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  #1  
Old 05-27-2007, 07:12 PM
Dino@his Dad's Dino@his Dad's is offline
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Ethanol, some of you guys just don't get it

Guys, whats with the incorrect info on ethanol ? Some of your 'facts' just don't add up. Yes, ChristCorp, I mean you, mostly. There are lots of people complaining about a 10% or greater mileage loss when running E10. But lets think about that for a minute. Knowing that Ethanol has two thirds the BTUs of gasoline, ( gasoline, 120K, ethanol 80K ) if you are losing 1/3 of 10% of your total btus. So if your total btu count is down 3 & 1/3 %, how does that cause a mile loss of 10% or more as some folks claim ? Most of the time, I think folks aren't calculating their mileage correctly. But there is a problem with some of the fuel injected cars. GM cars seem to suffer from this problem the worst. What is happening is that the O2 sensor reads more oxygen in the exhaust when burning E10, and mistakenly thinks the engine is running lean, so the computer tells the injectors to squirt more. I think the oxygenated fuels like E10 were originally intended for carb'ed engines. What this means is that you can't expect your gasoline intended engine to run the same on the oxygenated fuels. The solution is simple- re-tune your engine for the fuels available where you live. Just like many of our engines are built for leaded fuel that is not even made anymore, you have to modify your engine to make the best use of what we do have.
And CC, this is meant just for you. You have got to stop with this 'ethanol doesn't burn as efficiently' stuff- it is contrary to the scientific facts. Ethanol burns more efficiently than gasoline. Always. Ethanol has a free flame speed of .43 mps, and gasoline averages only .34 mps. Ethanol also burns about 200 degrees cooler than gasoline. The faster, cooler flame is better for your engine, more of the pressure from the burn pushes the piston instead of just heating up the exhaust vlales and manifolds. The very best gasoline engines run at 25% thermal efficiency, the best ethanol engines run at 43% TE. 43 beats 25 doesn't it ? And yes, ethanol burns perfectly clean. The reason is that the short molecule (C2H5OH ) is easier to react than the longer C6 through C16 hydrocarbon molecules in gasoline. Ethanol IS the fuel we should all be using. There are zero technical problems to be solved. All of ethanol's 'problems' are political. The API has a near total lock on the transportation fuel market, and they don't want to give it up. They will fight like crazy and lie and try anything they can think of to discredit ethanol. For the last 90 years, they have been successful. Finally, that has started to change. DinosaurFan, on work's old 'puter

Last edited by Dino@his Dad's; 05-27-2007 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:57 PM
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Yo Dino; let's clarify a couple of things. In these posts; I never mentioned what gas mileage you gain or lose with Ethanol. I simply stated that "IF" you lose any mileage at all using ethanol compared to regular gas, and the price for the 2 fuels; E10 and Regular 87 octane were the same, that you would actually spend more to go the same amount of miles. These are mathematical facts. Now, I have read here, on the net, articles, magaizines, etc... different places that claim that you do not get the same amount of mileage from ethanol than you do with gasoline. I know, and agree, that ethanol burnes cleaner than gas. I do not dispute that. But, according to some reports, you do not get the same mileage from ethanol as you do from gasoline.

Now, put back into perspective, what I said in the other post to the mustang drive and the others. All things being equal; as they are here; in that E10 and non ethanol costs EXACTLY the same per gallon. IF, you get ANY less gas mileage using E10 compared to gasoline, then it will COST YOU MORE to use E10. If your mileage drops between 5-10% with E10 compared to non-ethanol gas, then it's actually worse for the environment because you will need more gas. This is all speculation that each person has to try for themselves.

I personally know that my Pickup; the pig that it is with a 460 in it, gets about 10% less mileage with E10 that with Non-ethanol. I don't know if it's the computer and the O2 sensor not knowing, but it's irrelevent. The point is; I get about 10% less mileage. Because E10 and Non-ethanol costs the same here, it is better for me economically and for the planet ecologically for me to use regular non-ethanol gas. Obviously, the higher the ethanol contect, the more drastic the loss in mileage would have to be to offset the savings either ecologically or economically. Again, this is something each person has to try for themselve.

Also, if you read my posts, you would have seen that I mentioned that a pure 100% ethanol car would be much better for the ecology than gasoline. For me, this 10% crap costs me more money and is worse for the ecology. These are facts on my vehicles. Maybe it's the computer. Maybe it's the O2 sensor. Maybe it's that I am at high altitude. Personally, it doesn't matter. What matters is for me, here and now, non-ethanol gas is cheaper for me to use and better for the environment. Each person must check it out for themselves. I just provided the math to understand the what ifs. Later... Mike.....
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2007, 11:27 PM
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Dino- More politics from a guy in Iowa with a financial interest in promoting ethanol for the government subsidies...
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Old 05-28-2007, 12:07 PM
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I'd like to see some proof for some of the 'facts' such as: "The very best gasoline engines run at 25% thermal efficiency, the best ethanol engines run at 43% TE."

