So I drive a car that requires 93 min. Octane. Me, being the skeptic started thinking about Gasoline blends around the world. I realized in my travels (and I am extremely well traveled), that pretty much every other country in the world has one grade of Gas vs. America and some parts of Europe and even the rest of the world. It really comes down to the mixture. After 8 months of exhaustive research, I thought I’d try my hand at mixing up a batch of Octane Booster. Now I do have chemistry experience (I’m a do it all kind of guy). So being divorced and bored, I thought I would try some things.
First my research led me to how mixtures of Gas differ in America vs. the rest of the world. Here’s what I found.
RON: Research Octane Number – Simply put, what your octane level is at 600 RPM. Pretty much meaningless in my book.
MON: Motor Octane Number – Again, research based on variable timings at 900 RPM. (Moderate acceleration). This is the number I decided to concentrate on.
Tests pretty much show that MON is usually around 10 points under RON.
Octane, what exactly is it? Basically, Octane is a measure of the compressibility of a fuel before it detonates. The higher, the better. This means more power, less knock, etc.
You ever see that little sticker on gas tanks that says (R+M)/2 method? What does that mean? (RON+MON)/2 giving you the mean octane level. or minimal theoretical octane of the gas. So how do we raise it? It’s a simple matter of mathematics and research.
Increase one significantly and the mean Octane Level Goes up. Now keep in mind that as you raise Octane, you’re going to automatically Advance the timing on a car if it has an automatic Timing System (when the spark plugs fire in the cylinders based on compression). You will need to remember that by increasing octane alone, you’re going to need to add additional lubricant.
If done wrong or if you use the wrong chemicals, you pretty much screw up your catalytic converter and O2 sensors.
So after much research, this is what I came up with:
The key is to increase the MON enough that running 87 octane gas in a high-compression engine gives you an equivalent of 93 or higher at a more reasonable price.
So we need to look at what Octane Booster additives are in our gas. My research gave me one such example: (Don’t you love MSDS datasheets).
Now here’s the kicker: Xylene requires lubricant additive while Toulene does not, although, it would help to add just a very small amount to protect seals, rubber, etc.
For example: AKI (Anti-Knock Index) = (R+M)/2 = What Octane you’re supposed to be buying at the pump.
For example, if we mixed 1 Gallon of 93 Octane Gas + 1 Gallon of Xylene, we’re looking at: (93+117)/2 = Effective Octane or AKI of:105.5 Now you can see how it all plays together.
We just want to boost our AKI to above 93.
So here’s where a little math comes in:
Let’s say our target octane is: 95 (A reasonable number that isn’t going to do any damage to any engine), we’d only need a .068 ratio of Xylene to 1 gallon of Gasoline at 87 octane.
We’re going to solve for x in the following equation:
or 87 +114/x=95 (Toulene)
So we’ve got an 8 point jump we need to make in AKI (or effective octane)
This is where it gets fun and wow, what a savings. There’s another option that adds a few points of octane (Xylene or Xylol) [this is what I use]
Remember, we’re already working with AKI numbers, so assuming a 1:x ratio, we need to figure out x per gallon of gas to see if it’s worth it.
So here goes:
To bump 87 Octane to 95 Octane Requires 8.7 Fluid Ounces (US) per gallon of Gasoline.
There are 128 Ounces in a Gallon.
A 55 Gallon Drum per barrel of Xylene: 500.00
This works out to: .07 cents per ounce = .50 per gallon.
Gas Prices are (last checked): 3.61 for 87 Octane and 3.91 for Premium (still cheap for Florida) keep in mind that these are prices for the lowest stations in the area paying cash, Credit Cards add .10 per gallon. Using a credit card for the transaction (which I do all the time adds an extra .10 per gallon). So this is basically a savings of .50 per gallon. My last fill-up at 93 octane was 4.28 per gallon.
So how well does it work? Proof is in the pudding. (Twin Turbo Brabus SL65[that’s a Twin Turbo V-12]).
55 Gallon Drum of Xylene split with 3 people. Gives me a savings of over $1230.00 per year. I drive a lot.
.07 @ 8.7 Oz * .07 (.61) +3.61 = 4.21 per gallon * 20 = 84.20 per tank with a higher octane level than what would have been guaranteed at the pump.
I get higher octane + higher performance. Considering I’ve been running my car at this level for the last 8 years I’d have to say my savings are pretty substantial.
Occasionally, I add some Marvel Mystery Oil to the mix for extra lubrication, but what I do is for every 2 tanks of my special mixture, I run a tank at full regular 93 gasoline straight from the pump.
I’ve never had a broken or leaked seal, or any issues otherwise.
Here’s my secret recipe.. keep in mind, this is per gallon. So multiply * the number of gallons you put in.
Here is a formula on making your own octane boost
MAKE YOUR OWN OCTANE BOOSTHow to make your own octane booster (this is the basic formula of one of the popular octane booster products). To make eight 16 ounce bottles (128 oz = 1 gal):
100 oz of xylene / xylol (95-100% purity) for octane boost
.25 oz of mineral spirits (cleaning agent)
.25 oz of transmission fluid (lubricating agent)
I use this as my personal concoction of cleaning agent + lube “octane booster with cleaning agent *and* lubricating agent!”. Light turbine oil can be substituted for transmission fluid.
Here is a formula for blending fuel also – it is (#oct x gals) + (#oct x gals) / total gals = oct – an example using the (r+m)/2 rating and a ten gallon tank – we will figure the xylene to be 117 octane – (87 oct x 10 gallons) + (117 oct x 1.5 gals) / 10 gals = 104.55 octane – simple, huh?
Just as a point of note.. Every car I’ve ever come across can run up to 110 octane for a few years if you you just do the mix 2 times in a row followed by one tank of premium 91+ gas.
No problems, insane horsepower, no problems.
If you’d like to split a drum with someone, post it on the comments and I’ll put you in contact with them.
A brabus can handle it, so does my S550 and even my Chevy 2003 Vortex S-10. I get better mileage, better performance, and better fuel economy.
Been doing it for years. Still, no problems. (3 years, 75K miles)
Do this at your own risk. I hold no accountability for this, but I can say that my cars run extremely well with no knocks, pings, or anything else.
I can definitely tell you that my personal experience on Chevys, MBs, and my friend’s experiences on Fords, Chevys, Bimmers, and Audis have been the same. No problems, but then again, we’re running higher AKIs than most… do the math to make your required mix. No matter how you look at it, you win.
Keep the money in your pocket. No crazy chemistry here.. just straight math.
Brought to you by someone who just decided Gas costs too much. It’s not rocket science people.. Just a little (ok.. a lot) of research + will power and guts.. but I’ve done the hard work and put a serious amount of cars on the line to prove it.