E85 is an alternative fuel made from 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Ethanol is a renewable fuel that can be produced from a wide range of organic materials. Ethanol is a natural, non-toxic alcohol that burns cleanly and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 59%. All cars made after 1980 can run on E10 compounds or higher. Vehicles known as Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV) are designed for use with gasoline / ethanol blends containing up to 85 percent ethanol (E85). Most automakers have flex-fuel models and the cost difference is negligible. In addition, the ethanol compatibility in the tuning world has experienced a great boom. With just a few changes, a turbocharged vehicle can be adapted to take advantage of E85's performance benefits.
What are the performance advantages?
Once your car is set up to use this renewable fuel source, the benefits are exponential. In practice, E85 helps your car burn cleaner, cooler, and essentially have 105 octane fuel. To take advantage of the full performance benefits of ethanol-based fuels, you need to increase fuel flow. Despite a higher octane number, E85 has a lower total energy density than pure fuel. The lower total energy density not only gives the engine more safety, but also allows for higher power at a given setting than normal gasoline operation. Ethanol as a fuel is also better than gasoline in absorbing heat from the air. This corresponds to a cooler and denser air charge entering the engine. The higher gain, optimum timing, and denser air charge can produce significantly more power at a given setting. With a standard turbocharger, it's not uncommon to reach 40 through 50 PS more than gasoline. For larger turbo setups, E85 allows you to win 100 or more horsepower.
Fuel consumption up to 36% higher
E85 is also ideal for tuning an engine in the form of higher detonation resistance and to achieve higher performance in a certain setup. However, there are a few points to consider when using E85. Ethanol requires a higher volume of fuel to achieve the same amount of thermal energy as gasoline, so the fuel requirement for E85 can be up to 30-36% higher than for gasoline. When you fill up on fuel, it can become difficult to increase your energy needs.
Of course that had not happened yet!
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