The Inconvenient Truth About Ethanol

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Comments

  • tfb27tfb27 Member Posts: 15
    Since the industry is new I'm sure the bugs will have to worked out as far as standards go for distillers grains. But I havent heard of any issues with ecoli and animals because of ethanol. Besides, no one had a problem with giving their money to OPEC for all of these years, but its a bad thing to give money to fellow Americans to grow and produce ethanol? How does that work?
  • jkinzeljkinzel Member Posts: 735
    Since the industry is new I'm sure the bugs will have to worked out as far as standards go for distillers grains

    Henry Ford desinged his first cars to run on alcohol. This is hardly a new industry.

    When someone comes up with a better plan than ethanol I might listen. To destroy our country from within just to keep from giving OPEC money is counter productive. And now with weather and flooding in the mid-west, how reliable is that ethanol crop going to be?

    And at what cost to other food crops are we going to grow corn?

    The list goes on and on.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    but its a bad thing to give money to fellow Americans to grow and produce ethanol? How does that work?

    That may be the ONLY benefit to Corn ethanol. However if you are a student of recent history you know what happened the last time we had the same government manipulation of the ethanol business. It was decided in the late 1970s that producing ethanol with corn would be a good way to wean ourselves off of Saudi oil. We the people financed the building of about 110 ethanol stills in the Midwest. Today 90 of those stills are gone or in stages of rusting away. Corn Ethanol as a fuel is impractical now just as it was then. The same fate befell Brazil with sugar cane ethanol. The sugar became more valuable than the ethanol and they abandoned the stuff. It was even worse in Brazil as they had sold 1000s of cars that would ONLY run on ethanol. Those people were out of luck when they could not get the stuff.

    Back to today. We are mandated by Congress to have a minimum of 2.9% ethanol in our gas across the country. No problem in the Midwest where it is processed. CA the largest user of gas has a real problem. We have to ship every gallon of that crap from the Midwest by truck. Trucks that cannot run on ethanol. Our gas prices jumped immediately so you could have a job in the Midwest. It was Politics as usual. The only real money being made is by ADM and Verasun. They have a guaranteed profit with no risk. We are backing all the loans to build those stills. So when the Congress comes to the realization that we cannot continue in this corn ethanol madness. Guess who gets stuck with those loans. The Tax payers, you and I. When they finally come up with a way to make ethanol from waste or switchgrass or whatever. We will be subsidizing that also and the corn stills will be worthless. If your town was one of the ones that benefited from this scam, save your money because it is NOT long to be. Your corn still will be rusting away like so many others, and the workers will be scrambling for the few jobs at WalMart.

    And CORN is NOT a good diet for cattle. I am sure they are coming up with some new antibiotic to kill whatever problem that arises from feeding them distillers grain.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    You are absolutely correct. Henry Ford and John D Rockefeller fought over alcohol or gas to power our automobiles. At that time the gas was dumped because it was not good for anything else.

    At around 1900 there was enough moonshine to run the few cars being built. With 235 million cars on the road it would take more land than we have to grow our own fuel. Worst part is with us using every bit of land we have for corn ethanol it will not be enough to reach the mandate.

    Cut the tariffs on Brazilian ethanol and drop the subsidy on corn ethanol and let the market decide if they want the stuff. Save the Gulf of Mexico from the Iowa Corn farmers fertilizer. Oh I forgot. Their crop will be going down the river to the Gulf this year. Maybe it is a sign???
  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    I checked http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm

    EPA has a F150 4WD FFV getting 10 mpg with E85 and 15 mpg with RUG. The 2WD F150 is 11mpg. Where did you get 12.5?

    What is also interesting is that EPA has adjusted the price of gasoline up to near the current level, but they did not adjust the E85. AAA is reporting E85 at $3.562 with an adjusted price of $4.688. While EPA still lists $2.51.

    From the EPA web site.
    "Based on 45% highway, 55% city driving, 15000 annual miles and a fuel price of $ 4.04 per gallon of gasoline and $2.51 per gallon of E85 . Use Your Gas Prices & Annual Miles"

    That little piece of disinformation wouldn't be because the government wants to push ethanol, would it?

    http://www.ethanolmarket.com/fuelethanol.html

    Look at the rack prices! They are higher than EPA $2.51 lists for retail.

    What about the 45 cent a gallon subsidy? It should be phased out. And why are we putting an import tax on ethanol from Brazil?

