How to Mix Ethanol With Gasoline


Although many Americans may be unaware of the existence of the chemical, most gasoline contains up to 10 percent ethanol. According to alternative fuel advocates, ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline. Ethanol is also cheaper at the pump than gasoline. Ethanol mixtures are pumped from gas stations in the same manner as gasoline. Ethanol pumps are usually categorized by the percentage of ethanol present in the fuel. For example, E85, which is the most common type of mixed fuel, contains 85 percent ethanol. Pure 200 proof ethanol should be mixed into gasoline vehicles in appropriate proportions, according to your vehicle's fuel flexibility.

Things You'll Need

  • Ethanol
  • Gasoline
  • Vehicle
  • Find out if your car or truck is a fuel flexible vehicle (FFV) by calling your dealership or checking your owner's manual. If your vehicle is an FFV, determine the percentage of ethanol that your vehicle can accept. For example, an 85E FFV can accept fuel that contains up to 85 percent ethanol. Most cars made after 1980 are E10 adaptable, or can accept gasoline that contains 10 percent ethanol.

  • Wait until the tank is half-full with gasoline and use a spout or clean gas can to fill the rest of the tank with pure ethanol. By adding 50 percent ethanol, your gas tank and engine will become acclimated to the presence of ethanol. If an ethanol pump is unavailable, a permit can be obtained to make ethanol at home. You can distill your own alcohol from corn using plans and equipment found on the Internet.

  • Refill your vehicle with the standard E85 blend or less.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have used gasoline with high concentrations of ethanol, you still may safely refill your FFV with pure gasoline if ethanol is unavailable.
  • Improperly mixing ethanol into your vehicle can have detrimental effects on your engine.
  • Do not mix ethanol into vehicles that are not FFV's.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has strict regulations on the usage of ethanol in vehicles. Visit the EPA website for details.

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  • Photo Credit biocarburant image by photlook from gas pump image by jedphoto from
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