backtop


Print 88 comment(s) - last by bebimbap.. on Dec 7 at 6:24 PM

EPA responds "don't worry, we're warning folks, but we're forcing it on them anyways"

President Obama's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made quite the unpopular decision when it pushed ahead with plans to force E15 -- a blend of fuel with a higher percentage of ethanol; mostly from "dirty" corn sources -- on consumers.  The move came despite an impassioned plea from politicians on both sides of the aisle that warned of dire consequences to livestock farmers and consumer food prices if the measure passed.

I. AAA: Stop This E15 Nonsense

Now the nation's largest travel organization, AAA has joined the critics, pleading the EPA to reconsider its decision to manipulate the market and push more ethanol on consumers.

The AAA made the decision to oppose the E15 rollout after surveying its 53 million members. What it found was somewhat surprising; despite the contentious debate about corn ethanol in the media, 95 percent of members who responded said they had never heard of E15.

AAA ethanol
AAA has petitioned the EPA to stop its E15 rollout. [Image Source: AAA]

The recommendation is also based on a second survey of auto manufacturers, which asserts that just 12 million out of the 240 million light vehicles on the road today are ready for E15.  Chrysler LLC does not certify any of its vehicles (including current models) as being safe to fuel with E15.  While General Motors Comp. (GM) and Ford Motor Comp. (F) certify their current vehicles for E15 use, they explicitly recommend against it for older vehicles, saying it can cause engine damage.

In addition to Chrysler, a number of foreign manufacturers, including Toyota Motor Corp. (TYO:7203), Nissan Motor Comp., Ltd. (TYO:7201), Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), and Volkswagen AG (ETR:VOW) do not certify their vehicles for E15 use.  In fact, they warn that using E15 in current model year North American vehicles may void your warranty, if the vehicle receives fuel-related damage.

Chrysler, Honda Motor Comp., Ltd. (TYO:7267), Mazda Motor Corp. (TYO:7261), Kia-Hyundai, Daimler AG's (ETR:DAI) luxury imprint Mercedes-Benz, and AB Volvo (OMX:VOLV) all warn that E15 is not covered in their owner manuals and just using it may fully void your warranty coverage.

AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet said in a statement to The Detroit News, "It is clear that millions of Americans are unfamiliar with E15, which means there is a strong possibility that many motorists may improperly fill up using this gasoline and damage their vehicle.  Bringing E15 to the market without adequate safeguards does not responsibly meet the needs of consumers.  The sale and use of E15 should be suspended until additional gas pump labeling and consumer education efforts are implemented to mitigate problems for motorists and their vehicles."

Currently, 95 percent of gas stations nationwide sell E10, a blend that contains ten percent ethanol, a level that automakers say is less caustic to older engines.  In Dec. 2010 the "Big Three" U.S. automakers lost their case before the U.S. Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit, in which they argued against the impending EPA E15 rollout, on the grounds that it would damage their older vehicles.

Last year, the Republican-controlled U.S House of Representatives passed a bill that would have blocked the EPA from enacting the higher blend, but the Democratic-controlled Senate mothballed the bill, refusing to discuss it.  

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) was among the hundreds of federal politicians to sign the petition to the EPA to grant a waiver on the E15 requirement.  He said in a recent statement, "AAA's findings affirm what we have already heard — E15 causes premature engine damage and voids warranties, even on new models.  Concerns about E15 are not diminishing; they are increasing. That is telling. When an organization like AAA, a nationally trusted source for motorists, calls out the EPA, you would think the administration would listen."

II. EPA: We Don't Care

But it appears instead the administration is listening to corn advocates.  The decision to artificially inflate corn demand is a boon for big corn producers like Archer Daniels Midland Comp. (ADM) and ConAgra Foods, Inc. (CAG), which may pocket billions in profits from the manipulation.

corn profits
Big corn donates deeply to federal politiicans, who in turn reward it with billions in subsidies.
[Image Source: Agriculture.com]

 
The EPA in a response to the AAA statement says it is simply not turning back on E15, commenting that instead it will add warnings to gas stations to help "educate" customers.  Comments a spokesperson, "To address these concerns, EPA has been working with AAA and other stakeholders to help inform consumers about the use of E15 and recently required all retailers that sell E15 to label fuel pumps with a prominent orange and black label that EPA developed with the Federal Trade Commission. While EPA does not require retailers to sell E15, the label will help ensure consumers are aware about which vehicles are approved for its use."

