Usage for fuel mixture?

Okay… here’s the situation…

Someone I know recently wasn’t paying attention when driving around, and in the habit of looking for diesel fuel for a much larger vehicle, accidentally filled her conventional automobile with diesel. She and her husband had no desire to pay the $300 or so for EPA disposal of the mess contained in their gas tank, so they now have five 5-gallon cans of a roughly 1/4 gasoline and 3/4 diesel mix.

My question is, does anyone have a possible use for this stuff, aside from slowly drawing it down to kill weeds or something like that?


Mark Kinney

Diesel is an excellent solvent for asphalt. Maybe a local roofing contractor would be interested in buying it.

Ask your city’s sanitation department if they do a periodic hazardous waste pickup.

Gasoline evaporates at a much lower temperature than diesel. My guess would be that if you left the caps off the cans, evaporation would(over a couple days)refine what you have to a fair approximation of unadulterated diesel. A little common sense, however, should be exercized, if you are going to try this. Do it in your backyard, and don’t use the BBQ!

What you have is referred to as “transmix,” though technically, I don’t think transmix ever comes into existence in the way that you happened to do it.

Usually, transmix is the residual product found between two batches of different grades of fuel traveling through a liquids pipeline (hence the name).

Large liquids pipelines will usually have a “transmix facility” somewhere along the pipeline where this stuff is collected and then distilled back into its original components. It’s also sometimes specifically reused as a buffer between two batches in a pipeline, too.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s not a completely useless mixture you’ve got and in the abstract, it could be sold and reused. The only problem is that you’ve got such an infinitesimal amount, no one who could use this transmix is going to want to go through the trouble of taking it off of your hands. After all, a typical pipeline usually deals with tens of thousands of barrels in a single transaction and you barely have half a barrel.

Just pay the $300 and be glad to be rid of the stuff.

You could pour it over some fertilizer, light it and run away!

“Vandelay!! Say Vandelay!!”

No, you could light it and run, very fast, very far away. Depending, of course, on what kind of fertilizer you were using and how much of an oxidizer it is.


Anyone who says they don’t like children obviously isn’t cooking them properly.

You’d be hot shit if you did that!!

Yer pal,

If you pay $300 to the EPA to dispose of this, you’re an idiot. 25 gallons of ‘transmix’, transmix + fertilizer, or any other hazardous material previously discussed can be disposed of for free in any convenient open dumpster behind most businesses or at a construction site in the um…evening hours when no one is around. Still a hazard? You betcha! Still your $300 problem? Not anymore it isn’t!

That sucks, Yarster.

And what evaporates will be 100 percent unburned hydrocarbons, which is the main reason why why we have all that EPA stuff on our cars in the first place. I don’t place myself in the environmental camp, but I wouldn’t consider this a responsible way of getting rid of the stuff.

FWIW, my dad used to use diesel for car parts cleaning. I tried it once. The smell stayed in my skin for days and in my clothes for several washings, but if my dad used it to clean parts, someone else might.

You might also be able to dispose of it in the oil recycling drum at a parts store. Diesel is an oil and they do some level of reprocessing before they bottle the stuff up and sell it for 79 cents a quart at the corner stores.

      • I remember reading many years ago that some tugboats have gas turbine engines just so that they can burn the waste petroleum products generated by other industries. I don’t know where those “turbine” tugoats are supposed to be, though; the few towboat engines I’ve seen were all pistons. - MC

The disposal problem is probably complicated by the presence of the gasoline. Diesel fuel is relatively inflammable in comparison. But gasoline is highly inflammable and the vapors are explosive. So treating it like oil, which makes a little sense for the diesel fuel, won’t work for a gasoline mixture.

I was just kidding about the fertilizer but burning the stuff is not an outlandish idea. Twenty-five gallons would burn for a while and you might have to search to find a spot where it was both safe and legal to do so, but it would keep it from polluting the local water supply.

In the irony department, we had a bizarre incident here in the Northwest – A truck carrying diesel fuel tipped over and spilled its load while traveling over the North Cascades Highway. Trying to do the right thing, the state shut the road down for two weeks, took up the pavement and hauled the contaminated dirt away before it could all leak into the ecosystem. Here’s the ironic part – one of the trucks carrying the dirt away drove into a lake! Now they’ve got an oil slick on the lake.

So you might want to take your fuel up there and just dump it. Seems like you couldn’t do any worse than they did!

“Vandelay!! Say Vandelay!!”

The mafia hazardous waste truck used to drive up and down the highway with a tank dripping.

You might try mixing more diesel fuel into it to dilute the gasoline further and burning it in a diesel engine.

t lion

I still like my idea about letting the gasoline evaporate. Is that really any worse for the environment than burning the same amount of gas in your car or lawnmower?


But I think diesel fuel contains Ether (or some type of diesel fuel does, dont know if its the car type) which evaporates VERY quickly, and also it absorbs water from the air making the diesel fuel usless after being left open for an amount of time.

Ursa Major, I liked the evaporation idea myself, it’s pretty ingenious. They do ask you not to fill up your car with gas on the days that they expect a lot of smog around here (actually high ozone levels.) Also, when testing exhaust emissions, one of the components that they test for is unburned hydrocarbons. But it’s a relatively small anount. If the city it’s in has a smog problem, then a few gallons of gas won’t make that big of a difference. Besides, the fuel poses a bigger problem as a fire hazard if it hasn’t been disposed of yet, IMHO

B_Line12, If I was informed correctly, diesel is more of a light oil and doesn’t evaporate very quickly. Also, while gasoline leaves a varnish after the aromatic components evaporate, I’ve never seen or heard of this with diesel (I don’t have any real diesel experience though.) Besides, diesel engines are pretty crude technology; I wouldn’t be surprised if they could run on any liquid that burns.

On the other hand, diesel stinks to high heaven, so * something * has to be evaporating…

Diesel is a complex mixture. Some 0.1% volatile component would still make it stink.