    "It means that a 3.5L gas engine made to run on gas can get the same torque with a 3.0L E85 engine to close the gap."

    You cannot ignore that ethanol does not have the same energy in a gallon as RUG or diesel. Prices being equal, diesel will kick booty. That is especially true in the torque department.

    I am with gagrice on this one. Producing about 5 billion gallons a year of corn ethanol was OK. But, allowing 15 billion gallons a year of corn subsidized ethanol was stupid. And you may want to go ask the chicken and turkey farmers what they think of the price of corn. Chicken feed is about 70 percent corn.

    And while the ethanol may help the price of RUG, it does nothing for diesel. You use a lot of diesel to transport ethanol either by truck or train.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    That little piece of disinformation wouldn't be because the government wants to push ethanol, would it?

    BINGO

    I think the market would have done fine without the Feds getting involved. If it is a good alternative, people will produce and sell it. If it has to be subsidized it is questionable. I still don't understand why the tariff on ethanol from Brazil and no tariff on oil from Saudi Arabia or Venezuela or???? That amounts to about $23 per barrel of oil. I thought Brazil was a good neighbor. We treat the enemy better than our neighbor it would seem.
  • tfb27tfb27 Member Posts: 15
    You do drive a rice cooker Toyota! I drive an F150 an I have experimented with E85 and those are the numbers. And I need E85 to 20% less costly than gas and it is a wash. While it is true that E85 has less energy per gal than gas. That is fine. E85 is 105 octane and if know anyone who builds engines go and ask what that will do. It means that you can run at least a 12.5:1 compression ratio which gets you half way to diesel compressions. The efficiency gain will about 8% from this. Now reduce the engine displacement because of being able to produce a lot more torque and get another 8% - 10%. Everyone only sees the negative.

    Now corn isn't going to solve the coutries problems. I never said that. What does it do? It gets the ball rolling in this country as far as making vehicles capable, adjusting the infrastructure of fuel and awareness. The mandate is only for 15 billion gal per year from corn, another billion gal per year from cellulose ans an undisclosed 5 bgy (I think this from Brazil when the tariff goes away).
  • tfb27tfb27 Member Posts: 15
    Look, the US gas market was 140 billion gal last year. Half of that gas comes from OPEC oil equating to 70 bgy. Now th enew fuel bill calls for 35 bgy to come frm ethanol (all sources). Lets say greater efficiency gets another 20% taking out 28 bgy from the gas market. Now we are close to getting away from OPEC oil. Thats all this country needs to do. And if we get more ethanol or lieage then its even better. Plus emissions will be better and there will be no more MTBE in the gas which contaminates ground water. Ethanol is an MTBE substitute and it is biodegradeable.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I drive an F150 an I have experimented with E85

    I mostly drive my 99 Ford Ranger FFV PU truck. I would try E85 except the closest station is 35 miles away. Last I checked it was the ONLY station in CA selling E85. That may have changed since then. All I can tell you about Ethanol laced regular is I lose about 2 MPG with E10 that we get forced on us in CA.

    Let's say we get to 15 billion gallons per year. The very best ratio for Corn Ethanol that I have seen is 1.2 gallons for every gallon of fossil fuel to distill the stuff. So at the very best we will be replacing 2.5 billion gallons of gas. Now take into consideration the less MPG you will gain and it don't leave much to brag about. Unless you are one of the fat cats that are running ADM.

    In the mean time the price of corn has doubled and the price of tortillas doubles. We have more illegals coming to the USA because they cannot afford the price of corn in Mexico. The Agave farmers have plowed under their crop to grow corn and that leaves us with NO TEQUILA. All to satisfy the greed of a few people in the Midwest.

    You like a lot of Americans have been mislead into thinking that Ethanol will save us from OPEC. It is just a big LIE.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    " E85 is 105 octane and if know anyone who builds engines go and ask what that will do. It means that you can run at least a 12.5:1 compression ratio which gets you half way to diesel compressions. The efficiency gain will about 8% from this. Now reduce the engine displacement because of being able to produce a lot more torque and get another 8% - 10%. Everyone only sees the negative. '

    Theoretically, you're correct. Practically, can't happen, because the engines must still be able to run regular gas, and couldn't with a 12.5:1 ratio. This is an oft-repeated, false arguement for E85. Even CU mentioned it in their article condemning E85. Can't imagine why.
  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    "You do drive a rice cooker Toyota"

    Cooking rice, I guess that is a feature I'm not familiar with. Let me check the owners manual........ No, there is nothing in the owners manual about cooking rice. ;) Maybe the people that built the car in Georgetown, Kentucky, USA forgot to put it in. :shades:

    "And I need E85 to 20% less costly than gas and it is a wash."