Meanwhile Bob Dinneen chief of the corn growers advocacy, the Renewable Fuels Association, blast the AAA and its fellow E15 opponents saying what's good for corn is good for the country.  He comments, "[The AAA protest] reflects a pathetic ignorance of EPA's unprecedented test program before approving E15 for commercial use. The fact is E15 has been the most aggressively and comprehensively tested fuel in the history of the agency."

For consumers whose warranties may soon be voided by the E15 rollout and whose engines may be damaged by it, as well, about the only good news is that there currently isn't much E15 across the country.  Despite the active EPA mandate, only 10 gas stations across the country have adopted the fuel.

Sources: AAA, The Detroit News



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

We sure are stupid.
By Motoman on 12/1/2012 6:30:58 PM , Rating: 5
Fuel from food - stupid
Subsidizing food crops to make fuel from them - stupider
Forcing the fuel on consumers when it will wreck their cars - stupidest.

The only thing "pathetic" here is everyone who thinks this is even a remotely good idea - at any point of the continuum. Every single person in the EPA should be fired.




RE: We sure are stupid.
By H0rnet on 12/1/12, Rating: -1
RE: We sure are stupid.
By Motoman on 12/1/2012 6:48:14 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
why aren't people reporting about it


...because it's not really available. 10 stations in the entire country sell it right now. Also, it's not like it's going to make your car blow up the minute you fill the tank...it's going to accelerate the wear and tear that normally happens and/or introduce new problems that take time to manifest. So, your car might run fine on it for a year, before something really bad happens and you realize you need a new engine.

And then your warranty is declared invalid because you ran E15.

Then, the political fallout would happen. But it would take a while.

But since we know it causes damage, and invalidates warranties, and frankly since alcohol from food crops is patently moronic in the first place, can't we just stop pretending that any part of this is even remotely a good idea?


RE: We sure are stupid.
By michael67 on 12/5/2012 3:31:26 AM , Rating: 2
Actually i think its really criminal to use good crop land for corn fuel, the down sides are so big, even a child can see if you explain, that it is a dead end solution for all except big corn.

- Its inefficient way of making fuel.
- Its sorta bad for the engine.
- It drives up prices of food.
- But above all, the US as has a water problem, and that is that they are pumping up more water then there naturally get replenished.

It seems no one noticing it, but the US is using up its underground water reserves, at a rate of +20x times faster then what's natural getting replenished.

Its like, to keep in farmers talk, "eating up the seed you need for next years harvest", and every one know you need it, but as its a multi-year problem, we can just ignore it! (for now!)

Why fix a serious problem now, if we can ignore it for a other 10 years, till it becomes a national disaster!

I can understand that you do this if you need the food because people are hungry, or live in a underdeveloped country and farmers and government don't know better, but this it the fucking US government that is this short sided.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By LordanSS on 12/1/12, Rating: -1
RE: We sure are stupid.
By HammerFan on 12/1/2012 7:04:14 PM , Rating: 3
It really depends on the fuel trim parameters in each car's ECU in addition to the materials that the engine and fuel system are made out of. If the ECU parameters can't deal with the amount of extra fuel required or the amount of trim is considered outside the normal range, the engine will run very lean causing damage and/ or throw a code. IIRC, Ford has made E85 capable vehicles for quite a while. I think it's signified by the road-and-leaf emblem.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Lord 666 on 12/2/2012 12:42:01 AM , Rating: 3
GM and Chrysler have made E85 compliant motors as well for since at least 2007. Find it odd that Chrysler now says no.

All this bs about fuel just makes the diesel argument stronger. My 2013 goal is to trade in our only petrol ride for a diesel van or suv so 100% of our household vehicles run diesel. The 2014 milestone is to homebrew some astm biodiesel.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By StevoLincolnite on 12/2/2012 1:46:09 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
All this bs about fuel just makes the diesel argument stronger.


