Title: Effect of Fuel Ethanol Content on Exhaust Emissions of a Flexible Fuel Vehicle
Publisher: European Commission
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC54345
ISBN: 978-92-79-13627-6
ISSN: 1018-5593
Other Identifiers: EUR 24011 EN
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC54345
DOI: 10.2788/39589
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The European Union is aiming at increasing the market share of biofuels in order to improve the security of supply of transport fuel and to reduce CO2 emissions. The target is to reach a 10% of biofuels on energy basis in the transport sector by 2020. Bioethanol and biodiesel represent the only biofuels currently available on the market in big quantities and technologically mature and bioethanol is probably the most widely use alternative fuel in the world (mainly in Brazil and in the USA). According to the literature, the success of bioethanol as alternative fuel is linked to some clear advantages but there are also disadvantages: Advantages: - Very high octane number - As a renewable fuel produces lower CO2 emissions compare to conventional fuels - It reduces some pollutant emissions - Its ozone forming potential is lower than that of gasoline and diesel - It contains no sulphur and is biodegradable Disadvantages: - It increases evaporative emissions (when blended with gasoline at low percentages) - Because of the lower vapour pressure and high latent heat of vaporization of neat ethanol, it makes cold start in cooler climates more difficult. - It increase acetaldehyde emissions but reduces those of formaldehyde. - E85 vehicles give higher unregulated emissions (ethane and acetaldehyde) than gasoline fuelled vehicles. Due to its characteristics neat ethanol cannot be used as transport fuel mainly because its high heat of vaporization and low volatility make cold start very difficult especially in cold climates. The most common way to overcome this problem is to blend ethanol with a small fraction of a much more volatile fuel such as gasoline; the most popular blend is E85 which consists of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline by volume. Although E85 has been extensively used worldwide, engine manufacturers guarantee problem-free operation without any modification only to catalyst equipped cars fuelled with gasoline containing no more than 5% ethanol. However modern catalyst-equipped cars are probably able to run without any material problem with up to 20% ethanol which seems to be the upper limit for cold climates. An experimental activity has been planned and carried out at the JRC to investigate the emissions of a flexible fuel vehicle using different ethanol/gasoline blends. The results of this experimental programme are briefly summarized here below. The details of the work and the complete results are described in the first part of this document ( In particular, three different fuels have been tested: a standard commercial summer gasoline marketed in Italy used as base fuel and two gasoline/ethanol blends, which have been obtained by splash blending ethanol in the standard gasoline. The two gasoline/ethanol blends contained respectively 10% ethanol (E10) and 85% ethanol (E85). The test vehicle was a passenger car currently marketed in Europe and one of the most popular models belonging to the flexible fuel vehicle category. Emission tests were carried out both following the European certification procedure (NEDC cycle) and using a US driving cycle (US 06). Regulated and unregulated emissions were measured.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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