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fleebut

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Posts posted by fleebut


  1. How could ethanol improve it's image? Currently, we battle to defend, let alone improve ethanol image. Opponents win when sales motivated upon a defense of the fuel. Think of the fuel primary benefits being turned upside down. Cost, environment, jobs, economic, etc. Youth especially are susceptible to group influence in the facebook and twitter age and need to spout conventional wisdom to gain respect. They need fresh ideas (or old ones reinvented) to impress upon peers their wisdom and ignorance of older generations. Nothing new here, lol. My daughter are in this generation and often claim new found intelligence upon their generation and point to evils of mono culture and of the corn plant. It rings like a conspiracy to poison citizens, corporate greed, and capitalistic evil as compared to sashaying about with wine glass enjoying appreciative friendly organic gardening neighbors, good health, and easy lifestyle (Thank you Omnivores). The farmer has suffered upon pubic image. Just a few years back, (even on this site) ethanol suffer the conventional wisdom that corn was the stupidest feed stock ever for ethanol. I have a friend that talks of such concerns when attempting to make the family farm profitable for his son. Regulators enacting layers of expensive regs per public demands that think the farmers wholesale wrecking the environment and poisoning its customers. I sat on jury once with teacher whom basically hated country kids and felt they were renegades that think they could do as they please. She was all for cracking the legal whip and taking away any extra freedom that might be enjoyed. How to stem this tide? I would steer away form the corn images at the E85 pump. Publish and provide studies, facts, polls, human interest, personal testimony, for the news and media. Provide students and educators ample opportunity to entail experiments, contests, competition, assignments, kits, and to keep up on new technology. Utilize internet media to accomplish same. Provide stories of successful small generator of ethanol, engine conversions, and consumer benefits. This would be the Mother Earth organic gardening human interest side that is so attractive, especially to youth. Fight the corporate image of ethanol and farm owners that the opponents of ethanol try to stereotype. Make stories personal and enlightening. Utilize as much popularity energy as possible i.e. trends, actors. If selfies are the rage, offer contest to those with E85 signage in background. If U-tube fame offer same individual opportunity to do likewise with side benefit of "ethanol support". Racing is home run as we know. Same could ensue with university engineering competition of E85 mpg contest support by farm community. Offer media popular human interest stories of ethanol such as youth experiments or single parents making cost efficient choices. Instead of broad whole sale defense of the fuel, just offer one interesting drip or tid bit of fact and if done frequently will break the dam of conventional bias. I do think ethanol is winning the battle and that petrol competition is at a all time panic to strike as much damage to the ethanol image as possible and throw as much political influence to accomplish the same. The RFS and cellulosic fuel is a battle they don't want to lose. Another point probably hopelessly lost is the indirect land use and food vs fuel issue that is slippery and totally defenseless per subjective content and common belief. Public thinks their is a need for safety to limit or corner farming opportunity. This is similar thinking to forbidding exports of gasoline as we want cheap fuel or stop Ford from exporting autos just the juice to keep prices down and supply up. Just bad economic competence that always surfaces as poison if economy suffers. To this, it might be best to continue max public information of cellulosic and alternative feed stock for ethanol. Inform public that ethanol increase will not take more corn and starve citizens or destroy land. UW Madison genetic tree success for pulp feed stock or the Misanthus feed stock very interesting story to be told from all angles. Same with waste ethanol success.    


  2. So, the E85 driver will splash blend the E15? The blender pump does solve complexity and offers maximum benefit to retail, consumers, and ethanol supply chain. The road to most competitive status of ethanol, lies with ethanol plant blending of E85 and retail delivery to nearby markets. This would mean ethanol production states would benefit most from production and consumption of the fuel. This is good per proving to other states the benefits of doing likewise. My guess, per the Cummin's success of optimized E85 engine, you will see diesel manufactures offering SI E85 engine options per the low cost of conversion. Farm equipment would be among the first. 


  3. The EPA magical numbers game for mileage rating is just as phony. Most do not know the MPGe rating of EV car is just mere calculation of efficiency of electric motor. Sure it looks grand compared to traditional auto that does the lower efficient work of converting heat to energy. This the same duty of converting heat to generate electricity, but goes undetected per EV rating. What's strange about the EV rating, Energy Department had in place a realistic rating called well to wheel that leveled rating of traditional car with that fueled by the grid. Per political choice to promote EV and to make that choice shine brighter, the current executive pushed another easy calculation. So, a 96 MPGe looks terrific and motivates a buyer with environmental concerns with a wonderful environmental solution. Problem is the 96 MPGe is equivalent to 36 MPG car upon reality. Problem is the tradition fueled vehicle per alternative high blend ethanol fuel would trounce the EV that refuels mostly on older coal fired power plant. The car even trounces the CNG vehicle yet sits at the side with pure environmental and consumer benefit. In addition the fuel would trounce a heavy carbon fuel aka diesel upon a fair comparison. What is going on?