Or LPG. :)
Cheaper, burns cleaner, relatively cheap to convert existing vehicles to it, readily available and cheaper to buy.

Costs me less than half the price of regular petroleum with slightly less fuel economy and you can keep the regular petrol tank and double your driving range too.

However, I'm not sure what the US infrastructure is like compared to Australia's when it comes to LPG, but here it's readily available at every petrol station.

I'll never again run a Petrol-only vehicle.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By semo on 12/2/2012 6:38:36 AM , Rating: 2
I will be running on LPG in the next few months but I highly doubt that there is any money to be saved. At today's prices, LPG is only slightly cheaper than petrol because you lose up to 25% efficiency (power remains the same more or less). Also, LPG prices seem to be rising faster than petrol and diesel.

The best way to stick it to OPEC is to run on CNG, waste oil or full electric but unfortunately these technologies are not for me (CNG-no stations in my area; waste oil-can’t afford maintenance of a modern turbo diesel and too much work is required; full electric-too expensive).


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Lord 666 on 12/2/2012 1:42:32 PM , Rating: 3
Sounds a little like "Mad Max." ;)

From pigs and other sources, LPG is renewable. The concern is non-renewable CNG. While the US supposedly has decades of reserves untapped, its only prolonging the inevitable.

What has longer legs (especially in Aus and other bright areas) is taking the NG and connecting it to a solar machine to break down into water, hydrogen, and electricity. Through some purification, the water is potable.

In 10 years, we will be discussing how in the old days water was clean and drinkable unless something is drastically done.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Lord 666 on 12/2/2012 7:04:34 PM , Rating: 1
Just searched for Chrysler E85 compliant cars and found this http://www.chrysler.com/en/flexfuel/

Guess it is technically true or the site is woefully out-of-date with only 2009 and 2010 models listed. Even the Chrysler site cross references a Wikipedia article... more real content than a Mick article ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexible_fuel


RE: We sure are stupid.
By tecknurd on 12/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: We sure are stupid.
By rdhood on 12/3/2012 2:37:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Or LPG. :)


THIS ^. I would be great to have some LPG fill stations, as well as an LPG fill station in my garage. I would never have to fill up at a station again (except for vacations or other extended driving).


RE: We sure are stupid.
By cyberguyz on 12/2/2012 6:37:18 AM , Rating: 1
Absolutely correct on the ECU.

The materials should be ok. Ethanol is far less corrosive than Methanol (the only reason it isn't considered even in small amounts).

My '13 Ford Focus is E95 capable, but my '10 Toyota Venza would need ECU adjustments to handle it.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By knutjb on 12/4/2012 9:57:05 AM , Rating: 3
It is not just an ECU correction, unless your FUEL SYSTEM is designed to handle greater than 10% Ethanol that is what will fail first potentially leading to engine damage from inconsistent fuel mixtures in each cylinder. Ethanol is still very corrosive and unlike when lead was removed from fuel there are no additives to prevent damage. Lead was a valve seat lubricant as well as octane booster.



RE: We sure are stupid.
By darkpuppet on 12/3/2012 2:20:05 PM , Rating: 2
While you're correct that a proper tune is essential to optimum performance, there is one slight difference, Ethanol has a higher stoichiometric ratio than gas, as well as a higher octane.

So putting that in your engine will typically run your engine a bit richer than it needs to be.

Alcohol is about 16:1, while gas is 14:1. Your car's narrowband will always aim for 14:1, when in fact the mixture is happiest at something slightly higher.

So your engine would run a little less efficiently, and the real danger is ethanol's tendency to absorb water which can cause corrosion, or misfire/flooding.

There's no real reason why we couldn't run some form of ethanol in our cars safely -- but current engines aren't really developed for the unique properties of ethanol, and replacing gas with ethanol just results in lower mileage, and a greater amount of wasted fuel.

So not sure how the benefits really outweigh the disadvantages.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Samus on 12/2/2012 3:32:27 AM , Rating: 2
You are exactly right. This whole dealio is politics and nothing else.

And the politics of forcing E15 on consumers has less to do with damage to their cars and more to do with E15 fuel reduces fuel economy, making it harder for automakers to meet EPA fuel economy requirements.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By freedom4556 on 12/6/2012 10:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
making it harder for automakers to meet EPA fuel economy requirements.

