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fleebut

E-95

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Why so little known in U.S. about this fuel?

 

I understand E-95 is alternative diesel fuel made up of ethanol and gasoline. So my question, is this fuel o.k. to burn in normal diesel engine?

 

I read reports of testing ethanol in diesel buses in Europe. European Scantia (sp) company actually specializing in optimizing diesel engines for ethanol. I think E-95 ethanol. Also, read reports of testing ethanol a few years back on heavy road equipment. They ran these engines for life span and tore apart for inspections. Ethanol fuel rated an excellent fuel, no difference in engine wear. Fuel usage did go up 30%.

 

If this is correct wouldn't those over the road semi's love to have an alternative fuel? They spend so much money yearly on fuel, I would think these companies would be interested in investing with local farmers for lower cost fuel. They have massive fuel tanks already. Also, these companies would be more willing to spend money for conversion.  Remember T-Boones plan to convert these trucks. They consume something like 30% of nations fuel.

 

As I understand ethanol.....it's best utilized as a diesel, high compression fuel. Would ethanol be better served serving this market? Commercial carriers have deeper pockets and able to do testing, development, investing in fuel supply, and not energized by politics, but profits. Would providing some tax relief to these companies be the best development  path for this fuel source? Also, the regulation industry is more lenient within commercial applications, i.e. no UL certification required. As usual the self propagated regulation industry will destroy innovation. They do this as falsely thinking their intellect is above all, whereas history a better Judge of safety. Lol, think about proposing to these regulators you would like to plumb up an explosive poisonous gas for homeowners to light up a flame to cook food or heat the house. No way. How about proposing to these regulators of building a self directed projectile down pathways with oncoming projectiles with no gov't controls of speed and direction just merely relying on operator talent to prevent killing citizens.

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I think the concern in a standard diesel is the injection pump.  Some type of lubricity additive would have to be put in so it didn't tear it up.  I think the european engines have specially designed injection pumps.

 

What you could do is convert the diesel to spark ignition, lower the compression ratio to about 18:1, and do a custom fuel injection system.  That's been done before.  Then you eliminate the high pressure injection pump.

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Part of why ethanol makes a really good spark ignition fuel is its resistance to detonation from heat and compression. Diesels run on heat and compression, not spark, right? Once it is running and warm it isnt a problem, getting it started can be the tough part. Lubricating the mechanical injector pump and injectors is one obstacle, and actually using ethanol like a diesel fuel will require even more of it. If we start changing the design of the diesel engine, specifically add an ignition system and a vapor fuel system (like a propane conversion) we can get more efficiency from a diesel.

 

The really big problems are: getting the fuel out there so its available. Changing the engines and fuel systems to fit. Making it affordable for those who have $120,000 rigs to make the swap. For them to change it MUST be proven, and it must be an advantage. Right now with a 30% decrease in mileage and the cost of conversion, you wont find them lining up to run ethanol. They see it as added cost that they dont need, cant afford, and right now fuel is relatively cheap. More are switching to bio-diesel, at least local fleet operators who can supply the truck at the local terminal rather than out on the road.

 

It can be done, but making it cost effective isnt there yet, at least in the eyes of the owners.

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Swedish tuner BSR has developed a new conversion kit for diesel engines that allow the oil-burners to run on ethanol fuels generated from plant crops. Engineers used a Saab 9-3 TDI for the initial trial and will be presenting the car at the Malmö Motor Show in Sweden this week. The diesel engine in the Saab is now fully capable of running on E95 ethanol-blended fuel and is said to offer improved fuel consumption, better performance and lower exhaust emissions than the standard model.

 

Engineers needed to modify the combustion chamber, fuel system and engine software to allow it to run on ethanol. The end result is a peak output of 195hp and 410Nm of torque but with a fuel-consumption rating of just 5L/100km (47mpg). The car also benefits from 95% lower CO2 emissions, minimal dangerous hydrocarbons and nitric oxide exhaust emissions and almost no particle emissions.

 

Diesel engines can also run on renewable biodiesel but performance is subpar to diesel vehicles running on ethanol. At the end of the day, adding ethanol to a diesel engine actually improves performance of the vehicle while also reducing emissions and fuel-economy.

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This diesel set up for E95.

 

Scania is a bus manufacturer that converts diesels to run ethanol. VW bought them out recently.

 

I don't think the company is particularly concerned or focused on efficient ethanol diesel engines, as mostly a requirement or angle to sell more buses and gain some PR.

 

Scania’s compression-ignition (CI) ethanol engine is a modified 9-liter diesel with a few modifications. Scania raised the compression ratio from 18:1 to 28:1, added larger fuel injection nozzles, and altered the injection timing. The fuel system also needs different gaskets and filters, and a larger fuel tank since the engine burns 65% to 70% more ethanol than diesel. The thermal efficiency of the engine is comparable to a diesel, 43% compared to 44%.

 

So these buses burn 1.5x more fuel if ethanol as compared to diesel.

 

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Of course everyone points to Scania rather than BSR, I had not heard of BSR until recently. I have known about some very high mpg diesels running ethanol for a while now, both vapor and liquid fuel, including a couple VW TDi engines. We have a couple 6.5L diesels to play with, and a friend has 3 of the GM 5.7L diesels, so it is in the works, but will be next year at the earliest before we do much in that area.

 

It can be done for sure, getting a business to accept the cost of conversion is the tough part. Also, as of right now, we are somewhat limited in availability of alcohol, so to them it is more of a hassle even if they get better mileage. Please don't think I am disagreeing with you, I am merely pointing out some of the reasons why fleet operators aren't jumping on the bandwagon.

