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Author Topic: 40 Facts About Ethanol Back to Topics
gamechanger2011

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Wichita

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Message Posted: May 24, 2013 2:12:42 PM

40 facts about ethanol
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krzysiek_ck
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2013 11:19:29 AM

ozarkcommuter wrote: "Not worth engine problems, lower MPG."

How many ethanol related engine problems have you experienced personally? Is it possible that you are simply repeating Big Oil propaganda?

I have used ethanol for last 20 years and I can report zero ethanol related engine problems.
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streetirsx
All-Star Author North Dakota

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2013 8:12:33 PM

good to know for people that care.
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ozarkcommuter
Champion Author Arkansas

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2013 2:15:17 PM

Not worth engine problems, lower MPG.
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fury3
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Jun 7, 2013 7:35:44 AM

who cares 1-40
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SilverStreaker
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jun 3, 2013 9:16:57 PM

bearzz, what kind of vehicle do you drive? I bet your car manufacturer says that E10 is allowed. I have used high ethanol blends in two non-FFVs for over 5 years with no ethanol related problems.
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bearzz
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Jun 3, 2013 6:39:12 PM

I am interested in learning more about ethanol after seeing the notice on pumps where I purchase gas that it contained 10% ethanol. I have read so much about it being detrimental to my engine.

I searched on line to see if I could buy "ethanol free" gas in CA and basically came up empty.
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tdioiler
All-Star Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Jun 2, 2013 10:40:55 PM

Most OEM's have a three level warranty; Vehicle, Drivetrain, and emissions. The 3rd is mandated for 10 years.
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ggg452
Champion Author Manitoba

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Message Posted: Jun 2, 2013 5:04:35 PM

Not all facts are facts...
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borsht
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Jun 2, 2013 11:58:29 AM

Warning on use of low octane or ethanol:
http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20130601/BUSINESS01/306010034/Drivers-beware-Not-all-gasoline-created-equal?nclick_check=1

Let the driver beware: Not all gasoline is created equal.
As the summer vacation driving season begins, paying attention at the pump can add miles per gallon to your fuel economy, and protect your engine.
Differences in octane level and the amount of ethanol added to gasoline can have a dramatic impact on fuel economy and emissions. In a worst-case scenario, using bad gas could even void the manufacturer’s warranty.
The key risks:
• Lower-than-expected octane
• Higher mixes of ethanol
Low-octane fuel — rated 85 or 86 as opposed to the 87 for regular gasoline — is common in the Rocky Mountain states, General Motors Co. fuel specialist Bill Studzinski said. The practice goes back to the days of carbureted engines, when lower octane helped vehicles run smoothly at altitude. The electronic engine controls that have replaced carburetors make the lower octane unnecessary and potentially harmful.
“I felt like a fool,” said Rodney Gutzler of Sioux Falls, S.D., former owner of a 2012 Scion iQ from Toyota Motor Corp. “Here I was in a little bitty car that was supposed to get 36 mpg in the city and I was getting 25.”
The 85 octane gas spread from the mountains of western South Dakota into the eastern plains last year, said David Montgomery, a reporter for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. The state legislature has since passed a law restricting sales to the west and requiring a warning label on pumps: “This octane level may not meet minimum manufacturer specifications. Consult your owner’s manual before fueling.”
Automakers would prefer a total ban on 85 and 86 octane gasoline. Less than 2 percent of the vehicles in the U.S. have carburetors, according to GM. The other 98 percent-plus have computer controls that adjust for altitude and require manufacturers’-spec gasoline to meet emissions, fuel economy and performance standards.
“We do not endorse the use of 85 octane or lower,” Studzinski said.
A lawsuit pending in South Dakota seeks damages for drivers who were “knowingly and fraudulently charged inflated prices” for 85 octane gas, which costs less at the pump than 87, Montgomery said.
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Hannie59
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Message Posted: Jun 1, 2013 2:49:06 PM

Gasoline is harder on your car's engine than ethanol, renegaudet. If the ECU can properly adjust to the ethanol, then using ethanol will help keep your engine running longer.