  4. I was suspicious of their Shell E85 product offering per the usual marketing agreement. The dealer can't sell competing product. The Shell E85 option would put independent delivery of E85 out of business and put the oil company in charge of price and competition. However, did stumble upon Shell business meeting report last quarter that Shell was going to transition big time into biofuel market. They talked much about ethanol and utilizing tree stock for cellulosic ethanol. First company production is targeted, SE U.S.. They envision smaller processing plants located close to bulk supply, much like Poet. They said with the companies resources and talent they would be a major player and soon capitalize on the fuel development. They stated Europe transportation could be powered by biofuel. What's interesting, Europe is dominated by diesel powered transportation. I'm betting when Shell reviewed the results of Calf. Ultra Low Carbon Engine per E85 optimized they decided time to act. Less risk in ethanol, since EPA is now required gulf oil spill contamination to be studied for 10 years out.


  5. The Calf EPA affords a negative factor to corn ethanol per indirect land use assumption that in theory would displace forest land or jungle within international community of which U.S. farmers have no control. Their assumption is just a WAG and not scientific factual based. The actual data disproves the assumption, but the theory and imagination of the problem continues to warrant concern (in their minds) per potential growth of the fuel. It is interesting the agency rates Brazil ethanol above U.S. as Brazil historically experience decreasing jungle land. Another problem with burdening ethanol with the imagined damage to environment is the evaluations of life cycle carbon efficiency of forest land vs cellulosic feed stock such as miscanthus grass. More good can come from harvesting and use of very productive carbon conversion plant of miscanthus. Also, one must credit ethanol planting or penalize forest land per the always present fire damage, insect damage, and rotting wood. I never heard of farm field fire, but even in such event of poor crop year the plantings are valuable for feed and soil contribution. Each year is a new cycle.

    We need to ask ourselves why does ethanol get burden with imagined damage and not get credit from real value to environment within international community. The sum total of international vehicle fleet is wrought with old and polluting engines running on sub par fuel. Ethanol production will help clean up this large pool of emissions.


  6. BTW, Shell and other gasoline suppliers advertise quality premium fuel that contains nitrogen. They do this per need to clean up fossil fuel soot and gunk deposits problem as their premium product contains no ethanol. But, adding nitrogen will produce more NOx tailpipe emissions. Better to utilize ethanol for the task as it's a cheaper component and offers benefit to lower carbon emission and lessening of the unhealthy petrol components that raise RVP and octane.  


  7. The darling of powerful tools to meet Environmental concerns lies directly on the path of optimized E85 engine. Nothing comes close to cellulosic ethanol fueled optimized engine. University of Toronto just published a life cycle analysis of natural gas fuel for automotive. They compared a conventional unleaded vehicle CV to NG. Emissions of the CV vehicle running on natural gas decreased 10-20% as compared to CV running on unleaded. A hybrid CNG CV vehicle decreased emissions 30% and this was comparable to BEV recharged by the grid with the typical natural gas power plant. Problem with the BEV was the vehicle was 30% more expensive to own. So, the Toronto analysis summary was CNG HEV the sweet spot and the only advantage to BEV was to displace pollution away from urban areas. When one throws in the mix the optimized E85 engine rating of decreasing GHG emissions 85% per California standards of the Cummins medium duty van study, game over. Think of the advantage of ethanol engine almost zero particulate rating vs diesel's  unhealthy micro carbon particle tailpipe emission. Diesel's expensive SCR pollution equipment to control NOx, is not needed with ethanol. NOx is a factor of nitrogen within intake air and high combustion temperature. While ethanol does have high combustion temperature the engine doesn't require as much intake air per the fuel oxygen content and hence naturally less nitrogen to create NOx. This particular character of ethanol, also, allows engine to achieve better control of NOX control per recirculate of cooled exhaust gas. Actually, exhaust gas can serve two purposed within the engine. Upon cold engine start up, the valve timing can be adjusted to increase hot exhaust within combustion chamber. This will heat intake air, decrease excessive fuel, and eliminate much of the cold start emission problem. Properly tuned spark plugs and ignition that does not need to be tuned to unleaded fuel also a big help. 

    Secondly, cooled exhaust gas dilution within intake air can mitigate high temperature combustion temps upon high horsepower need. It would act to trim and control excessive power and heat that would produce NOx. Cooling turbo air, also, very productive for both power and control of NOx. Utilizing exhaust gas to trim unneeded fuel is a great mileage trick. Current, FFV technology will squirt ethanol per oxygen sensor demand. This is wasteful, especially with ethanol that carries liquid oxygen on board, but a requirement of low tail pipe emissions. An optimized ethanol engine would recirculate the exhaust to trim oxygen within combustion chamber to exact need of vehicle and driver. The oxygen sensor should always be in balance and not demand over supply of fuel to decrease oxygen level in exhaust. They have similar technology within the natural gas turbine for power plant called DLN. Basically, they utilize a low temperature pre burner to minimize oversupply of oxygen.


