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Directory:Acetone Additive:FAQ

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You are here: PES Network > Main Page > There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1] > Directory:Acetone as a Fuel Additive > FAQ


'Freequently Asked Questions regarding Acetone's Effect on Mileage and Performance'

Adjunct to Directory:Acetone as a Fuel Additive page.


This is a community project. This information is presented without warranty but as a good faith effort on the part of many people, voluntarily contributing information the best they know it. You take full responsibility yourself for any experimentation you do with your own systems.

Acetone is a powerful solvent that attacks many plastics, and while the majority of car components do seem to be resistant to it, such components are very rarely specifically designed or tested for acetone-resistance and so the theoretical risk is obvious.


How to

Q. What do I need?

#100% pure acetone

#Funnel with long neck to insert into your gas tank fill

#Measurement tool such as graduated cylinder


Note pad to document mileage, amounts added, note performance changes and other observations.


Thermometer to measure outside temperature to include in data.

Q. Where do I get it?

Hardware store


Auto parts store

Q. What kind should I get?

"100% pure" (Note that the industry's definition of "100% pure" allows for some contaminants, which is fine.)

The Acetone from CVS contains denatonium benzoate, a bittering compound which is added to a lot of toxic things to prevent people/animals from drinking them. It would be in a very low concentration and should not interfere with the chemical properties of the acetone.

Q. How much does it cost?

around 15 cents per oz (30ml)

Q. How much do I add to my tank?

Add to fuel in the ratio of 1 - 3.5 oz per 10 gallons (8 - 27 ml per 10 liters) for gasoline

Add to fuel in the ratio of 0.5 - 2 oz per 10 gallons (4 - 16 ml per 10 liters) for diesel

There is variation in how different engines respond. Also there are differences in what kind of fuel it is added to. Try higher and lower concentrations until you find the optimum for your vehicle.

Q. How do I measure acetone?

graduated cylinder of some kind with markings of 1/2 oz

Q. Where do I get measuring equipment?

university lab supply

drug store

garden center

chef supplies

Q. When do I add acetone: before or after adding fuel?

Preferably before you add the fuel, so it mixes in well.

If you wish to fill the tank full...

You may need to add fuel first to get a measurement of gallons added to know how much acetone to add.

If you are good at reading your gas gauge, to know about how many gallons will be required to fill the tank, then you can.

Once you know your gauge:gallon relationship, you can add a fixed amount before the "full" point is reached, so that you can add the acetone first..

Q. How well does Acetone mix with fuel?

Very well. Acetone has a 100% solubility rate, even in water, so the mixture formed with gasoline is complete.

:(This comment is being investigated)

: "If there is water (even small amounts from condensation) in the fuel and the engine is fuel injected, especially diesel engines, the acetone will form an emulsion with the water and corrode injector pump and damage injector tips, according to GM and various fuel injector manufacturers. Check with your vehicle manufacturer before using."

Q. Do I need to make any adjustments to my engine?


Q. Where should I store the acetone?

Be sure the lid is secured tightly and that it is out of reach of children.

Treat as you would gasoline.

In your car, you will want to have a way to keep the drips and spills from the acetone from getting onto other things. You could have a small box, for example, lined with plastic on the inside, to hold your acetone container upright in the trunk of your car. But remember, the acetone is not contained by cheap plastics.

Q. How can I measure mileage accurately?
Image:ScanGaugeV2 crop 95w.jpg

ScanGauge II - Track your automobile statistics with ease. Unit plugs into the diagnostic connector found under-dash on 1996 and newer cars and light trucks.

This unit plugs into, and gets it's data, from the ECM (on-board computer that controls the engine). Some of the newer cars have a "driver information center" that gives readouts from the ECM as well. What is nice about these devices is that they give you instantaneous mileage readouts as well as trip computations. However, don't forget that the most accurate way to obtain mileage figures is to fill the fuel tank all the way to the neck and record odometer reading every time you buy fuel. Record the exact amount of fuel from the pump readout and divide the miles driven by the gallons of fuel used. Do this for several tanks over the same course. Make sure to fill the tank to where you can see the fuel in the neck of the tank each time. You will notice quite a difference in mileage between night driving and day, warm or cold days, humid or dry days, amount of traffic on the road and other factors.


