Technical issues of increased ethanol blends
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TECHNICAL ISSUES OF INCREASED ETHANOL BLENDS GOVERNOR’S ETHANOL COALITION ST. PAUL, MN 9/26/2005 Dr. Bruce Jones Director Minnesota Center for Automotive Research (MnCAR) Minnesota State University, Mankato MINNESOTA CENTER FOR AUTOMOTIVE RESEARCH

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TECHNICAL ISSUES OF INCREASED ETHANOL BLENDS

GOVERNOR’S ETHANOL COALITION

ST. PAUL, MN

9/26/2005

Dr. Bruce Jones

Director

Minnesota Center for Automotive Research (MnCAR)

Minnesota State University, Mankato


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MINNESOTA CENTER FOR AUTOMOTIVE RESEARCH

  • To provide industry and government with technical expertise in automotive research and product development

  • To provide undergraduate students the opportunity to become directly involved in comprehensive research projects



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MID RANGE ETHANOL STUDY

  • Conducted During 1998 and 1999

  • Evaluate the Effects of 30% Ethanol and 70% Gasoline Blend on Unmodified Vehicles

  • 1 Year Study Focusing on:

    • Driveability

    • Material Compatibility / Durability

    • Fuel Economy

    • Emissions


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1985 OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS CIERA 2.5L

1985 FORD ECONOLINE 150 4.9L

1990 CHEVROLET C1500 4.3L

1990 DODGE CARAVAN 3.3L

1991 CADILLAC SEDAN DEVILLE 4.9L

1992 FORD TAURUS 3.8L

1992 CHEVROLET K1500 5.7L

1992 GEO METRO 1.0L MANUAL

1994 BUICK REGAL 3.1L

1996 OLDSMOBILE ACHIEVA 3.1L

1997 CHEVROLET K3500 7.4L

1997 CHEVROLET K1500 5.7L

1997 FORD F-150 5.4L

1998 FORD F-250 5.4L

1998 DODGE CARAVAN 3.3L

E30 VEHICLE POPULATION


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DRIVEABILITY RESULTS and OBSERVATIONS

  • Ambient Temperature Ranged from 0o F to 90o F

  • Standardized Form Used to Record Any Abnormal Characteristics

  • No Reports Of:

    • Cold Starting or Hard Starting Problems

    • Vapor Lock

    • Hesitation


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MATERIAL COMPATABILITY

  • Evaluated Through Use of Maintenance Log and Oil Analysis Testing

  • Results

    • No Fuel System Component Failures

    • Oil Analysis Results Showed No Metal Particles Representing Accelerated Component Wear and No Indication Of Increased Oil Degradation

  • Critical Area Needing Further Study


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VOLUMETRIC FUEL ECONOMY

  • Overall Fleet Average Fuel Economy Decreased 9.8%

  • Volumetric Fuel Economy is Directly Related to the Energy Content of the Fuel.

    • There is Approximately 9.5% Less Energy in a Gallon of E30 Than Gasoline

    • Some Vehicles are More Sensitive Than Others


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PROJECTED E20 FUEL ECONOMY

  • E20 Blend has Approximately 3.3% Less Energy Than Current E10 Blend

  • Expect a Slight Decrease in MPG Fuel Economy (1%-3% from current E10 blend)

  • However, the Reduction Is Not Necessarily the Same Magnitude as the Energy Density Difference


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EMISSION CHARACTERISTICS

  • No Significant Trends Identified Pointing to Increased Levels of HC, CO and NOx

  • Some Vehicles Demonstrated Slightly Higher Levels While Some Lower

  • All Emission Results Were Low


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SUMMARY OF INCREASED ETHANOL CONTENT

  • ENGINE CALIBRATION – Will Engines Run Properly?

    • Unmodified Vehicles (Closed-Loop Fuel Injection) Have Run on Blends Up To 50/50 Blends Without Problems.

  • Material Compatibility / Vehicle Warranty

    • Significant Issue for Manufacturers

    • Area Requiring Additional Research


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WHY DO ENGINES RUN PROPERLY?

  • Closed-Loop Fuel Injection

    • Automatically Adjusts Air/Fuel Mixture

      • Optimum Performance

      • Low Emissions

  • Oxygen Sensor (O2)

    • Key Component

    • Measures Excess Oxygen in Exhaust


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CLOSED-LOOP SYSTEM OPERATION

  • As Ethanol Content Increases:

    • Excess Oxygen in Exhaust

    • O2 Sensor “Tells” the Computer A/F is Lean

    • Computer Increases Fuel Flow

    • Adjusts Mixture Continually


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E20 RESEARCH PROJECT

  • Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council Supported Research Project

  • Test Vehicle - 1998 Chevrolet Malibu

    • Will be Used For All Emissions and Fuel Economy Testing

    • Other Manufacturers Components will be Evaluated

  • Comparison of E20 Blended Gasoline Vs:

    • Non-Oxygenated Gasoline

    • E10

    • E20



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E20 RESEARCH PROJECT

  • Evaluate the Effects of E20 Blended Fuel On:

    • Emissions

      • Using EPA Testing Protocol

    • Fuel Economy

      • Laboratory Evaluation in Research Lab

      • On-Road Fuel Economy

    • Material Compatibility

      • Focus on a Variety of Manufacturers

      • Investigation of Materials Used in Current Fuel Systems

      • Laboratory Testing of Selected Components

    • Driveability Issues

    • Fuel Characteristics

      • Volatility


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QUESTIONS

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