What are the risks of storing E10 gasoline in a gallon HDPE container for a few months, vs storing in a proper plastic fuel can? Assuming the HDPE gallon is thick (used for Hydrochloric acid before, and was properly rinsed and dried). I'm interested in knowing what are the technical differences that make the legal plastic can so much different that a regular container, since they are both made of the same material with similar thickness.

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    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't - mixing acids and organics is bad. And a real gas container is cheap and legal. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Mar 8, 2017 at 18:33
  • $\begingroup$ Never store liquids in a container that could lead anyone to mistake them for something else. Not only food containers, Imagine a small fire and the only helpful thing someone see is a bottle of dilute HCl. You don't want that to be gasoline. $\endgroup$
    – Karl
    Mar 9, 2017 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the comment. Let's assume the bottle is repainted in red with big letters 'GASOLINE' all over it. I'm really interested in understanding the technical difference between the two containers, from a chemical and physical perspective. $\endgroup$
    – Fuel_Frog
    Mar 9, 2017 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ HDPE fuel containers are surface treated to prevent fuel penetrating the plastic, other hdpe containers do not have this treatment $\endgroup$
    – user126081
    Aug 1 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't recommend it because the water content in the gasoline can react unfavorably with residual acid and/or the plastic is not meant to be in contact with a chemical like gasoline. You should only transport and store flammable liquids in specific containers meant for that purpose.

  • $\begingroup$ I agree that this is a really bad idea for some of the reasons you bring up. I'm unclear on one thing though. When you say "the water content in the gasoline can react unfavorably with residual acid", I'm not sure what kind of reaction you are talking about. $\endgroup$
    – airhuff
    Mar 8, 2017 at 18:28
  • $\begingroup$ I was mainly getting at the fact that mixing concentrated acid and water generates excess heat and that could make the container unsafe to handle; I am making a conservative assumption that 20 Baume is concentrated because I have never worked with this convention for acids. $\endgroup$
    – J. Ari
    Mar 8, 2017 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ Good point. And for that matter water, acidic or not, is a bad idea in gas. $\endgroup$
    – airhuff
    Mar 8, 2017 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ I agree overall, use a proper gas can. // If the HCl container has been rinsed a couple of times and dried there is very very little water left in/on the container. There will be more water in the gas itself. There certainly won't be enough acid left to cause the added gasoline to get hot. $\endgroup$
    – MaxW
    Mar 9, 2017 at 2:24
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the comments. Indeed there would be very little - if any - HCl left in the bottle to react with water/gasoline/alcohol. So no significant increase in temperature of HCl reacting with water, thus no explosion. So from this perspective the two containers are equivalent. Any other potential risk (from a chemical/physical perspective)? $\endgroup$
    – Fuel_Frog
    Mar 9, 2017 at 21:19

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