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  #1  
Old 12-27-2008, 04:05 PM
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What the FAA has to say about alcohol in fuel

From the FAA:

Automobile gasoline containing alcohol is not allowed to be used in aircraft for the following reasons:
• The addition of alcohol to automobile gasoline adversely affects the
volatility of the fuel, which could cause vapor lock.
Alcohol present in automobile gasoline is corrosive and not compatible with the rubber seals and other materials used in aircraft, which could lead to fuel system deterioration and malfunction.
• Alcohol present in automobile gasoline is subject to phase separation, which happens when the fuel is cooled as a result of the aircraft’s climbing to higher altitude. When the alcohol separates from the gasoline, it may carry water that has been held in solution and that cannot be handled by the sediment bowl.
• Alcohol present in automobile gasoline reduces the energy content of the fuel. Methanol has approximately 55 percent of the energy content of gasoline, and ethanol has approximately 73 percent of the energy content of automobile gasoline. The greater the amount of alcohol in the automobile gasoline, the greater the reduction in the aircraft’s range.

A question...

Farming equipment is designed with a lifespan of 15-20 years. Longevity of parts which come in contact with fuel is critical. Why is it that when the farm lobby pushed the Feds to require the US consumer to run ethanol they included a provision in the bill to exempt their own farm equipment from this requirement?
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Old 12-27-2008, 04:22 PM
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Because they knew that it would run up their maintainence and fuel cost per acre. Also, if you notice, it also exempted their personal vehicles. Farmers can also run untaxed (dyed) diesel in their personal vehicles.
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Old 12-27-2008, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmasley View Post
Because they knew that it would run up their maintainence and fuel cost per acre. Also, if you notice, it also exempted their personal vehicles. Farmers can also run untaxed (dyed) diesel in their personal vehicles.
I think that varies from state to state. Here in Ky it is illegal. If it is licenced for the highway, it must have highway taxed fuel in it. Farm tags don't exempt you from highway taxes, at least in ky.
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Old 12-27-2008, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FTE Ken View Post
A question...

Farming equipment is designed with a lifespan of 15-20 years. Longevity of parts which come in contact with fuel is critical. Why is it that when the farm lobby pushed the Feds to require the US consumer to run ethanol they included a provision in the bill to exempt their own farm equipment from this requirement?
Maybe because most gasoline farm equipment is of the antique style? Very few farm tractors use gas engines, diesels are more efficient and better power return. Haven't seen a gas combine made since the 70's. We run tractors that are about 30 years old. They are all diesel though. There are some gas tractors, but not many, and most are in the 20-30 years old or older range. Little tractors are more used in landscaping and construction type jobs, not nearly as much farming. Really, there is little farm equipment that is gas, short of antique stuff.
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:35 PM
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The FAA didn't put this notice out for antique planes, it put it out for all gas powered planes. So, who's right the ethanol supporters who say it isn't corrosive and doesn't result in less mileage and haven't been able to bring any data supporting these claims, or the FAA, charged with the safety of the airways? If ethanol isn't good for tractors not designed for it... how is it good for non-Flex fuel vehicles?
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CampSpringsJohn View Post
I think that varies from state to state. Here in Ky it is illegal. If it is licenced for the highway, it must have highway taxed fuel in it. Farm tags don't exempt you from highway taxes, at least in ky.
Its not the tax exemption I'm referring to. Its the fact that they exempt their off-road equipment from the very fuel they push on everyone else. Why is that? If its so good why don't they want to be required run it in their off-road equipment?
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
The FAA didn't put this notice out for antique planes, it put it out for all gas powered planes. So, who's right the ethanol supporters who say it isn't corrosive and doesn't result in less mileage and haven't been able to bring any data supporting these claims, or the FAA, charged with the safety of the airways? If ethanol isn't good for tractors not designed for it... how is it good for non-Flex fuel vehicles?
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I was not referring to antique aircraft. You asked why an exemption for agricultural equipment, I answered because the equipment in question was likely antique. I personally don't know any farmers that avoid ethanol, rather they seek it out. My family has run ethanol blends for as long as it has been available in ALL our vehicles. I have yet to see the fuel system problems as claimed. Yes, on the old carbs with natural rubber seals it would be a problem. I have yet to replace injectors due to ethanol fuels. If the seals are neoprene, there is no problem. All the fuel systems on our vehicles are cleaner than what I have had to repair running regular non-ethanol fuels. I have seen plenty of varnish and gunk deposits from regular fuels, and have observed that there is less deposits on ethanol blend fueled vehicles. This is personal experience, not what I have heard. Ethanol fuels have been available here since 1982, so I have over 20 years of being around the ethanol blends. I have even been running my 91 Cavalier on 35% blend with minimal mileage reduction (1-2 mpg) and NO fueling problems. If you want to see data, I can show you 3 months of records showing miles driven, fuel blend used, mpg figure according to the miles driven by the fuel put in. I can also show the comparison to regular fuels. The mileage also changes due to wind, temps and such as well. I still drive the same vehicle daily, and it has not been down due to a fuel related problem for as long as I have been driving it. While I realize you originally posted about FAA, I commented on your question.


your own question:
Quote:
A question...

