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02 January 2013

Comments

Account Deleted

The problems with E15 were well known for decades. Using alcohol as a fuel in spark ignition engines has a long history going back to the 1920's. Although more costly than gasoline and less energy dense as a fuel, it did have advantages for high performance applications. Specialized handling, high consumption and difficult starting were offset by the increases in pre-ignition resistance and the extra cooling to the motor afforded by the greatly increased amounts of atomized fuel. Compression ratios of 10:1 were common in the motors that were modified for the use of alcohol. In pre-war times that was unheard of for the average car. Most of the standard spark ignition engines employed compression ratios of 4 or 5 to one. Advances in technology have rendered the use of alcohol (methanol or ethanol) in today's car engines to be a step backwards. Even low octane gasoline can now be safely used in many engines running 11:1 (or more)compression ratios. Cooling high performance engines is now properly taken care of by various other means. Blending gasoline and alcohol as a motor fuel has been experimented with for decades and the problems associated with various blend percentages have been well documented in several SAE papers. The idea that we should reduce our dependency on imported oil by burning food crops in our fuel tanks has been proven to be a waste of money and resources. If the oil companies had decided to sell E15 on their own, the AGs of all states would be screaming their heads off at the "criminal actions of the greedy oil companies". The oil companies should not be saddled with the burden of trying to sell the public an inferior product. As the percentage of alcohol in your fuel rises, it will increase the cost of the product AND increase consumption. We can greatly reduce our consumption of petroleum products in a hurry by allowing much lighter cars to be built and sold in this country. Already China is far ahead of the US in the number of electric cars that are on the road. Most of those cars are not allowed to be sold here. We need to end all requirements of alcohol blended gasoline and stop the absurd subsidies of growers and producers of alcohol.

Russ Steele

A friend recently recommended that I use Aviation Gas in my snow blower, leaf blower, chainsaw, and portable gas generator. You can get the fuel at the airport. This eliminates the problem with ethanol in these devices. Yes, it more costly but probably not as costly as repairs on your portable gas driven devices. Thoughts? Is this a good idea?

Dixon Cruickshank

Russ thats correct as the fuel lines and small rubber diaphrams used in the fuel pumps will deteriate over time. Yes I am an expert on ehtanol/methanol fuel, even the 10% caused billions in problems for the marine industry and none of the fuel lines were ethanol resitent - it now states right on them if they are, these include say Mercury's up to 2000. It eats the inner liner out and then the black debris clogs every filter and fuel injector.

Every car and boat manufacturer will not warrenty any engine issues using it, they are just not made for it. Every day drive cars don't have a problem with phase separation but items that sit, the ethanol and water it absorbs will sink to the bottom - motor will fill up on that and not run

Brad Croul

Could Fox News and regional echo-chambers be mistaken?

http://www.growthenergy.org/news-media/press-releases/aaa-leaves-e15-facts-stranded-on-the-roadside/

http://energy.gov/articles/getting-it-right-accurate-testing-and-assessments-critical-deploying-next-generation-auto

Account Deleted

Brad - I have been reading about alcohol and alcohol blended fuels for over 40 years. Until I read the above link from George, none of it was from FOX. The links you provided are from self-serving sources. Do you learn about the issues with the petroleum industry by relying on Chevron and Exxon? The article from growthenergy was partly untrue and the bit about NASCAR was laughable. They are claiming that NASCAR race cars are the type of vehicle we buy? What kind of fuel mileage do they get? The problems with E15 are well proven and hardly baseless. And a link from the govt? Seriously? At least FOX told the truth about Benghazi.

George Rebane

BradC 122pm - Fox News reported and not opined. The part that you may have missed from the report is the number of car companies world wide who will void their warranties if you put E15 in your gas tank. Why would they do that if the stuff worked as advertised?

And we haven't even started talking about the impact corn-based ethanol manufacture, distribution, and use has on the environment, transportation efficiency, and the economy in general. All this report covers is compelling evidence that the crap is bad for your car.

