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Scania Extending Heavy-Duty Ethanol Engine Technology to Trucks

Scania
Scania’s third-generation CI ethanol engine.

Scania is now extending the application of its third-generation heavy-duty, ethanol-fueled engines to a range of trucks.

Scania’s ethanol engines work according to the diesel principle (compression-ignition, CI). At 43%, the thermal efficiency of Scania’s new ethanol engine is on a par with its diesel engines (44% thermal efficiency). The ethanol used for diesel combustion contains 5-7% additives that improve ignition and lubrication.

The new ethanol engine is an adaptation of Scania’s 9-liter diesel engine with charge-cooling and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). The engine meets the enhanced environmentally friendly vehicle (EEV) standard, which is slightly stricter than Euro 5, the exhaust standard being introduced in the European Union in October 2009.

The engine delivers 270 hp (201 kW) of power and torque of 1,200 Nm (885 lb-ft).

Scania regards ethanol as the most cost-efficient renewable fuel currently available for urban operation. (Earlier post.)

Scania has built 600 ethanol-powered city buses since 1989, supplying most of them to Swedish cities. According to Stockholm Public Transport (SL), there are no operational drawbacks as long as scheduled maintenance requirements are followed. The buses are completely standard, using regular Scania components.

Scania is working together with other interested parties in establishing an infrastructure for ethanol fuel distribution. Once the fuel infrastructure is in place, the company says, it will also be possible for smaller transport companies to invest in ethanol-powered vehicles.

Comments

Rafael Seidl

Running a compression ignition engine on a modified spark ignition fuel is something of a tour de force, but Sweden is hot to trot about its homegrown ethanol (made from forestry waste).

Perhaps they'll switch to a lean-burn spark ignition engine down the road to avoid the need for those special fuel additives.

Some Jerk

The Swedes do a good job with ethanol engines. I'm buying a used Saab 9-5, and getting the ECU tweaked with new fuel maps and settings for E85.

Goes from 180 HP on the base engine to 230 HP and 266 lb/ft! From what I have read, the small turbo 4 doesn't lose too much mileage from running E85 either, since the boost and timing settings are adjusted to take advantage of 105 octane fuel.

Not too bad for a $900 upgrade, as long as you live near an E85 pump.

Gary

Terrific. I'm sure the starving people in Africa will be overjoyed to hear about a great big food burning engine.

Bleeding Heart

I would wager to guess that starving people in Africa don't frequent Green Car Congress or Scania.com.

Nick

Gary--

See Rafael's comment about the source of ethanol in Sweden.

Jay Tee

Gary-
Ethanol will only briefly be made from food crops. Then it will be made from other sources, such as wood, cellulosic materials, garbage, animal processing waste, manure, and even algae.
Take a chill, man. People in Africa will now have something to grow and sell to a world market, if anything.

Some Jerk

There is some line of thinking that absorbing some of the US's prodigious output is actually beneficial. It's been established our current aid system of dropping tons of US crop output into developing countries pushes local crop prices through the floor, devestating the less productive local agriculture industry, and reducing local output, which leads to a vicious cycle as land goes out of production. With energy prices rising, some relocalization of food production is inevitable, regardless of biofuels.

Corn ethanol sucks from a return on energy input point of view, but it doesn't fund Wahabbi madrassas and reduces CO2 output slightly. Regardless, its merely transitional. The state of the art in brewing cellulostic ethanol is advancing as fast as bacteria can be bred/engineered, which is pretty damn fast.


Dan A

Yes, and cosidering biodiesel is resposible for the destruction of huge swaths of rainforest, biodiesel isn't exactly squeeky clean yet either. So considering this engine dramatically improves ethanol efficency without the drawbacks of burning diesel, I think this is a pretty big deal.

Any recent news on cellulosic ethanol? Last I heard there was one company buiding a plant that would eventually get up to 100 million gpy, but nothing as of late.

DS
Terrific. I'm sure the starving people in Africa will be overjoyed to hear about a great big food burning engine.
The people in Africa were still starving when gas was $0.50/gal. Perhaps if there weren't massive farm subsides in North America & Europe, African could compete and grow their own food.
Carl

@ Rafael -

I'm not sure the additives are an issue since ethanol has to be denatured anyway (usually with at least 5% denaturant), although it's not clear if these "additives" would constitute a denaturant.

Another Jerk

"Yes, and cosidering biodiesel is resposible for the destruction of huge swaths of rainforest..."

Which is why non-palm feedstocks like recycled vegetable oil, animal fat and algal oil must be accelerated. The world demand for cooking oil far outstrips oil-seed planting for biodiesel.

As for ethanol causing starvation... Little to no evidence of this as food price rises have been largely artificial. One phrase that needs to return to the sustainable discussion is "population control." There is a popular school of thought that middle classes sharply curtail reproduction. This appears to be the goal for China and India - where its needed the most.

Kenn

There is a company called BlueFire working on cellulosic ethanol in California. They're getting the last of the permits, and having the plant built in a modular fashion. Estimates are 3.1 million gallons annually out of post-recycled landfill waste. Sounds like a good plan to me, less garbage in the ground, and lower cost fuels.

Kenn

There is a company called BlueFire working on cellulosic ethanol in California. They're getting the last of the permits, and having the plant built in a modular fashion. Estimates are 3.1 million gallons annually out of post-recycled landfill waste. Sounds like a good plan to me, less garbage in the ground, and lower cost fuels.

rexis

A CI truck engine on ethanol? Interesting, wonder what is the emission figure compare to the diesel counterpart.

When we mention it is about the thermal efficiency of diesel CI, I would figure that it has much less mileage if compare on liters of fuel basis for the ethanol CI and diesel CI.

Alain

one of the main reasons of high food prices is the high energy price. So, technologies to lower the energy-price are essential for reducing food prices.

Rafael Seidl

@ Carl -

denaturing is a strategy for making fuel ethanol unfit for human consumption and therefore, exempt from duty. This usually involves a dye and a small amount of hydrocarbons, far less than 5%. Conveniently, this also prevents biological contamination of the product.

The additives required in the special fuel for this modified engine have a different primary purpose: they need to improve the cetane number, i.e. facilitate ignition. Ethanol has a high octane rating, which corresponds to a low cetane number. My guess is the additive consists mostly of diesel fuel. As a fringe benefit, it would of course also denature the ethanol.

DS
one of the main reasons of high food prices is the high energy price. So, technologies to lower the energy-price are essential for reducing food prices.
the other reason is that Australia has been in a severe drought since 2003. I wonder if this drought has something to do with Global Warming[/sarcasm]
sjc

Range Fuels, Syntec and others are producing cellulose ethanol. Range got more than $70 million in a grant from the federal government to build their plant in Georgia. I would say that we will see announcements of more facilities in the coming months.

fred

Since it has two alternators, a nice option would be one of those BeltAlternatorStarter thingys.

Herm

can ethanol be mixed with diesel fuel and burned in diesel engines?.. would it help clean up diesels?.. it would definetely clear up water from the fuel, a problem in some places.

Jeremy LaGree

For all you uneducated people always concerned about starving people in Africa and Ethanol... Ethanol isn't made with food grade corn!!! And besides that it isn't our job to feed everyone! Ever heard the term that its better to teach one to fish rather to keep fishing for them? the whole world has grown lazy and dependent on our grain. And the grain we use for Ethanol doesn't come from food grade corn, its yellow corn type II. And I feel sorry for you if you would try to prove me wrong and eat it!

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