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Posts posted by fleebut

  1. 2014- Retired as national manager of Toyota Motor Corporation’s advanced technology had some interesting comments posted on Environment 360-


    Ethanol has remarkably destructive properties in your gas tank, especially on cars and engines that aren’t driven very much, like seasonal boats. It absorbs water, and the water gets throughout the fuel system, and dirt or

    I don’t believe anybody in the scientific community is seriously looking at bioethanol from corn.”

    debris that’s normally in your tank gets emulsified. That gets plated out in your fuel system, and your car runs very poorly. This has been documented time and time again, and it’s especially bad for cars or applications that aren’t designed for high levels of ethanol. It really has no upside, and when we consider all of the damage that it does to our ecosystems, it is done for no good reason. I don’t believe anybody in the scientific community or at the Department of Energy is seriously looking at bioethanol from corn, except for the politicians.


    ​Wow, a very misleading comment. The laymen's translation, ethanol will dry your fuel storage and safely purge the moisture through normal engine operation. A great thing. The additive does absorb water and prevent the water from stalling out the vehicle or causing the gasoline to quickly  degenerate.  If water is a problem the alcohol additives come to the rescue. 


     "Debris that’s normally in your tank" , well that is a bad thing and will nonetheless continue if using plain gasoline. Ethanol does clean up after gasoline and some of the debris will be captured by the filter. It's bogus to claim the debris will plate out in the fuel system. The truth is just the opposite. Ethanol will clean the entire fuel system including injectors and maintain peak operation. Also, when ethanol dissolves gasoline gunk it will merely travels through the fuel system and out the tail pipe. I've fueled up old '89 cars with E85 and experienced no fuel filter change required. Our E10 is already cleaning and drying fuel systems across the country. Seems to work good.  


     "Consider all of the damage that it does to our ecosystems" What is he talking about? He is promoting a false stereotype, that agriculture is bad and not part of ecosystem. It's just lose talk with huge bias and inaccuracy. Just a gross dismissal of an entire industry as bad.  That statement is nothing but propaganda intended to hurt an industry and such statements prove to me this guy is in bed with petrol. He dismisses the battery car to easily as well.  Agriculture technology as well as biofuel is improving just as readily as the hydrogen fuel cell in which he promotes per the fact the technology has the most head room to improve.  His position with they hybrid status is accurate and one would think an intelligent person would naturally migrate to the painless adaptation of every more biofuel to really deconstruct GW damage. Biofuel is the only energy source that radically decrease carbon emissions per renewable and biomass production. This solution dovetails with nature and energizes the potent natural carbon cycle.  The fuel will tip to negative carbon rating, something no competitor energy source could accomplish. Those wishing for other solutions are just exercising a ploy to quickly dismiss the solution per falsehoods.  The ILUC is one such invention that is only a theory, yet is readily applied to sabotage ethanol's carbon rating as to prevent the fuel from achieving a higher status per GW concerns. How many theoretical penalties are attributed to competing energy supplies?  

  2. The small engine manufactures are blistering ethanol fuel image. I recently bought a  Yamaha generator, Remington chain saw, and Remington grass trimmer. Many bold warning to avoid ethanol, use fresh gas no more than one month old, and to use synthetic oil for the two cycle engines. The generator had a sales statement that the engine is tested to meet stringent EPA air standards. The generator met those standards for the longest duration as compared to the competition. That would be 200 hrs. So, the long standing conflict with EPA air quality standards and the polluting small engines, continues. The EPA was thinking of banning the two cycle for years, but the industry adapted the 50:1 oil ratio to quell the action. The industry promoted the 50:1 engines as new and better, but I can personally attest to the hairy edge and failures of operating two cycles engines on such minimal lubrication. I think they utilized low friction coatings to minimize need of lubrication, that had a poor life span. I've learned to drop back to the standard of old 32:1 and haven't had a problem for years. The new engines do have remarkable air quality. They look to have a small catalytic converter device on the exhaust. I read the more popular oil ratio is now 40:1 and haven't read any promotion of 50:1. Also, the synthetic oil has always been the best performing two cycle on the market.


    The two cycle does rely on much operator care, something that in modern day is a lost art as we are spoiled with modern equipment that usually has minimum maintenance. Old timers knew when to quit sawing from the heat and noise of the chain saw. They carried a screw driver to tweak the hi and low carb jets to gain max power and avoid destroying the engine. Gasoline has always suffered a short shelf life as the hundred of compounds with in the mix threaten to precipitate into a corrosive engine harming brew. Gunk is not as bad since much of the sulfur is now removed. Also, plain gasoline had a horrible time with moisture as the fuel can only absorb a very small percentage before causing even more problems. Gasoline of yesteryear did a better job in thermally protecting the engine per high sulfur and lead content, but at a cost of poor air quality. Currently the E10 fuel is a mixed blessing. The oxygenate improves air quality and solves the moisture problem. Depending on base stock the fuel may have a better shelf life as the additive usually replaces the most volatile unstable components of gas, but that is not a guarantee as the nation has various gasoline base stocks. E10, as you know, will make the engine burn leaner if the engine is adjusted to plain gasoline. In theory, this will result in higher engine temperature and more power. Two cycle engines do have a challenge to prevent thermal destruction as every revolution of crank presents another combustion event. Again, better to error the fuel mix to provide more lubrication oil.


    The summary: Small engine manufacturers primary concern is the two cycle engine as the engine has always threatened poor engine life. Gasoline fuel is the weakest link and the biggest trouble spot for these engines. Ethanol has been positioned as the whipping boy for the industry that is riddled with challenges attempting to meet EPA air standards and varying fuel content. Gasoline has a wide variety of components and low stability that makes for a tough engineering feat with varying ethanol content. The two cycle really requires rock solid fuel character, something plain gasoline can not deliver. Also, the industry must accommodate the needs of current fleet of old equipment. Meaning they can't break with "new" fuel requirements. The recent news of European fuel company may just solve the problem. It's a synthetic produced from bio alcohol that maintains the gasoline character, but at rock standard quality and just about unlimited shelf live. The fuel is premixed and packaged in convenient can size. Sold in store self quantities. This approach seems fool proof and most capable to prevent engine problems and improve EPA conformance. 

