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Thread: Flex Fuel question
12-31-2013, 11:57 AM #21
Thanks Cowpie. I stand corrected. What I should have said was: From a 42 gallon barrel of crude oil everything that is made from that same barrel of crude oil totals 44.2 gallons. http://www.txoga.org/
Regarding the corn crop - I will not doubt your numbers. I will however point out that for every acre that is used for the production of corn, that is one acre that is NOT used for another food crop. You mentioned a 20% figure for human consumption. So we really do not require more corn for human consumption, but what about other crops for human consumption that are not being planted because of the subsidies for corn? This results in food prices going up.
The fact remains that E85 production could not exist if it were not heavily subsidized by the US Government and produces a product that is 30% less efficient than gasoline. I submit that it would be better money spent for the Keystone pipeline, new refineries and incentives for diesel power plant production than to continue to subsidize an industry that produces product that harms millions of engines and has caused price increases in our food supply due to the large amounts of arable land that is required for mass production. Not to mention the pollution that results from the production of this product - which is something the "greenies" were touting ethanol would reduce in the early days.
Also you cannot avoid the uncomfortable fact that the energy required to produce this product exceeds the energy it produces. How can this be a good thing? It is unsustainable.
1968 Camaro 454
12-31-2013, 12:55 PM #22
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Please don't turn this thread into another "OMG ethanol is so evil" political rant thread. There are enough of those already.
12-31-2013, 02:35 PM #23
Well, I suppose something else could be grown for human consumption, but what you suggest be grown that has a market demand? But even then, there is a lot of land that is not even being used for crop production that could be put into play if their was a market demand for something else. Try as I may, I can't think of any crop that isn't already being produced in sufficient quantities to meet market demand. And You have to take into account, not everything that people eat can be grown in the upper midwest where the lions share of corn production is.
And the gifts just keep on giving. You are woefully unaware of the facts. There has been no ethanol subsidies for going on 3 years. That is pure fact. Yet, I can buy a product, though lower in energy content and fuel mileage, that actually costs less on a per mile basis than straight gasoline. At today's price in my area..... 3.15 for E10, 3.22 for Regular, and 2.49 for E85. Based on the fuel mileage I get with each fuel, it is actually costing me 3-4 cents a mile less to use E85. With E10 (during the winter months), with the hilly gravel roads, off road, and hilly two lane highways I frequent daily with my pickup, I average about 14.5 mpg, or 21.7 cents a mile. With E85, it is 13 mpg average or 19.2 cents a mile. So mpg might be less, but it is more cost effective.Hey there, VA, what do ya' say? How many vets did you kill today?
12-31-2013, 03:52 PM #24
OK Dobey. I may not be a physicist - but you're obviously not a realist.
When is the last time you saw a truck transporting 55 gallon barrels of petrol or ethanol or methanol? For the hundreds of thousands of gallons of the product that are burned every day, that would be a considerable amount of truckloads of 55 gallon barrels... The fact is we do have pipelines running through the US to strategic locations to transport petroleum products. It is far more economical than sending trucks over the road. Just google "gasoline pipeline map US" if you need more evidence.
As was pointed out in a previous post, the caustic issue is water in the product. The following is from the United Nations Foundation Energy Future Coalition website:
Ethanol in the U.S. is transported mostly by truck, train, and barge, unlike oil, which is generally transported through pipelines. Unlike oil, ethanol mixes with water. Because water accumulation in pipelines is a normal occurrence, unless the pipeline is cleaned out and made watertight, transporting ethanol in a pipeline risks making it unusable as a fuel. Given the time and resources required to make oil pipelines suitable for ethanol, as well as the diffuse sources of U.S. ethanol supply, it currently makes more sense to transport the fuel in other ways. However, as production of ethanol increases, it may make sense to make the investment needed to “dry out” pipelines, or new water-tight pipelines may be built, as they are in Brazil.
