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Flex-Fuel And Flex-Fuel Engine Explained

Almost all the car manufacturers across the globe are already in the race of researching and developing an alternative fuel for engines running on petrol and diesel. But amidst the era of a lot of EVs, there exist engines that run on Flex Fuel.

Flex Fuel
Flex Fuel | Image Source (1)

That said, anything and everything that has been done in the field of flex-fuel is to reduce environmental pollution. So, can the new engines running on Flex Fuel be the turning point? Is Flex Fuel really the future? Well, to answer all these questions, we need to know about flex-fuel.

What is Flex Fuel?

Unlike petrol and diesel that are directly extracted from petroleum reservoirs, the flex-fuel is made in a laboratory. This flex-fuel is a mixture of petrol (gasoline) and ethanol or methanol. This ethanol is extracted from corn or sugarcane crops, meaning it is a renewable resource.

Additionally, the flex-fuel, which is a mixture of two fuel is stored in a single fuel tank, unlike the vehicle that uses different storage containers for fuel (bi-fuel). Well, cars running on flex-fuel should not be confused with bi-fuel cars.

Just for you to know, cars that run on bi-fuel have different containers for different fuels. Like a car that runs on petrol as well as CNG are termed as bi-fuel. The fuel tank and CNG cylinder are different, that makes sense!

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Why Flex Fuel?

Flex Fuel E85
Flex Fuel E85 | Image Source (1)

There are multiple reasons to consider flex fuel as a petrol alternative.

  1. Efficient Technology

    One of the big things to consider is the technology that is involved in making the engines and the flex-fuel itself. The cars that are capable of running on flex-fuel have many advanced sensors that provide the optimum stoichiometric ratio for nearly ideal combustion. Okay, the working of the cars powered by flex-fuel is later in the article.

  2. Is Sustainable

    A flex-fuel contains anywhere from 15-85% ethanol and all the chemistry geeks know that ethanol is produced from sugarcane and corn crops. Hence it is sustainable when compared to fossil fuels.

  3. Performance

    Again, the talks come back to super-advanced technology. In an engine running on flex-fuel, the fuel-delivery system works in conjunction with the ECU to deliver the best possible mileage and performance from a specific amount of fuel.

  4. Better for the Environment

    Where there is combusting, it is evident that it will not be 100% clean. So, the cars with flex-fuel fall somewhere between the non-polluting vehicles and the petrol-powered cars. Besides, they produce fewer greenhouse gasses that are less harmful to the environment.

How does an engine run on flex-fuel?

Car Running on Flex Fuel
Working | Image Source (1)

What if we say, an engine that runs on regular petrol can also run on flex-fuel? Yes! that is correct.

  • Thanks to some little to no modifications any car with the spark-ignition engine can run on this flex-fuel.
  • The modifications include a couple of additional sensors in the fuel tank.
  • These sensors can detect the percentage of ethanol in the fuel and then according to the driver’s input they deliver the precise amount of fuel into the engine via injectors.
  • Rest, it works similar to a conventional SI engine, i.e follows 4 strokes.

Flex Fuel: Future In India

TVS Apache RTR E100
TVS Apache RTR E100

Some time ago, to promote the development in the automotive sector the Transport Minister of India Nitin Gadkari urged carmakers to work on alternative fuel.

  • This is where this futuristic fuel comes to life.
  • In order to promote this development, the government has also permitted the carmakers to set up their own fuel stations. But the catch is, they provide green fuel.
  • In the later stages, the flex-fuel could just make sense, but with a hybrid powertrain to extract every drop out of it.

Just for you to know, TVS has already started the race and is in the lead already. The Indian motorcycle manufacturer TVS has a production Apache RTR 200 4V E100 that runs on this fuel that is E80 (ethanol).

Interesting Read: 10 Best Mileage (Most Fuel Efficient) Petrol Cars | 2021 Edition

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What do you think of the flex-fuel? Will it be game-changing for the automotive sector? let us know in the comment section.

Also, Read The Best Hybrid Cars in India that money can buy!

Utkarsh Bhardwaj
Utkarsh Bhardwaj
Technical Content Strategist at GoMechanic | Big Time Petrolhead with the passion for building cars and driving those beauties.


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