  3. What are the positive images or promotions of ethanol that are indeed strong. E15 is the fuel of choice for expensive and all capable race teams. Wow, what a powerful message!


    E15 is less expensive. Consumers are most concerned on saving money and especially so on needed comore time mmodities. That force of marketing will eventually win out upon consuming public over time. Double that force if they have a perception if they think the fuel is less harmful to the environment. I think you will, eventually, see an sea change in attitude with continued use of the E15 fuel. I do believe E15 is the bridge that petrol fights as they know full well the consuming public, if adapting to the fuel, will realize they been lied to by the corporate fuel suppliers.


    E85 fuel is a bridge to far, if the cost of gasoline is reasonable. The E85 choice is riddled with cautions and difficulties for consumers. Present day autos and especially with small engine technology are not all adapted to this fuel use. A shopper must know what to do with E85 fuel and hence all the negative warnings that the consuming public is treated to, just reinforces the fuel's attributes to poor quality fuel. Most all of the negative stereo types are spawn from E85 technical difficulties of the ICE state of operation, in which the engine is not maximizing the fuel attributes. It's easy for the competition to fear monger in this arena. The public has a perception that it is very difficult to engineer and risky to adapt a engine to run ethanol blends. They think the fuel is a compromise and will in effect compromise lifespan.


    Now, normally the gov't could enter into this discussion with credible consumer information and promotion their in of the truth. Also, regulations could be filleted to offer ethanol blends a positive image. This "positive" image regulation  much more powerful as compared to image of gov't mandate. How simple and positive to the consuming public if they were treated to a choice of unleaded, mid grade, and premium fuels with ethanol being the denominator of higher grades of fuel from the get go. With E15 and E30 ethanol content. If the gov't offered up liability clause and temporary reduction in pump and storage regs to facilitate quick pump conversion to blender pumps the industry would be flying high. The consumer and auto manufactures would love the fuel. Small engine manufactures would not be affected.  

  4. The petrol industry knows this truth. They know they only need to put a hesitation or question in front of a consumer to make shy away from choosing ethanol. The shopper is in the state of mind in which they don't know what they don't know. If they happen to glance at positive information they can quickly read an opposing viewpoint. The product is presented with glaring warnings; that can't be good. To restrict the use and only use the product in approved applications. They warn the product is not a i.e. a Shell product. They read the advertisements for more expensive premium fuel with the improvements of containing no ethanol. The additives all claim to protect you engine from ethanol. Small engine additive market is booming with warning and expensive products to store you engine or to operate even with ethanol. If the ethanol industry must respond defensively to these attacks, the battle is already won and not by ethanol.      

  5. We wonder why more customers don't chose higher blends of ethanol? Why doesn't the public demand E15 and flex fuel cars? Think of a busy shopper with minimal time to care of such things. The consumer whom is treated to an avalanche of advertising and warnings. All the information is attempting to influence their choices in life. They want a fast decision. They want a simple choice and one that is secure and will not harm them in the long run. We know the public has generational evidence upon the wise decision of choosing plain gasoline. Yet, some that want more will "feel" better about their choice if they spend more for premium fuel. Premium has to be better and the trusted supplier is providing easy evidence that it surely does keep the engine clean, for example.   

  6. Mahle is a large international corporation supporting auto technology. They have a new igniter for ICE that consists of a small combustion chamber, fuel injector, and spark plug.This igniter receives a small fuel charge and is ignited by spark. The ensuing heat and pressure produces a very hot jet stream to the engines combustion chamber. The ignition energy released to the chamber is magnitudes above spark ignition. This will allow lean burn technology, decrease Nox emissions, and reduce PMs. Efficiency to increase up to 20% or above the 40% level.  So, if you have been following the ethanol fuel discussion on this board you know the cold start handicap ethanol has to deal with. That spark plug selection is very important. E85 fuel mix was established per the needs of cold start operation. This igniter is a game changer for ethanol fuel. The technology is supposedly easy to adapt to per normal mounting and spark ignition. It solves some of the problems for DI PM emissions, but the real kicker is if a E100 fuel or hydrous ethanol fuel were utilized the PM emissions would be but a fraction and the DI valve problems would not occur since carbon build up is gone. Hydrous ethanol probably a attractive fuel per the cooling of compression cycle (below comment). The attractive part of this, is this solution is reliable adaption of in use proven technology. That it easy for car companies to utilize and or change to.  I would guess, the igniter would utilize the same fuel as engine. The small igniter combustion chamber to receive rich fuel ratio and since it is a static size combustion chamber, pressure and temperature would be very high as the fuel burns. Meaning if just a few molecules within the spark are actually ignited the chain reaction producing heat and high pressure will be successful, hence E100 fuel not a problem. The engine would operate at diesel efficiency. Especially if operated on E100 fuel, the car would need less robust pollution control, the fuel cost per mile would decrease, the car would not need expensive high pressure fuel injection system of diesel engine and the expensive diesel pollution control equipment. Also, sooting within the combustion is gone with E100 fuel, thus PMs drop. I read the E10 and E15 fuel doesn't impact sooting. That starting with E20 does the engine produce less.   

  7. Green Car Congress reported that Ricardo is working on development of a isothermal compression engine utilizing cryogenic injection of nitrogen. Engine efficiency reported at 60%. A prior company in the '90s used water injection to achieve a thermal efficiency in excess of 60% in comparison with around 43% for a current state-of-the-art on-highway heavy duty diesel engine. The key is cooling compression gases by water or nitrogen during this cycle. This greatly reduces pressure and energy waste during compression phase, but upon full compression the heat is transferred back into compression gas. To minimize the destructive explosive combustion and to minimize NOx, fuel is pulsed into combustion chamber to lower pressures and heat. The water injection design was abandoned per the complexity of water storage and resupply requirements. 


