Last post on Nov 12, 2013 at 6:13 AM
You are in the Ethanol - E85 FlexFuel
What is this discussion about?
#824 of 1068 Re: Year-2008 and Oil [yerth10]
Jun 14, 2009 (4:16 am)
Replace Oil-fired power plants and heating systems with other alternatives like natgas, electricity and so on.
Buy smaller vehicles that fits your need (a small Wagon has more cargo space than big Sedan)
Buy Hybrid or Flexfuelled or Bifuelled vehicles.
Electrically powered heating systems are much less efficient than other methods like propane and oil heat, and not really that popular outside of urban areas. This shouldn't be a problem: oil heat is very popular but the oil is so close to diesel as to make zero difference: you could fill your tank from a diesel pump and it would work. This is a great target for converting to biodiesel.
Another popular heating product is propane, which is also used to fuel gas stoves. It's currently made when processing oil, but can ALSO be made from processing Natural Gas, so there's zero reason to even touch that infrastructure for now: just cut over to creating it from CNG until we can convert those systems to use CNG directly.
Smaller vehicles, yeah. Me, I'm a hatchback convert: I think a lot of others are too, but they're used to calling them SUVs. Chevy had the Malibu Maxx a while back that was a moderate success: I wonder why they didn't continue it. More smaller vehicles are coming in a hatch format though (Yaris, Aveo, Fiesta, even the Corolla as the Matrix). Unfortunately, midsizers haven't followed the trend yet: have to see what happens, but a compact SUV is pretty close to a midsize sedan in space and price. It's just that for some reason the US is mentally allergic to a hatch unless it's jacked up off the ground; they'd rather have a trunk.
Flex fuel = ethanol. Ethanol is currently bad: we're robbing Peter to pay Paul, in that we're sacrificing our food supply to fuel our vehicles. That's dumb for many reasons, including the next crop blight or food riots threatening our fuel supply. Hybrids seem to stretch our gas supply better, but they're only a stopgap. Biodiesel combined with CNG may be our best shot.
#825 of 1068 Re: Year-2008 and Oil [bpizzuti]
Jun 14, 2009 (5:02 am)
Biodiesel combined with CNG may be our best shot.
I agree. I think the best option is to use Algae production for biodiesel. I don't believe it should be mandated as they have ethanol. And I agree with the poster that E10 is giving ethanol a bad name. There is no need for additives with modern engines. Sell E100 and build flexfuel vehicles that will run on either pure ethanol or regular unleaded. VW builds just such vehicles for Brazil. Remove the tariff from sugar cane ethanol and buy from Brazil. Cut back corn production by using less fossil fuel fertilizers. Go back to crop rotation to protect the environment. Share the crop land with Corn, so we do not cause shortages of wheat and soybeans. Common sense needs to prevail and Congress needs to Butt out. They do nothing but screw up the works.
#826 of 1068 Re: Year-2008 and Oil [bpizzuti]
Jun 14, 2009 (8:48 am)
"Another popular heating product is propane, which is also used to fuel gas stoves. It's currently made when processing oil, but can ALSO be made from processing Natural Gas, so there's zero reason to even touch that infrastructure for now: just cut over to creating it from CNG until we can convert those systems to use CNG directly"
Well, propane is not 'made', it is extracted from oil and natural gas. You don't convert it from natural gas, not and have it make any economic sense. Conversion of methane to diesel is being done now, makes more sense.
#827 of 1068 Re: Year-2008 and Oil [texases]
Jun 14, 2009 (12:19 pm)
Methane to diesel is just in its infancy. There are untold Trillions of cubic feet of methane frozen at both poles. Extracting that before it melts and escapes as GHG is an alternative that needs some research.
#828 of 1068 Re: Year-2008 and Oil [texases]
Jun 14, 2009 (3:47 pm)
You can extract Propane from CNG. That works until you get more heating and cooking systems out there that can use CNG directly (save the processing step). That's what I was trying to get at. There's no need to import oil from which to extract propane (though we do get some as a by-product of the distillation process anyway). I think you got what I meant, no need to get hyper-technical. The point is that we have other sources from which to obtain propane, and can cut over equipment that uses propane to using natural gas in the interim, until we no longer need very much propane if any.
That just leaves oil heat. And you just mentioned another way of getting diesel fuel, which is just another way of describing heating oil (seriously, they're both referred to technically as "heavy fuel oil" and are pretty much interchangeable). So that's a way to get much of our heating systems (if not all) off of imported petroleum, yes?
#829 of 1068 Oil might disappear for other reasons than a shortage
Jun 14, 2009 (8:58 pm)
I don't think running out of oil and natural gas will happen for decades (if not centuries). By then we (or most of world) will probably use a combination of solar (more efficient by then) and nuclear (safer and more economical by then) power to generate electricity for transportation. It is likely that battery energy to weight ratios will radically improve so that most vehicles will be electric. If not, solar and nuclear power could be converted to liquid fuel (hydrogen storage may not ever be practical). At some point, our descendants will wonder how we put up with noisy, smelly, explosive fossil fuels, like we wonder how our ancestors put up with all that horse manure and wild horse nonsense.
#830 of 1068 Anyone else testing gasoline for ethanol %?
Jun 15, 2009 (6:18 pm)
Am I the only one out there testing gas for the ethanol %? You can buy ethanol testers in Briggs & Stratton packages (maybe called gasohol tester) or aviation sales (ethanol in fuel is not allowed in any plane - for all the obvious reasons) . They are basically calibrated test tubes in which you put exact volumes of water and gas and then read the new meniscus formed by the ethanol & water mixture against a scale.
I've been checking different stations and at least I haven't found any gas over 10% ethanol. And the lowest I've found is one station at 6-7% ethanol.
Anybody else do this? Care to compare/share results? Anybody find pure gas at a marina (I have yet to test)?
#831 of 1068 Re: Anyone else testing gasoline for ethanol %? [morin2]
Jun 15, 2009 (7:11 pm)
I am going to get one. I thought it was some expensive device you were using. Several on the market for about $6. It will be worth it to find who is ripping us off with the most of that crap in our gas. The mandate is only about 3% ethanol. You can tell they are going for the 50 cent subsidy at the distributor level.
#832 of 1068 Re: Anyone else testing gasoline for ethanol %? [gagrice]
Jun 15, 2009 (7:42 pm)
I've seen directions on the internet to make a homemade one, but to save just $10, it didn't seem worth the trouble. The opening on the B&S test tube I have is less than 1/2", so I generally spill a bit of gasoline on my hands while filling it. Its possible that the more expensive aviation fuel testers with the yellow caps are better. My usual practice now is to use an approved 1 gal red plastic gas can and pump a bit of gas in it after I fill my car. Then I mix the water & gas in the test tube at home - where its easier to wash off spilled gas.
I have only tested regular 87 octane gas so far. The best has been a BP at Edgewater MD at 6-7%. There is a rumor among boaters that BP 93 has no ethanol - and I want to test it; unfortunately, the results won't help me if its ethanol-free, as my boat motor specifically advises against 93 octane.