Did you know your car can run on alcohol?

I just watched a documentary about alternative fuels and found out all cars built after 1996 have the ability to run on ethanol. they just need to have a converter installed for the computer.(I also didn't know cars had computers in them.). anyway, I'm definitely having my car converted (as soon as I get one). it's cheaper than gas and possibly better on the environment!!

  • I already knew
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  • I didn't know
    50% (8)18% (4)32% (12)Vote
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Most Helpful Guy

  • A car can run on pretty much anything if you just put the right "converter" on it.
    There are cars that run on water/hydrogen and all sorts of things.

    Elon Musk of Tesla Motors is making good progress on fully electric cars though. The times where we burn things in cars will pass, and for many it already has.

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Most Helpful Girl

What Guys Said 10

  • Cars don't run on ethanol exclusively. They run on ethanol blends. This trend was popular for gas stations in 2007-2008, but the practice has pretty much disappeared. The reason ethanol has been abandoned is because if a large proportions of cars switched to ethanol, food prices would skyrocket.

    Where exactly do you think ethanol comes from? Mass production of ethanol comes from the biodegradation of corn. In 2008, people were buying up all the corn and other grain staples to produce ethanol blended gas. The result was fertilizer prices jumping from $100/ton to $1200/ton, and the cost of farming was very high. Around this time, people were also collecting vegetable oils from restaurants and converting engines to run on used cooking oil. All of these innovations are gone now, and there's very little interest in these technologies.

    Did you ever wonder why? You watched this documentary that was 20 years ago. Everything you watched is basically obsolete now.

    While burning ethanol is cleaner than gasoline, you are not considering the additional fuel and water cost to grow the corn, ship it off to a bio-digester, ethanol purification, methane emissions released from corn decomposition. Somewhere down the road, someone found out that the environmental footprint of ethanol gas was not much better than gasoline.

    It's like the dumbass who buys an electric car and thinks the are driving a clean-energy vehicle. Yet, they don't realize that instead of burning gasoline in their engine, there is a coal plant somewhere nearby spewing crap into the atmosphere so that you can plug your vehicle into the grid to power your car batteries.

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    • "Nowadays, cars are able to run using 100% ethanol fuel or a mix of Ethanol and gasoline (aka flex-fuel)."

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    • You may have missed the point. Every little bit does not help, because there are better things you can be doing with your time.

      Often, I compare this to other scenarios I see in public. A woman in front of me at the grocery store threw a fit because "last week, I bought 2 applies and they were rotten inside.". She then proceeded to hold up the line for 5 minutes, demanding a 50 cent discount. This embarrassed herself for being cheap and petty, and I wonder if she'd react differently if people she knew were around (her peers, family or boss). All that effort and embarrassment and triggering the annoyance of others... for 50 cents.

      If you're going to do something, do the things that are significant. Don't bother with insignificance, or you will be insignificant. This is part of the reason why the 99% remain in the 99% bracket throughout their life. They do the small easy things, that don't end up contributing a whole lot.

    • every little bit does help, especially when more and more people come on board. just because something isn't important to doesn't mean it's irrelevant.

      as for the woman getting back 50 cents, for all you know she's seriously down on her luck and that little 50 cents is helping her somehow. though, I'm guessing you heard wrong, because apple tend to be quite expensive. unless you shop at really cheap mexican or Asian stores

  • Ethanol is cheaper but is not as efficient as the higher grade fuels. I run 98 octane fuel always and is actually cheaper to run on even though its the most expensive. The reason is the price-to-efficiency ratio is a lot better than the other grades. So you get more power for every drop of 98 octane fuel compared to 95 octane and lower. This has been tested and proven so its actually a lot better if you go 98 octane. Ethanol is better for the environment, but not by much. And ethanol actually destroys your engine quicker because a lot water is produced from the combustion of this fuel. The other fuels also produce water, but not as much and doesn't rust as quick as ethanol does. Ethanol is inefficient and rusts your engine.

    I think if we chose hydrogen we could move on from fossil fuels. Since it is the only viable option which carries enough power to run your car efficiently. Electric cars are great, but need to be recharged frequently and I dont see it getting to the point of having enough power anytime soon. Biofuels can work but are inefficient and still bad for the environment. The reason hydrogen isn't being used widely yet is because oil companies would lose a lot of money and they have a large influence on governments. Oil is basicly the most valuable commodity since it wins wars and runs the economy. Hydrogen has been falsely been said to be dangerous and hard to contain by the media. People dont actually realise that it is safe. Also it would be hard to control the production and price of it since hydrogen can be made by very easily by anyone in their backyard. So its hard for the government to regulate it.

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    • my plan is to eventually get an electric car. after having a house of my own someday, I'd like to get solar panels and produce it myself, for the car, home, etc..

      I don't know what octane is, I'll have to Google it later.

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    • well if ethnol has higher octane how is that not better than gas?

