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      02-14-2019, 07:45 PM   #1
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E85 and alcoholics?

Hey all! My dad is a recovering alcoholic so I was doing aimless research (like I always do) and came upon a story about an alcoholic drinking hand sanitizer to satisfy his cravings. Apparently, hand sanitizer comes in isopropyl and ethel alcohol forms, the latter being the one alcoholics crave. Turns out, ethyl alcohol is also called ETHANOL!

So I'm wondering, should I not go to E85 when I go catless so my dad doesn't relapse when he visits me and I start the car up? My theory is that the fumes or the presence of E85 can trigger his addiction again. I hope someone more educated in this kind of thing will disprove my somewhat outlandish-yet-understandable theory as I really want to run E85 and have my dad ride in the car. Thanks!
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      02-14-2019, 07:50 PM   #2
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Ok so update: more research has been performed. US gov requires all fuel based alcohols to be diluted to 95.5% which is deemed undrinkable. Someone could try to if they were desperate, but severe discomfort, vomiting and pain could ensue. Just a weird thought that came into my head. Hope you find this helpful! (Doubt it )
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      02-14-2019, 08:04 PM   #3
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You are good to think of it; alchoholism is nothing to trifle with,
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      02-14-2019, 08:43 PM   #4
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Ok so update: more research has been performed. US gov requires all fuel based alcohols to be diluted to 95.5% which is deemed undrinkable. Someone could try to if they were desperate, but severe discomfort, vomiting and pain could ensue. Just a weird thought that came into my head. Hope you find this helpful! (Doubt it )
Yeah, my company makes biodiesel, and we have to splash a percentage of actual diesel in it to keep it undrinkable.
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      02-14-2019, 09:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smeard View Post
Ok so update: more research has been performed. US gov requires all fuel based alcohols to be diluted to 95.5% which is deemed undrinkable. Someone could try to if they were desperate, but severe discomfort, vomiting and pain could ensue. Just a weird thought that came into my head. Hope you find this helpful! (Doubt it )
95.5% ABV is very drinkable - you just mix it equal parts with water. It's the 4.5% of contaminants that they add which are specifically designed to make it undrinkable that you can't stomach.

So, short answer: Yes, E85 is 85% ethanol (if you buy it in summer). That's exactly the same substance that makes up 43.8% of a glass of Johnnie Walker Blue.

And E85 is cheap because it's not taxed like alcohol, and generally speaking the entire manufacturing process is government subsidized.

The problem is the other 15% - which is gasoline and a mixture of nasty stuff to make it undrinkable. Getting rid of the Gasoline is easy - you just 'float it off'. Ethanol is water soluble, oil and gas is not.
Mix your E85 with equal parts water, let it sit, then carefully separate the bottom 80% of the solution (water solution including alcohol) from the top 15% (oil and gas).

Discard the top 20%, keep the bottom 80%

But the hard part is getting rid of the contaminants. Unsurprisingly, there's not a lot of information online about how to do that. I'd suggest a mixture of distillation and activated carbon filtering. Thanks to some enterprising scientists and a government grant, it's not entirely uncharted waters.

The trouble is you want to make damn sure you've got all the methanol out of the solution (because it'll make you go blind), and all the ugly tasting additives that make you throw up, which are probably specifically designed to have the same boiling point as the ethanol. You're either going to need a chemical analysis laboratory at your disposal; or a bunch of rednecks who'll test your moonshine for you.

