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Old 05-04-2012, 06:12 AM   #46
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2008
Oddometer: 127
There is no argument that ethanol does not contain as much energy as gasoline. The history of gasoline is that it was a waste product of the petroleum industry, and burning it as fuel was the easy way to get rid of it. Diesel engines were not invented to run on petroleum, it was developed to run on vegetable oil.
Back in the 40's guys that worked on pipelines would drain off raw gasoline (the pipelines had places to collect it) and run it in their cars on weekends racing. But, because it had no lead to protect the valve seats, so they spent Sunday night doing a valve job. Guys who told me about that said it was like putting a supercharger on the engine.
When we converted cars to run E85 instead of race gas, it took 30% more gallons to run properly, but it made more power because of the cooler intake charge on boosted motors. You have to have the 15% gasoline in it to get a cold engine to fire. I know guys that put a 1 gallon fuel cell filled with gasoline, and use it just to start the motor before switching over to E85.
As time goes on, you will find it harder and harder to find gasoline without ethanol. Besides, gasoline of today is less petroleum than gas of 30 years ago. You can boost the octane in your fuel by adding toluene. Of course buying toluene has gotten tricky because some idiot figured out that it is a good additive to meth, so buying it in any quantity requires showing a photo I.D. and filling out DEA paperwork.
The future of gasoline engines lies in the engine controls. The latest power increase comes from direct injection. Where the gas is injected directly into the cylinder. The downside is the fuel pumps must run a lot higher pressure, but that's how they are making motors like the new Ford 5.0 make over 400hp on pump gas without a power adder.
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