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Fuel Choice

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My investigation into ethanol diesel, led me to discovery the diesel manufacturers don't seem to be interested in ethanol fuel. I always thought ethanol would be a natural, but aparently not. Spark plug ignition a better route.

 

Following is a blurb from the AmeriFuels ethanol irragation engine as of Janurary 2010.  Their AmeriFuels Energy Solutions has modified nearly 300 GM irrigation engines to run on pure ethanol or a mix of ethanol and natural gas. For $16,000-$17,000, irrigators get the modified engine, a fuel tank and a contract for ethanol from an area plant.“When diesel was $4 (per gallon), we sold them as fast as we could make them,” Hanson said, but the pace dropped along with diesel prices. “People are pro ethanol until it gets to be a little more expensive.”

AmeriFuels’ new “dual fuel” application combines the ability to use natural gas and get the horsepower boost needed from ethanol for deeper wells in southern Nebraska and northern Kansas. “Every well is different, so we have to go out there (to the field) and program it,” he said.

 

This is what I finding on the diesel alternative fuel interest; natural gas. Following is Freightliner test: Manufacturer says Class 8 truck owners can save up to $6,000 a year in fuel, operating costs. Freightliner, a Daimler Trucks North America division, will also offer a compressed natural gass version of the M2 112, later this year. By the end of 2010, Freightliner and Cummins expect to have a line-up of natural gas-powered trucks that match more than 90 percent of truck applications in North America. Note: Daimler spent $1.5 billion to comply with the latest EPA regs on diesel emissions. Natural gas has no emissions problems and the fuel supply is huge in U.S. and internationally. As we know, Honda is going down this same rabbit hole. Natural gas will be a BIG competitor to diesel fuel. The Ricardo gas/ethanol engine will also be a competitor to diesel fuel.

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Seems engine technology in a flux as so many government mandates floating about. The slow economy and lack of financing a big drag, also. EPA throwing their weight around within i.e. California clean air, carbon calculations. Government throwing money around to jolt some industries and starve others, both of which bad for stable growth. Even the easy government money perceived as temporary and untrustworthy. What is a business to do.....batten down hatches and try to survive?

 

Diesel engines will be hammered with expensive controls and increasing unattainable limits to pollution. Reports of bi-fueled engines.  Natural gas use expected to increase dramatically for big trucks. I calculated my NG cost for home heating and the equivalents (no tax) for the fuels: Natural gas btu’s cost equal to $.80 ethanol, $1.25 gas, and $1.39 diesel. Btu value of NG about same as ethanol.  BTW they have a few liquid natural gas fueled rigs with a vacuum thermos bottle type tanks as the fuel needs to be kept very cold. LNG 600x more power dense than CNG.

 

The CNG trucks use diesel engines, but spark ignition. Sound familiar? One problem, they can’t produce near the hp as compared to diesel. May the solution be E85 DI like Ricardo research? Run CNG for cheap fuel and inject E85 when needing high power.

 

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LNG ro CNG for trucks might be ok in captive market operations such as the LA basin or large city where air pollution concerns drive costs for diesel out of hand. The problem for trucks is that many are over-the-road-- this means truck stops will have to be equiped with pump equipment. Even then many diesel trucks operate outside of the area that major truck stops exist.

 

I seriously looked into CNG as an option to add into some of the key stations I operate- the issues as it stands today;

1) like ethanol- NG prices fluctuate and are not always below diesel

2) passenger car owners can put a home "Phil" unit in their garage and pump untaxed CNG-- thus would only want the CNG retail station for convenience on vacations/long trips--no payback here.

3) for a passenger car filling setup in a retail environment- the first compressor will cost $150,000, require service every 500 hours, and a rebuild every 2,000 hours. OK- now if you are the only choice in 50 miles then your customers will be very ticked when you have it down for service or rebuild- now add a second compressor for another $150.000. Next-the point of sale softwware is unique to this equipment and the regulators will surely want it away from the normal fuels- now we are looking at more concrete, another canopy, more wiring, yada yada. OH- a a big deal here- each compressor had an 8 belt drive- sound like it takes a little energy to run the pumps LOL

 

I see CNG and LNG as anopther regional solution - which is fine. Think about where nat gas is produced or where LNG ocean terminals exist here.

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Yeah Outlaw,

 

Not sure what the market for nat gas would be up here in NE WIS...but would be cool to see you guys put B20 in a few of those stations hehe...

 

I don't think VW and Audi are too far off from certifying B20 in their TDIs, but Ford and GM gave their new pickups B20 capability :)

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We just need a good 'all fuels' turbine.  Pull into the station...whaddya got and whatzit cost?  W few quick calculations and you know whether to get diesel, bio, E85, CNG, Hydrogen, etc.

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We just need a good 'all fuels' turbine.  Pull into the station...whaddya got and whatzit cost?  W few quick calculations and you know whether to get diesel, bio, E85, CNG, Hydrogen, etc.

 

Buy an M1 Abrams tank, they will run on any liquid fuel you can put in the tank --- they do only get about 3 gallons / mile (no that is not a typo).

 

;)

 

Larry

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But think of the fun you could have during rush hour.  Might be worth the 3mpG to be able to go 40mpH - regardless of how slow the traffic in front of you is crawling.  C-R-U-N-C-H!

 

A great city car LOL

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I've known of more then a few "tankers" (1st gulf war) that were in M1s and said that 45 of hard roads was a very "conservative statement", that they could easily do 60-65mph... great freeway speeds!

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