Alternative Energy by Wynell Graves

By Wynell Graves

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FlexFuel" vehicles have upgraded fuel system and engine components which are designed for long life using E85 or M85, and the ECU can adapt to any fuel blend between gasoline and E85 or M85. Typical upgrades include modifications to: fuel tanks, fuel tank electrical wiring, fuel pumps, fuel filters, fuel lines, filler tubes, fuel level sensors, fuel injectors, seals, fuel rails, fuel pressure regulators, valve seats and inlet valves. "Total Flex" Autos destined for the Brazilian market can use E100 (100% Ethanol).

Ethanol (E100) consumption in an engine is approximately 51% higher than for gasoline since the energy per unit volume of ethanol is 34% lower than for gasoline. However, the higher compression ratios in an ethanol-only engine allow for increased power output and better fuel economy than could be obtained with lower compression ratios. In general, ethanol-only engines are tuned to give slightly better power and torque output than gasoline-powered engines. In flexible fuel vehicles, the lower compression ratio requires tunings that give the same output when using either gasoline or hydrated ethanol.

Because alcohol is partially oxygenated, it produces less overall pollution, including ozone. In some areas (California in particular) the regulations may also require other formulations or added chemicals that reduce pollution, but add complexity to the fuel distribution and increase the cost of the fuel. Alcohol in the European Union Consumption of Bioethanol (GWh) # Country 2005 2006 2007 2008 871 1,719 3,164 4,693 1 France 2 Germany 1,682 3,544 3,448 4,675 3 Sweden 1,681 1,894 2,119 2,488 4 0 179 1,023 1,512 Netherlands 1,314 1,332 1,512 1,454 5 Spain 6 Poland 329 611 837 1,382 7 United Kingdom 502 563 906 1,223 8 Finland 0 10 20 858 0 0 199 633 9 Austria 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 27 Hungary Czech Republic Ireland Lithuania Belgium Slovakia Bulgaria 28 136 314 454 0 13 1 378 0 13 59 207 10 64 134 182 0 0 0 145 0 4 140 76 0 0 72 0 42 60 50 Denmark Slovenia 0 2 9 28 Estonia 0 0 0 17 Latvia 5 12 0 0 Luxembourg 0 0 14 11 0 0 0 0 Portugal 59 0 0 0 Italy 0 0 0 0 Greece 0 0 0 Romania 0 0 0 0 Malta Cyprus 0 0 0 0 European Union 6,481 10,138 13,962 20,538 1 toe = 11,63 MWh, 0 = no data Alcohol consumption does not specify the traffic fuel use The 2008 data is not confirmed yet Alcohol in Japan The first alcohol fuel in Japan started from GAIAX in 1999.

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