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WinterKnight
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Message 1204547 - Posted: 10 Mar 2012, 13:16:42 UTC
Last modified: 10 Mar 2012, 13:16:56 UTC

About 12 yers go I sold my classic car, a Dino 246, for two reasons. The insurance companies wanted to restrict the milage to under 3000 miles/year and place strict restrictions on where I could use it and where it could be parked. Also the servicing agents told me that in the next few years I would need some expensive modifications to keep it running, which at that time would not increase the value.

I now see in an article in the Telegraph, The ethanol threat to classic cars and bikes that situation is probably worse than was first explained to me, in that it destroys seals etc.


Yet ethanol is also a powerful solvent that, without a suitable additive, attacks many fuel system components including zinc and galvanised materials, brass, copper, aluminium, seals and hoses, cork, polyurethane and epoxy resins. In other words, almost everything used in a vehicle made more than about 20 years ago. It’s also hydrophilic, and water causes all sorts of additional problems.

Which is leading to quite a few lawsuits in the US.

Also the article states something that I hadn't realised, most Ethanol production is energy negative, in that it takes more energy to produce that it delivers.

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Message 1204551 - Posted: 10 Mar 2012, 13:27:27 UTC

....And as of to date, has the world benefited from having lead removed
from fuel....has anyone seen any reports on this?


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Message 1204651 - Posted: 10 Mar 2012, 17:30:41 UTC

Ethanol is brilliant, because -

It can run in petrol engines (sometimes even without trouble);
It can be used as antifreeze in engines;
It will clean oil and dirt from clagged up parts; it can be drunk;
it can cause fights;
it can ......
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Message 1204668 - Posted: 10 Mar 2012, 18:35:43 UTC

And Ethnaol subsidies keep corporate farm conglomerations very happy while diverting the land from other uses so as to add an implicit farm price support -- makes for excellent farm country politics. Not so clear as to excellent policy though.

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Message 1204683 - Posted: 10 Mar 2012, 19:26:39 UTC - in response to Message 1204551.

....And as of to date, has the world benefited from having lead removed
from fuel....has anyone seen any reports on this?


Yes, The main reason that they supposedly added Lead to gas was to reduce pinging IIRC back in the 1930's or 40's. The problem is that the was also being breathed in. this is very hazardous for children and a complete topic on its own. Lead levels in food and children has dramatically decreased since 1974 and even more when leaded gas was taken off the market. Unleaded gas it appears has no real affect on pinging at all
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Message 1204719 - Posted: 10 Mar 2012, 21:18:08 UTC - in response to Message 1204683.

....And as of to date, has the world benefited from having lead removed
from fuel....has anyone seen any reports on this?


Yes, The main reason that they supposedly added Lead to gas was to reduce pinging IIRC back in the 1930's or 40's. The problem is that the was also being breathed in. this is very hazardous for children and a complete topic on its own. Lead levels in food and children has dramatically decreased since 1974 and even more when leaded gas was taken off the market. Unleaded gas it appears has no real affect on pinging at all

Yes, removed tetra-ethyl lead and replaced it with MTBE a much worse choice for the environment. It is now banned and ethanol seems to have mostly replaced it.


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Message 1204831 - Posted: 11 Mar 2012, 5:55:28 UTC - in response to Message 1204551.

....And as of to date, has the world benefited from having lead removed
from fuel....has anyone seen any reports on this?


There was never any evidence in the first place. All the horrible examples came from homes with lead based paint. Small kids were eating flakes of it. It should have been obvious as there was a sharp cut off in lead in the body as a function of age. Adults in the same environment did not have lead in their bodies.

Not to make a polemic of it but fact is taking it out of gasoline was so "certain" to solve the problem that the campaign to repaint apartments with lead paint took another fifteen years to get started.

For the record while there was measurable lead in the bodies of toddlers there was never a measured health problem.
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Terror Australis
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Message 1204842 - Posted: 11 Mar 2012, 7:47:04 UTC - in response to Message 1204683.

