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View Full Version : 10% Ethanol in gasoline?



Bill Wynne
07-30-2008, 05:09 PM
With all of us driving to the ranges for benchrest matches :)or traveling for a hunting trip, :)I have made an observation that need to be checked out.

In the last week I have made two trips from my home in San Angelo, Texas to Fort Worth and Dallas. The distance to Fort Worth is about 225 miles. In my car I got 27.4 miles per gallon going and 25.2 miles per gallon returning. In my Yukon I got 19.3 going and 17.2 returning. I drove both ways at the same speed and there was no great wind.

The only difference I can think of is I used unleaded regular gasoline without Ethanol going and gasoline with 10% Ethanol returning from the same station each time. I have noticed similar differences on all of my trips over there in the last few months. Until the last trip I had not noticed the Ethanol sigh on the pump at the station in Fort Worth.

Has anyone else noticed any difference using Ethanol?

Concho Bill

Dennis Sorensen
07-30-2008, 05:14 PM
I think that has to do with less energy in the ethanol fuel.

I also think more energy is spent producing ethanol fuel than you end up with..

just my thoughts...

shevelin
07-30-2008, 05:32 PM
Yes, you will get somewhat less milage from ethanol blended "gas", as it does not produce the same amount of energy per volume as pure gasoline does. I don't usually buy from the cheapest vendors because they do use an ethanol blend. However, in the winter time, an ethanol blend is good for removing water from your fuel system (just like buying gas line dryer/antifreeze).

Scott

Rock63
07-30-2008, 05:37 PM
Ethanol is more expensive per gallon than gasoline
Ethanol produces less btu per gallon than gasoline

Thus you pay more to get lower performance.

JDPowell
07-30-2008, 05:39 PM
My understanding is that Ethanol has about 2/3 the btu's per volume as gasoline.

Unless something is done to increase the engine's efficiency like raising the compression ratio, adding Ethanol will generally decrease MPG.

W. owens
07-30-2008, 05:50 PM
Correct. Fewer BTUs in ethanol (Granny's corn squeezins) than in gasoline. Dilute the gasoline BTU with ethanol and presto... lowered fuel economy.

They just didn't tell you to expect that one did they now?

Food for fuel...DUMB!!!

jackie schmidt
07-30-2008, 06:33 PM
If you do increase the compression, and adjust the fuel curve properly, pure ethenol will make more horsepower per revolution of the engine than does gasoline.
Of course, the drawback is, you burn darned near twice as much of it per revolution of the engine.
We used to burn methanol in our Race Boats to go to K-Boat, (unlimited engine). Granted, methanol is not the same as ethanol, but acts similiarlly in the Engine. You up the compression, burn about twice as much, and get 20 percent more power.
About a year ago, Car Craft Magazine did a test similiar to what the originol poster did. The took a Flex-Fuel Tahoe, and drove from LA to Chicago on regular Unleaded. They kept strict records on cost and fuel consumption.
In Chicago, the filled up with E-85, and went all the way back to LA on E-85.
While the E-85 cost less initially, the added fuel consumption actually made the trip home cost a little more.
I read an interestion quote from a Refiner. He stated that the only reason they make it E-85, (blending in the 15 percent gasoline), was to keep those that might be inclined from drinking it. Ethanol is simply pure grain Alchohol.......jackie

Bill Wynne
07-30-2008, 07:36 PM
Is the ethanol blend required in the large cities like the Metroplex area for cleaner air or something?

I understand that it is homegrown fuel and not imported oil but there seems to be some things that are not being put on the box of this product.

Concho Bill

Wilbur
07-30-2008, 07:39 PM
You gotta go uphill 1400 feet to get from Dallas to San Angelo. Works out OK in the end since it ain't uphill both ways.

Bill Wynne
07-30-2008, 07:45 PM
You gotta go uphill 1400 feet to get from Dallas to San Angelo. Works out OK in the end since it ain't uphill both ways.

Now I got it. Next time I have to go up to Dallas, I will really be going down to Dallas. Simple.

