Ethanol? Anyone try it?

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burley
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Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#1 Postby burley » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:34 am

Anyone in the US try ethanol? Pros / Cons? Does it harm the engine? The manual states that you can accept grain alcohol fuels (i think thats the same thing, right?). Manual also states that if your engine runs unsmoothly to stop use. Hmmmm... Any real experience with this stuff?
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#2 Postby burley » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:09 am

After reading, I think you can only use 10% and not E85 (85%)...
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#3 Postby NovaResource » Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:14 am

Can you explain your question more? Do you mean straight Ethanol, E85 or smaller percentages?

Most gasoline today uses a small amount of Ethanol. Usually 10% or less (E10). Look on the pump at your local stations and you might see a sticker that says "May contain up to 10% Ethanol". This will not harm your engine.

E85 is 85% Ethanol and 15% gasoling. Using it (or straight, 100% Ethanol) is not advisable in any car that is not designed to be a "FlexFuel" vehicle. The computers are not designed to handle it and you will have problems if you car is not designed for it.

Please note that Ethanol is actually LESS fuel eficient than gasoline. The same vehicle will get slightly less miles per gallon (approx 3%) on E10 (10% Ethanol) compared to 100% gasoline. And it will get much less miles per gallon (approx 29%) on E85. Ethanol contains about 34% less energy compared to gasoline.

For example, I use Amoco gas in my Tucson. It contains 10% Ethanol and I get approx 23-mpg. If that was 100% gasoline I could possibly get approx 24-mpg. If the Tucson was able to run on E85, I would only get approx 17-mpg. On 100% Ethanol it would drop to 16-mpg.


EDIT: I see you made your second post while I was still typing this one.

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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#4 Postby burley » Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:14 am

I read in the manual that you can use 10% ethanol. I got the E10 confused with E85, which is 85%. It looks like E85 cant be used in the Tucson. I just gave the manual a quick glance and saw ethanol, so I thought it was a flex fuel vehicle.

On a side note, after some reading... Ethanol is the worst idea the US has ever come up with.

Ethanol is (compared to diesel or gasoline):

-less efficient
-more expensive (mpg to mpg)
-pollutes more (from using diesel to maintain crops and ship across the country which DOES NOT END OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN FUEL)
-has more carbon per mpg
-harmful to engine components due to higher compression rate (you need to use synthetic)


Its a band-aid to help with rising fuel costs. Why the hell not concentrate on 0 emissions tech like hydrogen or electric?! Follow the money, Im sure someone's making a huge profit besides the farmers...
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#5 Postby NovaResource » Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:21 am

Ethanol also raises food prices because it takes corn to make Ethanol and now there is less to food. And from ECON-101 we all know what happens to prices when supply goes down.

burley wrote:Why the hell not concentrate on 0 emissions tech like hydrogen or electric?!

You didn't just say "0 emissions" and "electric" in the same sentence, did you? Electric is not "0 emissions". The vehicle may not be putting out the emissions but where do you think the electricity comes from? Coal burning electric plants, that's where.

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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#6 Postby burley » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:16 pm

NovaResource wrote:Ethanol also raises food prices because it takes corn to make Ethanol and now there is less to food. And from ECON-101 we all know what happens to prices when supply goes down.

burley wrote:Why the hell not concentrate on 0 emissions tech like hydrogen or electric?!

You didn't just say "0 emissions" and "electric" in the same sentence, did you? Electric is not "0 emissions". The vehicle may not be putting out the emissions but where do you think the electricity comes from? Coal burning electric plants, that's where.


Electricity can also come from wind, hydro, or nuclear.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#7 Postby NovaResource » Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:17 am

burley wrote:Electricity can also come from wind, hydro, or nuclear.


Wind and hydro are great but the percent of electricity created by them is small.

Nuclear: Sure the air is clean but Nuclear waste is worse than emissions.

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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#8 Postby Grommet » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:07 am

NovaResource wrote:
burley wrote:Electricity can also come from wind, hydro, or nuclear.


Wind and hydro are great but the percent of electricity created by them is small.

Nuclear: Sure the air is clean but Nuclear waste is worse than emissions.



That issue of nuclear waste has been over-exaggerated, IMO.

A significant majority (>75%) of France's electricity is generated by nuclear power.

If that was the same case in the US, your politicians would likely care a whole lot less about what was going on in the Middle East :).

I'm a solar power fan though - I think that likely would have the lowest impact on the enviroment (hydro=damming - big impact, and those wind turbines are noisy, intrusive and great at swatting birds...)
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#9 Postby Redux » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:42 am

NovaResource wrote:You didn't just say "0 emissions" and "electric" in the same sentence, did you? Electric is not "0 emissions". The vehicle may not be putting out the emissions but where do you think the electricity comes from? Coal burning electric plants, that's where.


