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.
"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.
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.
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.
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:
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?
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
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
paved: 94,871 km
paved: 4,164,964 km (including 74,950 km of expressways)
So every comparison just isn't valid.
source: World Factbook
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.
I am seeing many what appear to be knowledgeable people saying it is not
worth the effort.
But that is argued by others:
Or would effort be better spent trying to recover the shale oil in the west?
Shell says they have a method to extract it.
These "experts" are dumb enough to think you should produce a fuel from an
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
approach for a while, but figure there may be problems with the US accepting it,
of the patents and such are not American - NIH syndrome could kick in. I was
to hear Bush advocate for it recently.
BTW - ethanol will provide more oxygen to the gas mix and will result in a
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
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
on the ridiculously huge vehicles chosen by your penis envy and the dependence
foreign energy can be reduced considerably.
Forget hydrogen - it's a scam.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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