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Cleaner Cars from Volvo

Environment consciousness in the global community is growing as a result of unrelenting campaign of environmentalist for the people to protect Mother Earth. In connection with this, car manufactures are in a position to help alleviate the problem with pollution, one of the primary reasons of which is the emission from vehicles.

Different companies have been developing ways to decrease the emission of their cars and at the same time lower fuel consumption. Lowering the amount of fossil fuel based products consumed by automobiles will greatly help in preserving the world’s fossil fuel reserve. Car manufacturers, most notably Toyota and Honda, have come up with hybrid vehicles which use electricity to power their car but the fuel savings is not nearly enough to protect our natural reserves of fossil fuel.

Volvo has come up with a way to help in the protection of the environment by using alternative fuel on some of their car models. FlexiFuel models are now being produced by the Sweden-based car manufacturer. These are the Volvo C30, S40, and the V50 models. These cars use an alternative fuel called E85 which is a combination of ethanol and petrol. The combination of which is 85 per cent bio-ethanol and 15 per cent gasoline. Use of the E85 alternative fuel reduces emissions of fossil carbon dioxide which is harmful to the environment by as much as 80 per cent compared to cars using gasoline only.

The models equipped with the FlexiFuel technology are equipped with a four-cylinder engine which can produce 125 horsepower. The usage of the alternative fuel does no harm to the engines’ performance. The bio-ethanol and gasoline combination is stored on the models’ 55 liter tank. To accommodate the corrosive properties of ethanol, changes have to be made to the engine’s construction. Fuel hoses, valves, and gaskets have been modified and fortified to take on the corrosive nature of ethanol. Injection valves have also been modified and made larger since a larger amount of fuel needs to be injected to the combustion chamber. This is due to the fact that ethanol has a lower energy content compared to pure gasoline. Aside from these changes, the engine is basically the same just like the Volvo spark plug wires which will not be affected by the corrosive nature of the fuel.

The development of the technology is just a small step but a significant one in terms of protecting our environment for future generations. Since ethanol is a renewable source of energy, the use of it as a fuel will decrease the world’s dependency on the fossil fuel reserves all over the world. Ethanol can be produced from a wide range of biomass source such as corn, wheat, sugar-beet and cellulose among others. And with increasing number of facilities that produce ethanol, the technology developed by Volvo may soon be used all over the world. Aside from using ethanol as fuel, there are also a range of renewable energy resources that are waiting to be enhanced for possible use as duel for automobiles.

About the Author: Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. she is a native of the motor city and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.

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