Q. Will acetone increase mileage of all cars?

The purpose of this project is to document the answer to that question.

It does appear to be conditional on concentration. Not all cars perform the same with the same ratio of acetone-to-fuel.

So far, reports have varied quite a bit, from high increased mileage (25% highest reported so far), to no noticeable change, to slight drops in mileage in one case. A majority who have tried it and reported have seen a modest increase in mileage (between 2 and 10%).

Other benefits are also noted (see below) Most of the data is anecdotal, though some testing has been more rigorous.

Q. What will it do to performance?

Increased power is often noted.

More stable idle often noted.

Cleaner emissions noted

Quieter engine noise noted.

Q. What will it do to idle?

More stable idle has been noted by several people.

Q. Will it mess with car electronic ignition controls?

Not that we have seen. No such problems observed or documented that we know of.

One person noted that the engine light came on, but turned back off after a few miles.

Q. What does it do to emissions?

Appears to clean up emissions based on smell, though we do not know of anyone yet who has documented this with calibrated equipment, before and after.

Note that with Diesel fuel that if you use pure Bio Diesel you need to change your fuel lines to synthetics. If [acetone] damges your catalytic converters it could cost a lot more to replace than you will save. (Gerard Martorano )

Q. What does it do to octane?

Unverified claims on the Internet say that acetone has a 150 octane rating. Acetone does burn slower than gasoline, so it probably has a net effect of increasing the octane of gasoline. High octane means resistance to detonation under compression. If fuel detonates too soon, it will not do work on the piston at the right time. Low octane gas has a higher percentage of n-heptane, which detonates under compression before the spark triggers it, thus doing less work on the piston. In the past, tetraethyl lead was added to the gasoline to slow combustion, but it was removed for reasons that are beyond the scope of this question (see [1]).

--DEK 23:05, 26 Sep 2006 (EDT)

Engine Types

Q. Can I put acetone in any engine?

Not sure. Most cars, yes most trucks, yes.

Note non-referenced comment about fuel injected engines: (we're looking into this) "If there is water (even small amounts from condensation) in the fuel and the engine is fuel injected, especially diesel engines, the acetone will form an emulsion with the water and corrode injector pump and damage injector tips, according to GM and various fuel injector manufacturers. Check with your vehicle manufacturer before using."

Not all car types have been documented. Performs well in most that have been tried.

Check for similar year & make (for example: GM or Toyota) vehicles that have the same engine as your vehicle, as the same engine model gets installed in more than one model of a brand's cars over a range of years.

If your car is under warranty, and you want to be 100% sure/safe, check with manufacturer before using, as it might void some warranties.

Q. What about acetone emulsifying water? (read this)

Acetone is soluble in diesel and gasoline as well as water. Acetone will emulsify or suspend water in diesel or gasoline, unless the amount of water is roughly equal to or greater than the amount of acetone, in which case, the water/acetone solution will “fall out? of solution with the fuel and drop to the bottom of the fuel tank.

Water doesn’t dissolve in the fuel but rather the water dissolves in the acetone and the acetone dissolves in the fuel, to put it simply. When this occurs, water is drawn through the fuel injection system. This is a much greater concern with diesel engines than gasoline due to the high pressures and temperatures involved.

An emulsion can appear cloudy or clear depending upon the ratio of fuel/acetone/water.

Any chemist will tell you that acetone mixed with water and fuel will form an emulsion (or you can try it yourself in a glass or beaker.)

The following statement, addressing the problem of water emulsions, is taken from a letter from the Stanadyne Corporation, maker of fuel injection systems and who also produces a diesel additive that helps remove water from the fuel. The Bosch Company, world's largest maker of fuel injection systems states the same.

: "As you may well know, water is the #1 killer of diesel fuel pumps and injectors. Water is still water whether it is emulsified or not. If you use a product with an emulsifying agent the water molecules break down slightly and bond to the fuel molecules, then travel through the fuel injection system. When it reaches the injector nozzles it turns into steam and in time blows out the injector tips.