      I want to live completely off the grid eventually. solar panels, collect and clean rain water, or ground if safe, grow all my own food, make most of my own clothing, etc

    • Ethanol corrodes the engine. thats why only small percentages are put into biofuels like 10%. 100% ethanol would badly damage the engine and also has less fuel economy than normal gasoline. even though it has a high octane rating it produces less energy and is power to volume inefficient. Octane rating is only indicative of its power and is a measure of its compression before ignition measurement. The more compression a fuel can take usually indicates its power output but there are other factors which determine power output. It is good for the environment since its produces less pollution. Also it easily absorbs contaminants because it is very soluble which produce electrolysis corroding the engine and also absorbs water form the air which also corrodes the engine even faster.

  • Here in Brazil the cars accept gasoline and ethanol since 2005. It the most common thing in the world having alcohol in your car here. Every gas station has both options and your cars too.

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    • yea, I saw that in the documentary. that's awesome! which do you use?

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    • was it cheaper, or the same?

    • It doesn't have an influece in the price of the car actually. Well, back in 2005 the cars that ran on both were more expensive, today they're not anymore. However, ethanol is cheaper than gasoline, but since it's Brazil, the prices are high as well.

  • media.giphy.com/media/1FnPDkhFZDgoU/giphy.gif
    I mean not exclusively and not all cars, you have to change a few things but yeah.

    But yeah, I definitely knew cars had computers in them. Many super and luxury cars do.
    Actually Tesla is known for it.

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  • it's been a known fact pretty much since the early 1900's probably almost since the invention of cars. it's also not cheaper or more efficient. you're better off using gas.

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    • well, according to my little poll, I'm not the only one who didn't know.

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    • i mean i did kinda misinterpret what you wrote in the response, but didn't misinterpret the question or what you wrote beyond that. you did say "I'm not the only one who didn't know." regardless of whether you actually did know or not, i still feel like it's pretty much common knowledge since it's been tested hundreds of times and used plenty of times in the media via movies, tv shows, etc.

    • ook, so? I only asked to see how many others did or didn't know.

  • Yes I do, but older cars, especially ones that are carbureted have trouble running on alcohol, since the air to fuel ratio is different for alcohol than it is for gas. No need to have a converter installed if you get a flex fuel car. Running alcohol on a non-flex car with a converter installed can still cause problems with the fuel lines, gaskets and injectors since their not designed to handle harshness of the alcohol. Alcohol is greener than gasoline but is less efficient. A better alternative to running a car on alcohol is vegetable oil which can be turned into bio diesel or run can be runed straight with the simple modification of a fuel tank heater.

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    • I heard about using vegetable oil long ago, but that would actually be overly expensive, unless you manage to have several restaurants to get used oil from.

    • Getting used oil for free from local restaurants isn't that hard as they don't haft to pay to get rid of the oil.

  • Hows that for drunk driving
    Also feel free to stab me repeatedly for that

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  • A supposed old moonshiners trick was to store the moonshine in the gas tank of their vehicles...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su1oyqJemQg

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  • Alcohol isn't cheaper

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    • "Ethanol, the best-performing energy commodity this year, is cheaper than gasoline, encouraging refiners to use the biofuel even if President Barack Obama’s administration ends a requirement to do so.

      A 49 cent-per-gallon discount to gasoline provides…an opportunity to profit by blending the corn-based additive into fuel, while easing prices at the pump for consumers. Marketers may use ethanol as they look for the cheapest way to boost engine performance and reduce pollution."

  • It's not cheaper than gas. It's subsidized by the government. It's probably not better for the environment either. You are just trading one form of degradation for another.

    What would be better for the environment is if you dive less and take public transportation.

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    • I don't drive at all.. yet. I hate public transit. when it's warm, I bike everywhere. the main reason I want a car is to travel around the country.

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    • "At the current corn price of around $7.00 per bushel, just the corn feedstock cost for corn-based ethanol should be about $2.53 per gallon. On an equivalent energy basis, the cost of the corn feedstock for corn-based ethanol is $3.80 per gallon of gasoline."

      That's before you even refine or transport it.

    • Oh and that's the raw cost not after taxation the average taxes on gas in the USA amount to about $.30 a gallon. The before tax current cost of gasoline is about $1.70. Or considerably less than half that of ethanol.

What Girls Said 4

  • It cannot run on pure alcohol. Most gasoline's already have 10% ethanol in them.

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    • yes, they can run on 100% alcohol. the original cars actually did. farmers used to sell ethanol to drivers to run their cars. supposedly, gas companies encouraged prohibition to eliminate the competition

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    • Your speaking of 1910 not 2016. Yes cause originally ran on ethanol that does not mean today's cars can. So most racing cars such as those in Indianapolis can run on 100% ethanol but that's special engines. You cannot run out and buy a car that runs on 100% ethanol. And I doubt you can economically convert one

    • "Nowadays, cars are able to run using 100% ethanol fuel or a mix of Ethanol and gasoline (aka flex-fuel)."

  • That's not news

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  • I dunnno I don't have a car!

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  • Do some research on ethanol you may be in for a surprise. Mosh ethanol in the U S is made from corn.

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