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Posts posted by cessna

  1. 1outlaw, My Farm Bureau Spokesman just came yesterday.  In the National Affairs Update part, info on a biofuels bill which  just passed the U.S. House, they approved 10 million dollars to study how to update infrastructure with research and demonstration projects. What's it going to take to get the lawmakers to come up to your place and see what works---for 2 years now I think? You could say---give me the $10 mil and I'll show what works. Until ethanol plants are located everywhere, we could have tank farms for ethanol every few hundred miles apart that the train could unload at easily and distribute by truck from there. One of my sorta friends is on the National Corn Growers board and I've made sure he knows about blender pumps but I think he's become such a politician that he'd rather lobby for laws instead of going to UL and grabbing the bull by the horns and making some practical changes. When I start thinking about this, my teeth start grinding and my chest gets tight, it infuriates me so.


  2. Just read about transportation issues of the increased amount of ethanol. More railcars and locomotives are being built and where is it going to be needed. Too bad we're so political instead of practical---- if we'd just use 20-25% in all cars and E85 in more flex-fuel vehicles, we could use it close to the point of production.




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    Ethanol Transport Needs Grow  02/22/07 08:12


    Printable Page


    TUCSON, Ariz. (DTN) -- By some estimates, the U.S. ethanol industry could expand production capacity from about 5.4 billion gallons to about 11 billion gallons in the next couple of years. However, that success is expected to put a lot of stress on the ethanol transportation system.


    Members of the Renewable Fuels Association Tuesday celebrated what industry leaders say was ethanol's most successful year to date in 2006, but one fuel transportation expert cautioned that it's the 2007 encore that could see problems develop in the ethanol transportation system.


    Robert Reynolds, president of fuel transportation company Downstream Alternatives Inc., said the transportation sector will be scrambling to keep pace.


    "There's still some concern about where all this product could go," he said. "... I know there's rail cars ordered, I know there's a bunch of locomotives ordered, barges and tow vessels ordered. But we don't know exactly where all the product's going to go. We don't know where the market's going to be. ... We can probably suppose that 2 billion will go to the south. But if you ask me where the other 4 billion is going to go, it might go to the Midwest, we might see an improvement in the California market where, if they start blending it at 10 percent instead of 6, that would demand more rail."


    On the other hand, Reynolds said, "you might see more product maybe trying to go to Louisiana or Alabama and that would favor a barge movement. Nobody knows for sure right now if the right segment of the industry is gearing up."


    As demand for more rail transportation is on the increase, he said, the lead time for ethanol plants to have rail-car orders filled is much longer.


    Reynolds said it used to be a four-month lead time for rail cars, but it is "much more than that today.


    "Every couple of plants that come on, that's like the equivalent of adding another unit train," he said. "So if all the plants that are under construction right now come on all at one time, I would suspect that we're going to have some challenges with rail capacity."


    Some of the major rail carriers have added and have on order a number of locomotives, he said.


    In addition, Reynolds said the ethanol industry continues to be hampered by a lock system on the upper Mississippi River and its tributaries that is "pretty pitiful."


    "They have to basically break a barge tow in half because of the size of the tows, vs. the size of the locks," he said. "Even before all this growth, we were having trouble with delays because there's a lot of traffic on the river. And so clearly, if products continue to move through barge there's going to have to be some improvements. Basically the whole upper Midwest portion of the river, the locks are not in the best of shape."


    While there will be transportation challenges, Reynolds said, "it's not as bad as it sounds.


    "But still you're adding an increase to a system that is already strained," he said. "Same thing on the rail. It's a very small percentage of all the tankers that are shipped. And it's an even smaller percentage of all the cars originated. You're talking 1 or 2 percent."


    Reynolds' company has conducted a number of studies for the U.S. Department of Energy, he said, including one that looked at how producing 5 billion and 10 billion gallons of ethanol would affect the transportation system.


