• Jan 3rd 2008 at 10:12AM
  • 2

Dongfeng, one of the largest Chinese manufacturers (with a range of models that include some Citroëns), has announced that is investigating hydrous ethanol. The development does not only mean that they will adapt engines but the development of the fuel itself. What is Dongfeng saying that hydrous ethanol is all about? A 65-percent rich ethanol mix that releases a hydrogen-rich mixture which would burn easily without big modifications in the engine (just one additional mechanism).

The technology would not only make these flex-fuel vehicles cheaper but it's claimed that hydrous ethanol saves a lot of the energy (60 percent) needed to remove water from current ethanol (anhydrous) which is, moreover, mixed up with gasoline for current ethanol applications.

Donfgeng expects to have a production center ready by the end of this year, both with a Research and Development office and an engine assembly plant. Pictured above is the Dongfeng D120 (thanks to our colleagues from Autoblog in Chinese)

[Source: China Economic]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      When they say "hydrogen rich mixture" they really mean it has lots of H2O. "Hydrous Ethanol" is just ethanol with water still in it, as opposed to the "anhydrous ethanol" that is used for Gasohol mixes from E10 to E85.

      It does reduce the energy required to remove the water, thus reducing the cost of fuel. But it also means making a fuel system that is completely waterproof and non-rusting, and this fuel should not be used in other vehicles. Fuel economy would also drop, compared to standard anhydrous E85.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is extremely significant. Add corrosion resistance and general optimal adaptive engine control, and what you buy is FLEXIBILITY -- maximum mpg from whatever fuel you choose to fill up with, from week to week. So far as I know, this is the first industrial-scale step in that direction (beyond mere gasoline/ethanol flexibility) since Ford's important efforts in the 1980's. (See review by Nichols posted at www.werbos.com/energy.htm.) Ford, GM and Toyota could do better but if China is first to market... many, many billions of dollars of value in this innovation.
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