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Old 03-09-2011, 05:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hubert Farnsworth View Post
Its not that it reduces power so much as the fact that it has much lower energy content and therefore cannot go as far as 1 gallon of E10 or E0
I'm really not sure why there's even any discussion on the topic, the differences between ethanol (or E85) and gasoline aren't that hard to understand.

E85 has fewer BTU's per pound than straight gasoline, so more fuel mass is burned per work unit created. Nobody argues this. It's apples/oranges, because "number of BTU's in a pound" is not a useful indicator of worth for an automotive fuel.

E85 brings drastically more oxygen to the combustion chamber than gasoline, which serves to effectively improve the volumetric efficiency of the engine. Why? Because less air has to be pulled through the intake tract for a given BTU output, and as a secondary result less inert atmospheric gases have to be shoved through the engine and exhaust system for a given BTU output. This also means that for a given throttle position, considerably more fuel is being dumped into the engine. This brings total fuel BTU content per combustion back in line with gasoline (if not greater than), so net horsepower should almost always be greater on E85 than on gasoline in the same engine, assuming the engine's control systems are capable of dumping the requisite amount of fuel in.


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