Flex Fuel Vehicles are an example of this, as is any car newer than 2001 model year with a conversion kit installed.

Not about voiding warranties. Most cars are out of warranty. Manufacturers don't want you using ethanol above 10% because 90% gasoline is harder on the engine than just 15% gasoline is, and you'll be buying a new car sooner. Better for the auto company that way, but not for you. Better for the oil companies that way too, but more expensive for you.


[Edited by: Hannie59 at 6/1/2013 2:54:08 PM EST]
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renegaudet
Veteran Author Houston

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Message Posted: Jun 1, 2013 2:32:55 PM

Ethanol is hard on cars engine.
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reb4
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jun 1, 2013 1:45:04 PM

It's unfortunate that the rfa can't even post accurate facts... A number of false "facts" (ie: lies).

tsk, tsk...

Just to name 1 false statement... (50 seconds in) about Saudi Arabia Oil .

Ethanol did not displace more oil that was purchased from Saudi Arabia, at least not in 2012... Maybe they were referring to 2011 numbers???
Check tab for annual crude oil and see the error for self...

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aRBy
All-Star Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Jun 1, 2013 12:59:05 PM

That's a beautifully done commercial. I'm bookmarking it.

I wish the U.S. also allowed methanol to be blended with gasoline. There would be no need for cellulosic ethanol plants (a more expensive process) if we could just use good old fashioned "wood alcohol" in our cars.

Sadly, the EPA forbids methanol as a motor vehicle fuel. This is in large part to protect the ethanol producers.

My policy preference is to make all cars flex fuel for gasoline, methanol, and ethanol. Then let consumers adjust to market price fluctuations and their personal preference. The more consumer choice we have in motor vehicle fuels, the better.

One thing is for sure from that commercial: ethanol burns a LOT cleaner than gasoline. In addition, it is cleaner to refine. Ethanol refineries have a much smaller environmental impact. That is one of the reasons they industry has grown so fast.

C ya,

aRBy
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smugutu1234
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: May 31, 2013 7:08:24 AM

NO ethanol!
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darwinfinch
Veteran Author Gasbuddy

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Message Posted: May 30, 2013 4:43:37 PM

--post moved--

[Edited by: darwinfinch at 5/30/2013 4:44:10 PM EST]
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gamechanger2011
Champion Author Wichita

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Message Posted: May 30, 2013 12:42:55 PM


"You guys who spend all your time supporting ethanol are an extremely small piece of the overall debate and while you make your case here, the real world outside of these discussions are not driven by anything but price."

Couldn't agree more! We are absolutely aware of that, which is the best argument of all for being unbranded! We pass that 8 cents to the customers instead of giving it to the oil companies.
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SilverStreaker
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: May 30, 2013 12:26:50 PM

brerrabbitTX makes good points about how most people buy their fuel based on price. I joined GB to save money on fuel and learned that there were many people blending ethanol in their non-FFVs without problems. I started blending (in slow increments, as recommended) about 5 years ago and have been saving money ever since.
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brerrabbitTX
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Message Posted: May 30, 2013 11:29:27 AM

Truth be known I favor a very blended approach that includes ethanol, CNG, LNG, and other possibilities. However I am not for a minute one who believes that completely in any one option. The problem here is that most here are either 100% ethanol of 100% anti ethanol which is no where near reality. The answer is in a variety of options with the most critical interium term factor being price. At the end of the day that's what this entire site i about, the price of transportation fuels. Look around, how many posters are even active in the ethanol forum. Not many, why? because its all about price. Yes ethanol can make all the claims it wants about the short term differential in prices but no valid and significant study has come forth to actually say what the long term price model would be for a perdominately ethanol motor fuel market in the US.