  8. Diesel efficiency is suffering per technology to control NOx emissions. Automotive diesel has adapted the lower cost approach of utilizing cooled EGR gas to limit NOx. They utilize an oxygen sensor, throttle plate, and electronic control of cooled exhaust gas to dilute and decrease high temps of exhaust. Up till now diesel had an unfair advantage per emissions as they had no requirement for oxygen sensor and stoichiometric balance of fuel. They could squirt diesel per desired Hp need, problem was they generated much NOx, but given a pass up till current day by EPA. Meanwhile ethanol suffered per SI engine requirement of absolute stoichometric balance of fuel via oxygen sensor detection of O2 in exhaust. This requirement was especially damaging to ethanol as the fuel carried liquid oxygen in which naturally decreased nitrogen percentage within combustion, thus lessening the need for strict exhaust O2  compliance. So, diesel either adapts very expensive exhaust treatment or lowers efficiency to meet Nox emission requirement as compared to ethanol increasing efficiency of the SI engine and natural lower exhaust emission cost. Ethanol has no sulfur within it's pure fuel, but does contain nitrogen. How much the nitrogen content offsets the pure oxygen content per NOx production is unknown, but the optimized ethanol engine has much easier and low cost path to emissions control. Also, the ethanol fueled engine has better ability for NOx control per higher EGR dilution and cool lean burn technology. I would guess the nitrogen within ethanol could be processed or controlled like gasoline is now processed if it were to become a conformance problem. The ethanol optimized engine is looking good from all angles. The torque (max BMEP) as reported by the Cummins test comparison was 2.5x greater as compared to gasoline and Hp or power density 2.7x that of diesel. So, that could translate into, lets say a 500 cc Fiesta, 1L Fusion, or 1.5L Mustang and heavy duty pickup.


  9. The Cummins E85 has proven the E85 engine can be highly competitive on a total cost of ownership basis and deliver 50% CO2 emission reduction. Their engine beat unleaded fuel mpg upon the medium duty delivery van tests and E85 is almost always cheaper. Seems like a win win for consumer and environment. Why wouldn't EPA attempt to hit this out of ballpark? Currently, we have set up E85 as a substitute fuel for unleaded gasoline, but the unleaded engine and transmission is physically unfit to unleash the efficiency of ethanol based fuels. Ethanol is well suited to diesel engine per findings of the ETHOS Ultra-Low Carbon Powertrain project. The E85 optimized engine was charted out at 42% max efficiency and usually above 40%. The 2.8 L engine designed per VOC or voice of consumer desires for torque, rpm, and Hp for the 24,000 GVW vans. The consumer wanted high torque at low Rpm. The delivery vans currently have two engine choices of heavy expensive 6.7L diesel long life or inexpensive 6 L unleaded short life. The diesel option has much more than needed low end torque and the unleaded choice has more than needed Hp at high rpm. The Optimized E85 engine better suited to delivery van needs than either of these engines with the durability of diesel. The E85 engine as compared to diesel is 700# lighter, cheaper to manufacturer, and easily meets strict California pollution standards with common catalytic technology. Interestingly, the optimum compression ratio for this application for E85 was 10:1 to 14:1 range. Also, unlike the needs of unleaded engine of hot spark plug to burn off soot deposits, E85 engine requires cooler plugs and has no soot fouling problems. E85 ignites at a lower temperature and should be specified with cooler plug range and gaped specifically for E85. The Cummins engine utilized iridium plugs. Because of fuel character of ethanol the engine never needed enrichment of fuel nor less than optimal ignition timing. The engine could have blasted past Hp generation of unleaded 6L engine, but Cummins decided to detune to keep intake temperature lower as the high engine rpm heated intake air to much through turbo. An intercooler could have solved the problem if needed. Also, the current engine does lose efficiency upon low Hp production, but this could be mitigated per the ethanol fuel's superior fuel character of lean burn and increase of EGR technology. Also, one must take note the emissions would decrease and performance increase per elimination of the unleaded fuel portion. Pure ethanol testing will display a substantial gain in Hp, torque, and lower emissions. After reading the success of the Cummins report, it does become apparent that if given half a chance by regulators the diesel engine manufactures would naturally double their engine offerings by the easy to modify task to E85 fuel. It wouldn't take that much. 


  10. What Greengenes post of improving plight of ethanol fuel and advances in auto manufactures to make it happen. Your point of exempting new technology is spot on. EPA authority is organised in U.S. to regulate every manufacturer product no matter how low sales volume nor how low polluting. Europe's EPA isn't so anal in regards to high MPG vehicles as the pollution stream is nothing to be concerned with as viewed in practical terms. This attitude thwarts the normal bureaucratic bloat and tax payer waste. IOWs separating the fly poop from pepper is wasteful. As you say the new technology low volume sales should be afforded simple inexpensive regs as this would maximize ability of the new technology to progress.

