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Va. Company Puts E85 Ethanol in Your Gas Tank

Ethanol is the word of the day in Saluda, Va. This small and quiet fishing community is home of XcelPlus International Inc., the company that makes the FlexTek, a small black box that makes it possible to burn E85 ethanol in an existing car or truck. Ethanol fuel stations, commonplace in Brazil where the FlexTek was designed, are popping up all across the United States. Small mom-and-pop fuel station owners and large suppliers are opting to replace their mid-grade gasoline with E85. The appeal of the fuel in the U.

stems from a desire to move away from dependence on the Middle East as well as the fuel's inherently clean burning characteristics. Until recently, the renewable fuel was useful only to those owning a factory-built flex-fuel vehicle. However, these vehicles are few in number, as availability has been limited primarily to fleets and municipalities. But the FlexTek lets almost any car or truck owner choose between E85, gasoline or any blend of the two.

"Our system is unique because we have the only system that can convert a standard vehicle into a flex-fuel vehicle while simultaneously protecting the engine from the acids that can form when burning E85," said Bill R. Smith, president of XcelPlus. The FlexTek was designed to help consumers take advantage of the wide availability of ethanol fuels. Ethanol has been available at the fuel pump in Brazil for 30 years. The FlexTek kit, as sold in the United States, includes a controller unit, which installs easily in most modern vehicles with no modifications, and engine protection chemicals, which permanently plate internal engine parts to protect them from wear and oxidation. XcelPlus' line of engine protection chemicals have been on the market in the U. for more than 30 years and have been tested and proven by government agencies such as NASA and the U. Department of Energy.

The FlexTek carries a warranty that covers not only the box itself, but also the vehicle's engine. FlexTek conversion technology was developed by AGE Technologies in Brazil, a company that was recently acquired by XcelPlus. While several other companies have attempted to reverse engineer the technology, the reverse-engineered products have been found to cause performance problems and even damage engines. For these reasons, the Hyundai Motor Car Company decided to test FlexTek technology to use in its factory-built flex-fuel vehicles. The tests are being conducted in Australia as Hyundai prepares to enter the Brazilian flex-fuel market.


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