Electrorheology improves E85 engine efficiency and performance

K. Huang, Enpeng Du, H. Tang, R. Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


E85 is an alternative fuel with 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. However, it is widely reported that E85 vehicles have difficulties to start in winter and have poor performance. Here, the authors report that with proper application of electrorheology, the authors can solve these issues. E85 vehicles all have port-injected engines. The fuel is injected into cylinders as droplets. Before the ignition, the fuel evaporates. Because E85 is more viscous than gasoline, the injected E85 droplet size is not small. Especially, in winter the cold weather makes the viscosity even higher, leading to the E85 droplets being even bigger. Since evaporation starts from the droplet surfaces, large droplets are difficult to be evaporated before the ignition comes. When there are no enough fuel vapors, the engine cannot start. To solve this problem, the authors introduce a small device just before the fuel injection, which produces a strong electric field to reduce the fuel viscosity, leading to much smaller fuel droplets in atomization. The evaporation is much faster and the engine is easier to start. As the small fuel droplets produced by our device make the combustion fast and timely, engine efficiency and performance are also expected to be improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1707-1711
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • E85 fuel
  • Electrorheological
  • engine efficiency
  • engine performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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