    The 1 Psi exemption, if passed, will help the sales of E15. Ethanol process plants that set up E85 blending facilities and invest in direct supply to retail will definitely be in better position to compete. Blender pump installs within the accepting independent gas station owner ranks will be a very positive sales driving force. And long shot, if engine manufactures such as Cummings decide to invest in E85 per suitability of the high torque and their sales in such. Many light duty trucks carry specialty engines and most of the heavy duty market. Industry analysis believe even light vehicle market will trend to purchase components per their specs to achieve better quality and lower costs. They would shadow the heavy truck industry that per economic reasons forced to share suppliers of engines, transmissions, axles, etc. It would be nice to spec out a Cummins E85 engine for next vehicle buy. 


  11. My guess carbon tax would push BEV or fuel cell technology even more as they don't allocate any emissions to those. It's funny to think in terms of coal power plant generation of electricity as compared to E85 running a on board auto generator. Both power the car and probably run at the same efficiency except the grid will lower efficiency 7-9%. Which one pollutes the least? EPA claims the coal powered vehicle. Which vehicle uses the least abusive to environment mining resources of rare earth metals and fuel? Which one utilizes renewable energy that benefits the energy security quotient of future? Which one is at the ready to make immediate inroads to benefit environment upon large scale? Which one requires the least expensive change to infrastructure? To consumer habits? Which fuel is rapidly improving carbon rating and utilizes the biological world to achieve synergy of biologics that are trending to negative carbon rating. Which fuel would promote much wealth generation to the poorest of countries and do so at larger scale and prevent their long term indebtedness? Which fuel would present the least cost scenario to automotive investment and come to pass affordable vehicles for average wealth citizens? Really, upon real market considerations nothing makes sense in much of EPA regulated path. They are on the path of subjective desire or fanciful rationalizing. They utilize random factoring, imagined damages and benefits to put nation on course per authority granted them to pass law on commercial activity that involves CO2. This is always the problem with top down decision making as it bypasses the subtle intelligence of mass market of invested crew of consumers and producers. This should not be political and if so a sad state of affairs. Think of simplicity of positioning environmental law making where Constitution dictates...Congress. They would need to put in place law that was sensible to needs of voters, first. Then they would only be able to function with general guidelines and mandates to fuel supply and transportation i.e. decrease carbon emissions on agreed upon rate for future. They really don't care if its BEV, more efficient ICE, or bicycles. EPA department would be utilized as department of environmental science and accountants to track, trend, and rate most damaging elements to work on.   


  12. This might be ethanol's sales crux. We understand automotive is highly regulated and as were told their engineering force primary mission is to comply with hurdles beset them by safety and environment departments of government.  Modern day, this is the primary responsibility and concern to stay in business. The days of invention to attract customer wants have many expensive layers to overcome before such an event can be accomplished. The legal, quality, environmental, and safety approval process is indeed full of IEDs that always maximize company risk and liability. So, that being said, true innovation that could lead to disruptive path to improve cost, mpg, or pollution will go to wayside as it's not safe. I will put the opposed piston engine in this category as well as ethanol optimize engine. That is sad, because both need or do exceptionally well with ethanol fuel. The path set forward by automotive technology is designed by EPA regs. They sit at the control seat to evaluate technology, fuels, technology, upon entire vehicle sector and do so upon their terms. Sure a comment period, but they have the power and control per environmental law bestowed them. You have to understand the above to know what's going on with ethanol fuel popularity with consumers and automotive desire to manufacture efficient E85 vehicles.

    Problem number one for consuming public is ethanol is bad image of poor fuel mileage. We scratch own heads as we review positive test reports and design criteria and experience no movement within vehicle sales to accomplish or capture the easy gains for ethanol improved mileage. The CAFE standards are the driving force for this lack of movement and rule book for light duty technology investment. It's not a simple rule book to pump up efficiency, nor to decrease environmental harm. It is devilishly complicated and bristling in incentives that favor certain technologies and penalize others. For example no penalty for high carbon diesel fuel and no incentive for using low carbon ethanol fuel. Of course this will push more vehicles to diesel. The regulation result will actually hurt the environment, so whats going on here? The CAFE is so onerous that each model car must be calculated separably through a filter of regs. Start stop, grill shutters, refrigerant, high efficiency lights, solar roof panels, electric heat pumps, wheel base factors, etc. You can receive a doubling factor if fuel cell or 1.6x if you adapt plug in technology. Meanwhile automotive companies must present data for increased E85 use to gain any benefit of FFV sales. CAFE standards increase year to year and present a plan of action to automotive companies on how to jump through hoops to stay in business. By 2025 standards, radical changes will result as just adding a few more gears and turbo won't cut it. Of course automotive is putting everything they have to BEV and hydrogen fuel cell as that is the path set before them. They have already ran past anything ethanol for a solution and will just warrant some high volume low mileage models for E85 fuel use and harvest the 8 mpg CAFE benefit. This would present them with best ROI for their trouble. This is if the Rand Paul Act did pass making it possible, other wise no benefit whatsoever to go through the expense and trouble.  


