I read the August Corn & Soybean Digest article about the blend wall and I wonder if you'd be interested in a new engine design being developed.
You read that ethanol has fewer Btu per gallon, but they don't tell you that it also has higher octane and better evaporation under pressure than gas does.
A small British company based in Michigan, Ricardo, has done its lab work to take advantage of this. At a recent Department of Energy meeting, it “showcased a 3.2-liter V-6 ethanol-boosted direct injection (EBDI) prototype, capable of operating on up to 100% ethanol or gasoline,” according to a Ricardo press release. (For details, please see News, p. 31 in this issue.)
They found that if they get a turbocharger and optimize the engine, this (EBDI engine) can work. It gets the same mileage and power per gallon of ethanol as we get per gallon of diesel. With ethanol as the least expensive fuel, the consumers with the ethanol-optimized engines would prefer the 100% or 85% ethanol fuel because it would be the most economical. That would take care of all of our surplus ethanol problems.
If you look back at American history, technology has always bailed us out. We really need to develop this technology and put it in the marketplace and solve our problem.
I hope this technology doesn't get lost somewhere. Perhaps we could also develop an agricultural engine that runs on ethanol.
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