In this century, it is believed that crude oil and petroleum products will become very scarce and costly. Day-to-day, fuel economy of engines is getting improved and will continue to improve. However, enormous increase in number of vehicles has started dictating the demand for fuel. With increased use and depletion of fossil fuels, alternative fuel technology will become more common in the coming decades. Because of the high cost of petroleum products, emission problems some developing countries are trying to use alternate fuels for their vehicles.

1. Extensive research and development is difficult to justify until the fuels are accepted as viable for large numbers of engines. 2. Most alternate fuels are very costly at present since the quantity used is very less.
3. There is lack of distribution points (service stations) where fuel is available to the


Alcohols are attractive alternate fuels because they can be obtained from both natural and manufactured sources. Methanol and ethanol are two kinds of alcohols that seem most promising.

1. It is a high octane fuel with anti-knock index numbers of over 100.Engines using high octane fuel can run more efficiently by using higher compression ratios. Alcohols have higher flame speed. 2. It produces less overall emissions compared to gasoline. 3. When alcohols are burned, it forms more moles of exhaust gases, which gives higher pressure and more power in the expansion stroke. 4. It has high latent heat of vaporization which results in a cooler intake process. This raises the volumetric efficiency of the engine and reduces the required work input in the compression stroke.

If as much alcohol fuel was consumed as gasoline. Alcohol contains oxygen and thus requires less air for stoichiometric combustion. 2.5. Automobiles as well as distribution stations would require twice as much storage capacity. It has poor cold weather starting characteristics due to low vapor pressure and evaporation. This is because of the lower air-fuel ratio needed by alcohol. Alcohol is much more corrosive than gasoline on copper. Combustion of alcohols produces more aldehydes in the exhaust. and even metal engine parts can deteriorate with long-term alcohol use (resulting in cracked fuel lines. Reduced petroleum imports and transportation. This puts some restrictions on the design and manufacturing of engines to be used with this fuel. Often a small amount of gasoline is added to alcohol fuel. and many plastics. DISADVANTAGES: 1. Alcohols have low sulphur content in the fuel. the need to do this greatly reduces the attractiveness of alcohol. and he distance which could be driven with a given fuel tank volume would be cut in half. which greatly improves cold-weather starting. engine power for a given displacement would be about the same. Fuel lines and tanks. Alcohol-fuelled engines generally have difficulty in starting at temperatures below 10 C. Even with the low energy content of the fuel. aluminum. This means that almost twice as much as gasoline must be burned to give the same energy input to the engine. twice as much fuel would have to be purchased. twice the volume of storage at the service stations. A small amount of gasoline removes this danger. twice the number of storage facilities. rubber. 4. Aldehyde emissions would be a serious problem. . Methanol is very corrosive on metals. 3. brass. etc. twice as many tank trucks and pipelines. More fuel can be burned with the same amount of air. Alcohols have an almost invisible flame. the need for special fuel tank. Alcohols have low energy content or in other words the calorific value of the fuel is almost half. However. gaskets. With equal thermal efficiency and similar engine output usage. 5. Alcohols have poor ignition characteristics n general. 6. etc). 6. which is considered dangerous when handling fuel.

ignition timing. any source that requires extensive manufacturing or processing raises the price of the fuel. The most common mixtures are M85 (85% methanol and 15% gasoline). Headaches and drizzles have been experienced when refueling an automobile. However.7. passing through a mixing chamber. Pure methanol and mixtures of methanol and gasoline in various percentages have been extensively tested in engines and vehicles for a number of years. petroleum. 8. there is an increase in NOx and a large (500%) increase in formaldehyde emissions. Methanol can be obtained from many sources. METHANOL: Of all the fuels being considered as an alternate to gasoline. There is the danger of storage tank flammability. wood. However. The advantage (and disadvantage) of using this fuel is mainly 10% decrease in HC and CO exhaust emissions. Many people find the strong odor of alcohol very offensive. There is a possibility of vapor lock in fuel delivery systems. Some smart flexible fuel (or variable fuel) engines are capable of using any random mixture combination of methanol and gasoline ranging from methanol to pure gasoline. Emissions from an engine using M10 fuel are about the same as those using gasoline. landfills. biomass. Methanol by itself is not a good CI engine fuel because of its high octane number. These include coal. Two fuel tanks are used and various flow rates of the two fuels can be pumped to the engine. This is very attractive for developing countries. due to low vapor pressure. both fossil and renewable. Methanol is used some dual-fuel CI engines. but if a small amount of diesel oil is used for ignition. the electronic monitoring systems (EMS) adjust to the proper air-fuel ratio. Methanol fuel has received less attention than ethanol fuel as an alternative to petroleum based fuels. and valve timing (where possible) for the fuel mixture being used. natural gas. the resulting lower exhaust temperatures take longer time to heat the catalytic converter to efficient operating temperatures. injection timing. However. because methanol can often be obtained from much cheaper source than diesel oil. and even the ocean. methanol is one of the most promising and has experienced major research and development.[1] . Using information from sensors in the intake and exhaust. ignition ratio. Air can leak into storage tanks and create combustible mixtures. 10. it can be used with good results. There will be less NOx emissions because of low flame temperatures. The data of these tests which include performance and emission level levels are compared with pure gasoline (M0) and pure methanol (M100). 9.

