Gas

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OK, this is off topic for alt.home.repair but I can't resist putting it in my crosspost, there's so many canny folks who check out that NG, and I know almost all of them drive.
I was chatting with my auto mechanic the other day and I asked him if he thought all gas was pretty much the same these days - an idea I'd been encountering. He didn't agree at all.
Now I guess I should say that I have no connections with the petroleum industry of any kind, none in the auto industry either, or any other industry associated in any way with gasoline.
He said his truck was running sluggishly and he put in a tank of 76 high octane and could hardly believe the difference it made. Suddenly the truck ran smoothly. He said he has a lot of evidence that he and other people are getting very significantly better mileage since switching to 76. I guess that's 76 Union, unless they've changed their name.
I asked him if he had any experience with their regular gas, and he couldn't really say, it seemed.
I thought I'd throw this out there and see what other people think.
Myself, I've been using the cheapest regular I can find, usually from Costco, or a station I know where they sell pretty cheap if you give them cash. I drive less than 2000/year with my two cars, so it isn't a giant deal for me, but more mileage and smoother performance would be reason enough for me to switch to a recommended brand.
Dan
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Did he tell you about 1. Octane levels 2. Leaded vs. lead-free gasoline 3. Additives e.g. MMT 4. Supplementary mixed fuels e.g. alcohol ? Most pumps are labeled for what they contain in all four respects.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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On Sat, 1 Jan 2005 09:09:34 -0500, "Don Phillipson"
: : :> I was chatting with my auto mechanic the other day and I asked him if he :> thought all gas was pretty much the same these days - an idea I'd been :> encountering. He didn't agree at all. : :Did he tell you about :1. Octane levels :2. Leaded vs. lead-free gasoline :3. Additives e.g. MMT :4. Supplementary mixed fuels e.g. alcohol ? :Most pumps are labeled for what they contain in all :four respects.
No, we didn't talk about all that. I'm in California and I don't think they're selling leaded gasoline. We do have additives and the CA standards are different from most of the USA, making the gas a fair amount more expensive, probably in the neighborhood of 10%. Gasohol is starting to take off, at least in some places I guess. Can most cars burn gasohol? I should take the time to read the pumps, like you say.
I want to die calm and peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not kicking and screaming like the passengers of his car.
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On 1/1/2005 10:15 AM US(ET), Dan_Musicant took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

In my area of NY, the Getty gas stations are the cheapest. They could be up to $0.10 (10 cents) per gallon cheaper than other stations in the same general area. If you look on the Getty pumps, you will see a sticker saying that the gas contains 10% Ethanol, rather than the ground polluting, mpg lowering, and more expensive MBTE, which other gas stations have added to their winter gas. I have been using the Getty gas, and don't find any difference in engine performance.
--
Bill

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I think most stations are using ethanol now. MBTE is being banned in many areas.
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This is Turtle Again.
*** Octane Burns to make the car run good. *** Additive clean and fix problems. *** Yes Gasohol is different but it has a octane rating as the same as not. Alcohol is a very good fuel to burn for if you will check up here on the fuel the cars in the Indy 500 are using. You will find out they use pure Alcohol burning of the fuel. They don't use gas because you can get more power out of Alcohol fuel than unleaded gas. All the high speed or drag racer prefer Pure Alcohol over unleaded gas. So if it is me, Give me 90% Alcohol and 10% gas and get more power and mileage. Now check your book in the auto to see about burning Alcohol fuel and it will tell you about it.
When all else fails , Read the instructions.
TURTLE
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Rather pathetic, really.

Rather pathetic, really.

Rather pathetic, really.

Rather pathetic, really.

Pity they are very different engines, and its different alcohol too.

Rather pathetic, really.

Rather pathetic, really.
Pity about the price.

Rather pathetic, really.

Rather pathetic, really.

