What You Need to Know about Ethanol Generator
An ethanol generator is similar in most ways to other generators, except for the fact that they use ethanol fuel instead of other fuel types. This one small fact, however, makes a world of difference due to the environment-friendly nature of ethanol fuel.
Advantages of An Ethanol Fueled Generator
Compared to gasoline, ethanol fuel is a renewable resource, so you will not contribute to the oil shortage that some countries are now at the brink of.
Other than that, ethanol fuel burns cleaner than gasoline and helps reduce the amount of carbon contaminants in the air. This way, you can rest assured that as it generates electricity, it won’t release toxic materials into the air, which can then harm your surroundings.
Using an ethanol generator running on an E85 ethanol fuel blend may also qualify you for some benefits and tax incentives offered by the government. And if you produce your own ethanol fuel, your generator will not run out under load and will thus last longer.
Drawbacks of An Ethanol Powered Generator
Like all types of generators, an ethanol fueled generator has its disadvantages.
First of all, one of the most significant problems that people using ethanol fuels face is the lack of fueling stations that offer ethanol.
Car owners who use ethanol to run their cars have to go greater distances before they can find a gas station that offers ethanol fuel.
Despite the fact that ethanol can be locally produced, the country does not have enough resource to produce as much ethanol fuel as necessary to make ethanol fuel a major fuel source. In a few years, however, this is expected to change, so you can also consider your ethanol generator an investment.
Another important disadvantage you should be aware of is that ethanol has less power than gasoline. So even if it is cheaper and cleaner, you will require more of it than gasoline to generate the same amount of electricity. This is not really a major problem, but is more of an inconvenience due to the fact that you will have to fill your generator up more often.
The Working Principle of Ethanol Generators
Instead of burning gasoline to convert it into energy, ethanol generators burn ethanol fuel. Ethanol fuel is made by mixing ethanol and gasoline to produce a blend that can contain either more ethanol or more gasoline.
E85, the higher blend of ethanol fuel, contains more ethanol at 85% than gasoline at 15%. The lower blend, however, also known as E10, is made up of only 10% of ethanol. The higher the ethanol content, the cleaner the fuel is.
However, there are some special requirements for engines before they can safely use higher blends of ethanol fuel.
Majority of generators these days can run only on E10.
There are also some types of generators that benefit more with the use of ethanol fuel. For example, portable generators, emergency generators, and standby generators, which are not continuously used and do not require a large amount of fuel, will use ethanol better than commercial, industrial, or marine types of generators.
Some Quality Brands to Consider
Ethanol generators are still not very easy to find these days, especially in the United States.
However, there is a greater market in store as major generator brands in the US, like Coleman, Honda, and Generac, start looking into cleaner generators powered by alternative fuel sources.
Some brands, such as Black Max, also manufacture generators that can be tuned to run on ethanol fuel.
For many other brands, their generators can often use E10 and can run on E85 as long as the engine can handle it.
Many generators these days are powered by Briggs and Stratton engines, which have been known to use ethanol fuels without any problem. If your engine is not built to tackle ethanol fuel, there are many rebuilding kits on the market so you can raise your engine’s compression and enable it to use ethanol fuels.