Do you care where your tools are manufactured?

Page 7 of 16  
Robatoy wrote: ...

For which cases would you be postulating that, and from what sources?
Only sources I've seen that draw that conclusion rely on assumptions that neglect portions of the cycle (such as the solar input on the input side or the usable byproducts on the output) or from very old sources/processes. These sources have uniformly been funded by groups whose agenda is to discredit them (like the ads run locally in this area against a new power plant permit on the basis of air pollution and carbon sequestration that were actually financed by a large natural gas producer who is lobbying for new natural gas-fired plants. Talk about a way to waste a much more valuable resource for other purposes in order to have a short-term gain! :( ).
While I'll agree wholeheartedly biofuels aren't going to be the full answer, they will make a significant conribution, particularly during a transition period until H or other more exotics are available.
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Consider me a source. When I use fuels with up to 10% alcohol I typically get in excess of a 10% drop in gas mileage. If it work out better I would admit it, from my stand point alcohol is simply a filler that burns but does not contribute.

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Leon wrote:

Alcohol does not have the specific energy on a volume basis of gasoline, true. That's not the same thing at all as a net negative energy balance.

If it "burns" it contributes...there's that doggone thermodynamics stuff again for ya'... :)
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Yes it burns but if it contributes 10% of what gasoline does and delivers less for more cost what have you accomplished?
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Leon wrote:

It contributes roughly 80% on a specific volume basis and costs now are equivalent or less. Retail pricing, market access and distribution, are, otoh, still issues.
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I'll have to pay more attention the next time I see a drag race with the alcohol funny cars. I could swear I see them moving down the strip with all that filler in the tank.
todd
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Yeah, check their gas mileage also while you are at it. If you have not noticed that is what I am complaining about.
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Additionally, if they ran gasoline on those supercharged engines with those compression ratios the heads would probably blow right off.
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Leon wrote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrous
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If I was, I'd be having more fun and so would the car. LOL
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So all those cars burning E85 should be getting, what, 4 mpg? Give it up.
todd
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I don't know, that is a number you pulled out of your hat. I can assure that alcohol does not improve nor maintain gas mileage.
I do know that those lighter weight E85 vehivles that I test drove with smaller engines had EPA gas mileage estimates that were 10 to 15% less than the vehivle that I bought with 25-30% more hp.
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On Tue, 27 Nov 2007 17:28:22 -0600, "Leon"

10-15% less?
I have a co-worker with an E85 Tahoe that does 8-9 MPG on E85. _If_ he can find it.
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wrote:

GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzz.... I get 14.5 on average in town and 18 on the highway if I get 100% gasoline.
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Leon wrote:

Houston is warmer and flatter.
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Houston also has a lot of sit and wait in traffic.
I find cooler gives better gas mileage and when vacationing in the mountains the gas mileage really does not suffer much. Hills are offset by down hills. ;~)
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Bonehenge (B A R R Y) wrote:

You can see lots of data here:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/byfueltype.htm
A 2008 Tahoe Flex Fuel vehicles get EPA estimates of 14/20 city/highway when running on Gasoline vs. 11/15 on E85. Fuel economy on E85 is thus about 75% of that on Gasoline in this test.
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Leon wrote:

That sounds reasonable for 20% or so reduction compared to gasoline for ethanol -- 85% * 0.8 + 15% * 1 ==> 0.83.
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Perhaps if the gasohol was 20% cheaper although more often than not it is more expensive in Houston.
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Leon wrote:

That's where the newness is still a detriment as mentioned previously. At present, the distribution and blending is still in the hands of the oil company distributors who have little, if any, incentive to make it cost-competitive. There are a few places (AgriTalk guy on radio based in St Louis mentioned it just the other day) where it is, indeed priced based on actual costs, but many places aren't yet as you're seeing, unfortunately. It was about 40-cents less than premium iirc, that particular day there in his area of St Louis.
It'll take time, but it's gradually happening and will eventually sort out its place in the market as the ethanol producers get sufficient infrastructure in place to compete directly that the oil companies don't have such a stranglehold. There are a few of the producer co-operatives that are in the process of investigating actually building some distribution channels themselves. They would certainly prefer to not have to do so, but may find it necessary to hasten the process.
One of the actual difficulties is that the mandates for usage, while promoting the development of refining capacity has caused a flurry of distilling capacity which has, at the moment, outstripped the distribution capacity.
One other thing they (the oil companies) are dragging their feet on now is a (mostly) bogus argument about UL-listed E85-compatible pumps.
Again, it ain't the final answer and it ain't perfect (it would be really, really nice if ethanol had as high or higher specific energy as gasoline, but it's a much lower molecular weight and that's the name o' that tune so it has what it has), but it can and will help for at least an intermediary period. When the development of stover and sawgrass and similar products are complete as feedstocks, then the production costs relative to corn will drop significantly as will, undoubtedly, the temporary tight corn markets. Of course, the actual corn supply shortage that is all the rage in the urban media is as much related to a relatively short crop owing to weather as it is to the increased demand -- both are about equal in magnitude in terms of reduction of supply and increase in demand. And, of course, the worldwide wheat supplies are at 20+-yr lows owing to harvest shortfalls in all the major wheat producing countries in the world, not just the US.
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