Except that's not true. The EPA specifies pure gas for the tests, making them even further from real world. Furthermore, the Cafe MPG numbers are unadjusted, so they're even higher then what's on the EPA window sticker.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By The0ne on 12/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: We sure are stupid.
By cyberguyz on 12/2/2012 6:24:50 AM , Rating: 2
Friend,

You are taking the same short view as the American government. That short view being that all NEW cars should be able to handle it.

But of the millions of cars on the road, only about half of them are less than 5 years old.

True that automakers can (and should) be forced to producing new cars that can run on renewable source fuels, but you can't force the owners of the millions of cars out there that have already been designed to use it (i.e. E85 ready cars) to start using gas that would eat their engines. Allowing something like this to pass against the advice from the people that made those cars would be the American government shooting itself in the foot (and possibly see a newly re-elected American president impeached).

Also some food for thought here:

Ethanol contains less energy than Methanol. Methanol has less energy than Gasoline/Petrol. The lower the energy a fuel has, the more of it you need to burn to make the same power. Ethanol has to be burned at a much lower air fuel ratio than gas (injectors set to a richer air/fuel blend). That means you will get half the mileage out of pure ethanol (approx 8 to 1 air/fuel ratio) than you do with gasoline (around 15 to 1). Economy numbers would go down the crapper. The more ethanol you mix in with the petroleum, the worse mileage you will get from it. To burn ethanol at anywhere near the same air/fuel ratio as gasoline, you have to keep the percentage mixed in the gas at a really low percentage. Go higher than that and you have to start adjusting the engine computers richer to compensate (and blow away all those EPA fuel economy targets).


RE: We sure are stupid.
By NellyFromMA on 12/3/2012 4:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
IF people hold onto their current cars for very long, thats not very stimulating economically.

That's about the only (far fetched as it is) logic I can come up with, other than CORNMONOPOLY


RE: We sure are stupid.
By ebakke on 12/4/2012 1:34:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
True that automakers can (and should) be forced to producing new cars that can run on renewable source fuels, but you can't force the owners of the millions of cars out there that have already been designed to use it (i.e. E85 ready cars) to start using gas that would eat their engines
Why can't you?

You've already shown your willingness to force one group of people into actions they otherwise wouldn't make, and that may be detrimental. Why is another group treated differently?

Or do you know what's "right" for everyone?


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Jeffk464 on 12/1/2012 8:48:23 PM , Rating: 3
Environmentalists don't support corn based ethanol because its not an environmentally sound process. It uses a lot of land and barely produces more fuel then was used to make it.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Pneumothorax on 12/2/2012 2:38:06 AM , Rating: 2
Then protest YOUR President and let him know how you guys feel about it. If you guys were were fired about killing food-based ethanol as 'taxing the rich', I'm sure Obama would rein in the EPA.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By km4c on 12/4/2012 10:28:08 AM , Rating: 2
Even though I have some very harsh criticisms for Obama's economic policies, remember that ethanol in our gasoline did not start under Obama. I would like the truth on this from either side. Why are we doing something so idiotic as putting a substance in our fuel that erodes the fuel lines of vehicles, boats, and all other forms of transportation, make's worse gas mileage with less power, is worse for the environment, and the only thing "green" about it is the money that is lining the pockets of the corn growers and whoever they are paying to make sure that it happens. How about an IRS audit of everyone in charge of the EPA?


RE: We sure are stupid.
By ebakke on 12/4/2012 11:16:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even though I have some very harsh criticisms for Obama's economic policies, remember that ethanol in our gasoline did not start under Obama.
True, but irrelevant. He's the guy who can stop it today.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By ritualm on 12/1/2012 6:40:12 PM , Rating: 3
Let's all firebomb the EPA with E15-filled jerry cans.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By espaghetti on 12/1/12, Rating: -1
RE: We sure are stupid.
By DiscoWade on 12/1/2012 9:30:29 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah. Let me know how that works. You'll have more success finding the lost city of Atlantis.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By espaghetti on 12/5/2012 2:07:36 AM , Rating: 2
Found it. It was right beside the people that get sarcasm when they read it.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Ammohunt on 12/3/2012 1:32:12 PM , Rating: 3
You must work for the FBI...