    It is not going to be that cheap if corn gets to $7.25 a bushel.

    http://redtrailenergyllc.com/index.php/commodity_bids/

    "Record corn prices pushed up by flooding in the Midwest have forced five small to mid-sized U.S. ethanol plants to shut and output of the biofuel could be slowed for months, a Citi research note said on Friday. "
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080613/bs_nm/ethanol_profits_closures_dc

    Ethanol plants were built when corn was a lot cheaper. They are not going to last long at $7 a bushel.

    Historic Average Monthly North Dakota Corn Prices ($/Bushel)
    Per Data Supplied by the National Agricultural Statistics Service
    January February March April May June July August September October November December

    2005 $1.91 $1.64 $1.79 $1.85 $1.86 $1.87 $1.87 $1.82 $1.77 $1.73 $1.67 $1.73
    2006 $1.72 $1.80 $1.84 $1.90 $1.95 $1.89 $1.88 $1.89 $1.99 $2.23 $2.42 $2.63
    2007 $2.92 $3.07 $3.11 $2.92 $3.04 $3.33 $3.27 $3.16 $3.19 $2.97 $3.08 $3.47
    2008 $3.66 $4.40 $4.57

    Future forecast
    2009 $10.00
    September, 2009 - 75 % of all the ethanol plants close.
    2010 $3.75
  • duke23duke23 Member Posts: 488
    A 51 cent tax credit per gallon not .45 paid directly by the good ol taxpayer in addition to the tariff on Brazilian ethanol and it's still not an economically viable substitute.

    "It may sound green, Patzek says, but that's because many scientists are not looking at the whole picture. According to his research, more fossil energy is used to produce ethanol than the energy contained within it.

    Patzek's ethanol critique began during a freshman seminar he taught in which he and his students calculated the energy balance of the biofuel. Taking into account the energy required to grow the corn and convert it into ethanol, they determined that burning the biofuel as a gasoline additive actually results in a net energy loss of 65 percent. Later, Patzek says he realized the loss is much more than that even. "

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050329132436.htm

    Drop the tariff immediately, it's poor economics and costing the consumer. Better yet, drop the tariff and the .51/gal tax credit and let the market mandate the solution while giving the government one less bill to pay. With 10% of all tax revenues going to simply paying the interest on our 9 trillion dollar national debt. We can't afford no stinkin' subsidies.
  • tfb27tfb27 Member Posts: 15
    Oh the Mexicans are starving! Oh the Americans cant afford food! All because of ethanol. Here is the math. There is 56 lbs of corn in a bushel and lets say corn is $5.60 per bushel. Thats $0.10 per lb. If a box of cereal is 1 lb and the main ingredient is corn (lets say 60%) then there is only $0.06 of corn in a box. So what if corn $7+. Then there is $0.065 of corn in a box of cereal. Yep everyone is starving and cant afford food. Subway has $5 footlongs and McD's has an dollar menu but we cant afford to eat.
  • tfb27tfb27 Member Posts: 15
    Look the $0.51/gal goes where? What? Did you say it goes to the gasoline refiners? Not the ethanol producers! This is blasphemy. Those refiners shouldn't be getting the credit, the ethanol producers should. Lets fix this. What the credit goes away in a couple of years. Cant be!
  • tfb27tfb27 Member Posts: 15
    Well you have a choice of 2 oxygenates to reduce emissions. Its MTBE or Ethanol. Wait a minute, MTBE is a carcinigen and has been found in California ground water. If ethanol was used then it would have just decomposed. Why are there hardly any stations in CA with E85? I dont know. There are 5 ethanol plants in CA. I believe Pacific Ethanol has 5 of them.

    If you lose 2 mpg I dont know what to say. I only lose 20% with E85 in an F150. My buddy has a GM and only loses 20% also. Maybe you should check with the dealer for calibration updates.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    "Well you have a choice of 2 oxygenates to reduce emissions."

