Originally Posted by Baketech
Is E85 really a feasible fuel, or a political distraction?
Is anyone out there using E85 yet, and if so, what are your thoughts thus far?
Brazil uses it, and has for many years (I used to be in a group that delivered fuel and control systems to Ford and VW down there).
To take advantage of it, your engine, and fuel system, must be configured for it. Plastics are not as much an issue as the seals are. Need more compression, and since the heating value is less you need to burn more to get the same power out.
As Phobe notes, it won't replace fossil fuels as long as their price can be kept resonable. Having it in the system does give options if gas goes up, and also serves to put pressure on the foreign gas companies to keep prices down. So I think it is a good thing to bring into the system. Gas stations can store it now with just a few modifications (updades seals, special vents on tank vents, etc.)
Alcohol is hydroscopic (absorbs water), which is why the special vents are needed ... to keep humid air out.
There are also a few other issues with alcohol, like low flash points, which is one of the reasons for 15% gasolene.... it also keeps people from drinking it
Sorry for being wordy, but now need to leave the office so won't get to participate any more this afternoon.