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dan45mcc

1,000 E85 stations coming on East Coast

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Delaware-based Alternative Fuel Distributors Inc. recently announced plans to construct and operate 1,000 convenience stores along the east coast that will offer only E85 and other alternative fuels. The ambitious project is expected to be completed within the next three years.

 

AFD plans to begin operating the initial 100 stores, which will be branded under a ?Go Green Station? trademark, by the first quarter of 2009 in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware.

 

http://ethanolproducer.com/article.jsp?article_id=3916

 

Seems like we had dicussued this before ..just adding it to Delaware so we can keep track of their progress better

 

If they pull it off going to be huge for the East Coast

 

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I was all excited until I saw the date on the first post.

 

No doubt that the powers that be persuaded them not to do it.  Whether it was a bribe, or an offer they could not refuse, we'll probably never know, unfortunately.

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Were getting a bit nervous, like were  welcomed as in-laws to party. An like kind example:

 

A Canadian retired Mechanical Engineer, an expert in high pressure pumps did the impossible. Just a few years ago, this guy took his retirement money and designed a low cost high pressure refueling pump. "PHIL" he call it. For a few hundred bucks you could mount this on your garage wall and plumb up like a NG dryer. An easy diy project. So, every household plumbed to NG could fill their car. The biggest obstacle, fueling infrastructure solved. It was convent and a huge cost saving.  It was practical, when coming home just plug in your car. It utilized the common tire valve and similar air tubing. However we are talking of 2-3 thousand pounds of pressure. The little pump had minimal current draw and could fill you tank overnight. High pressure NG fuel tanks common, but expensive depending on your size and model. The best are light weight carbon fiber. We are not talking of $1-2 grand for the best. For reference I worked with a Pakistani engineer once that said NG fuel was popular in his country. Kits were available for $200 U.S. dollars. Of course they were illegal in this country to import. Can't be to safe. All of this before the last crazy petro fuel prices. The first state to accept the technology was California. They had dealerships set up all across the country for quick implementation.

 

It died. No political will, no support from the D.C. powerfuls. This was too good and cut to many out of money. Labor and big business. How did they kill it. Mostly by regulators....you can't be to safe. They required certified, licensed, installers. It cost $3k to install this dryer type appliance. They required the same from inspectors for annual auto tank inspections, about $1,200 per year. Do the math.

 

Never mind those high pressure NG tanks have a better safety record than liquid gasoline. Even those use in Pakistan, the amateurs installations. Big government needs big business and big labor they supply the money or influence to keep it so.

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Think about leaks of the nat gas in your garage ???

 

Actually the "Phil" unit was still being offered and as late as at least 2008 when I was at a Alternative Vehicle show- it may still be. However- local codes and quality of the natural gas going into your home is not always the quality needed for a CNG car. Last I knew the local utility had to certify their gas quality and approve your hookup. I suspect the local fire chief might have thoughts too if it is to be in a garage. ;)

 

These units had at least some popularity when nat gas prices crashed - especially since most states still have not figured out if or how they could charge road tax on your fuel use.

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But, the actual stats had NG safe. Don't forget those storing 20+ gallons liquid fuel in garage hooked up to hot engine. The unsecured open gas cans. If gasoline was not yet invented....good luck trying to get that past the regulators without crippling cost.

 

The high pressure tanks designed/fail not in an explosion but yield to a small pressure reducing crack. The refueling system shuts down. NG has no air to explode until vented to air. A short opportunity time of explosion, yet unlike most NG pipe leaks no continuous flow for long periods. The biggest problem around here is basements (natural cup like container) that can accumulate NG vapors for hours or days. Also, the supply piping always leaks. Utility companies will replace supply piping when reaching high leak rates. The gas sometimes will following the piping to a basement. Also, electric water heaters and high efficiency furnaces prevent venting of gas vapors or cancerous radon gas.

 

Natural gas within a cold leaky garage soon diffuses past the concentrations needed for explosion. I'd be more worried about basement appliances.

 

The quality of pipe line gas. That sounds like a ploy. A clever attempt to prevent easy solutions. Solutions that would cut to many out of the supply chain monies.  I suspect this was too easy of a solution. Hard to tax for one.

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Agreed- any "new" fuel idea has it's day in the sun where regulators pore over it and make it tougher than the fuel it replaces. I can see how they would be concerned about a consumer operated fill device with life of service/inspection/rplacement to consider- especially considering how "murphy's law" applies. I do feel it can be safe- especially relative to normal motor vehicle filling- if kept in good repair and installed correctly.

 

The "quality of gas" issue was supposedly a concern from the San Diego/ La Basin area- don't know how widespread this might be. Natural gas is not like ethanol (one simple chemical) - it contains 2-3 energy types plus CO2 and some moisture. How much of a concern is that?- couldn't say.

 

I looked into putting CNG at the stations I operate-- the extreme cost, extreme horsepower requirements for rapid fill, the need to service every 500 hours, and rebuild every 2,000 hours made it not feasible in my area. This is magnified if the station would only be used by the few vehicles traveling out normal range and instead using a "Phil" unit tax exempt while I had to collect tax. ;)

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