    So, all this R&D work makes me think that benefits of hydrous ethanol. First water storage is a natural. Second the fuel is superior for cooling compression. Third the fuel does not easily ignite per compression ignition. So, all in all my thinking is this fuel would be a natural for high efficiency high torque engines. The fuel will allow more latitude within the parameter such as higher pressures for compression ignition and rock solid fuel ignition parameters. Same for ignition event with spark. For example a lean air fuel mix for compression cooling with a injector squirt at spark plug to start ignition and ensuing pulses of fuel to complete the burn. This engine would be a greatly simplified version of what Ricardo is attempting. Utilizing cryogenic injection of nitrogen sounds a bit foreboding.  All I can say there must be a ton of money for these engineering companies to develop diesel fuel solutions. They can't attract much money with developing the competitor's efficiency.   

      • Interesting tidbit from a search engine that describes how to offset our carbon fuel CO2 emissions.

        "t’s a known fact that trees are only temporarily carbon sequesters and that by the time they start to rot, all the nasty material gets transmitted back into the atmosphere again. So why not prevent this? Thus far we’ve been held back from doing so because intervening into the natural cycle somehow doesn’t feel right. But if we only tidied up one sixth of all the tree wastage lying around on the forest floors, we’d be nearing the carbon levels emitted by burning fossil fuels.

        That’s quite a compelling idea. Climatologist Ning Zeng who works at the University of Maryland, published a paper describing the impact of clearing up forests on a the Carbon Balance and Management Journal website recently.

        Zeng’s says that to relieve forests of some of their excess debris, could lead to a recurring carbon sequestering of 10 gigatons of carbon a year. Trees and plants are believed to scrub the air free of some 60 gigatons of carbon a year. Most of that gets emitted back into the atmosphere when living organisms decompose.

        Removing one sixth of the debris before it sets out to rot away might be a hugely efficient way to prevent greenhouse gas emissions, says Zeng. So long as enough woody debris is left on the forest floors to feed new cycles and to maintain bio systems, this is a feasible solution. "


        How would GW emissions be affected by Energy Departments 1 billion ton biomass project? The ethanol production capability within? Consider the job creation. The minimizing of fire risk, tree disease, and bug infestion to our national forests and the ability to maximize tree growth for increased efficiency per acre of CO2 conversion. Farmland would be rated a few notches above forests per the land use efficincy and low cost harvesting techniques. Biomass feed stocks are poised to dramactically increase tonnage per acre as compared to forestland. Think of the low till and cover crop efficicency per water use and carbon sequestration. How about bio char use locking up huge sums of carbon for thousands of years and magnifying farm land fertility. Finally, that farm inputs can be acheived per renewable power and done so very efficienctly.  Much promising work on hydrogen production as base feed stock for fertilizer is one example. A farm can work within the parameters of wind power production much easier than typical grid needs.  There is no reason to believe that farm tractors won't switch to E85 fuel in future. Ethanol process plants are just starting to maximise energy efficiency. For example the CHP processing equipment will drastically cut down their energy needs. They are starting to make the switch from natural gas to biomass boilers that will offer 30% carbon improvment.     

  8. Future of ethanol and ethanol transportation-


    I was watching 60 Minutes last night on autonomous vehicle technology featuring Jay Leno thoughts on the subject. An automotive exec said within 5 years more change will occur within their industry than the anytime in the the industries history. Jay thought the traditional auto will become more like a snowmobile, utilized for sport. Auto insurance, but a small fraction of today's cost. Death rate probably drop to negative as the popularity to  procreate within the front seat. Body shops specialize with vehicle restoration instead of accident repair. Lawyers will need to attack a more lucrative profit center. They didn't say, but I would speculate that domestic air travel will drastically diminish. First per the shenanigans of federal union employees TSA. Thank you for federalizing airport security. I hear no fear mongering nowadays within media so, I guess they achieved what they desired. Instead, my guess, travelers will opt to utilize smart phone and call up a long haul RV type vehicle. They sleep safety and hit the road with no hassle from TSA. Actually, they may travel at high speed per the convey method to decrease wind drag. Buzzing down the road at comfortable 120 mph. And for goodness sake, stop your local politicians from spending valuable tax dollars on rail, light rail, and other forms of public transportation. This is the least desirable way to transport and the most expensive.  


    I see Walmart is currently experimenting with home delivery via Uber drivers.


    One can take it for granted that BEV will take over the metro zone personal transportation market since the technology can maximize the expensive auto benefits and usefulness with the added benefit of transferring pollution out of town. 


    You've read the news that a biomass supplier is combining efforts with Trestle Energy to supply and convert ethanol processing plants boilers to lower the processing plant carbon rating 30%. The carbon rating of ethanol continues to rapidly decrease as cellulosic fuel production continues to improve. The fuel is approaching the top contender for GW solutions at an attractive low cost with most convenience and least disruption. 


    The R&D efforts for conventional ICE continues to payoff and provide increased engine efficiency . Especially attractive for high octane ethanol, the lean burn and HCCI technology should make the fuel a better choice. The rock solid and physical character of the fuel is proving to make these difficult to control operations, easier. Also, the traditional engine is benefiting mightily from hybrid technology.  


    I read major players such as Korea, Japan, and France are pushing the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.


    We all understand drones will have major impact within mobile solutions technology,


    Well, to me it appears the GNP of U.S. is poised to rapidly expand if we can hold back the federal government's destructive influence. That investors should be long term U.S. invested in stocks as no other country in international community can invent better ways to utilize and commercially exploit new technology. I think the ethanol solution will continue to increase as a player per owning the lowest cost energy fuel with the best carbon footprint that is utilized in the most cost effective long haul and or high torque vehicles. I don't think any one energy source will rapidly dominate despite the wind and solar high growth per very low volumes. Natural gas will probably gain the most, coal will lose the most. Gasoline and diesel will continue to supply the majority of fuel, but my guess they will not be able to control the market and earn outrageous incomes. They will just ride the cash cow as long as possible and manage a decreasing market share as long and profitable as possible. 

