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Just trying to think ahead a little, it seems we will be getting an E85 station in the near future, I haven't read much about this stuff, I did hear it is about 105 octane? What needs to be done to these old engines to run this fuel?
I'd be real surprised if it was 105 octane! That's almost race gas! I've been using and ethanol blend for that last little while on both the car and the truck, no mods required, just changed from regular unleaded to the ethanol blend. 90 octane for the regular stuff
it should've been done 30 years ago. realistically for our old 8:1 carbed gas burners the best thing would be to just mix a little of it with gas. to run it exclusively would require 12:1's and an alcohol friendly fuel system whether it be carbed or injected. alcohol brings corrosion issues with it, requires special rubber/seals, and about a 2.4 X increase in fuel delivery compared to gasoline.
I was told one dealer had it in Nashville TN, I hope to get out there, I want to try it, if it's cheaper, that's a big plus, my van requires high test thanks to the superchip micro tuner, the 351M in my 78 F-150 has an RV cam, but has been fine with 87.
I can't believe they all want to talk about hybrids and such, but don't want to make alternate fuels, especially ones to help with our current vehicles. BTW, gas electric hybrids will be useless with no petrol to fuel them, bunch of genious in charge.
"...about a 2.4 X increase in fuel delivery compared to gasoline."
Could you be thinking of methanol? I don't think the mixture has to be that rich with ethanol but this is an important point. The fuel may be cheaper but how much more will you have to use to make the same power as gas? Alcohol fuels have a lower energy value than gasoline so more fuel must be used.
If you really want to do some research, there is an Alternate Fuel forum here at Ford-Trucks.
Typical stoichiometric air-fuel ratios are
12.1 ETBE, TAME
14.6 gasoline without oxygenates
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the 2.4 X factor is just a number that's been hangin on in my head from around 1970? but i bet it's closer than it is off? i can't remember if it was ethanol, methanol or nitromethane? could've come from an alcohol carby article? regardless, it is a dated factor due to the evolution of the formulation of our "blended motor fuel". i still remember the day that gas didn't smell right! it smelled weaker, lighter. i knew we were totally ?$:#;%@!!! how the L was my bike gonna run on that crap?!! how would old fashioned 1972 regular leaded fit into the stoichiometric list? are those ratios by volume or weight?
Ethanol is made from grain, mostly corn. While it is a renewable energy source, using it is not without repercussion. If farmers can get a good price for their corn from fuel producers, they will sell it to them. If farmers can sell their grain to fuel producers, then chicken, pig, cattle, and dairy farmers will have to pay more for their corn. This will trickle down to the consumer as higher food prices. Even a box of breakfast cereal will cost more as a result of using Ethanol.
It is for this reason that we have never developed Ethanol as a fuel, especially when oil was going for less than $30.00/barrel. Producing Ethanol in large quantities is not cost effective when oil is cheap. Oil is much more expensive now, but what is really driving the cost at the pump is the lack of refineries. Hurricanes in the Gulf are a fact of life, but we have no extra refining capacity. So when a hurricane shuts down some refineries, there are none to take their place.
Should we build more Ethanol plants? Yes some, but going 'green' is not the answer.
Should we build more refineries? Definitely yes. We need these in the short term.
Should we invest heavily in new technology like hybrid and Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles? Emphatically Yes! These technologies can give us non-polluting vehicles which ultimatly depend on electricity. Electricity can be produced from coal, tidal, and nuclear sources with minimal environmental impact.
Ethanol does not have to be only produced from corn, it has many sources, some of which are more efficient than Corn at producing ethanol, so to just walk away from the table saying it isn't worth it is a bad idea, just maybe look for different source would be a better response. I have run it in a multitude of vehicles, but not steadily, so it is hard to say as to whether over time the efficiency will change, but the power output offsets the higher use rate a bit. My mother's 02 Le Sabre got the same mileage per the computer moniter as it normally does on 10%, same story on my 2000 Impala. This is from the driver info center that gives instant mileage and average mileage figures. In order to capitalize on ethanol, higher compression is better, and most modern motors are using higher compression than the 70's and 80's saw. The octane rating of 105 is accurate, ethanol has a more steady burn, rather than the quick burst that is given by gasoline. Ethanol burns more like a diesel, a little slower steady burn, giving smoother power as the burn continues down the cylinder, and the oxygen that the ethanol carries in it's molecular structure helps in keeping the burn going, instead of having to force more atmospheric air in to get the same amount of burn. The old moonshine runners sure did pretty good on it... Henry Ford originally designed his vehicles to run on ethanol (moonshine) because "stills were more plentiful than gasoline stations"
the workhorse:86 F250 4x4 6.9 Diesel 4-spd, 4.10 axles
the other workhorse 92 F350 2wd crew cab,3.55 rear axle, 92 6bt Cummins, NV4500
the project: 78 F150 4x4 shortbed 351 auto Iowa Chapter leader, ASE certified parts specialist
Come on down and join us in the Iowa chapter, or your own local chapter!! Thanks, Roger
Grclark, you're remembering nitromethane, with the 2.4 factor as compared to gasoline. With methanol, it is just under 2 With pure ethanol, it would be about 1.3. With E85, it would even be less. Ideally, you'll want to jet up 15~20% , and then fine-tune from there. More compression would be a BIG help, like 12 to 1 no problem. This will give you enough thermal efficiency you'll get the same or better liquid miles per gallon as you did on gasoline. But if you bump up to 12 to 1, you can't use regular gasoline anymore. I have three trucks, so I don't care about not being able to use regular anymore, I'll have one set for E85, and one gasoline. Don't know about number three just yet. Ethanol actually has a faster flame speed than gasoline, but it is about 200 degrees colder. What all this ends up meaning is that you will be getting the same distance traveled but you'll only use 2/3rds the BTUs of energy to do it. Other than availability, I can't see any downsides to it. BTW, the 105 rating is about right for the winter blend, which is frequently actually a 70/30 blend. The 85/15 summer stuff is about 109 in R+M/2 DF
Poor excuse, the gov pays farmers not to grow, simple way to eleminate that problem is no field goes empty. The gov doesn't want all farmers growing or it gets wasted, so they limit growth of crops, you can't tell me that there is no way to produce more ethonol when there are many empty fields.
