Ethanol for diesel engines

Submitted: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 22:28
ThreadID: 22672 Views:1954 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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Evening all,
Saw an item on the news tonight about ethanol being
developed for use in diesels.
Is this a blended fuel like the petrol version or is there
an auxillary system fitted like LPG systems.
Claims of a proven 15% improvement in fuel economy.

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Reply By: muzzgit (WA) - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:20

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:20
Doesn't this stuff bugger up internal combustion engines ??????
AnswerID: 109726

Follow Up By: Moz - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:42

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:42
Don't know too much on the subject except that
I have heard that a too high ethanol content can damage
the rubber fuel lines on petrol cars.
And that probably the manufacturers don't know what
damge can be done to their engines so they are not
recommending the use of it.
In Queensland ethanol is limited to 10% blend in unleaded by law.
This is the first time I have heard it used in relation to diesel.

FollowupID: 366307

Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 08:25

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 08:25
The owners manual in my car states up to 10% ethanol os OK.


FollowupID: 366328

Follow Up By: Aston - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 20:29

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 20:29
It sure does stuff up the fuel system.

We (carby repair business) have had numerous warranty claims for damage done when petrol outlets were adding ethanol to their tanks.
As it has been said it affected the rubber components and caused leaks or the pump failed.

What people don't realise is that it will cause rusting of the fuel system.

To prove the point the GMH Commodores that were exported to Sth America last year had the internal components of their fuel system plated so they wouldn't rust.

This is an extract on the properties of Ethanol.
I hope this will stop any further arguments about its use (no matter what the Govt tells us).
Ethanol is a monohydric primary alcohol. It melts at -117.3°C and boils at 78.5°C. It is miscible (i.e., mixes without separation) with water in all proportions and is separated from water only with difficulty; ethanol that is completely free of water is called absolute ethanol. Ethanol forms a constant-boiling mixture, or azeotrope, with water that contains 95% ethanol and 5% water and that boils at 78.15°C; since the boiling point of this binary azeotrope is below that of pure ethanol, absolute ethanol cannot be obtained by simple distillation. However, if benzene is added to 95% ethanol, a ternary azeotrope of benzene, ethanol, and water, with boiling point 64.9°C, can form; since the proportion of water to ethanol in this azeotrope is greater than that in 95% ethanol, the water can be removed from 95% ethanol by adding benzene and distilling off this azeotrope. Because small amounts of benzene may remain, absolute ethanol prepared by this process is poisonous.
Ethanol burns in air with a blue flame, forming carbon dioxide and water. It reacts with active metals to form the metal ethoxide and hydrogen, e.g., with sodium it forms sodium ethoxide. It reacts with certain acids to form esters, e.g., with acetic acid it forms ethyl acetate. It can be oxidized to form acetic acid and acetaldehyde. It can be dehydrated to form diethyl ether or, at higher temperatures, ethylene.

Gasohol, a gasoline extender made from a mixture of gasoline (90%) and ethanol (10%; often obtained by fermenting agricultural crops or crop wastes) or gasoline (97%) and methanol or wood alcohol (3%). Gasohol has higher octane, or antiknock, properties than gasoline and burns more slowly, coolly, and completely, resulting in reduced emissions of some pollutants, but it also vaporizes more readily, potentially aggravating ozone pollution in warm weather. Ethanol-based gasohol is expensive and energy intensive to produce, and can damage rubber seals and diaphragms and certain finishes if the ethanol is present in higher concentrations. Since 1998, however, many American automobiles have been equipped to enable them to run on E85, a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Methanol-based gasohol is also expensive to produce and is toxic and corrosive, and its emissions produce cancer-causing formaldehyde.

My personal recommendation don't have anything to do with it

Cheers Aston

FollowupID: 366467

Reply By: Member - Andrew(WA) - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:32

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:32
Don't know if it is the same thing you saw Moz, but I saw an article on diesel with gas conversions.

Don't know if it's well known or not but apparently normal lpg is mixed with air in the intake which then mixers with the deisel in the cylinder creating a far cleaner burn. Not a big power increase or anything but can double your economy 'apparently'

cost 3 - 5 grand I was told.

Don't know much about it myself but others will no doubt.

Sorry if I'm off track.
AnswerID: 109734

Follow Up By: Moz - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:45

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:45
Yes I have heard about the LPG system ( I think being developed in WA)
Interested in the ethanol system as a point for comparison.

FollowupID: 366311

Reply By: Steve - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 08:14

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 08:14
Everytime I read an article on fuel and adding this, changing that, costs, etc I sit and wonder why this Govt does not get behind "biodiesel". It's renewable, cleaner, can be made locally (no imports) and cheaper.
I know I'm dreaming...
AnswerID: 109759

Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 11:17

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 11:17
The Govt IS behind it...with its greedy grasping hand out as usual. Taxed at the same rate as other fuels, even if you make it yourself.
FollowupID: 366356

Reply By: Grumblebum and Dragon (WA) - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 10:13

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 10:13
South African has a large percetage of petrol stations offering Ethanol - they make it out of sugar cane. Can't rember the price

Cheers GB
AnswerID: 109785

Follow Up By: Toy_Hilux - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 11:30

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 11:30
Hi GB,
It is a product produced from a by-product in the process of the refining the cane to sugar. The Governments and the owners of the mills get all proceeds from the sale of ethanol, but because it is a by-product, the growers of cane don't get a brass razoo from it(even though it comes from them in the first place). The government is only pushing the sale of it because they get all the benefits. Has not been enough testing done on it. You can run a motor on straight ethenol though it will not last too long. I personally wont use it, as it is no less in price to what the standard fuel is and in some cases here in nth qld it is in fact dearer.
FollowupID: 366357

Reply By: robak (QLD) - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 10:45

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 10:45
Hi Moz,

Saw the same news item. I think they said it was mainly going to benefit farm machinery and large trucks and that passenger cars and 4WD had to be converted to use it.

AnswerID: 109788

Reply By: Exploder - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 18:36

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 18:36
Gday Moz

Up to 10% is all right anything over starts damaging stuff, fuel lines, internal corrosion in the engine I think was another problem. Engine’s can run on the stuff but like most people have said they must be built for it.

15% you will probably lose that saving by buying the ethanol.
AnswerID: 109879

Reply By: hoyks - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 19:43

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 19:43
The story was about an aditional system that injected the elhanol from a different tank and required a mod to install it.
I saw a thing on LandLine years ago and they were doing a trial of Diesahol in Canberra. Apparently the alcohol that they were using (not sure if it was methanol or ethanol) won't mix with diesel and they developed a enzyme that made it mix. From what I recall there were getting good results.
Makes you wonder why develop an injection system if you can just premix it??

I am all for biodiesel, even if it is a 20% biodiesel/diesel blend. Probably find you get similar results.

Lets start a grass roots movement to demand biodiesel (and get the excise reduced).
AnswerID: 109896

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 22:06

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 22:06
Hell I'd pay the same price for Biodiesel as I diesel if I had to, at least it would put an end to the "4wd's pollute our planet" argument!! Then how would they justify charging more for parking and rego hey?? :-)

No engine mods
Extremely low emissions

Whay are we not using it!?? Because the oil companies and govt's have to much invested in oil.
FollowupID: 366497

Reply By: Muddy 'doe (SA) - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 23:14

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 23:14
SA Farmers Fuel are offering a diesel fuel with a 20% blend of biodiesel. Looks interesting. Might try a tank and see if I can notice any difference in consumption or power.

AnswerID: 109944

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