E85 is an abbreviation typically referring to an ethanol fuel blend of 85% ethanol fuel and 15% gasoline or other hydrocarbon by volume.
In the United States, the exact ratio of fuel ethanol to hydrocarbon may vary according to ASTM 5798 that specifies the allowable ethanol content in E85 as ranging from 51% to 83%.This is due to the lower heating value of neat ethanol making it difficult to crank engines in relatively cold climates without pre-heating air intake, faster cranking, or mixing varying fractions of gasoline according to climate. Cold cranking in cold climates is the primary reason ethanol fuel is blended with any gasoline fraction.
In Brazil, ethanol fuel is neat at the pumps, hence flexible-fuel vehicles (FFV) including trucks, tractors, motorbikes and mopeds run on E100. The 85% fraction is commonly sold at pumps worldwide (outside the US), and when specifically supplied or sold as E85 is always 85% ethanol (at pumps or in barrel). Having a guaranteed ethanol fraction obviates the need for a vehicle system to calculate best engine tune according to maximise performance and economy.
In countries like Australia where E85 is always 85% ethanol (and pump fuel with varying fractions is called "flex fuel"), performance motoring enthusiasts and motor racing clubs/championships use E85 extensively (without the need for any FFV certification). Use of alcohol (ethanol and methanol) in motor racing history parallels the invention of the automobile, favoured due to inherent combustion characteristics such as high thermal efficiency, raised torque and with some advanced engines, better specific fuel consumption. In the United States, government subsidies of ethanol in general and E85 in particular have encouraged a growing infrastructure for the retail sale of E85, especially in corn growing states in the Midwest.[ citation needed ]
E85 promoters and the Society of Automotive Engineers contend that automotive manufacturers currently fail to equal the fuel consumption of gasoline because they fail to take advantages of characteristics which are superior in ethanol-based fuel blends. They claim that some ethanol engines have already produced 22% more miles per gallon than identical gasoline engines.
Ethanol advocates[ who? ] also state that it is a mistake to base ethanol engine design on gasoline engine design, and that ethanol engines should be based on diesel engine design parameters instead.[ clarification needed ] Using this approach, the EPA has produced an ethanol-only engine which achieves much higher brake thermal efficiency levels than gasoline engines achieve. Mileage is dependent upon the composition of the ethanol-gasoline blend, transmission, state of engine tune (primarily fuel-air mixture, spark timing and compression ratio). In the United States to offset this difference in fuel consumption in vehicles not optimised for ethanol, legislation has been passed to subsidize its cost.
In contrast, ethanol critics contest the benefits of E85 by focusing on the fact that E85 has 33% lower heating value compared to the higher heating value of gasoline. However comparing energy expressed as a value of heat does not reflect the total work from an Otto Cycle [ citation needed ]. Because energy content does not factor certain latent or specific heat values[ citation needed ], nor combustion pressure, so looking at heat alone in the combustion equation does not determine efficiency or work according to the laws of thermodynamics.[ citation needed ]
The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
E85 ethanol is used in engines modified to accept higher concentrations of ethanol. In the US such FFVs are designed to run on any mixture of gasoline or ethanol up to 85% ethanol, whereas in countries such as Brazil where the climate is typically warmer, FFV run on neat alcohol. There are a few major differences between FFVs and non-FFVs. One is the elimination of bare magnesium, aluminum, and rubber parts in the fuel system. Fuel injection control systems have a wider range of pulse widths to inject up to 34% more fuel (which in turn produces more power). Stainless steel fuel lines, sometimes lined with plastic, and stainless-steel fuel tanks in place of terne fuel tanks have been used. In some cases, FFVs use specific engine oil that neutralises acidity. For vehicles with in-tank-mounted fuel pumps, precautions to prevent arcing, as well as flame arrestors positioned in the tank's fill pipe, are sometimes used.
