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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can we discuss ethanol? i don't know anything about it, but it seems to me that this is the best solution.

i am actually open minded and pragmatic; IF i were in the market for a new car, i would strongly consider a Bolt. The only reason why i'm not SUPER excited about electric, however, is range. i don't think it's there and i'm not sure it will ever be there. The bolt would fit my needs 90 percent of the time during week as my commute is short 36 miles total daily. But what if i want to go the mountains or the beach on the weekends which is at least a 2 hr trip one way. Problem.

i heard you need ALOT of ethanol to equal the power output of gas. Won't this make the farmers happy at least? You have to pump more ethanol thru the engine compared to gas to acheive the same power output (i heard). But no one cares about mpg. And since ethanol is eco-friendly no one will care even more and we don't have to worry about CAFE or emmission or any other of that nonsense.

But let's talk about it from the beginning and the basics.
 

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City dwellers will use an electric car to get to the park and ride or the bus or train. And or they will be the errand car. Might be people in the city don’t actually own a car. My maternal grandparents lived in Cleveland, Ohio not Texas. The never owned a car. My grandfather was an overhead crane operator at the J&L open hearth, he rode the street car and bus. To visit us in San Diego they took a taxi to the train station or airport. We picked them up at the downtown Santa Fe station or Lindbergh Field.

I dare say the US is heading back to that late 19th through mid 20th century transportation profile for city dwellers. I live in Seattle, they and the surrounding large communities of Tacoma to the south and Everett to the north are putting a ton of our license plate money into public transit. Interesting thing is in much of the larger general area you can see the old commuter train and street car (trolley) routes as basically development followed the tracks. Today these are bicycle trails while billions of dollars go into buying land for new routes to the same places.

When I was at MIT my wife and I lived in Rockport north of the city. Given Boston‘s traffic and the long cold winter I drove to the train station rode it into the city, caught the “T“ out to Cambridge. Got out in the Student Center basement and walked across Mass Ave to the Sloan buildings. Going home was just the reverse. It converted hours of commuting hell to productive study or even more precious sleep time. Given the inter connectivity of today’s world it would seem this is a necessary change for a large segment of the population.

Ethanol probably isn’t going to be the stand alone fuel of the future, neither will hydrogen. But both of those will come as adjuncts to petroleum. However, when you look at the Life Cycle Costs it looks to me like growing and processing veggie material for fuel or the energy to bust hydrogen bonds from oxygen of water isn‘t really realistic. This is just moving energy consumption from under your hood to some factory so except from maybe peeling some mass economic and environmental savings from carefully controlled processes I really don’t see as much benefit there as the sellers of these ideas proclaim.

I have to admit to not researching the reserves of lithium on this planet compared to petroleum but my gut feeling is we’ll bust through the bottom of the lithium mine sooner than the last drop of petroleum is pumped from the well. That considered one must appreciate the changes in magnetics and the lithium battery has made in the world already. What really scares me is Boston Dynamics, in the future and probably not very far future, you’re going to be competing against those robots for jobs. When those bots start producing YouTube vids and watching them,,, were screwed.

Bogie
 

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If you haven't lived in a place with access to good public transportation you may not realize how valuable and convenient it can be. Its really nice to not worry about parking your car at the airport when you are on a trip, since you only spent about $4-5 to get there by public transportation. And I worked for an employer that would reimburse me (up to a set amount) if I used public transportation to get to work. You have to plan trips around the bus and subway schedules, but its usually not hard to do because they all have online planning apps to help you.

I grew up in a rural area where cars were mandatory to get around. However, I found it interesting that back in the "0ld days", well before my time, the train ran much more frequently and was very common for long distance transportation. In that timeframe (maybe about 1915-1940) cars were relatively unreliable for long trips, so trains were used if you had to go any more than about 50-100 miles. If we could get back to that type of efficiency for moving people we could save a lot on fossil fuel, even if the trains were still running on diesel. Europe still makes great use of passenger trains, but for the US they don't run frequently enough or on enough routes to be convenient.
 

