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Everything posted by fleebut

  1. Longer refuel range would be a bonus. Something the EPA doesn't care about and doesn't control. Lower cost fuel definitely a bonus as well as the long list of environmental benefits such as air quality, and economics. But, what is the car company motivation to invest in ethanol solutions? Not much. The FFV benefit to CAFE standards is mostly gone. We have cheaper gasoline and nothing in the EPA regulations offers incentive to build efficient E85 vehicles. In fact the lower carbon fuel is penalized per MPG ratings and tax rates based on gallon measure. Imagine if EPA took similar tack on BEV? They are very impracticable, extremely short trip, costly, require huge incentives, have little environmental value upon current grid power, require huge investment in infrastructure, and have very slow growth rate. Most would say a poor solution. Meanwhile E85 is sitting already in hand, requiring little investment in infrastructure. Actually, as we all know an easy task for automotive (once EPA gave up certification wealth) to change entire auto fleet to FFV. The curtain was pulled back last year on what would be possible, per the Cummings E85 engine. Fifty to 60% carbon reductions and 85% reduction with cellulosic fuel. That solution would then be rated top tier, above other solutions in practical reality terms. The accomplishment is within bounds of current technology. Doesn't require much investment other than receiving proper credit for accomplishment. The magic was utilizing diesel compression ratio's, turbocharging, spark ignition, EGR, proper transmission, and down sizing engine. The auto industry knows how to do all these things. Ethanol fuel availability is poised to ramp up quickly given R&D breakthroughs and processing efficiency. The land mass available upon globe is huge. Environmental benefit to wild life, diversity, CO2 conversion, and job creation is huge per this biological solution. How damaging to globe for rare earth metal mining and recycling?
  2. Flex fuel vehicles are losing value upon auto industry per EPA rating system. The low utilization of E85 fuel within flex fuel car ownership surveys has forced EPA to push carbon rating of these vehicles up and value to automotive industry down. We should understand the engineering of modern vehicles turn heavily upon the conformance to government emission regulations. This is the primary driving force upon future plans to invest capital and development of new model cars. Note that EPA likes electric and hydrogen cars no matter the real carbon emissions and offers automotive industry zero grams per mile rating. The reality of real carbon emission will place a hybrid at higher value as compared to electric car in much of the country with higher coal power plants. So, what's going on here? Much of the rating system is biased and set in place per belief system of government agency that throw more weight per desire and not science. Take the example of cutting much of the ethanol value of carbon efficiency off at the knees per theoretical indirect land use formulations. In common talk its merely a WAG system put in place to thwart progress of ethanol as a environmental solution. Also, we all know ethanol only improves vehicle emissions and engine thermal dynamics potential yet this low carbon fuel is positions along side heavy carbon diesel per MPG ratings. Something is wrong with that measure. My guess to pull ethanol out of this malaise of not being awarded rightful carbon rating and environmental benefit, is the E85 only light duty vehicle. That would force EPA to accept the full benefit of ethanol. Currently the natural gas fossil fuel vehicles will get better ratings as compared to flex vehicle. A flex vehicle that has potential to utilize negative carbon fuel such as cellulosic. Something is amiss with how we rate fuel per carbon emissions. I would guess the genius of such rating system merely lies within minds of those with bias that throw in the mix their inaccurate assumptions to factor away to desires. The rating system, especially for fuel, should entail simple hard provable data as must all benchmarks. Probably a BTU carbon rating. The fuel delivered to electric car should be rated as well as hydrogen. Why does the EPA assume the electric car will fuel up on solar or wind power, then pivot to assume flex cars will use gasoline. Why does the EPA assume jungle will be tore down to farm grain for ethanol, then turn heads away from the horrible rare earth mining industry problems for battery car, solar, wind? How about the mercury pollution of typical grid power, yet the focus on fertilizer runoff of farm field. The yearly improvements of the farming and ethanol industry that goes unacknowledged.
