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Author Topic: Ethanol.  (Read 3259 times)
johns4104s
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« on: April 11, 2010, 01:51:12 PM »

I understand we now have problems with the corrosive factors of Ethanol, If you have a gas generator and your Tank is Fiberglass you have potentially big problems.It has been discovered that a lot of Boats with Fiberglass tanks are leaking and will have to be replaced with Stainless.
These people (all of them) making these rules are a joke.
They are having food taken out of the food chain to make Ethanol, that is destroying the fuel holding tanks? I,ll bet its not just fiberglass, the tankers that carry Ethanol have both glass lined/or made from Heavy grade stainless steel.

John
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kyle4501
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2010, 08:30:25 PM »

Ethanol in gas in the USA is simply the result of a strong lobbying campaign & much $$$ under the table.

It works in Brazil for the same reasons it doesn't work here - sugar cane is plentiful & generates a higher yield per dollar input while gasoline is in short supply. HERE in the USA, gasoline is plentiful & it takes more energy to create ethanol from corn than you'll get back from burning it in a car . . . .  Sad


Once a law is passed, it is hell getting it repealed. Look how long we had to put up with the silly 55 mph speed limit on limited access, multi lane, divided highways!
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belfert
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2010, 08:40:39 PM »

A major reason for use of ethanol is as an oxygenate to reduce emssions.  They used to use MTBE for this, but it pollutes ground water.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Chopper Scott
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2010, 05:43:47 AM »

Also the corn used for ethanol is not grown for human consumption. It is mainly grown for livestock feed. Once the corn goes through it's stage for the manufacturing of alcohol it is fed to livestock as it was first intended to do. The benefit is it is more palitable and effecient as a feed product. A win/win situation. There are 2 sides to every story.
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kyle4501
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2010, 06:18:52 AM »

The side I still don't like is the 5 to 10+ % reduction in fuel mileage.  Sad

I check EVERY tank & it is repeatable. In normal, everyday driving of my '99 C-280, it is easy to get 26 to 27mpg with straight gas. With the 10% ethanol blend, I am lucky to get close to 24 mpg - usually closer to 23.  Sad Sad
Similar results for everything else I own.

Reduced emissions at a cost of reduced efficiency which results in more fuel being used - - - still "no free lunch".  Huh


It isn't the ethanol I dislike - but the BS in the marketing & hype. I remember the false promises made in the 70's concerning how great it was going to be, so laws were passed, $$ changed hands & the promises for better fuel prices (due to independence from foreign oil suppliers) all but forgotten.  Shocked

Seems they are still trying to justify forcing it on us while ignoring the problems it brings. Nothing about the fuels we use is simple. Sometimes it is more obvious, like the differences between diesel & gasoline.
The differences between diesel & WVO are subtle.
The differences between gasoline & propane are more subtle still.
The differences between diesel & biodiesel is even smaller.
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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2010, 11:01:07 AM »

I'll agree with you on the poorer fuel mileage Kyle. There are pros and cons to any scenario. Both sides of the story have some rediculous claims. I've heard the claims of it affecting the food chain, which it does not, and also how many gallons of water it takes to produce a gallon of ethanol (it's called rain  Grin). A drawback of ethenol is transportation as it can't be pumped through pipelines and has to be hauled in tankers because it is caustic. We've had local farmers toying with alcohol injected well motors, (generally 460 Fords, 454 and 496 Chevies, etc) intead of the common natural gas fueled engines. They were way to expensive to run because of the high rate per hour of 85% alcohol even at it's lower cost.
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2010, 03:53:19 PM »

The side I still don't like is the 5 to 10+ % reduction in fuel mileage.  Sad

I find it hard to believe that 10% ethanol would result in 10% reduction in fuel economy.  That would basically mean zero energy from the ethanol, or the ethanol is seriously affecting the engine systems so they run less efficient.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Melbo
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2010, 04:07:54 PM »

If ethanol is a good deal for ANYONE why does it need to be subsidized???  The only people that benefit are the ones who get the subsidy --- lets simplify the process and just give them the money and forget about the production!!!! Seems like that would be more straight forward.

I understand that for oxygenated fuels it is better for producing less pollution and keeping the condensation out of the fuel tanks but let's do it with out paying extra from the government.

Melbo
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kyle4501
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2010, 05:58:31 PM »

The side I still don't like is the 5 to 10+ % reduction in fuel mileage.  Sad

I find it hard to believe that 10% ethanol would result in 10% reduction in fuel economy.  That would basically mean zero energy from the ethanol, or the ethanol is seriously affecting the engine systems so they run less efficient.
Yep, that is my point - there is much more on the negative side of ethanol than the proponents want you to know about.

