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Bubba Bob

The Ethonal Scam

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I posted this on another forum, and decided to copy and paste it here. SOme parts have been deleted to comply w/ the no politic'n rules.

Slowly, gas stations have been converting over the E10 fuels. Today, I was able to find just one Ozark gas station w/o the 10% Ethonal mix. The clerk tells me the owner is holding out as long as possible, but will be forced to use E10 fuels at the start of the new year.

So. I looked it up. And, sure 'nuff -

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that the 2009 renewable fuel standard will require most refiners, importers, and non-oxygenate blenders of gasoline to displace 10.21% of their gasoline with renewable fuels such as ethanol.

http://www.agprofessional.com/show_story.php?id=55147

The problem with Ethonal? Well, there are many. For starters, the crap takes fuel to create it. Lots of fuel. Since it starts off in the feilds, think tractors, harvestors, trucks to carry it, and finaly, the refining portion. Another problem? It's expensive. The ONLY reason it competes in price w/ gasoline, is because the government subsidizes it. That's right! As in pays money that we dont have, to make something we don't need. Yet another problem? Food and grain prices are ever increasing! Ask a farmer what he thinks of this! And of course, don't forget one of the biggest problems. Ethonal contains less energy than gasoline. Which means less fuel milage. Which means itll cost YOU more money at the pump.

Why are we doing this? A feeble effort to get off foreign oil!

Didn't Bush say he wanted to get us of forgein oil after 9/11? What happened to this promise? What has the government done in the last 7 years to get us off forgein oil? Not a darn thing. Now the EPA is pushing this E10 crap, that is only costing us more money, and putting the government farther into debt! This is typical government. Being late with a wrong solution. Write your state reps and tell them you oppose Ethanol in any shape or form.

On a final note. Keep conserving folks. I know its easy to waste cheap gas. But DONT! We need to conserve to help our economy, and protect our national security.

Edited by Bubba Bob

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So oil doesn't require any energy to obtain? I never see the actual numbers; the exploration, digging, processing, transportation, etc. Compared to growing corn, which requires no exploration, we're already doing it. You only have to dig a couple of inches (over a wide area though). And tranporting across the country, compared to transporting from South America or the Middle East?

And getting off petroleum? Did you think we would change to something cheaper? If it was cheaper, we'd already be using it! OF COURSE it's going to cost more. And of course it won't be fully as efficient, again, if it were, we'd already be doing it.

As for food costs, that's been going up since the dawn of time. There are a lot of acres were we're paying money NOT to til. Why shouldn't farmers actually plant something there that'll make them more money?

Ethanol's not "the" answer, but a mandatory ten percent (which has been in place in many urban areas for decades) isn't a bad thing. The whole anti-ethanol movement is irrelevant.

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At this time it takes almost as much fuel to make Ethanol as it produces but as production increases that changes. Also if we could change from corn to wood pulp "or other starchy fibered plants" it would be much more cost effective.

I think the main reason for E10 at this time is to cut pollution. The byproduct of burned ethanol is water. But energy we get out has to greatly outweigh the energy put in before it makes sense.

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Burning ethanol is clean, producing it is not.

As said before, when you factor in the cost (both carbon and dollars) of growing, plowing/harvesting, and fertilizing the benefit is marginal.

In my opinion, ethanol based fuels only move the pollution from the consumption (cars) area to the production (ethanol) plant.

Now I'd agree that if the production plant properly handle its carbon/pollution output then there is a benefit having it localized.

And I guess moving the "smoke" from the cities to somewhere else might be a good thing.

But there's a lot of energy (and pollutants) created to power (the machinery) and feed the growth of the feed crops for a fuel with less "bang for the buck (gallon)" than oil.

Me? I bought a hybrid, a Ford Escape SUV.

I need the space an SUV affords.

Compared to my Chevy Blazer, I get over twice the mileage (32+ vs 14 MPG).

At least Hybrids try to recover energy when braking.

I get better mileage in "stop and go" traffic than on the highway, but both are over 30 MPG.

And it's fun going through traffic in "golf cart mode".

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J, I beleive you missed my point. The government is toiling around with this ethonal garbage, while real solutions go untouched. Everyone complains about big oil. A rising problem now, is "big corn". "Big Corn" lobbyst have our country rolling in the wrong direction.

Ill gladly pay more for something, If It 's a real solution. But ethonal is not a solution to anything. It is, in short, a scam. We are being scammed. We pay to subsidize it through our taxes, and we pay for it through decreased gas milage. And we pay for it at the pump. We are getting screwed three different ways, for a non-solution.

