BioDiesel Benz on "MythBusters"

FYI on May 10, 2006 Episode of "MythBusters" on Discovery Channel (Episode #53 - Exploding Pants): ... Adam and Jamie try to save viewers some hard-earned cash in the Great
Gas Conspiracy.
they debunk all the mail-order gas saving devices, then investigate the possibility of running a Diesel auto on french fry grease. in a closed circuit, at 35mph, they got 33mpg on Diesel fuel and 30mpg on fry grease. the test car was a W126 MB.
no modifications were made to the auto. the fry grease was filtered before pouring it into the fuel cell.
this episode will be rerun on Discovery May 13 10:00pm EDT May 14 02:00am EDT
POE, -rr
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Cool! I just Tivo'd it... can't wait to watch it.
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This is commonly done in the UK. Sometimes people add thinners to the vegetable oil.
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DRAT! Why can't the gas engines run on E85 gas???? Guess I will have to consider a diesel if I want to buy another MB.
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The MB petrol engines should run on Ethanol but they might need adjustment. Some cars produce more power on Ethanol. Ethanol is getting more common in the UK as is LPG.
My feeling is that if Ethanol takes off, countries that are very fertile and able to produce the sugar beet used in ethanol production will become the new OPEC.
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Ethanol is caustic. E85 (85% ethanol, 15% petrol) requires fuel supply components that will not degrade when they come in contact with ethanol in this high of a concentration. Most vehicles in the US cannot handle E85 unless they are marked as FFV (Flex Fuel Vehicle) and these were mainly produced as a tax dodge by the auto makers (I believe that there was some incentive that so many vehicles had to support alternative fuels). But note that the MPG you get from E85 is measurably less than pure petroleum, so the true savings may be minor, if not negative. E10 (10% ethanol) is safe for most all cars and has been common in many areas of the US for a long time.
Josh
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Indeed. In the Uk some petrol companies water down the petrol with ethanol. As much as 15%. You get noticeably fewer MPG especially in cars with bigger engines.
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Who told you that? One gallon of ethanol = about 80,000 BTU One gallon of gasoline = about 115,000 BTU
So there is less energy in a gallon of ethanol than in a gallon of gasoline.
If the ethanol has less energy then how in the heck are you going to get more energy out of the fuel?
--
Roger Shoaf

If knowledge is power, and power corrupts, what does this say about the
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Older engines that are not designed for ethanol will not run right... thereby weaker. Engines that are designed for FFV will utilize ethanol more efficient and thereby more power.
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Easy, Ethanol has far a higher octane rating than gasoline, so you can use a much higher compression ratio. Either through a higher static ratio or turbo/supercharging. Saab sells their BIOPower turbo in Europe that gets 184hp out of a 2.0l 4 cylinder turbo when running on E85, but only 148 on straight gasoline. However, I have seen no fuel consumption figures for that engine for each mode, I can only assume that it is considerably worse on E85.
Kevin Rhodes Westbrook, Maine, USA
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temperature difference; ie exhaust temperature could make a difference. Probably more factors...
cheers, guenter
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Their viewers must be pretty ignorant if this is Discovery worthy news to them.
cp
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