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Old 03-24-2006, 10:06 AM
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Ethanol yea or nay

I did a persuasive speech the other day trying to persuade my audience that the switch from gas to ethanol was a good idea. Based on breaking the dependence we have on imported oil, lower fuel prices, and a reduction in
o-zone depleting exhaust. I was just wondering what everyone in the hot rodding community thought. For or against I'd like to see where yall stand.
First off are there any hot rodders out there with an alcohol powered car?
As far as performance goes, how do you like it compared to gas?

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Old 03-24-2006, 11:48 AM
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There are some bad environmental problems with ethanol too. MTBE will get in
the water and stay there for a long time.

If you want to blame something for the ozone problems, blame the airlines. Those jets put out more pollution than anything else, and the pollution is up high as it comes out of the jets.
The space shuttle doesn't help either.
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:44 PM
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I'm all for a switch to ethanol fuels. Would build an ethanol street motor if it were more available - I don't feel like driving 80 miles to get fuel.
BTW, MTBE and ethanol are two seperate animals. Both are used to oxygenate fuel but the states/companies that didn't like the idea of ethanol went with MTBE instead. Ethanol is relatively harmless in the soil and groundwater.
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:47 PM
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I have been using gasohol, a blend of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline, in all my vehicles for years and I get along just fine. I even put it in my 1954 WD45, 1940 M Farmall and all my lawn mowers. The only thing I ever noticed was I got a lot of rust out of the gas tank of my WD45 after I bought it but after a while it stopped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FASTCHEVY
There are some bad environmental problems with ethanol too. MTBE will get in
the water and stay there for a long time.
MTBE and ethanol are two different substances. Ethanol has not been causing pollution in water supplies. MTBE has, read this MTBE bans boost ethanol
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:58 PM
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Yea. .
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:10 PM
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Ethanol is pretty good.

Pros:
comes from corn
burns clean
higher octane

Cons:
not as much energy as the same quantity of gasoline
lower fuel mileage
dissolves rubber & plastic
a car has to be special built to run more than a low percentage mix


Sites with good info:

http://www.e85fuel.com
http://www.ethanol.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:20 PM
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Also when you take into consideration the amount of energy expended to produce the Ethanol, Everything from plowing fields to harvesting to distilling the stuff, there is not much gained and if not carefully done you can wind up with a net loss, expending more energy than you will produce.
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:27 PM
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yea or nay

Anyone who wishes to reduce emissions, help the ozone layer, reduce dependancy on the Middle East, get better mileage.

Has only to reduce the size of the engine. No need for fancy fuels or experimental engine designs.

A max of about 1,000cc would be about right I think.
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Also when you take into consideration the amount of energy expended to produce the Ethanol, Everything from plowing fields to harvesting to distilling the stuff, there is not much gained and if not carefully done you can wind up with a net loss, expending more energy than you will produce.
True in the past, not so much now.
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:55 PM
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Repost follows


