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Why Does Ethanol Make So Much Power? (Versus Gasoline)

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Published on 04 Jun 2023 / In News and Politics

Ethanol has less energy than gasoline, but it can make so much more horsepower!
Is ethanol bad for your car's engine? https://youtu.be/ATGSBi1kBl0
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Ethanol contains less energy than gasoline, and yet it can make so much more power! How is that possible? This video will cover the differences in air/fuel ratios for ethanol vs gasoline, the energy density differences (by mass and volume), fuel economy differences, and octane number differences. Critically, the reason for octane number differences will be explained, with both the chemical composition and the cooling effect of ethanol providing a large advantage. Finally, we'll look at real world testing to see how much more power ethanol can make, as well as the efficiency differences of E85 ethanol vs E10 gasoline. And if ethanol really is more efficient, then why do you get worse fuel economy using E10 vs E0 (gasoline)?

Whenever a fuel is listed as E10, E15, E85, E100 or E##, the number simply represents the percentage of ethanol in the fuel by volume. So for example, most pump gas today is E10, meaning up to 10% ethanol by volume, and the rest is gasoline.

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Compression Ratio - https://youtu.be/nveqCMNTth0
Port vs Direct Injection - https://youtu.be/qms_9ZP6ORo
Ethanol Bad For Engines? - https://youtu.be/ATGSBi1kBl0
Is Corn Ethanol A Bad Idea? - https://youtu.be/F-yDKeya4SU

References:
Fuel Properties - https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/properties
Ethanol Basics - https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_fuel_basics.html
Effective Octane Numbers 1 - https://doi.org/10.4271/2012-01-1275
Effective Octane Numbers 2 - https://doi.org/10.4271/2012-01-1284
Ford 3.5L Engine Study - https://doi.org/10.4271/2014-01-1228

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Comcast - Why They're Hated
Terry Smith
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