Concho Bill

jackie schmidt
07-30-2008, 08:13 PM
This whole 'alternative Fuel" thing is ripe with misconceptions.
Ethanol. It comes from corn. It takes energy to grow corn, and to harvest corn, and finally to turn corn into Ethanol. Think of the cost of the fertilizer, not to mention all of the runnoff that is killing the northern section of The Gulf of Mexico. Also, the price of corn is making it too expensive to eat.

Electric Cars. Sure, you just plug it in. But, since the laws of Physics have not been repealed, it still takes a certain amount of energy to move a certain weight object a certain distance in a certain amount of time. That energy has to me made somewhere.
Well, it comes from a power plant. Our Power Grid in the United States is already stretched to the limit. Just think if you added about 20,000,000 cars to it, having to re-charge daily. How many power plants will have to be built to do that. And, what are they going to use for fuel.

And then there are the batterries. That energy has to be stored so that the electric motor in the car can use it. This is secondary energy. Just as a Deisel-generator pack looses about 28 percent in energy transfer, (engine to generator to motor), the same happens when you use a fuel to drive a turbine, which drives a generator, which then transfers the energy to a battery to run another motor.

The simple fact is, there is no free lunch. There is more to it than just converting cars to run on electricity. It would probably take 10 to 15 years to build enough power plants to produce the needed electricity. And what is going to be used to make that electricity. Probably fosil fuel, whether it be oil, coal, or natural gas.
So by converting everything, you will create a system that waste about 20 to 28 percent of the available energy in a given source.

Of course, a centralized generating system will tend to be more efficient. But, the cost of transmission, the cost of storage, and the natural loss will, in reality, put us about where we are now as far as consuption goes.

This seems so stupid when we could just start making use of all of our domestic fossil fuel resources. The technology is there. Think of the jobs it will create. Hundreds of offshore platforms, with all of the support industries that it will take to keep them going. Huge Shale oil sites that will require machinery, and people.
We can be green, make America independent of outside energy sources, and develop all of our alternatives, (wind, solar, nuclear), while doing it......jackie

vicvanb
07-30-2008, 09:08 PM
This seems so stupid when we could just start making use of all of our domestic fossil fuel resources. The technology is there. Think of the jobs it will create. Hundreds of offshore platforms, with all of the support industries that it will take to keep them going. Huge Shale oil sites that will require machinery, and people.
We can be green, make America independent of outside energy sources, and develop all of our alternatives, (wind, solar, nuclear), while doing it......

Jackie--This is political. Bill & Wilbur--HELP!!!!

rhaney2
07-30-2008, 09:09 PM
With all of us driving to the ranges for benchrest matches :)or traveling for a hunting trip, :)I have made an observation that need to be checked out.

In the last week I have made two trips from my home in San Angelo, Texas to Fort Worth and Dallas. The distance to Fort Worth is about 225 miles. In my car I got 27.4 miles per gallon going and 25.2 miles per gallon returning. In my Yukon I got 19.3 going and 17.2 returning. I drove both ways at the same speed and there was no great wind.

The only difference I can think of is I used unleaded regular gasoline without Ethanol going and gasoline with 10% Ethanol returning from the same station each time. I have noticed similar differences on all of my trips over there in the last few months. Until the last trip I had not noticed the Ethanol sigh on the pump at the station in Fort Worth.

Has anyone else noticed any difference using Ethanol?

Concho Bill

Yes,i get about 30 to 40 miles less per tank full using the 10% blend,Couldn't figure it out until i looked on the pump at Wal-mart and then started checking that gas against Sunoco and then the difference showed up.

Lynn
07-30-2008, 09:40 PM
Guys if you do a google search of oil reserves by country we rank 11th in the world with 21.4 billion barrels.Saudi Arabia is ranked first at 241 billion barrels.
Now while your on Google type in Bakken Formation and you'll quicky see on April 10th 2008 the USGS estimates we have over 500 billon barrels in this field alone which is more oil than the top 10 countries combined.
We are being duped by the speculators exactly the same way as we were duped by Enron.
Do the google search and see for yourself.
Lynn

Bill Wynne
07-31-2008, 05:39 AM
Jackie--This is political. Bill & Wilbur--HELP!!!!

