Lessons from Mr. Ford.

15 10 2011

We might think that biofuels are a 21st century invention. Well, they kind of are, and kind of aren’t, depending on what feedstock you’re talking about. There is more than meets the eye on this ever-prevalent fuel.

Henry Ford, automotiveHenry Ford Ethanol, Model T, Alcohol, Fuel pump, gasoline pioneer and champion of the assembly line, revolutionized  the machining processes and drove down the cost of the Model T from $800 to $290, making automobiles economical for the first time to families and mainstream society.

Another notable component to the Model T appears under the hood. Mr. Ford first engineered his cars to run off of either alcohol–ethanol–or gasoline, depending on what was available at the time or location. The Model T was in fact the first flex fuel car America has ever seen.

Insert prohibition in 1919 which threw a wrench into things for Henry Ford (literally). In order for his cars to continue to run on alcohol,  the fuel had to undergo a denaturing process to make it poisonous and undrinkable.  Prohibition finally released its grasp on Ford in 1933.

Henry’s innovations and applications have taught us that ethanol has made itself known to be a successful ethanol, Model T, Henry Ford, assembly linecompetitor to gasoline for over 100+ years. After all, this alternative was powering cars before the Wright Brothers and their crazy inventions ever took flight.

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One response

22 10 2011
Dan

What do they do to make the ethanol unconsumable? I think the idea of ethanol is very interesting!

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