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If you pass up the political virtue signaling, the truth is out there, but I doubt it'll ever be see again.
Electric seems like a alternative for daily commutes.
Ethanol takes a bit of energy to make and while there is about a 20 percent loss in mileage, That can be overcome with compression ratio on a dedicated engine. Not a Flex type car. Ethanol in colder climates can be a thing, as it's harder to get going.
Hydrogen looks promising eventually, Propane is already great.
If the government would get out of the way and stop spending other peoples money on shoring up losing propositions then someone, somewhere, would figure out a way it all work and we all would have more choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So, to me, the only downsides, right now, with ethanol is that it takes quite a bit of energy to make that energy. And, i heard the corn grow method actually takes MORE energy to produce than the actual outcome.

But the upsides:

---eco/environmental friendly

---The infrastructure would need little if any changeover; A gas station is designed to hold and dispense liquids and i imagine it would not take substantially longer to fill a tank with ethanol compared to gas.

---The internal combustion engine is a well established technology that works well.

----No range problem----as with electric.

So, i the key is to develop ways produce ethanol efficiently.
 

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So, to me, the only downsides, right now, with ethanol is that it takes quite a bit of energy to make that energy. And, i heard the corn grow method actually takes MORE energy to produce than the actual outcome.

But the upsides:

---eco/environmental friendly

---The infrastructure would need little if any changeover; A gas station is designed to hold and dispense liquids and i imagine it would not take substantially longer to fill a tank with ethanol compared to gas.

---The internal combustion engine is a well established technology that works well.

----No range problem----as with electric.

So, i the key is to develop ways produce ethanol efficiently.

I don't know about your environmentally friendly part. Growing corn is, but ethanol still burns like gas and emits emissions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't know about your environmentally friendly part. Growing corn is, but ethanol still burns like gas and emits emissions.
But not really "bad" emmissions? Carbon dioxide isn't really bad in the long run?

i mean methane gas, initially is unpleasant to say the least. But generally it's not considered "bad." environmentally speaking?
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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99.5 or better ethanol produces C02 however it's not a good fit in that form so 15 percent of gas is added to get it to fire in colder climates. That 15 percent still has the other emissions the EPA doesn't like. So in reality it should be a REDUCTION of emissions, NOT a removal of emissions.
Excess C02 in theory is bad as far as the EPA is concerned, whats "bad" is whatever fits the narrative.
 

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I use 100% gas when ever I can obtain it in regular cars. The performance is better and more miles per tank. I never never use corn juice in my classic cars. Race gas or aviation fuel Is best. The corn juice as it ages out destroys older carburetors and fuel components. I seek out all stainless components where ever possible. Aviation fuel is especially good for months of non use. It evaporates clean without the harmful side effects of corn juice.

As for electric and mass transportation bla. I hope I’m dead before that day comes. I want my total freedom and independence.
 

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Beats me everybody keeps yelling about ethanol in gas messing up their carburetors and fuel systems. Here in Puget Sound we’ve been on E10 since about 1986, in all that time I haven’t had any issues with my daily driver, hot rods, or Harleys. Apparently our local northwest refiners and doing something different than the rest of the country’s refiners. There are a few places where you can get straight run and on the reservations even leaded. I never run leaded and the few times I’ve run straight run which most recently was in the Softail it’s like no discernible change to power or mileage. Maybe it’s the clean air blowing in from Siberia?

Bogie
 

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The rubber in small engines, steel, and the castings do not stand up well to corrosive solvents and corn juice along with the water it mixes with. Carter and Q-jet accelerator pump rubber does not like corn juice. While Holley power valves harden after the corn juice evaporates and dries them out.

Since using only 100% gas the tractor, weed wicker, chain saw, and mower don’t need a carb rebuild or replacement every year. Power valves and accelerator pump rubber is still holding up well w/100% gas.

As a side note there is less BTU of energy in corn juice, so ………. why? It’s a scam to screw the American public.