In the meantime, consider that governments make horrible economic decisions and lie since they are impervious to feedback. Private companies can be fined, executives jailed, and suffer loss of market share when they are caught lying.

Here's another report from a not exactly rightwing echo chamber.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/11/30/aaa-e15-gas-harm-cars/1735793/

Gregory

Russ, a drawback to using 100LL avgas is that lead is a nasty stuff that tends to foul plugs and rings. It's currently about $5.40/gallon at KGOO.

If you really want to insure alcohol doesn't get in your small engines you can easily extract the alcohol by putting a few gallons of e9? or e85 along with a gallon of water in a gas container that's larger than that total, shake it up real good and let it settle out. Assuming you used enough water, it will eventually contain virtually all the ethanol and the now ethanol free gasoline will decant off the top, or the water/ethanol mix can be drawn off a drain on the bottom.

There are also aviation fuel testers for less than $10 that have a calibrated scale for determining ethanol content. You fill the short clear plastic tube up to a line with water, top it off with the fuel you're testing, shake and let settle. The new boundary between water and gas is quite visible and you read the % ethanol from the scale.

The whole episode of burning food for fuel was because we wanted to be 'energy independent'. That path to that in the short term is now quite obviously via fracking and other more carbon fuel technologies, but we now have farmers hooked on growing subsidized corn to make subsidized ethanol to fill a Federal mandate for adulterated gasoline for a net energy loss at a much higher price.


Gregory

Brad, no, the echo chamber has it right.

The racing fuel issue is a case in point. Yep, a racing engine won't have a measurable loss in mileage, but they're running at compression ratios that can't be attained by an gasoline engine that meets emission control standards. The 100 (by a more stringent standard than for autogas) octane avgas that is the standard supports up to about a 14.9hp per gallon per hour that the higher compression piston airplane engines (iirc at 9.5:1) can produce. Lower compression engines will generate lower horsepower figures per unit of fuel per hour no matter how high the octane is that you feed them. Higher octane just means you can operate at a higher compression ratio without engine destroying detonation which can act in seconds to damage an engine beyond repair.

Let's just say that you wouldn't want a catalytic converter connected to those racing engines.

Russ Steele

While the EPA is forcing E15 on us, food prices are going up, arable land per capita is plunging, and we are on the cusp of a long term cooling period that will drive corn production south over time. What could possibly go wrong?

The transition south will take time, resulting in a food production gap. The size of this gap will depend on how dry the cool period turns out to be. Most cool periods have been the source of long term drought, with bitter cold winters, which limits the growing season and the ability of famers to produce grains, including corn.

These issues are covered at the Next Grand Minimum. You can start here:
http://nextgrandminimum.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/one-upping-the-worlds-scariest-divergence/

Joe Koyote

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about how government works. The EPA doesn't force anything on anybody, and this is true of all government policies. The politically appointed heads of the various bureaucracies who come and go with the political wind, create and direct the policy for the government employees to enact. Given our political system, these department heads typically come from the special interests they are supposed to regulate, oversee, or otherwise deal with. So my guess is that the primary force behind E15 is Monsanto and friends who have a large vested interest in expanding the cultivation of genetically modified round-up ready corn regardless of the consequences. So lets put blame where blame belongs.. Large multi-national agricultural and GMO corporations are forcing E15 on us to increase their sales and profits while trying to lay the blame on government, environmentalists, communists, gophers, Fred Astaire, or anyone or anything else they can think of.

Russ Steele

Joe@07:43PM

“The EPA doesn't force anything on anybody, and this is true of all government policies. The politically appointed heads of the various bureaucracies who come and go with the political wind, create and direct the policy for the government employees to enact. Given our political system, these department heads typically come from the special interests they are supposed to regulate, oversee, or otherwise deal with.”

OK, Joe let assume that your hypothesis is true. Where did the current leadership of the EPA come from? Industry as you claim?

