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Using E85 fuel, the Volt would use extremely little gasoline, Stephens said

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GM global product chief Tom Stephens said GM also is considering a flex-fuel version of the Volt. He said that GM could have the version available in the 2012 model year if the carmaker pursues the program.

 

Using E85 fuel, the Volt would use extremely little gasoline, Stephens said. For one thing, most commuters can run on pure electric power to get to and from work. When the internal combustion engine is needed for longer trips, though, with E85, only 15 percent of the fuel is petroleum. The other 85 percent is ethanol, he said.

 

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20101201/CARNEWS/101209996

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sounds like a no-brainer to me... "plug in, hybrid, flex fuel..." best of all worlds...  end result, very little if any imported polluting gasoline used!

 

Wasn't it suppose to be made that way to begin with? :confused:

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I see in our local paper (Omaha World Herald) where "Cracker-barrel" restaurant chain is putting in EV charging stations at 24 stores in just the state of Tennessee... idea is that you could stop while traveling, eat a meal, buy some trinkets, while your vehicle is charging!  Pretty neat idea.  Good for business.

 

http://www.omaha.com/article/20101201/MONEY/712019950

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if the carmaker pursues the program.

 

I was waiting for someone to point that out...not sure what to make of that statement.. I dont think I like it though  :-\

 

Would have been upbeat if that quote wasnt in the article

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What nice for E85 fuel or E100 fuel.....

 

Variable hp output. The fuel carries chemical oxygen and while this acts to increase horsepower in normal engine setup as the cubic inch displacement of engine not only sucks in atmospheric oxygen, but gets roughly 30% from the fuel itself and as result more fuel can be burned per stoichiometric ratio, this ethanol fuel characteristic, also, can work in reverse to push aside the atmospheric oxygen to the tune of 30% per EGR. How great is that? You have a engine that can vary it's hp by whopping 60% and if you stack the all so empowering turbo upon the engine the effective hp out could vary by a factor of 2 by varying the boost pressure. Now, all engines vary their hp, but each engine has an ideal rpm/torque/hp where maximum efficiency occurs and ethanol has the better ability to adjust the power to the cars needs whether driving low speed city or towing high speed trailer.  Couple this with plug in Volt auto would make sense. Unleaded not as well adapted to the task.

 

Actually, the expensive heavy Volt battery could be smaller in this case. Plug in would be optional to supplement vehicle fuel with cheap non tax road energy. Ethanol engine would start sooner, but would basically extend vehicle range. This would be efficient as the engine could achieve max efficiency even under low generator load.

 

Couple the auto with household utility needs a double whammy. Easy to co-generate household heating water with generators. The Volt has a generator. Most co-gen generators made popular in Europe by Honda utilize coolant water and exhaust heat to replace hot water heater. The generator heats home per hot water and generates electric power. The combined effort more efficient and at less cost than utility company power. The expensive Volt could accomplish some of this, especially when transferring hot water from recently parked car.  Lithium batteries an expensive option for off the grid home power, but the batteries very attractive option. Might operating off grid or operating per a CBOT exchange of energy dollars facilitate a market whereupon sometimes your car feeds off the grid, sometimes the car feeds the home, and other times the car powers the grid. Tie this scenario with minimal solar and wind turbine for bonus flexibility at a effective cost to benefit ratio.       

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What nice for E85 fuel or E100 fuel.....

 

Variable hp output. The fuel carries chemical oxygen and while this acts to increase horsepower in normal engine setup as the cubic inch displacement of engine not only sucks in atmospheric oxygen, but gets roughly 30% from the fuel itself ... bla bla   

 

I think you are giving way too much credit to this chemical oxygen.  Just because it's in the molecule doesn't mean it's totally available for combustion.  CO2 and H2O are are ~72% and 89% oxygen, but it doesn't mean they burn worth a cent - or aid combustion in any way.  In fact, both are widely used as fire extinguishers.

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I think you are giving way too much credit to this chemical oxygen.  Just because it's in the molecule doesn't mean it's totally available for combustion.  CO2 and H2O are are ~72% and 89% oxygen, but it doesn't mean they burn worth a cent - or aid combustion in any way.  In fact, both are widely used as fire extinguishers.

 

N2O, nitrous oxide, is nonflammable but increases power. Why? It is has a higher percentage of oxygen in it's makeup than air does. That wouldn't matter if nitrous oxide couldn't be separated into it's nitrogen and oxygen components. Luckily the pressure and heat of compression is enough to break nitrous oxide molecules apart.

 

In the case of ethanol, methanol, butanol, nitro methane and surely other oxygen caring fuels, the act of combustion is what separated the molecules and recombines them into smaller more stable molecules.

 

2 C2H5OH (ethanol) + 9 O2 = 4 CO2 + 6 H2O

 

If we were talking about ethane which has no oxygen it would look like this.

 

2 C2H6 + 10 O2 = 4 CO2 + 6 H2O

 

The difference being that for every 2 molecules of ethane going into the engine, one more molecule of O2 would have to go in as well. And oxygen in gaseous form takes up more space than oxygen in chemical form. Since an engines power is determined by the amount of oxygen it can take in, the ethane engine would have a lower power output than the ethanol engine even though ethane would have a higher BTU content than ethanol does.

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Without going to bond energies in depth,  H-O or C-O are pretty strong bonds (as displayed by the lack of combustibility/reactivity of water and CO2). I suspect you can break the hydroxyl off the ethanol, then 'burn' the OH-  But I seriously doubt, it's going to completely reduce to O2, then reburn back to CO2 or H2O.  Even if it did, that energy for the reduction has to come from somewhere.  Either way, the net energy is much less than just injecting '30% more oxygen'

 

N20 is a different beast.  That N-O bond is pretty weak,  it would really rather be N2 and O-.  As you say just the heat of the engine can break them down and liberate a highly reactive oxygen radical.  Plus, boiling at ~ -125F, there is a pretty decent intercooler effect for added HP.

 

Bottom line - just saying 'adding more oxygen' doesn't mean much.  It really depends on what it's bound to...as there is a wide range from 'easily accessible oxygen' such as N2O to 'essentially useless' oxygen in H2O and CO2

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