As for problems being only "political" -- there is no way the US can make enough ethanol from corn -- maybe up to 5% - 10%, but that would lead to an across the board price increase for other products that based on corn. Ethanol based on cellulosic waste products or other material may add another 10% - 20%, but that's still not enough.

The money spent on subsidies now should go into research, and we should let producers chose whatever fuel is the most cost effective one to produce without constant government handouts.
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aurgathor
I'd like to see some proof for some of the 'facts' such as: "The very best gasoline engines run at 25% thermal efficiency, the best ethanol engines run at 43% TE."
{sniff, sniff} 43% efficient? Smells like bovine byproduct to me.

I also find it interesting that proponents of the big "E" are so quick to overlook or forgive the loss of mileage seen by dilluting gasoline. Or they just brush it off by saing 'just rebuild the engine with higher compression.' Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!!! I'm going to spend $3,000 to $6,000 to rebuild a perfectly running engine so I can save a few pennies per gallon at the pump. Let me get RIGHT on that.

BTW, bumping the compression up to best use ethanol will make the engine useless for gasoline at the CRs I've seen recommended. Seems it'll be pretty hard on starters. And I'm pretty sure it's illegal from a federal emissions standpoint.
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:42 PM
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I too find it a little humerous that Dino concedes that in a fuel injected vehicle, which nowaday must vehicles are, that ethanol probably doesn't burn as efficiently in it; yet he provides the best advice. "The solution is simple- re-tune your engine for the fuels available where you live. Just like many of our engines are built for leaded fuel that is not even made anymore, you have to modify your engine to make the best use of what we do have". I can't even imagine what the ford mechanics would say when I bring in my F250, Explorer, Focus, or 1966 Mustang and ask them to "MODIFY" it. Chances are, they are going to say that they can only put the Plugs, ignition, timing, mixture, etc... to factory settings per the manual. Like 76supercab2 said, it could literally cost thousands of dollars to retune a modern vehicle.

In new vehicles, the key is the computer. I could go along with Dino's suggestions on my carbed 1966 mustang. (Yea, like I'm really going to screw with a classic). But if I was to go the "re-tune" method that he said is "so simple", a carb without a computer is probably the easiest way to go.

But as I said previously in this, and other posts, I am not saying the ethanol is a total POS for our economy or ecology. Personally, in my opinion, the jury is still out on that. For every report or study I read that says ethanol is better for the environment, there is another from just as legitimate source that says that it's also very bad. But what I do deal in are facts. 1st fact is; my wife's 2003 Toyota Camry gets lower mpg using E10 than with Exxon 85 (High altitude) non-ethanol gasoline. 2nd fact is; the cost of E10 and Exxon non-ethanol gas is EXACTLY the same where I live. Currently $3.15 a gallon. 3rd fact is; even if E10 only reduced the mpg by 0.000000000000000001 mpg (Actually it's between 5 and 10 percent), it therefore costs more to run the car on E10 than on non-ethanol gasoline. These are facts. No one has to agree with them. You can think I am FOS. It doesn't matter. For my 4 vehicles that I check mileage on regularly, (all fuel injected), then all get less mpg with ethanol. Therefore, because the price is the same here, it is cheaper for me to run regular Exxon non-ethanol gas.

The environment on the other hand is a different matter. I am still not convinced that ethanol is the right answer. I know that ethanol puts out less CO2 and other dioxides than gasoline. That is good. BUT, there is plenty of reading that says that there are other problems associated with using ethanol. (See my other post on light reading). Personally, I have been very concious of my gas mileage in my F250 with a 460. I have been experimenting for the last 2 months and I have come to some basic facts. (Facts for my situation, not all vehicles). With normal E10 gas, I get between 9.5-10mpg. With Exxon 85 non-ethanol gas, I get between 10.2-10.6mpg. Adding approximately 3-4oz of acetone to the Exxon non-ethanol gas raises me to between 10.8-11mpg. I have reversed the process, and I resort back to the previous range of no acetone and using E10. That means ethanol in this vehicle reduces my gas mileage approximately 8%. Adding acetone increases my gas mileage by about 5% over non-ethanol. (Ethanol or any alcohol counteracts the affects of acetone, so it is useless to put it in E10). Although I've tried that too with little to no change in mpg.

These are my numbers. Not the most accurate, I admit. But, when E10 and regular non-ethanol prices are the same, as they are here, then any decrease is bad for the wallet. For the ecology and environment, I am still not convinced, so I will have to wait and see. Later... Mike....
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2000 Ford Focus - 143,000 miles
1994 Ford Explorer (4.0l V6) - 114.000 miles
1994 Ford F250 (460 V8) - 65,100 miles
1966 Ford Mustang (289 V8) - 141,200 miles

"Born Wild; Raised Proud"
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  #7  
Old 05-29-2007, 03:09 PM
rusty70f100 rusty70f100 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torque1st
Dino- More politics from a guy in Iowa with a financial interest in promoting ethanol for the government subsidies...
Or we could comment on the oil company shills and their politics...
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Old 05-29-2007, 04:32 PM
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Not really sure that the individual oil companies are to blame for "Shills and Politics". A large portion of our oil comes from the middle east. Also, we don't have enough refineries to process our requirements. I've read recently that we are actually "IMPORTING" refined gasoline to me our requirements. It's not the oil company's fault that the government won't allow or makes it difficult to build any more refineries.