True, but the vehicle itself will release zero emissions which I think is what burely was pointing at.
Plus technically speaking you could rig up a few solar panels strictly for use to charge up your car at home. While the output of these is far less than standard hydro or nuclear electric, when strictly reserved for auto charging it could be an idea.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#10 Postby Tucsonor » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:37 pm

Some time since this thread were alive, but I put in some info.

Here in Norway the tax on fuel is so that runnig a flexfuel car cost less in overall then on pure petrol/gas. However my Tucson is not a flexfuel car.
In Sweden the E85 have been used a lot longer then here in Norway, and a lot of info is out on the web from people running E85 thru their unmodified cars.
So I made i decition to tank up E85 on my Tucson, and see how far I ca push it before it will not run well.
I have ordered a "chip" to connect to the injectors that increas the time frame that injetors opens, allowing more volume om fuel enter the engine. Until it arrive I will increase the ammount of Ethanol step by step to see how far the Tucson allow the E85 go.
Right now I have added 8.25 litre, that gives a teoretical Ethanol mix of 12%

I will in few days add 8 litre more, which give the mix of 23%. Few day later I add 8 litre more, and have the mix of 34%.
In the end, after doing this 7 times the mix will be as E60. (If I manage to oly use 8 litre between every topping of tank)
By that time I should have got the conversion kit and manage E85.

Any way, time will show.

I'll post as this little projects moves foreward.

Result now, with 12% all seems OK. That is no surprice as all cars these days are set up to allow the E10 fuel, at least those sold here in Scandinavia.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#11 Postby Tucsonor » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:59 pm

Topped up tank again to day with E85 in my Tucson.
9.5 litre, that makes the theroy consentration of ethanol to 28%.
The Tucson run very well, no problem.

one moment ......................(Obama hold right now his speach during the Nobel Peace Price dinner here in Norway)............................(he is finished, and I can go on writing)...........I have tanked our other car, an old -95 Toyota Corolla. It is now with 40% ethanol, and runs smooth. Up comming week the temp will drop to -15 Celcius, so a bit curious about if that will make it be hard to start. Some Swede I know have told me that he have been running his car on pure E85 without mod (A Honda Civic), and got only probklen with start when temop drop to -10 degrees.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#12 Postby Redux » Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:49 pm

If you put the flex fuel in a car that is not designed for such, parts (e.g. hoses) will erode away...
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#13 Postby Tucsonor » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:35 am

Redux wrote:If you put the flex fuel in a car that is not designed for such, parts (e.g. hoses) will erode away...



I know. The Corolla and the Tucson manage. They are both "rigid" cars, designed to hold what is available.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#14 Postby Tucsonor » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:01 pm

New fill up: 11.8 litre, give the consentration of ethanol 40%. I have driven 90km, so milage 13.1 litre/100km. This is approx 10% more then "normal" for my driving.

CarIt still runs very well, so no problem.

Found that Hyunday state:
Hyundai vehicles equipped with Fuel Injection (petrol) manufactured after 31st October 2003 are equipped with fuel systems compatible with alcohol (Ethanol). However, failure caused by Ethanol such as corrosion of fuel injection due to Ethanol's' hygroscopic nature (attracts and holds moisture) will not be covered by warranty. This is even when using E10.

I am sure that the blend of E85 have improved the engine running, it take of a bit better and there is no "ping" (Knocking sensor do not operate at low rev/high load) when engine are loaded at low rev.

The Corolla runs well. I have decided to convert it the cheap way, and ordered a fuel pressure regulator. Been told that increasing pressure 1 bar will be the trick forhaving it up running on pure E85.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#15 Postby Tucsonor » Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:39 pm

Another fill up to day, 11.8 litre E85 (Now E75 due to winter).

This fill up gives the consentration 49% ethanol on tank. Drove 86km so milage 13.7 l/10km. (Wife use it primarily, on very short trips!)

The car still runs very good. Decided to buy a converting kit if the car do not manage 100% E85.
Have lended my OBD reader (Use ScanTool free) to a college. When he is finish using it, I have it available again so I can read out the Lamda etc to verifty any lean running problem.



So far so good.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#16 Postby Tucsonor » Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:31 am

One more fill up, this time 10.5 litre (E75). Driven 72 km, give milage 1,46 l/10km

Theoreticla mix now in tank is 57% ethanol.

Car still run nice and smooth, very quick responce on throttle .

Temp outside the last days have been -5C bellow frezze.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#17 Postby DSHornet » Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:53 am

Redux said: "If you put the flex fuel in a car that is not designed for such, parts (e.g. hoses) will erode away..."

I would caution you at this point to read the manual for the car. If it says using high concentrations of ethanol in the fuel is not advisable, it seems to me that you should start decreasing the concentration very soon now. It may run fine today and not run well at all sometime in the future.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#18 Postby Tucsonor » Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:06 am

Still driving on ethanol blend.

