If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Telegram)   Reporter waits at busy service area to interview E-85 buyers, leaves after three hours without spotting any   (telegram.com) divider line 46
    More: Fail, E-85, service areas, Massachusetts Turnpike, state Department of Transportation, cellulosic ethanol, Cumberland Farms, clean air laws, flex fuel  
•       •       •

11452 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Jan 2013 at 6:02 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2013-01-05 07:53:01 PM
4 votes:
E-10 also damages fuel and engine components that were not designed for it. My company rebuilds carburetors (among other things). For many older carburetors (agricultural ones in particular, ironically), there are not ethanol-resistant parts available. As the parts degrade, efficiency suffers. The frequency of repairs is unnaturally high until ethanol-resistant parts become available.

So the ethanol corn farmer might suffer from his own inferior product.

Incidentally, there is a great little American carburetor kit company out of Daytona, Florida whose extensive offerings are all ethanol resistant. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a quality rebuild kit.

The entire program a boondoggle, almost as bad as the sugar subsidy. But boondoggles are what happen when the Imperial Federal Government makes substantive guarantees to companies and industries.
2013-01-05 06:27:55 PM
3 votes:
E85 is one of those ideas that seems really good to someone on some energy policy committee who doesn't actually have any personal interest in it.There's a whole "the public will buy this because we told them it's better" hubris aspect to it. Of course in practice, your average people are not going to spend more money on less gas mileage all while increasing their grocery bills just because some eco-zealot really really really wants them to.
2013-01-05 06:10:30 PM
3 votes:

Mark Ratner: A compelling reason could be it's cheaper and compatible with your car. Duh


Cheaper if you suck at math, maybe.
2013-01-05 06:07:50 PM
3 votes:
e85 and regular no-lead were the same price the last time i got gas (2 days ago) in West Michigan. I think of a compelling reason to use it if it is not significantly cheaper than unleaded gas. Even then, i'm not fond of the idea... Corn is food, not fuel...
2013-01-05 10:05:30 PM
2 votes:
Corn squeezins are for drinking, not burning. And they fark up any small or old engines you may have. Its an awful, destructive and expensive shiatty product, it deserves to die out yesterday.
2013-01-05 07:50:04 PM
2 votes:
Anyone who brings up buggy whips deserves a cock punching.
2013-01-05 07:19:54 PM
2 votes:

Oznog: The interesting observation here is it's essentially the same as gasoline on a PER LB basis. Same energy and CO2 per lb. The tank's just physically larger.


So.... gasoline is sold by the pound where you live?

Oh wait. everything is sold by gallons, meaning E85 gives you less energy per dollar spent.
2013-01-05 07:01:39 PM
2 votes:
In this situation one needs to consider the energy input and output rather than the physical supply input and output.

This is where the scam comes in- it's easy for proponents to say "corn gets its energy from the sun", and therefore promote that it is a renewable resource. To be clear, the energy that goes into corn production is not to produce corn itself, but to produce the nitrogenous fertilizer necessary for corn plant growth. Like all plants, corn gets energy from the sun via photosynthesis, which is basically CO2 + water + sun = carbohydrates, which can then be distilled into ethanol. However, like all plants, corn also requires other nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorous, for the production of other organic chemicals, especially proteins and nucleic acids. Corn itself is a very greedy crop, and takes nitrogen out of soil very rapidly. Thus, the nitrogen is replaced with nitrogen-based fertilizers, which microbes break down into inorganic form (ammonium), that the plants can take up and turn into protein.

While nitrogen is a very common element (makes up about 70% of the atmosphere), fixing it into fertilizer form artificially (many microbes do it naturally, but slowly) is an energy-intensive process. I don't remember the exact figures, but the fossil fuel energy needed to produce enough fertilizer to produce one gallon of ethanol-based fuel is greater than the fossil fuel energy needed to produce one gallon of gasoline.
2013-01-05 06:51:42 PM
2 votes:

lordargent: NoboruWatanabe : What has been done in Brazil, with cane ethanol, is a much better idea

Cane doesn't grow well up here, so they used corn instead.

