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About tschaid

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  1. Just a quick update and soon I will take some pictures and post them. Work continues; but, not at the pace my optimistic approach suggests. The building is nearly done. Today, I will install the garage door. Why do my projections keep slipping? My full time job keeps getting in the way. Oh well. To answer a few of the questions. What will I do with the distrillers ? Initially, I will use them in trade with my brother-in-law. The corn has to be ground to produce Ethanol and his cows need to be fed. I still have quite a number of questions unanswered and have stopped trying to look beyond the attainable future. One step at a time. More to follow. Tom
  2. Mpersell, Your issue is simple tuning; but, I don't know of any tuners on the market for the Dodge product line. My 2004 F150 is also 9.8 compression and by combining spark advance and some leaning, my fuel efficiency is very close regardless of whether I burn 93 Octane or E85. And, I have now driven nearly a year with only E85 in my tank. More importantly, the fuel efficiency variance is not restricted to city or highway. It holds either way. It is important to point out, the FFV Ford's do experience a drop in fuel economy; but, nothing to the extent you are seeing. Another thought for you, take a look at electric fans for your truck. Getting rid of the stock fan, driven by the engine, and replacing it with an electric fan saves significantly on fuel economy. Of course, you will save with either fuel; but, this small investment (usually around $300) will pay for itself very quickly. Tom
  3. Forgive me for a long post; but, I believe this is part of the big picture. I started typing this as a response to engine tuning; but, it really pertains to Big Ethanol and an approach to competition. First off, utilizing corn as the base raw material, will never replace a significant amount of fossil fuel. This is clear. Second, anyone ever see the movie "Wag the Dog" ? For those that have not, this movie demonstrated how the government can create the illusion ,very successfully, without really doing anything. Our current government is more about giving the illusion they are doing something when in reality they are doing nothing substantial. The government will not make increasing Alternative Fuel a requirement because this would be directly contrary to what Big Oil apparently wants. Even when they do enact law around this, it is down the road and lacks substantial reform. So, let's step back for a second. Many know I have been preparing for the day when I will finalize my project. Of course, that is to significantly reduce my family's dependence on fossil fuels. Step 1 was to prove my truck could run on E85 efficiently. Now over 32,000 miles and achieving fuel efficiency of 90% compared to gasoline, that has been accomplished. Step 2 is to produce my own Alcohol fuel. The TTB permit requires production in a building detached from the home. My building is now up and today we will shingle the roof. I expect to ask for the final inspection by the end of this month. Mid-July we will begin finalizing the process of producing our own fuel. We will start with corn and prove this process. Then we will turn to plant cellulose using Dilute Acid Hydrolysis to break the lignin stronghold and get at the sugars. We will be successful in producing our own fuel. Then, what is next. I don't know because each direction provides significant risk. Option 1: We already have significant investor interest in this project. What does that mean and what benefit does more money provide? Well, we could use Illinois grants along with the investor monies and build our own production facility. This; however, has one big concerning factor. For example. Let's say the focus of the new business is to provide "fairly" priced fuel to the consumer. Corn based ethyl alcohol presents a cost of about $1.40 per gallon (fermenting the corn 2x assuming a 50% yield on the second batch compared to the first batch) when using corn at $3.50 a bushel and gasoline at $3.50 per gallon. Forgetting about the excise tax credits, raw numbers would then put a reasonable consumer cost at between $2.00 and $2.25 per gallon. Even if we consider mfgr overhead and transportation costs to deliver the fuel, profits would be very nice. So, what is wrong with this picture ? Can Big Oil afford to have E85 selling at 36% less than they have priced gasoline ? Imagine the ground swell that would surely occur. My suspicion is Big Oil would intervene and not provide the gasoline necessary to create the 85% / 15% blend unless the E85 price is raised at the pump. I think this is exactly what is going on today. To prove it, we would need to get our hands on the contracts between Big Ethanol and Big Oil. It might be possible to locate a foreign company from which to purchase our gasoline at least for a short term; but, I wouldn't expect this to be sustainable. Option 2: We already have a number of web sites with plans on how to build your own still. We even have some that will sell a completed product; but, the costs are high. Why hasn't this taken off? Does government legislation somehow restrict who can do what in their back yard ? I haven't found anything in Illinois State Law and I know of no County ordinances preventing the property owner from producing their own alcohol fuel ? My belief is the reason this hasn't taken off is either the cost to purchase the equipment is out of range and/or the complexity of building your own setup exceeds most people's desire to reduce their transportation costs. I believe we can get around both of these by providing a setup at a reasonable cost (investment payback in under two years), teaching people how to use it, and even providing the raw materials on a periodic basis. So, this has appeal; but, what would then stop Big Oil from pressing for state legislation to prevent home fuel production ? They wouldn't be terrifically interested unless it became a threat to their big profits. So, since aspects of this have been around for awhile, and this guarantees people can become self sufficient if they choose, this is likely the best approach. Small businesses dependent upon transportation would also have an interest. Option 3: Simply and quietly satisfy my own family's needs and do nothing else. My total investment targeted at slightly more than $10,000, including my building, would still be paid back in 18 months while gasoline is priced at $3.50. Part of the equation: I will tell you. My building is designed to be 100% self sufficient without utilizing an open flame for any aspect of the process. While I do intend to utilize electricity for cooking and distilling, one approach I am considering is to purchase a generator and convert it to run on E100. My neighbor, a pro in the Heating and Cooling Industry, will recieve the first five gallons as he wants to convert a LP fired furnace to run on E100 or maybe see if we can create a blend of LP and Ethanol. This will be R&D. We are assuming nothing and will not be discouraged from trial and error. This, has already been demonstrated. I am real interested in feedback on this post. Thanks, Tom
  4. tschaid