  13. That 8 MPG credit afforded FFV is allocated to the mpg side of gasoline. Meaning the best case scenario for automotive to maximize benefit would be the low mpg fleet. As a percentage of change increasing a hybrid from 50 to 58 not a big deal but improving a heavy SUV from 16 to 24 mpg is. I'm not sure in this as have never read the actual math for CAFE standard. Also, it appears there is no incentive on the E85 side to improve mileage. The incentive is to warrant the use of E85.     


  14. Note the easy solution for RVP concerns for entire fuel supply market, that would eliminate costly boutique blends and refinery shut downs. As we know ethanol has very predictable RVP influence upon gasoline blending. Also, blending pumps almost as cheap as regular pumps and proven to be attractive to customers. So, politicians working in behest of the public good should push a path wherein blending pumps come to the rescue for summer minimum RVP requirements. Metro areas can manage the RVP requirement to their hearts content as the blender pump blends can be limited by such demands. E10 or even E12 will promote max RVP in coldest of months. E21 will drop RVP below 9 psi even with regular gas. Above E21 the RVP really drops quick. It does seem the petrol fuel supply business is purposely making life difficult for consumers. Crude oil's customer is the refinery of which there are very few. The hubs get what they get and not much retail customers can do about it. The petrol market mostly worried of politics and corrupting politicians for influence to get their way per regulation or lack there of. This influence stretches to EPA. Petrol hides much of their operation and those that do to much communication to public, probably black balled. If we knew their yield of product and concerns, my guess science, technology, and even ethanol would step forward to enable petrol to receive max value of their product. Petrol shouldn't try to hide unhealthy emissions, but work within country to utilize upon better markets. Also, let us know if diesel is in short supply as compared to gasoline yield with the resulting country energy direct ethanol to replace more diesel fuel. 


  15. Ok, best I can confirm the "special blend stock" is a lower 1psi RVP stock that is utilized with E10 as the E10 mix will raise RVP 1 psi. Regular gasoline has 9 psi that is the max allowed by EPA via Clean Air act in non metro zones. Chicago has 7.9 RVP stipulation and probably the one of the reasons gas is so expensive in town. Refinery removes 1.5% of the regular gasoline, mostly butane to achieve lower RVP and this costs .4 cents more. These Clean Air standards concerned of VOCs released per normal evaporation of high temp summer months June 1- Sept 15. So, as I understand the RVP limits, it only applies during summer.

     

    Refiners go through seasonal shut down for maintenance and retool for "special blend stock" season. The petrol side controls supply of this stock referred to as RBOB and does the blending and distribution of reg Unleaded E10. It's costly for additional tanks and separate transportation for RBOB such as supply at gas stations for blender pump convenience.   

     

    When EPA granted Clean Air Act waiver allowing gasoline with 10-15 percent ethanol they threw in RVP can not exceed 9 psi during summer. This is not a problem if RBOB is available, but petrol control the supply chain of this (blender) and not in love with E15 sales. Also, the blend stock only available for one third the country. So, this Act would allow the same decades old splash blending of ethanol with gasoline and quickly enable the entire country access of E15. States have and can independently do same but this is a slow and partial solution.   

     

    I suspect refiners don't like to supply RBOB stock and fight the national access to such as the stock limits their ability to dump lighter carbon chain molecules that are often in over supply. For example non summer months they can dump these high RVP stocks to gasoline and do. Winter blends have 6-7% less energy. Also, this is yet another reason they hate ethanol as this fuel displaces their easy path to dump less valuable and unhealthy product.


  16. I see a fexfuel vehicle is defined as warranted by manufacturer. Meaning if the vehicle is backed by manufacturer to burn up to E85 or M85 fuel, it becomes a FFV and claims CAFE benefits. So, that's what manufactures do. Make vehicles that comply with law and do so at lowest cost. Very expensive to improve E85 mileage as it's much like R&D cost to launch another engine option. Also, did see the FFV gains a legislative bum up of 8 MPG for CAFE calculations in addition to actual energy equivalent gallon mileage as reward for building FFVs. 


  17. Thanks for update below, I will go ahead a post this nontheless.

    Per my reading, it will legalize the EPA to offer a 1 pound RVP waiver to E15 like it does for E10. Both fuels have almost identical RVP with a very small improvement going E15 side. This will legalize across the board the sales of E15 even in summer months. EPA has failed to give the waiver to E15, because they claimed not to have legal power to do so. Now, it gets murkier as petrol has formulated a sub octane gasoline that is intended to be used with e10 ethanol in which the combined RBOB and ethanol meet EPA RVP limits. Meaning no waiver required. They refuse or not allowed per law to utilize this base stock for E15. The problem lies with E10 that only a third of country has access to this RBOB, mainly the metro areas with max concern of vapor emissions, so the 1 RVP required for sales in much of the country. Another compounding problem is even though E15 and E10 are almost identical in RVP, petrol claims they have to blend another variant of RBOB for E15 ethanol blend. Huh? I believe that is just a ruse to diss E15 and convince politicians and public to avoid support of such action. One must understand that petrol has total control of oil product ingredients for use within ethanol mix and only need a few baseline crude performance standards. So, they have been accused and rightly so as anyone with similar conditions would do so, of utilizing low performance base stock for ethanol mix and cheaper low carbon chemicals. Now, they don't make a larger profit in doing so and to E10 benefit, it helps to decrease cost, but the MPG goes down a tad from such action. Same with some of the higher pollution that often gets blamed by the ethanol content. What petrol really fears of E15 is that it would set a president and offer proof the benefit of high blend ethanol a good thing. If E15 goes out to marketplace in a big way they want to establish a special base stock that allows dumping more inferior petrol product and keep public in the dark of ethanol benefits. The oil companies are just acting rationally to competition, why can't politicians set up a neutral level playing field? One way to thwart petrol actions would be per some current ethanol plants blending own E85 and delivering directly to stations. The blender pump utilizes this E85 and E10 to produce mid level blends.


