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Why is ethanol a better fuel?

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I'll better explain my attempt for medical analogy. Pharmaceuticals pay a fortune per FDA testing and certification requirements and tout this per advertising of safe and effective medicine. But, we learn these companies search out natural chemicals and remedies not to discern their ability, but in effort to distill or copy such chemicals per patent protection and squash low cost supplements per the hyper expensive prescription route. Sure, they may compound the active ingredient with supporting chemicals or concentrate the active ingredient, but they will never inform the public of natural low cost meds or changes to life style to accomplish same. They in fact claim their meds the only responsible route to treat ailments. The advertising of expensive meds currently similar to Joe Camel with a cartoon images of happiness and wonderful results of talking to doctor. We find out U.S. citizens pay 2x more upon household budget as compared to other modern countries and forbid to shop for cheaper meds per interstate or international competition. So, the analogy is how well controlled the citizenry per wealthy corporations that do not have are best interest at heart. Pharmaceutical companies are in the business of making money as the rest of us. No difference even when compared to petrol. The difference being the corporations have extensive influence per wealth and employment. They will consolidate to maximize company resources when attacked by regulators and economic unhealthy environment as this will allow them maximum ability to influence, especially politicians. They can easily threaten to go offshore, lay off, close plants, and promote values per advertising. They can afford even more expensive lobbyist and pay more for each. They can maximize cronyism with D.C. politics and subvert the natural order of public representation. Both parties have been well trained to play into this for wealth and political contributions. I read of one energy analysis person employed within the industry, that offered their personal attraction to ethanol per the fuel ability to be easily produced. This guy offered up this cautionary note of not selling oneself out to only have an International fuel supplier. This guy appeared to say, he wouldn't trust such an industry per his experience, especially since fuel is a much needed commodity to sustain oneself. The same cautionary analogy per pharmaceutical industry getting into bed with government health care. It's will become a horrible relationship. The same is brewing per water control. Deep pockets will win, despite voting feverishly for your political party. 

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 Well,  we already have the MMJ industry , and countless food/health advocacy groups

 countering dominance of the pharma industry.  So, I don't find the situation hopeless for

the new generations coming up. I think you'll find most people born after 1980 EXTREMELY

able to find answers for themselves ..

 

So now let's attempt to take back control of how we keep ourselves mobile.

 I have personally seen more of the younger generation at the E85 pumps, then old,  lately.

I think we will be in good hands ,  but remain cautious.

 

 I am considering starting up a new topic : "LCFS and it's implications for the rest of us"

I want to engage discussion of mid -to-higher eBlends and   locally sourced fuel.

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The auto industry has a big and growing problem. Their darling technology of powerful efficient ICEs is direct injection. Problem with the technology, particle emissions PM are about 6x that of port injection. Higher ethanol blends come to the rescue with both increasing fuel octane and drastically reducing PMs. Come to find out, the ability of ethanol to dilute with water an advantage at the tail pipe. As we know the combustion process produces moisture of which gasoline particles can't absorb. Health concerns of this particle within lungs a bad thing. Particles adjacent or combined with ethanol PMs do absorb moisture and these particles offer low health concerns. Non the less, ethanol has the ability to allow engine advanced of ignition and high engine compression, both of which work to naturally lower PM count. Seems, the aromatic content of gasoline the main culprit. The aromatics needed to raise octane. Again, ethanol comes to rescue and can do the job at lower cost and less health harming PM pollution. Residents living close to high speed freeway should be doubly concerned as plain gasoline fueled vehicle emits 6x more of the unhealthy emissions if they are operating at higher rpm. Again, this factor of physics would point to lower RPM, low polluting engine, operating on ethanol with high boost pressure and advanced timing. The enormous torque and efficiency would make the engine diesel comparative, but at one half the size. This would eliminate the weight and cost problems of diesel and yet be on par with cost of operation with the bonus of greatly reducing carbon and unhealthy emissions. Since an ethanol engine can deliver high torque at lower RPMs as compared to gasoline engine, the PMs would be naturally reduced. Huge advantage over diesel engine as well, since the diesel is the major contributor to nasty health harming PM emission. The diesel cycle will always need DI at combustion timing. This is a physical problem as the fuel has zero time to mix with combustion air and results in high PM and black carbon BC. Ethanol requires low pressure DI as the fuel introduced early with intake air and receives maximum time to warm up and mix with combustion air. Spark ignition controls the precise timing of combustion. This is most desirable to minimize particle pollution.  

