on May 10, 2006 Episode of "MythBusters" on Discovery Channel (Episode #53 -
... Adam and Jamie try to save viewers some hard-earned cash in the Great
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
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
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.
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
If the ethanol has less energy then how in the heck are you going to get
more energy out of the fuel?
If knowledge is power, and power corrupts, what does this say about the
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.
Westbrook, Maine, USA
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