    Thanks for pointing out another government screw-up - mandating oxygenate content because of the very slight, and debateable, pollution impact. A recent study by Stanford, I think, found that overall, emissions are higher with E10. So first we poison some groundwater with MTBE, then wast billions and drive up food prices with ethanol, all for naught. :sick:
  • tfb27tfb27 Member Posts: 15
    Soon there will be E85 across the country. Then you can use. Did you know the state of CA has a fleet of Ford Escape Hybrids that are designed for E85 use only for them to study. Then you dont need reg gas. Just like when the country switched to no lead gas. We did it before.
  • tfb27tfb27 Member Posts: 15
    I know you. A complaint for everything and a solution for nothing. Nag. Nag. Nag. You must be a an older guy. What do you think should be done? Everyone is bitchin here and I havent seen any potential fixes.
  • tfb27tfb27 Member Posts: 15
    How does ethanol help diesel? First the more gas we displace wth ethanol then the more refining capacity is open for diesel. Gas and diesel are made by the same refining plant. The reason its so expensive is that diesel is in high demand and there is only limited refining capacity in the US. Diesel is actually cheaper to make than gasoline. The Europeans cant understand why it more expensive in America only.

    Here is the problem with diesel. The cost of the engine is still higher than a gas version and the emissions requirements make the after treatment of the exhaust even more expensive. This doesnt happen in FFV's
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    I am someone concerned that we are squandering money and food to line the pockets of agribusiness. A bad idea is a bad idea, even if it makes a small group of people very wealthy. A good friend is a chemical engineer that works for a company that designs ethanol plants, and he is constantly amazed that we're wasting our money on this. If turning corn inefficiently into ethanol is a bad idea, doing more of it solves nothing. The only current method to make ethanol that makes any sense is from sugar, and we're taxing imports to limit that. Even with cane-based ethanol, there are major impacts to the Amazon Basin in Brazil. My solutions? Put E85 mandates (and the whole biofuels movement) on hold until new technology (cellulosic or algae, maybe) is shown to actually make sense, and not result in major ecologic and economic damage, as the current programs do.
  • tfb27tfb27 Member Posts: 15
    Field corn used in ethanol cant be eaten by people. So it is not a food source. Second corn based ethanol can happen now and it gets the ball rolling in this country for other things like cellulosic. Having fuel isnt enough. Getting the ball rolling means updating the infrastructure and producing vehicles to run it. These thoings need to be done before cellulosic comes online or the producers cant make money at it if it cant be distributed or consumed. Thats why we are starting with corn based ethanol. Besides, only the corn kernel is used for fuel. The cob and stalk are put back into the field. When cellulosic techs are developed these parts can be utilized to produce fuel. With no more acres consumed or people going hungry.

    Do you have #'s on how good sugar cane ethanol is compared to corn?

    The real solution is for consumption to reduce by 80%. Maybe a plague or nuclear war will make that happen. I cant think of another way. So we therefore need to produce more fuel in the world.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    "Do you have #'s on how good sugar cane ethanol is compared to corn? "

    Recent articles in Scientific American, National Geographic, and Consumer Reports all describe the much higher energy efficiency of ethanol production from sugar cane, compared to corn. Are you unaware of this?
  • tfb27tfb27 Member Posts: 15
    I need some #'s. Here is the future of corn. Current yield is 155 bushels per acre. Monsanto estimates are 300 bushels per acre by 2030. Current conversion of 2.8 gal per bushel. Future estimates are 3.2 gal per bushel. Throw in the cob and stalk conversion as cellosic ( i dont have the #'s on this). All in without substituting other crops
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    First oxygenated fuel is a total waste of money. It does nothing in a modern gasoline engine to reduce emissions. If the UC Davis study is accurate their is a slight increase with E10 laced gas.

    Field corn used in ethanol cant be eaten by people.

    I know you are smarter than that. If you are growing corn for ethanol you are NOT growing wheat, soy or any other food product. If all you read is the propaganda put out by the ethanol industry. You will have a very skewed perspective on the subject. Dumping more fertilizer, made with natural gas to produce more corn is a BAD thing. You really need to study two important things. One is the run-off into the rivers ending in the Gulf. And the aquifer that is being depleted to grow these huge corn crops.

    You don't seem much into facts so I will post a few for you to contemplate.