The way I see it, there's no point to this now, but as gas becomes scarce, the price difference will change a lot and the E85 will then be worth it. And by then, the infrastructure will be in place for it.


The infrastructure for corn ethanol will be in place, yes. As fossil fuels become scarce, the necessary resources for corn production on that scale will also deplete. In this situation one needs to consider the energy input and output rather than the physical supply input and output.

I'm not saying that E-85 is a bad idea, I'm saying E-85 from corn is a bad idea. A very bad idea. The energy balance doesn't work - it exists because of the US governments previous subsidies of the corn industry, not because it's a good idea based on scientific principles.
2013-01-05 06:34:23 PM
2 votes:

taurusowner: E85 is one of those ideas that seems really good to someone on some energy policy committee who doesn't actually have any personal interest in it.There's a whole "the public will buy this because we told them it's better" hubris aspect to it. Of course in practice, your average people are not going to spend more money on less gas mileage all while increasing their grocery bills just because some eco-zealot really really really wants them to.


It looks really good to someone that doesn't actively think about it. "Green" and "renewable" aren't necessarily automatically better. One needs to consider what goes into production, how it's funded, and what can be redeemed from its purchase. Basically, it doesn't make sense and is a terrible idea, financially and environmentally. People that endorse it are easily led morons that can't logically think through what's presented to them.

Caveat: I'm about as eco-zealot as they come. I compost, garden, reuse plastic bags, hypermile in my compact manual, keep the heat low, don't use AC, etc. I still think this corn based ethanol is a stupidly terrible idea - it's an accident of history, derived from the subsidies the US government has given the corn industry. It makes no scientific sense

What has been done in Brazil, with cane ethanol, is a much better idea
2013-01-05 06:20:17 PM
2 votes:
IIRC, the reduced energy content is something like a third less energy than regular gasoline.

My Grand Cherokee is E85 compatible, there's even a few places where I can buy it nearby. I've never once done it. It would need to be at least a third cheaper (it's not... last time I noticed, it was MORE expensive), and even then I'd be stopping for fuel more often.

So yeah, not too interested.
2013-01-05 06:19:06 PM
2 votes:
I'm pretty sure it's not in fact cheaper per mile (no sources, sorry). Also, ethanol from corn is a terrible idea that should be abandoned immediately.

This, the production of the corn needed for distillery wastes more energy in fertilizer production (Haber Bosch) than does regular gasoline harvest, transport, and refinement. It also wastes water, land, and transport that would be better used for food purposes (if agricultural at all). The only reason it's becoming common is because of the corn lobby.
2013-01-05 06:17:09 PM
2 votes:
this stuff is for liberal prius drivers who suck at math and science (global warmers)
2013-01-05 06:13:40 PM
2 votes:

twistofsin: Mark Ratner: Winterlight: My car ('12 Chevy Malibu) is a "Flex Fuel" car that can handle E-85.  I have yet to even find a station that sells it, much less have heard a compelling reason to switch from regular unleaded.

Though it does mean I can park in the "LEV" spaces at Whole Foods. So there's that...

A compelling reason could be it's cheaper and compatible with your car. Duh

Since Ethanol releases less energy then petrol when it's burned it's not necessarily cheaper per mile to use.


I'm pretty sure it's not in fact cheaper per mile (no sources, sorry). Also, ethanol from corn is a terrible idea that should be abandoned immediately.
2013-01-05 06:11:21 PM
2 votes:

Mark Ratner: Winterlight: My car ('12 Chevy Malibu) is a "Flex Fuel" car that can handle E-85.  I have yet to even find a station that sells it, much less have heard a compelling reason to switch from regular unleaded.

Though it does mean I can park in the "LEV" spaces at Whole Foods. So there's that...