Edited by Bubba Bob

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I believe Brazil is almost all ethanol and it is working for them. I agree that corn may not be the correct plant but scrapping the whole bio-fuel industry is not the answer.

If gas prices push $5 a gallon and we give up on Bio-Fuel the tinfoil hats will be saying that the government stop development of the Bio-fuel industry because big oil needed to scam us.

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I believe Brazil is almost all ethanol and it is working for them.

Except for the part where they clear brazilians of acres of rainforest to grow sugarcane to produce the ethanol.

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Well, I believe it IS a solution. Not "the" solution, our country won't be able to switch entirely to ethanol, but it's here, now, we've already been using it for decades and increasing the amount we use does help (in several ways) and as it gets used more it will get MORE efficient (production and transportation-wise). Yes, it costs money, and isn't the most efficient solution possible, but anyone promoting any OTHER solution as being better, cheaper, more efficient, with the ability to start using it NOW, as we can with ethanol, is full of it. Well, more full of it than the people trying to get us to use more ethanol.

What is it you think is already available to be used TODAY, is cheaper, AND is more efficient?

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Kudzu and algae seem to be bright choices for the future of bio-fuels.

And, I agree we should all continue to conserve energy.

I look forward to a renaissance of new technologies... Necessity is the truly the mother of invention.

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What is it you think is already available to be used TODAY, is cheaper, AND is more efficient?

Natural gas?

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JCL beat me to it.

Natural Gas. A small group of people have done it for years, but it never quite caught on. Ever scene an old farm truck with a low pressure, steel tank on the back of his truck? Probably natural gas.

You can convert your current vehicle to use natural gas for relativley cheap.

We have lots of natural gas, and we wouldn't be abusing our soil or jacking up the cost of food.

http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan/

Although, I see it now... big corn will have 10% ethanol in natural gas <_<

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According to Top Gear (or more specifically James May), Hydrogen is the future of motoring. It makes sense since it is the most abundant element in the world.

Note folks that Top Gear is a legitimate automotive show (from Britain) but it's also an entertainment (comedy) show as well so forgive some of the jokes in this cause overall it's a serious review (which is why James May is doing it and not Jeremy Clarkson or Richard Hammond). Also another note, in the same episode a Tesla electric sports car was also tested. That's what he was referring to.

Edited by Honda_Boy

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According to Top Gear (or more specifically James May), Hydrogen is the future of motoring. It makes sense since it is the most abundant element in the world.

Meh. Hydrogen is competing with electricity storage and I don't think that's a competition it can win. If you could built an electric car with, say, a 200 mile range and quick-charge or quick-change batteries I don't think there'd be a compelling reason to use hydrogen. [Edit: A family car, I mean.]

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I agree natural gas, hydrogen and electric cars are "the future," but they all require new infrastructure and changes in the way we live. Ethanol requires very little change by comparison, and no change whatsoever for much of the country since it's been in use for decades, just fill 'er up as usual, right now.

If I convert my car to N.G., where do I fill up? At home, sure, but I don't have the facilities to do so. How much would that cost me? I can't even imagine how much it would cost to provide N.G. filling stations to accomodate the bajillions of cars on the road, with more to come. And what would that do to the price of N.G.? Gas stations with ethanol are everywhere, right now (right now the price of corn's gone up, but as others have said, we'll switch sources eventually).

Both N.G. and hydrogen are low-density fuels and we haven't yet got to the point where we can get equivalent performance out of them without enormous changes in the cars themselves and how we use them, and there's the same problem with, where do you fill up? With ethanol there's a mild efficiency hit which most people won't notice (if you didn't tell them there's ethanol in the fuel, most people would never know there's been a change), and of course there's already gas stations on every corner, AND we know exactly what performace to expect from it, right now.

Electricity has both performance and infrastructure problems too (you can get "performance" at the cost of usefullness -- eg. the Tesla, which is fast, but it's tiny, only carries two people and little else -- how many people would that type of car serve, and at what cost?). Again, ethanol's a known quantity, is available everywhere, and works, right now.

So I see the whole "ethanol scam" as just whining that we're not already living in the future, it's unrealistic at best.

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Hardly whining. :rolleyes:

The government has done nothign at all to get us of oil. NOTHING! Now they are mandating... MANDATING... the use of ethanol. The oil saved is almost nothing, in the grand scheme of things, but they are mandating it's use. You know why? Because "big corn" has figured out how to get nothign for something.

Obama talks about depression style works programs. Why doesn't he focus on buidling an alternative fuel infrastructure? Why is the government wasting time with this ethanol crap, which costs everyone more, and solves NOTHING!