As more effort is put into maximizing an engine to take advantage of E85's higher "octane", engines achieve greater power advantages. One car that has higher power on ethanol is the Koenigsegg CCXR, which on ethanol is the fifth-most powerful production car, with 20% more hp on E85 than on gasoline. According to the manufacturer, this is due to the cooling properties of ethanol. E85 has an octane rating higher than that of regular gasoline's typical rating of 87, or premium gasoline's 91-93. This allows it to be used in higher-compression engines, which tend to produce more power per unit of displacement than their gasoline counterparts. Examples of octane mis-citation can be found at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association titled "E85 Facts"which cites a range of 100-105, and a document at the Texas State Energy Conservation Office titled "Ethanol", which cites a 113 rating.
Some vehicles can be converted to use E85 despite not being specifically built for it. Because of the lower heating value E85 has a cooler intake charge—which, coupled with its high stability level from its high octane rating—has also been used as a "power adder" in turbocharged performance vehicles. These modifications have not only resulted in lower GHG emissions, but typically resulted in 10-12% power and torque increase at the wheels. Where the engine was previously knock limited by gasoline, power improvements are as high as 40%.
Because of its low price (less than $2.00/gal in some places) and high availability in certain areas people have started to turn to using it in place of high-end racing fuels, which typically cost over $10.00/gal.
There are four primary types of pollutants scientists study. These emissions are hydrocarbons (HC), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Because E85 is predominantly ethanol, the exhaust emissions are very different from those of regular gasoline. Numerous studies have compared and contrasted the different emissions and the effects these emissions have on the environment, but the tests have been inconclusive. The tests have shown very little consistency if any at all because there are too many variables involved. The make and model of the vehicle, the way in which the ethanol was produced and the vehicle's overall fuel efficiency all play a large role in the overall outcome of each study.To address the problem of inaccuracy, engineers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory combined data from all applicable emissions studies and compiled them into one data set. This compiled set of data showed that on average all emissions that are federally regulated showed a decrease or no statistically relevant difference between E85 and gasoline.
EPA's stringent tier-II vehicle emission standards require that FFVs achieve the same low emissions level regardless whether E85 or gasoline is used. However, E85 can further reduce emissions of certain pollutants as compared to conventional gasoline or lower-volume ethanol blends. For example, E85 is less volatile than gasoline or low-volume ethanol blends, which results in fewer evaporative emissions. Using E85 also reduces carbon-monoxide emissions and provides significant reductions in emissions of many harmful toxics, including benzene, a known human carcinogen. However, E85 in certain engine operating conditions may increase emissions of acetaldehyde. EPA is conducting additional analysis to expand our understanding of the emissions impacts of E85.
A study by Purdue University found that the economic benefit of E85 is highly dependent on the price of crude oil.
The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (March 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
E85 critics contend that production of ethanol from corn (maize) drives up world food prices, causing corn to be unaffordable or even unavailable. E85 advocates counter that concern by pointing out that over 93% of all corn grown in the United States is never fed directly to people, but is instead used as livestock feed [ citation needed ]. Corn used to produce ethanol contains a high amount of starch and is not easily digestible by humans, like sweet corn. American farmers grow more corn than people purchase; there is an annual surplus of corn in the U.S.
E85 advocates say that corn prices have increased due to manipulation of the commodities markets and because American corn companies sell more and more US-grown corn to Mexico and China, creating more competition for corn buyers, and therefore driving up its price. E85 critics contend that ethanol producers may not reduce carbon emissions due to the petroleum and natural gas used in raising corn and refining it. E85 advocates reply by pointing to ethanol producers who do not do so, but instead use E85 or biodiesel fuel to transport E85, and use biomass as a heat source for the distillation of ethanol instead of petro-products like natural gas.
Some say that cellulosic ethanol produced from waste materials or fast growing non-food crops such as switchgrass is much more beneficial, but not yet economically practical at large scale. Others say that the world can easily replace all of its use of petroleum by simply making ethanol from the many crops that yield more ethanol per acre than corn yields, with existing technology, not future technology,and that certain elements in the cellulosic ethanol field are more interested in patent rights than in producing the greatest amount of ethanol at the lowest price point.
