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Why is ethanol a better fuel?

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  Reading through the air quality ( O3) study of Sao Paulo a few years ago,  I wish there were

 

 more work done to perfect this type of modeling.  Could be a quick way to predict results

 

 of different fuel on entire regions... taking into account geography and likely weather patterns.

 

 

    I have a particular interest in ethanol fuels in So. Cal.   

 

   Pairing the high output/small displacement engine in something like the Volt , eliminating the need for

 

 large , expensive battery packs , might go  a long way to help clean the air in that region and elsewhere.

 

 

   Another company near me is pairing hydaulic propulsion with standard technology, but believe they are

 

  also looking at adding an electric/regenerative boost of some sort.  All of these things together can help..

 

 but are expensive, and may be prone to failure.  Still,  we need to start trying something different.

Edited by Greengenes

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The first couple sentence from NRDC article. "Southern California has the worst air quality in the country. The Los Angeles region is home to the largest port complex in the nation, which relies on diesel-powered ships, trains, and trucks to sustain its operations". Growth to +70% by 2020. This region unlike the rest of the country with unique geography that trap pollutants from traffic jams, high density auto traffic, industry, and the rest. Cancer rate is 70% higher for those living close to port. Wow, an ugly problem. I hope they don't produce power in the valley. That would be an ideal zone to ban gasoline upon yard equipment and require E85 conversion of high polluting engines or better yet battery power. Diesel engine of light vehicle motor vehicles should be banned. Higher blends of ethanol fuel a must. They should regulate grass maintenance to extra high height per a whole host of environmental benefits. The county and city should develop a forestry plan to maximize density and tree growth. Trees are a natural air purifier and some species are exceptional. Hopefully, native high value trees can be planted upon every square foot of land and managed for max growth. I would think the giant Douglas fir and Redwood that need only a density of one per acre would do nicely with grey water supply. My guess these trees could impact the negative climate trend. It's a long term commitment to waste water use, but may produce big results to quality of life. 10,000 acres of trees remove as much pollution as those power plant air scrubbers. 

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Also, the Basswood does well in Southern California and that tree is remarkable per ability to clean air. To me the tree growth and planting would rise to top of concern, even before breaking the bank upon BEV sales promotion as these cars purchased by affluent. Hybrid is rated, currently, as high per environment. The benefit of high growth vegetation would be worth building desalination plants. Utilize nutrient rich grey water for high vegetation growth. Trees will grow multiple factors faster and be disease resistant. Lawn turf can double the environmental benefit if allowed to grow twice as high. Grass plants are extremely efficient per photosynthesis of which corn plant is one. For traffic jams and occupied vehicle parking, battery operated A.C. is a must. An auto supplier had such a conversion package for vehicles. Ford, I think, quickly bought the rights t quell the advance of old cars. It was a alternator/motor that could power belt driven auxiliary devices of engine. It boosted Mpg and allowed A.C. with engine off. I do think these metro zones could improve air quality cost efficiently by higher ethanol blends and use. EPA cost of compliance a big stumbling block. A few days ago a Judge ruled on EPA right to ignore certification of E30. Ethanol producers claimed EPA regs put the fuel in a box wherein only fuel of common use will be certified and E30 can't be used because it is not certified. I don't understand why high cost of compliance is necessary when science claims the use and development is positive. Why the strict control of a better paths? Especially, upon startup and low use! My guess the whole shebang is empowered by crony capitalism wherein politics can benefit by holding up such events.Always being at the economic cross roads of decision making for improvement so as to claim credit. Sad.

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  I am familiar with the ozone and PM pollution problems generated mostly at the LA seaports,

 

 but one can also draw a line along the coast to 5 miles inland and see that the LAX airport also contributes

 

greatly to this problem.   I'm wondering why some form of alcohol injection wouldn't squelch a significant amount

 

of these sources.  Not the aircraft, so much... but a clean burning alternative might be workable for jet APUs , and

 

for use while taxiing , or parked at the ramp.    So many opportunities to improve the situation. But as you say,

 

alot of good intentions caught up in political gamesmanship... even legal -vs- legislative -vs- executive  jousting.. 

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Actually, what you post of desire to have ultra low tail pipe emission is possible. Upon those engine conditions that require low horsepower, but operation of engine. The theoritical combustion upon perfect conditions, put pure ethanol aside hydrogen fuel cell emissions. The fuel needs to be pure. This condition is met with E100. The fuel needs to only meet horsepower needs and no more. This condition is met with optimized ethanol engine utilizing EGR to limit oxygen. The fuel must be 100% vaporized. This condition is met with fuel boiler heated by exhaust gas. This would be a low horsepower setup inwhich ethanol vapor injected into combustion chamber during such periods. Complete combustion accomplished with high compression temperatures and high energy (hot) ethanol vapor.

