Automakers Warn Against Using E85 Blend in Regular Cars

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What's the big deal with E85? A lot of places already have 10% ethanol, which, called by another name, would be E90.
 

mshu7

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What's the big deal? Lets see, it burns cleaner, burns more complete with more power (105 octane), better for the environment, lightens our dependency on foreign oil, on FFV vehicles you can run either straight gasoline or E85, it's a no-cost option on FFV vehicles, even though it gets few MPG you typically are still saving money because it's so much cheaper than gasoline, etc.  - Benefits of E85 * E85 is easy to use and handle - E85 fueling equipment is slightly different and of similar cost to equipment used to store and dispense petroleum fuels. In some cases, it may be possible to convert your existing petroleum equipment to handle E85. * Using E85 reduces petroleum consumption - Use of E85 will reduce a fleet's overall use of petroleum and replace it with a renewable-based fuel produced ("grown") in the United States. * E85 is good for the environment - Beyond operational ease, E85 offers considerable environmental benefits. To learn more about fuel economy, greenhouse gas scores, and air pollution scores for individual vehicles, go to the U.S. Department of Energy/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's on-line Fuel Economy Guide. You can search for E85-fueled vehicles by selecting "flexible-fueled vehicles" in the "Select Vehicle Type" pull-down menu. Once you are there, select individual vehicles to get fuel economy, greenhouse gas, and air pollution details. * Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) are available and affordable - FFVs specifically designed to run on E85 are becoming more common each model year, and FFVs are typically available as standard equipment with little or no incremental cost. See the current model year FFVs. * FFVs have flexible fueling options - FFVs may operate on gasoline, and, in fact, most of the 4 million FFVs on US roadways do today. Although that is not a positive from an E85-use standpoint, it does underscore the flexibility FFVs offer fleets. When E85 is not available, or an FFV travels outside the fueling network, a driver may simply fuel with either fuel as the situation dictates.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Shannow: Kang, 10% ethanol is E10
I thought E85 was 85% gas and 15% ethanol...
 
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'Stralia
They can do 100%, but fuels with a single boiling point are notorious for hard starting (no volatiles to get the process happening), and sometimes poor drivability. The 15% petrol helps with these issues.
 
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Another thing to consider is that ethanol has less energy content than gasoline (on a Btu/gallon basis). Therefore, technically MPG should drop using ethanol. Ethanol even though it has a higher octane value, does not mean that it has a higher energy content (Higher octane actually burns cooler, thats why ping or knock are reduced). Further, alcohol combustion causes larger quantities of formaldehyde to be produced than gasoline combustion. Formaldehyde is an EPA toxic compound and carcinogenic.
 
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mjpolge, octane rating has not much to do with the combustion temperature (higher octane does not burn cooler), although allowing an engine to ping sends temps through the roof.
 

mshu7

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Brazil uses sugar cane to produce their ethanol. From what I've heard, their ethanol prices down there are dirt cheap.
 
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How much energy or resources expended does it take to produce 1 gallon of ethanol vs, how much energy it gives back? Compared to petro?
 

mshu7

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I believe right now it's kind of expensive to produce the ethanol. But I'm sure like anything else, as time goes on it will get cheaper.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Boston: It's my understand Brazil has converted to 100% ethanol. Have they solved some of the issues or do they just live with them?
In Brazil most stations you have a choice so 100% would not be correct.
 
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It is expensive to produce Ethanol from Corn because the end product (Ethanol) has a negative BTU rating. Plain engrish: It takes more BTU's (Diesel fuel, gasoline, etc.) expended to grow the corn, harvest it, process it, transport it than you get out of it buy selling it to the consumer. Does that make sense? Bottom line is we need to move to producing it from other sources (switch grass, wood chips, etc).
 

Kestas

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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Boston: If they can do 85 why not 100?
quote:
Originally posted by Shannow: They can do 100%, but fuels with a single boiling point are notorious for hard starting.
I read gas was added for safety to make any fire visible. Alcohol fires are practically invisible. I don't think alcohol is that hard to ignite.
 

Kestas

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quote:
Originally posted by thooks: It is expensive to produce Ethanol from Corn because the end product (Ethanol) has a negative BTU rating....
My sources tell me it takes 70% of the energy to produce ethanol -- a bit of a gain. Methanol has a net negative energy return. Petrol has an extremely high rate of energy return. The amount of energy used to pump, refine, and distribute petrol is negligible compared with the energy it provides. I forget the numbers, but it's orders of magnitude better than ethanol. That's why we still use oil. We're looking for alternative fuels mainly for geopolitical reasons. You won't find the Arab world using alternative fuels for a long while. Brazil has a long growing season. They can grow double the crops with the same amount of land when compared with the US.
 
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Oshkosh, WI
quote:
Originally posted by thooks: It is expensive to produce Ethanol from Corn because the end product (Ethanol) has a negative BTU rating. Plain engrish: It takes more BTU's (Diesel fuel, gasoline, etc.) expended to grow the corn, harvest it, process it, transport it than you get out of it buy selling it to the consumer. Does that make sense? Bottom line is we need to move to producing it from other sources (switch grass, wood chips, etc).
Nobody ever thinks about how much energy it takes to refine crude into gasoline or diesel when presenting this arguement. I'd be safe to say the refining process is much more involved than that of ethanol production, and would quite possibly require more energy to produce than it does ethanol. Without knowing, this is only a hunch, but I'd like to see the same numbers used against ethanol for its "negative energy content" compared to gasoline, then we'll compare notes.
 
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Kansas
If you wish to talk about negative BTU's...consider another middle east oil embargo. I seriously doubt our friends in the US ag community would consider an embargo anytime in the near future...
 
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