Optimizing high-volume ethanol fuel composition for cold driving conditions

Juhani Laurikko, Nils-Olof Nylund, Jari Suominen, Mika P.A. Anttonen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


    VTT has together with the Finnish energy company St1 tested different high-volume ethanol fuel (E85) samples in order to find the optimum composition for this fuel to perform satisfactorily in low ambient temperature driving conditions encountered in Finland quite frequently during the winter season. Altogether seven different fuel compositions were evaluated, with 70 to 85 % of anhydrous bioethanol, and various different mixes of regular petrol components and some specific species like ETBE, butane, iso-butanol etc. As a reference, new Euro-quality 95E10 petrol with 10 % ethanol was used. Fuel vapour pressure of each sample was adjusted according to test temperatures to match summer or winter condition and ensure effortless start-up. Test results showed that the composition of the fuel had marked influence on emissions. The lower the test temperature was, the more distinctive were the differences. Based on the results, about -15 °C would be the lower limit of operation with "straight" E85 mixture composed ethanol and petrol. On the other hand the more "engineered" fuels performed much better, and allowed starting as low as at -20 to -25 °C. Cold start and driving was possible at equal level of unburned hydrocarbons and other unwanted emissions (aldehydes, ethanol) at an ambient temperature more than 10 °C lower compared to "straight" E85 fuel.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of XIX ISAF
    Place of PublicationVerona, Italy
    PublisherUniversity of Florence
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    EventXIX International Symposium on Alcohol Fuels, ISAF 2011 - Verona, Italy
    Duration: 10 Oct 201114 Oct 2011
    Conference number: 19


    ConferenceXIX International Symposium on Alcohol Fuels, ISAF 2011
    Abbreviated titleISAF 2011


    • E85
    • cold ambient conditions
    • fuel composition
    • exhaust emissions
    • waste-to-fuel


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