7 MJ/kg and stoichiometric air fuel ratio of 6. it is less volatile than gasoline. ingestion of only 10 ml can cause blindness and 60-100 ml can be fatal. Because absorbed water dilutes the fuel value of the methanol (although. Methanol is hygroscopic. Use of methanol. itself a product of corrosion by halide ions. making engine starting in cold weather more difficult. and they increase the conductivity of the fuel. have a large effect on the corrosivity of alcohol fuels. Increased electrical conductivity promotes electric. it suppresses engine knock). and 1260 mg/m³ for methanol. and therefore decreases evaporative emissions. These soluble contaminants. valve seats and cylinder might be higher than with hydrocarbon burning. the wearing of valves. galvanic. Toxicity Methanol is poisonous. just like ethanol. and may cause phase separation of methanol-gasoline blends. such as aluminium hydroxide. and both are less volatile. 900 mg/m³ for gasoline. significantly reduces the emissions of certain hydrocarbon-related . contains soluble and insoluble contaminants. Methanol. halide ions such as chloride ions. meaning it will absorb water vapor directly from the atmosphere. Soluble contaminants. Using methanol as a fuel in spark ignition engines can offer an increased thermal efficiency and increased power output (as compared to gasoline) due to its high octane rating (114) and high heat of vaporisation. containers of methanol fuels must be kept tightly sealed. and the vapors through the lungs. they chemically attack passivating oxide films on several metals causing pitting corrosion. However. Halide ions increase corrosion in two ways. The extra water produced also makes the charge rather wet (similar to hydrogen/oxygen combustion engines)and combined with the formation of acidic products during combustion. and ordinary corrosion in the fuel system. like ethanol. Certain additives may be added to motor oil in order to neutralize these acids.42:1 mean that fuel consumption (on volume or mass basis) will be higher than hydrocarbon fuels. clog the fuel system over time. US maximum allowed exposure in air (40 h/week) is 1900 mg/m³ for ethanol. its low energy content of 19. However. and it doesn't have to be swallowed to be dangerous since the liquid can be absorbed through the skin.Use as internal combustion engine fuel Both methanol and ethanol burn at lower temperatures than gasoline.

which is a benefit for fire safety. E85 is basically an alcohol fuel with 15% gasoline added to eliminate some of the problems of pure alcohol (i. Once ablaze.[1] Butanol and Propanol Propanol and butanol are considerably less toxic and less volatile than methanol. However. it will linger close to the ground or in a pit unless there is good ventilation. Gasohol is a mixture of 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol. its pungent odor should give you some warning of its presence. Flexible-fuel engines are being tested which can operate on any ratio of ethanol-gasoline. About 5 million vehicles operated on fuels that were 93% ethanol. and will explode above 54 F / 12 C. but may be a difficult for starting engines in cold weather.e. the development of systems using mixtures of gasoline and ethanol continues.E10 reduces the use of gasoline with no modification needed to the automobile engine. the flames give out very little light making it very hard to see the fire or even estimate its size.000 ppm (0.. Brazil is probably the leading user. cold starting. If you are unlucky enough to be exposed to the poisonous substance through your respiratory system. In particular.2%). 3 butadiene.toxins such as benzene and 1.7% in air it can be lit by a spark. Two mixture combinations that are important are E85 (85% ethanol) and e10 (gasohol). For a number of years gasohol (gasoline+alcohol) has been available at service stations in the United States. where in the early 1990s. Safety Since methanol vapour is heavier than air. . But as gasoline and ethanol are already quite toxic. As with methanol. it is difficult to smell methanol in the air at less than 2. safety protocol is the same. and it can be dangerous at lower concentrations than that. butanol has a high flashpoint of 35 °C. etc. tank flammability. and if the concentration of methanol is above 6.[3] ETHANOL Ethanol has been used as automobile fuel for many years in various countries of the world. The concept of flash point is however not directly applicable to engines as the compression of the air in the cylinder means that the temperature is several hundred degrees Celsius before ignition takes place. especially in bright daylight.