  3. Independent gas station owners whom work to maximize business income should take a hard look at replacing premium and mid level fuels with ethanol blends. Complicating the matter, each state and controlling jurisdiction have regulation hurdles as well as the station's access to RBOB base stock. Pass that primary benefit to the business, blender pump install. How to maximize benefit of such a pump? If regulations and law permit, very attractive to enter into the fuel blending business and harvest credits. This would take one layer of overhead away and make the business more competitive albeit at higher risk and more requirements. This is not a good development for fuel supply market as they have historically claimed this business, both ethanol and petrol. Petrol loves to be the responsible party per the income and control of markets. Ethanol producers whom wisely convert facilities to blend E85 have similar benefits of control and lower cost of product to retail. Carbon Green just north of me is one such ethanol plant that has much success with their yellow hose marketing. They truck their E85 product directly to retail gas stations. Since Michigan has oil well production the Carbon Green can utilize natural gasoline that is low cost by product of crude oil harvest. The natural product doesn't work well within supply chain of crude oil and as the fuel not up to fuel quality standards alone, a bit of a problem for petrol. E85 blending is a perfect match for such fuel. If ethanol plants accomplish such blending they can harvest ethanol credits as well. My guess the majority of gas station owners won't be interested in the blending business per Robert's post, but most of the concerns do fall away if blender pump operations stick blend stock in one tank (sub par) and E85 in the other tank. This arrangement would empower the ethanol side of supply chain and keep the infrastructure in hands of those whom future it depends. This is the best arrangement if RFS regulation modified to dissuade automotive to produce FFVs and petrol to blend. Independent gas stations with ethanol fuel can make progress despite the lack of legislative incentives by offering lower cost fuel that is better for environment and local economy. My guess the local distribution and sales of mid level blends would become the battle ground to continue competitiveness of ethanol. Magnifying the local benefit would precipitate proponents and success experience that will always flow outward. Forcing expensive ethanol on complainers through out country, just sets up battle lines. Better for them to peer over the neighbors fence and read of lower cost premium fuel that helps local economy and environment.
  4. Glad to see the web site continue as well as the discussion.
  5. Starch and sugar ethanol should continue to expand as cost effectively little competition. Chevy Volt would do very well to not only offer flex fuel alternative, but to offer a model entirely dedicated to E85. Chevy Volt appears to be marketed to wealthy Californians that have a big desire to drive expensive vehicles with max notoriety or publicity. This will fade fast, hope Chevy can recoup some production cost for the effort. Government stipend does little to entice customers to sign upon dotted line; meaning just a perk. So, what would be a practical car? Models that Chevy so famous producing? Smaller, less battery with parallel energy source aka as a generator. Meaning the generator always their supporting the battery. And surely the fuel of choice for Chevy...."American produced fuel". They should advertise with American flags, 4th of July picnics, and roll out the E85 primary new generation vehicle. IMHO. Keep the car light, lower cost, and suitable for shorter trips.
  6. Oh my, that is a super station and within plain view of I94. I have been watching the construction, the fuelling station up front and within a few hundred feet of the free way. You could easily read E85 price. Meijers have been a faithful friend of E85. Meijer thrifty acres will do good with this.
  7. The Volt needs a cheap one cylinder thumper (no pun intended) engine. Start the engine immediately to amplify the battery range. Forget about long distance. Instead focus on a light weight inexpensive car that would cover 95 percent of travelling needs. That is the ground zero for battery car. Also, make that engine run on E85 strictly wouldn't hurt. Make the engine to spec with E85 to maximize efficiency of the fuel. The car is supposed to be American built/designed so naturally E85. The company would gain more sales (even California) by promoting alternative fuel. Just take this one high teck future car and make it strictly E85....they have to understand this? I believe Ford and GM are playing a game. They have developed some beautiful engine technology to exploit ethanol. These companies work 10 years out and know darn well the future. They play a poker sales game mostly a balancing act to hold cards close to chess and watch the competition. So, invest heavily in ethanol. Funny that planting season is over for most of the country, but these things take time so in my opinion we have time. Just know the end game and I don't see cellulosic doing as advertised. Show me the MONEY.
