Alcohols have been used as a fuel for engines since 19th century. Among the various alcohols, ethanol is known as the most suited renewable, bio-based and ecofriendly fuel for spark-ignition (SI) engines. The most attractive properties of ethanol as an SI engine fuel are that it can be produced from renewable energy sources such as sugar, cane, cassava, many types of waste biomass materials, corn and barley. In addition, ethanol has higher evaporation heat, octane number and flammability temperature therefore it has positive influence on engine performance and reduces exhaust emissions. In this study, the effects of unleaded gasoline (E0) and unleaded gasoline-ethanol blends (E50 and E85) on engine performance and pollutant emissions were investigated experimentally in a single cylinder four-stroke spark-ignition engine at two compression ratios (10:1 and 11:1). The engine speed was changed from 1500 to 5000 rpm at wide open throttle (WOT). The results of the engine test showed that ethanol addition to unleaded gasoline increase the engine torque, power and fuel consumption and reduce carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions. It was also found that ethanol-gasoline blends allow increasing compression ratio (CR) without knock occurrence. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.