Why does my car call for 6 degrees timing, but I can't run it a damn degree less than 14 w/ 10% ethanol? ANd still get crap for gas milage! How does putting something in gasoline that takes gasoline to make, and causes more gasoline to be consumed, SAVE GASOLINE?

So yes, If I expect the government to come up with real solutions instead of pandering to lobbyists, I guess I am just a whiner. If I expected Bush to get us off forgein oil after 9/11 (like he promised) and complain when he doesn't deliever, Yes I am a whiner. If I listen to Obama say we need to get off forgein oil, and expect him to say how, yes I am a whiner. When It costs me more money because our government is a bunch of bumbling idiots, being told what to do by lobbyists, and I complain. Hell yes, call me a whiner.

I guess seeing right through this crap heep of a solution that is being forced onto us, and expecting better from my elected officials, makes me a whiner. From now on, call me the whiner, because if that's the deffinition, Ill be glad to take it :thumbsup:

Edited by Bubba Bob

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i agree with bubba bob

to produce your own energy

saves invading othere countrys for their oil

sure the cost will be higher

but do you have any other alternative

we are worse of in nz

as we dont produce any oil

and have to import

all our energy source

from other countrys

as we are to small to invade other countrys

we have been experementing with other

fuel sources

for several years

and one is this algae

which has in fested many of our rivers for some years

the down side is will it compensate all those people who lose their

jobs

with in the oil secter

and related spinoffs related to the oil industry

i dont understand why the usa hasent

gone into alternate fuels

before this as they have the most upto date tech

in the world

does any one think the oil cartel is the cause of this

my interesting times

marty

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I said this a long time ago (In the gas price thread I think).

It takes over a gallon of gasoline to grow the corn, harvest it, process it , convert to ethanol and distill it .

But that is not the worst of it, since ethanol has a lower energy density than Octane; by making gasoline 10% ethanol you actually lower the mileage by up to thirty percent (the more advanced engines do better but all get a lower mileage with gasohol than with pure gasoline).

I too found one local station which still has non ethanol real gasoline; and I get twenty percent better mileage on the gas I get there than the stuff from Shell, Chevron, Exxon, QT etc.

I used to have to pass through the region near El Presidente Bush's ranch when going to visit my In Laws, and discovered that when I filled up on the gas there not only was it ethanol free, but it had some other additive which gave me a full thirty percent increase in mileage.(Not to mention the performance boost, I could once again burn rubber in multiple gears)

Sure must be nice to have connections.

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wouldnt it be exciting to see steam cars

when i was a young boy

several of these cars where on the road

but as oil became plentifull

they were taken off the road

and now we got these

cars costing many thousands of dollars

but soon there will be no fuel to run them

other energy like ethernol

we have a tree here in nz

that produces alchohol

the indigeonous race used to drink it and get pissed

it was the sap they drank

some man experemented with it to power motor cycles

and it was a success

but the forest these trees came fromwont last forever

so it was abandoned

i tried it as a drink

and it was very powerfull

i carried my head in my arms

i havent touched any drink like that since

the brewerys should go into the fuel biz

marty

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"i dont understand why the usa hasent

gone into alternate fuels "

Because it's cheep, just filled up tonight $1.57 an gallon when it hits $5 then we'll see alternatives. We had $4 gas this summer and thats all anyone could talk about now fuels under $2 not so much.

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"i dont understand why the usa hasent

gone into alternate fuels "

Because it's cheep, just filled up tonight $1.57 an gallon when it hits $5 then we'll see alternatives. We had $4 gas this summer and thats all anyone could talk about now fuels under $2 not so much.

Yeah no kiddin. Right now, I don't care too much cause it only cost $18 to fill my car up with premium today. That's less than when I was last filling my old car with regular over 2 years ago.

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"... Obama talks about depression style works programs. Why doesn't he focus on buidling an alternative fuel infrastructure? ..."

We're not at the point where we HAVE to have an alternative fuel (gas is here, readily available, relatively cheap and it's easy to make minor changes without having to throw out everything we already have in place), but I agree that it would take a government mandate to install the trillions of dollars worth of new infrastructure that would be necessary to accomodate a new fuel source. One problem? WHICH new fuel source? Each alternative has positives that others lack (sustainability, availability, safety, etc.) and negatives (as you are so ready to point out about ethanol).

I think it would be GREAT if the government could just man-up and make a decision; We're going electric! We're going Hydrogen! We're going .... whatever, then make that a planned national goal (like the space program was at one time). Brazil did it. We "could" do it. If a decision is made, ANY decision, then people could concentrate their efforts on that technology and stop wasting time on something that won't happen by mandate. But there'll still be plenty of whining about whatever they decide (eletricity just moves the pollution and CO2 to centralized locations, it'll cost too much, we still have centuries worth of petroleum so why change now, we placed all OUR bets on something else, what if we're wrong, ad infinitum).

Gasoline won out over many alternatives but that took a long, LONG time. We still have time, but obviously people are losing patience waiting for the solution to arrive.

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I don't think we are at the point to pick just one alternative. Say we choose bio fuel and drop all other development but in ten years some one makes a new battery that takes half the time to charge then what we have now and last 3 times as long or the other way around. Also we never know what new thing is just around the conner.

I read today that the University of Massachusetts that is near where I live has plans to build a Bio Fuel plant. I guess they are working on new production techniques and different plants. There is a company a few blocks from me that builds Grease Car conversion kits. So whenever I go for a walk I always see old VW Rabbits and Mercedes that smell like french fries.

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I watched the US Fuel Outlook report on CSPAN 2 today. It was an outlook guide for projected biofuel growth. Ethanol production, of course, was projected to increase. The interesting part, was MOST of the ethanol growth was expected to be from corn. It was like 4/5ths corn... Straight through 2030.

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I think that the greatest problem with steam engines is first the huge weight penalty of having a high pressure boiler and an engine driven by the steam; and secondly there is a lack of efficiency.

That is why power plants use steam turbines not steam reciprocating engines. Now that we have high temperature alloys it is more common for power plants to have gas turbines than steam turbines; reducing one step and increasing efficiency, although nuclear plants still use steam turbines.

Regarding alternate fuels; well remember that President Elect Obama has not yet been Inaugurated and the new Congress has not taken office yet. He is still selecting candidates for his cabinet and they will help him determine what is to be done and in what order.

He has a lot of baggage to deal with when he takes office, beginning with keeping the economy from plunging into a depression and getting it started on the path to recovery.

Many of the alternate fuel programs are still in their infancy (such as cellulose based ethanol, algae based biofuels, and next generation high efficiency solar) and as such are not suited to direct infrastructure investment as a recovery process.

Yet rebuilding the electric grid to ensure that it will be capable of distributing alternative sources such as wind power from where it can be generated to where it is needed , as well as increasing reliability is an investment which will stimulate many manufacturing industries and provide employment.

But I have faith that he has a good team of advisers to review all the proposed projects and funding requests.

Will we have an alternative fuels program? Hopefully. We need to increase natural gas production as well as stockpiles to stabilize the prices , and invest in a distribution network for refueling vehicles which use it. I agree with Boone Pickens that it makes more sense to target this initially at Diesel engines, Tractor Trailers and Train Locomotives while trying to get the average automobile driver to convert to plug in hybrids and full electrics which can recharge from the electric grid. Developing techniques of combining natural gas with coal to make synthetic saturated petroleum products as well as creating cellulose based alternatives will be an essential future technology as oil stocks are depleted (while there is still coal and methane hydrate and natural gas supplies to last for centuries even if the whole world were to use energy at the US rate). Long term, eventually we will have hydrogen or helium 3 fusion ; but that is not likely to be a near term option.

The nice thing about a natural gas distribution and fueling network is that when we do get Fusion as a power source , it can be used to generate hydrogen from water and the old natural gas pipelines can distribute hydrogen and a car which runs on compressed natural gas can run on compressed hydrogen.

Yes Brazil changed to an ethanol based fuel economy; but at the cost of a lot of rain forest converted to sugar cane farms. At least sugar cane produces more fuel as ethanol than it takes to grow unlike corn. But we will eventually get cellulose based ethanol working. The problem is whether a few environmentalists will block genetically engineered yeasts from being used to do the job or create enzymes to do it; prolonging the use of fossil fuels just as their opposition to nuclear plants led to the inevitable growth of coal plants and carbon emissions. There are even some who battle wind farms because they endanger migrating birds that are to stupid to avoid the blades, or solar farms because they are built in fragile desert ecosystems.

Well, they can go live like Survivor Man , moving to the woods, and living without phone , electricity, running water, store bought food etc. But many will find that as he did their spouse is not that fanatic and neither is the majority of the planet. Most people will not go back to living like they did in the ancient past; we have come to rely on technology and appreciate its benefits.

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I don't think we are at the point to pick just one alternative. Say we choose bio fuel and drop all other development but in ten years some one makes a new battery that takes half the time to charge then what we have now and last 3 times as long or the other way around. Also we never know what new thing is just around the conner.

One thing I like about electric vehicles is that they could, in theory, use modular power plants. If you could swap between, say, gas generator, biodiesel generator, CNG generator, hydrogen fuel cell, battery, and nuclear modules you'd probably be set for the life of the vehicle.

Well, maybe not nuclear.

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