  8. That turbo will help a bunch as well as the program mod. My guess, you won’t get close to Buick Regal mpg, but who knows? Fifteen percent is very close to regular fuel. It will be very interesting to keep up with your test results. Fifteen percent is hard to test for, but you as most on board test mpg every tank. As you know, mileage will vary per season, temps, oil change, tire pressure, driving style, even trips that steadily gain in altitude. It’s amazing how increasing tire pressure will affect mpg. I run my tires 10psi over max rating, especially on a trip. Tire performs better, but will give you a stiffer ride.
  9. I have a 21" Tecumseh. Maybe I should pull the carb off or check out how it meters gas? It would be cool to burn E85 this summer, especially at these prices. My lot is 1 acre, so quite a chore, but better to mow lawn than go to some health club, at least if breathing E85 exhaust. Not that there is much fuel used, but hey…good to get up close and personal with your fuel choice.
  10. The local BP station was boycotted during Gulf spill for a couple months. At least sure appeared that way as they had very little traffic during that time. Felt sorry for station owner whom had no clout to make a difference. We had a nice E85 pump close by, a few years back, during the last $4/gal gas. The station owner sold the station by contract to new owner whom put in E85 and dumped the Shell gasoline brand. Guess he could only put in E85 this way? Although the E85 wasn't marketed well and it appeared he didn't have to as the pump had a steady stream of traffic. This guy let the station go back to owner. It appeared this guy had bad marketing skills. A beautiful gas station and ugly sign...go figure? E85 no where to be found on the sign. Only at the pump selector. Regular (E10), high test, or E85. By my MIL house a nice Meijer station (15 miles from me) with Separate E85 pump. That pump always busy. E85 = $3.09, regular (E10) = $3.89 as of 4/06.
  11. For me it was just trying something new. Gasohol peaked my interest (way back) and after burning that crude E10 fuel for a short time couldn’t determine any effect; good or bad. The fuel did have a horrible reputation, back then. Antidotal evidence and hearsay gossip of horrid detrimental effects. Laughable reasons, much like today detractors. The initial gasohol product launch originated from the left political aisle. Jimmy Carter was the Grand Daddy of hard or heavy handed (do it my way) top down leadership. Meaning the decision making controlled from top. Now, this sounds nice if one wanted change as fast as possible and “yes” it will. So, gasohol launched fast, gained a bad reputation as public doesn’t like fast change and then ethanol as a viable fuel source faded fast. However, the ethanol fuel idea never faded in some minds. That blip of an experiment very useful in the end as ethanol leadership learned valuable lessons and technology in position to dash to production. Were sitting pretty with ethanol now just a few years out of that $4-$5 gasoline scare a few back. Thank goodness.
  12. May that be the reason competition racing engines sometimes use ice on engines? Meaning a cooler engine running gas is better at least for the drag track. Ethanol engine could just idle for a few extra minutes….job done. Exhaust systems used to rust out yearly,  . That was fine with me as the cars were $2-3k. My father never replaced an exhaust system, but was a very good technician, especially within the ICE theory. Always a pen in hand with yet another invention (dream works). Oil analysis was promoted back a few years back within industrial equipment per extremely high cost investment protection. It is excellent info, but most maintenance people whom diligently and routinely responsible for equipment a much better path, at least for manufacturing. Never bothered with the low cost $20 oil analysis, as the maintenance team first rate. IMHO just better to change oil for me that would be 3k miles. Those long commuters, could go all the way to 10k or up and some only change oil once per year as you know.
  13. The real old 3.1 with throttle body marvellous E85 burner. Just put one out of commission per order of dw. She refused to ride the babe mobile. Calculated the CV shaft repair and other minor stuff. Scrap price worth more. Especially if you part out scrap metal. Still would have kept it, but only need two vehicles. BTW, keep that hobby for Fri and Saturday use. A good rule IMHO to live by.