A compelling reason could be it's cheaper and compatible with your car. Duh


Since Ethanol releases less energy then petrol when it's burned it's not necessarily cheaper per mile to use.
2013-01-05 06:10:41 PM
2 votes:
Less energy per volume than gasoline means significantly less miles per gallon and higher cost to the end user (even at the cheaper pump price). Edmunds test.
2013-01-05 06:09:57 PM
2 votes:
I'm no science talking dude, but depending on model, you get 15-30% less mpg with it. The cost is never 15-30% less so it's kinda worthless. But try getting a rental car that takes it, makes the fuel up before returning it cheaper.
2013-01-06 01:55:13 AM
1 votes:
If only people were as picky about the fuel that went into them.
Even bread has farking corn syrup in it now.
2013-01-05 11:50:14 PM
1 votes:
Having used E85 once, I can see why no one buys it. It turned my already gutless Ford Ranger (V6 3.0L) into something that lost about 25% of the power and took forever to get up to speed on any roadway. After one tank full I went back to regular fuel.
2013-01-05 11:37:24 PM
1 votes:
I don't know much about all this besides Food should not be used for fuel.
Question:
Isn't the fertilizer used to grow corn made from oil anyways? So the oil is still getting used, but just in th fields and not in the vehicles.

Isn't diesel fuel a less refined version of gasoline? So, if they have to do less stuff to it, why does it cost more? I know of people getting 40+MPG in their TDI VWs so why are we not all switching to that? Seems more efficient to refine oil less and go farther per gallon.

Observation:
Back in the 90s when I used to build racecars, when building a car for alcohol (IMSA Modifieds) we would put a 20 gallon fuel tank on it instead of a 10 gallon tank. When taking the car to the track, you would start your tuning with jets twice the size of the ones used for gasoline. So, basically straight alcohol had approximately half the energy of gasoline. Carbs would also freeze up. sometimes to the point of locking up the linkages. Not a problem with gasoline or with fuel injection.

I want to buy my fuel by the BTU instead of by the gallon.
2013-01-05 11:21:54 PM
1 votes:

Benjimin_Dover: So they used a little over 290 pounds of gasoline and somehow produced over 700 pounds of carbon dioxide. Will some Fark chemist break out the periodic chart and the moles and avogadro's number thingy and show me how?


1 gallon gas (about 6.5 lbs) makes about 19.5 lbs CO2.

Here's a light article, but it is understandable and has outside sources.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2006/11/how _ gasoline_becomes_co2.html
2013-01-05 10:47:05 PM
1 votes:
So they used a little over 290 pounds of gasoline and somehow produced over 700 pounds of carbon dioxide. Will some Fark chemist break out the periodic chart and the moles and avogadro's number thingy and show me how?
2013-01-05 10:00:20 PM
1 votes:
E-15 is bad enough. Talk about a scam. Its just a backdoor price increase on the price of gas: charge you the same money for gas that's been watered down. Not to mention that it is worse for your engine.
2013-01-05 09:43:24 PM
1 votes:
A real reporter would've followed the story further by talking to those that have flexfuel vehicles about their choice not to use E-85.
2013-01-05 09:10:43 PM
1 votes:

Forbidden Doughnut: sporkme: The entire program a boondoggle, almost as bad as the sugar subsidy. But boondoggles are what happen when the Imperial Federal Government makes substantive guarantees to companies and industries.

I wonder how many Tea Party folk in the flyover States either directly or indirectly benefit from those sort of farming subsidies?

/ same applies for the rural parts of my State


A person would be an idiot not to claim it, whether they support the policy or not. Doesn't make it right though. I don't see it as hypocrisy, I see it as playing by the rules set fourth.

"People get the government they deserve. Unfortunately, I get the government they deserve too."
--Woody Allen
2013-01-05 08:28:07 PM
1 votes:
I fill my tank with Brawndo. It has what cars crave.

I also like money. Anyone want to go to Starbucks?

