When bio-ethanol gets cold

With the temperature dipping to -2°C this week, I had an unexpected chance to find out how bio-ethanol reacts to the colder weather.

This is not as cold is it can get in winter here – I’ve experienced -18°C before now! But with the cold wind blowing it certainly felt different to the temperatures that we had been having the previous week.

When bio-ethanol gets cold it apparently gets sluggish. This is why there is a socket on the front of the car, so that I can attach it to the mains and warm the tank up slightly before driving off. Well, that’s the theory at least. As I don’t have an electrical socket anywhere near where I had parked the car, that wasn’t really a solution.

The alternative is to put some normal petrol into the tank during the winter. Again, the drop in temperature came so unexpected, that I hadn’t done this and had only E85 in the tank.

So I drove off anyway – and I can’t say that I noticed any difference. Perhaps the cold temperature hadn’t affected the bio-ethanol as much as I had expected? Perhaps it just wasn’t cold enough yet!

I shall be keeping a watchful eye on the thermometer and may well start mixing in some normal fuel next month.

Stern, Spiegel & Focus

Stern, Spiegel and Focus are three German magazines. They appear weekly and feature topics from German society. Some have more political topics, others concentrate more on the economy. Politically, they occupy three slightly different positions.

Stern and Spiegel have been published for nearly 60 years, whereas Focus first started in the 1990s.

To hear a simple explanation in German, listen to the podcast:

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Der Stern | Der Spiegel | Der Focus

Driving a bio-ethanol car

Today the Monday Podcast talks about a new type of fuel – bio-ethanol. Graham has been driving a bio-ethanol car for the last week and comments on how the car is running and how new fuels help the environment.

Listen to the podcast to find out more:

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Driving with Bio-ethanol

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Ford Bioethanol

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