Adding Napthalene (Old Fashioned Moth Balls) for better gas

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by Vic, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. Vic

    Vic New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    3
    0
    0
    Saw a news brief last night where a long time mechanic states that if you use old fashioned moth balls, the ones made of Napthalene you can get 2-4 mpg more. This was part of a piece on the rise in cost of fuel in the country.

    Any comments as to how it would or could affect the Prius? :?
     
  2. Tempus

    Tempus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    1,690
    6
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Key Words - 'Looooooong Time Mechanic'

    http://www.venturers.org/NextGenTech/2ndGe...n/Gasoline.html

    Question: Can mothballs increase octane?

    Answer:The legend of mothballs as an octane enhancer arose well before WWII when naphthalene was used as the active ingredient. Today, the majority of mothballs use para-dichlorobenzene in place of naphthalene, so choose carefully if you wish to experiment. There have been some concerns about the toxicity of para-dichlorobenzene, and naphthalene mothballs have again become popular. In the 1920s, typical gasoline octane ratings were 40-60, and during the 1930s and 40s, the ratings increased by approximately 20 units as alkyl leads and improved refining processes became widespread.

    Naphthalene has a blending motor octane number of 90, so the addition of a significant amount of mothballs could increase the octane, and they were soluble in gasoline. The amount usually required to appreciably increase the octane also had some adverse effects. The most obvious was due to the high melting point ( 80C ). When the fuel evaporated the naphthalene would precipitate out, blocking jets and filters. With modern gasolines, naphthalene is more likely to reduce the octane rating and the amount required for low octane fuels will also create operational and emissions problems.



    -----------------------------

    Clogged Fuel injectors - Burnt Emission Components, who knows what else. Not something I'm interested in experimenting with.

    Seems that back when your mechanic started out, Octanes were in the 40-60 range, hehe.
     
  3. Tempus

    Tempus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    1,690
    6
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
  4. Astroprius

    Astroprius New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    85
    0
    0
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Man, why would anyone wan't to doink around with putting stuff like that into their tank? :pukeright: Just pay the extra $0.50 to $1.00 for a tank full of 92 octane. But remember that the ICE was designed to run on 87 octane.

    I certainly wouldn't risk that because of the potential effects of material incompatibility in the fuel system components. Especially the various sensors and the catalytic converter. :?
     
  5. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    4,147
    11
    0
    I'd be more concerned about the bladder reacting adversely to the concoction.
     
  6. Bob Allen

    Bob Allen Captainbaba

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    1,273
    10
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Tom and Ray Magliozzi, "Click and Clack the Tappit Brothers" on NPR had a huge good time when someone called in a few months ago with this question.
    It's another urban myth, essentially, although there is some truth to napthalene as a gas additive having had some good effect years ago, etc, etc. They said you'd be nuts to be putting stuff like this in your car.
    People everywhere seem to think that someone is sitting on a patent for the 100 mpg carburetor, a secret gas additive that will double your mileage, some new tire that will vastly reduce road friction, etc. I think it comes from an understandable sketicism we have about corporations and their greedy behavior. Nevertheless, if there was a legitimate way to improve the mileage of a Prius without damaging it, Toyota would have done so or recommended whatever "additive" would accomplish that, because mileage is half of the selling points for the Prius; environmental emissions reduction being the other.
     
  7. bookrats

    bookrats New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    2,843
    2
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Boy, did they ever. I went over to their website, and discovered that the question must come up frequently; there's a 1997 column on it, and a related 2001 column about the dangers of putting dichlorobenzene mothballs in the tank, instead of naphthalene.

    Actually, I'll put my favorite part from one of their columns in here:
    :lol:
     
  8. plusaf

    plusaf plusaf

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    322
    5
    0
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    and you only get better gas mileage with higher octane if all of the computers in the car can see an effect of the higher octane, and the engine is capable of extracting the energy. this might be true for engines with electronically-adjusted spark timing and knock sensors, which would allow the computer to advance the spark timing to take advantage of higher octane fuel and eke out a bit more power or maybe some more mpg's.

    but, as has been said many times before, the incremental improvement probably isn't worth the time and expense...
     