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How often were informed that antique engines hurt by ethanol? They bring up natural rubber seals that disolve with the chemical. Well, remember Henry Ford actually purchased foreign acerage to produce his own automotive rubber. That this polymer the first good seal material. Also, Henry Ford was a proponent of ethanol fuel per realization of the superior fuel quality as compared to petrol. So, how are both of these possible? Ethanol eats antique rubber seals and Henry Ford utilized ethanol fuel? They're not both possible as ethanol is rated very compatible with natural rubber seals as opposed to natural rubber weakness upon petrol fuel. Look up the o-ring material chemical, application guides and find ethanol rated compatible with most seal material and more so than petrol. Also, ethanol is utilized upon a diluted fuel state and should not be a concern if not ethanol tolerant. The biggest harm to seals is heat, ozone cracking if exposed to sunlight and air, chemical attack per petrol fuel acid formation upon stale gas and water. So, ethanol ability to hold water and prevent phase change gasoline would protect antique engines from harming seals. The facts just the opposite of the propaganda. 

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What Greengenes posted on auto pollution concerns and personally keeping up on the technology, I find a sweet heart zone upon E100 fuel and optimized engine. Consider the studies that rate hybrid natural gas vehicle above that of battery car and know they did not study the E85 hybrid vehicle as a variable since non produced as far as known. But consider the carbon rating of ethanol is on a downward spiral and fossil fuels upward path and that cost of vehicle ownership and convenience will play into most vehicle decision making for mass sales. Ethanol has the solution for near term for both heavy duty torque needs and light vehicle propulsion. The ethanol engine would be an ultra heavy duty spark ignition compound turbo engine that should be less costly than typical diesel per half the displacement and slightly above gasoline engines that are receiving similar hardware nowadays. Also, note the experts claim mild hybrid technology is becoming very cost competitive and will become just another easy to justify option as opposed to hybrid low sales and ultra low sales of battery car. This the future twenty years out. The emissions of E100 superior to low efficiency of grid distribution and power production per almost all of country. Expensive fuel cell technology probably the same. The kicker is convenience and low cost infrastructure already appearing. The ethanol engine can deliver incredible torque when needed, probably with higher pollution emissions,  but this state of operation is just a fraction of typical. During the more common low horsepower operation, the engine almost pollution free. Cold weather starts and ensuing high generation of acetaldehydes can be minimized with heated intake air. Consider the waste ethanol, cellulosic, starch, sugar, processes and fuel stocks will put ethanol upon higher production trend since most countries just starting upon these paths. 

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Ethanol has a big advantage per green energy as the refueling takes traditional gas station infrastructure and the process is per common everyday practices. Same for the rest of liquid biofuels. This is a huge advantage to bring cost effective and practical solutions quickly to market. How incredibly difficult and expensive to change infrastructure! Calculate the astronomic cost of adapting ubiquitous charging stations to the entire country with trailing cost of completely changing grid. The debt load to do such a thing vs the benefit? The hyper cost of power transmission? The fragile grid, the balancing act to move great quantities of energy per either demand or generation variances? The efficiency of grid really not that impressive. Only when one can dream of Utopian schemes can the value be truly appreciated. Those ultimate solutions never do materialize do they. Meanwhile high blend ethanol can be squirted into a fuel tank like always and upon hybrid technology ICE can beat the emissions of grid transportation solutions probably for generations. The battery is just a chemical fuel tank. The corn plant is just another form of solar power. I just read of a new North Dakota 65m gallon corn ethanol plant located within an energy park. The plant utilizes power generation waste heat. Wow, that would boost green rating. How, about an E100 optimized engine emissions (just a common tech engine development) of which the test results of Cummings E85 development program proved 50% drop per California rating system (includes Indirect Land Use penalty). Cellulosic fuel would bring the figure to 80% reduction in GHS emission. 

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 Kalifornia is attempting to lead the way out of our fossil fuel habit, 

 

but it will be a hard habit to kick,  Very engrained in society, and not much more than concepts

 

for a solution.  Should have been working on HOV lanes and overhead mass transit soon after

 

Disneyland arrived. There is a good effort going to ramp up sugarbeet ethanol in the Central

 

valley. Would be nice to see a $2.00 price spread for E85 ! Wouldn't that turn a few heads...

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Michigan grows sugar beets in the thumb region. Not much interest in ethanol as corn process is more than sufficient to meet consumer demand and as you know other than California no premium to be paid for lower GHG fuel. This is gradually changing as consumers gain experience upon ethanol mid blends, have more availability at the pump, and as ethanol production increases. Also, automotive will continue to exploit the fuel natural ability for increase efficiency. Markets outside California will develop slowly with the current low cost of gasoline. All these factors improving together will make it happen. Meanwhile technology is advancing in California, Brazil, and Iowa as well as R&D. It really is impressive how much headroom ethanol has to improve. The large International Corps that worked for decades to position themselves internationally at the zone to maximize wealth and have fought hard, bare knuckle, to achieve top control. They are confident as all to familiar on how to sabotage competitors progress. Lots of miss information floating about as well as the energizing of partisan value ideals. They have a firm grip on affording much influence upon both political parties. They will fight the progress, until optimum timing and again attempt to monopolize the fuel production and control. They need a cost competitive patented process and subsidize the production to remove small business competition to allow such shenanigans. An apt analogy would be the money spent on improving human health per research on healthy lifestyle. Money spent on improving quality of food supply. Dirt cheap supplements and availability and use of super foods to promote heath vs the political power gained by selling public expensive gov't solutions of insurance once sick. Which one has the better return on public enjoyment of life? Lower cost? Superior return on investment? Better for future? Which one empowers wealthy international corps that will patent any chemical to hold up health needs of citizens and pay off our expensive political machinery to accomplish?  

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