Bobcat Could Boast Ethanol Boost

Cindy Zimmerman

Auto blogs are buzzing about ethanol boosting technology.

Pickup reports this week that Ford is developing a new line of turbocharged ethanol direct-injection gasoline engines under the code name Bobcat.

Bobcat engines will feature ethanol boost technology, developed by Ethanol Boosting Systems, LLC of Cambridge, Mass., that promises 5 to 10 percent greater fuel economy than EcoBoost engines.

Ethanol boosting starts with a small turbocharged engine with separate gasoline and ethanol fuel injectors for each cylinder. The gasoline system mixes fuel and air in the motor’s intake manifold using port injection. The second system injects small amounts of ethanol directly into the combustion chamber to control premature detonation, or knock, that results from the high temperature and pressure of a turbocharged engine. The ethanol prevents knock by cooling the air/fuel mixture until the engine is ready for combustion.

The Bobcat engines could become viable alternatives to diesel engines in full-size pickups.

Car Makers, Ethanol, News