been approved. The fire code says that each container of fuel shouldn’t hold more than five gallons. If gasoline gets on you or the floor, you should clean it up right away.
Cover the area with baking soda, and then use liquid soap to clean it off the floor or your clothes.
Transporting gasoline to the disposal center
To light gasoline, you need a spark. Slow down and don’t smoke in your car while you move it. When you get to the place where you can dump the gas, do it slowly so it doesn’t spill.
You should try not to breathe in too much gasoline. You should think about putting on a mask to protect your face.
Gasoline comes in different mixes for different places. In hot weather, gasoline is made up of hydrocarbons that are heavy. The goal is to keep water from evaporating too much because of the heat. For cold weather, a lighter mix of hydrocarbons is best. It will make the engine of your car start up faster.
Before you put gasoline away, you should know what kind it is. A lot of hydrocarbons will get dirty much more quickly.