I have been getting feed back from folks who are experiencing problems driving flex fuel vehicles on a steady diet of E85. Some folks are getting a warning light from their traction control system.
Assuming that the injection system is providing the extra rich mixture that Ethanol requires the problem is likely wet fuel.
If they are getting wet E85 from the "gas" station they might be getting surges of power when a slug of water is injected into the engine. The hesitation that is picked up by the traction control system computer causes a warning light flash.
I know from the tour that I had of an Ethanol producing plant that getting the last 4% of water out of the ethanol takes a more distillation steps and other chemistry hocus pocus to overcome the azeotrope mixture.
Ethanol really wants to team up with water again and picks up moisture at every opportunity. The water is then carried with the fuel to the engine. This results in a hesitation when the engine tries to burn the water. Water is hydrogen that has already been burned. It just does not burn a second time.
Ethanol’s hunger to collect water is also a part of why it causes corrosion problems that we have not experienced with straight gasoline.
Is there a better way?
Bio Butanol does not cause water problems the way ethanol does. During World War Two Butanol was used to counter act water in fuels so they could keep our Army on the move.
Butanol does not cause the corrosion problems that Ethanol does.
We have been sold a lot of "well this is the best we can do!" - With E85.
Some folks have paid extra for a vehicle that is modified to use E85 so they could be environmentally conscious. After using E85 they have found out that, the reduced price on E85 did not make up for the loss in mileage and performance over regular gasoline. They pay a premium for the car or truck and a premium on a per mile basis for the fuel.
Butanol is a better fuel and I look forward to the day that I can use it in my old car.
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