Alternative Fuels: Ethanol as a Replacement for Gasoline
In the debate over alternative fuels, many people believe that ethanol production is not viable. This assumption is incorrect because new technologies are making ethanol production cheaper and more environmentally friendly than ever before. Brazil successfully switched to ethanol fuels in 1975 (Transport). Moreover, the U.S. government has allotted money for ethanol research and development, but there has been strong opposition to the idea. In addition to benefiting the environment, switching from gasoline to ethanol will free the U.S. economy from most of the negative impact of foreign oil prices and Middle Eastern politics.
One of the strongest voices in opposition to ethanol production has been Cornell scientist David Pimental. In his 2001 report he says that
Numerous studies have concluded that ethanol production does not enhance energy security, is not a renewable energy source, is not an economical fuel, and does not insure clean air. Further, its production uses land suitable for crop production and causes environmental degradation. (Pimental 162)
Many people believe that the best argument against ethanol production is that it requires too much energy to produce, making it economically infeasible. Dr. Pimental claims “... about 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in ethanol. Every time you make 1 gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTU.” (qtd. in Ethanol from corn faulted). He also claims that if all the automobiles in the United States relied on ethanol fuel, then nearly all the land area of the United States would be needed to grow corn. This is assuming that one hectare of corn can produce 433 liters of ethanol, and nothing else of value (Pimental 164). Although Dr. Pimental supports these claims with some reasonable statistics, overall it is invalid.
For starters, Dr. Pimental's corn yield data is from 1992. Since that time yields have risen by 10%, and less energy is required (in the way of fertilizer and pesticide) to achieve that yield (Biofuels: Energy Balance). More importantly, his figures for the energy used in the conversion process are based upon 1979 technology, “Pimental reported that the energy used to manufacture ethanol is 70,000 BTU/gal, characteristic of 1979 technology.” (Graboski). Other research, using more recent data, "... indicates an approximate 38% gain in the overall corn to ethanol process and use of that ethanol for fuel. Corn yields and processing technologies have improved significantly over the past 20 years and they continue to do so, making ethanol production less and less energy intensive.” (Ethanol Myths-Iowa Corn).
Dr. Pimental also fails to account for new technologies that utilize the by-products of the conversion process. For instance, one bushel of corn can be used to make 2.7 gallons of ethanol, 11.4 pounds of gluten feed, 3 pounds of gluten meal and 1.6 pounds of corn oil (Ethanol Myths-Iowa Corn). In addition, there are many new technologies that allow the use of waste materials to create ethanol. A Denmark company has developed new enzymes that allow plant and animal waste to be used to produce ethanol (Yahoo-Novozymes beats). A Canadian company has developed a farming method by which
... nothing goes to waste. At full production this spring, some 250 bushels of farm grown barley straw will be fed each day into a distillation plant, emerging 12 hours later as 500 gallons of ethanol fuel plus a high protein mash that will feed the operations 500 cattle. Manure from the cattle will be sent through an aerobic digester, producing methane to power the plant and adjacent hydroponic greenhouse, and a high grade fertilizer to be spread on the fields. In two years of trials, the integrated operation has proven a wonder of efficiency. (Carter)
USDA scientists are making ethanol from citrus waste (Bolsen) and Iogen , a Canadian company, has also developed enzymes similar to Novozymes (Austen). There is great potential in these new technologies, not only for the production of ethanol, but in the reduction of waste sent to landfills. So this is not “unsustainable subsidized food burning” (qtd. in Ethanol from corn faulted) as Dr. Pimental claims, but it is a wise use of natural resources, obtaining as much as possible from a single resource.
Not surprisingly, oil companies find Dr. Pimental’s argument serves their own interests. Ottawa-based Sypher Mueller International Inc. released an ethanol fuel study claiming “There is no clear evidence that ethanol blended gasolines are better for the environment than conventional gasoline.” (Menzies). There is no strong evidence to support this claim. On the contrary, “Ethanol blended fuels reduce vehicular emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other gasses... ethanol produced from corn in the United States reduces the full cycle of GHG emissions by 30 percent compared to gasoline...” (ETHANOL USE). It is common knowledge in automotive circles that alcohol burns cleaner than gasoline and I have trouble understanding why anyone would try to deny this fact.
Dr. Pimental’s argument that ethanol production “... causes environmental degradation.” (162) is based on increased runoff of soil and chemicals used for growing corn. I have to admit this is a legitimate concern, and hopefully it can be overcome by more environmentally friendly farming practices, such as no-till fields and the use of genetically modified crops that require less chemicals to grow.
Another common argument against ethanol production is that it will require large government subsidies to succeed. The current ethanol subsidy pales in comparison to the amount the United States government gives the oil industry (United States 1-19). It has also been shown that expanded ethanol production would reduce farm subsidies (United States 23), saving taxpayers as much as 3.2 billion dollars annually (HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS).
Along with the subsidy argument, some opponents claim “Increased use of ethanol fuels would reduce federal motor tax revenues because of ethanol’s partial tax exemption.” (United States 23). In response to that concern, new legislation, the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit has been passed. It is projected to generate more than 2 billion dollars annually in Highway Tax Fund revenues (HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS). This figure is based on the current 10% ethanol blended fuel. The amount of revenue will increase as the use of ethanol increases.
Dr. Pimental also states “Overall, the per liter price for ethanol does not compare favorably with that for the production of gasoline fuels which presently is about 25 cents per liter.” (163-4). This may have been true at the time of his research, but it is no longer valid. New technologies have been lowering the cost of ethanol production while the price of gasoline has been steadily increasing.
Brazil: a successful ethanol program
Brazil’s ethanol program strongly challenges critics like Dr. Pimental. Brazil transitioned to renewable fuels in 1975, ethanol from sugarcane has become the primary fuel for their autos and light trucks (Transport). Their program has not been trouble free, however the governments commitment to alternative fuels has hastened the development of necessary technologies and lowered the production costs “... from about 95 cents per liter to 28 cents a liter.” (Transport). This made Brazil the primary supplier of ethanol production technology around the world and stimulated the growth of a new industry.
Another benefit was realized during Brazil’s recent energy crisis. The cane mills (which produce ethanol) fueled their own power plants with waste sugarcane. This allowed them to sell electricity back to the grid, helping to soften the crisis and attracting the interest of several other countries (Ewing).
Conclusion
The evidence suggests that ethanol is a viable alternative to gasoline, in spite of strong opposition to the idea. The potential benefits far outweigh the risks involved, especially with respect to our dependence on foreign oil and the related political and economic turmoil. I am not suggesting that ethanol is the solution to all the worlds energy and pollution problems, simply that it is the best alternative to gasoline until new technologies are perfected that will make the internal combustion engine obsolete.
Works Cited
Austen, Ian. "Magic Mushroom." Canadian Business 26.23. 7 Dec. 2003:14. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO Host. Scott Community Coll. Lib., Bettendorf, IA. 30 Mar. 2004. <http://web15.epnet.com/citation.asp?>
“Biofuels: Energy Balance.” Environmental and Energy Study Institute. Oct. 2003. 30 Mar. 2004. <http://www.eesi.org/programs/agriculture/Energy%20Balance%update.htm>.
Bolsen, Jessica. “Gasoline of the Future?”. Mother Earth News Apr/May 96:155.15. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO Host. Scott Community Coll. Lib., Bettendorf IA. 30 Mar. 2004. <http://web15.epnet.com/citation.asp?>.
Carter, Toni Owen. “Profiting from the chaff.” Alberta Report/Newsmagazine 4/19/93:20.18:16. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO Host. Scott Community Coll. Lib., Bettendorf, IA. 30 Mar. 2004. <http://web15.epnet.com/citation.asp?>.
“Ethanol from corn faulted as energy waster.” Cornell News: Gasohol Economics 6 Aug. 2001.30 Mar. 2004. <www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Aug01/corn-basedethanol.hrs.html>.
Ethanol Myths-Iowa Corn. (c)2004. Iowa Corn Promotion Board, Iowa Corn Growers Association. 30 Mar 2004. <www.iowacorn.org/ethanol_3b.html>.
“ETHANOL USE REDUCED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY 5.7 MILLION TONS IN 2003.” RFA-Press release. 5 Feb. 2004. 30 Mar. 2004. <http://www.ethanolrfa.org/pr040205.html>.
Ewing, Reese. Planet Ark: Feature-Brazil cane raisers sweet on ethanol. REUTERS. 7 Aug. 2001. 30 Mar. 2004. <http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm?newsid=11914>.
Graboski, Dr. Michael S. and Mc Clelland, Dr. John. “A Rebuttal to ‘Ethanol Fuels: Energy, Economics and Environmental Impacts’ by D. Pimental.” 30 Mar. 2004. <http://www.ncga.com/ethanol/pdfs/EthanolFuelsRebuttal.pdf>.
“HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE PASSES BILL INCLUDING ETHANOL INCENTIVE/HTF FIX.” RFA-Press release. 17 Mar. 2004. 30 Mar. 2004. <http://www.ethanolrfa.org/pr040317.html>.
Menzies, David. “Oil and Trouble.” Canadian Business 72.17. 29 Oct. 1999:16. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO Host. Scott Community Coll. Lib., Bettendorf, IA. 30 Mar. 2004. <http://web15.epnet.com/citation.asp?>.
Pimental, David. “Biomass Utilization, Limits of.” Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology. 3rd ed. 2002.
Transport. Ed Raymond Foulk et. al. (c) 2003. 30 Mar. 2004. <http://www.millenium-debate.org/mantrans.htm>.
United States. General Accounting Office. “Petroleum and Ethanol Tax Incentives, Subsidies, and Other Programs: A Review of GAO Studies, 1990-September 2000.” GAO/RCED-00-301R Tax Incentives for Petroleum and Ethanol Fuels.
Yahoo!-Novozymes beats cost target in ethanol fuel project. 9 Feb. 2004. REUTERS. 30 Mar. 2004. <http://dk.biz.yahoo.com/040209/49/30ox3.html>.
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Old 03-24-2006, 02:13 PM
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It also needs a govt. subsidy to survive economically.
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Old 03-24-2006, 03:55 PM
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I've done a research paper and a presentation/speech on this topic. And I'm all for e-85.
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:11 PM
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alcohol

