Swedish tuner BSR has developed a new conversion kit for diesel engines that allow the oil-burners to run on ethanol fuels generated from plant crops. Engineers used a Saab 9-3 TDI for the initial trial and will be presenting the car at the Malmö Motor Show in Sweden this week. The diesel engine in the Saab is now fully capable of running on E95 ethanol-blended fuel and is said to offer improved fuel consumption, better performance and lower exhaust emissions than the standard model.

Engineers needed to modify the combustion chamber, fuel system and engine software to allow it to run on ethanol. The end result is a peak output of 195hp and 410Nm of torque but with a fuel-consumption rating of just 5L/100km (47mpg). The car also benefits from 95% lower CO2 emissions, minimal dangerous hydrocarbons and nitric oxide exhaust emissions and almost no particle emissions.

Diesel engines can also run on renewable biodiesel but performance is subpar to diesel vehicles running on ethanol. At the end of the day, adding ethanol to a diesel engine actually improves performance of the vehicle while also reducing emissions and fuel-economy.