Pending change in Ethanol/fuel limits

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

  1. steved

    steved Former Member

    Who do you think funds those subsidies? Its our taxes, and that extra $$ is coming from somewhere (likely as a fuel tax at the pump, or a mileage tax that PA is trying to instate). Nothing is "free". Even if they end one program to fund another...someone loses.

    As for your second part, there have been a good many issues running ethanol fuels...there is not very much OPE that is designed for fuel with ethanol, and there have been a good many engines (fuel systems) ruined by running it. I causes the fuel system components to deteriorate, and the OPE manufacturers haven't caught up to making fuel stable components. All you have to do is search the small engines forums, boating forums, etc. to see that...the same happened with the introduction of ultra low sulfur diesel...fuel systems on older equipment started leaking because the seals deteriorated.

    The Government is protecting the American farmer. Period. It is keeping the agricultural business in business as most of them are practically defunct without loads of Government subsidies. One way to look at it is we keep the farms running by spending money on them, or do we pay all those people welfare when they are out of work? I have no issues protecting our Nation's farmers; but don't make some lame excuse to push your agenda.

    One thing I have seen on more than one occasion is that it reportedly takes more energy per acre (in BTUs) to plant/harvest/produce ethanol than an acre of corn produces (point being - we need to use another crop such as sugar beets or switch grass). We need to take a lesson from South America. And what happens if we have a bad crop year? Another thing to remember is that ethanol production is very water intensive from what I understand, which can further deplete the aquifers throughout the country (that include at least one that is no longer recharged).

    As for the claim on foreign oil made by the agricultural can make statistics numbers say anything. While they likely had a hand in some of the decrease, I highly doubt they solely made that difference.
  2. dobey

    dobey Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    I'm not a "big fan" of it. I am a fan of spreading facts, not rumours. The rumours are tiring, and spread like wilefire, making it more difficult to find the facts.

    My current truck is a 2009 Avalanche. It can run on E85. I can't actually buy E85 anywhere though. It's only sold on bases or government facilities around here, and I'm not driving a government truck, nor am I in the military or do I work for the government. So, I can't buy E85 even if I want to.

    Is E15 "greener" than E10? Certainly. It's less oil, and more corn juice. We can grow more corn. We can even grow it in concrete bunkers a mile underground if we need to. To get significantly more crude oil reserves available, we'd have to bury all the whales in the oceans for a few millions years, and hope they turn to oil, rather than coal or diamonds. Depends on how deep they end up being when we dig them back up, and what happens to the Earth over those million years. If we keep burning as much oil as we are, at the rate we are, it won't matter much longer though.

    Ideally, we'd make a heavy push to get off internal combustion completely, but the only thing that moves as slow as government, are the Earth's tectonic plates. So it seems like it will be quite some time before that happens.
  3. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Ugh, this is going to cause all sorts of engine problems, corrosion and ruined fuel lines.

    Just figure out that you shouldn't buy a lawnmower that you plan on keeping longer than 2 years.
  4. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Here's what I came up with in about 5 mins of searching (it took me longer to skim the content and post this message than to find these):

    The ethanol lobby apparently didn't like these (and other) studies by the CRC, and apparently dug into the CRC, resulting in this rebuttal by the CRC, which is worth a read in its own right:

    This report by EWG is pretty damning, too:

  5. tbplus10

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

    Hey Surreal if you want to read some real interesting info on this subject take a look at this site:
    And then google FAA Ethanol, Id like to say the FAA fought a vicious battle with the EPA over this issue but they didnt, they did one study that showed the corrosive affects on fuel systems, especially pressurized ful systems and then told the EPA to go away.
    The bassis of their findings was the fact tjat ethanol is an oxiginator and creates corrosion without assistance of any other factors, and at this time there arent any widely avaible materials that can withstand the corrosive effects.
  6. SupplySgt

    SupplySgt Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    I've been saying for quite a while that I think the ethanol lobby is a huge reason why there's been such a push AGAINST diesel vehicles in the US. Why else would there only be a handful of diesel vehicles in the US when they're running all over Europe (who have a ton of environmental regulations themselves).

    Interesting stuff from the CRC Surreal.
  7. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts


    Steved-the "ethanol takes more to oil produce from corn than it delivers" is not correct.
    Careful evaluations of everything indicated that one gallon of oil equivalent energy-probably mainly as diesel fuel perhaps some coal to run fertilizer plants(electricity) produces 1.2 gallons of equivalent energy as ethanol(meaning more like 1.6 gallons of ethanol)
    Now the claim on sugar cane is one in 7 out-MUCH MUCH better-but I kinda doubt that number because if it was THAT GOOD 7 TO 1 we would be doing it in Louisiana-7 gallons of oil is worth maybe $17- seven gallons sugar-maybe 40 lbs-probably worth about the same?? In any case Brazil has more cheap labor

    But the 1 to 1.2 understates the value-since the rest of the corn-proteins and fats-is still useful as feed-just the sugars starches are "missing" proteins and fats are much more valuable than starch of sugar.
    So making ethanol 1st doesn't remove MUCH value from it as feed-and most corn-I think- is used as animal feed-and corn oil(valuable stuff)
    Switchgrass-who knows since it isn't commercially viable yet?