Rather pathetic, really.
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This is Turtle.
Rod You must get better to be called a troll and have some original material. Your not original.
TURTLE
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<SNIP>

Actually, alcohol has such a high octane rating that race car engines designed to burn it have a higher compression ratio. Without the higher compression ratio, an engine would actually get less energy from a gallon of alcohol than from a gallon of gasoline. Fuel mileage would actually be a little worse.
Cars often get very slightly less mileage with "gasohol" and other "oxygenated fuel" because these fuels have slightly less chemical energy per gallon.
Some high octane gasolines have alcohol to boost the octane and as a result you may get very slightly less fuel economy and power.
----------------------------------------------------------
As for higher octane than the instructions call for being necessary when the engine has a lot of miles on it: This is *sometimes* true. The usual cause is bad spark plugs (replace) or carbon deposits in the engine making detonation occur more easily. Probably less likely if you properly maintain your engine and air filter. But only use higher octane to the extent necessary to eliminate knocking.
----------------------------------------------------------
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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<SNIP>

Actually, alcohol has such a high octane rating that race car engines designed to burn it have a higher compression ratio. (Indy cars burn methanol rather than ethanol, but that does not change any other points.) Without the higher compression ratio, an engine would actually get less energy from a gallon of alcohol than from a gallon of gasoline. Fuel mileage would actually be a little worse.
Cars often get very slightly less mileage with "gasohol" and other "oxygenated fuel" because these fuels have slightly less chemical energy per gallon.
Some high octane gasolines have (or at least had several years ago) alcohol to boost the octane and as a result sometimes get/got very slightly less fuel economy and power.
----------------------------------------------------------
As for higher octane than the instructions call for being necessary when the engine has a lot of miles on it: This is *sometimes* true. The usual cause is bad spark plugs (replace) or carbon deposits in the engine making detonation occur more easily. Probably less likely if you properly maintain your engine and air filter. But only use higher octane to the extent necessary to eliminate knocking.
----------------------------------------------------------
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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This is Turtle.
You really confuse me with all the does and don't but I have to revert back to look in the car info book in the glove box and get the octane rating that the auto is to burn and use it. It the fuel you use has alcohol or any other stuff in it but the fuel stated by the manufactor , it make little or no difference in the operation of the auto and if the valve ping. If the engine makes a noise or ping You have a motor malifuction and need to have it looked at. Now if your drag racing or racing the autos I would follow your words as to fuel for high speed driving and super power. In this case you would not want to burn the 87 octane gas and set the injectors , Car computor chip / speed chip , and timing system to burn the 97 or 104 octane fuel for maxium speed and power.
Now I will tell you what happen to the Alcohol being put in the place of fuel in the U.S.A. . We here in the area had a Alcohol manufactoring plant and was making large amounts of alcohol to be used in the cars. I had a friend of mine who was a engineer for them and when they shut the doors on it and we talked about the cause of it closing. He said at the time it cost about $.60 a gallon to get it to the pump and gas was $.60 a gallon at the pump and the oil companys was going along with the 10% mix of alcohol and 90% gas because of shortage. At the time there was some research as to using more alcohol and gas. It was determined that you could run a 50/50 mix alcohol and gas and cars would run fine. At this time there was a push to do away with alcohol because of it was no good to use and really was a bad choice for fuel. One year later the Alcohol manufactoring plant here closed it was running 24 hour a day 7 days a week and customers was buying it faster than they could make it. They had a 6 month back log of orders for it but it was no good at all for fuel for cars. He said if the market ever went with a 50/50 mix in the gas fuel for cars it would cut the oil market share in half and make the oil company take a super hit on profit that it expected to make off the 90% mix fuel. at the 50/50 mix it would kill their business. Then in about 5 years the plant was reopen to make a additive to remove water from the gas tanks and was nothing but the same alcohol the added to the gas to have the 10/90 mix of alcohol. It was open for about a year and the plant had distribitor who was selling the stuff by the gallon to remove the water but people was just buying it to use as fuel at $.60 a gallon and gas had gotten up to $1.00 a gallon. They were using a 50/50 mix and worked fine. You could buy a 5 gal. jug of alcohol for $3.00 and 5 gal. of gas was $5.00 at the pump. The E.P.A. come down on them because of the people doing what they was doing and the plant knew about it by making it in a 5 gal. jug. The E.P.A. made it so hard on them that they closed in about 6 months for them finding everything under the sun wrong with their plant. The plant now is nothing but a bunch of big building in the middle of Soy bean and Rice fields in Franklenton, Louisiana and a warehouse for a oil company to store and work on oil field equipment in it. Everybody was growing corn at the time but went back to Rice and Soy bean after it closed. I even burn some of it and it run fine but when oil speaks Alcohol listens and gets out of the way. Yes the oil company put out all kinds of data that says it was no good at all but like i said before Oil speaks -- Alcohol listens and moves on.
So you will never see the alcohol really come back and compete with oil again.
TURTLE
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TURTLE wrote:

