Pending change in Ethanol/fuel limits

Discussion in 'Performance & Fuel' started by tbplus10, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I caught the article on FOX news on television this afternoon getting ready for work so I didnt get a chance to find the article on the net yet (still at work).

    Well Dobey I take it your an Ethanol supporter but you dont have all your facts, The previous increase in Ethanol was approved and selected areas have been selling it for over 9 months now. This proposal is a further increase in Ethanol limits.
    And as pointed out who pays for subsidies?
    And there have been in depth engineering studies on the affects of Ethanol to engines and related fuel systems, which is the reason mfgrs wont warranty them, Ethanol has been known for a while to cause issues with older engines and seals/O rings, also more corrosion issues on newere engines and their fuel systems.

    I dont see the point to your attitude towards the increase in Ethanol limits or a post on it.

    Heres the FOX news article, unfortunately the article doesnt cover the whole round table discussion Jon Stossell had with their selected industry experts that had much more to say on the subject.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  2. dobey

    dobey Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    I'm sorry, but FOX needs to get their facts straight. The other thread is right here under Perf&Fuel, and in the sticky topics section at the top of the page.

    Yes, some places are selling E-15 already. And there are very few of them. Like I said though, the EPA has working on getting E-15 approved and pushed out to every gas station in the country for years. It's not new.

    Nor is the US auto manufacturer (and big oil) push against it. It's also been happening forever. And like I said, it has nothing to do with how damaging E-15 will actually be to the majority of cars on the roads today (which is to say, it basically won't be), but is all about the balance sheets. The same companies are making the same cars for sale in other countries, that must meet the requirements of up to 25% Ethanol in their fuel, such as Brazil, as I already mentioned. But in the US, the manufacturers can simply use cheaper components, such as mild steel lines, rather than stainless, to save on production costs. It might be a few cents per car, or even a couple dollars, but when millions of cars are being produced, it adds up quick. It's all about the profit. If more expensive, higher quality components are used, then the cost goes up, and profit goes down.

    And you know who pays for subsidies? The tax payers (and China). But it doesn't matter, because they get paid out anyway. So, if you're whole argument is based on the cost of gasoline, then you should love Ethanol (becuase you're already paying for any of the subsidies that go towards its production), and a decrease in fuel prices because of it, would be a win for tax payers across the country. On the other hand, the cost of oil, a more harmful, and non-renewable resource, is only going to increase in cost to produce as time goes on, forcing gasoline prices higher at the pumps.

    Do you have any actual links to those "in depth engineering studies" that you are referencing? Every time anyone brings this up on any car forum I've seen it on, nobody provides any actual data. They just keep reciting the same fearful tone that they heard on FOX news.

    And yes, Ethanol is a desiccant, so cheap rubber hoses and seals will dry out faster, and then fall apart, and cause problems. But the probability that your car is going to be damaged from it, is very low. Or maybe you don't take good care of your car, and all your fuel lines are rubber, and constantly exposed to excess heat, forcing them to dry out. I don't know what you do with your cars. I do know that I grew up building dragsters that ran on alcohol, and that the so called issues the media is blowing way out of proportion, are not as big an issue is they make them out to be, and want you to make them out to be.

    As for my "attitude" towards the increase in Ethanol, is that I really don't care if it changes to E-15 or not. Fankly, I wish they'd pass a bill that required all gasoline powered vehicles manufactured for sale in the US as of some date not too far in the future, to be capable of running on E85. Not because I'm a supporter of Ethanol, but simply because it would force the manufacturers to use higher quality parts on their cars. About 1.5 years ago or so, I owned a 2004 Z71 pickup. I bought it used, and I think it previously spent most of its life further north. But it was only a 6 year old truck, and the brake lines had already rusted through. There's no Ethanol in the brake lines, for what it's worth. And the fuel line was nearly rusted through, but not quite there yet. None of that rust had anything to do with Ethanol in the fuel. There's no reason that should have happened. But because GM is only concerned about profits, they chose to use cheap mild steel for brake and fuel hard lines. If they'd just use stainless for those parts, they'd last for much longer, even with 100% Ethanol passing through them.