Farming equipment is designed with a lifespan of 15-20 years. Longevity of parts which come in contact with fuel is critical. Why is it that when the farm lobby pushed the Feds to require the US consumer to run ethanol they included a provision in the bill to exempt their own farm equipment from this requirement?
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:00 PM
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Bale grinders
Generators
Prowlers and ATVs
Pickup trucks
Some bobcats
Seeders
Mini front end loaders
New tractors
Belt converyors
Grain augers
Hay binds
Chemical applicators

These are all new, gas powered equipment sold to farms, not antique equipment. Why do the farmers want these exempt? Why has the farm lobby shoved ethanol down the taxpayers throats, including those driving 30, 40 and 50 year old vehicles, when they aren't willing to put force this on themselves? If its that good....?

Ancedotal data from one person is not data. The EPA and FAA both say ethanol decreases mileage. The EPA says E10 decreases mileage by about 3%. Basic chemistry supports the corrosive properties of ethanol in fuel systems (including attacking the metal, that's why metal exposed to it is shiny... because the oxidation layer that protects it gets stripped off by galvanic corrosion). E10 has a limited storage life of about 90-100 days in ideal situations due to its afinity for absorbing water out of the air. It leads to phase and water separation in gasoline, which among other things reduces octane in the gasoline phase and a too highly concentrated alcohol phase (bad for non-Flex fuel vehicles). E10 needs only about 0.5% water for phase separation to occur.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:22 PM
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Let's see, most bale grinders I know of are either diesel powered, or pto driven, by yep, diesel tractors.... generators, well, only one we have is yes, gas powered, use whatever we want for gas, generally ethanol blend. It is only a 5 horse... Many are yep, again, diesel, LP, Nat gas... Pickups, every one we have save one are again, diesel. the gasser gets, yep, ethanol blend. No atv's here. The one skid loader we have hasn't had fuel issues, yep, ethanol blend powered. Most seeders are pulled by a tractor. Mini loaders don't have a lot of use on our farm, too small. Need a small loader, get a skid. Most of the newer ones have gone diesel. If a tractor is much over about 30 horse, it generally is diesel. Anything smaller, again a waste of money on our farm out here. Most conveyors, unless out in the middle of a field, or away from electricity are electric powered, others are pto drive. Small engines are able to run either way on fuel. Many manufacturers of small engines claim the ethanol makes them run hotter. Can't validate the difference, we run ethanol all the same. Every auger here is pto driven. Unless it has a small gas engine, it is driven by a tractor pto. Every baler (hay bind) I know of is driven by a tractor, by pto. Sprayers are either gas or diesel. So your point really is? I don't know which farm lobby you claim did that, as there is more than one, as in any business. I also don't know the specifics you claim. Can you give them? I do know what happens out here in the fields, which apparently you don't. So a farm lobby wanted that exemption, does that mean that every farmer in the country doesn't use the fuel? I think you would find that to be far from true if you were to get the facts from them. I stated my family's case, which also is the neighbor's cases, and their neighbors... but yet you tout about a "farm lobby" action. Another political agency, so what? they are not the people, and don't always follow what the people want any more than the government itself does. So believe what you want from your apparent limited info, I know what happens out here where you are apparently claiming it doesn't. I know my personal experience, and all your "facts" you dig up don't change those for me, and never will. I do not have to read about it anywhere, I have lived it. 20 years of experience.... can't be any hidden things that would not have shown up in that amount of time.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:36 PM
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More data from the government:

http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/LUST-Wor...ker-201007.pdf

From the EPA:
"However, certain components of older vehicles or engines that are operated in areas where ethanol is new might be affected. As part of a good maintenance program and to alleviate any potential complications, owners are encouraged to monitor their vehicles or engines for hose, seal, or gasket leaks."

"Can’t you use the same equipment that you use for regular unleaded gasoline?
– The answer to this is “no.” Ethanol blended fuel can cause system parts to degrade and dissolve over time.

"– Simply put, E85 is not compatible with soft metals such as aluminum, brass and zinc;
many plastics, such as polyurethane and PVC; and certain resins used in older, lined tanks."

"What is “Phase Separation”?
– When the ethanol in ethanol blends separates from the petroleum.

When does this occur?
– When even a small percentage of water enters the tank.

Why does it occur?
– Ethanol is attracted to petroleum, but it has an even greater attraction to water because of similar chemical groupings.

What happens when it occurs?
– Customers may get a lower-octane fuel or a blend of ethanol and water."

"Ethanol can accelerate an existing corrosion cell or plug in steel tanks."

