Fuel conversion

Hi
Firstly, I'm own an 840 and really love the car.
However, it's not particularly economical on fuel. Whilst I certainly don't like paying the rather high fuel prices here in the UK, I'm
getting rather concerned about the effect my car (and every other car around me) is having on the environment.
I understand that in Brazil they convert their vehicles to run on bio-ethanol. This means that even the most fuel-guzzling vehicle isn't actually adding to global warming because it's all reclaimed carbon. To my mind, that's a far better way to go than worrying about buying a diesel or a hybrid car that is still a net poluter. Also, there is bound to be some wastage in the process as some plant material can't be converted to ethanol, so one would actually be taking out more carbon from the atmosphere than putting it back in.
Further still...I've heard that bio-ethanol has a 20% higher octane rating than petrol so you car gets more umph AND the fuel can be mixed with normal unleaded petrol, so there's no requirement for an extra tank for those vehicles running on LPG.
So, what I would like to know is:
1 - is it possible to get my car converted to run on bio-ethanol? 2 - is it possible to purchase the fuel yet in the UK (I heard that a Morrison's garage was starting to stock it somewhere near Norwich)
Thanks
Griff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't know.

Bioethanol is currently available in a 5% blend at over 250 Tesco petrol stations in the South-East of England. This petrol is supplied through ordinary unleaded petrol pumps and is not identified as bioethanol-blended petrol.
Morrisons have now begun to sell E85 petrol (85% ethanol, 15% petrol) at the following Morrisons filling stations:
Albion Way, Norwich East Dereham Lowestoft Diss Ipswich
plus five sites in Somerset. Further filling stations are planned.
--
Sam




Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

People forget that Brazil has cut down a lot of rain forest to grow enough sugar cane to produce the ethanol that has reduced their dependence upon oil. They run most of their cars on a blend of 60%-85% gasoline with 40%-15% ethanol.

Right now, the processes used to produce ethanol do not convert all the cane into ethanol. They use a portion to burn for heat to run the process. It will never be 100%. The question is how close you will be able to get to 100%. Probably no more than 75%, actually.

Although the octane is higher, the energy content per volume is much lower. Your mileage on ethanol will be lower - 30%-40% is the figure I see - on pure ethanol. E85 is around 5% lower mileage. The advantage to E85 is that the octane is higher, the emissions are lower (due to the oxygenate properties of ethanol), and most cars can run on it with little change (really only the engine's computer program.)

Yes, anything is possible. However, pure ethanol is not desirable. My guess is that an 840i would cost little (ECM program, some fule lines and seals) to convert to run on E85. It would cost a LOT to run on pure ethanol.

Heck if I know; I'm in the US.
FloydR
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oh, yeah, forgot to mention that lots of ethanol discussions have happened on rec.autos.driving and misc.transport.road and alt.autos. Probably others. Google/search for E-85 - you will probably find lots of places on the www to look.
FloydR
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You do realize that you will use almost double the volume of ethanol as gasoline?
- - Rex Burkheimer
Griff wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Get an LPG conversion. they work really well on large engined BMWs and it's not that hard to buy LPG in the UK now.
--
Who needs a life when you've got Unix? :-)
Email: snipped-for-privacy@unixnerd.demon.co.uk, John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The latest Car & Driver has a good article on ethanol. It cuts through the hype and shows that it ain't quite the panacea its made to be by ... the ethanol producers.
OBTW, your not particularly frugral 840 will get considerably poorer mileage with ethanol. There's just not as many BTU's per liter/gallon as gasoline. Soooo, unless its considerably less expensive, it'll cost you more to run ethanol.
R / John

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
" This means that even the most fuel-guzzling vehicle isn't actually adding to global warming because it's all reclaimed carbon."
WTF? According to most scientists, the major contributor to global warming is internal combustion engine emissions. Mostly CO2, CO, and NOx. While bio fuels may not have the NOx, there is still the same amount of CO2 and CO, maybe more since you have to burn more if it. Since we humans are a greedy lot, we keep cutting down the forests which remove CO2 and convert it to O2, and keep us alive.
So, don't convert because you feel guilty. Convert because you got tired of keeping the Saudi's (90% of the 9-11 hijackers, and we invade Iraq?), Sheiks, Imams, and other oil barons rich.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Griff wrote:

What's your point? So is gasoline. The carbon was trapped in the earth for eons, but it was originally spme kind of plant or animal matter at one time...
--
-Fred W

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The point is that the release of CO2 that was stored for a long time is unsetling the atmosphere. The release of CO2 coming from recent crops is canceled by the CO2 that such crops absorbed, the only effect being the use of large areas to grow the crop. The process needs to be worked, as the eficiency of the whole cycle is less than brilliant. If engines dedicated to run on ethanol where used, the problems of the mileage and efficiency could be improved.
I think the best way to go now is GPL conversion. It is still a fossil fuel, but if the GPL is not used it goes to waste at the refining process, creating useless polution. Better burn it in your car, than in a stupid torch on top of the oil refinery!
J.Pinto.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
J. Pinto wrote:

IIRC, that "torch" is a safety feature to release unexpected pressure surges. It's better to have it burning all the time rather than be ignited by a spark, causing a different kind of unexpected pressure surge.
Andrew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.