    Any update on the cost per gallon at the Renew stations ? I am still a couple of months away from making my own and the price around here (Rockford, Il) has gone through the roof. In just the past 30 days, it has jumped more than 50 cents to $2.75. Schaid
  5. Rusty, Somewhere I missed something. Where did we see Ethanol does mix well with PAO based oils ? Thanks, Schaid
  6. I sure don't want to strike any nerves and I really don't care about any business models. I am more interested in the product. Having utilized E-85 in my truck for 28K now and having utilized Amsoil Lubricants for the same period of time. I'll stick with their products. They work and they work well. Long ago, when I began this project, I was told E-85 wouldn't work in my truck. I was told by many experts how "caustic" E-85 would be and the result would be plenty of issues. Well, that doesn't appear to be the case. Now, where have we seen ethanol doesn't appear to mix well with Amsoil Lubricants ? Schaid
  7. tschaid


    An update. Last summer, I converted my 2004 F150 Lariat to run on E-85. I had done all of the prep (fuel filter changes, oil, etc) and it was time to convert. That was over 28,000 miles ago. The truck now has just under 117,000 miles. Annually, I put about 35K on the truck. So, after being told repeatedly by the experts, this would cause issues primarily with the fuel delivery what are the results ? At 116,000 my fuel pump and fuel pump driver module (voltage regulator) failed requiring replacement. Total cost was about $300 since my son and I pulled the truck box and replaced the components. At a shop this would be about $1000 since labor is high to get at the top of the fuel tank. Was this failure caused by switching to E-85 ? Could be since my programming does cause the pump to spin faster at high load. I dunno; but, I will at around 140,000. This week, I decided to replace plugs (32,000) and coils on each plug. The coils probably didn't need to be replaced; but, I prefer preventative maintenance as opposed to the truck laying down on the side of the road. The plugs also looked good; but, I have to buy a special guage to test their gaps (Ford had Autolite create a special plug for the 3v engines). I am also going to replace the alternator this weekend to complete my maintenance. So. The results remain positive. Of course, these damn fueling stations are now jacking the price of E-85 up along with gasoline. In my area, I cannot find it for less than $2.30 a gallon. The weather is warming up so you can bet I am going to get my building up as soon as possible, then begin production of my own alcohol. I am just not going to be controlled by exhorbitant pricing. Schaid
  8. tschaid


    The XCAL2 is vin-locked. As such, only SCT can take care of this. They; however, will require proof of purchase and even a copy of an invoice before they will unlock the XCAL2. I don't know what "found" means; but, if you bought it off e-bay or such, you are going to bump into obstacles. Sorry about that.
  9. Oil is always good for a nice discussion. Last year, before converting my truck to E-85, I spent a lot of time researching oils. I always thought Amsoil was just over priced; but, my research kept bringing back to them. So, I started buying amsoil and won't put anything else in any of my family's vehicles. Look at the specs on their synthetics. TBN is highest among all the leading oils, viscosity is fine. 4 ball wear test results also highest. Acid Neutralization was another factor. We can never be sure (unless you make your own), the fuel we are utilizing does not contain any water. So, after 28,000 miles on only E-85, I am very pleased with this motor oil. Schaid
  10. Yes. I talked with the State about taking the credit and was told my expenses had to be for a EPA approved conversion. I didn't see anything for the federal except fuels credit. What did I miss ?
  11. A simple google search landed me on this article. http://www.harvestcleanenergy.org/enews/enews_0505/enews_0505_Cellulosic_Ethanol.htm This will take awhile to get through; but, the detail is very good. Then, for more on Acid Hydrolysis from Dept of Energy. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass/dilute_acid.html Finally, and I need to dig into this very deeply; but, in principle it looks a lot like the recipe to convert saw dust into alcohol. http://www.arkenol.com/Arkenol%20Inc/tech01.html Schaid
  12. This also means State tax credits will apply. I tried to get a credit for my conversion; but, was thwarted. Even after I had proven lower emissions, it didn't matter. The conversion kit had to be Federally approved. Schaid
  13. Umm. Let's be careful about this one. I think more information is required. Please do not forget. Cellulose based alcohol is best from a purity and emissions standpoint. Corn based alcohol contains almost no acids unless too much water is introduced. Wood based alcohol contains two acids from the start. Now, my conclusion could be incorrect for this particular application; but, we do need to be careful and understand what this truly is. Our engines can handle corn based or cellulose based with few if any issues. Wood based, containing acids, will be a problem if this is the case. Schaid
  14. Very cool stuff. I have a recipe for making alcohol from saw dust. My plans are simple. Get my building up as quick as I can this spring, produce Alcohol from corn. Learn and understand this as well as I can. Then, I intend to try to utilize a process similar to that utilized for making alcohol from saw dust with grass clippings. Will it work ? Probably not; but, I enjoy the learning process. I cannot wait until it warms up. I have been looking at my still all winter long in my garage. Schaid
  15. Hey Boosted. Mine is the Pro Racer software from SCT along with an XCAL2 to transfer the program to the truck. Schaid
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