  14. The national X-Prize mpg competition, a few months back, that gained so much media attention. I should say gained media attention as mostly consumers want non technical emotional. As we know the winner of that competition burned E-85. His winning strategy of light frame vehicle, avoiding battery power penalty of weight and complexity, and maximizing E85 fuel advantages. Well, appears half of that formula already in production. Was reading Dan’s post on purchase of Chevy Malibu high mpg car. Meanwhile the local news report on Grand Rapid Devos expo show of outdoor equipment. Golf carts technology. They've come a long way, not like your Grandmothers i.e. street legal. They featured a battery powered, four passenger, and street legal, 4x4, with optional side curtains. Good for roads posted 35 mph. Nothing really new as they have been popular within Florida retirement communities for some time. After first seeing this alternative use of golf cart use, just a couple years ago PBS had futuristic entertainment show of intelligent path to sustainability. You know the magic of light rail, for instance. They wore out the film, back a couple years. The show had brief clip on these Utility Vehicles in retirement communities. Now, planned communities is great marketing and does attract business from people all in same boat. Just this PBS show hyped it up as everyone currently is unaware of such grand schemes. They twist it to “discovery”. My foot as dear mother used to say. Retirement communities had this figured out for decades. LOL, a way back story. Met an extremely interesting retiree whom dedicated to trains. His hobby those small sit on trains. For those of you whom know Turkeyville fame Mich. History, this guy owned and operated the train for $1/passenger.This couple had sold the home and now live in very nice motor home, pulling a trailer full of trainware. Most of the year down in Florida pulling retirees around community for transportation; well that’s a stretch. This was a true steam locomotive as the guy was retired machinist. Wonder if insurance and regulators ever caught up to him? These UVs are expensive toys, but cheap transportation if fitting your needs. The news show mentioned 15 billion miles driven annually in U.S and while a small portion for short trips….lots of small trips within the 5-7 mile one way range. Cost of energy not worth calculating. You could power the golf cart with beetle juice….still inexpensive. What a hot zone for E85? But, maybe not as these carts have little cost of energy, so they plug in. Still, lots of retired folks love new ideas, if not to expensive. For them and those looking for true utility such as hunters and farmers maybe attach some directions and still like what 455 posted once. One with plastic parts. The retirees bored anyways. Give them something to impress the peer group with. They are very in tune to that energy. UV must have zeroed in the retirement group, as primary market. They focus advertising on sports or farm use to establish an image. Don’t think much excitement could be built upon film of Martha trying to get into the U.V.. Funny, the local dealers will vocalize the merit of riding from street to golf course without getting out. But maybe hunters interested in that?
  15. Early November wet snow storms and cases of Heet by the cash registers. We feared the sputtering engine soon to conk out with free water condensation. Gas formulas did change in the winter, at least the name brand gas stations whom advertised "drying agent" in the fuel. What was that drying agent? Remember the panic of unstoppable high speed Prius running down the road a few back? Brought back memories. Up north common for throttle to ice up. Carburetors worked on Bernoulli principal as the force to suck gas to intake. However, the low pressure zone of venturi not to good for cold wet driving conditions. Very easy to freeze the throttle plate. Most blamed the water in gasoline. Maybe some of that, but mostly the high moisture in air. Remember my wife staring at me during a Thanksgiving trip up north. "What are you doing!". Oh, the throttle stuck and had to jiggle the gas pedal to set free. We need to stop soon and let the engine heat melt the carb ice. The cable linkage a big hazard as older solid linkage you could pull the pedal back. I had a safety drill with wife as again she was amazed that you could put trans in neutral and coast and operate a car with engine off. It would operate different and hence the need to practice for emergency. Told her rule number one, before panic, shut the engine off. Now our modern safety technology, (gov't to the rescue), really messes up operator control upon abnormal conditions, i.e. lock steering and key interlocks.
  16. Ten percent E85, or about equal to blend E10, right? Seeing the limited availability of E85 pumps as compared, very impressive. I still hold a grudge upon the snafu regulation industry whom will exploit every opportunity to seize power and gain money. Upon reality, the gas pump manufacturers know a whale more than they do. Manufactures can't stay in business long if taking chances with possibility of bad press. At least those this side of the globe. If going alone, they may make an error (no more than usual) and pay the price. But, not a big deal as compared to the attempt to manhandle normal market operations.