  9. Congress gives the authority to EPA to pass laws or better known as regulations and gives them the authority or power to enforce. This is called administration law and thought to be unconstitutional, nonetheless both parties claim in our modern day, required. We have a history of such delegated authority and a large and growing percentage of the population do not like the tyrannical power of this setup as it is increasingly affects our daily lives as well as freedoms. Sure, EPA currently treads upon the cover of having a comment period to phony up or create a haze to lesson public concern of their power. I guess the activity works to make those commenting think they have some power or influence. That would be a very weak influence and the type of influence that smacks of politics. Meaning the need of such laws should not be subject to outside forces unless they are indeed acting like unelected congress. Are they acting in fashion of lawmakers accessing the political climate and needs of powerful influentials? If so and I suspect so, it is the stuff that erodes confidence as history is an good indicator that such power will eventually be corrupted much like the often troubled banana republics seem to have. In other words, does the agency in fact have an accurate tabulation of need for the law? Why the comments then? Are they following the intent of the true lawmakers, aka Congress, or merely grabbing power to revise law to their liking. I don't like where this is going and it appears the setup has an inherent conflict of interest with job creation, power grab, authority creep, and shuffling off their true cost to increasing sales price of goods and services. One example is the fisticuffs they place on private sector and the total disregard of government agencies that often times the worst offender. How about the no nonsense quick and hard hitting bashing of small business and the evolutionary time periods when pushing up against international corporations that just happen to spend the most upon politics. In fact it is a modern political invention to hold up EPA pending regulations as long as possible with politicians holding their hands out before action. This stuff is coordinated between government employees to benefit their desired leadership and these agencies have a tremendous bias upon their Union mentality and hate of the opposition. We witness much corruption that goes to trash heap of "what are you going to do".  Why do these agencies always exclude private citizens, but hammer small business. Answer, the politics. Even the politics to comfort large business per the act to savage small business competition. The more regulations we have to conform to, the more big business wins and increasingly in a noncompetitive market. Iv'e heard anecdotal evidence stories of close acquaintances that I rate trustworthy that claim of suffering EPA restrictions or penalties in the most unfair application of their power. The modern day fines of gov't missed conformance are fully capable of commandeering all of ones assets. The legal route for small incomes not available and they know that. Judges offer little help and have little patience.   

  10. I would hope the new Administration would put a new EPA director in place. One that is more sensible to the expansion of ethanol fuel use. The EPA policy on ethanol fuel is currently strange, unfair, and not based on good science. For example the carbon rating, "R" factor for mpg ratings, CAFE benefit to car companies, and the 1 psi vapor pressure exception. The agency should be finishing up testing of E30 super premium fuel for future needs of high efficiency engines. They haven't lifted a finger. The whole EPA is afflicted with bureaucracy that needs to continually swallow up more revenue. One lucrative source is the private sector business that by EPA regulations,  have a  new need to to, i.e. certify flex fuel vehicles. Something is wrong with that.


    It is no surprise that car companies are limiting their FFV fleet. It cost to much to certify and they get little benefit other than a small percentage of customers so motivated to shop for them. As we have often posted, the hardware and software for high ethanol vehicle fleet is but a few hundred dollars at most. The value to public and national security, if we had a international crisis of petrol supply would be tremendous.


    The publicity, penalties, and recall cost to automotive car manufacturers, if some defect found upon switching fuels would indeed be a mighty concern. The problem is the potential to do environmental harm if such a event happened may be minimal as compared to avoiding the FFV fleet manufacture. Meaning it may be insanity to spend so much wealth on taking the fly poop out of pepper. We have no sensibility upon EPA on the greater good. They see themselves as merely a controlling agency and to generate hoops in which they can tyrant rule. Not a good cooperative agency that works to minimize cost and maximize benefit to citizens or the environment. Actually, these types of agencies that propagate laws per administration authority probably not constitutional. Only Congress can make such laws and they would never be able to implement, but basic rules and enforce them. That is supposed to be the American way to avoid bloat of federal regulations that propel employment by ever increasing jungle of complex regs. The way to avoid picking out the fly poop mentality.   

  11. I was reading a Robert Rapier article on Forbs web site that made a statement that crude oil will always be cheaper as compared to  biofuel since nature has already produced the product. He has a point that nature works cheap, but nature is also, not very picky on what it produces. Meaning crude oil suffers from the same geologic poor quality as does coal. Crude has 100,000 various chemical compounds within the mix. Crude is not homogeneous nor consistent. Its' chemical makeup has geographical and well to well variances. Refineries have to continually adjust to produce product with only the roughest benchmarks for consistency. Specific refinery process plants have to be customized to enable ability the processing of a specific grade of oil. The yield varies as the makeup of the products. EPA has only has but a rough benchmark of quality and that is targeted to environmental harm, not human health. Quality of product varies from refinery and blender. It's akin to alchemy per the trade secrets and security to keep production up and minimize dirt available to concerned citizens who may desire to look over their shoulder. These self serving antics will always benefit the oil company at the cost of consumer's health, environment, and pocket book. Why would they act in any other way? This is especially so in the crude oil business given the wealth creation and closed door policy. 


    ​Compare the international oil company business to biofuel. All of the biofuel production to date is local and small business with easy access to information to operations, processes, inputs, and quality of product. The raw material is local and more frequently the distribution. The quality of ethanol is suburb given the simple molecular makeup and consistency of process control under one roof. Formulations of ethanol is exact since physical character is rock solid. Same for the ease of engineering optimized engines to the fuel given the rock solid consistent quality. Same for ease of control of emissions.


