Marine Additives : What Works And What Doesn’t
The marine additive world is filled with additives ranging from “ethanol treatments” and “water removers” to “stabilizers” and “carbon ring detergents.” Once you have a fuel related issue with your engine, it’s easy to jump on bandwagon of brand names, claims of microscopic enzymes, or products that have stood the test of time. With so many different additives and treatments on the market, how do you know which ones are effective and beneficial for treating your boat? We will dive into the claims of additives that remove ethanol and water while also taking a look at purchasing multiple additives to treat specific fuel related issues.
Any experienced boat owner knows, ethanol is destructive to the fuel lines, tank, and is one of the key ingredients for the catastrophic process of phase separation. Unfortunately, unless you want to pay an arm and a leg for ethanol-free gasoline, most gas stations and fuel docks provide gas with a blend of an advertised 10% ethanol (some gas will read higher than 10%).
Ethanol treatments are without a doubt the majority of the additives you see on the shelves at your local marina or boat accessory store. However, fuel treatments that claim to completely remove ethanol from fuel are promoting a fallacy as it is not possible to separate the ethanol that is blended into the gas. While you can’t eliminate the ethanol in your fuel, what you can do is protect against the effects of ethanol. Look for fuel additives that will protect against the corrosive properties of ethanol rather than one that claims to “cure” ethanol.
The Process of Removing Water
Water in fuel can be detrimental but difficult to avoid especially in the marine world. Both gas and diesel absorb water whether from their holding tanks, the humidity in the air/environment, or through natural condensation in the fuel tank. If water is pulled through your engine, it can severely damage your engine. Therefore, it’s extremely important to find an additive that removes water from fuel. However, there are two ways an additive can remove water: by emulsifying or demulsifying water.
An emulsifier removes the water from the fuel tank by reducing the water into smaller particles to pass it through the vehicle’s injectors or carburetors. A demulsifier will remove water by separating the water out of the fuel, dropping it to the bottom of the fuel tank and out through the vehicle’s racors, separators, or filters. Emulsifiers have been known to cause corrosion and severe damage to injectors or carburetors due to the heat and steam passing through the nozzles despite anti-corrosive components in a fuel additive. In addition, many emulsifiers have been known to use forms of alcohol to dissipate the water which can dry out fuel systems and corrode injection or carburetion systems. Demulsifiers are a safer alternative as water isn’t passed through the engine and is separated out and filtered towards the racors or separators. When looking for an additive to remove water, look for an additive that is a demulsifier.
An additive for ethanol, an additive for detergents, an additive for stabilization, etc.
You may have noticed when walking down the fuel treatment aisle different additives that will treat for specific fuel issues such as an ethanol treatment, a detergent for the engine, a stabilizer, an additive to increase lubrication in engine…the list goes on and on. While dropping $6.00 – $18.00 on an additive doesn’t seem like much, trying to treat multiple fuel related issues at low additive concentrations begins to really add up.
Alternatively, find an additive that is a one-stop-shop. Your fuel treatment should be multifunctional and concentrated by treating all of your fuel related problems at low doses, therefore getting a better bang for your buck.
The Fuel Ox Marine Difference
With so many additives out there with claims to cure and remove ethanol, remove water, and can clean and lubricate an engine, you may wonder which additive is the right choice. Fuel Ox Marine has been used in the United State Navy for almost 40 years. It’s formula treats for both gas and diesel related problems including ethanol corrosion, stabilization, water and phase separation, lack of lubricity, as well as carbon buildup and sludge. In addition, Fuel Ox Marine is highly concentrated at a treatment ratio of one ounce treats eighty gallons.
What differentiates Fuel Ox Marine from its competitors is its patented military grade combustion catalyst that improves combustion by lowering the ignition point of your fuel, promoting a cleaner more thorough burn. This allows for a reduction of soot and smoke by as much as 60% or more, an increase of octane up to two points and an increase of fuel economy up to 7-10%. So next time you’re looking for an additive to treat your fuel, grab a bottle of Fuel Ox Marine.