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Bad-Karma on 12/3/2012 4:35:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah.... I'm thinking that with the current political environment you're statement, if not over, is coming very close to a red line especially for a public forum.

For your own good, you might want to dial it back a bit before you get paid an unwanted visit...


RE: We sure are stupid.
By EricMartello on 12/1/2012 7:48:34 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Fuel from food - stupid
Subsidizing food crops to make fuel from them - stupider
Forcing the fuel on consumers when it will wreck their cars - stupidest.


The people who go along with corn ethanol seem to be oblivious to the fact that corn is a staple crop used for both human and animal consumption. That means fluctuations in the availability of corn will affect prices for all products that use corn or are derived from something that eats corn.

The truth is that corn ethanol is directly responsible for higher gas prices AND higher food prices combined with a negative environmental impact since more corn is grown which means more pesticides being sprayed. It also increases our national spending due to subsidies...and yet it still gets the green light.

quote:
The only thing "pathetic" here is everyone who thinks this is even a remotely good idea - at any point of the continuum. Every single person in the EPA should be fired.


I would argue that anyone who is "thinking" can see that corn or grain-based ethanol is a bad idea that isn't solving any problems and only creates new ones.

Biodiesel is the most viable "alternative" fuel that has been put forth and if own a diesel vehicle and have access to waste vegetable oil. By processing a mixture of normal pump diesel fuel with the waste vegetable oil your cost per gallon of diesel can be reduced from ~$4 to around ~$1.

Mixing it yourself is the way to go since buying pump biodiesel in the USA if it's even available offers little to no cost savings over regular diesel. There are some nice diesel cars, SUVs and trucks available now in the USA that will run on this stuff efficiently (30+ MPG).


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Lord 666 on 12/2/2012 12:55:33 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is those nice vehicles (VW, MB, BMW, Audi) are only certified through B5 biodiesel.

All Cummins based powerplants in passenger vehicles are approved for B100 consumption. Do not know about International, but assuming the same.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By EricMartello on 12/2/2012 3:27:37 AM , Rating: 2
Well that's what is good about home-made biodiesel - you adjust the ratio of waste oil to pump diesel plus additives like methanol to produce a fuel that will run in a standard diesel engine without any problems.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Bad-Karma on 12/3/2012 4:45:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do not know about International,


My 03 IH T444E only needed a few hoses to be changed out and it runs B100 just fine. But now there are no longer any stations within 200 miles selling it. However, it's the low surfer diesel requirement that pissed me off. The sulfur acts like a lubricant to lot of the gaskets & seals. When they go bad, I've been replacing them with ones made for new requirement but what a headache.

And i also now I have to regularly add surfer additives back in whenever I fill up.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By bennyg on 12/4/2012 8:57:03 AM , Rating: 2
lol at adding sulfur back INTO fuel... the need for this situation is BEYOND stupidest.

(FYI I have a pet hate for sulfur other than for its post-combustion pollution, I have a ride with a M60-B40 nikasil V8)


RE: We sure are stupid.
By patronanejo on 12/5/2012 6:39:11 PM , Rating: 2
So take corn out of the food.

It sucks.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By martyrant on 12/1/12, Rating: -1
RE: We sure are stupid.
By Motoman on 12/1/2012 11:31:34 PM , Rating: 3
Holy f%ck you're a moron. Please don't procreate. You just might be dumber than Swash and Pirks combined.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Pneumothorax on 12/2/2012 2:41:11 AM , Rating: 3
Probably a ConAgra plant. I hold Archer/daniels and Conagra at about the same level as Monsanto.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By use on 12/1/2012 11:40:43 PM , Rating: 3
Where do YOU get your statistics. Almost 40% of US corn crop goes to ethanol (see http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/corn/backgrou...

Perhaps you have mis-read the other statistic which says the 90% of all feed is corn -- those two statistics are not the same.

While ethanol might be a good intermediate fuel source for automobiles, first generation ethanol production (corn-based) is recognized by most engineers to NOT be the solution.