If they were selling the alcohol at 60 cents and gas was selling for $1.00, it is no wonder they stopped making alcohol. You can make alcohol economically if you use waste products. But you can't grow crops to make alcohol economically because the energy you put into the process is greater than the energy you get out of it. There may be some exception to that, but they are few and far between.
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George E. Cawthon wrote: (edited for space)

(story about ethanol plant able to sell ethanol at 60 cents per gallon, and closing when gas at the pump was $1 per gallon)

One other factor: If the gas station was selling gasoline for $1.00 per gallon, how much of that went to the refinery? I think probably less than 60 cents per gallon, since a major part of the retail cost of gasoline is taxes.
60 cents per gallon is $25.20 per barrel. I somewhat remember that refinery costs were somewhere between a nickel and a dime a gallon (could be a little more now), so for the cost of crude plus refining is 60 cents per gallon, the crude alone would cost about $21-23 per barrel. How much did gas cost at the pump last time crude oil was $21 per barrel? $1.15-$1.20 a gallon? Last time gas was a dollar a gallon, if I remember correctly, crude was about $17-$18 a barrel.
When crude recently fluctuated as high as $50 per barrel to as low as mid 40's, the pump price for regular was about $1.80 to $1.95 per gallon - about 80-90 cents a gallon above the price of crude, and a good chunk of that is taxes.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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This is Turtle.
Here is one for you to think about. A 100 pound sack of Whole Corn for cattle feed will run about $6.00 and the moon shinners can make 20 gallons of shin Alcohol out of a 100 pound sack of corn. Shin will burn in your care with no gas at all and you can drink it too. It is 190 proof or 95% Alcohol and 55 water. That is the samething as gas 94% gas and 6% water.
Now the Alcohol refining product can be bought at the feed store by the 100 pound sack of corn for $6.00 and makes 20 gallions of Alcohol that can be used as fuel in the auto. Now base gas at $2.00 a gallion and that makes the alcohol replacing the gas as follow here :
20 Gal. of Alcohol sells for $40.00 as replacement for gas.
20 Gal. of Gas sells for $40.00 as the gas fuel.
100 # of Corn raw crude to refine is $6.00 . So you have a profit and refining cost of $34.00 for 20 Gal. of fuel / gas.
INFO first. A barrel of oil is 42 Gallons and a 1/2 a barrel of oil is 21 gal.
1/2 barrel of oil 21 gal. cost now about $25.00 so crude to make gas to make 20 gal. of gas cost $25.00 . Then $25.00 for crude to make 20 gal. of gas is $25.00 - $40.00 = $15.00 refining cost and profit.
$25.00 worth of crude oil makes $40.00 worth of fuel / gas = $15.00 Profit and Refining cost.
$6.00 worth of crude material / oil makes $40.00 worth of fuel / Alcohol / gas $34.00 Profit / Refining Cost.
So they can refine Corn at $6.00 to make $40.00 worth of fuel or they can refine $25.00 worth of crude oil to make $40.00 worth of fuel. The $6.00 making $40.00 worth of fuel sounds a whole lot better than $25.00 worth of crude to make $40.00 worth of fuel. The Corn is a whole lot cheaper to make the fuel than from Crude oil.
Now the data of the 100 # of Corn can make 20 gal. of Shin is a fact in this part of the country and i can get you to talk to Crocket Johnson who makes shin and check the facts. This is a fact and no bull. Now of cource Crocket wants $20.00 a Gal. for 190 proof / 95% Alcohol shine and it is the good stuff.
Alcohol can be made cheaper than gas now days but with the oil company against it. Alcohol is just too costly to produce.
TURTLE
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TURTLE wrote:

