Alcohol-free Gasoline

In Czechia, any unauthorized access to anything that can be defined as a “computer system” is a criminal offense. You can go to jail for that even if your access was totally unintentional. Yes, there are some crazy guys who do not care at all but I try to be clean for various reasons.

However, there is one “attack” that is completely legal even here – Getting API tokens from a free Android app. Forcing the application to trust a fake SSL certificate is quite a basic attack and if there is no real authentication of a user going on, then it is completely legal to get any hardcoded keys.

I got a company car recently – and as with everything else, if I get something to care for, I try to do my best. So studying the service manuals, norms, standards, and forums is a part of this process. During that, I have learned that the alchemy of gasoline is quite complex. In Europe, the norm for gasoline is EN 228 and it defines its qualitative characteristics. Historically, the maximum allowed oxygen content was up to 2.7% by weight. This is the exact amount of oxygen you get if you mix pure gasoline (hydro-carbons) with ethanol in a 95-5 ratio, or with ETBE in an 85-15 ratio.

Recently (10 years or so?), the “better people” in the European Union created a new standard that raised the oxygen content to 3.7%. This is equal to a 90-10 ratio mixture with ethanol or a 78-22 mixture with ETBE.

At the same time, the 95-octane gasoline which amounts to 90+% of sales in the whole of Europe is almost always made with pure ethanol, maybe some small mixes with ETBE. However, the 98-octane (Super Plus) gasoline is never made with ethanol. The main reason is storage because ethanol has big problems when it comes to that.

Gasoline-ethanol mix is homogenous when manufactured, however, if only a little bit of water gets into this mixture, a phase separation begins. This results in separated layers in the tank, where the gasoline – now free of ethanol – will have a lower octane number. Also, if free oxygen gets into the tank, the ethanol oxidates into ethanoic acid which is quite corrosive. For these reasons, it is nonsensual to store alcohol-blended ethanol for long, and 98+ octane gasoline is typically stored in the tanks of petrol stations for a very long time.

If you are driving often and the gasoline does not stay for longer than two weeks in your tank, you do not have to care. But if this is not your case or if you have an older car that does not have corrosion-resistant parts in the fuel system, then you should find gasoline without ethanol. Now there are two possibilities. The first is to tank 98+ octane fuel only. However, it is often more expensive.

Another one is to go to Čepro/EuroOil petrol station and look into their application if the last 95 octane gasoline provided to that particular station was ethanol-free. This company can sell ethanol-free gasoline as they operate emergency fuel reserves in the Czech Republic and they need to circulate the gasoline which is good enough for long-term storage.

However, you have to check every station manually in the app. So why not make the free-to-access data (protected by funny hardcoded API key) more useful and make it into a map?

UPDATE: Recently (middle of February 2024) the old API stopped working and the new one is public now without any authentication at all!

Here it is: https://santomet.eu/eurooil

5 replies on “Alcohol-free Gasoline

  1. Dobrý den,

    na stránkách Eurooilu je informace,že 15.2 2024 bude činnost aplikace Eurooilu ukončena a informace o palivech a obsahu biosložek bude v aplikace Srdcovka (údajně obsah biosložek bude zobrazen u všech paliv).

    Váš web pokládám za nesmírně užitečný,většina starších lidí prostě Android nemá z mnoha důvodů a velmi bych ocenil já i mnozí jiní,kdyby Váš web pokračoval dále.

    Děkuji

    S přáním hezkého dne
    Martin

    1. Zdravím, nová aplikácia má lepšiu ochranu (certificate pinning), ktorá ale nie je neprekonateľná. Plánujem urobiť aktualizáciu a vytiahnuť tieto dáta z nej. Pokúsim sa k tomu dostať čo najskôr.

    2. Zdravím znova, tak som zistil, že API je verejné bez akejkoľvek ochrany, čo je celkom fajn. Akurát budem musieť trochu prepracovať a lepšie vymyslieť kód, ktorý dáta načítava a páruje medzi sebou. Zároveň je k dispozícii oveľa viac zaujímavých dát – napr. samotný dátum závozu, čo výrazne vylepší kvalitu zobrazenia.

      Primárne sa ale budem snažiť najprv priniesť pôvodnú funkcionalitu
      Ďakujem za trpezlivosť

      1. Moc děkuji za ochotu a práci, která vedla k tomu, že stránka je po únorové změně aplikace opět v provozu. Pokud by se do budoucna povedlo rozšíření i o data k benzínu Optimal 95, byla by to bomba. Veliké díky za mě, i za moji Felicii, a to jak za tuhle stránku, tak hlavně za investovaný čas, který je tou nejcennější komoditou ve vesmíru. J.

        1. Určite môžem v budúcnosti rozšíriť o Optimal 95 a aj 98. Ale ak smiem laicky poradiť, tak radšej do neaditivovaného benzínu (ktorý sa podstatne častejšie obmieňa) nalejem VIF 🙂

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