 

Still the big one is the huge propaganda mill going against ethanol, with oil companies buying up Verasun plants, it is only a matter of time once again before ethanol is either killed off or we have it controlled by the "oil overlords".

 

 

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Thumpin455,  your posts am sure the majority viewpoint, yet I sometimes think we may better off directing ethanol to diesel engines?

 

So-called flex-fuel engines use a mixture of fuels, the most common combination being around 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol. But these engines tend to pay a 30 percent efficiency penalty because they are optimized to use gasoline, says Rod Beazley, product group director for gasoline at the engineering-research firm Ricardo, based in Detroit. Therefore, even though commercial ethanol-fuel mixes such as E85 cost less than gas at the pump, it still works out cheaper to operate a regular gasoline engine, he says.

 

From my layman's perspective of engine technology, ethanol suited to direct injection, higher compression ratios, turbo charging and earlier ignition timing. Also, valve timing can be advance for increasing temperatures and pressure. The fuel can operate at maximum efficiency under diesel conditions as compared to unleaded engines. Actually 30% more efficient. Now a diesel running high btu diesel fuel is hard competition, but diesel fuel now 20% to 25% premium prices helps.

 

So, the diesel engine can get 30% more out of ethanol. Right.

 

Are we wasting ethanol upon unleaded fuel engines? I think so. This being the case, low ethanol blends should be the priority of car fleet, maybe stopping at E30. After that blend much better to go E95 and exploit ethanol to the max.

 

Diesel engines, also, need t be tweaked to increase ethanol efficiency, but they are well suited for the task. First the turbocharging (I think?) should be greatly increased. This always a winner for IC engines as your picking energy of exhaust gas and increasing efficiences of engine.

 

Also, the big semis with those huge engines may be able to exploit engine temperatures with hydrous blends of ethanol. Some companies already experimenting trying to utilize a combined steam cycle power. Either as another power stroke, higher exhaust turbine efficiencies, or in combination of typical power stroke.

 

Trucking companies always interested in saving cost of fuel and willing to invest (if payback good) to make it happen. Not currently, as no savings. But, were talking of investing in alternative fuels.....a better place is the big diesel engine. May we tax diesel fuel higher? Remove road tax on ethanol? May the legislatures think out of the box i.e. apply legislation to allow the micro breweries, to expand to local ethanol market. May they enjoy some tax incentive doing so? How about a tax free zone if Mirco Brewery forms a Cooperative with trucking company for closed loop supply of ethanol? May a clever politician implement a local trial "enterprise" zone to empower the private sector to flourish.  To my thinking since the ethanol sector is developing best to decentralize and allow private sector with hard earned money and investments make most of the intelligent decision making. 

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Beside the obvious differences in fuel system requirements- is the diesel engine's current low rpm, high torque enhanced design in need of change for ethanol?

Is the heavyweight block a hinderance?

 

Are you proposing that ignition will be by compression or spark?

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As I understand, direct injection ignition superior diesel efficiency. My best guess would be the latent heat of vaporization or phase change from liquid to gas absorbs combustion chamber heat. May it be a lower exhaust temperature as result? That plays into laws of Thermo.

 

The heavy weight castings of diesel good for strength, rigidity,  and dampening vibration a good thing when swinging heavy pistons for high compression. But, in general the lighter you can make your engine and achieve acceptable efficiencies  a good thing.  High Turbo charging seems to keep engines lighter for same hp.

 

The ideal engine may exist already in those semi rigs with little tweaking. Whereas, the ideal ethanol engine within autos doesn't exist yet. So, would stimulating ethanol use in the existing diesel engine trucks and cars be the fastest, best path for ethanol? You know since they burn ethanol 30% more efficient from get go. So in effect existing supplies of ethanol can go 30% farther.

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I agree with you fleebut, the benefits are out there and as long as we dont let it be killed off or legislated into oblivion again, ethanol is definitely a future fuel for transportation.

 

The direct injection raises efficiency for diesel fueled engines more than it might for ethanol, I dont think many, or any, have tried it at this point. Getting the fuel into vapor is the key with higher efficiencies in any engine, it makes for a more efficient burn and a cooler running engine.

 

If we look back to the early middle part of the last century, there was a country that relied almost entirely on alcohol for fuel. They built tank engines that could run on diesel or alcohol and pretty much any other combustible liquid. They produced Jet aircraft that ran on alcohol, the piston engined planes could use gasoline or alcohol depending on what was available. That information and technology has been shoved under the rug and few people are aware of it. They took the entire crop of potatoes from 1944 and turned it into fuel, causing widespread hunger and starvation. Lets be thankful they weren't aware of the power of cattails, we might be speaking more German right now.

 

If they could do it in the 30s when most of the equipment was designed, we can do it today easily. It isn't a problem of if it can be done, as much as will it be allowed to be done.

 

Until the media turns around and starts touting ethanol rather than disparaging it, and there is a large increase in availability and production, we wont see many people in charge of fleet operations making the switch. We all know its better, they don't see it how we do.

 

I cannot wait for this summer when I will have a 13:1 compression 455 in a 79 Trans Am running HE100, that will be a fun ride and hopefully it will change a few attitudes and opinions. The heads are done now, I need to buy some pistons and get it balanced, and the engine is ready. The best part is it uses factory iron heads, and the only real upgrades to it are some forged rods, forged pistons, and the cam/valve train. The rest is factory GM stuff, even the carburetor is a Qjet. The goal is over 20mpg with a carb on straight alcohol, and it will do it.

 

I just wish more people would give it a try in the old car/HotRod world.

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