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Green Car Reports: Will Fuel Economy Rules Require Future Cars To Use Premium Gas?

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In general, higher compression engines provide greater efficiency but normally need higher octane fuel to run at this level.  Will the "lawmakers" raise the minimum octane of regular fuel (91?) to meet this requirement.  I bet higher blends of ethanol E20-E30 would be significantly cheaper than to raise the pump gas octane levels thru different formulations and/or additions.

 

Yes I am aware the Mazda skytech engines have a 13.0 to 1 compression ratio but run on regular pump gas.

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Another kicker to the use of higher ethanol blends, air pollution. Review the University of Toronto study that alerted public to the health harming air pollution to those close to roadways. The zone of harm is twice that once thought and very unhealthy. Also, they ID the pollution stream mainly from 25% of the car pool. Those cars that haven't been maintained, worn out, and those drivers that like acceleration. Another university study evaluated ethanol upon fuel mix. In general ethanol fuel greatly reduced all components of unhealthy emissions. The more ethanol the lessening of pollution. As you know micro particles are of growing concern and petrol fuel especially diesel have big problems with control. Ethanol just the opposite and only suffers upon use within design of gasoline engines. For example the spray pattern of DI engine is optimized for gas for efficiency and conditions that help the fuel minimize pollution. Ethanol spray pattern via the gas injector will promote the cold start particle emission. If ethanol fuel were to be optimized per ethanol only engine the emissions would be superior to that of natural gas.  

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  We have mobile air monitoring stations here in Colorado.  A monitoring station will be positioned for a day or two

 

 on the on-ramp  of the interstate to catch both emmissions and license # of each vehicle.  In Colorado , as in other

 

 states, the issue of concern is now ozone levels.  Vehicle owners need to prove they have passed by one of these

 

 monitors at least twice , with a passing grade, or submit to a dyno test at a designated facility, before they can renew

 

 vehicle registration. Don't know what the latest findings are,  but our fail rate for the mobile test is pretty low -- 1 or 2 %.

 

 Those vehicles that fail , fail badly , in most cases.  There also is a visible pollution standard.  Owners can be ticketed for

 

 spewing gunk in the air , especially while idling.  I have rarely seen someone pulled over for such an offense.

 

   There is also concern air quality due to recent increased drilling activity, and all the truck traffic it generates.

 

 An airborne (flying ) sampling method has been employed complementing mobile and fixed stations , across mostly the

 

Eastern half of the state, and Wyoming and New Mexico  -- again-- PM and ozone is of most interest.

 

  A dramatic increase in ozone levels present in Wyoming.  Also a methane "hot-spot" in New Mexico.

 

 I would be interested in finding out how high-pressure DI systems hold up over time.  Seems this would degrade performance

 

after a few 100 thousand miles. Would onBoard Diags find a degradation in performance and alert the driver??

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Colorado is doing a good job per air quality monitoring. Checking on acceleration ramp optimum location. The U of Toronto report just for the city and probably indicates Canadians are in the habit of driving older cars? I do notice when states enforce testing of pollution control, basically they export the problem to states that don't. It was disappointing to find DI engines typically increase PM even for ethanol fuel as the spray pattern not optimized for ethanol. Having said that PM of ethanol especially as compared within the high torque ranks of diesel all but eliminated. The recent health concerns of ultra fine particles would suggest best to banish the diesel engine from metro zones. Natural gas a popular conversion for diesel as the fuel inline with power output. One problem of E85 fuel conversion of diesel engine is the fuel double power and is wasteful per the unneeded power. The conversion should be cheaper than natural gas and more convenient to refuel with the added benefit of renewable fossil free energy.  

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