Lisa Jackson head of Obama’s EPA is a chemical engineer currently serving as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Previously, she briefly served as former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's Chief of Staff, and worked at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for 6 years, first as an assistant commissioner and later as commissioner. Prior to that, she was employed by the EPA for 16 years.

Why is she leaving the EPA, she got her hand caught in the secret cookie jar. She set up a fake e-mail account to conduct business in secret in violation of federal law. Some those secret meeting were with CARB’s Mary Nichols who is is often floated as Jackons’ replacement. Nichols has worked at the EPA before, as the Assistant Administrator. There are all EPA lifers, where is the industry connection? Jacksons' assistant Gina McCarthy has been an environmental wacko here whole career.

"Nearly three decades of fighting pollution and climate change in Connecticut and Massachusetts made her a great fit to head the Office of Air and Radiation at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)."

Where is the industry connection that you claim exist at the EPA?

Account Deleted

Oh Please, Joe - "The EPA doesn't force anything on anybody, and this is true of all government policies." We'd all love to hear more. Please - do go on!

George Rebane

JoeK 743pm - Astounding! Do you have any other tidbits to share with us about how government really works?

D. King

Joe Koyote | 02 January 2013 at 07:43 PM

"So lets put blame where blame belongs.. Large multi-national agricultural and GMO corporations are forcing E15 on us to increase their sales and profits while trying to lay the blame on government, environmentalists, communists, gophers, Fred Astaire, or anyone or anything else they can think of."

Yes Joe, from global warming, the ozone hole to kids eating lead flavored pant chips. Mega-corp slaps the left around like big daddy.

http://tinyurl.com/cpb9do7

D. King

O.T.

Dianne Feinstein Dreams!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFb0lhEtil4

Reality hits the hypocrite!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cWHNn3NJoc

Ryan Mount

Talk about whacking the bee's nest. Joe, if you want to say big things, which is always a good thing, we need to have some [any?] evidence other than weird attacks on cretin Mega-corps. Otherwise, it's just troll behavior. I think you'll find that most people who comment here might agree with parts of your assessment. They'd just call it crony capitalism enabled and encouraged by the government.

Not that there's any Monsanto love from me. I hate them bastards. But they can help me with a Brazilian wax:

http://www.thelapine.ca/monsanto-cucumbers-cause-genital-baldness-immediately-banned-nova-scotia

Ultimately it's the government's fault for these messes. And we elected them including the President who oversees Federal law enforcement(s/he "executes"). So the executive branch creates all kinds of bureaucracies to do that. The DEA and ATF are good examples. What makes the EPA weird, dangerous and unconstitutional IMHO, is that it's an "independent agency":

http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/fedgov.html

Things like the BLS [chuckles] should remain independent. But the EPA that has such broad and arguably whimsical enforcement jurisdiction? really?

Ryan Mount

BTW, the lapine.ca article is, of course, a joke. Aren't all of the funny Canadians already in the USA? They're holding out. But why not pick on the Québécois instead of the fine people of Nova Scotia?

Anyhow, one wonders if such a thing were true, how many would actually want such a product, and how many wouldn't.

Dixon Cruickshank

Joe I almost puked - the real culprit is the ethanol industry itself. Gas usage being down and over supply has most of them fighting BK and some already have. Thats the reason nothing more nothing less.

Next on to Greg: I srongly disagree with your accessment of leaded fuel and you advice to russ was beyond bizarre.
Leaded fuel in gas actually increased the octane rating, we never even had octane ratings stated on pumps until THE EPA took it out for ENVIROMENTAL SAFETY ISSUES - we used to be able to pull in at Sunoco and get 93.
Leaded fuel actually helps cushion the value seats in combustion engines, this was a huge problem in older cars after it was taken out just like Ethanol today, they had to change the material to compensate. To my knowledge there is no more carbon build help in the combustion chamber with or without, they all get it and it worked fine for longer in than since its been out. It was the EPA again.

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