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NEW E10 unleaded compatibility


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I had a slight panic moment this morning as I thought about the new E10 unleaded. I have a 55 reg A3 8P with 1.6 FSI and the gov website stated that the 2004 1.6 FSI was not compatible with the new fuels. Always best to check with Audi though. Mines fine as it’s got the 2006 engine after they checked the reg.



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Hi the stupid aspect of this is that they will be running E5 alongside E10 for a good few years, the E10 has 5% more bio ethanol than the standard fuel but allegedly will be cheaper as you lose up to 10% of your power and MPG but indeed it will reduce emissions on your vehicle dramatically which in theory should reduce your VED rating [ok you can dream]. I can't see that happening as they are clawing back to much capital under the current VED system in my case my road tax is thirty quid but if I had bought the same car two years younger its fixed at a hundred and twenty-five pounds a year because the greedy bustards realised they were losing out and changed the goal post position again to suit them.

Your choice really if your conscience dictates that you must use it by all means do, the only problem is bio ethanol is extremely corrosive and will find any flaws in pipework etc and exploit them, Fords tried to make an engine that would run on pure bio ethanol, great it works running on fuel that comes from rotting cabbages no real emissions to speak of, only problem was it did not matter what they made the fuel pipes out of along with the fuel pump seals it just destroyed them in record time so they scrapped the project, the only fuel bio ethanol works well with is diesel because its Heavy Oil and has loads of natural lubricity and all the seals are made of a higher grade compound but even these rot out if the mixture is to high. E10 = lower price, less MPG, less performance, so the question is apart from lower emissions what is the advantage for the end user.


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I will not argue the economic or thermodynamic aspects of ethanol addition to petrol, but as a chemist most of my working life I challenge the assertion that ethanol is "extremely corrosive". It that was true it would be undrinkable, and given that ethanol is the active ingredient of all booze I don't see millions of people dying after a couple of drinks. Mankind has been making, pumping and storing ethanol for hundreds of years so there are no insurmountable problems in handling it.

No, the fact is that ethanol is a different sort of organic solvent to the octane and related hydrocarbons that comprise petrol, and therefore requires different materials to be used for its storage, pumping, sealing, and injection. It would be easy to design and build a fuel system for ethanol, but our problem arises from trying to run ethanol in existing systems designed for petrol. It is similar to the situation when tetra ethyl lead (the anti knock additive) was eliminated from petrol many years ago. Older cars at the time suffered erosion of the valve seats because they relied on the additive to seal them; newer cars were designed with harder seats and have had no problems ever since.

With regard to emissions from alcohol fuelled engines, there will still be some CO2 because alcohol contains carbon, though proportionately less than petrol. As for nitrous and other oxides of nitrogen (NOX) I do not know, because the generation of NOX depends on the combustion temperature and efficiency of the engine; high efficiency engines create more NOX than low efficiency.

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I will personally just pay that little bit extra for fuel and go premium unleaded, government still taxes that heavily so either way they win

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