  18. Do you remember the squak and disbelief of pro pretrol crowd when economist evaluated cost saving of having a competitor to gas supply? Per Motor Week discussion of over supply of gasoline we can witness the cost saving right before our eyes. A refinery must produce roughly 1/2 barrel of crude to gasoline. Ethanol displaces gasoline to the tune of one million barrels per day and to the tune of 2 million barrels of crude oil. So, gas is in oversupply and consumers enjoy cheap gas, thank you ethanol fuel. Also, not to be discounted the desire of petrol to hold a knife a ethanol throat and need to maximize competitive effort for same. They could export gas and probably do, but it's more profitable in domestic market. Especially if they control the keys to entire supply. Know for sure petrol suppliers are lowering cost of gasoline above what normal market dictates would suggest. Thank you ethanol! Also, it would be great for petrol if they could convince politicians to gut the RFS as this would expose ethanol in down markets such as low corn harvest or lack of sales, to maximum financial risk. Upon such markets you can count on petrol supply chain to lower price of gasoline and wait for easy purchase of bankrupted ethanol plants. If ever politicians were working in behest of public concerns they would make every effort to empower a formidable competitor. Also, doesn't this supply condition suggest to utilize ethanol fuel to displace diesel a better alternative? The optimized E85 engine puts diesel torque generation to shame. Shouldn't ethanol be best put to use  in offsetting under supply of diesel?


  19. Steve-O, the GDCI technology impressive. GM had limited success upon HCCI as the ignition required such a limited range of fuel air ratios, heat, and compression with the compound problem of controlling emissions. The technology would probably match ethanol advantage in straight up comparison of ethanol SI efficiency as the ignition of CI is instantaneous across the chamber fuel. Even though ethanol has fast flame speed and can be ignited much in advanced, it would, at best match instantaneous ignition. Hyundai utilizes intake air heat for cold engine start up and allows hot exhaust to back flow into chamber for same. Same trick could solve ethanol cold start and warm up emissions. The GDCI engine produces much torque like ethanol at lower speeds. The lean burn would have been an emission problem but they utilize cooled EGR gas to dilute and prevent high temps. The engine would need to be beefy to sustain chamber pressure similar to optimized ethanol engine. It is amazing to read of such expensive R&D investments made to maximize ICE efficiency and with good results. The Cummins E85 engine by comparison was paltry investment, but with great results. What if as you and Greengenes post of investing some in optimized E85. How far could auto companies push a better fuel? The fuel has many advantages to empower state of art engine efficiency as you know. For example ethanol has much more EGR dilution ability for cooling per emission need or upon efficiency for low Hp needs. Conversely, ethanol has liquid oxygen that works to increase power density when needed. Ethanol fuel presents combustion engineers a stable fuel character due to molecular pure fuel, high cooling ability per DI, and high anti knock. IOWs, ethanol should make the job and achievements to maximize ICE efficiency easier. Another thing, emissions of concern to EPA limited to just a few. What if they did a spectrum analysis of entire waste stream? Meaning some of us would like to know the carcinogens produced? We know gasoline has hundreds of chemical compounds with high variability and with some very unhealthy constituents. Exactly what is going out the tail pipe? I read an Auto Week article that framed the fuel problem by stating diesel engine autos are expected to gain popularity in the future and may result in over supply in nations gas supply, hence the need to beef up gasoline engine to make it more attractive. So, what is Auto Weeks evaluation of ethanol sales that may push gasoline to oversupply? They appear to be concerned of petrol supply problems? Can't petrol export like they demand ethanol to do? Actually, some of this may already be happening as around here the price spread of diesel to gasoline is high. I though it was intentional to hurt ethanol. Also, the petrol industry likes to dump short chain carbon fuels to gasoline to adjust RVP and octane as they have less value. Problem is they are unhealthy and displaced by ethanol. So, what does Motor Week suggest?   