E85 is increasingly common in the United States, mainly in the Midwest where corn is a major crop and is the primary source material for ethanol-fuel production. As of July 1, 2014, there were more than 3,300 fuel stations that offered E85 fuel.E85 as a fuel is widely used in Sweden; however, most of it is imported from Italy and Brazil. E85 was formerly available from the Maxol chain in Ireland, where it was made from whey, a byproduct of cheese manufacturing. The availability ended in 2011, due to a severe excise-duty hike which rendered it economically unviable. In Finland E85 is available from 52 St1 chain locations and 71 ABC chain locations. The E85 sold by St1 is labeled as RE85 and as "Eko E85" in ABC-stations to indicate it is manufactured from Finnish bio-waste. By way of international price comparison, in the Cook Islands as with many of the Pacific Islands, cost of producing 100% ethanol from coconut biomass is a fraction of obtaining fossil fuels.
The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 created the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) to subsidize production costs. The 2008 Farm Bill reduced the VEETC's 51-cent tax credit to 45 cents. Other measures taken by Congress to jump start ethanol production include the 2004 VEETC bill, which provided for a Small Ethanol Producer Tax Credit which gave tax credits to small ethanol producers. More recently, the Tax Relief Act, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization Act, and Job Creation Act of 2010 extended the tax cuts allowed by VEETC from the end of 2010 to the end of 2012.In the United States, to realize equivalent fuel economy at the pump with an FFV, the price of E85 must be much lower than gasoline. E85 was at least 20% less expensive in most areas as recently as 2011. In one US test, an early model 2.75-ton Chevy Tahoe FFV averaged 18 MPG (U.S. gallons) for gasoline and 13 MPG for E85, 28% worse than gasoline. However, in Australia, where Holden has sold more than 70,000 FFVs since 2010, the difference in combined consumption on similar V8 variants in a family sedan is between 10% and 20%. In 2010, the cost of gas in the US averaged $3.42, while the cost for E85 averaged $3.09, or 90% of the cost of gasoline. In another test, however, a fleet of Ford Tauruses averaged only about 6% fewer miles per gallon in ethanol-based vehicles when compared to traditional, gas-powered Tauruses.
Gasoline or petrol is a transparent, petroleum-derived flammable liquid that is used primarily as a fuel in most spark-ignited internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. On average, a 160-liter (42-U.S.-gallon) barrel of crude oil can yield up to about 72 liters of gasoline after processing in an oil refinery, depending on the crude oil assay and on what other refined products are also extracted. The characteristic of a particular gasoline blend to resist igniting too early is measured by its octane rating, which is produced in several grades. Tetraethyl lead and other lead compounds, once widely used to increase octane rating, are no longer used in most areas. Other chemicals are frequently added to gasoline to improve chemical stability and performance characteristics, control corrosiveness, and provide fuel system cleaning. Gasoline may contain oxygen-containing chemicals such as ethanol, MTBE, or ETBE to improve combustion.
An octane rating, or octane number, is a standard measure of an engine or aviation gasoline capability against compression. The higher the octane number, the more compression the fuel can withstand before detonating. Octane rating does not relate directly to the power output or the energy content of the fuel per unit mass or volume, but simply indicates gasoline's capability against compression. In broad terms, fuels with a higher octane rating are used in higher-compression gasoline engines that potentially yield higher power. Note that such higher power comes from its higher compression of the engine, and not necessarily from the gasoline.