: "Products with a demulsifier work to break up and drop the water molecules out of the fuel suspension at the point of the water separator so that it collects in the water bowl and does not travel through the FIE components.

: "Any diesel mechanic who has taken apart an injector pump can tell who uses a demulsifier and who doesn’t, and he could also show you the inside of an injector pump that is completely rusted due to water in the fuel."

: Best Regards,

: Laura L. Boggs

: Customer Support Specialist

: Stanadyne Corporation, Fluid Mgmt Technologies

: 860.525.0821 ext 5325

: Customer Support: 800.842.2496

: Fax: 860.683.4587

The following is from the 2005 GMC Duramax Diesel Owner’s Manual:

: "Notice: Diesel fuel or fuel additives not recommended in this manual could damage your fuel system and engine. Your warranty would not cover this damage. ...Some additives, particularly those which contain alcohol or water emulsifiers, may damage your fuel system."

Submitted by [] (Oct. 7, 2005)

Q. What about diesel engines?

Has been shown to perform well in diesel engines. They require a smaller ratio of acetone to fuel than gasoline engines. (see note above about fuel injected engines)

Directory:Acetone:Diesel and Water - Issues to be aware of regarding adding acetone to fuel in the case of diesel engines as it pertains to water ramficiations.

Q. What about diesel converted to run on veg. oil ?

My 83 Mercedes 300td wagon runs on used cooking oil. I added acetone, and I can see a differance. -- John, in Clearwater, Fla. THE VEGGIE MAN

Q. What about small engines?

Not sure. LaPointe says it works fine, but another person raised some concerns (theoretical only?)

Have used acetone in 2 stroke 10amp generator and 4HP Sears water pump. Both run very well, more stable after using, exhaust seems to be cleaner (jrgile)

"Octane rating" is the correct phrase. When the octane rating was originally developed, Octane itself was rated as having a burning ability of 0 (Zero)- the worst possible ability to burn. The fuel that had the BEST ability to burn (at that time) was given an "Octane Rating" of 100. (newer fuels afterward were found to have an even higher ability to burn- which is why you can buy fuel with an octane rating of 114).

So please- do not futher the misconception that "Octane" is some magical substance that burns extremely well- it does not. It is the basis of a scale which measures the ability of fuel to burn well.


~Nate L.

Nate's definition of "octane rating" is all screwed up.

"Octane" denotes a gasoline's resistance to detonation--igniting from compression, not from spark.

The octane rating compares gasoline to a reference fuel consisting of isooctane and normal heptane. A 90-octane gasoline is as resistant to detonation as a reference fuel containing 90 percent isooctane a 100-octane fuel is as resistant to detonation as is pure octane.

There are two Octane Numbers, the Research Octane Number (RON) and the Motor Octane Number (MON), and both of them are determined by running your gas in a Waukesha CFR F-1/F-2 engine. This, the only approved engine for octane testing, is a technological marvel even though it looks like it was invented the day after the Second World War (this because it probably was). It has variable timing, variable compression, variable intake air temperature and two RPM settings, 600 and 900.

To figure research octane, set your engine to 600 RPM, your timing and compression to fixed values, burn the gasoline you're testing, and adjust the intake air temperature until the engine knocks. Then prepare a research fuel consisting of isooctane and normal heptane, record the percentage of octane in the mix, and run it. Keep adjusting the research fuel until the engine knocks. The percentage of octane in the research fuel when it first causes the engine to knock on it is the octane rating of the gasoline.

To figure motor octane, set your engine to 900 RPM and the intake air temperature to 38 degrees Celsius, burn the gasoline you're testing, and adjust the compression of the engine until the engine knocks. Then start running research fuels through the engine until they make the engine knock.

Add the research octane to the motor octane and divide by two to get the octane they write on the side of the fuel dispenser at the gas station.