Even better fuels are butanol, etc.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By martyrant on 12/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: We sure are stupid.
By martyrant on 12/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: We sure are stupid.
By epobirs on 12/2/2012 2:56:13 AM , Rating: 1
Gee, and what do you suppose increasing the cost of livestock feed does to the cost of products made from that livestock? Making cattle farmers compete with energy production for corn is a profoundly stupid idea.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By martyrant on 12/2/2012 7:30:22 PM , Rating: 1
Gee, read my post! It doesn't increase cost of feed for livestock at all, as the byproduct of alcohol (made from corn, sugar cane, hemp, whatever you want to make it out of) is more nutritious and valuable to the cow than the raw feed stock. (Cows are originally from the wooded areas of northern africa and the middle east, they were never plains dwellers and their original diet was comprised of NOT CORN AND WHAT WE FEED THEM TODAY).

Just because Monsanto, big Agro, Dupont, and DOW said it's better doesn't make it so.

An illiterate bunch of fools here.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By kypd275 on 12/3/2012 6:19:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
An illiterate bunch of fools here.


Of which you are by far and away the leader of the pack.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By JediJeb on 12/3/2012 4:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Gee, and what do you suppose increasing the cost of livestock feed does to the cost of products made from that livestock? Making cattle farmers compete with energy production for corn is a profoundly stupid idea.


From someone who has been in farming I can say that most of the public is uninformed on this. If you raise the price of corn(or any other feed source for animals)it does not directly raise the price of meat in the store. If farmers begin to sell less cattle then the price of meat in the store will rise because of short supply, but the first thing that happens is that the cattle farmers make less money because one of their consumables has increased in price. What the public does not know is that a farmer does not go to the slaughter house and tell them "here is my animal, I want $x for it." Farmers go to the slaughter house and the slaughter house tells the farmer "I will giver you $x for your animal" and the farmer is just stuck with that price. Sure the farmer can refuse to sell the animal, but it is at its current peak of age and weight, and for the farmer to keep it longer only means he has to feed it more until he can sell it and that only means he will make less and less for it the longer he keeps it. Until the farmer runs out of money and has to begin to reduce his herd size, the price of meat in the store will remain the same.

The part in the article that stands out as most true is that ADM and ConAgra are the ones making out like bandits from this and is why they are the most vocal in support of the mandate. They have the huge storage facilities and will buy up the grain from the farmers when it is at lower prices then hold and sell when the ethanol producers can pay higher prices. Most farms can not afford to store a whole years worth of grain production and wait to sell at the optimal prices. From what I have heard already this year from the ones renting my fathers farm to grow corn and soybeans the prices fell during the harvest season, at least $1 per bushel (about 15%) just during the week they were harvesting there. This mandate will lead to not just car owners being screwed on their warranties, but also farmers being screwed because the groups like ADM and ConAgra will be the ones soaking up the revenues from any subsidies, which just ends up screwing the public as a whole. Be sure to place the blame where it belongs, with EPA and the middlemen of agriculture, the farmers here end up being innocent bystanders just like the car owners do.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Jeffk464 on 12/2/2012 10:08:16 AM , Rating: 1
Hemp (BGC) 6000-10000

How can this be? The higher the sugar content of the crop the higher the alcohol yield right. Isn't trying to turn hemp into ethanol similar to turning switch grass into fuel, it requires unconventional techniques. By the way this seems to be the viable solution to me, you feed the corn livestock and use the rest of the plant for ethanol. We need to get Cellulosic ethanol working well.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Jeffk464 on 12/2/2012 10:11:28 AM , Rating: 2
eh, feed the corn kernels to livestock


RE: We sure are stupid.
By martyrant on 12/2/2012 7:26:46 PM , Rating: 2
Alcohol is made from cellulose, like you said, not sugar...you answered your own question. Hemp is one of the most viable replacements for wood (you can get 4 times as much paper from 1 acre of hemp vs 1 acre of trees, and you can do it without waiting 20+ years for the woods to grow). Thus, being high in cellulose is why hemp WINS.

(wood is 40-50% cellulose, dried hemp is approximately 75% cellulose)...this is why alcohol is a no brainer, I love getting voted down! Just shows the average intelligence of the reader here :)


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Keeir on 12/2/2012 2:11:02 PM , Rating: 1
Its funny.