The debate about the real cost of ethanol production is murky so I will leave that one alone. One fact is not debatable. The cost of a bushel of corn in January of this year was just north of $6.00. With the relaxing of government subsidies for ethanol and a lack of demand, the price for a bushel of corn is down to $4.22. The cost of a pound of bacon spiked in August of this year and is now down as the cost for feed has eased. Coincidence? I think not.
So I am not "fear mongering" as you accuse - I am just putting the facts into perspective. You can choose to bury your head in the sand and not pay attention to stuff like this, but I feel as far as the automotive, light and heavy truck industries are concerned, we need to be aware of these things to understand what is going on and try to position ourselves with the best and most cost effective solution. If that is CNG or Diesel or something else, great. Let's not just take someone's word that a snake oil remedy is what they say it is when there is evidence to the contrary.
I will not support E85 product because I do not feel it is a legitimate and sustainable fuel source and it does damage to thousands of engines that already exist. That is back to the original question of this blog as to whether or not a Chevy Captiva will run on E85. If there is no badge on the car to state it is designed to run on it. Better to err on the side of safety and burn gasoline than to try the E85 fuel and pay the consequences.
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Cowpie - I don't make up this info - you obviously did no research about the breakdown of what is made from a 42 gallon barrel of oil. Please see the following breakdown link. I think it may be a bit more advanced than the physics and geology classes you had in college:
This site actually states there are 45 gallons of petro products from a 42 gallon barrel of crude. You see, there is more than just gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, jet fuel etc that can be produced. There are waxes and lubricants and fertilizer etc. I did not believe this at first until I talked with an oil industry employee who confirmed it.
I don't pretend to be an expert in farming and I am sure that you know a lot more about this subject than I do, but as for a crop to plant instead of corn, how about we go to the market to see which crops have increased in price since the emphasis on ethanol and start there.
Regarding your mis-statement on ethanol subsidies, I suggest you read the following USNEWS NBC report on this subject. The subsidies were cut on January 2013 not 3 years ago - but other ethanol subsidies still exist. There is your gifts that keep on giving.
You may live in an area of the US that allows ethanol based fuel to be cost effective, but I venture to say that the lions share of the US population does not - largely because of transportation costs.
12-31-2013, 04:35 PM #25
It is obvious you are in the conspiracy camp. I deal with ethanol producers every day. They lobbied for, and got, an end to subsidies. As opposed to US News, try calling your hired help in D.C., specifically those that sit on the Agriculture Sub Committee in the House and the Senate. You could also call the Dept of Agriculture and Dept of Energy. They will confirm all of my contentions. They can set you straight. As for the physics, you cannot get more output than input. This is a basic concept in physics for hundreds of years. You obviously do not have any idea on how fuel is produced. A barrel of oil is comprised of many components. Distillation separates the diesel and gasoline, the propane, butane, asphalt, motor oil base stock, etc, etc, etc. There are hundreds of components that make up a barrel of crude. They are each separated up the distillation ladder. You cannot get an equal amount of fuel from a barrel, let alone more. Forget newspapers and such, contact any refinery and they will give you a tour and outline and diagram it all for you. And they will give you a tour for free!
You fail to factor in that corn prices fluctuate due to market demand. There was a drought last year, and it hit your area hard, unless you didn't get out of your house to see what it did to the corn crop in the Michiana area. That is what took corn prices up to over $6. The market has stabilized and corn is now what it was during the Bush administration. There has not been a corn subsidy paid for over a decade. That is based on a floor price of $1.79 a bushel. Corn has not been that low since the early to mid 90's. Subsidies to the ethanol producers were eliminated in the 2011 Federal budget.
You are obviously confusing tax credits with subsidies. Subsidies are direct pay outs. Credits are a reduction in taxes being paid. This is a common error made by those with an agenda. I'll go along with ethanol, and all business', giving up tax credits if everyone else does to. No more Individual Earned Income Tax Credit. No more Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. No more Mortgage Interest Deduction. No more dependent tax credit, no more sales tax credits, And on and on. You are willing to remove all tax credits for EVERYONE, including yourself and your family members, then I'll sign on to eliminating them for business also.