  17. The two tank problem when splash blending fuel mix. That's been my experience, as well. Best to be consistent for mpg concerns. Takes a couple tanks back to back to get mpg up where it should be on my older vehicles. Funny, on a trip even before ethanol, it would take a tank of gas. Past that excellent mileage reappears. Suspected the oxygen sensor operation was less that ideal or fouled. Remember, the advice often given to replace the sensor as this will improve your mileage. Never have bit into the logic and my mileage top of the heap. Wonder if the EPA has test data on that phenomena? The organization qualifies vehicle lifespan per their internal convenience at 100,000 miles. So, would suggest they regulate a used car sticker with that information as low cost used vehicles good for us bottom feeders.
  18. Such a hassle to splash blend, calculate, and track ethanol concentration. Would be nice to have some sort of metering pump. Something adjustable for desired ethanol mix. Shouldn't be very expensive, just a modification of current pump technology. Surprised that the new pump models don't all have this feature?
  19. Clerkman your one brave soul. Buy flowers and only talk of positives. Nothing technical. Mention, the approval nods from passerby. Try to avoid discussion of ethanol. Afterwards, upon a firmer foundation when permitted to open the hood, say how clean the engine. Understand that if your girlfriend is not mechanically inclined, what you did, ruined her car forever. So, in that event forget explanations, change the subject instead.
  20. What TD and Outlaw post, the part of scarcity, should be of national concern. We are often told to have emergency preparedness to be self sufficient for an extended time with emergency kit/supplies. This is to prepare for the eventual event of flooding, power outage, natural disaster, economic disaster, industrial accident, or terrorism. Low cost supplies should be very useful in the event. Strategic Petroleum Reserve’s of oil put in place for such emergency. Unfortunately, the reserves for military and government use in true emergency. Those in charge have little time for non-government operations. Most career politicians only aware and entrusting of such paths. Private sector a bunch of whiners. They would not trust private citizens to make good choices, because somewhere some place a citizen has wasted or cheated. Thus strict control from top down in an emergency. Better for those with most power to make the rules as only one such can be faultless and quickly change mind. We would all set on our hands and whimper. So, in true emergency ethanol production very attractive and in my mind the most capable emergency kit/equipment one could invent. One that doesn't require central control blessing and one that continues to produce upon local or regional locality. A diverse population of these plants, sprinkled about the territories would definitely improve our self reliance. Also, these ethanol plants are picking up ability to generate power. They should have ability to energize grid upon some limited emergency plan. The business of farming and ethanol have warehouse storage of nation’s most valuable commodity in true emergency. This natural condition required no magic of intellectual supervision and control. Not a bad deal to have the feed and food outputs as well. Might be good to draw up plans and have emergency capability for near by irrigation wells to pressurize municipal water lines? That would be a flex fuel E100 powered well pump. It’s o.k. to utilize private sector. In true emergency we wouldn't care.
  21. It's an interesting story. VPG out of Troy, MI and financed by T.Boon so no surprise natural gas powered. The link story does mention gasoline as well. The company really creative. Looks like a winner product. Pretty smart for T.Boon to discover an opportunity for investment and attach natural gas to this. He knew this endeavor would capture much free P.R.. A low cost approach to get what he wants. Impressive for a senior citizen to attempt such a feat. This the American way and one more example of true genius of founding principles. AM General one of the few companies that produce vehicles at local level. Only a couple hundred employees. This project will add another 60. The projections go adrift per usual, but expect if the project does in fact over time take off, yes. Wouldn’t it be ethanol coup to entice AM General to produce E85 vehicles? My wife left the channel on "My family TV". The show had a video of equestrian club entertainment segment featuring a Roman soldier with armor and gladiusn saber riding two horses barefoot standing on horse rumps with reins in hand. Wow, impressive and powerful image. That would be a delightful "Budweiser Clydesdale 20 team harness" moment for ethanol. Meaning a powerful promotion to etch in consumer minds. Follow the Budweiser marketing path. Shouldn’t be very expensive to sponsor the horse club. A tasteful sign “Ethanol has more power”.