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The GREET model from CARB inflicts 23% more emissions penalty as compared to the EPA model FASOM. The GREET model allows no corn oil offset per ethanol process and assumes 100% of the distillery grains have to be dried. This seems to be a falsehood assumption. Also, the model is not forward leaning in that it picks historic data. The LUC penalty is a wild guess with little scientific study. Most of it apportioned to Brazil antics of which U.S. corn growers have no say. The values are in constant state of flux. Historical satellite images disprove the theory. There is a benefit to improving the wealth of farmers in that they can afford efficient machines and motivated to improve practices. If ethanol is penalized with LUC where is petrol’s LUC considering the constant need to harvest oil and develop land, example Canadian Boreal forest or Gulf of Mexico sea life? Where is the emission penalty per military enforcement of free trade of oil? All are huge indirect pollutants of environment. Searchinger once had published a 103g/MJ carbon rating for ethanol per cutting down entire forests. What a nutty evaluation considering normal forestry practices actually improve tree growth and old growth forest become carbon neutral. Ethanol is actually a factor of waste wood. EPA’s model sits at 63g/MJ, LCFS CA = 30 g/MJ and the most recent and accurate analysis by Purdue utilizing the T-TAP improved model updated with most recent research 14 g/MJ. This model includes a 1% crop growth harvest typical per modern farming practices and seed selection. Soil science studies all indicate the biofuels will get a bump up in carbon rating as well as the improved ethanol process plants that utilize anaerobic digesters for energy inputs and cogen with power production. Additionally, the co-product developments of corn oil and algal oil, and cellulosic ethanol. Also, a big factor to reduce emissions is the ability of ethanol to spike plain gasoline to allow more efficiency of ICE engine design and operation. Modern engine advance timing to maximum efficiency in which ethanol has suburb ability and at a improved environmental rating. It’s not so much MPG that is important as MPC (miles per carbon). Also, consider ethanol optimized engines match common gasoline engine per MPG. These two environmental benefits must be huge across the entire international gasoline fleet and yet go un-awarded. It is perplexing given the mandate of EPA to minimize emissions and harm to environment and HHS to improve human health why the need to minimize ethanol’s rating and box in the production? Some crazy crony capitalism going on. 

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Since unproven LUC penalty is the major factor utilized to decrease ethanol carbon rating, where is the offset per ethanol additive to increase carbon efficiency of gasoline cars? If theoretic land use change upon the future can be factored into harming ethanol rating the benefit of ethanol to increase octane rating of gasoline and usher in more efficiency within the regular fleet and modern vehicles with adaptive timing advance should be a huge plus. Since E15 is an approved fuel that most vehicles can use, the fuel use change factor to award ethanol lower carbon rating should be large. Currently, the auto industry claim they need high octane fuel to improve engine efficiency. Since ethanol can come to the rescue wouldn't the "fuel use change factor" that is currently ignored for fuel carbon rating of ethanol be large as the fuel can claim credit for improving the gasoline side and ensuing increase in efficiency. Nothing is cheaper or more environmentally friendly than ethanol for the job. Consider auto manufactures have stated if a higher octane fuel like E15 were widely available, they could easily re-flash engine control of older cars modules to maximize the fuel ability for increased efficiency. What would be the indirect fuel change value of this upon the mass sum of ICEs running on the planet?  

