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Author Topic: Ethanol.  (Read 3284 times)
Melbo
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2010, 08:30:43 PM »

Scott

Not to get sideways with you but when they use the whole corn plant (stalk included) so the ethanol is made from the cellulose then maybe we can talk until then it has to be supported by everyone with tax dollars and that is not efficient.  Just like I would like to see the diesel produced from the algae -- until it can be done without government money it doesn't count.

Melbo
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belfert
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2010, 08:32:07 PM »

If every 1% of ethanol added results in 1% less efficiency then doesn't that mean ethanol has no energy value?

How does E85 work then?  It certainly doesn't have only 15% of the MPG of gasoline.  It reduces MPG in my parent's vehicle by 20% or so.  Much of the time E85 doesn't make sense financially especially when oil and gasoline prices are low.  My parents were running it all the time when gasoline prices skyrocketed in 2008.

I'm not sure ethanol makes sense for a variety of reasons, but I think some of the claims are pretty far out there.  I've never run my car on any gasoline except 10% ethanol added gasoline and it gets pretty close to the EPA numbers.  I have no idea what it would deal on 100% gasoline.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Hard Headed Ken
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2010, 08:52:11 PM »

We have to stop believing what we are told and think about the statement or claim. It's easy to be tricked.

Let me go back to about the 4th reply (Also the corn used for ethanol is not grown for human consumption. It is mainly grown for livestock feed.) I just can't stop thinking, do we know what livestock are grow for? Pets?? Pets for aliens from Mars? Meat eating monkeys? Meat eating cows?Huh  I think livestock are raised for human consumption like the Outback Special, medium well with a baked potato and big Foster's or a glass of milk (which comes from livestock). Maybe I'm missing something, whatever it is would somebody please explain/sell it to me like a politician would.

Ken
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2010, 08:58:52 PM »

Very good Ken. Wink
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« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2010, 05:44:26 AM »

Thanks Ken, I thought I was possibly the only one that used My head for something besides a hatrack!  Try using the alcohol infested crap in an airplane.  Does vapor lock mean anything anymore.  I have to repair all of My chainsaws, weed trimmers and antique tractor carbs every summer because of alcohol!  I have a friend that owns a outdoor products shop and His opinion is that the only reason He has been able to remain in business is thanks to the idiots in the Gov mandating alcohol in crapoholgas.  The local power company buys the gas They use in all of their small engines in Alabama here because there are still stations that sell gas with no alcohol.  The power company simply reduced the cost of repairs on the equipment They use daily.  Again thanks Ken You are right but as You know probably not on the green list for Christmas presents.  Regards john L
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kyle4501
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« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2010, 05:53:13 AM »

Ken, well said.

If every 1% of ethanol added results in 1% less efficiency then doesn't that mean ethanol has no energy value?
Basically, after you consider the real total cost - not just the observed short term cost to your pocket, yes. That is how subsidies (from your taxes) skew the picture. And how marketing & political posturing generate perceptions that don't align with reality.

I'm all for short term gov't assistance to offset the cost of new technology so the masses can benefit - but if the technology won't stand on it's own after a few years, maybe we should all spend a little time thinking about who really benefits from the subsidy - I'll give you a hint - it ain't the tax payer!

If you look at the total energy input required to make ethanol from corn versus the energy released when ethanol is burned - you will see just how little 'value' there is in ethanol.
Sugar cane yields much more ethanol for a given energy input. That, combined with the availability of sugar cane, is why it works better in Brazil. However, if gasoline was readily available, they'd use it first.

As for E85, maybe what they're selling here is different, but everyone that I know who has kept good records can show the cost per mile is significantly higher on E85 than on pump gas. If E85 was cheaper so that cost per mile was equal, you would still have to stop more often for fuel - Who wants to do that?

Do you think the change to digital TV was for the benefit of the viewers? The equipment costs more. It had more to do with making more of the airwave spectrum available to rent (think cell phones)

As for subsidies being a good thing - maybe not.
The gov't $49 coupon for a DTV converter box only increased the cost of them by $49 - Come on, if they can make a DVD player (with moving parts!) for less than $49, then surely, it shouldn't cost more than that for a little black box.
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johns4104s
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2010, 06:24:16 AM »

Every time the gov steps in the poor people have to pay.

John
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belfert
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« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2010, 06:26:25 AM »

We can still get non-ethanol gas here at some stations for off road use only.  There is nothing stopping anyone from pumping the non-ethanol gas into a car other than the sticker that says off road use only.  I doubt the station cares who buys the gas.

