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Old 04-30-2009, 08:10 AM
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Default EPA considering raising ethanol to 15%

via SlideshowBob:

The Environmental Protection Agency will seek public comment for 30 days on a petition by the ethanol industry to raise the limit on ethanol in gasoline to 15 percent.

The agency specifically wants comment on its idea of providing a partial waiver of the E10 limit so that higher blends could be sold only for newer vehicles, a proposal that's been roundly criticized.

The agency says "the issue of misfueling would be challenging in a situation where a conditional waiver is granted" and wants comments on the need for restrictions.

The agency also is seeking comments and data on whether there is "an appropriate level of scientific and technical information" to tell whether E15 will harm emission control devices on cars and power equipment.

The agency's 10-page announcement requesting comments can be found at:

The federal agency has until Dec. 1 to make a decision on the industry petition.

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has opened the door to allowing higher mixes of ethanol in gasoline, a potential boon to farmers and the struggling ethanol industry, but opposed by auto makers whose consumer warranties typically are tied to the current EPA standard.
The agency Thursday said it is seeking comment on whether to allow ordinary gasoline to consist of as much as 15% ethanol, an additive that has been heavily promoted by farm states. For decades, the EPA has allowed gasoline to include up to 10% ethanol.

The EPA's move came in response to a petition filed last month by the trade group Growth Energy to allow motor fuel ethanol blends of as much as 15%, citing an Energy Department study that found "no operability or driveability issues" with blends as high as 20% ethanol.

Most car warranties, however, have followed the 10% standard, which means consumers who use blends with greater than 10% ethanol could get stuckpaying the bills if there's damage to fuel lines or other components unless auto makers agree to shoulder the costs. Auto makers offer so-called flex-fuel vehicles designed to accept up to 85% ethanol fuels. But many current and older model cars aren't designed for ethanol concentrations above 10%.

Alan Adler, a spokesman for General Motors Corp., said if the EPA allows higher ethanol blends "we want to be sure that we're not on the hook for vehicles" that end up having problems with higher blends.
Earlier this year Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. recalled 214,500 Lexus vehicles sold in the U.S. that were vulnerable to corrosion problems in their fuel-delivery pipes when some ethanol fuels were used.

Pushing against the auto industry's objections are farmers, investors in ethanol-fuel start-ups, big agricultural commodities companies and some environmental groups that argue the U.S. would be better off substituting home-grown biofuels for foreign oil.
Currently nearly a quarter of all corn produced in the U.S. is used to make ethanol. That's up from about 12% in 2004. A higher blend ratio would help support corn prices.

"If we don't move that regulatory cap, without question grain supplies are going to grow and the next group looking for a bailout will be the American farmer," said Jeff Broin, chief executive officer of POET, one of the nation's largest ethanol producers, based in Sioux Falls, S.D.
An oversupply of ethanol has prompted a wave of bankruptcies and made the ethanol industry eager to expand its market. Ethanol producers are being squeezed as corn prices stay relatively high and as ethanol prices stay relatively low. Todd Alexander, a partner at Chadbourne & Parke LLP, estimates that some ethanol producers are losing up to 10 cents on every gallon of ethanol.

Another big ethanol producer, Archer Daniels Midland Co., based in Decatur, Ill., recently reported a loss in its ethanol business for its second quarter, ended Dec. 31. VeraSun Energy Corp. and Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc. have both filed for bankruptcy protection. Pacific Ethanol Inc., which has counted Bill Gates as one of its star-studded investors, said recently in federal filings that it could run out of cash by the end of April if it can't restructure its debt or raise additional financing.

In response, pro-ethanol lobbyists have stepped up efforts to win more support from the government. An ethanol trade group hired retired U.S. general and former 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark to make its case for a higher blend. The industry also has turned to Congress, where lawmakers such as Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.) have held meetings with EPA staffers, urging them to allow blends of 12% or 13% ethanol immediately -- something he argues the EPA could do now without going through a public comment process.
By law, the EPA has until Dec. 1 to decide.