I never said ethanol was effective for everyone. You are starting to insinuate things I never said. I only said that is cost effective for me in my area. Whichever fuel gives me the lowest operating cost per mile, gets to ride in my fuel tank. I have no love for ethanol, just like using it when the price is right. Transportation cost do factor in to the equation. Never hinted that they didn't. If it is not cost effective for someone, then I suggest they do not buy it. Buy what is the most cost effective. I am a business man and a spreadsheet bottom line kind of guy. If something is going to cost me more than the benefit it gives, then I am probably not going to use it. Being surrounded by ethanol and biodiesel production plants, as I am, does have it's benefits. But if straight gas gave me the best value, I would use that even with all the ethanol being produced around me.
And all of this damage ethanol causes... sure has escaped my area also. We have been using E10 since the late 70's in Iowa. E85 for several years now. Nary a problem. Sure, as with any vehicle, there will be fuel related problems whether they use ethanol, straight gas, biodiesel, or petroleum diesel. There is not a gasoline fired vehicle that me, my family, or my neighbors have owned in the last 30 years that has not been fed a study diet of at least E10. You don't see cars all dead along the road in Iowa except after a winter storm. And that had nothing to do with the fuel either.
12-31-2013, 05:13 PM #26
I do not subscribe to a conspiracy theory here - only information. If you call USNEWS or NBC a conspiracy right wing source - well then I guess you have the conspiracy theory in reverse. By the way if you would research it a bit further, the ethanol producers are not getting the incentive, the oil refineries are being incented to add ethanol to their product.
As for your claim that no damage has been done to older vehicles - you must be living in a dream land. Back in the 80's when gasohol was being introduced, it caused such an outcry due to clogging of fuel systems from raising the gas tank innards, they had to pull it off the shelf. Visit any marina in your area and ask them about damage to boats due to ethanol. Then visit a small engine repair place and ask them. I guess we must live in different worlds. It sounds like yours is much rosier when it comes to corn based fuel.
More power to you.
12-31-2013, 06:58 PM #27
Let's see, my various vehicles...... 1972 Nova, 1974 Pontiac Catalina, 1972 1500, 1978 1500, 1979 Ford Bronco, 1991 Ford Bronco, 1976 Mustang II, 1993 1500, 1998 Honda Odyssey, 1996 1500, 1998 2500, 2001 Cavalier, 2001 Jeep Cherokee, 2013 1500.... all of these got fed E10. The early ones not right away, but when we got gasohol in the late 70's. Not one fuel related issue. Didn't include the diesels in the mix, but that not relevant. And didn't include the 1966 C10, as it died before gasohol showed up.
And, of course, a whole laundry list of lawn mowers, portable generators, pressure washers, etc that got doses of E10 regularly. Any fuel related issues with these were my screwup. You know, not emptying tanks for winter storage and not adding stabilizer. Time has a way of implanting proper techniques.
12-31-2013, 08:11 PM #28
As for the pipeline nonsense, it is complete nonsense. No, fuel stations don't take delivery of their fuel via 55 gallon drums. They get it via tanker trucks. I'm sure you've seen at least one in your life, sitting at the station, hose stuck in the ground, pumping fuel into the tank. But distributors do sell 55 gallon barrels to smaller businesses, such as farmers, or racing teams.
And I think you need to research the word "caustic" a bit more. If you think water is caustic, you better stop drinking it.
01-01-2014, 10:57 PM #29
OK guys. This is my last post on this subject as you are intent upon making bogus statements and are defending them blindly without doing the proper research and when sources for the info are given you think it is all a conspiracy. All of this info can be easily researched - but if you wish to bury your heads in the sand - so be it. Just to set the record statement I offer the following: (but you can keep believing there are no gas pipelines in the US, that water is not caustic to ferrous pipes, all gasoline is delivered by trucks, ethanol does not harm gaskets, plastics and other materials in older engines and that the info from the national petroleum institute is all bold lies about how much product is produced from a barrel of oil etc.)