Thus. This will give the slow burning alcohol more time to develop the pressure and power in the cylinder. To overcome this. raising the alcohol yield of fuel crops without there being a need for more crops to be planted. This affects cold weather starting. and the Weizmann organism (Clostridium acetobutylicum) currently used to perform these conversions produces an extremely unpleasant smell. For comparison. As such. and this must be taken into consideration when designing and locating a fermentation plant. One obstacle to this gain in economy at .so-called turbo yeast can withstand up to 16% ethanol. much too low for pure alcohol. Today’s gasoline engines use a compression ratio of around 7:1 or 9:1. Its latent heat of vaporization is much greater. and because waste fibre left over from sugar crops used to make ethanol could be made into butanol. the engine may be difficult or even impossible to start in extremely cold climate. alcohols when introduced will vaporize quickly and completely and normally. gasoline is introduced in the engine until the engine starts and warms up. WATER-GASOLINE MIXTURE FOR SI ENGINES: The development of the spark-ignition engine has been accompanied by the desire to raise the compression ratio for increased efficiency and fuel economy. Specialized strains can tolerate even greater ethanol concentrations . additional heat may have to be supplied to completely vaporize alcohol. However. As such with an alcohol fuel. Moreover. yeast dies when the ethanol content of its feedstock hits 14%. Even during normal operation. corrosion resistant materials are required for fuel systems since alcohols are corrosive in nature. If the alcohol liquefies in the engine then it will not burn properly. scientists may yet one day produce a strain of the Weizmann organism with a butanol resistance higher than the natural boundary of 7%. Once the engines warms. This organism also dies when the butanol content of whatever it is fermenting rises to 7%. Alcohol does not vaporize as easily as gasoline. ignition timing must be changed. Butanol combustion is: C4H9OH + 6O2 → 4CO2 + 5H2O + heat[4] ALCOHOL FOR SI ENGINES: Alcohol have higher antiknock characteristic compared to gasoline. Alcohol burns at about half the speed of gasoline.The fermentation processes to produce propanol and butanol from cellulose are fairly tricky to execute. This would be useful because butanol has a higher energy density than ethanol. if ordinary Saccharomyces yeast can be modified to improve its ethanol resistance. so that more spark advance is provided. engine compression ratios between 11:1 and 13:1 are usual.

a water-fuel separation problem may exist. In the dual fuel engine. Conversely. Alcohol diesel emulsions. Since this would make the engine extremely heavy and expensive. Alcohol fumigation 4. SURFACE-IGNITION ALCOHOL CI ENGINES: . Finally. with respect to carbon monoxide emissions. Engine combustion chamber deposit reductions have also been reported when water was added to the intake charge.times has been the octane quality of the available gasoline. alcohol is carbureted or injected into the inducted air. a small quantity of diesel oil is injected into the compression stroke. Both ethyl and methyl alcohols have high self ignition temperatures. A little before the end of compression stroke. Hence. 2. ALCOHOL FOR CI ENGINES: Techniques of using alcohol in diesel engines are 1. However. Dual fuel injection 5. Surface ignition of alcohols 6. To circumvent this limitation. dramatic reductions were reported. Alcohols containing ignition improving additives. the better method is to utilize them in dual fuel operation. 3. water additions seem to have minimal effect. Only a very limited work has been carried out with the addition of water via an emulsion with the fuel rather than independently. a quantity of diesel oil is injected into the combustion chamber through the normal diesel pump and spray nozzle. provide improved atomization and increase fuel safety. With respect to nitric oxide emissions. Alcohol/diesel fuel solutions. Water addition to gasoline slows down the burning rate and reduces the gas temperature in the cylinder which probably suppresses detonation. The diesel oil readily ignites and initiates combustion in the alcohol air mixtures also. very high compression ratios (25-27) will be required to self ignite them. water addition probably increases hydrocarbon emissions. Spark ignition of alcohols 7. water was proposed as an antiknock additive. Due to high self ignition temperature of alcohols three will be no combustion with the usual diesel compression ratios of 16 to 18. Emulsion could eliminate the need for a separate tank.