    If you've got a vehicle where water getting in the fuel is an issue because of Ethanol, you've got a much larger problem coming to life. Another reason why I think periodic safety and emissions inspections are a great idea. It can help find problems before they are critical, and help keep cars off the road that shouldn't be there.

    What I still don't see the point to, is this thread (or the other one). They are both just to recite the same fear that FOX news likes to spread to their viewer base, and do not present any actual data on the matter.
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    As a matter of fact one of the leading studies was done by the Coordinating Research Council
    And If you believe other countries use superior materials you obviously havent traveled over seas much and dealt with vehicles they build and use in other countries, many countries allow the use of very inferior materials in automotive manufacturing. Take a trip overseas sometime and see how many older vehicles are still intact with factory equipment and systems. I spent most of my adult life in other countries and have worked on vehicles from these regions, some have superior parts but many are more throw a way than most American vehicles.
    Corrosion issues in fuel systems have never been claimed to be from moisture in fuel systems, its a chemical reaction happening, theres more types of corrosion than simple old rust from moisture.
    If you built Alcohol fueled dragsters in your younger days you should also know a few other things, like alcohol is slightly different than Ethanol in its chemical make-up, those engines were specifically built to run on alcohol, todays auto engines arent, yes mfgrs could spend the money to upgrade engines during design and build but that would still leave older vehicles needing expensive repairs/upgrades to remain on the roads.
    Because your 2004 Z71, that you addmitedly suspect came from further north rusted away you conclude that GM uses inferior parts? How about the simple fact the vehicle wasnt taken care of or properly cleaned and treated after being subjected to inclement weather and chemicals? Could that have been part of the problem? I have a few vehicles from far north that were older than that and werent rotting away, the owners took propper precautions. How long should GM or any mfgr be responsible for your vehicle not rusting away if it isnt properly protected?
    A change of this nature will affect many older vehicles still on the roads, some used as transportation and others owned by car nuts, they have a voice in this arguement too.
    The point to any discussion is to inform others of changes happening that could or will affect them, you obviously made up your mind dont care, thats fine, thats your opinion, so check out, it doesnt require you to continue to argue the issue if you dont care, others still dont know about these pending changes and do care.
  4. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Is there still a formal subsidy for specifically growing corn to produce ethanol for fuel??
    Didn't that specific subsidy subsidy lapse?

    Yeah my main concern is my 1998 Suburban-it wasn't designed for E15

    Now many "small engine" people-esp 2 strokes-bitch endlessly about E10-boat owners also-guess they have gas that sits a long time-sucks water out of the air.

    Yeah-I think "alcohol" means methanol when it is talking about dragsters etc-
    ethanol- 2 carbon chain OH on one end- CH3CH2OH
    methanol 1 carbon + OH CH3OH

    The OH group makes them reactive-and makes them "like" H2O -it allows them to kinda "cool" the mixture as it is drawn into the combustion chamber also-making it denser (more power)-probably has something to do with the anti knock property is my guess

    EVERYTHING BELOW IS ME RAMBLING THINKING OUT LOUD-best to ignore not read if you don't have spare time and not in a good mood-sorry-slightly political environmental "stuff"
    In any case 10% is OK- those pushing for higher concentrations have a strong profit motive-same with those opposed to it- but over 10% is a problem for pre 2000 vehicles

    10% works fine-isn't too destructive to older vehicles-stick with 10%-
    I suspect the low price of oil will keep ethanol at 10% most places-it is not much cheaper than oil energy at current prices
    The 15% isn't a MANDATE is it??