an article I wrote about alky fuel was published in Automotive Industries in the late 70's contradicting what a Gm VP said. There are several new alky plants presently being built in central California The mash residule will be used for animal feed. Either SAub or SAbaru has a new turbo engine for alky fuel that gets better milage and power than gasoline. computer controlled. alky likes more compression and the high boost turbos do the job. Retired Ford Engineer
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:20 PM
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I just want to say I prefer to drink the alcohol
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Old 03-24-2006, 05:43 PM
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I worked at an ethanol plant for a while helping install an ash redistribution system. I had several opportunities to talk with the general manager and the employees of the plant. I was told that the profits of the plant do not come from the fuel being produced. The profit comes from the high nutrient animal feed. The feed is a waste product of the ethanol cracking process. The whole plant and idea was very interesting. The corn is turned into a beer and distilled into the fuel. The waste becomes feed and the ash is recollected and mixed back into the feed. Even the co2 coming from the process is captured and piped to another company that uses it to manufacture dry ice and filling co2 dispensers for fountain machines. The manager said that industry is growing rapidly and if it continues places like Minnesota’s cornfields are going to be considered like Texas oil wells. I could not believe the amount of natural gas that they burn up in the process. It was easy to see and understand that if they didn’t have the feed to profit from, it would not profit at all. The amount of fuel rolling back out from semi tankers and train cars was hardly anything to the amount of feed leaving and the amount of corn coming in.
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