The US consumes around 1.4 x 10^11 gallons of Gasoline yearly.

If we want to displace this

(1.4 x 10^11 gallons x 34.8 MJ/Gallon) / (Y Litres/Acre * 1 Gallon/ 3.78 Liters x 24.3 MJ/Gallon x (1- Energy Fraction))

For Corn Ethanol Y=1500, Energy Fraction = .434 (USDA, 2008)

= 8.9 x 10^8 Acres

That would be more than 10% of US Farmlands!

Biofuels is another dead-end. The very best solution available is electric. Electricity has the highest usage efficieny (90% versus 40% Liquid Fuels including Hydrogen), Highest Transportation efficieny (90%+ versus ~80% for gasoline and NG)

Biofuels made from waste products and turned into electricity locally would be very enviromental. Biofuels made from special crops/etc is just asking for trouble. Typically Sun + Water --> Plant --> Distillery --> Pump --> Engine is not as efficient as Sun --> Electricity --> Outlet --> Engine.

Consider a Flat Horizontal Plate typically gets ~ 5 kWh/m^2/day.

5 kWh/m^2/day * 365 days/year * 4046.9 m^2/acre * 8.9 x 10^8 acres * .9 (transmission factor) * 33 miles/100 kWh * 1 gallon / 20 miles

IE, enough to displace 9.7 x 10^13 gallons of gasoline!

Even if we use Hemp, which you claim has ~6000 liters/acre and efficieny around .5, Solar Power covering the same land would produce more than ten times! the usable energy.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By martyrant on 12/2/2012 7:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
You realize you can make the alcohol and still use byproducts of the alcohol process, correct? And we would not need 10% of U.S. farmlands because hemp grows anywhere, under almost any circumstances, and actually replenishes nutrients into the soil rather than depletes them. You can grow hemp many, many, many places that you cannot grow other crops. There's a reason it's called a "weed." It grows whether or not you want it to.

And, you cannot put solar panels everywhere, or anywhere, like you can hemp (which is essentially solar energy, the plant is just doing all the work save harvest/processing), and in most parts of the world it's actually not even viable (you need a certain amount of direct light per day for it to be worth it, the further north or south you get from the equator it's usually a lot less useful).

I'm just sayin'...you can grow a crop you already do, use it for something you already do, and you can process it into alcohol on top of what you already do...and can run your car, tractor, generator, truck, lawn mower, and 2 stroke engines off it...so why not?


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Ammohunt on 12/3/2012 1:42:39 PM , Rating: 2
you forget Hydrogen/oxgen generated at nuclear plants by splitting water using electrolysis.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By cyberguyz on 12/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: We sure are stupid.
By Motoman on 12/2/2012 10:24:25 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
To partially address your third statement, all cars are equipped with computers today. Those cars can be calibrated to deal with the higher level of ethanol by richening the air/fuel ratio. Easy peasy.


quote:
For those few still running carburetors, they can simply re-jet their carbs to handle the ethanol. Again, tot a huge deal.


quote:
The only thing damaging about ethanol is running it at the wrong air/fuel mixture. Richen your air/fuel ratio from 15-1 to say, 13-1 and your engine will be just fine.


Nope. It's not just about the ECU. It's about seals that can't deal physically with alcohol. Or sensors, coatings, whatever. It categorically is not just a matter of adjusting the air-fuel ratio. You're not familiar with the actual issues.


RE: We sure are stupid.
By Motoman on 12/2/2012 10:26:06 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and for:

quote:
While I agree somewhat with your third statement, I challenge you to come up with a better solution than 1 & 2 for renewable-source fuels.


Biofuel from algae is probably the best bet right now. Although processing other bio-refuse, like from poultry processing, has also shown promise.

Making any fuel from any land that could have been used to grow food, though, is a failure from the start. There's no possible way to ever justify that. Let alone the fact that you're not even getting a net energy gain with ethanol anyway...


RE: We sure are stupid.
By NellyFromMA on 12/3/2012 4:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
You're gonna catch a nice ranting for this, but I'm board with your statement 100%. Foolish only begins to describe...


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki