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#21 of 1068 RE: [nascar57]
Apr 17, 2007 (10:20 am)
Here I may have some bit of agreement. The price of corn should be higher. I was getting about $2.75 a bushel in 1977. My yield was about 90 bushels to the acre. I was still going broke as many farmers did during that horrible administration. When you say farmers are getting more, I think you mean mega-ag corporations are getting more. The family farmer is not helped much by these higher corn prices. If there are any small farmers left. They may be able to get a temporary job in the ethanol plant until it folds up in a few years.
As for food prices in the EU, that is their problem. They have sat around fat dumb and happy allowing the elitist governments to lull them into a false sense of security. They are taxed way beyond what is reasonable to maintain a stable government. What would they do if they had to defend themselves without the US military?
Hopefully your studies will result in a profitable way to produce ethanol. Not the current corn for fuel method. Makes us look real bad in the eyes of the World. We use up all the fossil fuel now we are using up all the food to feed our vehicles. Grow less destructive crops for biodiesel and you might have a good argument.
Apr 17, 2007 (2:06 pm)
Alright, my question to you, what is your solution to the energy problem in the SHORT TERM. Yes I know all about the cellulosic approach to ethanol, and yes with time that will come along and be much more efficient. I want you to give me one situation that weans us off fossil fuels and cuts down the pollution we are putting out in the SHORT TERM. Now dont go knocking the education that I am getting, I am attending what people in the Ag. industry consider one of the better Agricultural Economics schools in the country. There are professors that obviously know that corn ethanol is not the final solution. But it is better than sitting and doing nothing as we have for the past 20 years. If we can get to the presidents goal of reducing gas consumption by 20% in 2017, I would be very proud of this country. But people have to WANT to do this, look at Brazil, they stepped up to the plate and their gasoline consumption today is 40-50 % less than it was 20 years ago. It CAN be done
#23 of 1068 E85, a scam i'd like to try for myself
Apr 17, 2007 (3:12 pm)
i think ethanol as fuel in USA is a scam on many levels, especially CAFE. but i'd still like to try it myself.
unfortunately i don't have a gasser that can handle E85 and don't see any available soon that are interesting to me.
i'll buy another SUV some year soon, but i think it's will be a diesel.
i might buy a corvette, M3, M5, or BMW550 or a zippy Audi some year. will any performance car like that be E85 compatible?
#24 of 1068 Re: Reply [nascar57]
Apr 17, 2007 (4:49 pm)
First let me apologize for treating your educators harshly. I am sure they know their field better than I.
I feel very strongly that we as a country and our government are not really interested in solutions to the fossil fuel problem. There is too much money being passed around that keep the votes for the status quo. Ethanol in its current form is one of those well paid for products. It makes a few Congressmen look good to a constituency that has long been forgotten, the farmers. I just do not see the little farmers being helped. If you plan to go into the Mega-Agriculture business I can understand your wanting to protect the field.
If I was to pick a short term solution it would be to encourage the use of diesel cars & SUVs. They would give us an immediate 25% to 35% increase in efficiency. That and they can when available run on any mixture of biodiesel. ULSD was an important step to making it possible in states like CA where there has been an anti-diesel bias for years. I am just finding out that the biggest complaint about diesel cars is not quite accurate. According the latest UN report on GHG, NoX can be mostly attributed to farming. Many would have us believe that it is from diesel cars.
I also think we are in the dark ages so to speak on our electrical generation. We are the only major country that has not expanded our use of Nuclear energy. It is by far the cleanest energy available. We have untold streams of geothermal that are not used. Off limits due to environmental & religious zealotry. Solar is a solution. It is not near as perfect as some would have us believe. The processes involved in making PV cells is not real eco friendly. Wind is coming under fire also by opposing environmental groups.
Nothing is going to satisfy everyone. Even hydrogen could raise the GHG levels more than a gas car.
#25 of 1068 Ethanol may cause more smog, more deaths
Apr 18, 2007 (7:34 am)
This was posted elsewhere by one of our fine Hosts. It needs to be read by those advocating the current ethanol craze.
"It's not green in terms of air pollution," said study author Mark Jacobson, a Stanford University civil and environmental engineering professor. "If you want to use ethanol, fine, but don't do it based on health grounds. It's no better than gasoline, apparently slightly worse."
His study, based on a computer model, is published in Wednesday's online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science and Technology and adds to the messy debate over ethanol.
Farmers, politicians, industry leaders and environmentalists have clashed over just how much ethanol can be produced, how much land it would take to grow the crops to make it, and how much it would cost. They also disagree on the benefits of ethanol in cutting back fuel consumption and in fighting pollution, especially global warming gases.
Based on computer models of pollution and air flow, Jacobson predicted that the increase in ozone _ and diseases it causes _ would be worst in areas where smog is already a serious problem: Los Angeles and the Northeast.