  20. Another point of the Cummins E85 engine. The engine operated above 40% efficiency during test results. Only during low Hp zone did the engine drop below unleaded engine. Since coal steam turbines power most of the grid with peak efficiency in the low 30's, how could the BEV be rated above E85 engine? Note that the BEV fuel suffers additional efficiency loss from line loss, load balancing, and storage. Renewable content of grid is low and not dispatchable. Growth rate of renewable power on grid is high but as a percentage of grid low. High hydro western states may be an exception. Nuclear has no growth rate and usually neighboring coal. Natural gas gas is attractive, but not as attractive as ethanol E85 engine. California is in process of revising low carbon fuel rating system, but probably will still include unfair and arbitrary land uses penalties. The carbon rating of this E85 engine included such penalties. I just don't get why this E85 engine solution isn't put to the forefront of solutions to environmental concerns. My guess continues to be politics and voter desires don't always align with rhetoric. Petrol wealth overshadows the decision making as well as Environmental desired solutions. Environmentalist battling business wealth to manipulate politicians for desired solutions. Rhetoric of Environmentalists a tool to get desired solutions and the ethanol solution a diversion for both camps. No wonder the Cummins E85 engine didn't achieve, but a momentary blip on the public stage. Everyone wants to forget the event. Sad.      


  21. Also, one must evaluate the FFV value to ethanol. Unleaded fuel engine engineers must fear ethanol as the fuel has high ability to destroy their engine. How? The fuel has high ability to produce HP and torque and very high combustion pressures. Way above the design limits of the unleaded engine. For example the efficiency of internal combustion engine roughly balanced on eliminating pre-ignition knock, maximizing combustion pressure, and running lower RPM. Ethanol has fuel attributes that make it possible to improve all of these. Ignition advance is one of the most powerful engine parameters to change with ethanol fuel to increase efficiency yet the typical unleaded engine will quickly retard spark upon the fuel injector duration. This apparently the quickest indication that more fuel and HP is on the way. A condition upon unleaded fuel that will produce engine destroying knock. Problem is the FFV engine parameters treat E85 like unleaded and run with sub optimal advance. The unleaded engine is designed from ground up for gasoline and can not physically sustain high efficient E85 combustion. So, consumer can't see much value of E85 other than lower price and more fill ups. Big woop. Meanwhile the federal regulations are ticking citizens off that think ethanol fuel is inferior. Personally, I would prefer fed grants and regs that would push optimal E85 vehicles. Consumers would benefit and the image of ethanol greatly improved. Same for environment benefits. Also, since the vehicle is E85 only the full environmental benefit must be allocated to the vehicle.  


  22. A good relatively easy read doc for E85 engine http://cumminsengines.com/uploads/docs/ETHOS-final-report.pdf

     

    "Cummins believes an optimized E85 engine can be highly competitive on a total cost of ownership basis and deliver over 50% CO2 emissions reductions relative to current production medium duty gasoline and diesel powertrains. " "Cummins believes the Ultra-Low Carbon Powertrain Program" provided a clear vision of a technology pathway that can make significant contribution to air quality programs throughout  the United States and particularly California. "

     

    High points. The mileage of E85 higher than unleaded fueled van. Bench tests of E85 engine efficiency as compared to DI turbo unleaded engine (state of art) impressive. E85 purchased was 12% more expensive on an energy basis. After lowering efficiency of the E85 engine base values by this 12% and mapping the two engines efficiency upon operation scenarios, the E85 usually beat the unleaded engine. Meaning cheaper to use E85 engine. When compared to diesel, the fuel costs about the same. However, as compared to diesel the E85 engine 700# lighter, cheaper to manufacture, and has less expense for controlling tailpipe emissions. Really impressive the E85 engine power density is 2.7x that of diesel and torque 2x. So, less than half the engine required. Because of the high chamber pressure required for optimal E85 engine, the diesel engine a must for conversion stock. It doesn't sound particularly difficult to convert a diesel to E85. A new head and pistons with cheaper emission equipment. Now don't forget this engine is a rough attempt to achieve an optimize E85. Meaning the current unleaded and diesel engine technology is highly polished and at the cutting edge of maximizing capability. The optimized E85 engine is only at the starting line of achieving likewise. Cummins thinks the weak spot of E85 engine efficiency operation of low HP zone can be overcome with EGR dilution and/or lean burn. Also, the high compression trade off and lowering boost pressure, needs to be researched. The hot exhaust of E85 engine as compared to diesel cranks up the power of turbo. Opportunities to use the extra power for higher boost pressure or generating electric power. The higher temps of turbo will heat intake air more as compared to diesel. After turbo cooler technology could be utilized to boost E85 engine efficiency for this reason. Lower cost of E85 engine may enable more spending on hybrid technology. My reading of other optimized ethanol engine bench tests show a jump up in performance from E85 to neat alcohol on both power, efficiency, and emissions. Something to think about. So, once again the magnitude of true carbon emission reductions that can be achieved quickly, the lower cost of operation, the high durability of diesel like engine, the lower vapor emissions, lower unhealthy emissions, and the head room for improvement must be making decision makers uneasy. It's growing more apparent, the best path forward to help environment and the consumer and help both sooner. 