    "You really start to see the strain is around 9, 10 billion gallons," he said. "It starts to get kind of hectic because it becomes a much bigger percentage of the total at that point."


    If the transportation system is unable to keep up, Reynolds said it will be important for the ethanol industry to bolster inventories on the East and West coasts where ethanol is delivered from the Midwest.


    "Because of our modes of shipment we can't do just-in-time delivery, we have to have inventory," he said. "You'd like to have a minimum of 10 to 15 days of inventory in a given market collectively, and we're pretty much doing that."


    Reynolds said the ethanol industry typically has about a month of production in storage at major delivery points in New York, New Jersey and California.


    As the ethanol industry expands, he said there will be less corn being shipped by rail.


    "On the other hand there will most likely be more DDG (dried distillers grain)," Reynolds said. "We're approaching the point where we're probably going to have to have more going into export market, because at 11 billion gallons that's a lot of dried distillers grains to move into the feed market."


    Cars can sit in rail yards for days waiting for something to happen, he said. The trend in the industry is to go by unit train, where every car in the train has ethanol on it and is pulled by locomotive, he added. It leaves from its origination, delivers the ethanol to its destination and turns around and comes back.


    Right now the focus is on adding tanker cars, improving logistic management and improving the rail yards, Reynolds said.


    "I would suspect in the next decade we're going to have to see some track laid," Reynolds said. "We're adding thousands of tanker cars a year. Wait time on tanker cars right now is between six and 18 months. If you take that and you look at the production that's under construction that's going to be coming on at different points in the next 24 months, it appears to me that production is going to come on faster than the rail cars can be built. What I think will happen because of that, is that some ethanol will move to local markets, there may be a period time that the focus might be to market to the Midwest where you can deliver it by truck."


    On barge tows, he said shipments of any product can face 12- to 18-hour delays in the Midwest portion of the Mississippi, as barges are too large to weave through the Corn Belt locks. He said if lock size was increased, "gerrymandering" to get around the locks could be eliminated.


    Although rail cars and barges have been ordered by ethanol companies, he said, the next challenge is to figure out where new U.S. ethanol markets will develop. Reynolds said the Southeast is a likely the next developing ethanol market, as the product will eventually be moved down the river to truck transport.








    Joined: 15 Feb 2006

    Posts: 74

    Location: Wisconsin


    PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I agree Hotrod- too much is made of the corrosion issue. Mild steel is fine and is used in all commercial ethanol operations after the point alcohol is dehydrated, same for oil company blend terminals. Aluminum is avoided if possible (unless annodized) yet all the trucks carrying it are aluminum and they are not affected- the main concern with aluminum would be that if the fuel became hydrated and the aluminum was slightly dissolved- fuel injectors could be affected (not likely to happen due to dry fuel and short dwell times).

    Single wall fiberglass tank are avoided due to a warranty issue with Owens Corning 12 years ago who was not sure how resins would be affected.

    Seals are important- but most seals that work for gasoline and diesel are acceptable for ethanol especially if you do not convert back to fossil fuels.

  4. Hemp is still growing wild in the fence rows around here from WW2 when it was used to make rope. It can grow pretty big and rank if left unchecked. Remember back in the 80's when artichokes were going to be cultivated in Minnesota for ethanol(they're a perennial) but the guys starting the company were killed in a plane crash?


  5. If you bought awhile ago you can feel pretty good since prices are going up. Around here I used to think that people paid $2500 to $3000 an acre were crazy--now prices for good ground are between $5/6000 per acre. Some of that is investor money and some is because of 1031 transfers---where someone close to a city sold to developers for say 8/10 thousand and come out here to the boonies and think 5/6000 is a bargain.Like everything else in life, you can't group all farmers and landowners into the same situation. Like I said before, I'm in 2 different ethanol plants---one just posted a 200% return and the other about 30%, so all ethanol plants aren't equal either. :)


  6. The first plant I put money in was finished and going April of 2003--cost $45 or so million for a 40 million gallon. It was expanded to 52 mil last year and now going for 92 mil in another year or so. I guess the original size could have been paid for by now but I've gotten some pretty good dividends the last couple of years so technically I don't think it's paid for yet. New construction is closer to $2 a gallon and such a big waiting list that I've heard of $5 million offers to get an up front build slot vs. waiting to start construction.