How they figure the octane rating of a gasoline that's more knock-resistant than pure isooctane is through calculation. If the refinery knows that their Waukesha needs one more quarter-degree of ignition advance to make 100 octane gas knock than it does to make 99 octane gas knock, if they have to advance the timing four degrees to make this new gas knock they know it's 116 octane gas.


Q. Does ethanol in fuel effect acetone?

Yes, ethanol seems to dampen the effects of acetone. The higher the portion of ethanol in the fuel, the more it inhibits the positive effects of acetone.

Alcohol Apparently Inhibits Action of Acetone in Fuel - While inert in the fuel tank, under high temperature and pressure in the combustion chamber, acetone and alcohol are likely to react to form a ketone. (PESN April 14, 2005)

Form a ketone???? Acetone IS A KETONE. Most gasoline have ethyl alcohol blended in it - up to 10% in some states such as CA

Q. Has acetone ever harmed an engine?

No known instances reported that we know of in the fuel system.

A note of extreme caution: Acetone is a very powerful solvent, and extremely corrosive to rubber. In fact, when the acetone hits a rubber fuel line, or o-rings, or any other rubber part coming into contact with the acetone, it will slowly be dissolved away. With continual corrosion of the rubber, it will eventually disintegrate, leading to extensive repairs of the fuel line, and a possibly worse if it happened while driving. When it all comes down to it, realize that you are using the acetone at your own consequence.

Q. What about Engine Lubrication?

While a mental exercise would tend to urge caution about the possible effects of a solvent on lubrication, in practice, deterioration of lubricity has not been observed.

Lubricity of Acetone in Fuel Ester's Solution - Acetone's positive results in mileage, idle, emissions, power, come in part from its engine cleaning effect, removing the carbon build-up. Does acetone degrade lubricity, creating long-term wear issues? Data from years of acetone use do not show unusual wear. Esters purported to afford added protection.

comment: "Acetone greatly lowers lubricity. Ask the engeneering department of any auto manufacturer."

Q. What does acetone do to engine components?

A wide array of engine components have been immersed for years in pure acetone and have held up well.

No known malfunctions reported yet.

CAUTION: Acetone degrades cheaper plastics. While we would expect that all components used in all automobiles would be of a more durable nature, this may not necessarily be the case. There could be serious problems if a cheap component gave out in the fuel system. Be sure your system is of high quality before trying acetone.

'AT RISK: Do-it-yourself patch-job fuel systems that might not use the highest quality components called for in an automobile .'

Q. Does acetone evaporate out of the gas?

The vapor pressure of various relevant liquids at 100C [2]:

{| border=1

|Liquid||Vapor Pressure (mmHg) @ 100C












Since acetone has the highest vapor pressure, it will evaporate the fastest. This is contrary to "surface tension" arguments. The surface tension at 20C for acetone is 25.2 mN/m [3], which is greater than 20.1 mN/m for heptane and 21.7 mN/m for octane, but the vapor pressures are very different. It evaporates much faster than anything in gasoline, and one hypothesis is that the acetone vapor slows combustion around gasoline droplets enough to allow for a more complete burn. Adding too much will slow the burn too much, and adding too little will not slow the burn enough (see octane FAQ). Adding acetone is sort of like warming the fuel before it is injected, since the vapor pressure goes up nonlinearly with temperature for all liquids (see [2] for proof). This explains why fuel warmers probably work.

So, yes. Acetone evaporates out of the gas. All modern cars have Fuel Evaporative Emission Control Systems, where the tank is kept under vacuum and the vapors are used for combustion (don't ask me exactly how). A fraction of these vapors will be acetone for a gas/acetone mixture, which begs 2 questions: Do the benefits of acetone degrade as a tank is emptied, and would it would work just as well if injected as pure vapor separately from the gas (e.g. through the air intake)? --DEK 23:15, 26 Sep 2006 (EDT)

Q. Are there personal dangers?

Yes. Acetone is a solvent. However, it is considered a nominally toxic solvent in industry. Minor exposure should not be an issue.

Do not breath vapors.

Fire / ignition / explosion hazard -- like other fuels.

Q. Should I be concerned about the acetone fumes emitting from a semi-truck fuel tank ?

The smell of acetone has been noted coming from a semi truck fuel tank that has had acetone added in small amounts. The following opinion is submitted as a response to this observation.

