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I was looking for ways to cut down on fuel costs and came across sources on the Internet saying that diesel engines can burn 85% ethanol. I also found an anecdote from someone with a truck that accidentally filled with E85 and didn't even notice until he had used the whole tank. This leads to the question. Can I fill my Cruze with E85? If not, can I modify to run on E85?

The obvious incentive is that oil prices are probably not going down. Burning ethanol is going to be a lot cheaper if it can be done without ruining the engine.
 

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Oh lord NO!!!!
 

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Absolutely not! Ethanol (E85) is a substitute for gas not diesel. Even then only certain gas engines are able to run E85.
 

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The Nuclear Option
2015 Chevrolet Cruze LT 1.4L Turbo
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I was looking for ways to cut down on fuel costs and came across sources on the Internet saying that diesel engines can burn 85% ethanol. I also found an anecdote from someone with a truck that accidentally filled with E85 and didn't even notice until he had used the whole tank. This leads to the question. Can I fill my Cruze with E85? If not, can I modify to run on E85?

The obvious incentive is that oil prices are probably not going down. Burning ethanol is going to be a lot cheaper if it can be done without ruining the engine.
I don't think the autoignition temperature of E85 is high enough. If it is, it won't be good on the fuel system.
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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Um. Wut.
 

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Can I fill my Cruze with E85? You can but it won't run for very long.

If not, can I modify to run on E85? Swap the diesel engine for an engine that is designed to run on E85.

Seriously, I'm thinking learn to be very light on the go pedal since the price of fuel is a concern for you, drive less or find other ways to get where your going.
 

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I don't think the autoignition temperature of E85 is high enough. If it is, it won't be good on the fuel system.
I know of two trials using ethanol fuel in Diesel engines.

ADM (huge agri-business conglomerate) did it in 1992 with some Detroit Diesel engines they converted. The fuel used was 95% ethanol and 5% gasoline. Engines were modified with 23:1 compression (up from 18:1 in the standard 6V-92TA engines), injectors with larger holes, modified ECU, and glow plugs added for cold starts. Engine power was OK for the most part but injectors repeatedly needed to be replaced due to clogging with come coke/gum deposits.

In modern times, Scania (European truck manufacturer) offers an inline-5 engine for mass transit buses (but maybe they could and would offer it in semis if someone wanted to buy it?) that uses ED95 fuel. The fuel is 95% ethanol and then 5% of an ignition-improver (something with a high cetane number) that also acts as a lubricant and corrosion inhibitor in the fuel system. Maybe the 5% is a mixture of things to do all those jobs, but it's a blended fuel with 95% ethanol. For their engines, compression is all the way up to 28:1 and the exhaust is so clean that I don't think it needs a particulate filter.

There are also some dual-fuel engines that use natural gas. The Napa Valley Wine Train operates a vintage locomotive that uses compressed natural gas. I think the engine has an ECU programmed to always inject Diesel fuel at idle and as an ignition event, and the natural gas is fed into the engine intake through some sort of carburetor or fuel injection that mixes it all in and it's a gas drawn into the cylinders. The compression doesn't ignite the natural gas so they still need a pilot injection of Diesel fuel to ignite each combustion event as if it were like a spark plug. This also has some fall-back operation where they can run out of CNG fuel and switch back to using 100% Diesel in limited circumstances.
 

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A complicated engine with electronic cams, variable displacement, and HCCI would probably be the end game of ICE. With only laser ignition being a possible improvement.

But why bother? EVs are simply better. No one important is developing new ICE tech. The only ones who are were simply late to the EV party and are trying to save a sinking ship.

HCCI is dead.
 

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Just to add my personal experience to this thread....years ago my dad had an 06 Duramax 2500 Silverado pick-up(that I now own) and accidentally grabbed the "different colored handle" from the pump and proceeded to fill his tank. He was down to about a quarter tank at about 5miles from home and filled it with E85. He got half way home and it started running like poop and smoking like nothin else he'd experienced before. He continued to drive home because it was midnight, thought he killed the engine. I came out the next day and drained all the fuel, put 5g fresh diesel in and primed it up. It's been running great ever since.

Moral of that story here is that yes a diesel can run on E85, but a small 4-cylinder diesel that has full emissions with DEF and DPF is probably a horrible idea and won't run good, if it runs long at all.
 

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A complicated engine with electronic cams, variable displacement, and HCCI would probably be the end game of ICE. With only laser ignition being a possible improvement.

But why bother? EVs are simply better. No one important is developing new ICE tech. The only ones who are were simply late to the EV party and are trying to save a sinking ship.

HCCI is dead.
Not to mention, Mazda has been talking about that engine for seemingly forever now.
 

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Mazda is making/made a production ready HCCI engine. It uses compression ignition (with spark assist for control) that uses gasoline.
Yeah, OK, tell me when they get around to selling that in the USA.

I waited like 8 years for Mazda to bring their Diesel engine to the USA as they said they would. Said it would be in the 6 sedan and would offer a 6-speed manual transmission. It never showed up. I bought my Cruze and Mazda finally brought their Diesel engine in the CX-5, automatic only, sold 1,000 of them at outrageous prices due to it being the highest trim, and then quit and dumped the ones they had with huge discounts.

If Mazda had offered a version of their Skyactiv-X engine, I'd have bought it.
 

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They will probably bring the X to the USA once it gets some real world miles under it. I think companies are afraid to try new things in the US because once it gets set in minds here about something it's hard to fix it. They wouldn't want the engine to get a bad reputation here. Hell, it took GM 30 years to bring back diesel in a sedan.
 
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