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Old 06-29-2009, 03:45 PM
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:13 PM
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It's about damn time! Good find!
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:27 AM
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What is different when algae is used for ethanol instead of oil/biodiesel production? Just how the algae is processed or something a little more complicated? I had always thought that oil/b100 is what you would get from algae...apparently I was wrong.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:53 PM
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Its apples to oranges comparing alcohol to Bio-d. For Bio-d, the algea is pressed, not unlike other ways to make VO (like soybeans, rapeseed, etc) - but for alcohol it is chemically (biologically??) fermented. The biochemistry group where my wife is attending college is working on using some microbe to assist the in the starch/sugar conversion process. I ain't real brite, so don't quote me, but basically the process involves breaking starches down into sugars and then fermenting those into alcohol. The university is trying to make alcohol using kudzu, but I think the challenges are similar for all 'cellular' ethanol production. Apparently, the yeilds from all alcohol crops can be increased this way and simultaneously more things can be used (like the WHOLE corn plant, wood chips, etc). Too bad that article didn't talk about HOW they were gonna do it.

FWIW, there is a big movement right now where people are making alcohol for fuel from waste products. Its cheap and fairly easy to make fuel using 'waste' donuts, bagels, bread and other 'leftover' food products - even grass clippings! (almost all of these currently go to landfill) I find this VERY appealing, since the problem w/WVO is there is so little of it compared to the amount of diesel consumed. Hell, I live in a SMALL town and when diesel price got out of control my WVO was being stolen left and right... The best part, almost any gas vehicle will run on 50% (190 proof) alcohol without modification!
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:15 AM
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That was a rather dumb question on my part. I'd erroneously believed that only oil could be squeezed/pressed out of the algae...and not used as a sugar/starch to make ethanol. That state of mind is where I came up with that question.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:16 AM
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The biggest problem with EtOH is that it is not very efficient as a fuel.
Ask anyone with one of those Flex Fuel vehicles whether they prefer to run it on gasoline or the 80% EtOH it can run on.
A vehicle that gets 20 mpg on gasoline may well end up at 10 mpg or lower on high EtOH content fuel.
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Old 07-13-2009, 03:29 PM
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Yes, power and efficiency compromised - but if fuel is 1/2 price (homemade), how much compromise are you willing to endure?

Many places in US are now 'minimum' 10% ethanol in gasoline, the higher octanes may be even more. All subject to change as the subsidies are gradually eliminated - then change again when they figure out how to make ethanol cheaper...

So what about a vehicle 'modified' to burn alcohol fuel? Is there just that much less energy per gallon?
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SkySkiJason View Post
Yes, power and efficiency compromised - but if fuel is 1/2 price (homemade), how much compromise are you willing to endure?
It isn't the price per gallon I worry about it's more along the lines of, How far can I go on a tank of fuel?

A 13 gallon tank full of Et80 won't take you very far.
The same tank full of gasoline gives acceptable range, probably double the Et80, and 13 gals of diesel will take you 40% farther than the gasoline.
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:20 PM
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I don't like the Govt shoving ethanol down our throats. Living near the Atlantic ocean, we have severe problems with our marine engines running on E-10. The moist enviroment absorbes the moisture and it destroys the carburetors. BP offered non ethanol fuel locally but was very quickly told they need a "special recreation fuel" permit in order to sell it so the station stopped selling it. I don't know what the marine engine users will do when they increase to E-80 and make it mandatory. I now use "Sea Foam" in my marine engine but that adds $1.00 per gallon to my fuel. I have 3 carburetors on my engine and it gets expensive to rebuild them.
Sorry, just had to vent
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:20 PM
 
 
 
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