I think you are missing a lot of the cost of alcohol production. $6 a hundred for corn is probably well below the production cost. You may be able to buy it for that but only because there is an oversupply and the farmer wants to get something back. If a lot of the corn went to alcohol production, the supply would drop, the demand would increase, and no one would sell for lower than production cost which without government price support would probably be double or triple the $6 figure.
Second, I don't believe the 20 gallons of 95 percent alcohol from 100 pounds of corn. By weight you are converting 100 pounds of corn to about 140-150 pounds of alcohol? That just isn't possible unless you have a bunch of other materials not accounted for (and don't tell me its the water). I suspect that you probably have at least 20 pounds of dry material left from the mash and the alcohol probably weighs 70 pounds which is more like 9 gallons of alcohol leaving about 10 pounds lost as other than dry mash and alcohol.
You didn't account for the energy used in distilling. How much of that 95 percent alcohol was burned to distill your mash to 95 percent alcohol? I have no idea, but probably 1/2 or more. That leaves you with about 4 1/2 gallons for your original $6 (and big time distillers can come close to that untaxed cost). You are still ahead until you go back and refigure the actual cost of the grain.
Every economic study that I have seen, except one, shows that you cannot get back the energy that is put into the alcohol production. And that single study just barely made it. Note I'm talking energy, not cost, because if you don't come up with more energy than you started, it doesn't make sense to convert oil/gas to alcohol.
Small productions, small geographic areas, and use of waste material as the basic material can be profitable, and the energy can be on the positive side but that is mainly because the basic material is waste. With large scale production, the waste material quickly becomes limiting.
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This is Turtle.
The ratio of corn used verses the Alcohol production is coming from a shin producer and the alcohol % could not be what he states as 95% alcohol but anybody will drink the shin could not tell you the 100 proof from the 190 proof but you have to take him at his word of 190 proof. Crocket did say for a fact and I believe him that he can make 20 -- 1 gal. milk jugs of shin out of a 100 pound bag of corn only and no cobbs. Now the proof could not be what is state on % or proof.
The studies may be done and looked at for ever but when the Oil industry does not like alcohol as the motor fuel. You can forget about tring to make it acceptiable for use as fuel. It will never happen.
TURTLE
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TURTLE wrote: ...

It's already happening...present limitations are ramp up of production (there are new plants being built all over continuously if you would just go look), distribution and customer acceptance. There are practical limits on fractions of alcohol w/ conventional (read existing) engines, particularly issues w/ types of rubbers and plastics used for seats, tubing, seals, etc., that will not tolerate high concentrations of alcohol that current owners are not willing to trade out...
In addition, bio-diesel is ramping up significantly as well..."oil" companies are not just oil--they're "energy" companies from oil and gas to coal and uranium plus many alternatives if you will also just go and look...
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Don Klipstein wrote:

Excuse me, that's the point of the higher octane. Ethanol has *less* energy per gallon than gasoline. This means that per gallon, you should pay *less* for it. My rule is two or three cents.
--

Personally, I believe that 9/11 should have taught us the lesson that we
can't let these countries simmer endlessly in disillusionment without
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says...

Since the ethanol costs more to produce then gasoline, the prices goes up not down.
Whether you think its a good value for what you get is a different matter.
--
----------------------------------------------------------------
o |~> Dominique Cormann
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Dominique Cormann wrote:

No, I mean if you are buying the product, you should discount it for having ethanol in it because ethanol has less energy per gallon than gasoline. I know it costs more to produce and is available at competitive price points only due to tax subsidies to companies such as ADM.
--

Personally, I believe that 9/11 should have taught us the lesson that we
can't let these countries simmer endlessly in disillusionment without
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