  23. The replies to date concerned of public acceptance of E85. The bad image of the fuel and lower driving range. We know much of the benefits and hurdles, just flummoxed on how easily the fuel is impugned or bypassed. We've been told the history of ethanol repeats. As we know Henry Ford was building cars and pushing for ethanol fuel. He was building a commercial ethanol process plant just before Prohibition brought the construction to halt and same with ethanol fuel. Petrol position to tetraethylead for octane boost, one of their products, and in process killed the inventor and poisoned most of the country. My personal experience per the Jimmy Carter days of gasohol were just as ruckus, with most entering a foray into incriminating ethanol damage propaganda. They really had much hysteria of engine damage. So the public acceptance of ethanol fuel as a better alternative, present day, just as impugned. I do believe as I've followed the energy sector and auto technology for most of my life...I smell a rat. History repeats and the anti-ethanol coalition powered by profits of petrol are indeed effective. While EPA has employees within the ranks that desire the ethanol solution, I believe they are outnumbered and outranked. They are in the coalition as most desire other solutions and think ethanol is just an deterrence to prime objective. They fear ethanol taking off as a solution. Auto manufactures are just trying to keep out of the foray and play by the rules. Those rules offer no benefit to designing cars for efficient high ethanol blends. I was reviewing some old engine testing by EPA as part of this website http://www.americanenergyindependence.comand once again per the engineering results confirm the value of alcohol fuel. It did strike me how efficiency always climbed upon higher alcohol blends and neat alcohol very impressive. Efficiency surpassed diesel with spark ignition. I won't bore you with all the characteristics of alcohol fuel that make for optimum combustion, but their are many. And the technology to achieve such low emissions and high efficiency is rather low. You could build a cheap port injection high ethanol blend engine and replace expensive diesel engine. Cars that invest in high efficiency diesel powered cars are already lined up per comparable torque. The torque curve of ethanol engine is superior to diesel, meaning available in the sweet spot of most driving. Also, they could manufacture a high ethanol blend spark engine much cheaper than diesel. As far as emissions. Note first the natural RVP emissions about half of all the emissions modern day. Meaning just plain evaporation. High blend ethanol will eliminate most of this. Alcohol has cold start issues and this warm up time just about the entire pollution stream. But, the testing confirmed heated air intake, improves the problem greatly as well as higher speed starters. It's not that difficult to heat intake air for start up and in the process eliminates most of the harmful pollution. BTW, these optimized engines for alcohol achieve mileage above gasoline. Now, modern day we have vastly more efficient gasoline engines with hybrid technology, but realize the same technology will still boost the ethanol engine above gasoline. Gasoline can not compete. Also, just the simple fact, that ethanol has less carbon atoms will make the carbon emissions -30% on mileage basis alone. That is before the well to wheel befits kick in i.e. short supply chain, non fossil fuel, corn plant CO2 conversion, soil sequestration of CO2.  


  24. University of Toronto recently published a study, utilizing natural gas fuel for light vehicle comparisons. A conventional gasoline car, CNG, hybrid CNG and BEV being charged up by natural gas power plants. They compared life cycle emissions and cost of ownership between these vehicles. The CNG fuel lowed emissions as compared to conventional gasoline car. The hybrid CNG car even more so with out much additional cost of ownership. The BEV was 30% more expensive and the emissions about the same as natural gas power plants operate at 30-60% efficiency. The advantage of BEV is to shift emissions away from urban zones. The plug in hybrid would be classified likewise to BEV. So, the sweet spot to influence consumers and minimize environmental harm is hybrid conventional engine powered on CNG. One should surmise that the grid has a large portion of low efficiency coal power plants and this fact should add to dissuade use of BEV. Also, one could conjecture to value of E85 vehicle as superior choice as this is not a fossil fuel, will increase thermal efficiency of engine, a lower carbon fuel, will benefit likewise by hybrid efficiency, easier to refill, less expensive to manufacture, less supporting infrastructure cost required, cellulosic fuel stream will only improve the math. So, it is obvious what path forward the country should make. What am I missing? 


  25. Automotive has steadily increased efficiency of ICE and nowadays common to achieve efficiency higher than the common coal steam turbine of power production. So, Houston we have a problem when claiming the BEV has no carbon emission and superior choice to any hybrid. Ethanol fueled vehicle would only drive the math north. I would guess if ever so motivated the EPA could be sued if not allocating zero grams carbon emission to E85 vehicle class. When you review their mission per law and practice, it would appear they would be forced into applying the same credits. If this were to develop...Katy bar the door, as conventional auto technology, the lowest cost denominator, could easily slide into production floor of new model development and afford the industry a whale load of power to meet CAFE and carbon standards. And it would be true emission and carbon savings. I could see Cummings engine offerings upon the truck and tractor fleets. Maybe automotive such as Ford utilizing their 1 liter Eccoboost E85 for Fusion cars and high end performance cars gaining race quality performance from E85 class.   

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