So can anyone figure out what the best way to try and stop this is?

Edit- Found NMMA link here-

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Old 04-30-2009, 08:22 AM
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What BS. Ethanol from corn in North America is a loosing proposition when all the numbers are crunched.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:08 PM
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I'm personally wouldn't advocate the use of any ethanol fuel in any carburated 2-stroke motor as it seems that it's actual consistency of the blend is not very reliable and jetting problems usually occur.

GMP I'm not looking for an argument here by defending ethanol production as it has some major disadvantages, other than once you factor in the "brewers mash," the byproduct of making ethanol, and feed it to livestock, the true hydro carbon efficiency of the whole process becomes value added.

Not to far from here (western Minnesota) we have an ethanol plant that uses left over steam energy from a neighboring coal fired powerplant to make ethanol. That combination, along with livestock eating the brewers mash, makes for the most cost efficient producing ethanol plant in the country.

Another thing to keep in mind is that ethanol production is a stepping stone to methanol production which should be more energy efficient in producing alcohol and may well find it's way into our fuel tanks in the next 10 to 20 years.
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:55 PM
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I get 4-8% better gas mileage (estimated) in my car with 100% gasoline. My neighbor who has a Honda hybrid gets 10% better mileage (measured) with straight gas. I try to not run ethanol in my bikes because it breaks down quickly (weeks versus months).
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:22 PM
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Thank you for pointing that out. I was refering to the energy expended in the process. How much of this byproduct can actually be sold/stored and used? That plant must be a special case. In South America its supposed to be more efficient with sugar cane.
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:10 AM
SideshowBob SideshowBob is offline
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Please use the link and protest this!

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Old 05-03-2009, 09:06 PM
iajim iajim is offline
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Default ethanol

Just a few random thoughts on ethanol. Raising the alcohol content in gas won’t help , but it’s not the doomsday mark for two cycle engines either. If you ride a four stroke, particularly a fuel injected one, you probably won’t notice much difference. The root cause of the problem is that you , me and all other two stroke owners are trying to use fuel made for a four stroke, fuel injected, V-8 in a much a much smaller two stroke, carbureted single cyl. engine. Hopefully the manufacturers’ will come up w/ alternative jetting guidelines. We may all have to run a blend of race gas/ pump gas to be on the safe side. Several years ago Polaris recommended 10% richer jetting for engines running on gasohol, in any event more alcohol will require richer jetting. My Dad’s midget car racer used Triumph motorcycle engines running straight methanol, the main jet needed to be tripled, then start leaning down. GMP, I don’t want to argue with you on ethanol, there simply is more to the issue, you can find statistics to prove anything. I wouldn’t blame the ethanol producers, they’re trying to sell their product to the auto industry as an alternative, not a superior replacement. As far as inefficiencies, keep in mind that an ethanol plant has to be able to sell the corn fructose or syrup to stay afloat. The leftover corn “mash” has value as animal feedstock, roughly 28% protein as opposed to an ear of corn which has about 9% protein. By comparison, an oil refinery always operates at a net loss of product. If you have 100 barrels of oil going in, there might only be 96 to 98 or less coming out as product, the rest being used in heaters, boilers, etc. They also must be able to sell their by- products, asphalt, heavy oil, LP & Natural gas. Even a small unit (section) of an oil refinery will have three dozen 50 Hp. Elec. Motors and a couple of others in the 250 – 300 Hp. range. It all takes energy. There’s no easy answer, they all operate a losing process, the price at the pump makes or breaks them. The refiners’ would love to sell us exactly what we want, 98 octane, 8.8 vapor press., no light naptha and minimum reformate blend, but we’re too small of a market. One idea kicked around was to increase the amount of oil in the gas, going from 40:1 to 24:1. The basic idea being that you could replace the lost BTU’s in ethanol with an increase of BTU’s in the oil. The problem is more oil = lower octane, exactly what you don’t want. I’m hopeful that there will always be a low/ no alcohol, hi octane blend available. Muscle cars, snowmobiles, 4 wheelers, outboards, they all like the 100% petroleum fuel. If you are in a situation where you have to run a higher amount of ethanol, you’d better re- jet richer, I can’t emphasize that enough. I know it’s not a solution, but hang in there. As Red Green would say “we’re all in this together”.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:37 AM
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The fact is ethanol is less efficient as a fuel and you will pay at the pump in one way or another. Either by increased crude prices for petroleum fuel or from using more ethanol based fuel to do the same amount of work. Does anyone really think that a high ratio ethanol blend will be cost adjusted at the pump to offset the lower energy content? I'll beleive that when I see it. We will end up paying the same for an inferior fuel that has other negative points, at least in current vehicles. Remember MTBE as an oxygenate a few years back? It was a great thing to reduce emmisions, that is until it was found in groundwater. Did the MTBE producers get a bailout?

