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Steve_V

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  1. Cessna- If you are interested, I can send you some distillation charts that show how ethanol affects gasoline or for that matter, how gasoline affects ethanol. I like the value of mid-level blends (up to E50-E60) since there is still some good volatility and can still have 7 to 8 RVP. Since I am an A&P mechanic, I am still not a big fan of introducing ethanol into older aircraft that typically have aluminum fuel line and open vent fuel systems but good preventative maintenance can be done. S. Dakota State University has a lot of experience in this area and since the pilot has control over fuel mixture, you could gain a lot with mid-level blends especially if you had variable pitch props. 1outlaw- I do laugh a little when I see these adds by the petro industry that shows them making cleaner gasoline. If people knew how gasoline was distributed throughout the US in our PADD system then they would know that most BP station don’t get BP refinery gasoline. Gasoline primarily varies by regions. Take Minneapolis, consumers get their fuel from only 2 refineries. The variation in value for most regions comes down to what additives they are using and hopefully not seeing a little something else added at the rack.
  2. If we could only get everyone to realize just how much variation there is in gasoline, we could actually go on the offensive about what gets put into our tank. When a 2011 Survey done by the state of Texas shows gasoline can range from 10 to 50 percent aromatics, what you think happens to the BTU per gallon, or should I ask mpg? When the state of Texas fuel survey with the fuel quality calculation developed by Honda Motors had shown 3 times the emission level as EPA's Test fuel, should someone ask what is going on? Remember, it seems that ethanol needs to be better in every category to avoid criticism but why can consumer fuels be worse. It would be easy to say from the survey data that 5 percent of gasoline sold in Texas in Kerosene. The question we need to ask EPA, how 3 to 4 percent of this fuel can have over 400 degrees distillation yet the ASTM testing standard won't pick this up. This may sound small but this can be a 3 to 5 billion gallon a year market.
  3. If you use commercially available gasoline as the gasoline component for E85, you will very likely be below spec on vapor pressure. Even E70 winter blend will likely be below and there are two studies that sampled the E85 market and demonstrated most E85 market fuels at the time were out of spec, below RVP limits. This is one of the main drivers on why E85 can now be anything between E51 and E83 as seen on one of the pictures posted on this website some months ago from Michigan. The sample that we seen boiling at room temp still had some higher hydrocarbon component since we ran a distillation test to see what it looked like.
  4. E10 is covered under ASTM D-4814. It is being said that E15 will also be under the same standard so the potential gasoline base could be lower but doubt the oil refineries will make a wide spread lower octane RBOB any time soon. The tricky part here is that the EPA will not allow the one pound waiver for RVP to be used for E15. The newest approved ballot at ASTM for intermediate blends should provide higher octane. The latest revision for current E85 market was approved at ASTM to allow E51 to E83, so who knows what the rack could put out there. Since the new intermediate blend standard allows E10 to be blended with E51-E85 there would be some questions. Not about the ethanol content but what is in the gasoline. Remember, the gasoline in E85 is not really straight gasoline, for RVP reasons. When I phased out some E85 samples, we saw one sample boil at room temperature.
  5. Dan This isn't necessarily turning our back on E85 since we feel vehicles optimized for intermediate blends should still be capable for higher blends. What we need is a strong and unified voice to change how vehicles are certified for OEMs to get credit for actually producing a vehicle that takes advantage of ethanol. Tier III announcement will be coming out in a matter of weeks and we have multiple groups that will comment with various agendas. The OEMs want to see any additional ethanol in the market place to offer more octane. When E15 was asked for by the ethanol industry, no one offered more octane to the market and that can be seen by how ASTM is intending to blend E15, the same way they are currently blending E10.
  6. I am throwing this out there for questions or comments. From multiple studies, today's vehicles can't take advantage of octane much beyond E20 or E30. Even new turbo charged DI vehicles are being produced to operate in the range of 87 octane consumer fuels, unlike the European market which at least targets premium numbers. We see a value for E30 for several reasons. E30 can offer over 100 octane performance if added to current gasoline in the market today. Many, but clearly not all vehicles today can take some advantage of the additional octane. The responce will vary. Newer vehicles could close the mileage gap with E30 and do so with 11 percent less carbon in the tank. For emission reason, E30 offers two additional benefits that don't get talked about very much but we hope to change that. Particulate emissions by many was only considered a diesel issue since it was visible. Many don't realize that cars today also produce smaller particulates and this should be a concern, especially city areas. The medical studies are numerous around this issue and even SAE papers point to this concern yet the focus seems to be on vehicle technology rather then fuel. The biggest reduction in papers so far, seem to indicate that intermediate blends can make the biggest impact. The second emission benefit is that it can reduce and even eliminate fuel enrichment. This occurs at high loads when the computer will over fuel to reduce exhaust temperatures to protect the 3 way cat. With turbo charge, this is also important. What happens during fuel rich operation is that there is no oxygen to maintain catalysis efficiency and tail pipe emissions go through the roof. OEM's plan on this in order to push the horsepower though most driver don't operate at this parameter very long and this issue doesn't fall with in vehicle certification drive cycles. If we see the economics of ethanol impede growth of E85 stations and if we start to see E85 stations go away, then this is another reason to call for E30 to clean up the problem of gasoline.
