e85 85% ethanol fuel

Discussion in '2005 - 2009 Specific Tech' started by crewwolfy, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. Here in the southwestern PA area. Pretty much all of the gasoline, is also 10% ethanol, and 90% gasoline.

    So I suppose it's safe to assume, our cars are designed to run on 10% ethanol, and 90% gasoline. Otherwise it wouldn't be safe to run, to begin with.
  2. I'm pretty sure all gasoline is now 10% ethanol. I'd agree that is designed to run on it - it is no secret to the auto industry what kind of gasoline is out there.

    An interesting thought on the gasoline content... Since ethanol reduces the MPGs that vehicles get, this obviously means 10% ethanol does not provide as good mileage as 100% gasoline. So why is it the automakers that are given sole responsibility to improve gas mileage for the fleet to 35 mpg when oil companies can effectively hinder their efforts?
  3. That may be true in your area, but there's no ethanol in sight anywhere I fill up (Central Texas).
  4. I have played around with E85 quite a bit and would like to dispell some of the rumors and share my experience with it so far.

    Myth: Some people are stating that E85 will ruin your seal and even your hard lines. This is BS. The 15% gasoline makes it much more stable so it won't eat the rubber components as pure ethanol would. The seals already in your car will handle E85 just fine. I switched my 88 mustang with 140k+ miles to E85 and it hasn't had any fuel leaks, and it's not nearly as modern or new! I didn't replace any seals, only threw in bigger injectors and literally pumped in the E85.

    E85 has a different stoich ratio than gasoline. It takes about 30% more fuel to mix with the same amount of air. This is why a car has to be specifically designed to run on E85. Factory flex fuel vehicles have a sensor in the fuel tank to determine the amount of ethanol in the fuel, so you can switch between gasoline, E85 or any ratio inbetween without a problem. You don't have this sensor. It may be possible to re-tune if you want to run E85 full time, but you'll have to re-tune again if you want to run gas or a mix of E85/gas.

    There is a company selling a box that adjusts the pulse width of the injectors to compensate for running E85: http://www.fullflexint.com/ It has different levels (1-10) you can select for the ratio of ethanol you have. It's pretty inventive and would allow you to run E85 and any ratio of E85 in your tank without a problem. It isn't fully automatic though, and will require you to flip a switch when changing between E85 and gas.

    I've been running E20 and E30 in my 97GT for a while now. You can see my posts in the 4.6 forum here: http://forums.stangnet.com/showthread.php?t=742763&highlight=ethanol

    On E30, I actually noticed about 5% less mileage. On E20, the mileage is as good or better. No check engine lights, and best of all, no more pinging! It pings terribly on 87 at times, which I never could understand.

    I've read articles on running non-flex fuel vehicles on E20 and E30. They are doing long term tests and report no issues with running these ratios. Mileage reports are even slightly better on E20 or E30, depending on the make and model of the car. Minnesota is even considering making E20 the standard in their state.

    As I mentioned earlier, I switched my 88 mustang with the 2.3 turbo to run on E85. It's GREAT! I put in larger injectors to compensate for the different stoich ratio (from 35lb to 52lb). I love the extra octane of E85 with the turbo! I'm at 19psi now and will be bumping it up again soon. I'll just have to see how much I can get out of the 52lb injectors.

    My summary: If I had an 05+ mustang, I wouldn't convert it to run on E85 because it would probably void the warenty and need constant small adjustments. I would however run E20 or E30 if I could find it. You could easily run that in place of premuim, as E30 should have 94-95 octane. :D Corn may not be the best way to get ethanol, but we'll eventually get our heads out of our ass and develope more ways to get ethanol. It's still a hell of a lot better than buying foreign oil!
  5. :bs: I have dune conversions for under 300 dollars :Zip2: the stock gaskets and fuel lines are fine
  6. The reason that most states use 10 percent ethanol in all gas is due to its positive effect on emissions. Ethanol reduces hydrocarbons greatly
  7. Actually, mixes of 10, 20 or 30% ethanol can IMPROVE mileage. I've seen this published in several studies so far. It is thought this is due to the more complete burn you get with ethanol, which counters the fact that is has less energy content.

  8. Absolutely true. Starting in the 80's when the US began mixing ethanol in with gasoline car manufacturers were required to make improvements to the fuel system to ensure that the ethanol would not cause problems. The major problem with older cars was the rubber fuel line and rubber seals as the ethanol would degrade them over time. Most cars since the 80's have only hard lines or neoprene mixed in with the hard lines and neoprene gaskets which are ethanol safe.

