Re: I have never used ethanol - me either - Saab 900 Bulletin Board - Saabnet.com


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Re: I have never used ethanol - me either
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Posted by Justin VanAbrahams [Email] (#32) [Profile/Gallery] (more from Justin VanAbrahams) on Mon, 13 Jul 2009 20:20:17 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: Re: I have never used ethanol - me either, oldsaab, Mon, 13 Jul 2009 17:09:44
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I think I have it right when I say the higher effective octane rating of ethanol combined with the cooler operating temperatures means you can boost compression (and thus power) of an ethanol powered engine substantially compared to gasoline powered one. It has nothing to do with economy - x amount of horsepower takes x amount of energy to produce regardless of what the energy source is, and ethanol has less energy per unit volume than gas. So, using ethanol may allow you to stretch a motor's output farther, but a 400hp ethanol engine will still get somewhere around 75% the mpg of a 400hp gasoline engine - it just happens to be easier to get that 400hp.

So, that said - and as Landjet said - if you want to tune your car to run ethanol, aside from replacing all the rubber bits with rubber that ethanol won't break down, you need some monster injectors to move huge amounts of ethanol to produce the same power as gasoline. There was a thread (or two) on this here and on the Performance board. I'm sure they can be found.

Is it good to do to your car? It is if you can get ethanol cheaply, don't mind running a huge gas tank and/or filling up more frequently, and don't have any moral issues with burning would-be food instead of gasoline. Right now, there is no equation that makes ethanol more cost effective than gasoline, the argument is that it's very renewable - unless you take into account the fact that it still takes a large amount of energy to produce, more energy and space to transport & store, and might possibly drive the price of food up.

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