    Just in the past few years we learn of the health harming PM2.5 particles that wreak havoc in our immune systems. The particles are so small, invisible, and can go directly to blood supply. This triggers our auto immune system to run afoul and is thought to be the foundation of just about all our long term ailments. This is much like the leaky gut syndrome we've read about only per the lung pathway. The latest health study claims we have a national emergency on our hands as the pollution is that bad. Cities are thinking of banning diesel engines as they produce the most. Biofuels produce just a small portion of PM2.5 as compared and I'm sure it won't be that hard to eliminate it all from an optimized engine with fuel that has no petrol. Could tobacco smoke be no different than let's say oak leaf smoke in that it is appearing the particles are the culprit. In haling particles a very unhealthy habit.

  12. Consumers interested in foregoing wheat gluten products are attracted to sour dough corn bread per taste and probiotics nature of the food. Thinking of how poor cattle digestion is converting feed to meat, one would think processing corn to easily digestible feed would improve the condition. Maybe get 2-3x more nutritional value of the corn and eliminate the methane producing cellulose component. I was reading of comparison of dry vs wet milling of corn process plant technology. The first step of dry mill is the hammer mill. That process is very high energy and quick transformation of corn kernel. If the health experts are correct within concern of high speed wheat milling, I would guess the nutritional value of corn is likewise undermined within the hammer mill. Wet mill starts with no abusive process and instead soaks the kernel to facilitate fractional separation. I read the dry mill ethanol plant produces low quality animal feed. That's not good. The ethanol process and distillery microbes should be improving feed quality. It looks like the wet mill is a superior process for maximizing corn value. It's more expensive, but allows the plant operation to flex to more co-products as desired for market concerns. The quality of feed is improved as well.


    Some interesting trends that may become a influence upon ethanol industry. Iowa has a higher energy return on corn ethanol per the common practice of farmers taking delivery of wet distillery grains for daily feed rations. Note, that EPA is formalizing regs that would require raw manure of cattle or cows to be treated within anaerobic digester to control methane emissions. Would an ethanol plant naturally add such a digester as a benefit to the plant operation and local farmers. Farmers make the daily trek to drop off manure and load up on WDGs. How about the request of EPA to register another cellulosic D3 RIN pathway of separate plants of converting cellulose to sugar and sugar ethanol production. Since, cellulose feed stock transportation is so expensive, process plants must locate within 30 miles of supplies. I makes sense to locate more lower cost plants through out the country close to feed stocks. These processing plants probably would be smaller than the current class and work within the farm community for coordination of services such as digester methane, fertilizer, feed, and power generation. The cellulosic sugar syrup a new market utilized for ethanol production or what have you need. 

  13. Cornell University did some research on bread feed and discovered the food more efficient for cattle. The food is predigested and as such easier task for ruminant to digest and uptake more nutrients. Farmers have utilized waste commercial bread for cattle with good results. The animals love the stuff, was a frequent comment. Cattle have a low conversion rate of feed to meat production. Poultry is 3x more efficient and fish the most efficient. Cattle waste much energy per the cellulose conversion and wasted energy of methane production. This methane is very GW unfriendly and scientist and biologist attempting to minimize the pollutant per cattle and cow rearing. Feed that is high in cellulose the most productive food to produce methane. Corn does minimize methane, but expensive. A.O.Smith Harvestore system was a silo system that eliminated air and silage naturally fermented (some what) per anaerobic bacteria. This system improved the food quality of the silage. European farmers practiced scooping up cattle droppings and utilized within the silage. This is possible because the animal converts so little of the feed stock and running the matter through the Harvestore system made it again, edible . Meaning they reprocess droppings up to 3x and still get good nutrition, for the animal. This is more popular where land prices for grazing are high.


    So, how does the sour dough natural yeast corn feed fit in within a corn process plant? Well, it's better to process cellulose upon the restrictions and concentration of a stationary process than within cattle walking about. Much easier to reprocess this concentrated and readily available CO2 emission. Easier to contain the methane per on site anaerobic digester. So, the corn process plant can remove the corn cellulose component a good thing to reduce cattle methane emissions. Predigesting the corn per ferment process make the feed more efficient. Meaning less corn required for same milk production or meat production. My guess this may be substantial? Research has found that feed supplements work to minimize cattle emission of methane, as well. This could be added to the feed mix. If the cattle digestive system has to work less for the conversion of sour dough bread, then it would appear the system would naturally produce less methane, become more efficient, and provide more feed value of corn. This when combined with the potential benefit of sour dough and low horsepower grain preparation might indeed be a step up in wise use of corn. Maybe the cellulosic plant could process the cellulose instead of the cattle, thus eliminating the methane emissions of cattle. Predigested cattle feed.       

  14. I was watching a Netflix series on food and health with commentator Michael Palin. The wheat segment had a comment from a nutritionist that was very interesting. The history of advance of civilization and the important role of food supply with domesticated wheat. But, did you know that if one merely ate wheat they would starve or die of bad nutrition. Only when the wheat is ground up and allowed to ferment with leavening does the wheat magically become life sustaining. The sour dough leavening contains a natural microbe mix that nutritionist think the real improvement. Something we have lost in modern commercial bakeries. Also, the whole grain flour and the low horsepower method of stone grinding play a important role in health. Our modern fast methods of making flour may be destroying micro nutrients that health research have just recently realized a very important food character. Over cooking or harsh cooking will damage the nutritional value of food, as well. We have a better understanding of health benefits of raw or low heat cooking to minimize the damage and loss of micro nutrients, nowadays.


