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Elastomer compatibility with ethanol in fuel

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In recent years the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) in Europe has caused much consternation to owners of older vehicles, including many vintage, classic and not-so-old race and rally machinery. Effectively requiring EU countries to introduce ethanol biofuel into gasoline at the rate of up to 5.75% by 2010, the push by the EU is now to increase this to 10% in the not too distant future and even further (20% and higher) thereafter. In a previous article I outlined some of the...

The emulsion tube

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When it comes to carburettors there are essentially two types each working on differing principles –the constant depression device or that of the fixed venturi, sometimes referred to as fixed jet. Because of their simplicity and ease of setting up, many vehicles in the past have been fitted with constant depression-type units, but where ultimate performance is required and although difficult to ‘tune’ – or as we now say, calibrate precisely – the choice is...

The fuel tank and ethanol

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The use of ethanol in gasoline fuel has many benefits. Apart from its characteristics as an oxygenate and high-octane blending component, reducing the net amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is clearly one of them. But while farmers have benefited as home-grown corn or biomass is fermented into alcohol, the real effect of adding ethanol to gasoline on the classic racing community has yet to take its full effect. So while the US authorities have already sanctioned the widespread...

Feeding the beast

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The fuel injector is an electromagnetically controlled device designed to meter fuel to the engine, and at the same time offer it in a form such that it can be readily combusted. Presented in this way, the task of the injector would therefore seem to be fairly straightforward, and over the years a number of designs have been offered. Pintle-type injectors, ball-and-seat designs through to simple disc derivatives – each new design has been slightly more tolerant to the build-up of...

Diesel fuel filtration

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In the search for engine performance – whether it is more power, better fuel economy or cleaner exhaust gases – the overriding direction irrespective of fuel type is one of higher fuel injection pressures. In a typical gasoline direct injected engine, the rail pressure will be around 200 bar or more; in a diesel engine with the latest of common rail injection, the pressure in the injectors will be well beyond this, with figures of up to 3500 bar currently quoted. From a technical...