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Ethanol: Myths and Realities

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Interesting spin on the subject. Straight from the suits I'm afraid.

It's the points of interest that they omit that really count, IE:

The article states that ethanol can't be transported in pipelines because it picks up moisture. Now the question here is, Is it or is it not being transported when drivers pump it into the tank of their car and drive around?

A three word answer comes to mind:Der da der!

From the voice of reason, my own experience and expertise about automibiles and the fuels they run on.

Ethanol has been around for quite some time. Ask any moonshiner. They were the first to discover that it would power an internal combustion engine, but it just doesn't pack the same punch as petroleum based fuel. So, you would never catch a shine runner powering his sled with anything but good 'ol Ethyl gasoline. And maybe a bottle of nitrous for that extra kick in the seat of the pants in a pinch.

There are still a few of these outlaws around, go ask them. They drive the NASCAR circuit now.

Ethanol has another nasty side effect. On older cars, made prior to 1980, the ethanol tends to break down aged neoprene rubber tubing in the fuel lines and they spring leaks. Not exactly a safe way to drive in my book.

Say goodbye to the classic cars of the sixties and seventies.

I used to own a 1977 Cadillac with the 350 MFI engine. I'm talking high pressure fuel line Multiport Fuel Injection baby. Soon after the city and county where I lived passed legislation requiring ethanol blended fuel use, my car started popping fuel lines about once a week, as well as the injector seals. Took the better part of a year to get everything replaced. Only one problem. The tubing, sold by the aftermarket parts places, was still neoprene rubber. So you can guess what happened then.

Newer cars have fuel lines made of hard plastic with special couplers not susceptible to the ravages of ethanol.Unfortunately you Can't get stuff like that for older cars.

Blending ethanol with gasoline won't help the artificially created fuel crunch we have now. It's only going to help line the pockets of Archer Daniels. Guess whose secret club he belongs to. And guess who gets the most out of the treasury in the form of Ag Dept subsidies.

Say hmm.

[ 05-22-2006, 01:26 PM: Message edited by: Wolferz ]

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Well, its not like they're saying that everyone should switch to Ethanol. So, cars that can't use it, shouldn't be pumped with it.

Me? I can't wait until the day when I can just whip it out, piss in my tank and drive off. God knows I drink enough coffee to make sure I fill the tank at my first morning run.

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Large bladder, eh?

The Sun Oil Co. has been blending ethanol with their fuels for a long time. Next time you drive past a Sunoco check their prices, for ethanol blended fuel which isn't openly listed save for a small sticker on the pumps.

They aren't going to say that everyone should burn ethanol in the family truckster. They'll slip it in under the radar like so many other things. Using the age old philosophy,"What J.Q. Public doesn't know won't hurt us.

As for vehicles that are burning strictly ethanol. at present they are limited to a few municipal fleets that were specially modified to use it because of the moisture issue.

I'm with you on the hydrogen fuel extraction method. It's been invented already. But somehow the patent was declined and the gentlemans' invention disappeared. Go figure.

Oh, and completely off topic... I'm itching to perform my first mastectomy

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And by the way, Michael Wang, a scientist from the Energy Department is trying to "wang" people with this crapola:

"Now, Wang says, the delivery of 1 million British thermal units (BTUs) of ethanol uses 0.74 million BTUs of fossil fuels. (That does not include the solar energy -- the sun shining -- used in growing corn.) By contrast, he finds that the delivery of 1 million BTUs of gasoline requires 1.23 million BTU of fossil fuels."

Lets break it down.

To generate 1 million BTU's of ethanol, we use up 0.74 million BTU's of fossil fuel. That's the same 0.74 BTU's of fossil fuel that we have spend energy on getting it out of the ground, refining it, transporting it, ect....

BUT, when you refine 1.23 million BTU's of fossil fuels to get 1 million of REFINED fuel. You basically spend some energy, PLUS the rest of that .23 goes towards rubber, asphalt, ect...

It's the same premise as an electric car that you plug in every night. It's all great, till you do the math. The energy spend per mile in electrical car is many times more the ammount spend in gasoline. Power plant has to produce that energy (coal power plants in US, which pollutes more than oil), then the energy is lost transporting it through power lines. And then there's even farther loss when you charge your car. Not to mention the dissapation of that charge when the car is not in use. It's like having a constant drip in your gas tank. So, not only is the energy waste paramount, and highlight WASTE, because it's literally being wasted when it goes through the power lines AND when it sits in your car batteries, add on top of that the fact that more pollution is created when that energy is converted from coal to the power your car can use.

So, the most simple thing we can all learn and take for a fact, especially those who have slept through high school chemistry, is this. Majority of the time, whenever you refine or convert one product into another, you end up with something that posesses LESS energy, not more. In this case it's not conversion, but the fact stands that you are spending the product that you already spend energy refining, to produce something that you are going to use for energy down the line. When you add it all up, it's a waste. Just like plug in electrical cars.

The only way this ethanol thing is going to work, is when you will be getting that ethanol from refuse and waste, as is stated in a single sentence at the end of the article. NOT when you are wasting energy at it's second, third of fourth tier of refinement (diesel, gasoline, natural gas) to create a final product that's end use is FOR energy.

Anyway. What he does not mention is instead of wasting that 0.74 BTU's of fossil fuel to make ethanol, we should be taking that 0.74 of unrefined fossils and converting it into 0.62 of refined stuff. I would really like to take a look at how he arrived at 0.74 BTU's, and what he factored in, or didn't.

Also, look at the stupidity of this.

"So ethanol production and distribution are also controlled by market forces, right?

Only to a certain degree. In addition to heavily subsidizing the ethanol produced domestically, the U.S. government levies a 54 cent per gallon tariff on imports from other countries, such as Brazil, a lower-cost producer. This, of course, discourages the U.S. from importing cheaper ethanol.

Why not eliminate the tariffs?

Well, the idea behind the tariffs is to foster domestic production of ethanol. But amid the ongoing furor over high gas prices the idea of repealing the levy has gained momentum in Washington. Though it would probably annoy ethanol producers like agricultural giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), removing the tariffs could have some benefits. "

So, we switch to ethanol to supposedly get cleaner burning fuel and ease our dependance on oil and the middle east. While the same idiots in office are considering to drop tariffs, which would drive domestic ethanol producers out of bussiness and increase our dependance on ethanol producing countries of South America. "Great idea", we need more moronic politicians with these awesome ideas.

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