Brazilian technology lets cars run on any amount of E85 and gas

Though admittedly I’m not a fan of ethanol, there’s a new development that bears noting.

flex-fuel-1A technology widely used in Brazil called “1HourFlex” will let any car run on any amount of gasoline or ethanol in less than 1 hour.

This conversion system – offered by a new company called Alkol – has 3 components:

  • an Electronic Converter that alters fuel injector timing

  • an Ignition Remapper which alters the spark plug firing time

  • a Cold Start System which lets the engine start quickly on cold days (ethanol requires higher temperatures than gasoline to run properly).

Alkol's conerstion system turns cars into Flex Fuel vehicles

Alkol's conerstion system turns cars into Flex Fuel vehicles

According to Alkol, installing the conversion system takes less than one hour (hence the name), creating a “flex vehicle” and can be done either by a professional or a handy consumer. Though the company sells individual components, their main focus is the complete system. 

Al Costa, CEO of Alkol, says converting a car to run properly on ethanol is not as simple as competitors try to make it look.

“Flexing a car improperly can lead to a number of problems: the engine failing when most needed, ridiculously high fuel consumption which basically nulls any savings you could get from the new fuel, fuel injectors clogging, even the fuel pump burning up. We focus on installing (what) the car will need to properly work without the customer having to do anything”.

Alkol’s system is fully automated, unlike their competition. Alkol has begun enering the U.S. market, pricing their system around $900 for an already-installed system. It plans to establish agreements with existing E85 fuel pumps around the country so the system can be installed and then fueled there.

British Zoo to to create a green food wall


Britain’s Paignton Zoo known since 1923 for its conservation and botanical efforts – will soon make horticultural history. Partnering with Valcent Products – a company on the cutting edge in their global efforts to find new ways of growing plants in a world of rapidly-diminishing resources – the zoo will install the first of a new generation of vertical farming systems.

” Installing VertiCrop at Paignton Zoo means we can grow more plants in less room, using less water and less energy,” said Paignton Zoo Curator of Plants and Gardens Kevin Frediani. This amazing green wall will bring down the zoo’s annual bill for animal feed, which is currently exceeds £200,000 a year.

The zoo wil begin their new horticulture venture with a wide range of herbs, leafy vegetables, cherry tomatoes and strawberries. Most of the mammals – including primates and big cats – reptiles and birds will benefit from year round  production of  fresh food. Zoo animals munch through about 800 carrots a day and approximately £8,000-worth of fruit per month.

““VertiCrop,” says Chris Bradford, Managing Director of Valcent, “is the latest in plant growing technology, meeting the needs of the human population while reducing the pressure to clear precious habitat to grow crops. This technology could usher in a new era of urban horticulture.”

VertiCrop is a commercial high-density vertical non-GM growing system which increases production volume for field crops up to 20 times over but requires as little as 5% of the normal water supply. Using  trays on a looped dynamic conveyor belt and automatic feeding stations to grow plants efficiently, this system’s installation near the Zoo’s education building should be completed this summer