Fiat to launch new ethanol/diesel engine in Brazil

According to an article in The New Economic Times, Fiat is planning to launch a new ethanol-powered engine for the Brazilian market. Ethanol is widely used for fuel in Brazil and half of the country's sugar cane crops are currently used for its production. Fiat intends the motor to be run on fuel that the ethanol producers create themselves, saving on taxes. What is most interesting about this story, though, is that it seems the new engine will be based on a current diesel block. In fact, a small amount of diesel fuel is required to run the engine.
"Use of additives (in ethanol) makes running (an engine) dangerous, subject to explosions," according to Fiat Powertrain Technologies product development engineer Joao Irineu Medeiros. "The diesel will be just enough for ignition and the ethanol will complete the combustion," he adds. It sounds like the new Fiat design will be a compression ignition engine running on e-diesel. Instead of being mixed at the pump, though, Fiat is planning to keep the fuels separate until injected into the engine. Proper tuning would be essential, which would explain why Fiat needs until 2010 to bring this engine to market.

[Source: The New Economic Times]

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