Ethanol fuel is ethyl alcohol, the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, used as fuel. It is most often used as a motor fuel, mainly as a biofuel additive for gasoline. The first production car running entirely on ethanol was the Fiat 147, introduced in 1978 in Brazil by Fiat. Ethanol is commonly made from biomass such as corn or sugarcane. World ethanol production for transport fuel tripled between 2000 and 2007 from 17×109 liters (4.5×109 U.S. gal; 3.7×109 imp gal) to more than 52×109 liters (1.4×1010 U.S. gal; 1.1×1010 imp gal). From 2007 to 2008, the share of ethanol in global gasoline type fuel use increased from 3.7% to 5.4%. In 2011 worldwide ethanol fuel production reached 8.46×1010 liters (2.23×1010 U.S. gal; 1.86×1010 imp gal) with the United States of America and Brazil being the top producers, accounting for 62.2% and 25% of global production, respectively. US ethanol production reached 57.54×109 liters (1.520×1010 U.S. gal; 1.266×1010 imp gal) in 2017–04.
Liquid fuels are combustible or energy-generating molecules that can be harnessed to create mechanical energy, usually producing kinetic energy; they also must take the shape of their container. It is the fumes of liquid fuels that are flammable instead of the fluid. Most liquid fuels in widespread use are derived from fossil fuels; however, there are several types, such as hydrogen fuel, ethanol, and biodiesel, which are also categorized as a liquid fuel. Many liquid fuels play a primary role in transportation and the economy.
Methanol fuel is an alternative biofuel for internal combustion and other engines, either in combination with gasoline or independently. Methanol (CH3OH) is less expensive to produce sustainably than ethanol fuel, although it is generally more toxic and has lower energy density. For optimizing engine performance and fuel availability, however, a blend of ethanol, methanol and petroleum is likely to be preferable to using any of these alone. Methanol (a methyl group linked to a hydroxyl group) may be made from hydrocarbon or renewable resources, in particular natural gas and biomass respectively. It can also be synthesized from CO2 (carbon dioxide) and hydrogen. Methanol fuel is currently used by racing cars in many countries but has not seen widespread use otherwise.
A flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) or dual-fuel vehicle is an alternative fuel vehicle with an internal combustion engine designed to run on more than one fuel, usually gasoline blended with either ethanol or methanol fuel, and both fuels are stored in the same common tank. Modern flex-fuel engines are capable of burning any proportion of the resulting blend in the combustion chamber as fuel injection and spark timing are adjusted automatically according to the actual blend detected by a fuel composition sensor. Flex-fuel vehicles are distinguished from bi-fuel vehicles, where two fuels are stored in separate tanks and the engine runs on one fuel at a time, for example, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or hydrogen.
Several common ethanol fuel mixtures are in use around the world. The use of pure hydrous or anhydrous ethanol in internal combustion engines (ICEs) is only possible if the engines are designed or modified for that purpose, and used only in automobiles, light-duty trucks and motorcycles. Anhydrous ethanol can be blended with gasoline (petrol) for use in gasoline engines, but with high ethanol content only after minor engine modifications.
Gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) or gasoline-equivalent gallon (GEG) is the amount of alternative fuel it takes to equal the energy content of one liquid gallon of gasoline. GGE allows consumers to compare the energy content of competing fuels against a commonly known fuel—gasoline. GGE also compares gasoline to fuels sold as a gas and electricity.
Various alcohols are used as fuel for internal combustion engines. The first four aliphatic alcohols are of interest as fuels because they can be synthesized chemically or biologically, and they have characteristics which allow them to be used in internal combustion engines. The general chemical formula for alcohol fuel is CnH2n+1OH.
Brazil is the world's second largest producer of ethanol fuel. Brazil and the United States have led the industrial production of ethanol fuel for several years, together accounting for 85 percent of the world's production in 2017. Brazil produced 26.72 billion liters, representing 26.1 percent of the world's total ethanol used as fuel in 2017.