Idiocracy....we're there.
2013-01-05 07:59:10 PM
1 votes:

NoboruWatanabe: ElBarto79: 2) Even if the cost to produce ethanol is greater than to produce gasoline that's money that is being kept here instead of being shipped over to the middle east by the truckload. Sucks that it's expensive but hey, think of how many jobs would be created here if we had a large scale ethanol fuel industry?

It's still being shipped to the middle east by the truckload. The energy that goes in to corn production (fertilizer, etc) needs to come from somewhere. That somewhere is traditional fossil fuels.


We have lots of fossil fuels in the US. We have something like 500 years worth of coal for example. We also produce something like 30 percent of our own oil needs. We don't need to completely eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels as long as we can reduce it to a level where we aren't dependent on unstable and violent nations.
2013-01-05 07:52:39 PM
1 votes:

HumanBeingsSuck: whipbambucket: Corn is food, not fuel...

Genetically modified corn may not be suitable as food...


I always wonder when I come across people who have this irrational fear if science - are you afraid of those moving gifs of fire or just the real stuff?
2013-01-05 07:50:20 PM
1 votes:
There's an E85 pump where I usually buy gas. It is usually about a nickle cheaper than regular. The only cars I have ever seen using it are government owned.
2013-01-05 07:38:35 PM
1 votes:
Are you saying that propelling my car for 10 miles using ethanol would require more fossil fuels than propelling my car for 10 miles using gasoline? Or just that ethanol requires more energy to produce than gasoline? There's a distinct difference. In any case, my point remains, ethanol may be inefficient now but that is something we have the potential to improve. Switch grass for example grows rapidly in huge quantities and has the potential to revolutionize the ethanol industry.

I'm saying it literally takes more fossil fuel energy to produce the fertilizer to grow the corn to produce 1 gallon of ethanol fuel than it takes to produce 1 gallon of gasoline. Look up the Haber Bosch Process and read about how nearly all of our artificial fertilizer is produced using it. This is a bigger issue than just gasoline too, because most of our food production also relies on artificial fertilizers. Once that fossil fuel is gone, not only can we not produce ethanol, but we can't produce enough food to sustain more than 3/4 of earth's population. It's a big deal that nobody wants to talk about.

Ethanol is a waste of money and time, and won't work in the long run. Even switching to more efficient crop species that don't require as much fertilizer still doesn't remove our reliance on artificial fertilizers (and hence, fossil fuels). Better to scrap the idea entirely and focus on other potential technologies that have NO reliance on fossil fuels.
2013-01-05 07:25:32 PM
1 votes:

ElBarto79: 1) It's renewable, gasoline is a non-renewable resource that is dwindling fast. My feeling is it's better to start exploring renewable energy sources now while we still have some breathing room instead of waiting until gas suddenly jumps to 30 dollars a gallon before saying "oh shiat!! what are we gonna do?!!"


No argument there.

ElBarto79: 2) Even if the cost to produce ethanol is greater than to produce gasoline that's money that is being kept here instead of being shipped over to the middle east by the truckload. Sucks that it's expensive but hey, think of how many jobs would be created here if we had a large scale ethanol fuel industry?


It's still being shipped to the middle east by the truckload. The energy that goes in to corn production (fertilizer, etc) needs to come from somewhere. That somewhere is traditional fossil fuels.

ElBarto79: 3) This is an industry that is still in it's infancy. It might not be perfect now but there are no perfect solutions, and if we give this 20 years to mature, to improve manufacturing methods, lower costs, lower pollution, increase net energy conversion efficiency, etc. we could have something, right here in the USA, that stands to be a real replacement for gasoline.


It's definitely not perfect, and it's had a while to develop, if not mature. The objection here is not the idea of ethanol, but how it's produced and marketed. The idea is great, and should be pursued, but how it's currently developed (based and funded entirely due to corn subsidy) is absolutely short sighted and stupid.
2013-01-05 07:24:01 PM
1 votes:
1) It's renewable, gasoline is a non-renewable resource that is dwindling fast. My feeling is it's better to start exploring renewable energy sources now while we still have some breathing room instead of waiting until gas suddenly jumps to 30 dollars a gallon before saying "oh shiat!! what are we gonna do?!!"


