Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
fleebut

Fuel Choice

Recommended Posts

The following link is one of the best easy reading articles on ethanol for your car:

 

http://autorepair.about.com/cs/generalinfo/a/aa102100a.htm

 

The author states “1 acre corn = 300 gallons of Ethanol and 400 gallons of unneeded oil imports”. IOWs one gallon of oil does not produce one gallon of unleaded.  Also, later in article author states (paraphrased),  “E10 fuel has 97% of energy of unleaded, but ethanol improves engine combustion efficiency for overall improved mileage”.

 

My records of mileage on the older throttle body injected engines. In general the E85 fuel will drop mpg down 2, the engine runs smooth, but harder to start and rough engine operation for first 2 miles. This is only for cold winter weather. I’m thinking like the Canadians, were forced to do….plug in engine heaters the best “hybrid” money spent. Good for engine performance, operator comfort, and less cold start pollution. I will install a freeze plug heaters this in summer.

 

And YES, filling up on E85 saving $3-$5 per tank full as compared to regular unleaded for vehicle operation.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thought for the day…..Should environment impact studies include the fact that modern engines like the Ford Eccoboost and Ricardo truck engine utilize a portion of ethanol to save pollution of fossil fuel? Ford claims it dual fuel engine can save 6 gallons of petro on a 1,000 mile trip when utilizing one gallon of ethanol. So, in fact the environmental benefits of ethanol leveraged upon fuel supplies and efficiencies. How do the environmental projections factoring that in to equations?

 

Or do these environmental impact studies ever evaluate future engine fuel mileage improvements with ethanol? If and when the fuel supply permanently changed to include ethanol; engines will be developed to take advantage of a superior fuel as demonstrated by Ricardo and Ford we should be able to decrease fuel consumption 20% with the same horsepower output. 

 

Shouldn’t the EPA calculate in the projected efficiency gains for ethanol blending into the future? They do for direct and indirect land use upon some assumption. I bet combustion engineers could speculate on future technology of combustion engines and offer intelligent guesstimates of optimal ethanol blends to maximize efficient petro mpg and decreased pollution.

 

We need to flex the fuel supply to optimum blends for future engine technology. Sure, not to go so far as to limit old technology use, but not to hamper the best technology with inferior blends either.  You see, to me when they make these decisions of E10 or E15 they look at current car fleet engineered to petrol and make evaluations as if that technology will never change.

 

The biggest environmental impact of ethanol is its impact on efficiencies of future engines burning petro.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the current "FFV" that we have are standard gasoline designed and optimized engines that are capable of using ethanol, but at a cost in decreased efficiency.

 

Why can't anyone in government/EPA understand this.  If we had an engine that was designed from the drawing board forward in every aspect to be an "ethanol engine, that was capable of burning gasoline"... then the effeciency numbers would be much different.

 

not exactly rocket science folks.

 

Then again, saying this here is a bit like preaching to the choir

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you optimize an engine to run ethanol in the most efficient manner, then try to run gasoline in it you will break the engine and you would get incredibly poor performance from it on gas if it lived. Gasoline cant handle the cylinder pressures and heat that ethanol engines thrive on. To make an ethanol optimized engine run on gasoline you will have to find a way to lower cylinder pressure, and retard the timing so it wont preignite or spark knock. That will kill any semblance of power and drivability in the engine.

 

Just the differences in octane require an engine that runs on either ethanol or gasoline to not exceed the limits for gasoline, and most often FFVs are designed to run on 87 octane camel whiz, not 93 premium. Gasoline is the weakest link, not ethanol.  Add in the difference in how gasoline creates vastly more waste heat and cant withstand higher operating temps, and the requirement for a cool intake charge to prevent detonation and vapor lock, and you just cant optimize for ethanol then switch to gas. You will flatten rod bearings, burn spark plugs, knock holes in cylinders, blow head gaskets, and it will run like complete crap until one of those catastrophic failures occurs.

 

They wont build an engine like that because there are still hockey pucks like my sisters idiot husband that thinks ethanol is horrible and they will only run gasoline. He is the type of guy who cant change a tire and would trade in a car before having the oil changed if he had to do it himself. He knows nothing about cars or anything mechanical, completely clueless so he listens to whatever his favorite TV station or the people he knows say about things like that. The markets are filled with those types of people, and imagine if they decided to put 87 octane in an engine that required 112. Put gas in a diesel, same thing, except you would ruin the injector pump on the diesel. You wont find an engine optimized for ethanol because of those people. They optimize for gasoline so you can run anything, they have to go with the lowest common denominator.

 

Forced induction is nice, like turbos or blowers, and the roots blower increases torque right off the line, but they tend to use more fuel even though they make lots more power. So using a turbo to increase cylinder pressure wont work as efficiently if its static compression is optimized for gas, you will be adding boost and that requires more fuel due to the added air. Yes it will make more power on ethanol, but the mileage wont go up as much. You can also use a smaller engine with a turbo, but still you are limiting it with the requirement to run gasoline.

 

Ethanol engines will never reach optimal efficiency if they are hampered by the limitations imposed by running gasoline. If you want an apples to apples comparison of the differences in power, drivability, and efficiency between a high compression ethanol engine that would rattle itself to death on 87 octane, and the same size engine with 87 octane capable compression, but with the same cam timing, same intake, same everything else, well you only need to wait until June or July to see the difference. I should have the ethanol engine built by then, the gas one is done already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately we don't have enough e85 fueling stations nationwide to make a dedicated ethanol engine marketable, even if you took into account the "hockey pucks" out there that would scream when the put the wrong fuel in and destroyed their motor.

 

It would be awesome if you could walk into any dealership and "order" a car, and have the option to pick either a FFV (because there should not be any option of gas only... :P) or Ethanol Optimized (ethanol only).  Buy the 1st option if e85 is not readily available where you live, or if you own stock in BP Amaco, or are a jihadist sleeper cell, and want to support terrorist regimes.  Or buy the 2nd choice if you have access to e85 around you and places you frequently travel, and would be able to remember "red nozzle will kill your engine, yell nozzle is good"  (red=dead, yellow=mellow 8))...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yikes  :(  $500+ per custom piston for my vehicle via the posted link.    What would an overhaul of an existing engine to make it ethanol optimized cost?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the 70's, some engines used dished pistons, some bigger heads. If you had the bigger heads (like Pontiac), you could swap in a set of Ram Air heads and get an instant hi-compression engine.

 

I haven't seen the inside of an engine newer than '74 so not sure what they do these days...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...