damage from ethanol?

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Someone in a country other than the USA has done a study of the effects of 20% ethanol/80% gasoline on engines by running a weedwacker and an outboard motor on such a mixture.
He reports: "The study of ethanol's impact on engines found the 10 per cent blend caused no substantial changes, except slight swelling and blistering on the carburettor and an increase in carbon deposits on pistons.
But when the fuel contained 20 per cent ethanol, substantial problems were encountered. The outboard engine stalled on occasions, exhaust gas temperature increased by a significant margin and in some cases there was extensive corrosion of engine parts."
Could someone list all the reasons this is not a good test. (I suspect you'll all think of some of the same things, so maybe look at previous answers before answering.)
Any reasons it is a good test are also appreciated.
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This is nothing new. This was more an issue for older cars when ethanol was first blended in, but that was years ago. In Illinois everything has been an ethanol blend (10% I think) for years. If the engine and parts are built right, you can run 85% ethanol. I think a lot of cars coming off the line today can handle it. But a weedwacker and a boat engine are probably just not designed for that much ethanol in the mix.
S
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mm wrote:

Why do you ask? Isn't 10% is the mixture used in the U.S. except for vehicles designed to use the 85%?
I would still like to see a valid study showing that ethanol is a valid alternative to gasoline. There are knowledgeable individuals that state that it takes more energy to produce it than we get out. Therefore may be nothing more than a subsidy to the farmers. Mostly I hear "political babble" by people that know nothing of the subject.
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Rich256 writes:

Ethanol is physically inferior and more costly than gasoline. The support for it is political, and not just the farmers.
Some believe that we are better off making something ourselves than importing something better and cheaper. This is why you hear all the rhetoric about "dependency of foreign oil". By that logic, we are better off burning domestic candles than importing sunlight:
http://bastiat.org/en/petition.html
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In the furniture business we hear a lot of that.

Bad comparison, because sunlight is also free of global political complications.
S
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On Tue, 09 May 2006 23:52:17 -0500, Richard J Kinch

It seems to work in Brazil. Isn't that a valid enough study? They sell more ethanol than gasoline, and 70% of the cars sold last year will run on 100^ gasoline or 100% ethanol or anything in between. (Mrsgator probably knows that they they make it from sugar cane. If our cars burned ethanol also, maybe we could import that from Brazil or somewhere else, or we could import the sugar cane, or we could load the ship with mash and let it ferment on the way to the US.)

Prices change. Gas is 3 dollars a gallon now. How much will it be 2 years, 10 years from now, after China and India want to buy even more. And they aren't going to be the last countries that expand their demand. How much will it be after some oil fields dry up?

Prices change.

We're not dependent on it?

How does one import sunlight? Furthermore, unless we want shorter nights, we have enough sunlight already.

I think instead of imagining this is all politics, we should take note of the fact that support our prejudices and the ones that contradict them.
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mm wrote:

It's a hell of a lot easier to implement a nationwide shift to an alternative fuel when you only have a GDP of of $1.6 trillion compared to $12.41 trillion for the US, and 1.61 million bbl of oil per day consumption vs. 20 million bbl of oil per day.
Their road structure is a joke compare to the US as well Brazil: paved: 94,871 km
US: paved: 4,164,964 km (including 74,950 km of expressways)
So every comparison just isn't valid.
source: World Factbook http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html
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wrote:

Of course there are diffreenceces and I'm not even saying that we could use the same percentage of ethanol, at least not any time soon, but I was addressing Richards request for a valid study that ethanol was a valid alternative. That statement alone, and certainly when combined with my original post seemed to mean he wasn't sure cars would run on ethanol, and without doing a lot of damage to engines.
Richard, if you meant something different, please let me know.

I don't see how this means this comparison isn't valid. It just means it has to be understood, including other factors.

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mm wrote:

I am seeing many what appear to be knowledgeable people saying it is not worth the effort.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/06/27/MNG1VDF6EM1.DTL
http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/July05/ethanol.toocostly.ssl.html
But that is argued by others:
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2006-02-01-ethanol-sidebar_x.htm
http://journeytoforever.org/ethanol_energy.html
Or would effort be better spent trying to recover the shale oil in the west?
Shell says they have a method to extract it.
http://www.energybulletin.net/2680.html
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Thanks for the references. Good reading.
Bob
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These "experts" are dumb enough to think you should produce a fuel from an expensive crop. Don't be lead by the most short-sighted nay-sayers.