That's because no one knows, and even the leaders of the Renewable Fuels Association are not willing to go that far. They spend their time looking for small incremental gains to increase the revenues of associate members. They spend time dissing other alternatives because it's not ethanol.

You guys who spend all your time supporting ethanol are an extremely small piece of the overall debate and while you make your case here, the real world outside of these discussions are not driven by anything but price.
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darwinfinch
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Message Posted: May 30, 2013 10:18:58 AM

"I have no objections to using ethanol but I wish they would not use "corn". I wish there was better source which didn't impact food prices."

Thanks to investments in the industry spurred by the RFS, the technology is already advancing. Jump to 3:50 in the "40 facts" video:

/watch?v=f8In4v_8XeI&t=3m50s

As for food prices going up... they always go up. Is that ethanol's fault? A USDA choice steak 20 years ago was $3.41. Now it's $4.46. That's a 31% increase, which is nothing to balk at but it's actually less than what standard inflation calculators say it *should* be ($5.34). Also, bananas (which have very little to do with corn) have gone up 29% in the same time period (also below inflation).

So in a sense, food costs are actually not rising as fast as everything else, but the fact they are rising *at all* is a convenient marketing tool for anti-ethanol crowds.

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forresj
Champion Author Wilmington

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Message Posted: May 30, 2013 9:48:15 AM

I have no objections to using ethanol but I wish they would not use "corn". I wish there was better source which didn't impact food prices.
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kevanos
Rookie Author Indiana

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Message Posted: May 30, 2013 9:40:02 AM

I'm for ethanol and the continued research. I'm AGAINST the Federal government FORCING us to do ANYTHING!

Obama is out to raise prices on all fossil fuels, (he said this during his original campaign and several times since), and to bankrupt these companies. He is forcing so-called "green" energy on "we the people" by requiring certain percentages of all energy to be the "green" energy.

Have you researched industrial wind turbines? These are not "windmills", but are 50-story tall enormous structures with all kinds of issues, many not fully understood. They are not "green"... massive amounts of concrete (a huge CO2 polluter) are poured into the ground, for eternity, forever altering the groundwater and natural drainage in the area, and who-knows-what else. Tons of steel, fiberglass, and plastics are formed, transported (using lots of diesel fuel) and erected in formerly pristine areas, forever altering the landscape, wind patterns, animal populations (esp. bats and birds), etc... Hundreds of gallons of oil are used for lubricant (fossil fuel) and stored on-site with potential for leakage, plus the waste when it must be changed!

"Green"??? Not even!
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rumbleseat
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Message Posted: May 30, 2013 8:50:23 AM

Many people assume because we have the capability to extract a lot of oil we didn't even know about a few years ago, and production is going to ramp up, that all is well, oil will never run out. While it sure looks that way at quick glance, it just means the older among us won't see true scarcity, but the youngest may, and our children and grandchildren will eventually see oil products get extremely expensive as supplies dwindle.
We can't count on another crude oil bonanaza every 25 or 30 years forever. But, just as so many don't care about the debt we leave our grandchildren, or the polluted rivers and lakes, or the mountains with their tops blown off, or the illnesses resistant to antibiotics that are becoming increasingly common, I guess they won't care about energy needs beyond their lifetimes.
The longer we put off true alternatives, the more expensive their development will be. Ethanol gives us more time to do worthwhile research and development.
IMHO

[Edited by: rumbleseat at 5/30/2013 8:50:57 AM EST]
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gamechanger2011
Champion Author Wichita

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Message Posted: May 30, 2013 8:22:43 AM

I agree Hannie. Oil is a fossil fuel and our supplies are decreasing constantly. I have heard different ideas about when crude reserves are expected to deplete. I even recently spoke to someone with a major oil company that admits that we will eventually run out. How does this not concern most people? Being able to offer higher blends of ethanol could make our crude reserves go farther and last longer. This should be a no brainer. Why the constant battle? I don't get it and I probably never will.