    I agree that eventually internal combustion will go by the wayside-but probably not in our lifetime-certainly not in the 15-25 years I have left!!
    Wind is our-USA- best resource.We should eventually be able to use it-offshore coastal and inland-to supply ALL our energy needs-transportation fuel-and to drive generators in power plants.
    It -the electricity-can be converted to H2 gas-and used to fuel vehicles like the VOLT-
    But the energy for the VOLT would be H2 put thru a fuel cell-converted directly to electricity-which would drive the wheels-no need for an ICE(internal combustion engine-suspect GM always had that in mind with the VOLT and the early EV)
    Now pure battery electrics like the Leaf- and even battery ICE ones like the VOLT- are too expensive-
    and the LEAf- with a range of just 60 miles in hot cities like Phoenix-are strictly for affluent greenies-and have zero importance in getting us off oil ICE etc- because they have sooo little market share-
    and their electricity is COAL- not really green stuff.

    In any case E15 is risky for my 98 Suburban-and offers no real benefits-except to farmers- I DON'T think-from what I have read-it is greener than E10- growing stuff then refining it-all that entails-isn't as clean as you imply
    maybe it is cleaner/greener than tar sand oil- but I kinda doubt it is cleaner then NG-which is used as fuel in fair numbers of vehicles.

    In any case nice polite argument-but it E15 might hurt my Suburban-so not a fan of it-and I'm not convinced to forcing the extra land into production is a great idea either-not with recent drought problems
  8. dobey

    dobey Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    That actually not it. There are plenty of options for biofuel diesel as well, and so the Ag lobby would be all for it. The Oil lobby would be more against it, in the political arena. It would be a huge win for everyone if diesel vehicles swept the US. Biodiesel is much less harmful to diesel systems than alcohols are to petroleum based systems. The only people who would lose out there, would be "Big Oil" and "Big Auto."

    Diesel unfortunately faces a lot of the same problems as E85 does though. Availability and cost compared to petrol (whether pure or E10/E15) is detrimental to jumping the gap. Plug-in electric cars have similar issues. Nobody wants to take the risk of not being able to re-fuel.

    If we can't make a massive shift to vehicles that don't use internal combustion engines, then I think a massive shift to diesel/biodiesel vehicles is our only choice. But it means increasing availability, production, and lowered cost for the consumer, otherwise it will continue to be avoided like the plague. :-/

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    First off, if we're going to start growing sugar beets or sugar cane, or importing it more, I would much rather see it go to use in food production, to replace the nasty HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) we've become so dependent upon in this country; and which is such a detriment to our health. Then the corn that was being grown for that, can be used for ethanol or just regular corn stock, that doesn't get processed into super-anti-sugar.

    As for the constant claim that increased electricity usage means more coal burning, it's not true. It is very specific to localities. Where I am, there is no coal at all. We have a nuclear plant to produce power. There's also plenty of solar and wind farms out there. Plus, it's very easy to build a windmill to produce your own electric, which could easily offset the increase in usage when charging a vehicle at your own home. Solar, geothermal, hydro, etc… are also options. And there are plenty of hydroelectric plants out there as well. Not to mention other possible sources of energy, such as municipal waste. There are plenty of options aside from coal, and we're slowly moving away from it, though the coal lobbies have been trying to push hard with their "clean coal" campaign. But coal is another thing we just need to get away from.

    And I wasn't implying that growing and refining isn't any cleaner than it is. CNG is used in a number of vehicles, but primarily only for government vehicles, city buses, and farm equipment. I don't have any numbers on whether corn-for-ethanol farmers are using CNG in their equipment, or in what percentage, but I'd expect it to be greater than 0, just as a result of the tax benefits from doing so.

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    Those are good finds, and I'll have to give them a read. However, while those are findings from scientific studies, which are certainly useful, they are not statements from manufacturers or AAA to say that warranty claims by anyone who does use E15 in vehicles, will not be handled under warranty, or to notify consumers who own their vehicles, to not use E15. This is what I was looking for, and what these articles from Fox News keep alluding to, but which I can not find any evidence of actually existing.
  9. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    You're less likely to find manufacturers making statements about E15 and more likely to find them appealing to 'independent' scientific sources to avoid the perception that their statements are driving an agenda. Take a close look at the 'About' page of the CRC ( Who funds them? Here's a snippet:
    The Sustaining Members of CRC are the American Petroleum Institute (API) and a group of automobile manufacturer members (Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen). CRC research programs are managed by five technical committees (Advanced/Vehicle/Fuel/Lubricants, Atmospheric Impacts, Emissions, Performance, and Aviation.)

    I believe that's credentialed enough, as it lets you know who commissioned these studies behind the scenes and it ALSO lets you know the vehicle manufacturers were party to the results. The fact that the bulk of the funding comes from these entities are one of the reasons for the rebuttal the CRC released, by the way, as they were accused of biased rather than objective results.
  10. dobey

    dobey Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    That tells me that there is perhaps bias in the studies they do, and not that the claims made by Fox News are substantiated. While it certainly may indicate that the manufacturers do not like Ethanol, it does not ratify the statements made by Fox News in their reports, that AAA and these auto manufacturers have directly issued warnings to consumers, or that they have directly stated that warranty claims will not be fulfilled in the case of E15 being used in a vehicle.

    The claims by Fox News are what drove this thread (and the other thread that is a sticky). So I would like to resolve the validity of those claims.

    For the more technical discussion of Ethanol, perhaps a new thread (that is made sticky, and removing the current sticky thread from being sticky), which curates a list of links to various studies in the primary post, and is titled "A Technical Discourse on the Effects of Ethanol" or something, would be more appropriate I think. It would be nice to see studies performed by organizations other than CRC (which are unbiased, and not funded by any of the Oil, Auto, or Ethanol entities), under the same conditions; but the CRC studies is at least a start.

    I'm thankful for you linking to those studies, but I'd like to separate the technical discussion, from the Fox News claims of direct statements from those manufacturers and AAA.

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    Except for mason jars, and the human liver, of course. :)

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