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The Great Ethanol Scam


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  #1  
Old 05-27-2009, 09:23:07 PM
Don Naismith Don Naismith is offline
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Default The Great Ethanol Scam

Excellent read for those interested. http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyl...514_058678.htm

The Great Ethanol Scam

Not only is ethanol proving to be a dud as a fuel substitute but there is increasing evidence that it is destroying engines in large numbers.

Below is the section covering small engines.

Those who deal in small gas engines for lawnmowers, edgers, and weedeaters have quickly learned that, as Briggs & Stratton's (BGG) Web site warns, "Ethanol-blended gasoline can attract moisture, which leads to separation and formation of acids during storage. Acidic gasoline can damage the fuel system of an engine while in storage. B&S strongly recommends removing ethanol-blended fuels from engine during storage."
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:03:49 PM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

I could find inaccuracies in every paragraph. The Berkley study cited has been widely discredited.
Show me where B&S says that on their website. Here is what they actually say:

http://www4.briggsandstratton.com/mi...quirements.pdf

http://faqs.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/faq...i=&p_topview=1
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:45:34 PM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

From what I see the ONLY benifit is that we don't buy the stuff from overseas... the $'s stay here in the US. However I suspect that we are paying a huge price for that benifit.
I would really like to see a net energy balance on the use of ethanol... starting with fueling the tractor that breaks the ground and following right thru to the 15% reduced MPG you get when it's burned in your car. I'll bet we are putting a lot more BTU's in than we are getting out.
Joe B
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:54:29 PM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Other than the fact that once the ethanol evaporates within a short period of time and you're left with normal smelling gas that wont fire in a cold lawn mower engine. It does attract moisture, does ruin carb diaphragms, makes by products leach out of pot metal carb castings plugging them up. Ive seen the new Briggs and Kohlers with stickers near the fuel cap stating not to use fuel higher than 10% ethanol or serious engine damage will occur.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:46:16 PM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Ethanol comes from American farm cornfield. The old name was "gasohol" then changed to ethanol. The word "Ethanol" gives people awakening attention advertising. Ethanol market going down again.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:19:04 AM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Eh, ethanol fuel really hasn't given me much trouble. E10 really doesn't hurt much. I've had it sit it my motorcycle for 8 months and had the bike start first kick when it was cold out. Even drained some out to put in my Cub Cadet, and that K301 fired right up every time on it - and the original 40 year old fuel line on that K301 is holding up just fine as well to modern gas.

The main issue is that it can sometimes cause cheaper rubber fuel lines and o-rings to degrade and fail.

I have not personally seen a small engine, or have had one of mine fail because of E-10.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:41:41 AM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Personally I would like to see any plans for additional ethanol plants scrapped and all existing plants dismantled ASAP. Period.

Bill
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:01:34 AM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtractors View Post
Show me where B&S says that on their website. Here is what they actually say:
Actually, they say exactly that on page 2 of the link you posted, under "OXYGENATES IN FUEL"


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Old 05-28-2009, 07:47:14 AM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

The main thing that irks me is that we are being sold watered down fuel with less thermal energy at HIGHER prices. Makes a lot of sense.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:41:50 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Brincat View Post
From what I see the ONLY benifit is that we don't buy the stuff from overseas... the $'s stay here in the US. However I suspect that we are paying a huge price for that benifit.
I would really like to see a net energy balance on the use of ethanol... starting with fueling the tractor that breaks the ground and following right thru to the 15% reduced MPG you get when it's burned in your car. I'll bet we are putting a lot more BTU's in than we are getting out.
Joe B
I too would like to see a BTU in , BTU out study.

Kent
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:16:49 PM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

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Originally Posted by Lead Head View Post
Eh, ethanol fuel really hasn't given me much trouble. E10 really doesn't hurt much. I've had it sit it my motorcycle for 8 months and had the bike start first kick when it was cold out. Even drained some out to put in my Cub Cadet, and that K301 fired right up every time on it - and the original 40 year old fuel line on that K301 is holding up just fine as well to modern gas.

The main issue is that it can sometimes cause cheaper rubber fuel lines and o-rings to degrade and fail.

I have not personally seen a small engine, or have had one of mine fail because of E-10.
I too have seen no problems. I've observed evaporation but no damage.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:49:58 PM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

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Originally Posted by Motormowers View Post
The main thing that irks me is that we are being sold watered down fuel with less thermal energy at HIGHER prices. Makes a lot of sense.
Its not that ethanol has less thermal energy per say, but to utilize it you need to have high compression ratios. E-85 is around 105 octane, which would be considered race fuel by most standards in terms of maximum compression. You could easily run 13:1 compression on E-85, and E-100 is about 115 octane, which could probably support around 14:1 or more compression. Once high compression engines come about, you'll start seeing an increase in efficiency of Ethanol.