    So, how does this relate to feed? Well, think about how we have also learned that healthy meat comes from healthy animals. That corn has been criticized as a feed especially for fattening up cattle per the bad fat content of the meat. It's a unnatural food for the usual grass eating bovine. That the majority of corn harvest goes to the task of animal feed. What would be the consequences of taking that portion and processing to a much higher nutritional feed stock? I would think a win win and huge improvement in human diet. To maximize the value of corn utilize for animal feed may take a processing plant to bake the stuff into sour dough mix. The "corn bread" crumbles a big improvement to animal health and extents the corn product value. Top it off, my guess the processing may include pulling off the undesirable corn oil component. May an ethanol plant become a corn processing plant? I remember the talk of industry converting to wet mill operations per the value of flexing production to many more co-products. My guess this would be very superior method for nutrition as its a low horsepower impact of corn kernel. So, the processing plant could flex between yet another co-product. Utilize some starch and distillery grains to ferment with wild microbes for extremely healthy feed. It may prove out the entire corn crop can be managed this way and the practice of feeding of raw corn to live stock would pass away. The processing plant could optimize operations per market demands and remove unwanted constituents of corn feed for other co-products. The movie was pretty convincing that modern practices of making bread removes most of the valuable health benefits. Can only think we could learn a lesson here for animal feed as well. 

  15. Wow, the continuing analysis of fuel choices for the transportation fleet is turning. More articles and analysis that conventional wisdom is wrong. Just today two articles in Green car congress news. One from Rice University that had the conventional or plugin hybrid fueled with gasoline a much better choice as compared to natural gas fueled car. Dramatic benefits to utilize NG for power generation to offset coal. To utilize NG instead of oil heaters and even better than geo thermal heat pumps. That natural gas powered vehicles isn't much better than what we have now. 


    Another article that Singapore emission analysis for the Tesla is double that of our EPA. When upstream pollutant of power generation included within the battery car; it's not that effective choice for emissions. This was the standard method or benchmark the Energy Department originally utilized, but EPA per their desires or biases took a most unrealistic rating. They did the same, but opposite tack upon beating up ethanol fuel choice. 


    Look at the latest USDA 2015 corn ethanol balance doc and read the energy balance of three process plant configurations. Energy for growing corn is roughly 9,000 btu per bushel. Processing ethanol in our typical dry mill plant takes 38,000 btu. Isn't this a tad high? Sure it is and if knowing the industry an easy target to improve. Corn ethanol, currently, in its' common situation sits at 2.1 or 2.3 energy ratio. If the plant updated to 100% CHP processing equipment that ratio goes to 427. Non the lease the tremendous improvement upon utilizing waste heat from power generation, biomass, or wind and solar power. How about the growing popularity of bio digestor gas? Also, many plants are planning to introduce algae culture within the system per pure CO2 feed stock and waste water at which, also, provides farm soil amendments. Is the country gradually waking up to the power of ethanol fuel? What would the emission rating be, of an optimized ethanol vehicle with plug in hybrid technology? It would be a magnitude better and cheaper to manufacture than the current competition. 

  16. It seems the work of changing the nations future fuel mix is strictly within the cooperation of petrol and auto manufactures. With inputs of EPA and ethanol, but the hard core component is what automotive needs and what petrol can provide. Since petrol is the supplier of fuel across the planet, they have to meet the challenge to invest in new equipment and processes. They have to be able to afford and accomplish the mission in concert with both industries. It appears the concern is octane and not ethanol. Ethanol may play a role, but the formulas limit the contribution to current levels of production.


    This is a crucial period of time for ethanol, as forces of change are upon the fuel industry. The consuming public should have a voice. The need for decreased emissions should be priority number one as well as utilizing renewable fuel. There should be flexibility within the fuel supply to change fuel and empower competing fuels as adjustments to mixes of fuels. Petrol has a habit of over production or under, with the market manipulation.  We should avoid setting up a fuel supply that would subject the nation to be totally dependent on the savageries of oil markets. We should have in place an alternative plan of action that adjust to increase in ethanol production, loss of oil production, and adjustments per costs. Flexibility should be job number one.


    A couple of examples:


    1. Nothing to date is more flexible than a blender pump. It would serve the national interest to standardize on this fueling system. A low cost blend stock of gasoline standardized upon the industry needs served up to eliminate boutique blends or seasonal change over. Let the blender pump accomplish needs of EPA and octane demands of automotive. These blends could be approved and certified with strict quality control surpassing current industry standards. Ethanol has extremely accurate simple molecular character that drives quality control. The blender pump offers flexibility to get the job done. The fuel mix could flex to low cost option with the limit to always meet EPA guidelines. Automotive would gain access to a wide variety of octane numbers.


    2. Flexibility improved with a flex vehicle. A different class of flex vehicle, one that is optimized to run on higher octane numbers, but nonetheless can operate on lower octane per fueling need. Automotive technology is up to the task, if EPA would allow tolerance in their emissions for non standard fueling conditions. Meaning the consumer would be at a disadvantage to fuel up on low octane fuel, this would naturally motivate the owner to fuel up correctly for increased power and mileage. No, expensive EPA control needed. Forget the costly entire range of fuel mix certification.  


    3. Petrol could simplify and standardize their concerns to gasoline as well as ethanol to stand alone stature. A two tank solution to keep the industry honest. The nations fuel supply could naturally adjust to increase capacity of either component and adjust naturally to needs of EPA and automotive. The gasoline mix could change per changes in ethanol supply as well as the needs of refinery over or under supply. We may be in an era of not certifying a fuel blend, but a blending process. Change in fueling requirement would be on auto pilot market and emission sensitive.

  17. A lot of turmoil in fuel energy markets have over shadowed ethanol concerns. The big players including regulators appear not to concern themselves with helping ethanol even if the fuel can solve problems of car efficiency, CO2 emissions, and removal of unhealthy components of fuel. While the unsustainable low cost of fuel will end in near future, these trends have a habit of fifteen year cycle. Meaning, the $100/barrel cost a thing of the past. Market analysis have signaled diesel fuel will be in over supply condition for the future. Seems the petrol companies were betting on a large share of transportation converting to diesel per the CAFE standards. The standard is firmly in place as a measure of improvement, no matter the crap rating of the fuel. The emission regs have been positioned to make the fuel acceptable with some Engineering improvements. Ethanol is just an additive with some good attributes, but the fuel will be cornered, suppressed, and controlled to maintain to a side bar fuel status as a much needed outcome to make nice with the major players.