    As far as conversions go, technically it is not legal to use a fuel source other than specified by the vehicle manufacturer. So technically it is illegal to convert to ethanol, however there are a few companies that have developed kits (one mentioned previously) and are working on EPA certifications so that it will be legal.

    Here are a few sites with some info.

    As far as the energy efficiency of using corn, 351CJ is completely right. It isn't very energy efficient. The industry right now is totally and completely political. There are however far more efficient plants (like soybean) that can be used to distill ethanol from and being a microbiologist and home beer brewer I can assure you that using microorganisms can be more efficient at fermenting ethanol than it is to distill ethanol from corn. So if the ethanol industry ever grows away from government subsidies it will be a worthwhile fuel source in the future.
  9. This may be true when you only look at vehicle emissions, but what if you include the larger amount of hydrocarbons produced during production of the ethanol? Does the 10% reduce hydrocarbons enough to offset this?
  10. Plants tend to clean the water and air as they grow. This would off set hydrocarbons produced during production.

  11. Plants absorb carbon dioxide - I don't believe they do anything with hydrocarbons, but I am not sure. Even still, there was a study published in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers magazine that says ethanol does more harm than good for pollution and greenhouse gasses.

    The biggest problem with this arguement is that one could produce hundreds of studies that completely refute each other. You could show me 10 studies that "prove" ethanol is better for the environment and I can show you 10 that "prove" it is worse. One main reason is that often these studies are performed by groups that have incentives to sway the evidence to one direction or the other. Many other studies are just incomplete and do not consider all factors or do not consider them equally between sources - eg. Emissions/energy use from transporting fuel may be included in calculations for one type of fuel but not the other.
  12. It depends on what source you use to get ethanol. Brazil uses sugar beat or sugar cane (can't remember which), and it has something like 10 times the output of corn and is grown very easily there. In fact, Brazil uses mostly ethanol in their vehicles.

    I don't know much about the production process to make ethanol, or the hydrocarbons released during that. But when you grow corn, it removes CO2 (carbon) from the air and stores it in the plant material. Then, when you burn the ethanol in your car, you are releasing the CO2 back to the air, where it came from. I'd say this is a LOT better than taking Carbon from the ground (oil/coal) and then releasing it entirely into the air.

    I'm going to keep buying ethanol because it is an alternative to oil. Certainly, corn isn't the best way to get it, but ethanol can be distilled from lots of sources and long as people are buying it, we'll find more and better ways to get ethanol.
  13. Even before that, in 1975 Brazil required 20% ethanol in the fuel. The cars (fuel systems) at the time were tested and could handle it. Some could handle up to 30%.
  14. It is true that ethanol isn't the best alternative to Gasoline. But for now it works. It does take gasoline that produces hydrocarbons to produce ethanol, but think about how much gas is used in the process of transporting the oil from saudia arabia? And the environmental risks taken in transporting Oil. And no matter what the corn will be harvested for food,seed or feed. So why not use it to power our vehicles? And yes brazil is using sugar cane to produce ethanol and it does make at least 10 times more. But we are doing studies to use not only the corn to produce ethanol but also the stalk and the cob. We are coming a long way , but we still have a long way to go to lose our dependence on oil.

  15. Why are ethanol plants not using wast food? When I was at hardee's to day they throw away close to full bin of over cooked fries and 3 gallons of tea. More than enough food to make 20 gallons of fuel! We have more energy in our trash cans than we could ever consume.
  16. We have more energy in our oceans than we could ever consume. Ocean power is our most accessible power supply, but we just haven't figured out how to effectively harness it. Everything from wave power to tidal power to OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) is available, and they all have faults that we have not yet figured out how to deal with, preventing us from using them in any large scale commercial application.

    According to a study done in 2006, tapping only 0.2% of the world's WAVE energy would provide more power than the world uses now. That ignores any other form of ocean power. 0.2% however is far from feasible right now.
  17. Stangdude- i believe its Scotland that just started a "wave farm" to produce clean renewable energy. Also Ireland is using a wind mill type device to harness the tidal power. Both are very efficient ways of producing power. The only draw back to both of these is that they require a lot of maintenance.
  18. I'll admit that I'm far from being a chemist, but if we're able to produce fully synthetic motor oils. Then why in the hell, are we not able to produce synthetic based fuels/gasoline.

    If memory serves correctly, is not conventional gasoline produced from 100% crude oil ?

    Seems to me, we should be able to make fully synthetic gasoline, from 100% synthetic motor oil :shrug:
  19. If 100% synthetic motor oil cost more than conventional; would synthetic gas cost more?