    All engineers design "for a price" even NASA with high profile lives and funding on the line-build to a price.
    So of course car manufacturers don't use the ABSOLUTELY BEST MOST EXPENSIVE materials to build price sensitive vehicles. MB BMW Ferarri can do that to some extent -GM certainly can't -so it is kinda naive to complain that GM didn't use SS to build $25000 vehicles

    My point-again-my Suburban wasn't built to withstand 15% ethanol-it will damage it-so I don't want it

    And higher ethanol WON'T help our long term "oil is running out" problem-doubt biomass will help much-other than maybe HUGE algae farms slaved to CO2 producing power plants which might be in the distant future)
    yeah growing fuel-world wide-HAS DAMAGED THE ENVIRONMENT more than it has helped-esp the oil plantations cutting down rain forest etc-same with the sugar cane-
    No Free Lunch environmentally or otherwise-maybe H2 produced on site from HUGE offshore wind farms-which is kinda SciFi for now-
    We USA have PLENTY of wind-best situated in the world to collect wind-but it doesn't always blow when you need it-
    and a lot of it isn't close to cities-so H2 might be the answer SOMEDAY
    Using food crops and soil and water for fuel-certainly isn't the answer
    Wind-not BIG SOLAR farms-is the answer-SOMEDAY
    Soalr is OK small scale-rooftops doesn't really scale up very well-
    YEAH USA could be the wind king-but not at current oil NG prices-low oil NG prices have killed wind for now.

    Sorry to ramble
  5. dobey

    dobey Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Then please provide facts about the E-15 proposal and changes, rather than simply reciting the same BS that FOX news puts out.

    And with all those alcohol dragsters, they could be run on methanol (which we ran) or ethanol really. The differences between the two are minor enough to be a change of jets in the carb. And the only real differences between the alky engines and the gas engines we built, were the fuel pump and carbs.

    While they are different, the same main issues occur in both. That being they are both desiccants, and cleaning agents. Avoid using cheap rubber lines, and keep the system clean, and you won't have any problems. If you're running a carb, then maybe you need to change a little more than the filter and clean the system out. But still, it's nowhere near as bad as you, nor the media, are making it out to be. As you say, why should GM or the EPA be at fault here, if you're not taking proper care of your vehicle?

    While I don't care if E-15 gets pushed out or not, what I do care about is proper presentation of facts, rather than simply forwarding the mob mentality of fear. So if you have actual facts, then a proper discussion can be had. Until then, it's only the perpetuation of talking points from a FOX news propaganda piece, and anyone who presents any argument against it is somehow unbelievable (as you stated how you couldn't understand my 'position' on the matter). You can't seriously claim that "Big Corn" is somehow in a conspiracy to better their own pockets, and at the same time deny that "Big Oil" and or "Big Auto" are doing the same thing.

    i am very happy to discuss the actual facts, and technical and scientific aspects of Ethanol in gasoline as relates to our trucks. That would actually be interesting. But this thread is obviously not that. Nor is that other thread (which really shouldn't be a sticky either, can you please take it down?).
  6. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Remember, news channels are SUPPOSED to base their stories on facts, so it's perfectly reasonable for someone to provide information gleaned from a news source, here, as a reasonable person would trust whatever source of news they elect to consume. (Sadly, I won't argue that the news, today, is not the Walther Cronkite-delivered news of yesteryear, and that the news always has a slant, but it's STILL supposed to be based on facts.)

    Since you've discounted FOX as a valid source of fact-based news when it comes very specifically to E-15 (I don't care about their other reporting for the purpose of this discussion, as it's not relevant to this discussion), I'd like for you to demonstrate where FOX's information regarding E-15 is wrong in the Fox news piece you have referenced ... and support your stance with facts and references as to their sources. (This, of course, means anecdote doesn't count.)

    Note that I'm not trying to defend FOX, at all. Rather, you said you were 'happy to discuss the actual facts, and technical and scientific aspects of Ethanol in gasoline as relates to our trucks'. I figure the first place to start is by asking you to empirically support your assertion that the FOX news piece should be discarded from consideration -- with the actual facts you said you were happy to discuss. (Key word: empirically -- as I'd like to see your rationale AND that rationale's supporting (cited) references for -every- item from the FOX piece you feel should be discarded.)

    This will set the basis for future discussion and, perhaps, turn this thread into what you feet it should be. I look forward to your detailed, and documented/cited, fact-based reply, as I hope to learn something new, from it (especially as I read the cited articles).
  7. McClintoc

    McClintoc ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ Staff Member 4 Years 1000 Posts

    I have 2 issues with Ethanol fuel and not so much that is gunks up my engine.