These experts, OTOH, realize that there's a better way to do things. I've been following this approach for a while, but figure there may be problems with the US accepting it, since many of the patents and such are not American - NIH syndrome could kick in. I was surprised to hear Bush advocate for it recently.
BTW - ethanol will provide more oxygen to the gas mix and will result in a cleaner, more efficient fuel that plain gas. However, if you get above a certain limit (10%? I forget) the extra ethanol burns a tad less energetically.
If you want to burn ethanol in an internal cumbustion engine, you should ideally make a few changes. Volkswagen, for example, sells a conversion kit for their gas engines to convert to very high ethanol fuels. I'm not sure exactly what the changes are (valve timing? injector widgets? air/fuel mix?). You can't blindly take an engine optimized for gas and run it on pure ethanol and expect it to work perfectly.
Take an Atkinson cycle engine optimized for ethanol, add hybrid technology and give up on the ridiculously huge vehicles chosen by your penis envy and the dependence on foreign energy can be reduced considerably.
Forget hydrogen - it's a scam.
Mike
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Talk to someone who's invested in a fuel ethanol plant. Ask them what kind of profits the plant is generating. Even if you tax the fuel ethanol the same as you tax gasoline, it can be produced at a considerably lower cost than gasoline can be produced and marketed from $50 crude, let alone $70 crude.
Brazil will have a hard time making inroads into the fuel ethanol markets in the interior parts of the U.S. because of transportation costs. They can have an impact near the costal areas. Most of the fuel ethanol in the U.S. is produced in the Midwest, the corn belt. The further you have to transport from the Midwest, the less competitive it becomes. California, for example, imports a lot of fuel ethanol at relatively high cost, primarily because of the environmental benefits of mixing it with gasoline and the fact that they don't have the right crops to produce it themselves.
The oil companies do not favor fuel ethanol (or any other bio-fuel, for that matter). I wonder why, although I suspect I already know the answer. The oil industry has been consolidating for a number of years. They've managed to reduce the number of refineries to the point that they just have enough refinery capacity to meet current demand (note what happened to gasoline prices when Katrina took refinery capacity off line). Any large scale fuel ethanol production will upset their delicate balance and bring more competition to the oil industry. Obviously, not something they want to see, considering the amounts of profits they are enjoying under the current conditions.
For now, corn is the most feasible material to use for fuel ethanol production in this country. And, by the way, the corn is not lost as an animal feed just because it's been used to produce fuel ethanol. The primary byproduct of a fuel ethanol plant is a dried distillers grain, which is a high protein animal feed. A lot of work is being done to develop processes to economically produce fuel ethanol from biomass/cellulose, i.e., sawdust and such. If that happens (and it will eventually), watch what fuel ethanol does. Coal fired fuel ethanol plants that meet all environmental requirements are being built today. If crude prices stay above $35 dollars a barrel, the fuel ethanol plants will do fine. We need to let the marketplace decide if fuel ethanol is feasible.
Harry

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HarryS wrote:

Agree. However, I would like to see a current valid study that shows that ethanol can be produced for those low prices. So many that I see are quite old and it seems to me that most are just reporters making guesses. Since ethanol must be shipped by rail it presently becomes very expensive in many parts of the country.
http://zfacts.com/p/60.html
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Ethanol is 200 proiof vodka How cheap could it be? I certainly don't expect the taxes to be much less.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Great point!! The road tax is a lot less than liquor tax. And imagine all the bootleggers driving down the road, perfectly legal with a tank full of liquor. Only when they dump it and drink it can they get in trouble.
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I suspect they will "denature" the ethanol to make it undrinkable. I wonder what that will do for emissions?
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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You're correct. The plants I'm familiar with are required to add 5% gasoline to the alcohol they produce to denature it. It can be denatured with other things but gasoline is easiest for them.
wrote:

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HarryS wrote:

But, they would have a difficult time detecting the difference with the guy running with home made stuff!!
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You aren't allowed to make your own distilled spirits. Period.
You aren't even allowed to own the equipment.
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Goedjn wrote:

Tell that to some of the "Red Necks" in the hills:-).
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