  9. d3z

    d3z New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    1
    0
    0
    There isn't extra energy in higher octange gasoline. That isn't what octane means. Octane is simply a rating of how well the fuel resists ignition due to compression. A higher octane fuel _allows_ an engine to have higher compression, nothing else. The amount of energy in the fuel is virutally identical. In fact, it is probably slightly lower in the higher octane fuel.

    A higher octane fuel, in an engine designed for it, will give you more _power_, but certainly not more fuel economy. People seeking the high-torque, high-power engines designed for this fuel generally aren't concerned much about fuel economy.

    Dave
     
  10. moshunsick

    moshunsick New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    3
    0
    0
    Dave is right. High octane fuel only prevents pre-ignition (pinging). It is required in high compression engines because higher cylinder pressure can cause gasoline to ignite before the plug fires. In other words, octane decreases the explosiveness of gasoline so it won't ignite because of the higher cylinder pressure. The energy content per gallon is the same. Putting high octane gasoline in an engine that doesn't require it is like burning money. Putting moth balls in your gas tank is a bad idea.
     
  11. moshunsick

    moshunsick New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    3
    0
    0
  12. BobA

    BobA New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    731
    2
    0
    Location:
    Denver CO
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Re: Adding Napthalene (Old Fashioned Moth Balls) for better

    Back in the early 1960's (showing my age) I was a partner on a Ford flathead dragster.. not a Don Garlits, but everyone started somewhere.. we started with a Union Oil product, a gas called White Pump... then moved to adding hydrogen peroxide, saying 'only our hair dresser knows'.. jumped a couple of miles an hour over the White pump... then Av-Gas, and a little faster again... but burned pistons... a LOT faster on alcohol, but cracked blocks.. then an alcohol and nitro mix, the higher the percentage of nitro.. you guessed it...FASTER... we kept breaking the hydrometer and the extra cost of alcohol... with a piston and ring sponsor we ran straight nitro... World Record Holders 1962 thru 1965.. Just a story... don't try this with your Prius...

    Bob
     
  13. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    14,487
    1,512
    0
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    On the other hand, if you've got moths in your gas tank, and they're eating holes in the bladder, maybe mothballs would help.

    How about this for a comic-book super-hero and his evil nemesis:

    Mothballman and The Moth: The Moth is an evil ET, come to Earth to prepare it for the invasion of his insect race from the planet Moth. The Moth lays its eggs in people's gas tanks, where nobody would ever think to look for an invading hoard. Mothballman walks by night. His super power is he can open gas caps. As a teen he was a criminal, siphoning off gas to sell to support his addiction to Milky Way bars, but he turned patriotic when he stumbled upon The Moth's evil plan. Now he moves silently through the darkened city streets at 3:00 a.m., dropping mothballs into the gas tanks of all the cars, in his ongoing struggle to save the Earth and humanity.
     
  14. hdrygas

    hdrygas New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    3,650
    6
    0
    Location:
    Olympia Wa
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Re: Adding Napthalene (Old Fashioned Moth Balls) for better

    Folks that was then. This is now. Get over it. The chemistry is no longer there. If there are 200 m.p.g. Carburettors out there they will not work with fuel injection. Burning H2O is not possible for the present. The Prius is one of the most fuel efficient cars available. Let us strive for more but let us not embrace that which is not.
     
  15. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    14,487
    1,512
    0
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    You mean you don't believe in The Moth????
     
  16. hdrygas

    hdrygas New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    3,650
    6
    0
    Location:
    Olympia Wa
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
     
  17. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    14,487
    1,512
    0
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
  18. jchu

    jchu New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    1,063
    0
    0
    Location:
    Nampa, ID
     
  19. Bob Allen

    Bob Allen Captainbaba

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    1,273
    10
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Re: Adding Napthalene (Old Fashioned Moth Balls) for better

    About as useful as copper bracelets for arthritis and radon for rheumatism.
     
  20. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    14,487
    1,512
    0
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Come on guys! How's a budding would-be charlatan to get his start if you keep demanding evidence?

    And how come everywhere you turn people believe in the most idiotic, mindless crap, but when I invent a little idiotic mindless crap of my own, nobody believes me at all? What's a guy got to do to start a modest cult around here?
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - Adding Napthalene Fashioned
  1. icameasdust
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    806