The United States became the world's largest producer of ethanol fuel in 2005. The U.S. produced 15.8 billion U.S. liquid gallons of ethanol fuel in 2019, and 13.9 billion U.S. liquid gallons in 2011, an increase from 13.2 billion U.S. liquid gallons in 2010, and up from 1.63 billion gallons in 2000. Brazil and U.S. production accounted for 87.1% of global production in 2011. In the U.S, ethanol fuel is mainly used as an oxygenate in gasoline in the form of low-level blends up to 10 percent, and to an increasing extent, as E85 fuel for flex-fuel vehicles.
The United States produces mainly biodiesel and ethanol fuel, which uses corn as the main feedstock. The US is the world's largest producer of ethanol, having produced nearly 16 billion gallons in 2017 alone. The United States, together with Brazil accounted for 85 percent of all ethanol production, with total world production of 27.05 billion gallons. Biodiesel is commercially available in most oilseed-producing states. As of 2005, it was somewhat more expensive than fossil diesel, though it is still commonly produced in relatively small quantities.
E85 is an abbreviation for an ethanol fuel blend of between 51% and 83% denatured ethanol fuel and gasoline or other hydrocarbon (HC) by volume.
Butanol may be used as a fuel in an internal combustion engine. It is more similar to gasoline than it is to ethanol. A C4-hydrocarbon, butanol is a drop-in fuel and thus works in vehicles designed for use with gasoline without modification. Both n-butanol and isobutanol have been studied as possible fuels. Both can be produced from biomass as well as from fossil fuels. The chemical properties.depend on the isotope, not on the production method.
An alternative fuel vehicle is a motor vehicle that runs on alternative fuel, an energy other than traditional petroleum fuels ; and also refers to any technology of powering an engine that does not involve solely petroleum. Because of a combination of factors, such as environmental concerns, high oil prices and the potential for peak oil, development of cleaner alternative fuels and advanced power systems for vehicles has become a high priority for many governments and vehicle manufacturers around the world.
The Renewable Fuel Standard(RFS) is an American federal program that requires transportation fuel sold in the United States to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels. It originated with the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and was expanded and extended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Research published by the U.S. GAO in November, 2016 found the program unlikely to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to limited current and expected future production of advanced biofuels.
The fleet of flexible-fuel vehicles in Brazil is the largest in the world. Since their inception in 2003, a total of 30.5 million flex fuel cars and light-duty trucks were registered in the country, and over 6 million flexible-fuel motorcycles, both by March 2018. The market share of flex-fuel autos and light commercial trucks represented 88.6% of all light-duty registrations in 2017. There were over 80 flex car and light truck models available in the market manufactured by 14 major carmakers, and five flex-fuel motorcycles models available as of December 2012.
The fleet of flexible-fuel vehicles in the United States is the second largest in the world after Brazil, and there were more than 21 million 85 flex-fuel vehicles registered in the country by the end of 2017. Despite the growing fleet of E85 flex-fuel vehicles, actual use of ethanol fuel is limited due to the lack of E85 refueling infrastructure and also because many American flex-fuel car owners were not aware they owned an E85 flex-fuel vehicle. Flex-fuel vehicles are common in the Midwest, where corn is a major crop and is the primary feedstock for ethanol fuel production. Also the U.S. government has been using flex-fuel vehicles for many years.
United States policy in regard to biofuels, such as ethanol fuel and biodiesel, began in the early 1990s as the government began looking more intensely at biofuels as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil and increase the nation's overall sustainability. Since then, biofuel policies have been refined, focused on getting the most efficient fuels commercially available, creating fuels that can compete with petroleum-based fuels, and ensuring that the agricultural industry can support and sustain the use of biofuels.
The world's top ethanol fuel producers in 2011 were the United States with 13.9 billion U.S. liquid gallons (bg) and Brazil with 5.6 bg, accounting together for 87.1% of world production of 22.36 billion US gallons. Strong incentives, coupled with other industry development initiatives, are giving rise to fledgling ethanol industries in countries such as Germany, Spain, France, Sweden, China, Thailand, Canada, Colombia, India, Australia, and some Central American countries.