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Better Mileage Using Ethanol Boosted Direct Injection

February 13, 2009 · · Filed Under Alcohol Blended Fuels, Ethanol, FuelClinic, Green Automakers, Racing, Science, Twitter 

One of the most compelling arguments against ethanol states that there is “less heat energy” in a gallon of ethanol vs. a gallon of gasoline. When used in current automotive engines, the driver will find overall “miles-per-gallon” (MPG) mileage reduced, even as the “miles-per-gallon-of-gasoline” (MPGG) is increased substantially.

I’ve argued that once engineers begin to design engines to take advantage of the properties of ethanol (specifically the very high octane), that mileage and power would at least equal that of a gasoline engine. Over the last few weeks there have been announcements from Ricardo and Bentley that their engineers have done just that…

Ethanol Boosted Direct Injection or EBDI, takes full advantage of ethanol’s best properties – higher octane and higher heat of vaporization – to create a truly renewable fuel scenario that is independent of the cost of oil.  

According to the press release, Ricardo claims they’ve boosted ethanol engines “to a level of performance that exceeds gasoline engine efficiency and approaches levels previously reached only by diesel engines.” (Diesel engines are approximately 30% more fuel efficient than gasoline engines.)

EBDI is another example of how professional racing is the NASA of the automotive industry, developing the full potential of automotive technologies that will benefit all of us.

Comments

2 Responses to “Better Mileage Using Ethanol Boosted Direct Injection”

  1. Eppi on February 18th, 2009 1:28 PM

    Love this blog. Cuts through the junk and gets to the point. Always informative, offers positive solutions and alternatives rather than whining. Keep up the good work!

  2. Mike on February 22nd, 2009 8:35 AM

    The key to making this work is an increase in cylinder compression ratios. Trying to run this gas on conventional engines ratios will always equal a reduction in power and increase in fuel economy. Look at the racing world to see that it can be effectively used to make big power.

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