My passion comes from wanting to make a difference and do something about it before we leave a future generation in a big bind. We owe it to our kids and grandkids to work on this and figure it out. Greed and control are slowing down the process. Money is at the root of the problem. But no matter how many come at me trying to temper my "zeal"...I won't back down.


My degree and background is in another field as well. I got involved in this field to try to change things and make a difference.


[Edited by: gamechanger2011 at 5/30/2013 8:23:13 AM EST]
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Hannie59
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Message Posted: May 30, 2013 7:31:28 AM

The way I see it, ethanol is the one of a few choices before us to create a market of choices.

I don't want to see ethanol replace gasoline, and don't want anything to dominate the way oil does now. And we can debate until the end of time on how gasoline ended up in it's current dominating position, but IMO it has been unscrupuolous, and detrimental to our economy as it stands today. We need choices, and renewable are the best.

No matter what anyone may think, I have nothing to do with agriculture, fuel, or ethanol in any way. If I revealed what I do for a living, not a single reader nor poster would believe me because of how vehemently I support ethanol.

brerrabbitTX is not in this group that I can safely place many other posters in, which appear to want nobody to ever be able to have a fuel choice. Although I question some of his stances and statements, he has not typically resorted to blatant false claims.

gamechanger is lobbying hard, and correctly, for fuel choices. I agree with gamechanger on 2 things. Ethanol is viable. Most of us in this camp support it not ONLY because it is "viable", but because it in many ways, is a great fuel to use. Cruising down the highway knowing that alcohol fuel is not emitting many harmful pollutants, keeping my enginge and fuel system pristinely clean, and employing alot of good fellow citizens, and NOT supporting the monopoly oil war machine is a good thing.

Most in the opposite camp can't think beyond the fact that if you can't drive as far on 15 gallons of E-85 as you can on 15 gallons of E-0, that's the whole story. Combine this with the low blow smear campaign that big oil is behind, you end up with people unable to think through the issue clearly and unable to see that ethanol's penetration into the marketwould be highly advantageous for any american that doesn't profit from oil's monopoly.



[Edited by: Hannie59 at 5/30/2013 7:37:20 AM EST]
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gamechanger2011
Champion Author Wichita

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Message Posted: May 30, 2013 7:14:09 AM

Rumbleseat....Exactly what I was saying!
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rumbleseat
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: May 30, 2013 3:08:50 AM

Ethanol is the only solution for which the vast majority of vehicles are compatible, and for which the vast majority of distribution and dispensing infrastructure is in place.
Is it the only solution forever?
No, of course not. There could be breakthroughs in battery technology, there could be micro-reactors, there could be new engines, all kinds of things could happen in the next 50 years.
But natural gas is no quick solution, we are a few hundred thousand filling stations short of it being a major automotive fuel.
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gamechanger2011
Champion Author Wichita

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Message Posted: May 29, 2013 11:21:08 PM

I'm sorry BrerrabbittTX but I think it's kind of ironic that someone that sits behind a desk at a major Oil Company is telling me that "I" don't get it. Very ironic!


[Edited by: gamechanger2011 at 5/29/2013 11:22:36 PM EST]
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gamechanger2011
Champion Author Wichita

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Message Posted: May 29, 2013 10:59:55 PM

I don't get what brerrabbitTX. My spouse has been in the fuel business for over 20 years. We get it! We are doing it. It's pretty great to be able to sit in an office and be an armchair quarterback....but we are on the field. We are taking risks and making things happen. We are giving customers a choice at the pump. What is your contribution?



[Edited by: gamechanger2011 at 5/29/2013 11:02:03 PM EST]
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brerrabbitTX
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Message Posted: May 29, 2013 10:47:44 PM

See gamechanger, Darwin and Hannie get it, while you don't. While they agree with you that ethanol is a part of a solution you immediately jump to the position that it is the only solution. They ask the right question, "why is end game so important?"