the United States (around 8 million). there have been successful test programs with methanol flex-fuel vehicles. ethanol and gasoline. Since a part of the fuel burns on the insulator surface and the heat losses from the plate are low. The engine was found to run smoothly on methanol with a performance comparable to diesel operation. wound with a few strands of heating wire is fixed on the combustion chamber with the wire running on the face exposed to the gases.000).A slab of insulator material. from pure gasoline up to 100% ethanol (E100).375 flexible-fuel motorcycles were sold in Brazil in 2009. known as M85 flex-fuel vehicles. The combustion chamber. which is in the cylinder head. mainly in California. North American and European flexfuel vehicles are optimized to run on a maximum blend of 15% gasoline with 85% anhydrous ethanol (called E85 fuel). Canada (600. In addition to flex-fuel vehicles running with ethanol. led by Sweden (181. and both fuels are stored in the same common tank. The engine lends itself easily to the use of wide variety of fuels. Ignition is thus initiated. Flex-fuel engines are capable of burning any proportion of the resulting blend in the combustion chamber as fuel injection and spark timing are adjusted automatically according to the actual blend detected by electronic sensors. compressed natural gas (CNG). Flex-fuel vehicles are distinguished from bi-fuel vehicles. where two fuels are stored in separate tanks and the engine runs on one fuel at a time. The fuel injector is located such that a part of the spray impinges head on this surface. This limit in the ethanol content is set to reduce ethanol emissions . Brazil (9. for example. Also a total of 183. The engine operates more smoothly at lower speeds than at higher speeds. and Europe.3 million). usually gasoline blended with either ethanol or methanol fuel. Though technology exists to allow ethanol FFVs to run on any mixture of gasoline and ethanol. in Europe and the US. The power consumption of the coil is about 50W at 6 volts. with around 18 million automobiles and light duty trucks on the roads by 2009. and concentrated in four markets. [1] Flexible-fuel vehicle A flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) or dual-fuel vehicle (colloquially called a flex-fuel vehicle) is an alternative fuel vehicle with an internal combustion engine designed to run on more than one fuel. liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).458). the surface after some minutes of operations reaches a temperature sufficient to initiate ignition without the aid of external electrical supply. The most common commercially available FFV in the world market is the ethanol flexible-fuel vehicle. or hydrogen. including methanol. is made relatively narrow so that the combustion spreads quickly to the rest of the space.

Flexible-fuel technology started being developed only by the end of the 1990s by Brazilian engineers. An improved flex motor generation was launched in 2009 which eliminated the need for the secondary gas tank. Brazilian carmakers modified gasoline engines to support ethanol characteristics and changes included compression ratio. use of colder spark plugs suitable for dissipating heat due to higher flame temperatures. and an auxiliary cold-start system that injects gasoline from a small tank in the engine compartment to help starting when cold. An improved flex motor generation that will be launched in 2009 will eliminate the need for this secondary gas reservoir tank The flexibility of Brazilian FFVs empowers the consumers to choose the fuel depending on current market prices. mainly for users of the central and southern regions. replacement of materials that would get corroded by the contact with ethanol. Brazilian flex fuel vehicles are optimized to run on any mix of E20-E25 gasoline and up to 100% hydrous ethanol fuel (E100). . and 100% ethanol powered cars (E100 only) were launched to the market in 1979. this effect is partially offset by the usually lower price per liter of ethanol fuel. As ethanol fuel economy is lower than gasoline because of ethanol's energy content is close to 34% less per unit volume than gasoline. The Brazilian flex vehicles are built-in with a small gasoline reservoir for cold starting the engine when temperatures drop below 15 °C (59 °F). However. the Brazilian government made mandatory the use of ethanol blends with gasoline. where winter temperatures normally drop below 15 °C (59 °F). amount of fuel injected. The alcohol content is reduced during the winter in regions where temperatures fall below 0 °C (32 °F) to a winter blend of E70 in the U. The small gasoline reservoir for starting the engine with pure ethanol in cold low temperatures and to avoid cold starting problems during cold weather. The Brazilian flexible fuel car is built with an ethanol-ready engine and one fuel tank for both fuels. used in earlier ethanol-only vehicles. after testing with several prototypes developed by four carmakers. flex cars running on ethanol get a lower mileage than when running on pure gasoline. at temperatures lower than 11 °C (52 °F). or to E75 in Sweden from November until March. was kept in the first generation of Brazilian flexible-fuel cars. As a rule of thumb.S. Flexible-fuel vehicles by country Brazil After the 1973 oil crisis.