  7. You guys are forgetting that 1outlaw's ethanol plant is doing a good job on pricing. The ethanol plants I'm in( just figured up my percentage of the gallons produced is about a 100,000 per year) petroleum marketers get their paws on it and that's where the big markup comes from. Even though the plants are very profitable they don't get near what the public pays. Unfortunately our "free" country is mostly politics. Here's something else to think about---good farmland has been renting in the $150 range for years which was plenty and too much without a subsidy so now that corn prices are going up some of the aggressive farmers that can't get enough are willing to pay $250 since the landowners think that sounds like a good price to them---just one big vicious circle. I'm a farmer but have been satisfied to stay small potatoes.

  8. Too bad a group of like minded people couldn't form a co op and get a rail car of ethanol and divvy it out amongst themselves. My grandfather started a co op in the 30's for the farmers of this area. He got all the neighbors together and had the lubricating oil salesmen give their speels and then they had a majority vote on which oil to buy and then got a big shipment in by train in barrels. Next they purchased tractor fuel and a single axle tractor and single axle semi trailer brought a load up from Wichita KS to NW Iowa and everyone took delivery of their share. That was the start and it expanded from there----it's small but still going today.


  9. Megasquirt is another sweet option that I have used on alot of cars.It is a really cheap and very configurable standalone ecu(I paid $143 for mine and had to solder it togher myself).


    Chuck, Do you think the Megasquirt would be compatible with a "92" Toyota 4x4 with 22RE 4 cyl. and a "95" Ford Aspire. I am running up to 50% ethanol unmodified. That Aspire would be quite the E85 vehicle.

  10. Spotted cow wondered about better tuning---read this.


    Quote from: jlawren6 on November 09, 2006, 08:56:23 AM



    Could you explain a little more what about the Ford factory E85 tuning you felt made it inefficent?  Also, I've read that the factory tuning gives a 5% power increase when using E85, but have never found the original source for this.  I know that you've reasearched this extensively.  Can you shed any light on that?


    The reasons for my questions is that I have an 06 F150 5.4L FFV (RYB3) and I've been looking into getting an aftermarket performance tuner for it (xcal2 or edge).  I'd really like to run predominantly E85 in it, however, as there are several stations near me that carry it now.  From what I've read, the factory tuning adjust the fuel delivery and timing based on the percentage of ethanol in the fuel that is indicated by a sensor in the fuel system.  With an aftermarket programmer, however, I was concerned that I would lose this adapability because their programs would be dialed in for one specific fuel octane rating.  With E85, this is espeically a problem due to the changing octane ratings from winter to summer mixes.  In my mind, with either the xcal2 or edge, I would have to have several custom programs for the various octane ratings depending on the time of year. Actually, I'm not sure exactly how you would know what octane rating I had on a particular fillup.  There seems to be such a wide available range in the E85 mix (from 70% up to 85% ethanol per the pump stickers).


    Any info you could provide would be appreciated.  Thanks.






    You have touched on quite a number of points.  First let's talk about the XCal2 and the Edge.  It seems to me you have been or are on F150Online.  If so, you have seen quite a number of my posts over there including responses from the Superchips Distribtutor flaming me.  He & I had a real good relationship until he did not respond to issues with the Xcal2 telling me he owed me nothing.  This started the bad blood.  Of course, that was also before my conversion to E85 of my 2004 F150.  Still, he is easily the best F150 tuner in the business.  In fact, I don't really believe anybody compares in research & testing, etc.  When I began this project, I spoke with Rob Story at Edge to determine if the Edge would allow me the control I was looking for.  Rob was honest and upfront telling me it would not.  So, that is the history.