I have cut of a small part of the rubber fuel line (Neoprene) and put in E85 and in pure ethanols (96%). Then see if they take any harm.

HAd one fillup were consentration is 66%.
Engine were running very well.

Yesterday a "sale" on petrol, so I filled up with 95 octane.

Tank consentration is now 39%.

Wonder what Hyundai have in their cars running in Brazil, as they have 20-25% ethanol in all fuel?
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#19 Postby Tucsonor » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:45 pm

Well, althou some warnings from forum members I've been running on ethanol blend for 3-4 months now. The car run very well, it is quicker and have smoother engine running then on pure petrol (Unlead 95). I went so far that I have bought a kit so it can run on pure E85. Now thru the winter the E85 is actually E75. With temp down to -20Celsius starting have been harder then normal, but actually no big problem.

In Norway one US-gallon E85 cost $5.30, one US-gallon petrol $8,36. Althou the average MPG have riced +38% with the ethanol the price diff is 50% betwen the fuel. This have so far made me save approx $200, and by end of the year approx $1000. (If the Tucson do not brake down caused by the E85, but I do not belive that!). I have also converted our Toyota Corolla -95 1.3 Xli to E85 with a much simpler convertion. It runs great too.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#20 Postby Tucsonor » Wed May 05, 2010 3:34 pm

An update.

Still running on E85, that is now due to summer comming up, the gas station have sold the E85 in a E75 blend due to cold start. Now the temperature have rose, and E85 is back again.
The Tucson runs well, there is no problems. Also the Corolla I've converted do very well.
In Sweden, were they have had E85 many more years then here in Norway, several thousend cars have been converted, without any problems.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#21 Postby Tucsonor » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:01 pm

Hi
Two weeks ago I made a trip to Oslo from Trondheim were I live with pure E85 on the tank. The round trip was total 1006km. The total consumption were 110.5 litre. That make a "mpg" og 1,10l/mil _(10 km). Taking that E85 need 1.38 more volume then petrol to give the same energy, it is actually bellow what the Tucson used of energy with 95 octane on tank on simullar trip earlier. On petrol it used 0.85l/mil(10km). 0.85 times 1.38 is 1.17l/10km. Now I used 15% less energy.
The E85 cost NOK8.10/litre, the petrol 12.75/litre. The total cost for my trip on E85 were NOK895 ($137), on petrol it would be NOK1090 ($167)nif it used 0.85/10km. I saved $30.
Even thou it is summer here, with the average temp of 12C (F 53.6) the pure E85 is not a got option for the Tucson, It is wery heavy to start. I need to run it on approx E70. So far I have estimated my savings of $ since I started filling E85 to be $230.
Temp in Trondheim, [url]http://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Sør-Trøndelag/Trondheim/Trondheim/statistics.html[/url] that make it hard to start a petrol on pure E85.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#22 Postby Tucsonor » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:19 pm

Since the first drop with E85, I've driven 13000km with the Tucson. That is done with 1159 Litre E85 and 485 litre petrol 95 octane.
As the E85 is cheaper then petrol (Cost per energy unit) I have saved approx US$310.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#23 Postby DSHornet » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:56 pm

Impressive! You have kept excellent records and driven through a complete cold/warm weather cycle. Even though it's unlikely we will see widespread availability of E85 or E75 here in the US any time soon (it's here and there but not everywhere), it's been fun following your experiment. Thanks for posting.
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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#24 Postby B805DL » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:06 am

This type of fuel is not available in my country. But reading some articles and information about it, CMIIW, RON level for E85 is ranging at 100, while the E10 between 97-98 RON, which in my personal opinion is too high for our engine. And I am still not convinced, or even dare to try, for a long term of period. But maybe because I didn't have enough knowledge about it.

But the review from tucsonor above is very interesting and I will continue monitor the next updates.

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Re: Ethanol? Anyone try it?

#25 Postby Tucsonor » Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:38 am

I've registered all my fillings since starting with E85. The graph show the average consumption, the tank mix with ethanol (Calculated) and each runs consumption. The left axis is in %, 100% reading on consumption means 1.0 l/10km, 100% for Tank() would mean pure Ethanol, but the tank can never come above 85%, obviously.

My only "problem" is the cold start issue. From my experience last winter I will tank up when the tank have passed half, every second time with E85(75 in winter). This will keep the mixture in tank between 27-48%. Even bellow -20C last winter it started OK when mix were less then 50% ethanol. In average I have had an ethanol blend with 60% ethanol, with 85% as highest, and 9% as lowest. Without the piggyback box installed I would not have managed to run mix above 60%, as the LTFT in the ECU is limited to +25%. The engine will run lean from blends above approx 60%.
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