  22. Many on site know the real deal, and how to make it happen. Per my personal taste, a bit risky to make waves with car warranty. They probably know how to detect and void warranty per unauthorized service, if you get sloppy? Personally, I wouldn't risk anything until coverage expended. If you have a sweet zone for ethanol, great to evaluate auto model mpg per the fuel. This is not a cake walk either. Hard to find real data. Some good quality testing available, but it's old and limited even for flex vehicles. Wish third party (independents) would publish highest mpg E85 vehicles upon a real mpg ranking. The Buick probably #1, but how about Saab or Subaru? The lowest heavy vehicles, but if your in that market good to have highest E85 mileage for that class, too. If the vehicle was to run mostly E85 fuel, automotive could easily tweak settings and hardware for limiting the compromise effect. Meaning to throw the advantage to E85 fuel as thats the fuel of choice and gasoline utilized as backup fuel. Flex vehicles the best choice, but they too, strike a balance between fuels. Some variables not adjustable or easily flexed, some operating conditions are hard wired or mechanically tuned to EPA rating systems for public evaluation. We often ask "Where's the beef" per Pella's hamburger choice. This EPA system focuses on the most popular fuel; gasoline. Automotive is focused on sales, so their you go.
  23. Lab tests an exercise in academics. The Challenger blew up not the result of insufficient lab tests per lack of funding nor government regulations, but this is exactly where media and politics quickly point to as the most probable need. The disaster was a result of growing ineptitude of bureaucratic bungling. Engineers whom work in real world problems knew better. However, the organization took one step at a time to empower more important matters such as politics, incomes, feather bedding, and fiefdom battles. Voices of technical crew couldn't break through the organization fog. The above, a small historical insight of state of our science as directed by central control. Starts good, ends bad. The ethanol debate is also fought out per Capital Hill politics. Companies work with U.L (quasi gov't) to obtain approval status for products. It's interesting exercise and valuable for resume (not mine). You have to understand politics, personalities upon U.L. concerns as they love to focus on the fly poop and ignore the quality of pepper. Ego's in high gear as they hold the keys. They enjoy the job perk of being stroked for their wisdom, efforts, and self worth. Wouldn't we all enjoy that. These employees are no different than the employee's sitting at the open markets desks, right? Gaining employment from no compete business doesn't suddenly make one sinless. Business and private citizens have in total a magnitude more data upon ethanol fuel use. Trying to exploit minor test lab results to some overall conclusion is a mistake. The test lab focuses on but a small sample and always upon artificial conditions. To conclude reality from the results is but an educated guess. Especially, within a long time frame. Now taking real world problems to test lab is good to understand what went wrong, but citizens often jump to the wrong conclusion that labs can also work in the opposite. That only if the Challenger pasted through the test lab no problems would result. Now, test labs are a critical nice tool for product improvement, but only if the test lab sets up shop next to the company that is responsible for results as in this case the data, testing, and product improvement continues on daily schedule. No part time lab temporarily dedicated to the task can compete, no matter the sheepskin or political connections.
  24. No, but will add 455 had a post where the subject came up. The open chamber good for flame spread and resulting speed. Good for power and would guess mpg? That engine might be a good choice. Others will chime in if spotting. Good to have a post on top within view.
  25. Customers will make the wrong selection and get angry. More so today as common to believe it's not fair to held accountable for personal mistakes. Guess were all a bit spoiled by business whom often cave. No business is ever perfect in operation, unlike government. Last week put a few gallons in with credit card purchase and discovered two prices at the pump; Credit and cash. Now, it was on the up and up, just was conditioned to credit card sales. Cash was equal to credit price at other stations. I do wish the cash option available to save some of the 7% burden. Maybe 5% real cash savings and allow the station the other 2% and benefit of real money in till. Credit card company aka banks are taxing the nation purchases 7%. Where is the outcry from those all concerned of cost of food and the hungry whom walk with hands out? Oh, its banks no problem they pay their dues. Disney is gaining reputation of tourist ripoff. Used to be a simple price scheme. Now just schemes. Employees that move from business to business have been conditioned that law prevents disclosure. Just another outcome of unintended results. Federal Privacy laws the medicine applied throughout nation per tearful testimony. They should evaluate these remedies upon performance of desired outcomes vs the hassle. Always a better way to accomplish more.
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