"Fuel Economy
– Decreases by about 10 %"

"In general, E85 reduces fuel economy and range by about 20-30 percent, meaning an FFV will travel fewer miles on a tank of E85 than on a tank of gasoline. This is because
ethanol contains less energy than gasoline."

"Consumers should never use E85 in a conventional, gasoline-only vehicle. This can lead to a range of problems, including not being able to start the engine, damage to engine components, illumination of the check engine light, and emissions increases."

You have repeatedly failed to answer why the various lobbies involved in farming (collectively "the farm lobby") had an exemption put into the law? If they stand behind ethanol they wouldn't have asked for the exemption. Basically, its hypocritical and disingenuous on their part, at best and a classic example of do as I say, not as I do. Now these manipulators of tax law and the American taxpayers are in the process of trying to force E13 and E15 on us.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:45 PM
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That would be E85, the mandate is for 10%. I won't deny many vehicles are not good to go on 85%, even my Cavalier won't run right on it. I was discussing 10%. 85% in higher compression engines works better due to the higher octane rating. I know of no mandate to make all gasoline engine be run on 85%, only 10%. A low compression engine will not run properly or efficiently on the higher blend. I have found 40% or less to work fine in most gasoline optimized engines. Higher than that becomes a problem as far as driveability is concerned. Some don't fire right, while others throw emissions codes on the OBDII systems. Crossover systems like the flex fuel vehicles aren't efficient as it is trying to run two fuels that have different properties in essentially the same fashion. This shouldn't be a big surprise, just like diesels and kerosene motors don't trade fuels well. So for E85 for every vehicle, I will agree it won't work. E10 is not the same issue. It seems to me you are trying to blanket statement that since E85 is not compatible, neither is E10. That would be incorrect.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:59 PM
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The Australian government, outside of the grasp of the US farm lobby, concluded:

MATERIAL COMPATIBILITY ISSUES
The use of E10 blended petrol is widely accepted in many modern makes of car. However, ethanol can cause early deterioration of components in fuel systems such as fuel tanks, fuel lines/hoses, injector seals, delivery pipes, fuel pump and regulators, particularly in older vehicles.
Vehicles with carburettor fuel systems may experience hot fuel handling concerns and may also experience a lower level of durability in some fuel system components.

DRIVEABILITY ISSUES
Vapour pressure of fuel with ethanol will be greater (if not adjusted by blending changes) and the probability of vapour lock or hot restartability problems will be increased. The full effects of increased volatility of “splash blends” are unknown at this stage and needs resolution before such blends can be accepted by the automotive community.

Oxygen content of ethanol is 34.7%. This can cause the engine to run lean although the Engine Control Unit (ECU) can generally compensate for up to 3% enleanment of the A/F ratio via feedback from the O2 sensor under light throttle conditions. This is equivalent to an approximately 10% ethanol/petrol blend.

However, hesitation or flat-spots during acceleration can occur due to this lean-out effect and the peak power of the engine is reduced due to the reduced calorific value of ethanol. The negative effects of this enleanment are accentuated if blends containing higher than 10% ethanol are used.

The lean-out effect can also cause difficulty in starting and engine hesitation after cold start, particularly with vehicles not fitted with feed-back loop engine management systems.

Ethanol is hygroscopic in nature which means that it will take up any water present in fuel systems. The amount of water taken up by ethanol blends can reach a stage where phase separation occurs and a separate (lower) layer of water/ethanol mixture co-exists with petrol. This can lead to metal corrosion problems and also engine mis-fire if the water/ethanol layer is pumped to the engine rather than petrol. Good house-keeping practices at the refinery terminals and at retail outlets are therefore essential.

PERFORMANCE AND FUEL ECONOMY
In relation to E10 blended petrol, it is worth noting there would be about a 1-3% increase in fuel consumption due to the reduced energy content of E10 blended petrol. With higher levels of ethanol blends the fuel consumption is increased by an even greater amount.

Ethanol blended fuels (even E5) are not compatible with carburettor vehicles.
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fellro86 View Post
That would be E85, the mandate is for 10%.
The exemption is from any blend (E10, E85 or whatever). Again, why is the farm and ethanol lobby forcing E10 (and E13/E15 next) on the consumer yet the farm lobby has exempted farmers? Is this, or is it not, hypocritical to require others to use a fuel they don't require themselves to use? Please, if you can, answer the questions. Thanks.
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:04 PM
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More information....

The Iowa government's E85 fleet (about 1000 vehicles) showed a mileage decrease of 17%.
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:32 PM
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And more from the Australian government study

Engine Deposit formation
Previous studies [2][21] have shown fuels containing alcohol to contribute more
towards engine deposits than straight petrol. The testing conducted by Orbital on
20% ethanol blends indicated that engine deposits could increase in the engine
intake/exhausts ports as well as on the piston crown and it was quite possible for a
significant amount of carbon to build-up on the piston rings, with evidence of
combustion gases escaping past the piston rings.
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