tl;dr: It's very possible to extract drinking alcohol out of E85, but it's a complicated process and if you get it wrong you'll be drinking gasoline (or worse). It's not something your old man will be doing for a quick fix. At this stage it doesn't seem like anybody's conducted the trial and error process (including human testing) necessary to develop a how-to-guide.
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Last edited by xQx; 02-14-2019 at 09:38 PM.
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      02-15-2019, 03:56 PM   #6
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OMG, hoping this was a joke - please don't try this at home. Agreed that it is possible to separate out most of the ethanol, but almost impossible to get rid of those pesky neurotoxic and carcinogenic contaminants, even in a research lab. You'd be better off with the hand sanitizer (and both cheaper and easier to just buy some yeast and sugar and make real moonshine). Google 'torpedo juice' for the old-school version, or the Indian daily news for the modern take.
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      02-15-2019, 04:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Maynard View Post
OMG, hoping this was a joke - please don't try this at home. Agreed that it is possible to separate out most of the ethanol, but almost impossible to get rid of those pesky neurotoxic and carcinogenic contaminants, even in a research lab. You'd be better off with the hand sanitizer (and both cheaper and easier to just buy some yeast and sugar and make real moonshine). Google 'torpedo juice' for the old-school version, or the Indian daily news for the modern take.
Hahah obviously not going to try any of this, but was wondering if there was a distant possibility of my dad abusing the e85
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      02-15-2019, 04:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xQx View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by smeard View Post
Ok so update: more research has been performed. US gov requires all fuel based alcohols to be diluted to 95.5% which is deemed undrinkable. Someone could try to if they were desperate, but severe discomfort, vomiting and pain could ensue. Just a weird thought that came into my head. Hope you find this helpful! (Doubt it )
95.5% ABV is very drinkable - you just mix it equal parts with water. It's the 4.5% of contaminants that they add which are specifically designed to make it undrinkable that you can't stomach.

So, short answer: Yes, E85 is 85% ethanol (if you buy it in summer). That's exactly the same substance that makes up 43.8% of a glass of Johnnie Walker Blue.

And E85 is cheap because it's not taxed like alcohol, and generally speaking the entire manufacturing process is government subsidized.

The problem is the other 15% - which is gasoline and a mixture of nasty stuff to make it undrinkable. Getting rid of the Gasoline is easy - you just 'float it off'. Ethanol is water soluble, oil and gas is not.
Mix your E85 with equal parts water, let it sit, then carefully separate the bottom 80% of the solution (water solution including alcohol) from the top 15% (oil and gas).

Discard the top 20%, keep the bottom 80%

But the hard part is getting rid of the contaminants. Unsurprisingly, there's not a lot of information online about how to do that. I'd suggest a mixture of distillation and activated carbon filtering. Thanks to some enterprising scientists and a government grant, it's not entirely uncharted waters.

The trouble is you want to make damn sure you've got all the methanol out of the solution (because it'll make you go blind), and all the ugly tasting additives that make you throw up, which are probably specifically designed to have the same boiling point as the ethanol. You're either going to need a chemical analysis laboratory at your disposal; or a bunch of rednecks who'll test your moonshine for you.

tl;dr: It's very possible to extract drinking alcohol out of E85, but it's a complicated process and if you get it wrong you'll be drinking gasoline (or worse). It's not something your old man will be doing for a quick fix. At this stage it doesn't seem like anybody's conducted the trial and error process (including human testing) necessary to develop a how-to-guide.
This is the eloquent answer i was looking for. Wow so it is possible, but not worth doing haha
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      02-15-2019, 04:11 PM   #9
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For me the bigger concern is the smell triggering a craving for a drink. Kind of like how I want French fries when a car running on biodiesel goes by...
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      02-15-2019, 04:18 PM   #10
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Yeah, no way e85 is going to strike him as 'alcohol' or induce cravings. They don't 'crave' the hand sanitizer either, they just know it will keep them from withdrawal (and it takes an especially desperate one to try this). Good of you to consider it though - certainly rates a few 'good son' points. Best is to ask him if a/t is a trigger - may not be alcohol itself, as many people who are recovering will have trouble with foods or settings that they associate with drinking.
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      02-15-2019, 04:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 2000cs View Post
For me the bigger concern is the smell triggering a craving for a drink. Kind of like how I want French fries when a car running on biodiesel goes by...
Right thats what i was wondering if it induced any cravings cuz the smell is very strong
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      02-15-2019, 05:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Maynard View Post
Yeah, no way e85 is going to strike him as 'alcohol' or induce cravings. They don't 'crave' the hand sanitizer either, they just know it will keep them from withdrawal (and it takes an especially desperate one to try this). Good of you to consider it though - certainly rates a few 'good son' points. Best is to ask him if a/t is a trigger - may not be alcohol itself, as many people who are recovering will have trouble with foods or settings that they associate with drinking.
Haha thanks but the thought just popped in my mind. I dont want to give my dad a harder time quitting, it's already hard enough. So far it sounds like running e85 shouldnt have too much of an effect. My dad complains about the car smelling like gas all the time haha hopefully he will just find it repulsive
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      02-15-2019, 06:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xQx View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by smeard View Post
Ok so update: more research has been performed. US gov requires all fuel based alcohols to be diluted to 95.5% which is deemed undrinkable. Someone could try to if they were desperate, but severe discomfort, vomiting and pain could ensue. Just a weird thought that came into my head. Hope you find this helpful! (Doubt it )
95.5% ABV is very drinkable - you just mix it equal parts with water. It's the 4.5% of contaminants that they add which are specifically designed to make it undrinkable that you can't stomach.

