TomT wrote:There is no way you can engineer around since Ethanol (alcohol) simply has lees energy than gasoline, per volume...
??? But ethanol can be run in volumetrically more efficient engines with compression ratios up to about 16:1
If your engine is more efficient at making power, it can get better than expected fuel economy, which has been shown to almost eliminate the energy content penalty.
Also there is the non-linear behavior of gas/alcohol mixes that create an island of improved BSFC around 20-35% ethanol which has been observed in the lab and in real life.
So yes you can engineer in better fuel economy if you design for ethanol.
TomT wrote:Yep! As I said earlier, Ethanol is ugly on every level! It is a purely political solution to an imagined engineering problem...
Ethanol, could solve a problem, but
1. It should only be made during warm months or down south
2. The feedstock should be local
3. No active heating or chemical enzymes should be used to make alcohol
4. Ethanol should only be made from food that would otherwise go to waste (there are still piles of rotting potatoes certain times of year that could make much more ethanol much more efficiently but they don't have a lobby)
5. Ethanol should only be made in hydrous form as it requires under half the energy to extract, 90% less if we follow the suggestions above.
(here in the US we only go the full blast all drug Olympic style of production using lots of energy needlessly)
The above would require the plant to be larger as the process would take longer but the energy requirements that many quote to make a gallon of ethanol would all but go away. Especially if solar heating would be used and especially if we don't run ethanol plants in the dead of winter when they are terribly inefficient.
Also Glow plugs or a "Starter tank" would solve any cold start issues with hydrous ethanol and the actual resource saving benefits. In a glow plug equipt car phase separation would not matter as the 02 sensor and plugs would start it every time regardless. A properly equipt car could have a much smaller motor, with much higher compression and may get higher fuel economy on ethanol than a gas car gets on gas due to the volumetric and vapor point improvements in the burn.
Too bad we can never do things the right way, as opposed to the quick, easy and wastefull method.