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How To Convert Your Car To Run On Alcohol

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Interesting, but aren't there some issues with seals and stuff, as well as the writer has some inaccuracies and extraneous data in his fuel jet conversion chart.

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Guest shadow

I am in the process of buying parts and materials to make my own ethanol still. That first page says that ethanol can be manufactured at home for as cheap as .40 per gallon, that sounds extremely optimistic to me. From my research and talking with others who run ethanol, 1.80 - 2.00 seems more accurate. Both of my RX's and any subsequent vehicles I own will be duel fuel capable once my ethanol still is complete and licensed by ATF. I will of course be using fuel injection, not carbs for precision mixture control and timing adjustments. Rubber hoses in the fuel system need replacing to be compatible with ethanol. The stoich AFR is 9.0 compared to 14.7 for gasoline, which means slightly larger injectors will be required to run at the same power level, when compared to gas. Other than that I cannot think of much else atm, but it will feel GOOD to be that much more independent from oil companies.

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Hi Shadow,

sounds like an interesting plan. Whats involved in making an ethanol still? Whats the difference between ethanol and methanol? (as in power/burning/corroding.. could you put 100% ethanol in one week then 100% methanol?) And how will you get your injectors to inject the correct amount of ethanol and petrol?

 

Anyway, ethanol should be fairly cheaper then petrol. Local independent fuel retailers add ethanol to their fuel so they can compete with the larger companies.

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Just a note: Ethanol contains about 74% as much energy as gasoline (84,100btu vs. 114,000btu), so assuming no change in overall engine efficiency, you will need 1.35 gallons ethanol to do the same work as 1 gal of gas.

 

I bought regular this morning for $2.50/gal, based on that ethanol would have to cost $1.85/gal to break even.

 

Or looking at Mpg, 30mpg on gasoline should translate to 22.2mpg on ethanol.

 

Just some math

Gary

 

P.S. back in college I did a research project dyno running a 3.5hp Briggs engine on Gas, Ethanol, Methanol and Propane.

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Guest shadow

Ethanol stills are very simple, I bought some plans online for one that has been run and the design revised for quite awhile, it was very inexpensive. I will try to turn up the site here in a little bit when I get home.

 

I have not done near as much research in development of methanol or running it in a gas engine. Overall it would seem like at home production would be more difficult. Engine conversion is pretty trivial no matter which fuel, in my opinion.

 

I have had a megasquirt on my daily for just over 2 years, so fueling correction is a simple matter. Everyone else I have talked to is using a carb for thier ethanol system though.

 

Fuel consumption was a primary concern, for both reduced range and leveraging the cost benefit, if any. Everyone I have talked to said they are getting the same or slightly better miles per gallon on ethanol, which I found perplexing and somewhat suspect. Since most of these are what I would call non-scientific installs, I can only postulate that since ethanol is higher octane, and such a low afr ratio, that it may be able to be ignited at a migh leaner ratio at cruise, and/or require less pedal for a given low power output.

 

If you were doing a straight ethanol build, raising the CR / advancing spark and running a hotter plug is generally recommended, which of course increases engine efficiency and also would help make up for this issue. I am hoping for at least the same comsumption as gasoline, in order to make the conversion more worthwhile. Other than that to break even would require more testing and streamlining the distillation process for maximum cost benefit. The cost is widely dependent on your 'food' source of course, some get the raw material for free as rotting food scraps.

 

Another option to look into for increasing mpg is an electrolysis system designed to supplement (not subsitite!) your liquid fuel. The Brown's gas can be made for free using excess electrical energy from your charging system - it's of course not a net-energy gain, but is a net cost gain. Reports have been made that the supplementation is getting once sub-40 mpg cars to over 60 from reliable sources, so it looks worthwhile to explore. Engine management alone can also go a long way towards tuning your spark map and lean burn characteristics to net several more mpg at cruise, especially compared to the crap that comes on old Subes stock.

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I was doing some reading on "Brown's gas" recently. My son did a research paper on it. Sounds very interesting. Google it if you're interested.

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RE: Brown's Gas

 

Yeah, there is someone around here supposedly doing the kit/injection (mixes into the TB to increase the engine's efficiency XX%). Supposedly works but I am skeptical until I can see it for myself.

 

Uses electricity and electrolysis to produce a form of hydrogen gas that when pulled in thru the intake system (at a given percent) will do this, if it works as the testamonials claim....

 

Les

 

I was doing some reading on "Brown's gas" recently. My son did a research paper on it. Sounds very interesting. Google it if you're interested.

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RE: Brown's Gas

 

Yeah, there is someone around here supposedly doing the kit/injection (mixes into the TB to increase the engine's efficiency XX%). Supposedly works but I am skeptical until I can see it for myself.

 

Uses electricity and electrolysis to produce a form of hydrogen gas that when pulled in thru the intake system (at a given percent) will do this, if it works as the testamonials claim....

 

Les

http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/showthread.php?t=88082

 

I ran out of popcorn while waiting for some member's results. :clap:

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