Flex Fuel question

Discussion in 'Performance & Fuel' started by Camaro69car, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Cowpie

    Cowpie Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    And the point would be for what? I highly doubt the setup you described would get done what I need done. Look, I also have a 550 hp 1850 lb torque semi truck with 18 speeds. It does what I need it to do, but I also try to minimize my cost per mile to do it. Just carrying that kind of mindset to my pickup. No need to spend more than one has to. Especially when fuel is the largest cost of any vehicle operation.

    If I was to convert to anything on this pickup, it would be propane. Readily available. I could refuel at home. Clean and moderate cost where I live. CNG or LNG not as good of an option based on my location. If I was near a major metro area, maybe.
  2. zuki82

    zuki82 Member 1 Year 100 Posts

    I believe dobey was just making a funny! I giggled! anyhow, I aint even heard of E-85, what is it?
  3. Cowpie

    Cowpie Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    E85 is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. I use it in my Silverado. Very common stuff here in corn patch USA. Not cost effective for some folks, depending on the region of the country, but it is very cost effective in my area. I save, even with the decreased fuel economy of ethanol, roughly 3 cents a mile at current prices, over using gasoline. Gasoline right now, based on the average economy my pickup gets, would cost me almost 22 cents a mile to use. E85 is costing me a little over 18 cents a mile to use.
  4. Rainmaker_24

    Rainmaker_24 New Member

    You'll have better power and better mileage if you stick to regular unlead.
  5. Cowpie

    Cowpie Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    Power, No. The 100+ octane has a better butt dyno effect. Ethanol has been shown to actually produce very good power in numerous applications. And it burns cooler, putting less stress on the engine cooling system. E85 works pretty darn good for what I have done with the pickup on my farm so far. Better mileage? I would agree. But the cost per mile would be more with gas than E85. High mpg numbers are impressive, but if it costs more per mile, then what is the point? Regular gas at today's price.... over 22 cents a mile to use. E85 at today's price, 18 cents a mile to use. All based on the mpg that I get with each fuel. So, lower mpg does not equate to a worse thing. Even with the lower mpg of the E85, it still costs me less per mile to use it.
  6. ElbowJoe

    ElbowJoe Member

    E85 is a losing proposition.

    It is not able to be piped through regular pipe lines like gasoline because it is so caustic. It must be transported in stainless steel tankers to be mixed with gasoline - which is not really practical. (Can you say expensive?) It has been heavily subsidized by Uncle Sam and is therefore a false source of a viable stand alone market solution. The production of E85 uses far more water and other resources to generate the low powered ethanol that is added to regular gasoline. Not only does this additive provide lower MPG results, several older engines, water craft and home power engines for generators, lawn mowers, ATV's, weed trimmers etc can not run on it and the use of it will actually permanently damage these engines, gas lines, filters and fuel tanks. E85 tends to harbor water which can damage carburetors and other parts. Just talk with someone in the boat business to see how many boats have been ruined by using this stuff.

    The use of ethanol for additives to our gasoline has caused prices on corn to go up extensively. Although this may be good news to the farmer, this has had a domino effect on the costs of feed for livestock etc and has driven up consumer costs for food. Since the current administration has backed away from support for Ethanol production, the cost of corn has already eased and we are seeing this reflected at the supermarket.

    With all of the new found sources of oil and nat gas in North America we would be far better off to focus on these sources and clean diesel technology. One 42 gallon barrel of oil actually produces over 42 gallons of diesel. Europe has been using diesel for several years and automotive diesel power plants actually out number gasoline power plants there. With the current global mfg economy - one can only hope that GM and others start offering a true diesel powerplant option for our market. I think the American public has finally gotten over the mistake of the gas converted diesels that GM offered back in the 80's.

    I have an E85 approved engine in my '03 Suburban - never plan to use the stuff due to the issues that come along with it. Leave the corn for feed, and pellet furnaces.
  7. Cowpie

    Cowpie Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    Now, I would agree that ethanol is not the best proposition. Actually taking the process to the next level, butanol, would solve all the pipeline issues. Even vehicles not designed as flex fuel could use Butanol in high levels. Also, Butanol would give mpg figures that are more impressive than ethanol. This is where the industry needs to move to.

    Ethanol is not piped because of being caustic, but because of its attraction of water.

    Ok. Let's look at way corn prices have gone up. World demand and a falling U.S. dollar. The corn that is used for ethanol production is not out of the food loop. Dried Distillers Grain, the end product of ethanol production, is very much in demand as a high protein, highly digestible feed supplement. I haul many products weekly that are sourced from DDG. it is big demand both in and outside of the U.S. The only thing that is used from the corn kernel is the sugars and starches to produce ethanol. There is no loss of corn in the total food supply of both livestock and human concerns.

    And, of the entire U.S. corn crop, 20% is targeted to human consumption. Of the 80% left, 40% of that goes toward ethanol production. And corn yields per acre have gone up considerably the last decade. Where 130 bushels an acre was the norm, it is now well over 200 bushel per acre. And at less cost and fewer passes over farm ground due to better farming techniques like low till and no till. The latter which we use on the farm. No plowing, no discing, no soil preparation of any kind. Simply plant, harvest, repeat (though we do rotate crops on the same ground).

    A 42 gallon barrel of oil will not produce a 42 gallon supply of diesel. Crude is composed of various components, of which distillate fuels are on a part. There is no 1 to 1 correlation between a barrel of oil and fuels. Check with your local geology department at the university.
  8. Rainmaker_24

    Rainmaker_24 New Member

    I stick to regular unlead. All this ethanol makes the corn go up in prices. I have cattle and other animals and all that so it's not to good for me on money.
  9. Rainmaker_24

    Rainmaker_24 New Member

    Well everything is pretty much going up nowadays. The US is going downhill. Practically China owns us.
  10. Rainmaker_24

    Rainmaker_24 New Member

    And Obama putting us more in debt with his vacations or whatever else and not trying to get us out of debt.

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