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About bioethanol and E85 fuel.

  E85 and ethanol: myths and facts

  Video: Test-burning of kerosene, gasolines, ethanol and E40

  Video: Fuel Emissions - Gas, Ethanol, E85, Kerosene

  Video: Ethanol E85 does not harm Non-FlexFueled engines

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E85 and ethanol: myths and facts

1. E85 Ethanol is corrosive

Yes ethanol is corrosive, but not very much. Gasoline is corrosive too. Ethanol is biodegradable in water, so it has a tendency to contain and attract water. It is not the corrosive properties of ethanol that can cause damage to your vehicle; it is the water which can rust a vehicle’s fuel system from the inside out. Today’s vehicles (since mid 1980s) have fuel systems which are made to withstand corrosive motor fuels and rust from water. Also today’s distilling processes are superior to way back when. We now have better techniques for drying out ethanol or reducing the water content.

2. If I put E85 in my gas tank, it will eat it away.

If your car was built in the old days, it was had a lead coated, steel tank. The water in ethanol would cause the tank to rust from the inside out. The government mandated that all gas in the USA contain 10% ethanol to help reduce tail pipe emissions. In the 1980s, automakers made vehicles with fuel systems to be ethanol and rust tolerant. Gas tanks began to contain polymers and Teflon which are extremely durable.

3. If I put E85 ethanol in my non-Flex Fuel vehicle, it will ruin it.

If you fill E85 into non-converted car, it may cause misfiring and a rough ride. Your "check engine" light will come on. Drain the tank, put in regular gas and all will be well. If you use E85 without a conversion kit or non-Flex Fuel capable vehicle for an extended period, you can damage your engine.

4. Ethanol will burn up my engine.

Ethanol has a lower ignition point than gas. Ethanol has about 115 octane and E85 has 105 octane. It burns cooler and will extend engine life by preventing the burning of engine valves and prevent the build-up of olefins in fuel injectors, keeping the fuel system cleaner.

5. Ethanol will ruin gaskets, seals, rings and more.

The rubber neoprene used in the last 20 + years is resistant to the drying effect that ethanol may have.

Today's vehicles are built to withstand the corrosive effects of water in ethanol and gasoline. Any vehicle built since 1985 will have no ethanol related issues. Older vehicles that used more steel in the fuel systems or cork gaskets may have issues from long term exposure to water.

Vehicles in Brazil have been using ethanol for 30 years and they are completely free from using any foreign oil.

6. E85 will eat my rubber fuel lines.

This is another myth from the old days. Rubber technology has significantly advanced so the concerns of a 20 year old car or newer having issues like this are extremely rare. Plus the 15% gas will help keep lines lubricated.

7. E85 will destroy my fuel pump.

E85 won’t destroy your fuel pump. If you convert a high mileage vehicle to E85, the E85 will cause the sediment in the gas tank to dissolve and then get sucked up by the fuel pump. It is believed that this sediment may shorten the life of the pump. It is recommended to change fuel filter in fuel tank (if your car have it) after you burn up 1 tank of E85 fuel. 

8. It takes more than a gallon of energy to make a gallon of E85.

This was true at one point in time. Today’s advanced technology and distilling processes actually create considerably more units of ethanol than units of energy used. The processes continue to advance and the ratio will continue to increase.

9. E85 Ethanol is worse for the environment than gas.

There have been some people who have published reports stating that E85 is worse than gas for the environment. They have yet to show any scientific proof or case studies that support their claims. Because E85 is cleaner than conventional gasoline, it emits less hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrogen. E85 reduces carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 70 percent — and less carbon monoxide helps reduce ozone formation and greenhouse gas levels. According to EPA, gasoline is the largest source of manmade carcinogens. Ethanol reduces overall toxic pollution by diluting harmful compounds found in gasoline such as benzene and other aromatics.

10. Using E85 ethanol will get less mileage per tank.

There are some stories floating around about 50% reduction in mileage or twice as much ethanol is needed. Some of the automakers who introduced Flex vehicles did a terrible job with the fuel management systems that mileage did decrease as much as 50%. After some trial and error, the automakers have significantly improved their fuel systems and mileage conservation is within reasonable losses such as 10-20%. Conversion Kits like bioadapter have been around for over 20 years and realistic losses range from 10-20% as well.

11. Vehicles need more E85 ethanol so there is less power.

It is true that a vehicle does require more E85 than regular gas since the amount of energy per unit of ethanol is less than that of gas. Ethanol has a lower ignition temperature so the engine overall will run cooler increasing power. So running E85 will give any engine more power over any pump gas. Also E85 is 105 octane, and this is much more than gasoline have. Higher octane of E85 will help to eliminate knocks and pings. All of these benefits will make an engine run smoother and quieter.

12. Won't E85 production deplete human and animal food supplies?

Ethanol, imported from Brazil, is made from sugarcane. Production of ethanol from corn uses only the starch of the corn kernel, all of the valuable protein, minerals and nutrients remain. One bushel of corn produces about 2.7 gallons of ethanol AND 11.4 pounds of gluten feed (20% protein) AND 3 pounds of gluten meal (60% protein) AND 1.6 pounds of corn oil. 

13. Ethanol production wastes corn that could be used to feed a hungry world.

Corn used for ethanol production is field corn typically used to feed livestock. Wet mill ethanol production facilities, also known as corn refineries, also produce starch, corn sweeteners, and corn oil — all products that are used as food ingredients for human consumption. Ethanol production also results in the production of distiller’s grains and gluten feed — both of which are fed to livestock, helping produce high-quality meat products for distribution domestically and abroad. There is no shortage of corn. In 2004, U.S. farmers produced a record 11.8 billion bushel corn harvest — and some 1.3 billion bushels (about 11 percent) were used in ethanol production. Additionally, the 2005 crop was among the largest on record. 2007 will yield the largest corn crop since the 1940s. In other words, there is still room to significantly grow the ethanol market without limiting the availability of corn. Steadily increasing corn yields and the improved ability of other nations to grow corn also make it clear that ethanol production can continue to grow without affecting the food supply.

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