Vic, this is not a political discussion but rather a scientific one. Wilbur pointed out, correctly, the difference in elevation. Jackie mentioned in passing a few scientific arguments on the production of Ethanol and how alternate sources of power should be used. Roger agreed with me that he got less milage with the Ethanol blend but his Wal-Mart is possibly in a low spot and he has to clime out of it when he leaves.

We are talking about Ethanol blend gasoline here and how we can get to shooting events on the least fuel. It is not a political subject and it should not be viewed as one. Feel free to join in but let's keep politics out of this discussion.

Concho Bill

blades
07-31-2008, 06:52 AM
One of the worst possible chioces for making ethanol = corn
Best possible choice = switch grass
either way cost is higher to produce than current fuel + infrastucture
source = son, phd in organic nano chemistry
Wind power into electricity max efficiency = 20%, Hydro much better except for all the epa/dnr restrictions making this source all most impossible.
Solar, newer cell technology is bringing cost down but not far enough to be viable on large scale at this point.
Hydrogen fuel cells or on board generation, lot of chafe, hard to seperate what is true or false, has possibilties, seems to be an awful lot of information suppresion going on in this area.
Regardless, the type or source of energy of what will be pushed is that which is supported by the most tax breaks, research grants ect.
Food for thought.

RayfromTX
07-31-2008, 07:11 AM
Lynn-
I followed your suggestion and spent 3 hours reading up on the Bakken formation, which I had studied a little in the past. I found that the recoverable oil in the formation is probably closer to 3.6 Bbls. This would occur over a very long time and if the current rate of production was tripled it would supply .4% of US consumption. That hardly constitutes salvation for our energy needs or proof of our being duped by speculators.

koginam
07-31-2008, 08:19 AM
I was asked to invest in a hydrogen fuel conversion system by a friend of mine who is pretty savvy on new technology. He installed a kit in four of his farm vehicles and on his own car, one he installed himself the others he had done by a professional installer, and adjustments had to be done to get the right blend, cost was around $1500 per vehicle, the kit he installed himself was around $400 for the book and parts. seems to work nearly as well as the professionally installed kits. With the cost of gas it will pay for its self in less then 1 year. Now this is just adding hydrogen to the gas at the carburetor not hydrogen alone. He found it added MPG between 4 to 6 MPG, and hasn't noticed any loss of power, He has been running tests for 8 months no negative results as of yet, at the end of the year he will tear down one of the farm vehicles engines and see if their is any excessive wear to the engine. He is looking for a kit that runs on hydrogen alone. He is buying a natural gas conversion kit and going to experiment with it. This site will send you a report its a little biased http://halfwaterhalfgas.com/net.php

Fred J
07-31-2008, 09:50 AM
We read these claims, and find in most instances, they are just trying to sell you a book. I have yet ti see on of these in operation or know anyone personally that has benefited by getting better fuel mileage.

koginam
07-31-2008, 10:14 AM
Well I can only go on the experience of my friend, he is pretty excited about the prospect of this working. He is checking out the results for himself not taking anyone's word as gospel. I'm sure their are problems with it as their are in many new products, that's why I am waiting before I invest any of my hard earned money. But I will keep an open mind as to the possibilities, I think we will find an additive or a alternative fuel for oil, one that won't cost as much to produce as ethanol. I have also seen some gas/electric options similar to diesel/electric train engines that are showing promise, small engines big electric motors on each wheel, power to spare just heavy and expensive to build.