Yes, The main reason that they supposedly added Lead to gas was to reduce pinging IIRC back in the 1930's or 40's. The problem is that the was also being breathed in. this is very hazardous for children and a complete topic on its own. Lead levels in food and children has dramatically decreased since 1974 and even more when leaded gas was taken off the market. Unleaded gas it appears has no real affect on pinging at all

What made unleaded petrol usable in performance engines was the invention of computer engine management systems that retard the the spark when the engine starts to ping.

There has been no real development of the internal combustion engine since the 1930's. Most of the "current" performance enhancing developments such as tuned exhaust systems, cross flow heads, fuel injection etc. were all invented in the early 20th century.

T.A.

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Message 1204856 - Posted: 11 Mar 2012, 10:45:17 UTC

What made unleaded petrol usable in performance engines was the invention of computer engine management systems that retard the the spark when the engine starts to ping.

Engines in the 50's had an average static timing of 6 degrees BTDC, by the 70's it was about 12 degrees on 4* petrol. Then the engine management chips came in which automatically adjust the settings depending upon fuel octane and engine load. But the chips cannot manage what they haven't been designed for, and my 1998 car wont run very well on e-fuels like Tesco 99.

There has been no real development of the internal combustion engine since the 1930's. Most of the "current" performance enhancing developments such as tuned exhaust systems, cross flow heads, fuel injection etc. were all invented in the early 20th century.

What about this?

Utilising existing engine technologies, the ‘Scuderi Cycle’ engine requires no significant re-packaging and could be on the road within 3-5 years from the first carmaker agreement. Scuderi is in advanced discussion with the world’s top carmakers, to licence its technology.

The ‘Scuderi Cycle’ includes a new firing cycle, which is expected to be the most significant advancement in internal combustion engine design since traditional, ‘Otto Cycle’ over 130 years ago. Current test results have shown it to offer greater BHP per litre, reduced fuel consumption and reduced emissions, versus a traditional engine, while delivering a consistent combustion.

The result would be smaller, lighter and cleaner engines, without the need for expensive hybrid or alternative fuel technology.

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Message 1204859 - Posted: 11 Mar 2012, 11:22:55 UTC - in response to Message 1204856.

Utilising existing engine technologies, the ‘Scuderi Cycle’ engine requires no significant re-packaging and could be on the road within 3-5 years from the first carmaker agreement. Scuderi is in advanced discussion with the world’s top carmakers, to licence its technology.

The ‘Scuderi Cycle’ includes a new firing cycle, which is expected to be the most significant advancement in internal combustion engine design since traditional, ‘Otto Cycle’ over 130 years ago. Current test results have shown it to offer greater BHP per litre, reduced fuel consumption and reduced emissions, versus a traditional engine, while delivering a consistent combustion.

The result would be smaller, lighter and cleaner engines, without the need for expensive hybrid or alternative fuel technology.

Nice but not really new. A quick search reveals it's a development of the Miller Cycle engine (1940's) which is a development of the Atkinson Cycle engine of 1882.

It's an improvement of the current 4 stroke engine but not really revolutionary.

T.A.

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Message 1207627 - Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 21:24:47 UTC
Last modified: 18 Mar 2012, 21:35:32 UTC

While changing the compression and timing will affect knock, another factor comes into play. Gasoline is not one compound and each has a different octane level. The big problem with Ethanol is it needs a much higher compression level that exist in modern engines. At 108, the octane is high for even the the cars of the 1960's. Incase you forgot, the compression was reduced to reduce pollution but it also reduce power output and fuel economy. To see the different octane levels, look at Octane Ratings. Oil companies can put Gasoline together with many different octane levels, but fuel cost more after lead was eliminated because they have to construct different hydrocarbon chains to obtain the desired octane rating.
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Message 1207938 - Posted: 19 Mar 2012, 18:05:30 UTC - in response to Message 1207627.
Last modified: 19 Mar 2012, 18:08:15 UTC

I estimate Ethanol is raising the cost of food by at least 30%. The reduction of oil usage may be a quite low percentage after subtracting the fuel used to grow, harvest, distill and transport it.

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Message 1209131 - Posted: 23 Mar 2012, 1:32:00 UTC - in response to Message 1207938.