Perhaps it would be better to research the possibility of using it as a home heating fuel, particularly in the midwest areas local to the source. Seems like it would be a lot less work to develop an ethanol heating system and a lot less overhead in handling and transporting the fuel. Maybe a good use for some of that bailout $$, right Obama?

Sorry, but this is premature and stinks of politics, not science. I agree with wanting to see the numbers for the big picture, not just partial data desirable by a special interest group.

Yes, please do use the petition link.

Last edited by GMP; 05-04-2009 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:19 AM
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Go here to find a station that sells E0 (0% ethanol) gasoline...

It takes 1.5 gallons of ethanol to equal the energy in 1 gallon of gasoline. Ethanol oxygenates the fuel and tips the oxygen reading on the 02 sensor so that the "system" thinks it is running lean and enrichens the mixture. The combination of these two factors makes many see less fuel mileage - usually up to 10%. My '97 toyota 4runner would drop from 15mpg all around to 13.5 mpg all around when winter fuel kicked in. 10%.

Make me pay for 10% ethanol and then reduce my fuel mileage by 10% - that's a big winner. Tell me how that one reduces our dependence on foreign oil?

Oregon has an initiative process here - I am going to talk to my local state senator, a neighbor of mine, and work to get a initiative on an upcoming ballot that will outlaw ethanol in premium gas here in oregon so we have a choice. I think you need 15k signatures. They changed the law to allow some premium to be sold without ethanol - the original sponsor of the bill that made e10 mandatory in Oregon owned a prius and her mileage went to crap when she started running the blend - so she was for a modification of the mandate to allow for E0 premium in some locations.

I want to get an initiative on the ballot just to see how much the ethanol energy consortium will throw at it to defeat it...

Even Al Gore now says Ethanol was a mistake in terms of being green - he admitted that he was "for it" because the first Presidential Primary was in Iowa.... Jerk....

One advantage of switching to a big diesel - I don't have to deal with the crap any more.

This summer Mazda is introducing a high tech and highly efficient turbo diesel for their auto line - it is called Sky-D -> My wife will be driving one of those after they shake the kinks out of it...

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Old 05-31-2011, 06:40 AM
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Here in Brasil we use to have (90s) many cars who was 100% alcohol. These cars are more faster that the similars who rode in gas because the higer compression ratio used in alcohol engines. The mileage are slower but alcohol are 20-30% cheaper than gas.

Today, the cars can use gasoline or alcohol in any ratio without any care or big diference. Gas has better mileage but alcohol better torque and power. The prices of the alcohol are always changing due agricultural things. When alcohol are good for me, i put alcohol.

Anyway, our gasoline have mixed 25% alcohol. We don`t have pure gasoline or race gas.

The Bikes have small issues with idle and less power due the fact that the engines aren`t ready for our mixed fuel. But belive when bikes are ready for gas-alcohol mix that will be better than only gas bikes like our Brasilian cars.
Alcohol has more power and the engine heat less. The problem will be the less mileage.

sory my poor english
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Last edited by Leo; 05-31-2011 at 07:21 AM.
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