I specifically asked that question to see what responses I got from who. They have shown their true colors by questioning end game and pointing to multiple solutions that can very well include multiple options. Hannie has said that he is looking for choice and to reduce dependence on foreign sources of fuel. Since we are swimming in Natural Gas in this country it can be a part of a solution. He acknowledges that, but you make it clear that in your world the only answer is ethanol so I will ask you the question I asked earlier," Is the end game 85%? If so where does all the ethanol come from? Can the world support the largest energy consuming economy per capita in the world up to that level?"
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gamechanger2011
Champion Author Wichita

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Message Posted: May 29, 2013 7:10:50 PM

Brerrabbitt said...
"Ethanol is also subject to fierce competition from other alternative fuels such that it may well be displaced along with oil as the transportation fuel of the future in the US. CNG, LNG, potentially fuel cells, and even electric cars are all alternatives competing to displace the current motor fuels in the US."

Fierce competition? Are you kidding me? With our current fleet on the road today, and our current infrastructure, which one of these so called "fierce competitors" can we use? Ethanol is the only fuel that can be used in our fleets today without making drastic and very expensive changes. It costs less then $150 per car to change them to flex capability at the factory. Ethanol can also be dispensed out of current fuel dispensers.

It makes sense that you would suggest that CNG is a serious contender...it's another fossil fuel. You do work for a major oil company. CNG will never be a contender for our automobiles. I would never drive around with a car full of natural gas. I won't even light my pilot light on my gas water heater. And I'm one of many that feel this way. There is also the very costly expense of making changes to cars and infrastructure.

Batteries? Not in our lifetime. Batteries come with a whole list of problems. So I am sorry to say that ethanol is our only viable option, and the only one that make sense at this juncture.



[Edited by: gamechanger2011 at 5/29/2013 7:13:41 PM EST]
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Hannie59
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Message Posted: May 29, 2013 6:50:30 PM

darwinfinch said: "What's the obsession with "end games"? Our energy future isn't a battle royale for monopoly control over everything (that's what Big Oil thinks it is), it's a team race to find diverse solutions for an economy+environment hybrid that is sustainable. If you think the ethanol industry's unwillingness to pursue a 100% market share of the fuel industry is a weakness, then you may be stuck in the Big Oil mindset of the 19th/20th centuries."

THANK YOU darwinfinch! Extremely well put, you make my points better than I do.
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darwinfinch
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Message Posted: May 29, 2013 5:22:23 PM

"Ethanol supporters have never advocated on a widespread basis what their end game is."

What's the obsession with "end games"? Our energy future isn't a battle royale for monopoly control over everything (that's what Big Oil thinks it is), it's a team race to find diverse solutions for an economy+environment hybrid that is sustainable.

If you think the ethanol industry's unwillingness to pursue a 100% market share of the fuel industry is a weakness, then you may be stuck in the Big Oil mindset of the 19th/20th centuries.

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krzysiek_ck
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: May 29, 2013 11:57:11 AM

Interesting facts about Ethanol production. The only thing Big Oil Shills can do is to try to spin it or high jack the topic.
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brerrabbitTX
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Message Posted: May 29, 2013 10:26:48 AM

I would point out that as much as there are studies supporting ethanol there are also numerous ones not supporting it.

I think two arguements that really need to be considered and I have yet to see any ethanol backed study address are 1) Is ethanol proposing that the entire US fleet switch to E-85? This is an extremely important question that has failed to be answered. It's important because ethanol supporters have never advocated on a widespread basis what their end game is. They have fought and succedded in forcing the economy to a 10% blend world as indicated by the fact that based on ethanol usage and fuel sold in the US last year it was the equivilant of 9.7% ethanol equivalent in every gallon of gas sold in the US. Is the end game 85%? If so where does all the ethanol come from? Can the world support the largest energy consumming economy per capita in the world up to that level? Fighting an winning incremental battles like the EPA approval of 15% blends is advocating the growth of a business for economic gain and not the noble cause that many here advocate. In other words the people pushing the ethanol solution at the higher levels are not "cause" zealots wanting to save the world but rather businessmen trying to hawk their products.