    Officials with Pilgrim's Pride, the largest chicken processor in the U.S., announced this week the company will close a chicken processing complex and six of its 13 distribution centers in the United States in response to the crisis facing the U.S. chicken industry from soaring feed-ingredient costs resulting from corn-based ethanol production.

    http://www.agriculture.com/ag/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/ag/story/data/12- - 05415188705.xml

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/speakout/science/jan-june08/ethanol_3-19.html

    Heavily subsidized and absurdly inefficient, corn-based ethanol has already driven up food prices. But the Senate's plan to increase production to 36 billion gallons by 2022, from less than seven billion today, will place even greater pressure on farm-belt aquifers.

    Ethanol plants consume roughly four gallons of water to produce each gallon of fuel, but that's only a fraction of ethanol's total water habit. Cornell ecology professor David Pimentel says that when you count the water needed to grow the corn, one gallon of ethanol requires a staggering 1,700 gallons of H2O. Backers of the Senate bill say that less-thirsty technologies are just around the corner, which is what we've been hearing for years.


    http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB119258870811261613.html
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaMember Posts: 5,194
    Soon there will be E85 across the country. Then you can use. Did you know the state of CA has a fleet of Ford Escape Hybrids that are designed for E85 use only for them to study. Then you dont need reg gas. Just like when the country switched to no lead gas. We did it before.

    The ultimate fact remains that very little, if any, net energy is produced by making ethanol from corn. This is a dead end. Until and unless we can produce lots of ethanol from other sources like switchgrass it is a dumb idea and we are not going to reduce our reliance on foreign oil.

    The problem with growing lots of plants (either switchgrass or corn or something else) is that a) this takes land, which competes for food and cattle uses; and b) it takes water, which is also a scarce and getting scarcer commodity.

    Sorry, I just don't see ethanol making any sizable dent in this problem. I suggest we expend the same energy focusing on better efficiency, solar, and wind power to make more electricity.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Part of the BIG profits at the oil companies is a direct result of increased Corn production for Ethanol. The over production of CORN has caused a shortage of fertilizers. Duh

    ShellCan had a side business everyone ignored: sulfur. It removed the ugly (yellow), smelly, unloved substance from crude oil and gas to make it cleaner-burning. Luckily, there was a use for the waste: more than 60% of the world's produced sulfur is used by makers of phosphate fertilizer to separate phosphate from mined rocks in order to make plant food.

    Turns out Canada is the world's leading exporter of sulphur, and ShellCan among the top producers, making about two million tonnes per year, or 16% of global exports. That didn't count for much until recently. But if you've been paying attention to news from the farm, demand and prices for crops and fertilizer have soared in the past two years. Take it down a notch to sulphur, and suddenly, that stench is the smell of money.

    A year ago, (10 years ago, too) sulphur sold for US$60/ tonne. Today, it is US$650. It's simple supply and demand: there used to be more sulphur produced than needed. There is now a worldwide shortage of about two million tonnes.


    http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=180f7446-5e77-4db5-- a5cd-4a1129ed973d

    http://www.purchasing.com/article/CA6564115.html

    A February story in the Ames (Iowa) Tribune says “the pricing of sulfuric acid, a manufacturing commodity used in the production of metals and fertilizer, has soared due in part to the increased additional demand from the manufacture of ethanol fuel.”

    http://www.purchasing.com/article/CA6554638.html?q=sulfur
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Member Posts: 2,743
    My solutions? Put E85 mandates (and the whole biofuels movement) on hold until new technology (cellulosic or algae, maybe) is shown to actually make sense, and not result in major ecologic and economic damage, as the current programs do.

    Unfortunately, we're never going to GET to cellulosic without specific mandates for it: no one's going to invest in any research into it. We didn't mandate corn ethanol as a step towards cellulosic...everyone knows that the two are completely different processes. The ethanol subsidies are a handout to agribusiness and a sop to the super-greenies. As long as they're subsidized they'll produce...and as we've seen, when the subsidies dry up, so does the ethanol.

    Now the Saudis are going to attempt to exert downward pressure on oil prices in order to reduce the likelihood of investment into other technologies (making it a worse investment because gas is cheaper again). So corn-based Ethanol will go away when the subsidies disappear, the Saudis will open the taps and lower gas prices, interest in cellulosic will dry up, and we'll be right back into the status quo. Which the Saudis and XOM want anyway.