jackie schmidt
07-31-2008, 11:14 AM
The reason Locomotives are Diesel Electric is logistics. The problem of getting the power to the wheels ismuch simplified by the fact you can locate the Engine in themiddle,anduseTraction motors on the axes. Think of the gear trains and the such that would be involved if the Diesel Engine drove the wheels directly.
In the Marine Industry, there are applications where the Diesel Engine drives the propellor directly through a reduction gear and shaft. There are also applications where the Diesel Engines drive Generators, and the generators, power large motors, which drive the propellor through a similiar reduction gear and shaft.
The advantage of the Diesel Electric is you can place the Diesel Engines any where that is practicle in the vessel, making room for other things, such as cargo.
The Diesel Electrics will typically burn about 15-20 percent more fuel at the same power rating.
Any time you use a energy source as a primary to drive a secondary, there will be a energy lossin the transfer.
Most of the so called enrgy boosters touted by those that say 'you can double your milage' are simply pie in the sky. At this time, a modern internal combustion engine is remarkably efficient. Especially when compared to those just 20 years ago.
Here is an example. It has been about 15 years since the Diesel Electronic Fuel Curve Controle was developed for large Diesels. We were involved in the first set of "60 Series" engines that went into a 800 HP push boat. They boat had regular roots blown 12-71 Detroits that made about 380 HP each on a good day, consuming approx 26 gallons an hour. They replaced them with the new Electronic Controled tubo charged 60 Series, and they made 450 HP, using just 20 gallons an hour.
More power, using a LOT lessfuel. Sort of makes you wonder where allof that diesel was going.Into the pan,and into the air.
I donot have any figures, but I would bet that the engine in a typical 2008 automobile is reaching 95+ percent efficiency.........jackie

HovisKM
07-31-2008, 12:04 PM
thanks for the info. I have heard many different descriptions of Diesel Electric but most from those who have never worked with them. I actually thought they were a little more effecient than losing power through a drive train and that's why they were used on locomotives and large dump trucks (like used in coal mines). I have also heard that the Diesel Electric setup requires less maintnance and are more dependable (less moving parts, etc). Is this correct? Here in southern Indiana we have a lot of HUGE coal mines so there is no lack of BIG equipment, most of which seem to be Diesel Electric now.

Hovis

koginam
07-31-2008, 01:45 PM
jackie schmidt
Now you got me worried I just had a rebuilt Detroit 8-v71 put in my boat. the Dyna report from the rebuilder shows it putting out 300 hp if a 12-71 puts out 380 maybe I'm getting fed a line from my rebuilder. I have $12,500 into the rebuild so I want it on the up and up. tanks for the info.

chino69
07-31-2008, 02:21 PM
Electric Cars. Sure, you just plug it in. But, since the laws of Physics have not been repealed, it still takes a certain amount of energy to move a certain weight object a certain distance in a certain amount of time. That energy has to me made somewhere.
Well, it comes from a power plant. Our Power Grid in the United States is already stretched to the limit. Just think if you added about 20,000,000 cars to it, having to re-charge daily. How many power plants will have to be built to do that. And, what are they going to use for fuel.


The simple fact is, there is no free lunch. There is more to it than just converting cars to run on electricity. It would probably take 10 to 15 years to build enough power plants to produce the needed electricity. And what is going to be used to make that electricity. Probably fosil fuel, whether it be oil, coal, or natural gas.


Jackie,
You just brought up two very good points. When deregulation hit the electric utility industry, companies split up into production and distribution. The production or generation end of the business is concerned with generating enough electric to sell over the grid to power brokers; this being the de-regulated end of the business. The distribution end deals with the transmission lines, maintenance on these lines, and the grid. Many companies that used to maintain their overhead transmission lines had dedicated line crews and high voltage crews as in-house employees. The grid was well maintained. Utilities have now divested themselves of many of these former responsibilities and have sub contracted much of this work out to the lowest bidder. Many of these utilities are concerned with producing as much power as possible in the generation end, resulting in the transmission and distribution end not receiving maintenance and upgrades it once enjoyed. What does this mean to the average consumer?

It means the transmission lines delivering your power are not in the best condition and the money is not there to upgrade. When storms strike, it will take longer to restore your power, etc. Many people really have no understanding of the drain on our aging grid system electric vehicles will place. It's a great idea but oversimplified because you have to charge these vehicles at night and that takes power.