(Since I'm the one paying for the gasoline in my gas tank, I really don't give a $#!% who believes what about my experiences with ethanol.  Shocked )

I was thrilled about the possibilities when 'they' were hyping it up in the late 70's. I had a car that would really benefit from all those promises. However, as usual, the devil was in the details.
Ethanol has half the heat content of 'normal' gasoline, so I would expect no more than 5% drop in fuel mileage. However, with the complexities & requirements of the chemistry formulations in today's gasolines, who knows what is going on anymore.
I don't know why the mileage drops that much. I do know for a fact that, in my case, it does. Maybe the base gasoline they add ethanol to is of lower quality? ? ?

I used to use gasoline to wash the grease out of wheel bearings. The last time I did that, the gasoline hardly made any difference to the grease.  Sad

If there was any real substance to the claims made concerning the greatness of ethanol, then, like Melbo says, why are subsidies still needed?
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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2010, 06:31:50 PM »

Subsidies are needed to insure that the product is available and to insulate it from the constant price fluctuations that the  price of a barrell of oil costs. Big oil ran a great campaign blaming the rise in the cost of food to ethanol production. Corn prices have plummeted over the years but yet the price of food has not. Hmmm.... There is something like 4 cents worth of grain (wheat) in a loaf of bread. All agricultural commodities basically have subsidies. Complain all you want about subsidies but without them you may pay $2 for a loaf of bread one week and then $5 the next and then the next you can't even buy one. The government does that to insure that there are not any huge shortages. Subsidies stablize the market. Ethanol is a commodity. The government subsidizes it to insure it's availability and to try and maintain it's price. I agree that it is not the ultimate cure all product and has it's faults but it does have it's good points also. It is a renewable energy souce, cleaner burning, and last but not least..... made in the USA. Think about that.
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compedgemarine
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2010, 07:06:06 PM »

one of the things to remember about ethanol is that it is not regulated. gasoline quality is regulated and checked, after that the ethanol is added. there are currently no controls on ethanol quatlity. quantity blended in is also pretty poorly controled. in the north if you buy E85 it is on 85% ethanol during the summer, during the winter it is often down to around 50 or 60% so the car starts in the cold. as for the reduction in mpg 10% is not unheard of as the reduction in btu and the mix causes alot of issues with controls of the engine. everyone I know that owns a flex fuel vehicle gave up on running anything but gasoline and they search for none blended fuels because of the mpg issue and the huge fuel system failures.
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niles500
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2010, 07:16:12 PM »

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/ethanol.shtml
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johns4104s
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2010, 07:22:56 PM »

When I worked in Brazil all there cars ran on 100% Ethanol, They did not have oil and could not afford to import any. Boy did they bang back fire, splutter and had all sorts of problems.

John
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Ray D
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2010, 07:39:28 PM »

Chopper,
The ethanol is not completely made the the USA, not just yet, the bacteria  that is needed comes from overseas.  But to solve that problem, a new facility to make the bacteria is being built at the Blair ethanol plant.  Then they can say, all made in the USA, does it count if people come over here to make stuff, what's the difference.  Ethanol reduces the efficiency of almost all autos 1% for each 1% added, got that straight from the plant in Blair.  As far as being feed after processing, isn't it considered to be a supplement, I think we would have some skinny sick cows if it were used as feed.  I know it helps sell the corn, I am a Nebraskan, but it is not the answer at all to our oil problems, it just takes too much corn, too expensive to process, is inefficient and is not leading us in the right direction at all.

Ray D
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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2010, 08:03:32 PM »

I never stated that it was the answer to all our problems Ray and also stated it has it's drawbacks. I also stated that it reduced the mpg compared to straight gasoline. I'm just discussing it. I do take issue with it's production competing with our food stocks and such however. Just another twisting of the story Ray, is what you stated,the byproduct of the corn/alcohol process is a supplement. Yes it is. I stated that it was fed to livestock. At no point was it ever stated that the "distillers" was the only thing fed to livestock. It is blended with many ag products such as hay, ensilage, ground corn and other products. Skinny cows would abound with any single ingredient. What some seem to miss out on is the fact that the corn in and the corn out is a wash if not an improvment to it's intended useage and that is as a livestock feed. When they start to make ethanol out of lettuce, carrots, rice and such then it will be competing with the food chain.
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Seven Heaven.... I pray a lot every time I head down the road!!
Bad decisions make good stories.
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