    Now... to try to answer your questions.  If you have the skill or want to gain the skill, the best approach to tuning your vehicle is to do it yourself.  How ?  For about $250 you can purchase the SCT Pro Racer Software and for another $350 you can purchase the XCAL2 programmer.  This will then allow you to reprogam your vehicle at will.


    Comparing a custom tune to the factory tune is really quite easy.  Remember, the mfgr is required by law to tune a vehicle to satisfy a number of criteria.  The first is fuel economy as it pertains to gasoline.  They do not; however, have to tune a vehicle to burn E70 or E85 efficiently.  But, let's take a quick look at some of the specifics.  I have analyzed RYB2, even loading many of the parameters from RYB2 (2006 FFV) into my 2004 F150.  You are correct, Ford has built in controls that are utilized when E85 is sensed in the fuel delivery system.  They have not optimized the ignition timing and they have not optimized the fuel economy under either E85 or gasoline.  The transmission shift points have way too much overlap.  A high percentage of Ethyl Alcohol provides us with some very cool possiblilities when tuning these trucks.  First, Alcohol burns at an easy 200 degrees cooler than gasoline.  Second, the emissions results from Alcohol are significantly below even California requirements.  This allows tuning to a leaner burn.  The accepted air to fuel ratio for E85 is around 9.85 air to 1 fuel.  This will result in fuel economy at least 2 MPG below what is possible.  By raising this from to between 10.8 & 11.8 to 1, you engine will still operate below the temp when burning gasoline and you emissions will still be far below California requirements.


    Now, let's talk about Octane Ratings.  E85 Ethanol is specific at 105 Octane.  E85 is generally blended by using 110 Octane 100% Ethly Alochol and 15% 85 or 87 Octane Gasoline.  By raising the percentage of Gasoline, you are in fact lowering the Octane Rating of the fuel.  But...  no tuner should ever advance the timing to dial in 105 Octane because no real benefit occurs after around 100 Octane from what I have seen.  That being said, the experienced tuner advances timing only to the point where maximum speed is achieved in elapsed time.


    This has already become a long winded response.  Send me an e-mail with your e-mail address and I would be happy to explain much more.  I promised to write an article for Dan several months ago; but, am so so busy I just haven't had the time.  I will absolutely write the article and present it to Dan in the near future; but, for now... I would be happy to exchange e-mail messages with you if you are interested in the specific details about the tuning of these vehicles.  My truck, over 105,000 miles, has just exceeded 16,500 since converting it to run on E85 and I could not be happier with the performance.  My truck is heavily modified; but, I expect to see 200K, 300K primarily due to the cleaner burning of E85.  It is a superior fuel.

  11. I was gone to Minneapolis for a couple of days. I also agree with your innovators. Ethanol wasn't a factor in the sky diver accident. A lot of the Cessna fuel tanks are rubber bladders held in place with spring clip type devices. I had to check for wrinkles on the bottom of the tanks on my plane and so did a lot of others  as they could dam up water that couldn't be sumped. I'll bet this was the cause of that accident but don't know for sure. Nitrile rubber bladders are what work with AGE85 and that is what most are made of now. The other 2 types of tanks for aircraft usually are aluminum and also wing structure that is sealed with an epoxy type compound that is painted on. We all know that when switching from straight gas to ethanol blends in our cars the puddles of possible water go away and so it seems that would be good in planes also. After playing around with that jar of E10 that I added a little water to I think that a simple airplane test would be just put a small sample in the refrig or freezer depending on how cold of environment you plan on flying in and see if water/alcohol drops out. Here's another guys thoughts why ethanol is no good---carburetor ice. He thinks that the way ethanol attracts moisture in the air that carb ice would really be a problem---let's see, I believe ethanol acts as an anti-freeze. Here are some  of the hurdles we have to overcome.


