Welcome to DirtRider.Net
FREE FORUM MEMBERSHIP and NO ADVERTISEMENTS.
TURN-OFF THE ADS!

Motorcycle Myth # 3 - Adding Mothballs to your fuel will increase the octane

Joined
Jul 27, 1999
Messages
22,370
Likes
11,137
Points
1,325
Location
Chicago
Website
www.eric-gorr.com
#1
Myth # 3 - Adding Mothballs to your fuel will increase the octane

The mothball thing has been around since before I was born.

Like so many things, there is a SHRED of truth in here, but the "BS effect" has blown this totally out of proportion over the years.

REAL mothballs are made from Napthalene and some binders and has no oxygen molecule. Napthalene is used as a reference fuel in diesel fuel testing. Diesel Cetane ratings are the inverse of Octane ratings, the higher the cetane number the greater the tendency to knock. Napthalene in reference (reagent)form has a cetane rating rating = 0. Depending on who you ask this translates ROUGHLY to an MON octane rating about 90. Pump fuel in the US currently has an MON rating a couple of points lower than 90.
So there is the THREAD of truth I was referring to.

What the mothball proponents fail to realize is Napthalene has a boiling point of ~420 degrees F. That's anywhere from 100-200 degrees F higher than most gasoline components. If a component of gasoline fails to make the all important liquid to vapor transition then all it will do is pass through the combustion chamber leaching heat along the way. In simple terms it goes from the tank and back out the exhaust UNSCATHED. Even if you could vaporize the Napthalene and burn it, the energy available and the heat of combustion is too low to be of any use.

Naptha is just an early process component of gasoline. There are a lot of steps to go from Naptha to gasoline, so it's subject to essentially the same caveats as Napthalene.

Anyone who has been around manufacturing for more than a few days knows that when it comes to commodity products like Napthalene, Toluene. Xylene, Acetone etc , purity takes a back seat compared to "cost to manufacture". In a word these compounds are full of random junk.

So experiment away, but in the end it's just an excercise in chemical futlity.
 

Ol'89r

Super Power AssClown
Joined
Jan 27, 2000
Messages
6,913
Likes
24
Points
48
#2
Awesome article Rich. Never tried moth balls. Couldn't get the moths to hold still long enough.;)
 
Likes: Okiewan
Joined
Jul 27, 1999
Messages
22,370
Likes
11,137
Points
1,325
Location
Chicago
Website
www.eric-gorr.com
#4
Now that the season is in full swing lets push a few threads back to the top and see if people want to contribute to the discussion.
 

Find PARTS, TOOLS & GEAR Close-outs and Deals from multiple dealer inventories.
Try It!
- a d v e r t i s e m e n t -