That's the point, ethanol is NOT renewable, because producing the amount of fertilizer necessary to grow any plant in quantities enough to support the energy/fuel needs of the world requires artificial fertilizer, which itself is dependent upon non-renewable fossil fuels for energy. In fact, it is SO dependent on fossil fuels that producing a gallon/liter of ethanol-based fuel requires MORE fossil fuel energy than producing a gallon/liter of gasoline or diesel itself.

It is a scam.
2013-01-05 07:16:49 PM
1 votes:

VegasVinnie: Less energy per volume than gasoline means significantly less miles per gallon and higher cost to the end user (even at the cheaper pump price). Edmunds test.


Ethanol has 1/3rd less BTU per gal than gasoline, but also weighs 1/3rd less and has 1/3rd less carbon in it.

The interesting observation here is it's essentially the same as gasoline on a PER LB basis. Same energy and CO2 per lb. The tank's just physically larger.

E85 is of course only 85% ethanol, adjust for that. You'd expect E85 to get 72% of the mpg of gasoline.

Flex-fuel vehicles MAY be more efficient on E85 (miles per lb). But Edmonds' test there on their flex Tahoe? 18.3 mpg on gasoline, 13.5 on E85, or 74% of the mpg. Pretty much exactly the same as the expectation.
2013-01-05 07:09:34 PM
1 votes:

Winterlight: Though it does mean I can park in the "LEV" spaces at Whole Foods. So there's that...


I delight in pissing off Prius driving hippies by parking my full size flex fuel SUV in those spots.

Champion of the Sun: I'm no science talking dude, but depending on model, you get 15-30% less mpg with it. The cost is never 15-30% less so it's kinda worthless. But try getting a rental car that takes it, makes the fuel up before returning it cheaper.


This. I like the concept, and my SUV runs GREAT on it, but I'm spending more on ethanol (when I use it) than I do on gas.

Until they get at least much power, and equivalent cost per mile as gasoline vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles will remain a curiosity.

/don't kill the messenger, again, I own a flex fuel SUV, and once had a fully electric car, which I couldn't reliably get a 20 mile round trip out of so it had to go...
2013-01-05 07:05:36 PM
1 votes:
Biodiesel > ethanol
2013-01-05 07:02:05 PM
1 votes:
There are a few (very few) gas stations around here where you can get E-0 gas. Most of the stations have E-10. Despite the E-0 being 15¢ /gal more per gallon. A lot of people (myself too) go there. But it is still cheaper to use. On "regular" E-10 I generally get 325 to345 miles per tank but with E-0 I generally get 350 to 375 per tank; a tank is 15 gallons.

Now the gov is pushing E-15... I wonder what my mileage would drop to... 300 a tank? (And it is not approved by the manufacturer. )

But the thing is ethanol has less energy per unit of fuel then gasoline.

If E-85 gas is $3.29/gal, E-10 is $3.53, E-0 is $3.60, and diesel is $4.00
And assuming an equal powered car...
But E-85 gets 16 mpg, E-10 gets 22 mpg and E-0 gets 25 mpg while the diesel car gets 45 mpg. Which is most efficient and which is the best deal...

Then ask how much gas is used in the production of ethanol?
2013-01-05 06:51:50 PM
1 votes:

Mark Ratner: Winterlight: My car ('12 Chevy Malibu) is a "Flex Fuel" car that can handle E-85.  I have yet to even find a station that sells it, much less have heard a compelling reason to switch from regular unleaded.

Though it does mean I can park in the "LEV" spaces at Whole Foods. So there's that...

