converted to run on ethanol

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converted to run on ethanol

Post by fireblade900 »

Hi anyone read this yet ?
Anyone running on Ethanol in Ireland ?

(copied below from Forum on the site.)

For interest sake, this was posted on the Yahoo Cessna 150_152 Forum:

A Cessna 152 has been converted to run on ethanol, not E85 or AGE85,
pure ethanol. Fuel cost is between $1.50 and $2.00 a gallon. They added
a boost pump, an injector, and anodized the insides of the aluminum fuel
system - and it turns out, that wasn't needed because there's an
anti-oxidation additive which goes into the fuel and does the same
thing. The airplane could be switched back and forth between avgas and
ethanol in flight with no problems!

The otherwise stock 152 produced 126 hp, since FAA prohibits more than a
5% increase in hp, the engine was derated to 113 hp.

A Cessna 150 has been converted to run on ethanol as well - West
Virginia University did it (more recently than the 152 above), again, no
big deal, they added a boost pump and a toggle switch - boost pump is
used on takeoff, turned off in cruise. They also changed the main jet in
the carb. No corrosion problems there either.

In NEITHER case did the ethanol attack the rubber seals in the fuel
system - and even if it did, there are perhaps half a dozen total. That
old bugaboo turns out to be nonsense.

Down sides - 1) Range is reduced 15% or so. If you have the long range
tanks, this is not a problem, I can't sit in my 150 for six hours
anyway. Standard tanks means perhaps half an hour's less range.

2) Ethanol absorbs moisture, which isn't a problem unless it
precipitates out again. Careful preflight and enthusiastic use of the
quick drains should fix that. Make sure the fuel cap gaskets are good, too.

3) Final problem is of course certification . . . but if we could build
on the work done above, we could solve that.

Someone is offering a self-contained ethanol distiller in a shipping
container for about $10K, delivered. It makes pure ethanol at a net cost
of about $1.00 a gallon. If avgas costs $5.00 a gallon, that's a savings
of $4.00 a gallon, at five gallons an hour, you can save $20 for each
flight hour. Break even is therefore only 500 flight hours - so if we
got three or four 150 drivers to go in together on this, break even
might be a year or so . . . and we'd fly lots more because we could

Ethanol isn't really "green", and use of croplands (particularly corn)
to make ethanol is one of the drivers of high food prices, but despite
these inconvenient facts, ethanol has very good press these days, and
with some research and effort might solve the fuel problem for us.
Eventually, they'll switch to non-food sources of cellulose
(switchgrass, which is a weed, for one, perhaps even Kudzu), and then
we'll be all set.

Lets do some thinking about this . . .

And check this out: ... enDocument

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Post by Nanolight »

My friend's dad is a master brewer by trade and has a process plant design company. He was called in to design two large plants to distill bio-ethanol in England.

The plug got pulled on the plants however whtn they realised that it was going to take 1.1 litres of crude oil to get 1 lite of ethonol.

Ergo, biothanol is a waste of time and is only viable because of the massive subsidies given to its production. There is no future in it.
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.

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Post by fireblade900 »

I knew it ! It was too good to be true...

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Post by stovepipe »

Haven't they been using ethanol in fuel for years in Brazil.Embraer(Paulinista?) built a whole series of crop-dusters and light aircraft, specifically designed to run on ethanol mixes made from sugar cane.

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Post by fireblade900 »

Hi "stovepipe" thanks for the input, yahhh that's the way, but how to get this operational in Ireland, I was hoping to hear someone trying this more nearer to our shores... and never mind the diesel fiasco... on a separate note, but close this this cost saving operation, I was hoping on the next overhaul on my Cessna to eventually convert to a diesel engine, but so far thats has had its own share of problems and mostly more political then actually technical...

Now that the celtic tiger is well beried, and more scruteny has started in where every euro goes, I thought there might have been a few more interested parties in the ethanol, as its 1) Cheap, 2) very little conversion required on a standard engine... so what's the hold back ? Insurance, JAA, IAA approval, etc, etc..

time to bery this post until another time...

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Ethanol in fuel

Post by hum »

Anyone that runs unleaded petrol in their aircraft should be aware of the potential for unexpected results...

There is not an 'Avgas' equivalent quality control system in the standard of forecourt unleaded petrol. One can see all sorts of additives cleaners and 'enhancers' advertised these days. Unleaded petrol seems to smell 'different' these days also - maybe I am imagining it - anyone else notice this? I have come across a few stations in Ireland that advertise 10% ethanol in their 95 octane unleaded... Several reasons why this is not good for a light aircraft:

1. Higher vapour pressure means bubbles can form in fuel lines and pumps when you don't expect it to - eg low pressure warm days - esp at high altitude.

2. More heat required to vapourise ethanol means increased likelihood of carb icing..

3. Ethanol might not be good for some of the components of your fuel system - think about rubber component of the engine - driven fuel pump, seals, any non-metal pipes etc...

The regs are there as a result of years of hard lessons... stick to them...

Don't fly above 6000 ft on unleaded 'car' petrol (mogas)
Don't allow mogas in tanks to get above 20 Deg C
Don't use fuel with ethanol (there is an easy test.. look it up in the links below)

If you have 2 tanks think about using Avgas for take-off and landing and switch to the cheap stuff in the cruise.

Read about mogas and ethanol in general on these websites:

UK position here

Irish position here ... =185&a=493

aeronautical notice here:

Good US site and source of most of the mods here: ... ation.html

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