In 2007 Magneti Marelli presented the first motorcycle with flex technology.700. and prices at the pump are more competitive than gasoline. The rapid success of flex vehicles was made possible by the existence of 33. and savings in fuel consumption in the order of 5% to 10% are expected. Besides the flexibility in the choice of fuels. the main ethanol producer state where local taxes are lower. Because the CG 150 Titan Mix does not have a secondary gas tank for a cold start like the Brazilian flex cars do. the tank must have at least 20% of gasoline to avoid start up problems at temperatures below 15 °C (59 °F). The motorcycle’s panel includes a gauge to warn the driver about the actual ethanol-gasoline mix in the storage tank. the CG 150 Titan Mix is sold for around US$2. Latest developments The latest innovation within the Brazilian flexible-fuel technology is the development of flexfuel motorcycles. at the national level 65% of the flex-fuel registered vehicles regularly use ethanol fuel. and the usage increases to 93% in São Paulo. and based on the Software Fuel Sensor (SFS) the firm developed for flex-fuel cars in Brazil. but the first flex-fuel motorcycle was actually launched by Honda in March 2009.Brazilian consumers are frequently advised by the media to use more alcohol than gasoline in their mix only when ethanol prices are 30% lower or more than gasoline. AME Amazonas Motocicletas announced that sales of its motorcycle AME GA (G stands for gasoline and A for alcohol) were scheduled for 2009. a main objective of the fuel-flex motorcycles is to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 percent. Produced by its Brazilian subsidiary Moto Honda da Amazônia.000 filling stations with at least one ethanol pump available by 2006. allowed Brazil in 2008 to achieve more than 50% of fuel consumption in the gasoline market from sugar cane-based ethanol. together with the mandatory use of E25 blend of gasoline throughout the country. adapted on a Kasinski Seta 125. . a heritage of the early Pró-Álcool ethanol program. Delphi Automotive Systems also presented in 2007 its Multifuel injection technology for motorcycles. These facts. According to two separate research studies conducted in 2009. as ethanol price fluctuates heavily depending on the result of seasonal sugar cane harvests.

and Ford pledged to manufacture 50 percent of their entire vehicle line as flexible fuel in model year 2012. which automatically detects the amount of ethanol in the fuel. GM will begin introducing E-85-capable direct-injected and turbocharged power trains. E70 is sold as E85 from October to May. In Wyoming for example.S. General Motors. The Volt propulsion architecture allows adapting the propulsion to other world markets such as Brazil’s E100 or to Europe’s commonly using clean diesel. General Motors announced that the new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle Chevrolet Volt." In 2008 Ford delivered the first flex-fuel plug-in hybrid as part of a demonstration project. Also the US government has been using flex-fuel vehicles for many years. as "ninety percent of registered flex-fuel vehicles don't have an E85 station in their zip code. In order to reduce ethanol evaporative emissions and to avoid problems starting the engine during cold weather. and urged the deployment of more E85 stations. E85 flex-fuel vehicles are becoming increasingly common in the Midwest. will be flex-fuel-capable about a year after it is introduced. market as E85 flex-fuel capable vehicles. up from almost 5 million in 2005. and E85 is sold already blended. Latest developments In 2008 Chrysler. In early 2010 GM reaffirmed its commitment to bio fuels and its determination to deliver more than half of its 2012 production in the U. allowing adjusting both fuel injection and sparking timing accordingly to the actual blend available in the vehicle's tank. There is also a seasonal reduction of the ethanol content to E70 (called winter E85 blend) in very cold regions. The American E85 flex fuel vehicle was developed to run on any mixture of unleaded gasoline and ethanol. anywhere from 0% to 85% ethanol by volume.United States By early 2009 there are almost 8 million E85 flex fuel vehicles running on the US roads. expected to be launched in the North American market in 2010. and the fuel injection is regulated through a dedicated sensor. where temperatures fall below 0 °C (32 °F) during the winter. . if enough fueling infrastructure develops. a Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid capable of running on E85 or gasoline. don't have E85 in their county. and nearly 50%. the maximum blend of ethanol was set to 85%. where corn is a major crop and is the primary feedstock for ethanol fuel production. Both fuels are mixed in the same tank. The E85 blend is used in gasoline engines modified to accept such higher concentrations of ethanol.

Colombia CONCLUSION As the demand for alternative power source is on the rise due to various reasons . Also they will coordinate infrastructure policies impacting the supply. President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Directive with the aim to advance biofuels research and improve their commercialization. secure transport. the Environmental Protection Agency. The Directive established a Biofuels Interagency Working Group comprises of three agencies. Ireland 5. This group will develop a plan to increase flexible fuel vehicle use and assist in retail marketing efforts. the Department of Agriculture. United Kingdom 7.On May 2009. Sweden 2. Australia 8. Canada 9. . and the Department of Energy. OTHER COUNTRIES: 1. and distribution of biofuels in order to increase the number of fueling stations throughout the country. France 3. Alcohol forms a good substitute for the rising needs in the use of IC and SC engines. Spain 6. Germany 4.

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