Posted: October 6, 2009
High ethanol blends provide better energy conversion within an engine than other fuels – meaning you can travel further on less energy, according to a study conducted by the University of Nebraska and funded by the Nebraska Corn Board.
Vehicles went through chassis dynamometer testing as part of the study. The dynamometer simulated different road and vehicle operating conditions, allowing researchers to fully measure a number of important data points to measure the performance of different ethanol blends. The report says that e85 improved energy conversion by 13, 9 and 14 percent, respectively when compared to e10, for the light, medium and heavy loaded vehicles tested.
“What this suggests is that the increased efficiency of ethanol has a more positive impact as a replacement for petroleum fuel than what it is commonly given credit for,” said Randy Klein, director of market development for the Nebraska Corn Board.
“It also suggests that e85, which contains 85 percent ethanol and only 15 percent petroleum-based gasoline, may be the most efficient and often the most cost-effective fuel for flex fuel vehicles,” he said. “Since e85 is also the cleanest fuel on the market and contains so little petroleum-based gasoline, it has a very positive impact on the environment and can significantly reduce our use of foreign oil.”
The report, which is available from the Nebraska Corn Board, said e85 improved energy conversion by 13, 9 and 14 percent, respectively when compared to e10, for the light, medium and heavy loaded vehicles tested.
The study was conducted by the University of Nebraska researchers Loren Isom, Dr. Milford Hanna and Robert Weber, with additional support provided by the State of Nebraska Transportation Services Bureau, which provided the flex fuel vehicles used in the tests, and The Shop Inc., where the tests were conducted.