  12. 1outlaw,  I don't know about the Wi and Chicago market. To get people to use it it would take mfg. and EAA backing which probably won't happen it seems. I guess realistically with $4 gas the people that fly are rich enough it doesn't matter and the rest quit.  The other thing when it comes to safety and operation of the aircraft one size has to fit all-----what one person can make work another would have problems with and then the lawyers get involved. The pilot on another site was totally against ethanol because of the fact it's not as safe as straight gasoline----can't sump water and phase separation when it cools.  He was telling about a sky diver 182 Cessna that crashed and had fatalities because the engine got a gulp of water on takeoff----I'm thinking this is a safe fuel in his mind and yet 2 people got killed because somebody didn't sump the fuel tanks properly. Sure wish I knew how to get people to come around in their thinking.



  13. GT-Labs said

    Maybe some guys would get gutsy and try it in an RC car :lol:.


    I mixed up some homemade biodiesel with some E85 and a friend put it in his model airplane engine and it ran as long as we left the battery connected to the glowplug. There is a head for these little engines made by an outfit called Davis Diesel that converts them to run on a mixture of kerosene and ether. There is no glowplug but a head with a setscrew to adjust the compression ratio.




  14. 1outlaw, I don't know. I will e-mail you at Utica and here with Jim Behnken's(he's doing all the research and has some pretty fancy test equipment hooked up to the different aircraft)cell number and also office that he gave me. If you can get nat gasoline that is 70% isopentane is the other 30% more or less volatile. Sounds interesting to save messing with the 55 gal barrels. On supercub.org I'm always promoting ethanol and the guys there hate it as it legally negates use of auto fuel that is E10. One guy brought up a point about phase separation when climbing to higher cooler air because you can't sump off free water and you may have nearly saturated E10 when on the ground. I read on a boat website that E10 can hold 4 tsp. of water before it drops out with the ethanol so I am just now  doing a little test. Maybe you can help me out a little here---I put 12oz. of E10 in a jar yesterday and brought it home and added 1/7(one seventh) of a tsp. of filtered water. It took quite a bit of swirling to get the water into suspension but I got it done in the house (60 some degrees). Then I put it outside and got what looked like the amount of added water to drop out(20 degrees outside). Brought it back in and warmed up swirled again and water stayed in suspension. Put it back outside overnight(5 degrees) and water dropped again. Just brought it back in and swirled and it's suspended again. I didn't think it would do this. Any thoughts? Also EAA hates ethanol because they have a none alcohol STC for auto fuel use in some aircraft. I've suggested to one guy over there that the fuel research guys go over and talk to you but no dice yet so is there any chance you might go talk to them and maybe enlighten them on overblown corrosion, etc. ideas they have? After using a 50/50 blend of ethanol in two  older non- FFV vehicles for about 5 years, I'm tempted to try some E10 in my plane( it can use unleaded regular legally). This also knowing that the only change in my plane to run AGE85 is to install the higher compression engine with the jet in the carb enlarged to flow about 30% more fuel.

  15. Hi Greengenes, I went up and talked to Jim Behnken at Madison, SD last winter where they're doing the airplane testing. He said if I got the STC'd engine I could get fuel up there by bringing a fuel truck. Actually the way I think I'd do it though is to go down to the ethanol plant I'm in located 14 miles away and get the straight 200 proof denatured and get some 55 gal. drums of pentane( that's the way they get it in SD) and I can use biodiesel I make myself or there are a couple of plants about 60 miles from me and blend my own AGE-85. The Vanguard flying team up at Sioux Falls just uses 200denatured and add a little unleaded auto fuel for their RV's. The only reason the pentane is needed is for starting purposes as it is a high vapor pressure hydrocarbon( evaporates easily) and the biodiesel coats things in the fuel system to prevent corrosion. Don't know if you know but that Mooney at Oshkosh came with 8.7/1 compression pistons and they put some 10/1 helicopter pistons in and they got 10% more power on the same fuel flow using the AGE85.


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