I have read somewhere that if the ICE is designed specifically with proper compression ratio and the timing of the spark for the ethanol, then the efficiency approaches that of gasoline fuel.More ethanol = less miles per gallon. Could be as much as a 30% drop with E85 compared to regular gasoline.
The fact is even though ethanol does have more energy, that because ethanol has higher octane the engine can have higher compression and the timing can be altered to where there is very little drop in mileage. The fact is though that ICE engines are tuned to gasoline so the you will continue to see a 30% drop in ethanol powered cars.But the problem is that ethanol has less energy per unit/volume than gasoline, so given equally efficient driving modes for each fuel gasoline will beat ethanol every time in a flex fuel vehicle.
Ethanol: 23.5 megajoules/liter
Gasoline: 34.8 megajoules/liter
E-85 can actually run from 70% to 85% ethanol depending on the region of the country, so its energy content is variable.
I actually have a flex fuel vehicle and have used E-85 at times, so....
You can't do that until E85 is available. Kind of like looking for a place to refuel you hydrogen fool cell car.I have read somewhere that if the ICE is designed specifically with proper compression ratio and the timing of the spark for the ethanol, then the efficiency approaches that of gasoline fuel.
There are many ARCO stations in California that are NOW offering E85. In our city, the E85 has been offered for more than 5 years now. One of the engineering studies performed on the compression and ignition adjustments was sponsored in part by NREL.You can't do that until E85 is available. Kind of like looking for a place to refuel you hydrogen fool cell car.
Not only for ethanol though, because they are growing other crops and mining the rainforests aside from ethanol. But this is going slightly out of context. We are talking about optimizing the power from ethanol for a well configured ICE, and not about political rants.And prime destroyers of rainforest. They burn down the rainforest to plant their ethanol crops.