So, short answer: Yes, E85 is 85% ethanol (if you buy it in summer). That's exactly the same substance that makes up 43.8% of a glass of Johnnie Walker Blue.

And E85 is cheap because it's not taxed like alcohol, and generally speaking the entire manufacturing process is government subsidized.

The problem is the other 15% - which is gasoline and a mixture of nasty stuff to make it undrinkable. Getting rid of the Gasoline is easy - you just 'float it off'. Ethanol is water soluble, oil and gas is not.
Mix your E85 with equal parts water, let it sit, then carefully separate the bottom 80% of the solution (water solution including alcohol) from the top 15% (oil and gas).

Discard the top 20%, keep the bottom 80%

But the hard part is getting rid of the contaminants. Unsurprisingly, there's not a lot of information online about how to do that. I'd suggest a mixture of distillation and activated carbon filtering. Thanks to some enterprising scientists and a government grant, it's not entirely uncharted waters.

The trouble is you want to make damn sure you've got all the methanol out of the solution (because it'll make you go blind), and all the ugly tasting additives that make you throw up, which are probably specifically designed to have the same boiling point as the ethanol. You're either going to need a chemical analysis laboratory at your disposal; or a bunch of rednecks who'll test your moonshine for you.

tl;dr: It's very possible to extract drinking alcohol out of E85, but it's a complicated process and if you get it wrong you'll be drinking gasoline (or worse). It's not something your old man will be doing for a quick fix. At this stage it doesn't seem like anybody's conducted the trial and error process (including human testing) necessary to develop a how-to-guide.
Excellent DIY
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      02-16-2019, 03:50 PM   #14
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This is the weirdest thread ever
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      02-16-2019, 04:24 PM   #15
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This is the weirdest thread ever
Unless you’ve got a real alcoholic, not just a heavy drinker, in your life. Then it makes perfect sense.
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      02-16-2019, 05:27 PM   #16
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Owned one for 5+ years... don't think I'm an alcoholic.

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      02-16-2019, 05:40 PM   #17
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This is the weirdest thread ever
Haha it may seem weird but there's nothing but legitimate curiosity on my end. I want to go e85 without giving my dad unnecessary cravings
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      02-16-2019, 05:42 PM   #18
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Owned one for 5+ years... don't think I'm an alcoholic.

Beautiful roadster, she on e85?
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      02-16-2019, 05:44 PM   #19
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You are good to think of it; alchoholism is nothing to trifle with,
Thank you, it has been tough on our family and I want to help my dad stay abstinent
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      02-16-2019, 05:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smeard View Post
Ok so update: more research has been performed. US gov requires all fuel based alcohols to be diluted to 95.5% which is deemed undrinkable. Someone could try to if they were desperate, but severe discomfort, vomiting and pain could ensue. Just a weird thought that came into my head. Hope you find this helpful! (Doubt it )
Yeah, my company makes biodiesel, and we have to splash a percentage of actual diesel in it to keep it undrinkable.
Ah i see. Are there any alcohol-y fumes from the exhaust?
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      02-16-2019, 06:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by smeard View Post
Ok so update: more research has been performed. US gov requires all fuel based alcohols to be diluted to 95.5% which is deemed undrinkable. Someone could try to if they were desperate, but severe discomfort, vomiting and pain could ensue. Just a weird thought that came into my head. Hope you find this helpful! (Doubt it )
Yeah, my company makes biodiesel, and we have to splash a percentage of actual diesel in it to keep it undrinkable.
Ah i see. Are there any alcohol-y fumes from the exhaust?
Ha, nope. And it's safe to use in mines, etc.
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      02-17-2019, 01:34 AM   #22
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This is the weirdest thread ever
Not really...
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