The science behind why ethanol might increase smog is complicated, but according to Jacobson, part of the explanation is that ethanol produces more hydrocarbons than gasoline. And ozone is the product of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide cooking in the sun.
Also, the ethanol produces longer-lasting chemicals that eventually turn into hydrocarbons that can travel farther. "You are really spreading out pollution over a larger area," he said.
And finally, while ethanol produces less nitrogen oxide, that can actually be a negative in some very smoggy places. When an area like Los Angeles reaches a certain high level of nitrogen oxide, that excess chemical begins eating up spare ozone, Jacobson said.
Hwang agreed that that is a "well-known effect."
#26 of 1068 Might as well?
Apr 24, 2007 (12:06 pm)
For the first time, E-85 is available at a local station just up the road from my home. I drive an 03 Chevy Suburban that will run on E-85, so I have filled up on it twice to give it a try. E-85 is selling between 20 and 30 cents cheaper than regular unleaded, which I don't think completely compensates for the lost MPG. It seems pretty obvious from the debate that E-85 is not the savior that some politicians want to pretend like it is (yes, I must have the same Congresswoman as markcincinnati - she drives a new Chevy Tahoe with license plates reading "E85 4 OH"... and, coincidentally, the station that started selling E-85 is directly across the street from her farm). Nevertheless, on balance, since I already have a vehicle that will run on it, it seems like on balance it is at least slightly better for the environment and to reduce demand for foreign oil, so I think I will keep filling up on E-85. Interested in your thoughts...
#27 of 1068 Re: Might as well? [shieatt]
Apr 24, 2007 (3:29 pm)
Keep track of your mileage with E85 and with Regular unleaded and lets see what the diffrence is.
#28 of 1068 Mileage with E85
Apr 30, 2007 (8:50 am)
The Suburban has a trip computer... strictly around town stop-and-go driving, I am averaging around 10.5 MPG on my first two tanks of E85. Not impressive, but I only averaged around 14 MPG on regular unleaded under similar driving conditions. The problem, of course, is that currently E85 is only about 11% cheaper than regular unleaded, whereas my mileage is suffering by around 25%. So, as I do the math, about 14% increase in fuel cost. I'd be willing to pay 14% more if I thought I was doing some good, but I'm not convinced that my money is well spent.
#29 of 1068 Re: Mileage with E85 [shieatt]
Apr 30, 2007 (7:23 pm)
Well, the numbers are discouraging and with fuel prices rising Iím not sure my wallet could take a 25% reduction in MPG.
The numbers make a Suburban with a diesel option getting 25 to 30 MPG much more appealing.
Itís truly a shame and a travesty that such an option does not exist.
Thanks for the update.
#30 of 1068 Car Shopping in the US. . .
May 24, 2007 (3:14 am)
My 2005 Audi A6 3.2 seemed -- over two years ago -- a gas sipper, compared to my previous thirstier Audis. Now, as the cost for premium juice (even with my Costco or Kroger cards) has risen to $3.59 (and counting) per gallon, well, I'm thinking this "sipper" even is too thirsty.
Reading about diesel, clean, cleaner, cleanest diesel -- then reading about diesel made from (fer instance) soybeans and other non petrol based substances -- AND THEN reading about the variety of diesel cars we Americans cannot buy. . .well, its enough to frustrate and confuse even the most optimistic of us.
I'd say I'm beyond confused, I've made the transition to disappointed.
Careful reading -- and it is hardly lively prose -- about E85 does seem to lead to the conclusion that its main purpose is to allow the skirting of CAFE issues that are, er, "difficult" (or would be) to address without some clever engineering and/or adoption of diesel across a much wider number of vehicles.
It seems E85 costs more to use (including the subsidy that it gets, which means it would REALLY cost more without the subsidy). Some evidence suggests it is -- overall -- dirtier than dino-fuel, too. Additional evidence says it (as it is currently produced) an energy negative or at best energy neutral (in terms of production when "the total impact" is accounted for.)
Virtually none of these concerns seem to be the case with dino-diesel and the varying permutations of "B" diesel. Moreover, diesel cars get up to 44% better mileage when one attempts to keep the performance "similar."
My 3.2 V6 gasoline engine can be replaced with a 3.0 V6 diesel engine (but not in the US). The result? More torque, similar performance (both in acceleration and top speed) and a 39% improvement in MPG. Diesel, per gallon, was -- recently -- $.70 less per gallon than the fuel my engine requires.
Hmm: more torque, approximately the same performance, better mileage and lower price per gallon to boot.
Add any amount of "B" you care to, to these points, all the way to B100.
E85 seems doomed -- it seems "E85 4 OHIO" is, er, crapola, political crapola at that.
Diesel, in the short term, still seems a more "appropriate" solution.