Also, you've got oil companies like Exxon/Mobile who have making efforts to promote longer lasting oils like synthetics. Synthetics cost less if you extend your oil changes. YET, it's the grease monkey's and Jiffy Lube's of the world that will try and convince you that you need to change your oil every 3000 miles. Even though my 1994 F250 owner's manual says every 5000 miles and my 1994 explorer I believe says every 7500 miles. That's using CONVENTIONAL OIL, not even synthetic.

So, it seems to me, that the automobile industry is saying you don't have to use so much oil. They are also saying that you don't have to use anything higher than regular gasoline. (For most cars). The oil companies are making oils that are good for 7500-15000 miles. If these two industries were intentionally trying to gouge the customer, they would be pushing higher octane gasoline and more frequent oil and lube changes. I believe that if the government would get off their ***, stop bowing down to the damn bunny huggers, and allow some refineries to be built, we wouldn't need to import as much oil and refined gasoline. Then the prices wouldn't be so bad.

Personally, if they weren't such pussies and got back into the Nuclear Energy business we wouldn't need so much petrolium products to run our country. The environment would be healthier and our economy would be stronger. Even the newest Navy Subs can go 20 years now on a nuclear reactor. Things have changed a lot in the last 30 years. Nuclear is much safer. Better for the environment. Easier to store and dispose of. etc... No, if you want to blame someone, blame the greenies that don't understand technology, and blame the politicians for believing these people because it's the easy way out and they can gain political mileage out of it. Later... Mike....
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The Ford Family:
2000 Ford Focus - 143,000 miles
1994 Ford Explorer (4.0l V6) - 114.000 miles
1994 Ford F250 (460 V8) - 65,100 miles
1966 Ford Mustang (289 V8) - 141,200 miles

"Born Wild; Raised Proud"

Last edited by christcorp; 05-29-2007 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:54 AM
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E.B. Cornburner E.B. Cornburner is offline
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I'm a user of E-85 (my username should explain it), and that's one of the main reasons I bought my Explorer. Here, it's a dollar or more cheaper than regular unleaded, and my MPG isn't all that different. Maybe a couple miles per gallon less, but when you're saving 25 bucks every tankful, it adds up quick.

My oil seems to stay cleaner longer too.

I'll keep using it till it's not cost-efficient to do so.

Regards,
Mike

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Old 05-31-2007, 12:24 PM
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I'm glad my tax dollars could fund your fillups.
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Old 05-31-2007, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 76supercab2
I'm glad my tax dollars could fund your fillups.
Hey! I pay taxes too!
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Old 05-31-2007, 12:37 PM
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So? Why don't we both pay less taxes, NOT subsidize the ethanol production, and you spend your savings on the corn liquor you want to burn and I spend mine on the corn liquor I want to drink? Sound fair?
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aurgathor
I'd like to see some proof for some of the 'facts' such as: "The very best gasoline engines run at 25% thermal efficiency, the best ethanol engines run at 43% TE."
"Engines optimized for alcohol fuel use, on the other hand, may yield efficiencies that exceed that of state-of-the-art diesel engines—or, about one third higher than that of FFV engines. In earlier engine research at EPA with neat methanol and ethanol [1], for example, over 40% brake thermal efficiency was achieved over a relatively broad range of loads and speeds, with peak levels reaching over 42%. Similar work has also been performed with E85 [7], yielding up to 20% fuel economy improvement over baseline gasoline engines
"


http://www.epa.gov/otaq/presentation...-isaf-no55.pdf
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Old 06-02-2007, 06:31 AM
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Is this the same EPA that comes up with the mileage ratings that go on those new car stickers?
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Old 06-02-2007, 10:29 AM
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I didn't realize there was more than one EPA... wouldn't that be awful!

I dont know about you, but I know my tax dollars fund military efforts in the middle east, and have been for several years, er, decades... how much of your tank of gasoline am I indirectly paying for? Of course, that's a political issue (as is taxation in general), and I wouldn't think of mentioning that in the alt. fuels forum, even if it does have something to do with fuels.

Anyway, the link that utah4x4 mentioned is a good one. See the references on the bottom, some of which I'd like to look up, particularly #7. It's also known that thermal efficiency goes up more when starting with a low compression ratio than with an already high one. Meaning, you'd get more of a benefit going from 9:1 to 12:1, than from 12:1 to 15:1. So before anybody says it, you wouldn't have to run 19.5:1 to get the benefit.
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Old 06-02-2007, 10:29 AM
 
 
 
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