You are correct in stating we will need to build new power plants to supply this power and upgrade our T&D (transmission and distribution) resources in order to power electric cars. Our electric demands are growing, not decreasing and that will require more power.
Chino69

TomD
07-31-2008, 04:59 PM
Using a conservative assumed value of the energy content of ethanol of 50% of that of gasoline and also assuming a 90% mix, the mix will cost you 5% of your fuel mileage. If you are used to 20 mpg, you will get 19, etc. That is hardly detectable given changes in driving conditions.

jackie schmidt
07-31-2008, 05:29 PM
The industry standard in the push boat industry was always around 380 hp for a 12-71. But most Tugs place a tune on them that is just shy of fullpower, mainly to get the hours of service. You know how those old Detroits are, push them a little too hard and parts start coming out the exaust.
I suppose you can play with the boost and fuel curve and make more power untill the crank comes out the bottom.
As of next year, the old two-cycles, along with the 149 series Detriots, will be outlawed in the Inland Tugs. Just too many emmissions. Every body is having to go to super efficient electronic controled Turbo Diesels.........jackie

Bill Wynne
07-31-2008, 05:33 PM
Using a conservative assumed value of the energy content of ethanol of 50% of that of gasoline and also assuming a 90% mix, the mix will cost you 5% of your fuel mileage. If you are used to 20 mpg, you will get 19, etc. That is hardly detectable given changes in driving conditions.

Tom,

That and the difference in altitude pointed out by wilbur could have made the difference in my two trips.

If your math on the figures are correct, and they seem to be, we should pay for the Ethanol in the gas at at the rate of 50% of what we are paying for gasoline.

Concho Bill

JDPowell
08-01-2008, 05:14 PM
I donot have any figures, but I would bet that the engine in a typical 2008 automobile is reaching 95+ percent efficiency.........jackie

I seem to remember reading that typical modern gasoline engines are about 25% efficient and the theoretical efficiency is around 70%. The theoretical efficiency is related to the difference in the combustion temp vs the ambient temp of the environment in to which the exhaust flows.

I guess global warming will reduce our gas mileage even more :rolleyes:

rhaney2
08-01-2008, 05:21 PM
I seem to remember reading that typical modern gasoline engines are about 25% efficient and the theoretical efficiency is around 70%. The theoretical efficiency is related to the difference in the combustion temp vs the ambient temp of the environment in to which the exhaust flows.

I guess global warming will reduce our gas mileage even more :rolleyes:


Now the Mechanics are telling us the 10% blend is hurting the engines,The report is saying small eingines(lawnmowers ect) are being destroyed with the 10% blend .
???????????? i think i'll stick to 100% gasoline,Sunoco which is 100% american made.

gt40
08-01-2008, 07:56 PM
Jackie--This is political. Bill & Wilbur--HELP!!!!

Don't be such a taddle-tail.

vicvanb
08-02-2008, 10:59 AM
Don't be such a taddle-tail.


Bill & Wilbur--Help, he's picking on me!!

Just kidding, Jackie.

blades
08-02-2008, 02:04 PM
the ethanol tends to attack various types of rubber and plastic fuel lines. the rubber ones get soft( disolve) and colaspe, plastic gets hard and brittle and starts cracking or breaks off alltogether. I see alot of this on small engines. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the quality of the coponents in the first place as I do not see this as an issue with our relativly current crop of autos. Inaddition prehaps it has something to do with the fuel going stale, which seldom happens in our autos.

RStiefel
08-02-2008, 02:41 PM
The attacking of rubber and plastic is exactly why the marine industry says "don't use gas containing ethanol". Some boats use plastic gas tanks, as do some cars and trucks.

Fred J
08-02-2008, 02:58 PM
I was reading in the Auto section this morning, and found that numerous current models have a type of plastic fuel tank. I now wonder if this new Ethonal blend will actually harm more than it helps.