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Re: Thoughts on ethanol-free gasoline?

Posted: Tue May 06, 2014 3:26 pm
by AndyH
Thanks for posting, Reg.

One of the amazing things about this universe is that we benefit so greatly from contrast. Even though they are in the same realm and vary only by frequency, we tend to appreciate 'warm' because of the contrast of 'cold'.

While it's not at all pleasant to have an honest desire for truth to be met with lies and name calling, it really makes me appreciate the folks here on the forum and in the outside world with both feet in reality and with the courage to face truth no matter how it contrasts with their assumptions.

Re: Thoughts on ethanol-free gasoline?

Posted: Tue May 06, 2014 4:08 pm
by rmay635703
TomT wrote:There is no way you can engineer around since Ethanol (alcohol) simply has lees energy than gasoline, per volume...
??? But ethanol can be run in volumetrically more efficient engines with compression ratios up to about 16:1

If your engine is more efficient at making power, it can get better than expected fuel economy, which has been shown to almost eliminate the energy content penalty.

Also there is the non-linear behavior of gas/alcohol mixes that create an island of improved BSFC around 20-35% ethanol which has been observed in the lab and in real life.

So yes you can engineer in better fuel economy if you design for ethanol.
TomT wrote:Yep! As I said earlier, Ethanol is ugly on every level! It is a purely political solution to an imagined engineering problem...
Ethanol, could solve a problem, but
1. It should only be made during warm months or down south
2. The feedstock should be local
3. No active heating or chemical enzymes should be used to make alcohol
4. Ethanol should only be made from food that would otherwise go to waste (there are still piles of rotting potatoes certain times of year that could make much more ethanol much more efficiently but they don't have a lobby)
5. Ethanol should only be made in hydrous form as it requires under half the energy to extract, 90% less if we follow the suggestions above.

(here in the US we only go the full blast all drug Olympic style of production using lots of energy needlessly)

The above would require the plant to be larger as the process would take longer but the energy requirements that many quote to make a gallon of ethanol would all but go away. Especially if solar heating would be used and especially if we don't run ethanol plants in the dead of winter when they are terribly inefficient.

Also Glow plugs or a "Starter tank" would solve any cold start issues with hydrous ethanol and the actual resource saving benefits. In a glow plug equipt car phase separation would not matter as the 02 sensor and plugs would start it every time regardless. A properly equipt car could have a much smaller motor, with much higher compression and may get higher fuel economy on ethanol than a gas car gets on gas due to the volumetric and vapor point improvements in the burn.

Too bad we can never do things the right way, as opposed to the quick, easy and wastefull method.

Re: Thoughts on ethanol-free gasoline?

Posted: Tue May 06, 2014 5:49 pm
by AndyH
rmay635703 wrote:
TomT wrote:There is no way you can engineer around since Ethanol (alcohol) simply has lees energy than gasoline, per volume...
??? But ethanol can be run in volumetrically more efficient engines with compression ratios up to about 16:1

If your engine is more efficient at making power, it can get better than expected fuel economy, which has been shown to almost eliminate the energy content penalty.

<snip>

Too bad we can never do things the right way, as opposed to the quick, easy and wastefull method.
rmay - you NAILED it!

The opponents like to point to various studies and declare "it won't work" but they won't understand the limits and assumptions of the studies! It's crazy!

Just the part you hit about hydrous ethanol is worth the 'price of admission' - it's a HUGE energy waster! I've made and used 160 proof and it's a better fuel and better engine cleaner than any of the chemical products I've used to decarbon an engine! The ONLY reason we use so much energy to remove the last few percent of water from ethanol fuel is BECAUSE IT MAKES IT BLEND BETTER WITH GASOLINE! Dump the gasoline - it's the weakest link here! The 160 proof works better than both gasoline and E85 because of the added boost from the water.

Here's an example of an efficient, sustainable, appropriate tech, fuel production process:



Damn - nothing like some insanity to make sanity feel SO MUCH better! :lol:

Re: Thoughts on ethanol-free gasoline?

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:04 pm
by RegGuheert
GRA posted a link to this article on GCC which makes a (somewhat biased) estimate of the number of miles a BEV could be driven in a year from the fuel harvested using an acre of PV in the southwestern US versus the number of miles an ICEV could be driven from corn ethanol grown on an acre of farmland in Iowa. Here is my paraphrase of their conclusion:

BEV from PV in the desert: 1,000,000 miles
ICEV from corn ethanol in Iowa: 10,000 miles

...and, on a per-mile basis, the fuel for the BEVs costs about 1/5 of the fuel for the ICEVs.

With the article's bias, an acre of desert produces two orders-of-magnitude more vehicle miles than an acre of prime farmland. Without the bias, I suspect the difference is still way more than an order-of-magnitude.

My preference is still to see that PV up on roofs rather than developing the desert.

Yet another nail in ethanol's coffin...