Laws concerning to emissions from heavy duty (HD) internal combustion engines are becoming increasingly stringent. New engine technologies are therefore needed to satisfy these new legal requirements and reduce fossil fuel dependency. One way to achieve both objectives is to partially replace fossil fuels with alternatives that are more sustainable with respect to emissions of greenhouse gas, particulates and NOx. As a first step towards the development of a direct injected dual fuel engine using diesel fuel and renewable alcohols such as methanol or ethanol, we have studied ethanol (E100) sprays generated with a standard high pressure diesel fuel injection system in a high pressure/temperature spray chamber with optical access. The experiments were performed at a gas density of ∼27kg/m3 at ∼550 °C and ∼60 bar, representing typical operating conditions for a HD engine at low loads. High speed video images of the developing sprays were recorded, enabling measurement of spray parameters such as the liquid cone angle, liquid penetration length and vapor penetration at injection pressures between 500 and 2200 bar. The results obtained provide insight into the fuel-air mixing process. Moreover, they serve as a proof-of-concept demonstrating that ethanol can be used successfully in a high pressure Diesel injection system.