Actually a good example is the 2009 F-150, if you have a flex fuel model, and run it on E-85, you get about 30 ft-lbs more torque over 87 octane, and thats a relatively low compression engine at around 9.6:1
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:50:04 PM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Sky, I like yourself work in a power equipt shop and have seen all sorts of nightmares from it due to a high volume of repairs. You havent seen any carb damage from it in the form of jelly like or silvery pasty substances? White powdery corrosion in the carbs? Briggs diaphragms in the plastic carbed cheap 3hp rotary mowers warping and causing too lean/too rich conditions on new mowers? Viton tipped inlet needles having the coating washed off by it causing fuel leaks. I think maybe the fuel on the east coast may be formulated differantly from the mid west or climate has a lot to do with it. Ive seen lots evaporation also but have a hard time explaining it to the customers because they dont understand todays fuel.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:04:08 PM
Jerry Christiansen Jerry Christiansen is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

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Originally Posted by K D Redd View Post
I too would like to see a BTU in , BTU out study.

Kent
Hi Kent and all,

A friend works at an Ethanol plant. He was told that they get 1.8 BTU out for every BTU in.

Later,
Jerry Christiansen
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:25:53 PM
C-Wade7 C-Wade7 is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

In all the Ethanol burners I've seen it take a time and a half the amount of fuel to get the power of gas. Higher octane just makes it harder to burn, but I want straight gas for my car, a 99' Escort is'nt a power house to start with. My milage has dropped 4-5 mpg with the E-10 gas and driving 110 miles a day that adds up quick.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:57:22 PM
Marc P Marc P is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

I graduated from high school in 1987, in Nebraska. Before I graduated (couple years or so?) they were trying to push gasahol on us. It was severe junk back then, tore carb gaskets up pretty quick as well as other damage to engines and components (long enough ago for me not to remember more).


Long story short, Nebraska (at least my area) dropped it!
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:46:57 PM
Brad Kelley Brad Kelley is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Small, direct injection, variable cam, turbo-charged engines are the way of the future. The turbos produce the on-demand effective compression ratio increase that can take advantage of the additional octane in the ethanol blends.

I had a conversation with an engineer that recently spent some time in one auto company's engine department. One engine in development uses a turbo, direct injection, and variable cam timing to produce high horsepower and low emissions. The variable cam timing allows the intake valve to open at the end of the exhaust stroke before the exhaust valve closes. This allows the turbo's boost to blow the exhaust gasses out of the cylinder with fresh air, thereby consuming the unburnt fuel and reducing the emmisions and the need for a for a horsepower robbing restrictive catalyitic converter. This also helped cool the cylinder and prevent knock so that ignition timing and boost could be mapped more agressively. This also put less strain on the turbos by reducing pulsing. This system requires direct injection because otherwise you'd be blowing fuel out the exhaust with the intake charge on fuel injection systems that inject into the intake manifolds. The direct injection systems have already proven to be more efficient than regular efi. An engine like this would love the octane boost from E85.

Of course, none of that addresses the issue of the lack of efficiency in producing Ethanol in the first place...
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:17:01 PM
Scott Wenrich Scott Wenrich is offline
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

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Originally Posted by Sky View Post
I too have seen no problems. I've observed evaporation but no damage.
Give it time,Sky! You'll run across some problems.I've had my share of 'em,especially with the cheaper engines.I think the florida humidity doesn't help much either.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:34:28 PM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Motormowers,I just replaced the carbs on these engines due to fuel problems:Kawasaki fb460v-the main jet tube got ate up,Briggs 6.75hp(quantum and intek-if you want to call them that)-same thing plus the needles were destroyed and of course the smaller 3hp and up briggs carbs with the diaphram and primer bulbs as you mention.Oh yeah,and bowls full of goop.
What kills me is that the people i work on these things for would rather buy the damn carbs instead of buying another mower.Some of the carbs cost damn near as much as a new machine in some cases.
I orignaly thought that it was because the customers were letting their machines sit too long but i'm starting to see a trend forming.I also thought E-85 wouldn't catch on down here in s.florida but am seeing more and more gas stations sell it.I stay away from it my self if i can help it,even the stations with 10 %.
Btw,i just do repair work on the side now.I got out of the small engine repair service a few years ago.Got tired of the hassle.

Scott
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:04:41 PM
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Default Re: The Great Ethanol Scam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lead Head View Post
Its not that ethanol has less thermal energy per say, but to utilize it you need to have high compression ratios. E-85 is around 105 octane, which would be considered race fuel by most standards in terms of maximum compression. You could easily run 13:1 compression on E-85, and E-100 is about 115 octane, which could probably support around 14:1 or more compression. Once high compression engines come about, you'll start seeing an increase in efficiency of Ethanol.

Actually a good example is the 2009 F-150, if you have a flex fuel model, and run it on E-85, you get about 30 ft-lbs more torque over 87 octane, and thats a relatively low compression engine at around 9.6:1
My point was that they use a "cracking" technique when refining gas now so we arent getting what we used to. The main thing with E85 is how many pumps have it? Also most of the econo-boxes out there arent made for that fuel because they arent running anywhere near those compression ratios and never will so it doesnt do any good really. That F150 was made for various fuels, unlike Diesels which are, most gas engines wont like to run on something that. Also what would be the advantage over say 93 octane versus the 87 lamp oil instead? Doesnt sound practical or cost effective.
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