I recall when it was easier to attain years ago, cars ran fine on it, but lawn mowers did not, so it had it's limitations.
My computer controlled vehicles are chipped, and my 78 has a mild build, so I'm looking to try it in all, I'd love to see a mileage increase.
Ethanol-gas fuel boosts mileage of GM's trucks
More vehicles to have energy flexibility
September 21, 2005
BY MICHAEL ELLIS
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
The new full-size sport-utility vehicles from General Motors Corp. get 100 miles per gallon of gas.
Too good to be true? Yes. But do the math, and by filling up GM's trucks with E-85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gas, drivers can help the United States cut its oil consumption, a top GM executive said on Tuesday.
With gas prices hitting record highs above $3 a gallon this summer and consumers concerned about dependency on foreign oil, GM plans to advertise the benefits of its flex-fuel vehicles capable of burning E-85 or regular gasoline or a blend of the two, said Mark LaNeve, vice president of vice president of GM North America vehicle sales, service and marketing.
GM will add a yellow fuel cap on all vehicles capable of running on E-85, reminding them of an alternative to regular gasoline.
Already, there are about 1.5 million GM vehicles capable of running on E-85, made mostly from corn or other grains.
Next year, GM will build about 400,000 flex-fuel vehicles when it launches its new full-size SUVs and Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck, LaNeve said.
"A lot of people bought them and don't know they have the capability," LaNeve told reporters at a news conference on the new large SUVs. "There's a big education process here."
Although ethanol is often used in small amounts as an additive in gas, E-85 is largely limited to the Midwest where the fuel is produced. Minnesota has about 170 stations selling E-85, and the fuel is also widely available in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and South Dakota, reports the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition.
There are only four E-85 filling stations in Michigan, the coalition's Web site said. The four are: the Citgo at 8438 Telegraph Road in Dearborn Heights, the Citgo at 29009 Northwestern Highway in Southfield, the BP Amoco at 3841 S. Rochester Road in Rochester Hills and at Don's Windmill Truck Stop in Dimondale.
But more could be on the way. On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced the creation of a free-tax zone in Marysville, near Port Huron, to support the construction of a new $95-million ethanol plant. Two other ethanol plants recently broke ground in Barry and Calhoun counties.
GM is also considering running newspaper ads about ethanol and sending letters to owners of flex-fuel vehicles, telling them about their vehicle's capability and the location of the nearest E-85 filling stations, LaNeve said.
"A lot of consumers are worried about fuel depletion, dependency, and a lot of people are worried about if there's ever going to be a shortage. There's always ethanol," LaNeve said.
Theres been a lot of good information on this subject E85 will be everywhere soon enough. I see a lot of environmental reprocussions, It could drive corn prices sky hi, and farmers will go to great lengths to farm more, it'll mean bulldozing timber,fencerows, everything our wildlife needs to survive. It will drive farm prices and land prices up again. It could also help slow urban development because of farm ground being of more value.
no political intent here, just economic. maples01 has brought up that the gov pays the farmers not to plant, not quite correct. the gov has no money. it's our money, your money and my money that has been paying the farmers not to plant. we've been paying double, both sides in that we are also paying OPEC whatever OPEC wants to keep us over the barrel. thank you may i have another? prices will fluxuate until supply and demand find their balance point, that's how America works. i had to laugh at my wife though, she said, "good! then gas prices will come down!" i kinda doubt that, prices don't go down, but they might not go up as much/so fast? maybe they'll tear down some deserted strip-malls to plant corn? and a little less high fructose corn syrup might be good for us all? how can EVERYTHING have high fructose corn syrup as a main ingredient???
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