I wish you a Happy New Year.
caus·tic Capable of burning, corroding, dissolving,
corrosion - a process in which a solid, esp a metal, is eaten away and changed by a chemical action, as in the oxidation of iron in the presence of water by an electrolytic process
What Does One Barrel Of Crude Oil Make?
- One barrel of crude oil contains 42 gallons which creates 45 gallons of petroleum products
- About 47% of each barrel of crude oil is refined into automobile gasoline
- In the US an average of about 2.5 gallons of crude oil are consumed per person each day
- The US imports about 40% of its required crude oil and about 52% of that amount comes from OPEC countries
ProductShare of Total U.S. Petroleum Consumption
Gasoline47% Heating Oil/Diesel Fuel20% Jet Fuel (Kerosene)8% Propane/Propylene6% Natural Gas Liquids and Liquid Refinery Gases6% Still Gas4% Petrochemical Feedstocks2% Petroleum Coke2% Residual/Heavy Fuel Oil2% Asphalt and Road Oi2% Lubricants1% Miscellaneous Products0.4% Other Liquids0.4% Aviation Gasoline0.1% Special Naphthas0.04% Waxes0.04% Kerosene0.02%Source: EIA November 2013 Data
The next group of oil pipelines are those carrying refined petroleum products – gasoline, jet fuel, home heating oil and diesel fuel.
These refined product pipelines vary in size from relatively small 8 to 12 inch diameter lines up to 42 inches in diameter. Refined products pipelines are found in almost every state in the U.S, with the exception of some New England states. The total mileage nationwide of refined products pipelines is approximately 95,000 miles. These pipelines deliver petroleum products to large fuel terminals with storage tanks to be loaded into tanker trucks. Trucks cover the last few miles to make local deliveries to gas stations and homes. Major industries, airports and electrical power generation plants are supplied directly by pipeline.
01-01-2014, 11:17 PM #30
Thank you for posting that. I feel vindicated! You stated in an earlier post that.....
"One 42 gallon barrel of oil actually produces over 42 gallons of diesel."
Well from the chart, you are full of sheep dip. There may be 45 gallons of petroleum products out of that 42 gallons, but some of that volume is taken up in more than liquid. Some of that volume is gaseous products. Half the barrel is used in making gasoline. A fifth is used to make diesel (hardly getting 42 gallons of diesel from a 42 gallon barrel). Propane and NG do not equate quite well on a gallon for gallon liquid volume classification. So now that we are on the same sheet of music, I will concede that you can get a 45 gallon "total volume" amount of products from a 42 gallon "liquid volume" of crude. But I have been vindicated that my contention is that you cannot get 42 gallons of diesel from a 42 gallon barrel of crude is correct. Matter of fact, you cannot get 42 gallons of any combination of engine fuels from a 42 gallon barrel of crude.
I think you need to hire legal counsel and sue your former schools. They did a real lousy job of teaching analytical reasoning and reading comprehension.
What it doesn't say, is that America primarily uses gasoline for most automobile motor fuel. A majority of the rest of the world has a higher percentage of vehicles using diesel. We export diesel and we import gasoline. It is true that a certain percentage of a barrel of crude makes up different fuels. Europe, for instance, doesn't have a need of for all that gasoline, so they export. They import diesel. We do the opposite. That balance all works out. You failed to also show how ocean transport vessels also are in the distribution channel. Oh, and by the way, we export a lot of biodiesel to Europe. We also import ethanol in large quantities.
Caustic is a characteristic property. Water is not caustic or you would die. Corrosion is a process. You know..... like rust. Just because oxidation of iron will create iron oxide (rust) does not mean the water is caustic. Water just facilitates the process whereby oxygen intermingles with the iron to create rust.
Last edited by Cowpie; 01-01-2014 at 11:37 PM.
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