  7. Your energy saving today would be about 2.5 cents to have ethanol sales of 140 proof at the ethanol plant. Transportation of that addition 30 percent weight of water would have some limitation in showing much economical benefits. They are not actually blending diesel and 140 proof in the tank. They are atomizing the ethanol/water in the intake and the diesel fuel system is not changed. You can get some efficiency improvements but mixed results on emissions.
  8. Most vehicles have learn fuel trim that adjusts wide open throttle fueling accordingly. For most modern vehicle, catalysis temps will generally decrease due to ethanol's cooling effect which is 4 time higher than gasoline. I would bet all OEM's with in weeks could produce a list of what vehicles do or don't incorporate this simple part to the vehicle's computer program.
  9. I will try to bring this subject up one more time since now GM want to push back the timeline for E15. CRC study #E-87-1 that was issued last summer is most likely the precursor to the two ongoing studies being done currently for the EPA. CRC in general, is primarily funded by big oil and the auto industry. This study was very upfront in that they wanted to show higher temps in certain vehicles with higher blends of ethanol. I my opinion, if EPA ties E15 to a certain model year then very little market impact for ethanol will be seen since most retailer are not going to give up tank space and not offer E10 to older vehicles. I also would argue that if the testing and summary of current testing is similar to this CRC study, then the EPA is overlooking the larger issue at hand. That is certain model vehicles are more prone to catalysis failure then others no matter what fuel blend is in the tank. The highest temp vehicle on the list in this study is also the same type and model vehicle that had the catalysis failure in the Australian study. This vehicle only saw a 2 degree temp increase with fuel E10 to E15. The top 6 vehicles are 4 cylinders engine, smaller vehicle engines can tend to run hotter exhaust temps but the control of this is set by the computer strategy and weight ratio. The average of the top 6 vehicles for highest temp only saw 2.7 degree increase from E10 to E15 yet the average is some 200 degrees higher than some similar models at the bottom. If the EPA ties a year restriction to E15 allowance then the much bigger issue or say smoking gun is that EPA needs to address certain models prone to fail.
  10. I have multiple SAE paper for reference but this link is of interest as the move towards direct injection becomes more popular and cost effective. One other key benifit when looking at direct injection is that ethanol still offers low particulate emissions while the trend goes up for gasoline. http://ethanolboost.com/LFEE%202008-01%20RP.pdf You will find Dr. Heywood and others listed on this site referred to in many of the studies that look at combustion efficiencies with ethanol.
  11. There have been several studies and testing projects done in the last three years to show mid 40's on Brake Thermal Efficiency. This offers a 30 percent reduction in CO2 over gasoline and 15 to 20 percent compared to diesel. Gasoline has 85 identified organic compound from Benzene to Toluene, ethanol has 10, this would be a huge health statement. E85 only engine could be 13 to 1 compression with E98 only being 15 to 1 but many things like direct injection to get the full benefit of the Latent heat, introduction of cooled EGR, variable cam timing are all things to consider in what the approach may be. I think it would be best for now to stick with E98, for some safety benefits, having a dirty burning fuel will help in detecting a possible fire. Just remember the few pit fires at Indy last summer, the visible flame wasn't because it had clean burning ethanol.
  12. I am not sure where the slower burn rate information comes from but when reviewing some of the SAE paper on optimized E85 or the E100 engines, the 90 percent burn rate is faster then gasoline. The flame speed for ethanol has been demonstrated to be faster then gasoline or diesel and heat release charts can show this. Even in one project, 100 proof, (50 percent ethanol and 50 percent water) achieve faster heat release then diesel. Some engineering groups have demonstrated near 45 percent brake thermal efficiency and feel that this could have a slight increase with valve control for E85 to E100 fuels. When you factor in urea and diesel after treatment, at today's prices, ethanol can compete against diesel with spark ignited engines. Amerifuels in Nebraska have demonstrate with some 300 all ethanol engine in service last summer in irrigation, that higher efficiency ethanol engines can come close to equal volumetric use to gasoline. Just waiting for the next generation engine with higher compression to pass gasoline.
  13. Hi Dan I don't disagree that consumers would eventually choice E20 but with the coming announcement for E15 approval, lets first move to maybe E15, E30, E50 & E85. There are other battles to fight first and the potential of lost sales by pushing to E20 may not help. The question to ask, what is the pathway to get there? More importantly right now is setting the standard, recently traveling through Kansas City, I came alone side a trailer with 8 blender pumps, it was confusing to say the least. There are several manufactures for blender pumps and many states are developing their own approach. Issues like labeling, miss fueling concerns, fuel vapor pressure, blending practices, UL approval should be taken on full steam. Talked to some who wanted to install blender pumps and can only recommend at this point to contact the state corn board and one of the blender pump manufactures. The OEM's say they support blender pumps but was told that at this point, it is not a recognised fuel blend. The Oil and the Natural Gas companies have been very successful when they pool their resource, either for development or influencing policy. I believe the ethanol industry needs to do the same and then tell API where to put their arguments.
  14. 1outlaw: 2 blender stations up an running in Missouri but Lifeline is not affiliated with any blender station as far I know.
  15. I think E10 needs to stay but would really like to see associated octane ratings. In years to come with the current move to downsize our engines, consumer will notice octane benefits. Some one from Chevron told me that this would not be allow and that the FTC would not approve octane labeling. I sure would like to prove him wrong.
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