I started buying the non-ethanol gas for my small engines last year just to be safe.  A local Boy Scout camp buys non-ethanol fuel for their small engines and in 2008 they paid over $6 a gallon for it!  (To be fair, that was delivered price in bulk, but they have 100s of gallons delivered at a time when regular gasoline and diesel are factored in.)
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
JackConrad
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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2010, 10:04:04 AM »

 Fuel taxes are per gallon and Ethanol reduces mileage so we burn more gallons= more taxes.  Hmmm   Jack
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« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2010, 07:01:06 PM »

Didn't mean anything personal "Chopper", sorry if it came out that way, you're post was good and I was just trying give my thoughts on what I know about the issue, wasn't trying to pick you're post apart.

Ray D
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BobBoyce
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« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2010, 02:15:06 AM »

I do alternative energy research, many times in cooperation with labs funded, certified, or operated by the US DoE, DoD, CARB, and EPA.

In 2008, I performed a 6,002 mile over the road study on various grades of pump gasolines available across the USA - using a 2003 Toyota Prius. What I found is that at the various normal freeway speeds, the common 10% ethanol blended regular unleaded yielded 35 - 37 MPG, while under the same driving conditions, non-blended regular unleaded yielded 42-45 MPG. Of course, the results of this study were not the sort of results that anyone pushing for ethanol blending legislation would want to hear.

Both of the government funded Toyota Prius used in this - and other fuel economy studies, were proven to be affected more by the addition of ethanol in the blended fuels, than other automobiles that were tested. This has a lot to do with the balance of power in the hybrid drive system being affected more by the lowered BTU of the fuel. In the Prius, the primary drive system is electric, supplied via a 33KW MG2(MG = Motor/Generator). With less BTUs of fuel energy available - less horsepower is developed by the engine - to supply torque to the Power Split Device. This means that fewer kilowatts of electrical energy are available from the nominal 18KW MG1, to supply electrical energy to meet the demands of the nominal 33KW MG2 - to drive the front axle.

On a personal note... I travel a lot due to my research, and when I travel in my Prius, I will shop around more to look for unblended fuel. The price at the pump may be a little higher sometimes, but the bottom lines that matter to me - fuel economy and range per tank, are much better. Not to mention, the damage that ethanol blended fuels can cause to fuel system components in vehicles that were not designed for even small percentages of ethanol.

Please Note: All of the above are my personal observations based upon the results of fuel studies I have performed over the past several years. I do not speak for the government agencies mentioned, as they have their own methods of selecting and publishing the data that they have collected.

Bob
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johns4104s
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« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2010, 04:41:13 AM »

Bob,

Do you still have your Prius? How many miles does it have on it?

John
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BobBoyce
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« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2010, 06:06:03 AM »

Yes I do John. That particular Prius now has over 182K of mostly highway miles on it, and still has the original (nominal 273.6V) traction battery in it. The lower capacity traction battery in the newer (2004+) Prius gets overworked by the step-up inverter used (nominal 201.6V battery to 500V MG2), so they are prone to more frequent failure. It was this battery issue that encouraged me to request that they locate and purchase several 2003 Prius for that initial project. I also had them locate and purchase some tested-good low-mileage traction battery spares from auto salvage yards. Those have not yet been needed, but they are planned to be used in the next generation of electric-only drive testing on the other Prius.

Bob
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cody
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« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2010, 06:28:35 AM »

One of my toys is a 1978 Revcon coach, it's a front wheel drive gasser with the olds 403 in it, many of the things about it were transitional, it originally had bia ply tires but the Budd rims accepted radial tires without complaints, because of the classification many of the pollution controls that the government were playing with didn't apply so leaded gas or unleaded gas seemed to work as well as any other, my concern is that the pumps up here seem to have stickers that say, "may contain 10% ethonal or more", of course none of the station attendants know if it does or not, trying to find a non ethonal station is very hard to do, practically impossible in this area.  The massive 403 engine is carborated and a power house, it will actually spin the tires but I sometimes wonder about the effects of ethenal on something like that.
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kyle4501
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« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2010, 07:52:04 AM »

Ethanol is more reactive so it attacks rubber (among other things). Ethanol was being used in the late 70's & Oldsmobile may have used better rubber in the fuel system parts with ethanol in mind.

I've often wondered if one of the justifications used to make 10% ethanol a requirement was to increase the attrition rate of cars to get the old ones off the road sooner. . . .
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