    How, is ethanol (a mature industry) going about to sustain itself? Probably by not attempting any hard ball tactics and risk the loss of the RFS in which bestows on the industry an insurance security. They are being encouraged to put in place financial plans to shore up for future per the threat of, here to stay, low margins. The industry should not sit and wait hoping for the best. Not to milk the cash cow as long as possible, but to cooperate within the industry to buy, merge, and consolidate. This corporate restructuring is the most efficient path for companies to utilize best talent and magnify that talent through out multiple process plants. In addition their is more resources and more influence for success. Resources can best be utilized to turn around low performers for superior ROI.


    It's a given that unleaded fueled vehicles will utilize higher octane fuels, but petrol is gearing up to make the provision. One would think regulators would be critical of fuel components, but in my opinion they are at a disadvantage since petrol is so powerful and influential. Meaning they have always met the challenge to power our economy and need latitude since the refinery science is so complex. You would need to go to them with hat in hand and ask if ethanol provided 40% of the gasoline sales how would that impact the industry? I'm guessing it wouldn't be good. Compare the black magic of petrol to simplicity of ethanol for informed regulations and emissions control. It would be good for the nation if ethanol could get out of the shadow of oil. EPA would only need to classify optimized E85 vehicles similar to battery car and stand back.

  18. There is nothing in the article,  just smear and character assassination. The author just is bias as Koch, " I am a self-proclaimed ‘Tesla historian’. I have been following the company for longer than I can remember. My fascination for electric transportation doesn’t stop with Tesla – anything from the times of Detroit Electric to the future Apple Car and everything in between". This guy doesn't sound a proponent of biofuel.

  19. Much of the throttle hold on ethanol benefits is the misguided application of historical benchmark of CAFE standards. The panel made the comment that ethanol with its lower Btu content is disadvantaged with the standard. The benchmark must be updated to fairly evaluate competing fuels by another standard, such as carbon efficiency, or emissions per mile. I will add the fallacy of evaluating electricity as a energy source within credits of BEV sales. Electricity is just another form of fuel and should be evaluated per emissions like the rest (life cycle). 


    The heavy duty truck engine fuel path is particularly attractive to ethanol per the performance improvement (2x torque), loss of the  nasty emissions of diesel, and the ease of conversion. As compared to CNG conversion and infrastructure investment, ethanol is a piece of cake. If truck manufactures received incentives per the environmental improvement this conversion could proceed rather quickly as compared to the complexity of super premium gasoline. The merits of ethanol would stand on its own two feet and progress at optimum. The emissions of the truck fleet are more than light duty, so ethanol could make a huge contribution. Cummings optimal E85 engine had achieved operating costs of diesel. So, the environmental benefit would be the motivation. A incentive that goes unrewarded to date. Pollution control would be less complicated and utilize less expensive equipment. Weight savings of utilizing one half sized engines would be attractive, but probably lost per extra fuel storage. The initial design, probably spark plug ignition per Cummins technology. 

  20. Very interesting to read and listen to the NEC presentations. Much to learn about the aspects of the ethanol fuel. I have a better understanding of the complexity to work within petrol and automotive manufacturers to improve fuel supply for decreased emissions. The nature of oil refining to optimize equipment and processes to produce a wide array of products is the primary concern. The fuel industry is oil as well as a large part of the energy industry and to that extent the success of new fuel will only work if the oil industry agrees to the change and can manage to maintain its' margins and utilize the entire product stream cost effectively. The refiner has computer programs that simulate cost and product outputs with variables and constraints of those variable to achieve max ROI. The software reminds me of GW in that the warning of being able to front load the constraints or assumptions and achieve any outcome if dishonest. This need of petrol is indeed all important as this is the nature of oil energy production. The industry needs flexibility to achieve good results per cost of production. Also, to balance supply demand of product line. Toluene is a reformer product or from cracker (catalysis) of natural oil distillation stream. It's equivalent to ethanol for RVP and octane, but to date more expensive. As we know thisvpetrol product is carcinogenic, but that comment was never broached.


    Auto manufacturers are desiring higher octane fuel per the easier path to achieve future CAFE standards. Their state of art internal combustion engine can not optimize E85 fuel, but testing of current production vehicles and the proof of them boosting engine efficiency 2% with ethanol blends is a good thing. The fuel industry is reviewing 100 RON octane as superior fuel for auto needs. The potential improvements include -30% carbon emissions, easy path to 54 mpg, and increase use of ethanol additive. The most important and valued fuel component for efficiency is octane. It may sound easy to achieve this such as blender pump sitting at the gas station, but nothing could be further from the truth. Think in terms of upheaval within the refinery outputs, blending standards, equipment compatibility, fuel availability, changeover, etc. It will take years; over a decade if the industry gets to work immediately. The flex vehicle is a tough future path per stringent EPA certifications and besides the vehicle can not be optimized for a wide fuel blend. The owner sees little benefit to make the purchase and manufacturers are losing incentives for the production. Nevertheless, the fuel producers have a big incentive to improve per the fuel cell and battery car technology breathing down their neck. The group talked of blending to octane and not per ethanol content. This would give a local ethanol process plant ability to utilize E40 blend with natural gas to meet spec. No refinery needed. Also, terminal blender would utilize much ethanol in summer and switch to more toluene in winter to utilize the oil product line. The topic of utilizing all the refinery product line and the difficulty that would present to them is ethanol took 40% of the gasoline market. Diesel fuel production would not meet demand. Interestingly a participant brought up the Cummings E85 truck engine as the solution to not enough diesel fuel.


