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Ethanol-diesel - what options exist beyond ED95 and Diesohol?

The greater the price difference is between regular automotive fuels and newer alcohol fuels, the greater is the need to change or convert their vehicle to another fuel. This also applies to diesel! While diesel engines can run on ethanol, but with regard to ethanol's smaller heating value must more fuel enter the engine. ED95 is a relatively new replacement instead of diesel oil and contains 95% ethanol - the rest is ignition improver, corrosion and lubrication additives. The role the ignition improver has is to make it more similar to diesel - diesel fuel itself is an ignition improver, if one mixes it with alcohol.

Pure diesel is actually not a good fuel - it is hard to vaporize and viscous so that it burns incompletely. If one mix diesel with gasoline one get a better diesel fuel. When diesel fuel is ignited shortly after it is injected into the cylinder ignited even the gasoline - because the diesel molecules act as ”liquid spark plug”.

Water can be a major problem in diesel tanks. A small amount of water may cause a destructive bacterial growth which clogs the whole fuel system. If one regular mix gasoline into diesel does not this problem exist, but the water is not likely disappear. In order to get rid of it, may an alcohol be added. If the water is sufficiently mixed with alcohol will it be mixed in the diesel oil too. Ethanol can be compared with gasoline - it increases the combustibility of diesel. This is why E85 should be an equally good additive to diesel fuel. Unlike before is E85 fully miscible with the diesel fuel for passenger cars. It is not as the case is with Diesohol where one has to settle with an emulsion of ethanol and diesel, but one can mix today's E85 and diesel in any proportions as time. What one can do is to test that it really is true with the products one are planning to mix prior to purchase of larger volumes.

If one choose to introduce ethanol as a major component like a alternative fuel instead of diesel, must the regarding diesel engine be converted - it will consume more of this fuel, but at the same time may the ethanol require a higher compression, which means that the fuel demand remains unchanged (efficiency increases), but this may reduces due to the gasoline content? Probably will the diesel pump get less lubrication, and how this affects life span is difficult to predict?

Now I leave this website to other alternative and more sensible ethanol diesel recipe - that is intended for diesel engines. In addition to regular diesel so can this page also accommodate others bio-related diesel products, such as Rape. Farmers usually do not infrequently have solved its fuel needs with self-produced rapeseed diesel, which is often enough and to spare even when outsiders want to fill up their cars - and saving a few bucks.

Certain requirements must be found for a fuel to be published here. The corresponding fuel should not start to layering up as fast it's getting a bit chilly outside. The temperature when phase separation occurs must be stated whenever it's possible. One can add IPA or isopropanol to prevent phase separation. This secondary alcohol increases the stability of ethanol-diesel and always reduces the risk of phase separation/layering of diesel and ethanol components significantly. Other quirks and facts should be easily accessible during each fuel. This can include the energy content, density, viscosity, price and so on.

August 2014
80% (anhydrous) E85 mixed with 20% (anhydrous) Diesel
Summer time:
Winter time:
4 parts E85
1 part diesel

68,0% ethanol
12,0% petrol
20,0% diesel
4 parts E75
1 part diesel

60,0% ethanol
20,0% petrol
20,0% diesel
Heating value: 34,9MJ/kg
Heating value: 36,3MJ/kg
Gain: 7,9%
Gain: 9,9%
Other information
Resists cooling to 0 ºF without stratification. If moisture or water accumulates so increases the risk of phase separation - layering in an ethanol and a petroleum component preceded by turbidity.

Probably the most optimal ethanol-diesel that is obtainable at present. Is it enough with 20% diesel to achieve the necessary lubrication of an ordinary diesel engine? Given that ED95 contains only a few percent of lubricating oil, I guess that 20% diesel oil should be enough to at least hold together parts, but it may be that the lifespan drops somehow, especially for the diesel pump and injectors. Observe that there is no longer any possibility of water collected in the diesel tank with such a liquor constellation. If water has existed previous (high risk of bacterial flora), so is it probably a greater reason for worrying. To increase the fuel ignition willingness one can add a ignition improver. Examples of ignition improvers: Amyl nitrite, Ether.

August 2014
45% E85 mixed with 45% Diesel and a addition of 10% IPA
Summer time:
Winter time:
9 parts E85
9 parts diesel
2 parts IPA

38,2% ethanol
6,80% petrol
45,0% diesel
10,0% IPA
9 parts E75
9 parts diesel
2 parts IPA

33,8% ethanol
11,2% petrol
45,0% diesel
10,0% IPA
Heating value: 38,6MJ/kg
Heating value: 39,5MJ/kg
Gain: 4,4%
Gain: 5,7%
Other information
With the help of the additive isopropanol (IPA), so can also this alternative handle cooling down to 0 ºF.