I estimate Ethanol is raising the cost of food by at least 30%. The reduction of oil usage may be a quite low percentage after subtracting the fuel used to grow, harvest, distill and transport it.


Good God, Bill! We agree. Of course, the reason we agree is that here in the US, the primary source of ethanol is corn. Corn, of course, is an ordinary food staple that has wormed its way into every facet of the American food chain.

Truth is, it's a lousy source of ethanol. A 2009 study found that 22 pounds of corn grain is required to produce 1 gallon of ethanol. To fill the fuel tank of a SUV vehicle with corn ethanol requires a total of 660 pounds of corn or food. This is enough corn to feed two people in a developing country for an entire year. Furthermore, to produce corn ethanol, 46 percent more fossil energy is required to produce a liter of ethanol than than is yielded. Oil therefore must be imported to produce ethanol. As a result, the cost to produce 1 liter of corn ethanol is US$1.05 per liter or US$3.95 per gallon.

There are other, much much more efficient sources of ethanol. Sugar cane is among the best. This is the cornerstone of Brazil's ethanol industry. Another option is Sweet Sorghum, a drought resistant plant that will grow in soil most other foods crops consider miserable. It's stalk contains a sugary liquid that can that can easily be distilled into ethanol. Oh, and the grain produced by the sorghum plant has been eaten for centuries and would be more than welcome by starving populations. Once the stalks have been pressed and the grain harvested, the remnants can be fed to livestock or burned as fuel to distill the alcohol.

You might ask yourself why you've never heard of this or why it isn't a priority to develop this further. Can you say Cargill? Can you say ADM? Can you say Congress?


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Message 1209174 - Posted: 23 Mar 2012, 5:09:23 UTC - in response to Message 1209131.

The best and most economical base source of ethanol is Switch Grass.

Quoted from the Jan 2008 Scientific American:

"Farmers in Nebraska and the Dakotas brought the U.S. closer to becoming a biofuel economy, planting huge tracts of land for the first time with switchgrass—a native North American perennial grass (Panicum virgatum) that often grows on the borders of cropland naturally—and proving that it can deliver more than five times more energy than it takes to grow it."

So where is the investment in this clean source? Not sexy enough for prime time?

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Message 1209207 - Posted: 23 Mar 2012, 10:14:16 UTC - in response to Message 1209174.

Does this yield Ethanol or Methanol ?

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Message 1209208 - Posted: 23 Mar 2012, 10:31:26 UTC - in response to Message 1209174.
Last modified: 23 Mar 2012, 10:53:06 UTC

The best and most economical base source of ethanol is Switch Grass.


Actually, Miscanthus ( A type of giant grass) yields many times more Ethanol per acre than either corn or switch grass and is not a food crop such as corn. Of course. if land is converted to grow Miscanthus then it would affect the price of food products.

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Message 1209209 - Posted: 23 Mar 2012, 10:32:16 UTC - in response to Message 1209208.
Last modified: 23 Mar 2012, 10:35:17 UTC

comments ?

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Message 1210153 - Posted: 25 Mar 2012, 21:11:58 UTC

Yippee! My truck (2008 Dodge Ram) will run quite well on ethanol.

The nearest ethanol fueling station is 185 miles away.
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Message 1210249 - Posted: 26 Mar 2012, 10:05:19 UTC - in response to Message 1210153.
Last modified: 26 Mar 2012, 10:06:26 UTC

In order to pass inspection each year I go and run about three tanks of pure gasoline thru my Honda van. Only then will the Check Engine light stay off (catalyst efficiency code) It's obviously the oxygen sensor in that bank. Ethanol either inhibits CO-2 formation or cruds up the catalyst.

The dealer tries to sell me a new Catalyst for $1100. When I am elected president I will fix this fast.

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Message 1210820 - Posted: 28 Mar 2012, 2:21:51 UTC - in response to Message 1210249.

The attractive thing about Switch Grass vs Miscanthus is it grows wild and with a little encouragement works well as crop borders and renewable wildlife cover. Also the harvest cycle is about twice that of Miscanthus and it can grow in a more arid climate.

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