Topics to be Discussed • Makeup and terminology of vehicle fuels • Gasoline properties • Types of alcohols • Concerns about alcohol enhanced fuels • Synthetic fuels and blends • How to test fuel for RVP and Alcohol • C.A.F.E. rating and E85 • Service related issues
The Need for Alternative Fuels • Peak Oil- the world’s production of oil is close to its peak • Reduce imported oil-now 70% • Global warming concerns and the need to reduce C02 emissions which is currently about one pound per mile for every vehicle
Types of Alternative Fuels The U.S Department of Energy (http://www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/) recognizes eight types of alternative fuels: • Ethanol • Natural gas • Propane • Hydrogen • Biodiesel • Electricity • Methanol • P-series fuels
Gasoline • Gasoline consists of up to 500 hydrocarbons with between 3 and 12 carbon atoms per molecule • Huh?
Fuel Related Terms Methane-one carbon atom; four hydrogen atoms (CH4) Natural gas is mostly methane
What does NMHC Mean? • NMHC means “non-methane hydrocarbons” • Cows produce methane gas (two places) • If emission level standards included methane, then areas with cows may fail • Decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills • NMHC measures all hydrocarbons EXCEPT methane which is considered to be a potent greenhouse gas (23 times that of CO2) (Does not affect the ozone layer because it does react with NOx)
What’s this to do about Alcohol? • If one of the “Hs” is replaced with an hydroxyl group (-OH) (adding an atom of oxygen to the molecule) this changes methane into methanol and ethane into ethanol (delete the “e” and add “ol” at the end • Adding the oxygen atom to the molecule is all it takes to create an alcohol • The oxygen in the fuel itself is called an “oxygenated” fuel
The Oxygen will not Escape • Oxygenated fuel is not like soft drinks where the CO2 can bubble out • Carbonated water, also known as soda water, sparkling water, fizzy water, club soda, or seltzerwater, is plain water into which carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved
Shelf Life • “Shelf life” means that length of time a product can be stored (on a shelf) and still have “like new” performance • Oxygenated fuel, like any fuel, has a shelf life of about 90 days according to industry experts
Other Hydrocarbons • Hydrocarbons come in many different forms • The number of carbons determines its name • Replace the four hydrogen atoms from methane and replace with two chlorines and two fluorines • The result: dichlorodifluoromethane (R-12)
Glycols • The same with glycols • Add another OH to the ethanol and you get ethylene glycol (antifreeze) • This is why antifreeze can burn • Antifreeze can be ignited and will burn
Methanol (CH3OH) • The “bad” alcohol • Made from natural gas or wood • Called wood alcohol • Very corrosive • Must be used with another alcohol called a co-solvent if used in an engine • Also called methyl alcohol or methyl hydrate
M85 Flex Fuel Vehicles M85 flex-fuel vehicles are a gasoline vehicle that can use M85 It takes 1.7 gallons of M85 to get the same driving range as one gallon of gasoline, but price of a gallon of gasoline is about 1.7 times the price of a gallon of M85, so it balances out
Ethanol (C2H5OH) • The “good” alcohol • Is not as corrosive as methanol • Made from corn or bio-mass (called bioethanol) • Called “grain alcohol” • Also called ethyl alcohol • Used as an additive to gasoline • Used to be called “gasohol”
Isopropanol (C3H8O) • Isopropanol is sometimes sold as "Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol, 70% (or 90%)" • Isopropyl alcohol is also commonly used as a cleaner and solvent in industry
Isopropyl Alcohol • Isopropanol is a major ingredient in "dry-gas" fuel additive • Once soluble, the water does not pose the same risk as insoluble water as it will no longer accumulate in the supply lines and freeze
Butanol • Can be used as a fuel to replace gasoline • Not currently in production • First plant designed to produce automotive fuel is in England • Can be used 85% with gasoline(15%) without any changes • Almost the same BTU output
Benzene(Cancer causing)(Some say that any chemical ending in “ene” can cause cancer)“Hi-Test” gas used to be called “benzene”
Gasoline is a blend of hydrocarbons • The heavier molecules provide heat energy and therefore fuel economy • The lighter hydrocarbons are used to provide volatility to allow the engine to start in cold weather • Therefore gasoline is blended for each season.
Specific Gravity of Gasoline • Gasoline has a specific gravity that ranges from 0.730 to 0.760 • Water has a specify gravity of 1.000 • Gasoline is less dense than water • Water will sink to the bottom of a gas tank
Alcohol Specific Gravity • Methanol is 0.792 • Ethanol is 0.815 • E85 ranges from 0.700 to 0.770 • Therefore it would be hard to detect if a customer were using E85 by testing the specific gravity.
Octane Rating • Octane rating is a measure of the fuel’s ability to resist detonation (ping or spark knock) • Gasoline is most commonly rated based on the ANTIKNOCK INDEX (AKI), a measure of octane rating
Octane Ratings(Continued) • The AKI of a motor fuel is the average of the: • Research Octane Number (RON) • Motor Octane Number (MON) • (R+M)/2
Octane Ratings(continued) • The RON of a fuel is TYPICALLY 8 to 10 numbers higher than the MON. • For instance, an 87 octane gasoline typically has a MON of 82 and a RON of 92. • 82 + 92 = 174 divided by 2= 87
R+M/2 Ratings • Regular= 87 • Mid-grade (Plus) = 89 • Premium + 91+
Distillation Curve • Measures the percentage of fuel that has evaporated at various temperatures • More accurate method because it tracks evaporation at several temperatures instead of just one temperature
Driveability Index (DI) • To predict cold-start and warm-up driveability, a driveability index (DI) has been developed using the temperatures for the evaporated percentages of 10 percent (T10), 50 percent (T50) and 90 percent (T90): • DI = 1.5(T10) + 3.0(T50) + (T90) • The DI varies with gasoline grade and season; the normal range in the U.S. is 850°F to 1300°F • Lower values of DI generally result in better cold-start and warm-up performance, but once good driveability is achieved, there is no benefit to further lowering the DI.