    All of this complication that ethanol industry has to live with and the status of being not an alternative fuel but of a additive, reminds me of Dan's arguments of not going down that path. Ethanol is an assistant to make gasoline less harmful. While a worthwhile endeavor, especially short term, the future of ethanol would be forever be attached at the hip. All of the constraints of ethanol are per the business, complexity, and emissions of oil. The competition will have a the upper hand per the fossil fuel image and emissions. In my opinion the best future of ethanol would be an optimized E85 or E100 engine such as Cummings developed. That is the break away path. The heavy duty truck market per diesel pollution is prime target as their emission above the light duty vehicles. This technology will eventually work its way into the car market if trucks provide the proof and benefits. We should be competing with diesel fuel instead of blending with gasoline.   

  21. Kia is introducing a car with coolant heater (heat exchanger) powered by exhaust. This may be a superior solution as exhaust heat is considered waste. The heat is almost instantaneous and high btu. So, the engine warm up cycle substantially reduced at no increase inconvenience, no coal power emissions, and no extra utility cost. This solution should be superior as the device carries the engine to fully operating temperature, unlike the block heater that only achieves a partial warm up.  

  22. When you evaluate petrol and their antics to dis ethanol, you realize they have a constructed a narrative the "blend wall". My observations this wall represents their wall of advantage. Meaning ethanol up to this percentage is a net asset to petrol. Utilized to boost inferior RBOB octane has helped petrol per cost. They have in place a mix of distillation, crude oil,  and distribution system that maximizes their return more so with E10 additive. This additive, also, a convenient whipping boy to prove how petrol is savaged by regulations and offers many an opportunity to blame the additive for just about anything bad, thus offering politicians a convenient excuse to voting public and accept generous donations. Mid level blends screws everything up for them. This fuel will boost octane per ethanol additive and prove to public ethanol true benefits to improve plain gasoline. It's not the suffering oil companies forced to sell inferior fuel per lack of open market justice, just the opposite. It's a protected market to afford more fair competition. Legislatures should work to make ethanol a competitor and not a subset of petrol control. The below Mercedes Benz mid level ethanol presentation alludes to the two tank solution. This is the solution, with a blender sitting in the middle. E10 in one tank and either E100 or strict control of mix E85 in the other tank. The E85 or E100 choice not important as that depends on local supplies.

  23. The block heater is a very good idea. One that isn't sexy enough for average environmentalist to concern themselves with, probably because they live in temperate Southern California. Consider the benefits, 40% quicker warm up in winter, $25-$50 fuel savings during the winter, and less stress on the engine. But, if as most appear to have a remote car starter to include the idling to warm up fuel savings that figure would surely be a multiple. Consider most of the emissions occur in the warm up period of engine, one would think the Environmentalist would zero in on that cheap opportunity for improvement. I read these people claim no one would bother themselves with the plug in, but conversely, they claim plug in vehicles inconvenience not a factor? The comfort and safety factor should be enough motivation to plug in the heater, yet the decreased emissions per short trips is huge. Some automotive companies have this as standard equipment in colder climates. This should be the norm. The cost is a fraction as compared to your expense. Also, not to hard to heat the tranny oil either. Actually, I think automotive should put in a cabin heater, auto timer, battery heater, trans heater, and coolant heater all powered from plug in. This would be step one in plug in power. Also, the technology could be initiated with remote start if the car is utilized off schedule. Same for AC needs. Have a electric motor power available to cool the cabin in summer. Actually, when observing how consumers use their car, long ago automotive should have powered the AC and heater per battery as well and utilize the cell phone remote start. For example, flying into the Dallas airport one could call the car and initialize the AC cool down. How, about passengers sitting within cabin during parking conditions that can turn the heater on with small battery coolant pump to maintain heat or energize the batter motor for AC comfort? As I understand some of this will be accommodated with the highly desirable mild hybrid benefits starting production year 2017.        

  24. Coming from the same profession I am keenly aware of the myriad complexities that engineers enjoy when attempting to solve a problems with unlimited time and resources. It's a little like political bureaucracy wherein their is no penalty to pay for inventing impressive structure. Most managers (and politicians) are threatened by the complexity and at the same it gives them a sense of security that the problem is well address. The EPA apparently has long sailed this ship. The methods and procedures developed for vehicle emissions per government control is a study on bureaucracy creep/bloat. Looking at the net result, you know the original mission, one could safely guess that it could be progressed with minimal oversight. The manufacturers are well equipped to manage the change if legislature had in place performance benchmarks with incentives and penalties. Sure, do the real world testing to keep the industry honest, but don't get out the ticket pad if someone misses the target. Big deal, it will just cost them loss of incentive or burden cost of the extra pollution. Also, legislature should be concerned of maximum competition within the market. They shouldn't attempt to allow petrol to swallow up ethanol or control the fuel. Government agency can promulgate standards within the sector, this would be good to get everyone paddling the same direction. The best agency to date I've witnessed is the quasi government such as electrical code development per senior elected staff members (within the industry) and equal representation from interested parties.


    This R-factor (fudge factor) utilized since the '80s to smear ethanol per emission rewards and mileage ratings a lame tactic. It does make the job of rating CAFE standards easier for EPA. It was scientifically established per performance of auto technology back some 35 years on providing a 40% penalty to the ethanol portion of fuel per certification. I'm sure petrol loved the rating system. Automotive usually doesn't really care as they have long understood they are in the business of jumping through government hoops. Problem is now that up coming tier III regs are maximizing the Mpg need of autos, mid level ethanol must be introduced as a fuel blend. Automotive is kicking that the only cheap and readily available source of the most important fuel character, octane, is ethanol and that it is wasted on E10 mix. It seems all parties need to incentivize petrol to make the fuel change. They must be happy or they have ability to make trouble makers suffer. So, since they don't like ethanol, Mercedes Benz has a plan offering to change the fuel mix. To pull more ethanol into high octane tier III fuel supply. Rob peter to pay Paul scenario. This will keep petrol happy.        



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