    Cynical? Yes. But probably also true.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Unfortunately, we're never going to GET to cellulosic without specific mandates for it

    If Congress had allocated money to research and develop other methods of producing biofuel, that would have been good. They did just as you have said. They just paid off the Ag lobby and pacified the Greenies. Though now that corn ethanol is showing so many negative attributes the Greenies are distancing themselves from the stuff.

    Three environmental Views of Corn Ethanol

    Biofuels as currently rendered in the U.S. are doing great things for some farmers and for agricultural giants like Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill, but little for the environment. Corn requires large doses of herbicide and nitrogen fertilizer and can cause more soil erosion than any other crop.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/10/biofuels/biofuels-text

    IS ETHANOL GREEN?....There are probably some of you out there who believe that not everything in the world can be put into chart form. On Thursday, for example, I wrote that "corn ethanol is a boondoggle," and that probably seems like an un-chartable statement. But it's not. After all, one can always chart how much of a boondoggle something is.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2007_05/011340.php

    It’s almost considered conventional wisdom at this point that corn ethanol probably isn’t the best biofuel out there. It may not be the primary cause of global food shortages, but corn-based ethanol has nevertheless has gotten a bad rap lately. Here’s something that won’t change that tarnished reputation:

    Ethanol Expansion Contributes to Increase Runoff
    According to Louisiana State University professor R. Eugene Turner growth in the Midwest corn-based biofuel industry may be the cause of a record-breaking “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico this summer.


    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/06/ethanol-worsens-deadzone.php
  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    "Soon there will be E85 across the country."

    Maybe you can define soon. Geologically, soon might be a million years. :)
  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    " First the more gas we displace wth ethanol then the more refining capacity is open for diesel."

    That would be true if the refineries had the ability to switch easily from gasoline to diesel. The current high diesel prices suggest that they cannot do that in the near term. In a few years, with new equipment, refineries should theoretically be able to adjust.
  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    "Practically, can't happen, because the engines must still be able to run regular gas, and couldn't with a 12.5:1 ratio."

    Interesting point. I had not considered that.

    Somebody in Wiki made the same point.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E85

    All this talk of compression ratios brought up my little engine building experience from 25+ years ago. I sent the Aluminum head in from my engine to be worked on at a race shop. Some yahoo shaved the top of the head after taking the cam towers off. After bolting down the head, and torquing everything down, the cam would barely turn. The cam towers didn't align right. The solution was to send the head back and have the bottom of the head shaved.

    With everything nice and straight, life was good, or was it! I had upgraded from stock 8.5:1 pistons to 240Z pistons, which if memory serves me right were 9.5:1. Some of you may know that if you take off material on the bottom of the head you are basically reducing the volume at top of the stroke. The compression ratio goes up.

    A friend had a setup that allowed me to CC the head. After doing the calculations the number was, you guessed it, 12.5:1. Oh ____!!!!!! Am I going to need to go to the Airport to fill up with 105 octane AV gas?????

    The solution was to spend 40 hours with a Dremel tool carefully removing material from the head. Got everything really shiny and smooth. The final number was 10.5:1. Not great, but livable as long as I kept the timing conservative.

    The engine went on to provide many thousands of miles of good service. All's well that ends well. :)
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    "The engine went on to provide many thousands of miles of good service. All's well that ends well."

    Good story - careful work, well done. I was waiting for the 'we tried to start it, and bent valves/rods/whatever!'

    Only way I've heard to take full advantage of E85's octane is with a small-displacement high compression turbo (say 10:1). Computer reduces booste to zero if regular gas used. I am skeptical, because no turbo engine seems to deliver on the 'economy of a 4, power of a 6' claim. The Acura and Mazda turbo 4s seem to use gas just like a 6.
  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    " I was waiting for the 'we tried to start it, and bent valves/rods/whatever!' "

    Well there was a bit more excitement. I accidentally tried using the distributer from the 72 motor in the rebuilt 69. Turns out the gears at the bottom of the distributer had a different number of teeth. Timing would be fine for a just a second and then nothing. I called my friend over and he asked me the right question or two. The shaft worked off the oil pump. Apparently they changed the number of teeth for the two sets of gears from 69 to 72.

