May 4, 2006

Researchers exploring ethanol direct injection

Cambridge, Massachusetts – Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are exploring the use of ethanol direct injection (DI) to support the use of small, highly turbocharged engines with substantially increased efficiency. The researchers project that ethanol DI could result in a part-load efficiency increase of 30 per cent, relative to conventional port-fueled injection engines.

The proposed approach could potentially provide a more cost-effective alternative to current generations of gasoline-electric hybrids and turbo diesel engines. The concept uses the high octane rating of ethanol, coupled with the evaporative cooling from direct injection, to support a higher-pressure, more efficient engine. Only a small amount of ethanol, such as one gallon of ethanol for every twenty gallons of gasoline, may be required to achieve the large increase in efficiency.

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