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  E85 is an alcohol fuel mixture that typically contains a mixture of up to 85% denatured fuel ethanol and gasoline or other hydrocarbon by volume. On an undenatured basis, the ethanol component ranges from 70% to 83%. E85 as a fuel is widely used in Sweden and is becoming increasingly common in the United States, mainly in the Midwest where corn is a major crop and is the primary source material for ethanol fuel production; however as yet, there are still only about 800 filling stations selling E85 to the public in the US, and only one in Canada[1], [2].

Additional recommended knowledge


Use in flexible-fuel engines

  E-85 ethanol is used in engines modified to accept higher concentrations of ethanol. Such flexible-fuel engines are designed to run on any mixture of gasoline or ethanol with up to 85% ethanol by volume. The primary differences from non-FFVs is the elimination of bare magnesium, aluminum, and rubber parts in the fuel system, the use of fuel pumps capable of operating with electrically conductive (ethanol) instead of non-conducting dielectric (gasoline) fuel, specially-coated wear-resistant engine parts, fuel injection control systems having a wider range of pulse widths (for injecting approximately 40% more fuel), the selection of stainless steel fuel lines (sometimes lined with plastic), the selection of stainless steel fuel tanks in place of terne fuel tanks, and, in some cases, the use of acid-neutralizing motor oil. For vehicles with fuel-tank mounted fuel pumps, additional differences to prevent arcing, as well as flame arrestors positioned in the tank's fill pipe, are also sometimes used.[citations needed]

Comparisons to regular gasoline

The horsepower a given engine has when using E85 is comparable (or slightly higher in some instances) to gasoline. Depending on composition and source, E85 has an octane rating of 100 to 105 [3] compared to regular gasoline's typical rating of 87 for regular and 93 for premium. This allows it to be used in higher compression engines, which can lower emissions.

E85 gets approximately 25% fewer miles per gallon. In order to save money at the pump the price differentiation between gasoline and e85 would need to exceed 25%. Currently E85 is about 5-10% less expensive in most areas.[4] More than 20 fueling stations across the Midwest are selling E85 25%-40% cheaper than gasoline.[5]


  1. ^ "Canada Advancing E85", National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition Newsletter, January 15, 2003
  2. ^ "Canada helps GM clean its fleet", Paul Brent, National Post, 2007
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^

See also

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  1. ^ "Canada Advancing E85", National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition Newsletter, January 15, 2003
  2. ^ "Canada helps GM clean its fleet", Paul Brent, National Post, 2007
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^


  • US Department of Energy

Handbook for Handling Storing and Dispensing E85 National Rewnewable Energy Laboratory, April 2006

  • Center for American Progress

Flex-Fuel Bait and Switch - See how many flex-fuel cars are on the road and how many stations offer E85.

  • Eric Kvaalen, Philip C. Wankat, Bruce A. McKenzie. ethanol Distillation: Basic Principles, Equipment, Performance Relationships, and Safety Purdue University, April 1984.
  • Matthew Phenix. Liquor Does It Quicker. Popular Science, June 2005.
  • Ohio E85 Fleet Test Results
  • Properties of ethanol Transportation Fuels - USDOE Report, Alcohol Fuels Reference Work #1, July 1991 (Especially Chapter 7 [1] for corrosion and increased engine wear risks associated with water-contaminated E85)
  • University of Michigan E85 Emissions Report
  • University of Michigan E85 Control of Emissions Report
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Report on E85 Conversion of Silverado Pickup
  • Turbocharger use of E85. (Personal account of a conversion experiment using E85 in a turbocharged car.)
  • LiveGreen GoYellow
  • Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Impacts of Fuel Ethanol Argonne National Laborator
  • Iowa State University - ISU Formula SAE E85 Run Racecar
  • Winning The Oil Endgame Rocky Mountain Institute's fuel strategy
  • Think Outside The Barrel - Video of a talk by Vinod Khosla at Google TechTalks
  • Flex-fuel Bait and Switch - See how many flex-fuel cars are on the road and how many fuel stations offer E85.
  • Toda la información sobre el combustible E85 bioetanol en España. WWW.E85.ES
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "E85". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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