    1) This is a "rob Peter to pay Paul" deal. Sure, more Ethanol in our fuel may decrease our use of oil, but if you are going to use more corn you have to grow more corn and the ag industry pollutes our ground water just as much as manufacturing pollutes the air. Ag isn't necessarily a "clean" industry. It's just like electric cars. Sure, they may get 50, 60, 70 MPGs but when you plug them in at night to charge the batteries, you are dramatically increasing your electricty consumption. Consumption goes up, production must go up so power plants are consuming more resources and polluting more. Whether it's Ethanol fuel or electric cars, in the end, there's no real winner.

    2) Don't make Ethanol fuel the standard. Plenty of us drive cars that don't handle Ethanol very well. There are plenty of older cars on the road that weren't designed for Ethanol. If you want to add it to the fuel fine, but don't mandate that every pump have it. Some of don't want/need it so leave us the hell alone. Some of us want to run pure gas and it's difficult find.
  8. dobey

    dobey Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    It's not Fox News in specific to E-15 (but this is a truck forum, and I only really pay attention to the Perf/Fuel and Audio/Video sub-forums, so none of their other stuff is generally relevant). But Fox News is not a reliable source of information by any means.

    For example, here's an article from a couple years ago, that discusses multiple studies (with links to them), that shows that continuous consumption of FOX news makes you more misinformed:

    This, combined with the fact that whenever the Ethanol issue does come up (not just on here, but I've seen it in many places), nobody can provide links to the so-called studies or actual empirical evidence supporting any damage claims. For example, the linked article on the Fox News sites provides no links to any studies, or any real information. The entire article is "he said this" or "she said that" standard wag the dog scenario stuff. This is how Fox News operates. They generally ignore facts, and play up the drama.

    If automakers and AAA are seriously advising against E-15 use in cars, and claiming to not fulfill any warranty claims, then there should be some empirical evidence of that, other than an article from Fox News claiming someone said that. For example, press releases, and a document in my mail. I just renewed my AAA membership, which I've had for almost 10 years now, and I have never received any warning statements from AAA about E15. I have a 2009 Avalanche, and have received no statements from GM/Chevrolet about E15 as relates to my truck (which, to be fair, is a flex-fuel truck so can run E85 safely). I recently also had a 2011 Chevy Cruze on lease, which I've returned a couple months ago, and never did I receive any statements about E15 as related to that vehicle. And the Fox News article makes no mention of any press release, nor has any links to any.

    I've searched and searched for such press releases and documentation, but I can't find it anywhere.
  9. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Heres one of the best compilations of information on Ethanol, its history, and uses.
    I originally read it as a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) and part of an FAA AirWorthiness certificate a few years ago, it was meant as an informational warning for AirCrew using AVGAS and is a recommended information source from the EPA and FAA.
    The bottom link has a listing of studies and informational guidelines covering the subject.
  10. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Dobey-why are you such a big fan of E15?
    Is there ANY evidence that it is better for the environment than E10
    better in a very general sense- less CO2 produced less environmental degradation??
    Any reason to think corn based 15% ethanol is GREENER than 10% ethanol??

    So tell us-if you don't mind-what your angle is? Mine is selfish a 1998 Suburban not designed for 15% ethanol
    I love that Suburban-it was the only bright spot for us in 6 years of bad economic problems(med debt job loss etc)
    Not wanting to pick a fight-but folks usually have a selfish reason for strong opinions

    And yes lots of folks swallow FOX whole-but the "goodness" of E15 and BIOFUELS in general-is certainly in doubt-biofuels have been a BUST environmentally- E10 VS MTBE is the ONLY good biofuel trade off.

    Many folks here have my bias- pre 2000 truck!! What is yours??
    Not picking a fight-just curious why you feel so strongly?? Ag country-corn country-farm family-farm equipment-farm chemicals- silo- seed-??Ag is very big and very important-might become more important if we have severe drought climate change for whatever reason-

    PS Pretty sure Henry Ford might have had ethanol in mind as a fuel -from corn of course-he was from the midwest I think ? Dobey-not picking a fight-just wondering why you feel so strongly about it??

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