Just one of the many interweb posted descriptions of the issues with corn juice in older engines.

 

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There is and has been a more than fair amount of hate with Ethanol. My theory is the gas companies don't like it and the performance fuel companies really hate it.
With the same performance levels as race gas at 1/3 the price it's absolutely a threat.
 

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Like I said I haven’t experienced it, the picture of the carb looks like an old carb that was set aside full of fuel and allowed to dry out, probably more than once. I‘ve seen carbs that look like the photo many years if not decades before there were even SMOG devices in use let alone alcohol laced gas. I’m of the habit for things that may sit for more than overnight to run them out of fuel or drain it for longer periods. Old airplane habit of of shutdown by running the engine dry and top off the tanks.

I also add a shot of Marvel Mystery Oil to fuel stabilizer which I run through the machinery every few fill ups and everytime they get put away for storage.

I had been off my motorcycles for two years due to medical reasons combined with not needing Covid on top of heart surgery. I finally got OK from my doctor and acquiescence from my wife to ride in this just past August. I chose the Chrome Show to ride (2000 Heritage in full optioned and then some chrome dodads) that was put away before my heart surgery with carb drained the tank filled 91 octane E10 Chevron mixed with my usual brew of top end lube and fuel stabilizer which in this case was Sea Foam but I use other brands as well. So I took the covers off of it, disconnected the battery tender and rolled it out. Tossed a leg over it, put the key in the main switch, turned the fuel valve on, pulled the choke full out which doesn’t close the choke just is adjusted that when stopped it’s about 3/4 to 7/8 closed, waited a minute for the carb to fill then gave the throttle three twists to put a prime in the manifold. Turned the ignition to On, the ignition to RUN pulled in the clutch, then hit the START button. It made one crank and fired up to a 1500 RPM idle. Wiggled the choke in to drop the idle to 1000 then maintained that as it warmed up. Finished suiting up, climbed on and did a hundred mile check ride. No problems other than I was rusty.

So I’m rather of the opinion that these ethanol disaster articles really should be titled something like “The Effects of Poor Vehicle and Engine Maintenance” rather than “The Heebie-jeebies of Using Ethanol Diluted Gasoline”.

Bogie
 

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Hey Bogie,
My carb guy has some carb parts and a gasket/rubber/cork kit sitting in a jar on his desk filled with pump gas E85 from a Phillips 66 station down the street from the shop. It has small holes in the lid and needs topped off every so often.
It’s been there 10 years and there’s no damage yet from corrosion. He’ll even let you take them out and play with the parts but if you do you have to refill it.
 

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There is and has been a more than fair amount of hate with Ethanol. My theory is the gas companies don't like it and the performance fuel companies really hate it.
With the same performance levels as race gas at 1/3 the price it's absolutely a threat.
Race fuel suppliers put the same "stink eye" on aviation fuel since the late 1970's, to indoctrinate racers that "Aviation fuel will burn up your motor" or "aviation fuel is only for high altitude" ...BS

Considering guys are running 1200 HP turbo V8 combinations on E85 shows it is a cheap race fuel.
 

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I’ve been happy with aviation fuel in my cars that see a long winter storage. It can be kept safely in the tank for a couple years without the disgusting residue left behind from regular pump gas evaporation. So storage over the winter is no issue. Be advised it evaporates in a vented tank. No stabilizer required. Unlike old pump gas that will not even burn as it ages. Then in the spring start up reawaking goes smooth and the exhaust smells nice.

I don’t care for the carburetor/tank drain option with home owner equipment since the gaskets all dry out and rubber parts become hard and carburetors require replacement or rebuild. Too much unnecessary work for me. As for the stabilizer‘s …..most of them do nothing. Fogging inside and out with WD40 is as good as anything else. Again aviation fuel final run & prior to storage keeps it all sanitary inside.

Interesting YouTube on corrosion with 10% alcohol fuel with/with out fuel stabilizers.
 
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