1990-10-01

Technology Demonstration of U.S. Army Methanol-Fueled Administrative Vehicles 902158

A technology demonstration program using modified administrative-type vehicles was conducted by the Army to determine the feasibility of using methanol as an alternative fuel. Over 1,026,000 miles (1,651,190 km) were accumulated using 64 sedan and pickup vehicles. Approximately 750,000 of these miles (1,207,010 km) were accumulated using M85 methanol fuel. Using M85 increases the fuel cost by a factor of approximately 3.0. No catastrophic engine failure occurred with the use of the M85 fuel. Even though wear rates, indicated from used oil samples analyses, obtained when using M85 fuel appear to be 2 to 4 times those obtained using unleaded gasoline, actual wear, from inspections and measurements, does not appear to be as severe. M85 refueling stations were set up at four fleet test sites, and no significant operational or safety problem was encountered during the program. Recommendations are made for M85 fuel, its storage/distribution requirements, and engine lubricants suitable for use in any future program.

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