    Have you seen what Ford wants to do regarding E85 and turbochargers?
    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/01/ford_to_introdu.htm
  • mattandimattandi Member Posts: 588
    Midwest floods may send gas up 15%

    A bit of a worst case scenario in the vein of much doom and gloom media hype, but yet another probability because of myopic ethanol legislation. The article does make the point that sentiment is growing to rethink much of the legislation.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Congress will try to do something without showing their ignorance on the two Energy Bills they pushed through.

    Reducing the ethanol tariff

    Another potential solution that is gathering support in Congress is reducing or eliminating the foreign ethanol tariff. The import tariff of 54 cents a gallon on ethanol keeps the price of imported ethanol high in an effort to support domestic farmers.

    Much of imported ethanol is made from sugar cane, which is cheaper to produce than domestic corn-based ethanol.

    Energy industry experts say lifting the tariff entirely will likely lower gas prices by 10 cents a gallon, but legislation that proposed canceling the tax found little support in Congress. As a result, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H., recently introduced a compromise bill to reduce the tariff to 45 cents.

    "The need for inexpensive and cleaner-burning fuels continues to grow, and yet U.S. refiners are forced to pay a 54-cent tariff on ethanol imported from Brazil and other foreign sources," Feinstein said on the Senate floor last week. "This makes no sense, given the record oil prices and the limited supplies of domestic ethanol."
  • mattandimattandi Member Posts: 588
    I usually don't think too highly of Feinstein, but that was a more astute observation on her part. Overlooks some other issues with foreign ethanol, but she's right, the tariff makes no sense.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Member Posts: 735
    Energy industry experts say lifting the tariff entirely will likely lower gas prices by 10 cents a gallon, but legislation that proposed canceling the tax found little support in Congress. As a result, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H., recently introduced a compromise bill to reduce the tariff to 45 cents.

    Going from $0.54 tariff to $0.45 is a compromise? Not in my world.

    Going from $0.54 to $0.27 is a compromise.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Removing the whole 54 cents and treating Brazil like a good neighbor is what I consider a good compromise. Our producers still get 51 cents subsidy to make the stuff. You would think that we would learn that for every action by Congress there is a reaction that costs the tax payers money. This mess is costing US at the pump and grocery store.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    "treating Brazil like a good neighbor"

    Sure wouldn't hurt, given Petrobras' recent oil discoveries :D and Venezuela's recent actions :sick:
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Exactly

    Brazil has found enough oil to become energy independent. They may just want to share with US. Or are we going to add a big tariff on their oil also? It sounds like they would like to spend some of that new found wealth on developing our oil shale. When you think about it, that is a kick.
  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    I wonder if $8 a bushel corn has put the proverbial last nail in the coffin for ethanol. Probably not, but I would bet that it stopped future expansion. Any high cost plants out there will shut down.

    AAA is reporting that E85 nation wide jumped to $3.827. That is a 50 cent jump. I suspect the number is wrong. The adjusted price is $5.036.

    RUG is at $4.073
    PUG is at $4.481

    I have stopped using the E10 because I suspected that the mpg was a lot lower than RUG minus the ethanol. That seems to be the case. My highway travel is now 1-2 mpg better with RUG than E10. Theory says I should lose only 3%. My car can take advantage of the 89 octane of E10, however, losses appear to be greater. The loss maybe be as high as 4% to 5%.

    Maybe this weekend I'll get to crunching the actual numbers.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    As far as I can tell all our RUG in CA is laced with 10% ethanol. Though it never says on the pump what you are getting. I just know that my vehicles get lower mileage than when I go out of the state and buy gas.

    I Also read that several ethanol projects were put on hold when corn hit $6. So this may be the nail to shut the coffin. Anyone that does not see that the ethanol mandate is causing food prices to rise is blinded by their own ethanol profiteering.

    Permitting is also an issue as people start to realize ethanol is not all it was purported to be.

    Poet has canceled plans for an ethanol plant in Glenville, Minn., after the process of obtaining the appropriate permits delayed the project for more than a year, the company said Monday.

    “When we selected Glenville … we believed that we would be holding its grand opening sometime around today,” said Larry Ward, Poet’s vice president for project development, in a written statement. “However, permitting has delayed the project by more than a year and has caused a significant amount of additional costs making it less attractive than other potential projects in the Eastern Corn Belt.”

    Rick Kment, a biofuels analyst with DTN Research, said permits are becoming a bigger issue as public perception about biofuels has changed.

