Friday, June 5, 2009

Ethanol Surprise

This is a big surprise. What it means is that ethanol jumps as an alternative to diesel for long haul transportation.
This is good news because batteries are not anyone’s first choice for hauling tonnage across country.

This also sounds like superior performance will make the transition highly attractive.

Thus in the last two days, ethanol and bio jet fuel have proven superior operating performance when the opposite had been accepted. We now have a compelling case for speedy transition in both sectors.

Everyone is expecting a long transition between technologies to take place. I am not so conservative. The advent of the EEStor super capacitor or its equivalent at anything approaching a reasonable price point will put a new battery car in everyone’s garage inside of two years as everyone doubles up on vehicles. Fuel based systems will become hanger queens rather quickly and remain as a second choice.

Transitioning the long haul business will be slower as the need is not nearly as compelling. You must still buy fuel so waiting to trade into a new vehicle works just fine.

Ethanol Carbon Footprint With Diesel Efficiency?

Written by Gavin D.J. Harper
Monday, 25 May 2009

Biofuels may just be a transitional technology - by the time affordable battery electric vehicles and fuel cell cars come out, we may no longer need them. But biofuels are developing, too, and as they improve, they present themselves as a better way to "green the masses".

Ricardo, an international automotive engineering design firm, has designed a technology that allows engines powered by ethanol to approach levels of efficiency hitherto only afforded to diesel engines, wiping the floor with poor gasoline engine efficiency. It's called by it's acronym "EBDI" or ethanol boosted direct injection. The thing about ethanol is that it has subtly different properties to gasoline, which manufacturers have been slow to exploit. For example, it is a higher octane fuel, and has a higher heat of vapourisation.

Rather than taking a "performance hit" of approximately 30% as many so-called "flex fuel" cars do, EBDI capitalises on the differences in the fuel properties. In part the technology works by using higher levels of turbocharging than would be possible in a conventional petrol engine - forcing extra air into the cylinder, creating a denser charge. It also uses the best of current gasoline engine technology - direct injection, variable valve timing and optimised ignition. The prototype engine is a 3.2L V6. Whilst it's only a temporary solution, any technologies that can help us minimise carbon emissions whilst we transition to alow carbon alternatives is a welcome development.


Peaksurfer said...

This is no surprise to anyone who has read "Alcohol Can Be A Gas" or heard David Blume speak. The surprise is that it took a car company so long to latch onto an idea that has been used by fuel/A dragsters and jet fighters for decades. What is not mentioned either is how it is possible to convert existing diesel engines to run on high-compression ethanol injection, including the current truck fleet.

arclein said...

I do not see any effort at conversion so much as an engine redesign ASAP. Fuel supplies and distribution must be put in place, but we are already well down that road.

alcohol is a hot fuel more akin to gasoline but with an output profile akin to diesel if that makes any sense.

The wake up here is to quit fooling around trying to make an engine handle a different fuel. You have to lose

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