E-Diesel – Ethanol and diesel produces eDiesel flex fuel

E-Diesel is a fuel that uses additives in order to allow blending of ethanol with diesel. It includes ethanol blends of 7.7% to 15% and up to 5% special additives that prevent the ethanol and diesel from separating at very low temperatures or if water contamination occurs. Use of E-diesel would also increase demand for ethanol, as diesel vehicles in the U.S. consume approximately 36 billion gallons of diesel a year EIA Annual Energy.

E-Diesel is currently an experimental flex fuel and is being developed by many companies, who can receive federal ethanol tax credit when blending ethanol with diesel. Demonstrations are currently being conducted on the use of E-diesel in heavy-duty trucks, buses, and farm machinery. There is a light increase in operating costs due to a slight (7-10%) mileage decreases with E-diesel use. However, there are many environmental benefits to using e-diesel, such as reduced emissions of Particulate Matter from 27% to 41%, Carbon Monoxide from 20% to 27%, Nitrogen Oxides 4% to 5%.

Supporters of E-diesel see it as a major new market for ethanol and an effective way to help engine manufacturers meet tough new emission standards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For instance, it can take up to 10 years for manufacturers to phase in new engine designs that reduce emissions and meet tough new EPA standards. However, switching to E-diesel gets immediate the environmental benefits.

Ethanol e85 alternative flex fuel conversion kits

What is an aftermarket alternative fuel vehicle conversion? A converted vehicle was originally designed to operate on gasoline but has been altered to run on an alternative fuel such as compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or propane). Vehicle conversions offer AFV options to fleet managers and consumers alike, beyond the supply of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) alternative fuel vehicles.

All vehicle conversions must be certified according to Mobile Source Enforcement Memorandum 1A (Memo 1A), as well as the Addendum to Memo 1A, and the Revision to the Addendum to Memo 1A, which were issued by EPA.

How safe is e85 (Ethanol) and other alternative fuels?

Most people are familiar with gasoline, so they rarely question its safety. However, people who are unaccustomed to alternative fuels may have misconceptions or doubts about their safety in vehicle applications. Some safety issues associated with the use of alternative fuels are outlined here.

Biodiesel is biodegradable, meaning it dissipates quickly after a spill. It has a high flashpoint and low volatility, so it does not ignite as easily as conventional diesel, increasing the margin of safety in its handling. Biodiesel degrades four times faster than conventional diesel and is not particularly soluble in water. It is nontoxic, so it is safe to handle, transport, and store. As with all alternative fuels, adequate training is recommended to operate and maintain biodiesel vehicles. (Source: EPA Biodiesel Fact Sheet, 6698.)

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
The fuel is odorless, and odorants must be added to ensure users can detect leaks and spills. In the event of a leak, the gas will rise to the ceiling and create a potential risk in enclosed areas. Sturdy, heavy storage tanks must be used to avoid possible hazards from the high-pressure storage.

Electrical circuits are self-contained and grounded to prevent the risk of shock from the vehicle frame. Electric vehicle battery packs store enough energy to produce a dangerous, even lethal shock. Electrolytes in the batteries may cause chemical burns, so protective gear must be worn when handling the batteries.

E85 (Ethanol)
If used in an E85-compatible vehicle, E85 is as safe as gasoline.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
The fuel is cooled cryogenically to -260F. At this temperature, bodily contact with the liquid fuel, cold metals, or cold gas can cause cryogenic burns (frostbite). Methane gas detectors must be installed to detect leaks because odorants cannot be added to LNG.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
Strong tank construction is required, but the pressure hazard is less than with CNG. LPG should be odorized, and detectors are recommended to help detect leaks or spills. The fuel is extremely volatile, and LPG fires burn twice as hot as gasoline fires.

Methanol is corrosive to several metals, rubberized components, gaskets, and seals. Low flame luminosity makes M85 fires difficult to detect in the daylight. Unhealthy exposure can occur through fume inhalation, ingestion, or direct contact with skin.