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Per post below, it can be argued ethanol is getting a bad rap for ILUC penalty and no credit for what I call Indirect fuel change as the ethanol additive will improve engine efficiency of common gasoline. Interestingly, another development upon R&D is ethanol improving diesel engines. As you know the diesel cycle is more efficient as compared to spark ignition, but it does come with a penalty of high pollution emissions, some of which very unhealthy. Lot's of engineers working on improving after treatment, fuel modification, and engine tuning to minimize the problem. They have to lower compression and cool combustion temps, but these changes effect engine efficiency. Enter ethanol fuel advantage. They are experimenting with port injected ethanol. Ethanol is not a good fuel for compression ignition, but in this engine the DI diesel will ignite per typical operation and in turn ignite ethanol. If your remember, the Cummins E85 engine SI suffered lower mileage under low load. This is the zone, diesel, is especially efficient. The hybrid diesel will operate with diesel only for low load. Upon high load, port injection of ethanol required to increase torque and horsepower. This combination should advance ethanol efficiency and cleanup diesel engine emissions. Torque should increase as high load engine efficiency. It's a win win for diesel engines and should be an easy adaptation, even to the point of converting old diesel engines. It all stacks up for a most promising engine. It would be a two fuel system, that most consumers claim unworkable, but for large commercial trucks this may not be a problem. Metro areas may adapt regs requiring this technology on all inner city delivery or bus diesel trucks?

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We all have read that Henry Ford was a proponent of ethanol and ethanol blended gasoline per the octane boost, but GM's brilliant inventor Thomas Midgley was as well. He was the inventor of fuel grade lead that eventually accomplished the octane improvement for gasoline, but at first he was testing ethanol. This is seldom reported upon history of Midgley and his quest to improve engine fuel. GM had a huge problem when attempting to improve their engines for more power and torque. Engine destroying knock occurred. They didn't know what caused the condition, just that the condition had greatly limited the internal combustion engine's power. Midgley was dragged from the ethanol solution as the titian's of business world all fell in line with petro wealth creation and the ability of corporate America to control. Ethanol was seen as the enemy per the loss of control and opening wealth faucet to farm community and small business ability to process ethanol. "No way would a bunch of farmers be let into this business". So here again, the benefit of government for the people lays subservient to the powerful. This is always the way of political leadership that enjoy privilege as well as any human.

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This weekend read some of Henry Ford's II take on battery car future. He suggested, unless a technological breakthrough the battery car and hybrid will have low sales volumes. That the cost efficient mild hybrid with traditional engine the most desirable vehicle for public within the foreseeable future. So, again this is advantage ethanol territory as traditional fuel and infrastructure most likely will be maintained. Ethanol the only game in town to make a huge difference to environment and do so upon a cost savings. What's not to like? Just that the dream or desires of hypothetical solutions may lose out to that of a real world competitor? Ethanol most recent rating, including the hit per indirect land use, is now -40% that of gasoline. The grid is still mostly powered by coal. Trend line of lower cost ethanol and environmental improvement increasingly positive. The additive removes the most harmful elements of gasoline and in doing so will improve the rating of gasoline to allow higher engine efficiency. Those whom truly interested in quick environmental results should be pushing higher ethanol blends. That would be job number one.

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I read Bosch will produce a efficient heat pump for electric cars, since utilizing more efficient heating may increase range by 25%. The mechanics and apparatus appear to be complex and expensive with ensuing decrease in auto reliability. This inherent problem of battery car usually goes unmeasured when proponents of the vehicle exclaim benefits. Thermal management of the car is a BIG negative for efficiency. Cabin comfort in colder seasons a big energy drain for the car as well as managing the battery temperature. Even car storage must be managed to ensure maximum battery life and quick operation of the vehicle. If the car is plugged in not a big concern, but if not? Startup from battery power and the power drain inflicted to bring battery and cabin to proper operating temperatures will be a significant drag on range. 

Enter advantage ethanol and the free heat produced per typical ICE operation that can be utilized to provide maximum heating conditions within cabin and battery. The engine works well to offset limitations of battery.  The battery can be exploited to maximum cost benefit to amp up efficiency of typical ICE vehicle and do so without the bother to plug in or inflict range anxiety. If such a vehicle maximized the fuel character of ethanol and ran high blends of the fuel, the environmental rating of the vehicle would surpass that of BEV. At least for most of the grid powered per present day power generation and per extended future expectation of change.

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