Possible summer blend if one skip IPA and instead mixes 50/50. If temperature suddenly drops can one have a bottle of IPA in readiness. With 50% diesel oil should the lubrication be secured, but purely economically will one win more on to increasing the ethanol content. The advantages are however; better lubrication, less gasoline in the fuel and safer ignition due to the higher diesel content. The content of ethanol is however high enough to bind possible water and keep bacteria's at a safe distance from the tank.

April 2019
90% Diesel mixed with 10% E85
Summer time:
Winter time:
1 part E85
9 parts diesel

8,50% ethanol
1,50% petrol
90,0% diesel
1 part E75
9 parts diesel

7,50% ethanol
2,50% petrol
90,0% diesel
Heating value: 43,6MJ/kg
Heating value: 43,8MJ/kg
Gain: 2,7%
Gain: 1,9%
Other information
The interesting thing about this blend is that it will work in an ordinary diesel-powered car, without changing anything! So it should be possible to refuel this directly and then just start and drive away.

The mixture can handle several minus centigrade's below zero without alcohol and the diesel layer. At low temperatures, like 15 or -5 ºF, one can see a layering when the temperature rises again, but this layering only occurs at the surface and if the fuel is moved around the components will be mixed again. This type of phase separation does not harm the vehicle. IPA or my additive ISO that shall be dosed 1%, increases the stability - thus, prevent separation.

According to the author shall the fuel consumption fall by 5-10%, in addition the person who prepared and tested this constellation has found that most modern diesel vehicles can use it. I (owner of Esstronic.com) have never be in possess of a diesel car and therefore cannot devote myself to this type of experiment. The object of the tests is a Saab 9-3 1.9 TDI 2008. While the engine seems to work better in overall, the risk of water formation also decreases. Furthermore, the fuel additive I developed a long time ago: ISO (diesel composition) should work well in the current circumstances.

Applicable ED10: I rarely get help from other engine enthusiasts out there, but sometimes it pops up - some tips that drive the development forward! This will applies to the preparation of ED10. A person living in the Swedish town Linkoping (who wishes to remain anonymous), has for a long time tested and documented various alcohol configurations in his diesel car. Various mixtures of IPA, my additive ISO and E85 have thoroughly been worked out under both beautiful and harsh climatic conditions. Finally, it has been possible to establish a recipe that always will work. ED10 one can call this ethanol diesel and it differs from the others because it contains so little ethanol. The interesting thing about ED10 is that it should cut fuel consumption quite drastically, 6.3% according to the measurement protocols. If that is true, I am not capable of commenting, but is it possible that someone in the future will be able to explain the matter more thoroughly? Today's diesel vehicles are better at accepting different types of diesel because there are so many variants. The fuel injectors are controlled by electronics and are adjustable, even if the diesel fuel is not of the grade one would expect. Another peculiarity with ED10 is that it seems cheaper to mix summer ethanol instead of winter ethanol. The program that calculates ”Gain” takes into account the higher price of winter ethanol, therefore it becomes cheaper with summer ethanol. In addition, the extended MPG should be added... When it comes to mixing isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol, IPA) which has also been studied - a noticeable difference in soot deposits in the engine has been observed. A content of IPA, say 1-5% improve the efficiency of the diesel engine since less soot is formed - more of the fuel is used for propulsion rather than soot production. But instead of IPA, you can just as well use ethanol.

An interesting contradiction (or inconsistency) is the discussion that is going on and still going on regarding the requirements of lubrication, existing for a petrol pump and a diesel pump. If you say that it is necessary to have some lubrication in a petrol pump will many at once be critical to this, arguing that if it were so should the trade fuel (in this case gasoline), already be adapted with necessary lubrication. If one instead say that a diesel pump need a little less lubrication than pure diesel can achieve, so we encounter the same criticisms but in reverse form: If one reducing the lubrication just a bit will it jeopardize both the function and longevity of a diesel pump, injectors, etc.

My opinion is that it's not such huge different between a petrol pump and a diesel pump. Even the petrol pump is supposed to actual increase the pressure a few bars - however not as a modern diesel pump which in some cases peaks 2500 but usually around 1500 bar... Well, both of these structures are constructed of steel and if one studying the internal parts of a pump for gasoline so will one discover that it is about precision. It is the fuel film in a diesel-distributor pump metallic surfaces which allow the maintenance of a good lubrication, but it is the fuel pressure which insures that lubrication progresses. If this film is hindered by small particles in the fuel - then one have problems. The most common risk of getting into particles in the fuel is when the diesel is attacked by bacteria and so the life span will be reduced. The consensus of this: It may never form free water in a diesel tank!
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