A gasoline/ethanol mixture containing 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. The
number after the E is the percent of the mixture that is ethanol. So E10
is 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. Ethanol, of course, is the type of
alcohol in beer and fun drinks.
I live in Oregon...and this state has mandated some form of gasahol blend be
used, starting this year...year around. Although E85 gets less fuel milage
than pure gasoline, it also is capable of producing more power, and it is
supposed to cost less per gallon than pure gas.
It gets less fuel mileage but produces more power? Gee, unless you
actually run your engine at full power (which most of us rarely do), you
won't notice a difference. Even then, the difference won't be much. The
only time I run my engine at full power is during acceleration on to a
The problem with the ethanol blend is that it takes almost as much
energy to make a gallon of ethanol as there is in a gallon of ethanol.
Plus, all the corn that can be used for other things, like food, is used up.
The law requiring ethanol blends (probably E10 or E5) is a stupid law, IMHO.
I'm not sure too many people understand the whole point of the "more power"
potential of E-85. E-85 is something in the neighborhood of 105 octane,
iirc. The only way to take advantage of high octane like that is to have a
higher compression engine. The problem there is that none are on the market
today. If someone built a high compression engine, then it wouldn't be
backward compatible with standard gasoline. There is no real power
advantage that I know of in any engine in production today because they just
don't have the high compression to take advantage of the higher octane of
Long story short, while E-85 does have the POTENTIAL to produce more power,
it will not unless engines are specifically designed to take advantage of
it. Don't make the mistake of thinking that your current engine will
benefit power-wise from E-85. The opposite is true because E-85 burns with
I agree with all the points AGAINST E85... Not only does its
production cause as much, or more harm as hydrogen does to the
environment, but It can actually be more harmful to your engine than
traditional gasoline, due to it's higher octane rating. With most
modern engines being largely aluminum... the higher temps can actually
cause issues with seal degredation and metal fatigue. The best choice
for an alternative fuel, in my opinion, would be bio-diesel. Granted,
bio-diesel production requires alcohols, but in much lower quanties
and it is much more engine and environmentally friendly.
What higher temperatures? How dose "higher octane rating" equal higher
The only thing a higher octane fuel does is raise the compression ratio that
the fuel can be compressed to before it spontaneously ignites. It does not
physically raise the compression ratio of your engine or make any other
changes per se, at least not as a function of octane rating.
Unless the temperatures drop below freezing...
The trucks that were out of commission were being fueled with B-99, it's
a mix of 1% petroleum diesel and 99% biodiesel.
As temperatures cool below 40o, that B-99 will solidify and become
jelly-like, and vehicles can't run off it.
On Fri, 04 Jan 2008 15:16:29 GMT, "My Name Is Nobody" wrote:
There's the point - Indy car engines run on Ethanol and produce gobs
of power, but they have higher compression engines to make the best
use of it - your car doesn't. If you build an engine to be dual-fuel,
they can't raise the compression too much or it won't run on gasoline
The production is the real problem - we need to get moving on
perfecting cellulosic ethanol production to use "waste" for feedstock,
so food stocks like corn stay food, not fuel.
Engines running on alcohol don't run hotter, they don't release as
much heat into the block. Not sure how, it's something chemical in
the combustion process of an alcohol.
We've known about that problem for a long time - and in milder
climates they need to go to a winter blend with a much higher
petroleum diesel percentage
In the snow belt they need to either have the trucks plugged in
overnight to electric fuel heaters in the tanks and right before the
Or go to a two-tank fuel system, where they start and run the
engines on 100% Diesel till the engine reaches operating temperature
and the coolant can warm the B99 fuel in the second tank to a liquid,
then you switch over. And you switch back before shutdown, so the
fuel in the rails and injectors is petroleum diesel and won't jell up.
But the two-fuels strategy takes an educated and thoughtful vehicle
operator - an employee with an ulterior motive might "forget" to
switch the truck over properly before parking it on Thursday evening,
so on Friday morning he can go "Oops, my truck won't start - guess I
have to go home..."
Yeah, home via the local ski slope. ;-) Instant 3-day weekend.
That's why corporate fleets spend a lot more on the Allison HD
automatics to get away from stick-shift trucks - it's just too easy to
"accidentally" pop the clutch, snap an axle shaft or U-joint, and get
the rest of the day off.
--<< Bruce >>--
Yes, exactly the point I made, if you scroll up. Existing engines will not
take advantage of the *potential* power increase benefit of E-85, and no one
is likely to build an e-85 tuned engine for consumer use because it's not
going to be backward compatible to standard gasoline.