A compelling reason could be it's cheaper and compatible with your car. Duh


Not really when you factor in that the vehicle gets worse mpg while using E85. Not to mention the damage that can be done to fuel systems over long uses. The local Chevy dealer Service Manager and multiple technicians strongly urged me to to put it in my truck when I asked if it was true that E85 netted a little higher Horsepower (I tow a large camper). They did say you get a little extra Horsepower but it isn't worth it.
2013-01-05 06:42:50 PM
1 votes:

juvandy: Ethanol fuels are a massive SCAM. Nothing more, nothing less. Even if you have an E85 vehicle, NEVER buy this stuff.


Every point you make is very true, but I'm not sure I'd call it a scam. It's much less sinister, but no less damaging. Corn subsidy in this country has been huge since before ethanol production. The corn lobby is staggeringly massive. What better way to continue receiving subsidy than to promote yourself as the solution to the environment's problems?
2013-01-05 06:37:06 PM
1 votes:
just because some eco-zealot really really really wants them to.

That's the hypocrisy here- E85 and other ethanol fuels waste more fossil fuel energy than they replace. Even though they technically burn "cleaner" (whatever that means because they still produce CO2, and due to being less efficient than gas could produce more CO2 per mile than gas), they still require the consumption of fossil fuel energy to produce because the fertilizer used is produced via artificial means that is very energy-intensive (haber bosch). As I said before, ethanol fuels also ruin millions of acres of habitat that have to be maintained for corn agriculture.

E85 and other ethanol fuels HURT the environment, and do so far more than burning gasoline. The eco folks who promote it are either completely misinformed idiots (which is possible), or are in the pockets of the corn lobby, like Monsanto, who are making a killing through government subsidies and the push to switch to corn as a means to get off mid-east oil (which, again, is BS because you need fossil fuels to produce the fertilizers).

Ethanol fuels are a massive SCAM. Nothing more, nothing less. Even if you have an E85 vehicle, NEVER buy this stuff.
2013-01-05 06:33:04 PM
1 votes:
10% cheaper vs 30% less fuel efficiency. Hmmmm....
2013-01-05 06:24:06 PM
1 votes:

juvandy: I'm pretty sure it's not in fact cheaper per mile (no sources, sorry). Also, ethanol from corn is a terrible idea that should be abandoned immediately.

This, the production of the corn needed for distillery wastes more energy in fertilizer production (Haber Bosch) than does regular gasoline harvest, transport, and refinement. It also wastes water, land, and transport that would be better used for food purposes (if agricultural at all). The only reason it's becoming common is because of the corn lobby.


I think this needs to be repeated.

It won't affect anything, but whatever - the more people think about what we as a country are subsidizing and endorsing, the better.
2013-01-05 06:19:09 PM
1 votes:

HumanBeingsSuck: whipbambucket: Corn is food, not fuel...

Genetically modified corn may not be suitable as food...


Corn is horrible crop that wrecks havoc on the soil.
2013-01-05 06:18:53 PM
1 votes:

Mark Ratner: Winterlight: My car ('12 Chevy Malibu) is a "Flex Fuel" car that can handle E-85.  I have yet to even find a station that sells it, much less have heard a compelling reason to switch from regular unleaded.

Though it does mean I can park in the "LEV" spaces at Whole Foods. So there's that...

A compelling reason could be it's cheaper and compatible with your car. Duh


Except that generally it's not cheaper. Because you only get 80% to 85% the mileage with e85 it needs to be 80% to 85% the price for it to be worth buying.
2013-01-05 06:18:28 PM
1 votes:
Ethanol contains water and has a significantly lower energy density than real gasoline, therefore any mixture of it in internal combustion engine fuel sucks ass.
2013-01-05 06:16:55 PM
1 votes:

whipbambucket: Corn is food, not fuel...


Genetically modified corn may not be suitable as food...
2013-01-05 06:13:52 PM
1 votes:

Mark Ratner: A compelling reason could be it's cheaper and compatible with your car. Duh


The closest station to me that sells E85 is two hours away. So, not really cheaper to drive that far for a tank of liquid corn.  And my car is just as compatible with regular unleaded.
 
Displayed 46 of 46 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report