: Enough fresh air mixes with the fumes, and enough breeze wafts the fumes away that the vapor inhalation would not be of a level that would be of concern. Generally speaking, I would think that truckers are exposed to more gas and emissions fumes than is healthy, and that the gain from improvement on emissions seen with acetone would override the negative from acetone vapors emitting from the fuel tank, so that the sum effect of acetone in the fuel would be in the direction of beneficial as far as health is concerned (less detrimental than without acetone). -- Sterling

Q. What should I do if I get some on me?

Wash it off like you would any fuel, using soap and water.

Q. What will acetone do to my car's paint?

Extended exposure could cause tarnishing of paint or even removal.

Q. What should I do if I get some on my car?

(Comment from anon source): Will instantly dissolve the clear coat. If acetone comes into contact with paint DO NOT wipe with a rag. Flood with water immediately.

Note: Acetone evaporates more rapidly than gasoline.

Q. What if it catches on fire?

Same response as other fuel fires. Don't add water. Use a fuel fire extinguisher. If fire is small, smother with a blanket.


Q. Is it legal to add it?


Q. Is there a Patent on this idea?

No. It is public domain. Main proponent: Louis LaPointe.

Q. Does it impinge auto warranty?

Legally, a vehicle manufacturer can not void the warranty on a vehicle due to an aftermarket part unless they can prove that the aftermarket part caused or contributed to the failure in the vehicle (per the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. 2302(C)). If your vehicle manufacturer fails to honor emission/warranty claims, contact EPA at (202) 260-2080 or If federal warranty protection is denied, contact the FTC at (202) 326-3128 or

When a vehicle is brought in with engine or fuel injection system problems, while under warranty, an analysis is done that will include checking the fuel and oil. A fuel or oil analysis cost ~$20 (any good lab or chemist will tell you how easy it is to detect acetone). A new set of injectors on a new diesel engine runs about $8000.

Q. Does it violate emission requirements?

No. It improves emissions.


Q. Why isn't the government researching this?

We don't know that they aren't. No publications have been discovered yet.

(comment) The goverment wants you to buy more gas so they receive more money from taxes

Click here to read about what the government and business are looking into:

Q. Why aren't any oil companies putting it in their gas?

We don't know. It would be nice if someone could do some investigating and let us know what they say.

(comment) They want people to buy more gas if they did have acetone in their gas they would receive less money

(comment)under the circumstance that the same family owns both car manufacturing business and oil business, it'll be unwise for the owner to promote devices/ideas that reduce gas/oil consumption. it's the same family that owns federal reserve bank.

Q. Why isn't everyone doing this?

Not enough data for the timid to feel comfortable. That's our objective: to prime the pump of public acceptance by providing a wealth of documentation through this project.

This is within reach of most, educated people. Simple to do, simple to calculate.

About Acetone

Acetone : A colorless, volatile liquid with a sweet odor. It is considered the least toxic solvent in industry. It can occur naturally. It is used in the production of lubricating oils, chloroform, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, paints, varnishes and lacquers. If present in water, it is more likely to volatilize or biodegrade before bioaccumulating or adsorbing to sediments. Acetone will also readily volatilize and biodegrade in soil. It is also a common laboratory contaminant, so its presence in a sample does not always indicate its presence in the environment. Synonyms - Dimethylketone and 2-propanone. (Environmental Terms Glossary U.S. Military)

Q. Is it biodegradable?

Yes. If present in water, it is more likely to volatilize or biodegrade before bioaccumulating or adsorbing to sediments. Acetone will also readily volatilize and biodegrade in soil. (Environmental Terms Glossary. U.S. Military)

Q. Where does acetone come from?

It can occur naturally.

from hardware store

Produced during petroleum refining

Q. What is its chemical composition?

Dimethylketone 2-propanone

See also

Directory:Acetone as a Fuel Additive - directory

Acetone Discussion List

Directory:Fuel Efficiency directory index at PESWiki

- Directory

- Main Page

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