There is nothing but performance LOSS when you use E-85 in a currently
configured internal combustion engine.
I snipped a lot of what was said about it, but I have to say that I truly
believe that diesel, and biodiesel in particular are a MUCH better solution.
I recently saw a bumpersticker on a diesel Jetta or Beetle that said, "50MPG
and No Silly Batteries!" I think that's the long term answer. Much more
efficient a process and more power than ethanol.
What you are saying is not completely true. Many modern engines will adjust
ignition and cam timing in response to higher octane fuel. I understand this
won't provide as much of an increase in power / fuel economy as increasing
the compression ratio. However, there will be some improvements for many
engines. I would expect this be especially the case for engines designed to
run on E85.
I was waithing for the correct answer but it hasn`t shown up yet, sooo
only two things need to be changed on many modern eng to boost power on
E85, that is the comp chip and the turbo. the increase in comp ratio is
by increasing the boost. It is already being done so you need to pay
attenction to keep up. Very soon you will see hi output E85 eng being
touted as green friendly and hi power. also will address the milage some
what as the comp controls the comp ratio with boost. easily done with a
twin turbo setup. It is already being done on the newest big truck
diesels for low end grunt and high end power in one package. KB
And which engines have you seen treated this way? Yes you *can* boost
compression with twin turbos but how much money will that take? How much
more room under the hood would you need for all that excessive plumbing.
How expensive do you think it will be to put twin turbos on little bitty
engines in $16k cars?
I just think Diesel is a much cheaper solution.
Kevin already hit on it - variable turbocharging or supercharging,
with the boost rates and wastegates under full computer control. And
some sort of fuel analyzer on the incoming fuel line, so the computer
senses the Gasoline/Alcohol ratio of what's in the tank BEFORE it hits
the injectors and causes a big detonation event - that's bad on the
pistons if you do it too often.
Would take full advantage of the alcohol content, but would also add
a whole lot of complexity and cost to every car.
--<< Bruce >>--
You are neglecting the fact, that the mash left over after the alcohol is
produced is a very good animal feed. Most corn already is used for animal
fed, and when used as such, it must be processed (ground up) before it is
fed. Using corn to make alcohol only affects the carbohydrate content, the
residue of the alcohol process is the sort of high protein feed you need for
It's E10. And Oregon's laws have already required alcohol blends during the
winter months for years, in the most populous counties, in order to reduce
air pollution. This chance merely makes it year round for the entire state,
and it makes it a uniform blend across the state. Gas prices should go down
slightly as a result since there's less special mixes that the distributors
have to inventory. In addition, the law specifically encourages LOCAL
production of canola and other oil-seed. Corn production is specifically
EXEMPTED from the tax credits in order to prevent the local ethanol
producers from benefiting from corn shipped in from the Midwest.
The law required E10 when in-state ethanol production reached 40 million
gallons a year. That happened when Pacific Ethanol began production at
Port of Morrow in Boardman. The Federal government also mandated that
must use 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol by 2012 in the 2005 Energy Bill.
Oregon is just a bit ahead of the curve by mandating it early - the refiners
were going to phase it in anyway, no matter what, due to the federal laws.
The truth of the matter is that Oregon's law is actually a very smart law.
What it essentially does is modify the federally-mandated market so that
Oregon gets a slice of the economic pie, by doing the following:
a) Ethanol fuels are encouraged to come from local production, not
b) Feedstocks for the ethanol producers are encouraged to come from
locally grown agiculture, not out-of-state farming
c) Feedstocks are encouraged to be something other than corn, thus
helping to limit the food price impact.
Of course it doesen't prevent an out of state ethanol producer from
making ethanol elsewhere from corn grown elsewhere and shipping
it into the state. But pricing on that ethanol is going to be higher than
the locally-grown stuff so it's very unlikely anyone would be dumb
enough to do it.
In addition, Boardman is smack dab in the middle of the Oregon farming
community so there is a ready market for the mash left over after the
This is one of those laws that is taking a lemon - the federal 2005
Energy bill - and making lemonade out of it. Since the Oregon
consumers of gasoline are going to have to be buying Ethanol anyway,
why shouldn't Oregon adjust the market so that those dollars are
going to in-state producers, and creating in-state jobs? Why
repeat the mistakes of the past and send all the consumers dollars
out of state to other energy producers in other states, or overseas?
In some areas, E85 is significantly cheaper than gasoline. However,
there is not much of an environmental gain in using E85, just as using
hydrogen is harmful, because of all the energy it takes to make hydrogen
and all the CO2 that ends up in the air.
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