    “There’s not necessarily the public support any more for a lot of these plants that maybe, if they had gotten permitted three to four years ago, would have been rubber stamped through,” he said. “Now you have a lot more publicity about these plants and about the [environmental and economic] concerns, so in some cases, getting the appropriate permits companies need to build these plants has become a huge hassle.”

    “Two or three years ago, you might not have had many people, if any, show up for these public meetings,” he said. “But now everybody’s [airing their concerns], not only of building that plant, but about the whole industry, which isn’t bad but really slows down the process. That’s where I think the permitting is starting to get held up.”

  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    "I have stopped using the E10 because I suspected that the mpg was a lot lower than RUG minus the ethanol. "

    How do you know which gas has it? As with Gary, DFW area all has it, I think. At least by the BTUs, E10 should drop economy by about 3%.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    At least by the BTUs, E10 should drop economy by about 3%.

    I'm not sure what the difference is. I know I got about 17 MPG driving in AZ on their gas, and I get 15 here in CA with the crap they sell us at a much higher price. I guess we are paying for a more temperate climate. Knowing the way CARB and the CA legislature love to rip off the public, they probably extract some of the BTUs from our gas :shades:
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    Good comparison from the Seattle PI
    Biofuels Comparison
  • jkinzeljkinzel Member Posts: 735
    http://www.canada.com:80/theprovince/news/story.html?id=cdb153fe-e5b5-4d5d-8b5b-- a5253dd00d5a

    Boat owners should be wary of ethanol-blended gasoline and its potential effect on marine engines, say boating experts.

    Fuel containing ethanol --derived primarily from corn and wheat -- may dissolve the fuel lines on older boats.

    This ends up clogging carburetors and other engine parts, says Fred Boese, president of Nanaimo's Blue Peter Marine.

    "Materials have come a long way on the newer boats, but most of the boats on the coast are older and we've been seeing a number of American boats [from states where ethanol fuel blends are already mandated] come in with problems related to their fuel," Boese said.

    The federal government plans to ensure that gasoline has an average renewable fuel content of five per cent in two years.

    Unlike petroleum-based gas, ethanol absorbs water, which is not good for fuel-injected engines, said Boese.

    Problems with the fuel are becoming common in the U.S., where some owners have launched lawsuits against gasoline producers.

    John Eubank, owner of Skipper's Marine Centre in Nanaimo, said he's "highly recommending" his customers to not use the fuel.

    "We've heard so much bad news about using the blended gas from boaters around the world that we advise people to stay away from it."
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    In addition to fuel lines, I thought I read somewhere ethanol's bad for the tanks.
  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    "How do you know which gas has it? "

    The local refinery in Mandan, Tesoro, does not put ethanol in RUG. Or at least they are not supposed to.

    Apparently we don't always get what we think we are getting in our tank of petrol.

    http://www.bismarcktribune.com/articles/2007/08/27/news/business/doc46d2f792bcd8- 7651868756.txt

    "I think. At least by the BTUs, E10 should drop economy by about 3%."

    That is what I thought. The extra drop of 1 to 2% may not be the result of E10, unless the truck drivers are over filling on ethanol at the rack? I know for example, that E85 is not always 85% ethanol. In winter they sometimes get down to 70% ethanol.
    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/02/27/when-is-e85-not-85-percent-ethanol-when-- its-e70-with-an-e85-st/

    I suspect sometimes the E10 is more like E15. Are people gaming the system? Ethanol is cheaper. I wouldn't put it past people to make the occasional mistake and get a bit more of the cheaper ethanol in the blend.

    After looking at my mpg, it will not be possible to prove that my car is getting worse than 3% mpg by using E10. There are too many variables to consider (wind, new tires, inflation pressures, different terrain).

    For now I'll stick with plain RUG. Maybe if E10 became 20 cents cheaper than RUG I'll consider it.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    The whole business with ethanol laced gas costing us mileage is another good reason to own a diesel vehicle. :blush:

    The cheaper the diesel usually the fresher. Never had an issue or mileage shift from CA to TX and back.
  • avalon02whavalon02wh Member Posts: 785
    A few posts back I suggested that the AAA price for E85 was wrong. It had jumped to $3.827. Well, today they are reporting $3.826. That tells me the number is not a typo. A month ago E85 was $3.169. :surprise:

    I think it is "GAME OVER" for E85. Even the most steadfast supporters are going to abandon the fuel now that it costs almost as much as RUG.
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