Ethanol mixed petrol is coming soon: Is this good or bad for your car/motorcycle’s engine?

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi announced that our country will be reaching a target of 20 percent for ethanol-blended petrol by 2025. They are planning to reduce carbon emissions by 33 to 35 percent. Currently, 8.5 percent of ethanol is blended into petrol. However, from 2022, the ethanol’s percentage would increase to 10 percent. Many people are worried about what the ethanol blend would do to their engines. Here, is a video uploaded by stuart fillingham that explains the same.

The video tells that the efficiency and the performance could drop by 3.5 to 5 percent depending on the engine. This means that not only the power output will drop but the engine would also be using more fuel per kilometre. This means that the fuel efficiency of the engine would decrease. Eventually, when we get the E20 the percentage would increase even more.

Ethanol mixed petrol is coming soon: Is this good or bad for your car/motorcycle’s engine?

The UK government said that the Ethanol petrol will cost you less than the regular petrol but that has not been the case in the countries where Ethanol blended petrol is already on sale. So, expect the expenditures related to riding a motorcycle or driving a car will increase. Because the prices of petrol are already high and most probably will increase and the fuel economy and performance will decrease.

Another issue with ethanol is that it is hygroscopic. This means ethanol tends to absorb moisture from the atmosphere. So, it does not ignite as well as normal petrol. This causes “fizz separation” which basically means fuel becomes useless and it starts damaging the engine. This happens because of the moisture that the ethanol has absorbed. However, this usually only happens when the fuel in the fuel tank is not used for long durations of time. If you use your motorcycle or car regularly then you would be refuelling it frequently so there would be fresh petrol that does not have moisture in it.

Ethanol mixed petrol is coming soon: Is this good or bad for your car/motorcycle’s engine?

According to the research of the host, this only happens if the fuel is stored for more than 6 months. However, there is a way to combat this. In some countries, the E5 is still sold as Super Unleaded. This might also happen in India. Although, it does cost more than the Ethanol blended petrol. Owners who need to store the vehicle for a long can fill up their fuel tank with the E5 petrol and it should work fine.

One major issue with ethanol-blended fuel is engine compatibility. Ethanol is corrosive to some of the materials that have been previously used in automobile’s mechanicals such as fuel systems. Materials like brass, fibreglass, some plastics and even some rubbers can get damaged because of the ethanol. The solution to this is that the owner should check with the automobile manufacturer if their vehicle is E10 compatible. The government has said that the vehicles that were produced after 2011 should be able to run E10 just fine. Having said that, it is better to get in touch with the manufacturer as they know the vehicle better than the government.