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HuskerFlex

Ethanol industry pairing up with Natural Gas industry... tag team style.

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I have mentioned this in passing in several other threads, but thought I'd focus the conversation and get people's opinion.

 

I know hydrologic fracturing aka fraking... is somewhat controversial and quite polarizing...  but the fact of the matter is, we are doing it, and will continue to do it... 

 

The result is that natural gas is being tapped in increasing volumes across a wider and wider swath of our nation...  no long just produced in the Texas/Oklahoma/Louisiana region where we used to get natural gas from just a few years ago.  With this is coming a large volume of natural gas liquids/drip gas/natural gasoline/denature.

 

As Outlaw has stated, this is actually a superior blending agent for the 15-30% hydrocarbon component of e85.  It is even cheaper then gas (helping us to widen the prices spread) and keeps 100% of your fuel dollars in the US, and OUT of big oil's hands!

 

Would it be possible for the US Ethanol industry to pair up with the US natural gas industry to cement a working relationship?  Have the natural gas folks put up tanker storage at every fuel terminal, and sell their 100% domestic product directly to the fuel blenders?  If e85 took off (actually got to that 10k+ pump goal) that could amount to a substantial volume of drip gas... taking what to them is a bi-product, and making it into a co-product.

 

Ethanol and Natural Gas could help each other...

 

They could both REALLY big time mess with the oil industry.

 

How connected are the natural gas and oil industry... THAT could be one problem with this plan.

 

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Your last point is one I'd be more concerned about. I've started following the twitter feeds of these various pro oil/natural gas organizations. They seem to be marketed together, but I'm not sure about the products both being represented by the same people.

 

That being said, you're on to something there. I've been saying lately that working together is ideal. The fact of the matter is, it's easier for hundreds of us to stand up to big oil than it is for each of us individually. Yes, each and every one of us make a difference with each gallon of E85. But it would be most effective if we all work together.

 

I have mentioned I am anti-fracking, but here's where I could see compromise:

-Do it in the plains region. We've seen what can happen in Colorado - a severe flood comes along, and not only ruins many of these rigs, but also destroys much of the infrastructure. This makes rebuilding difficult, and risks throwing natural gas over everything. In the plains, we have much fewer natural and man-made landmarks that could be at stake.

 

One of my ideas of working together involves a co-op network of all of these ethanol plants across the country. This would allow for the easy exchange of ideas, would make it easier to find qualified employees, and they could ally with each other to protect each other from failing if producing ethanol is, for a time, too unprofitable for them. I've mentioned this to Carbon Green, and they seem to be open to the idea.

 

The Yellow Hose program appears to have been enormously successful, WITHOUT advertisements. If this continues, I would expect to see other ethanol plants sign on to this idea.

 

Nobody's ideas should be discarded without consideration. Everyone's opinion counts, and we all have suggestions to make ethanol succeed.

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totally agree!

 

Skip the fuel terminals all together... streamline natural gas liquids directly to ethanol plants.  They are already doing it for the 2% denaturent, this would simply be much more...  but with the "much more" comes the economies of scale... helping bring down the costs of their "2%" for their bulk unit rail shipment that much cheaper...

 

Every ethanol plant should be a regional e85 fuel terminal for a 200 radius of e85 stations around it... preferable blender pumps (10,15,30,85%)... but e85 none the less.

 

I wonder how much of the mid-west is with in 200 miles of an ethanol plant?

 

 

THIS should be the plan of the ethanol lobby since the mid 90s...

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The main reason I see the two fuels working together is their high octane ratings. Here is a link to an airplane company that is using a high compression engine that needs 100 octane aviation fuel and then using CNG as a duel fuel. Ethanol could also be a fuel that would work. Notice the 10 to 1 compression ratio---in aviation 8.7 is more less the norm.

 

http://www.aviataircraft.com/cng/

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I concur cessna, but allow me to offer my .02. One option would be to add standard electric cold starters, that could connect directly to an extension cord, and warm the engine block when starting. I'd say that's a definite must if switching to E100. But before we get there though, we need to improve ethanol-capable engines to make sure the extra ethanol is compatible with the car. I'd also say we shouldn't replace flex fuel technology altogether with this, at least not until we drastically increase availability of ethanol retailers (not to mention, that would involve additional retrofits at stations that currently sell E85). My main concern is that it is hard enough getting people on board with E85.

 

I know I've said it before, but I can't stress it enough. We are a team!

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