Secondly, all this talk of discontinuing the import of oil. Increased ethanol usage is not necessarily going to stop the imports. In fact they may have little or no effect on imports. Why? Simply because the vast majority of refinery expansions in the last several years in the US have been specifically designed to refine oil in order to immediately turn around and export it. Refiners do not need RIN's to cover exported product. So in a way you can say that the RFA has actually created a demand for imports because the Gulf Coast refiners that expanded can take the imports, make gas and diesel and turn around a export it to South America, Europe, Mexico, and the Far East and not have to worry about RIN's credits. They have increased refining capacity in a US market where demand for it is falling, and they are doing it knowing full well that all the increased production will be exported. The US is becoming a major refining destination with the express intent of exporting product to countries who either do not want to, or cannot build their own refineries. We have the capital and the technology while the importing countries do not. So continued falling demand in the US will not cut imports necessarily, it will just continue the imports of oil and significantly increase the amount of exports.

Ethanol is also subject to fierce competition from other alternative fuels such that it may well be displaced along with oil as the transportation fuel of the future in the US. CNG, LNG, potentially fuel cells, and even electric cars are all alternatives competing to displace the current motor fuels in the US. And with those alternatives there is absolutely no debate to be had along the lines of trading fuel for food so they are much simpler, cleaner alternatives. The current phylosophy of the leaders of ethanol today are truly fighting for table scraps and what they can get while they can get it. I truly be;ieve they are not stating what their end game state is because realistically given everything else going on in the marketplace they know that that goal is unattainable so for the time being they will take what they can get. Lets face it natural gas is overly abundent in the US marketplace today. So much so that they are planning massive export capacities of LNG and in many of the new oil production areas the economics of the NG they are hitting looking for oil are causing them to merely flare the NG because it is a nusince to the oil production. Imagine that a viable fuel source so cheap and abundent that they don't even attempt to market it.
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jacksfan
Champion Author Lincoln

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Message Posted: May 29, 2013 9:59:07 AM

So shocky stumbled onto a career animal agriculture researcher who's carved out a niche doing studies for Anti-Ethanol groups that always reach conclusions negative toward ethanol.

Real credible, shocky. Almost as credible as you telling us you oppose subsidies.
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SilverStreaker
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: May 29, 2013 9:36:39 AM

33gort33 says "sadly, even coming from Iowa, ethanol takes as much or more energy to produce than it gives back."
Only if you count the solar energy it takes to grow the crop. According to the US Dept. of Energy's Ethanol Myths and Facts: "Ethanol has a positive energy balance – that is, the energy content of ethanol is greater than the fossil energy used to produce it – and this balance is constantly improving with new technologies."

Their chart shows that it takes 0.74 BTU of fossil energy to make 1 BTU of corn ethanol. It takes almost twice as much fossil energy (1.23 BTU) to make 1 BTU of gasoline. Now you should really like the idea of renewable!
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Hannie59
All-Star Author Appleton

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Message Posted: May 29, 2013 9:17:04 AM

33gort33,


Study after study has proven that ethanol has a net positive energy output. More productive than well to wheel gasoline actually. This is different from MPG. But the actual energy output of a cornfield and ethanol plant is more than drilling and refining into gasoline.

Please check facts before posting off the cuff remarks such as the false statement you made below.


[Edited by: Hannie59 at 5/29/2013 9:19:18 AM EST]
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33gort33
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: May 29, 2013 9:07:30 AM

sadly, even coming from Iowa, ethanol takes as much or more energy to produce than it gives back.
I like the idea of renewable but it still needs more refining to get equal to its oil counterpart.
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Shockjock1961
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: May 24, 2013 3:44:03 PM

Ethanol Fact and Fiction Or, How the RFA Distorts Facts
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