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oldraven 
Posted: 05-Oct-2004, 08:21 AM
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ZodiacHazel

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Hey guys. Annham gave me an idea with her mention of alternative renewable fuels. I'm sure some of you have heard of using corn based Ethanol as a fosil fuel replacement, but how many knew you already burned it in your vehicle? I didn't. Here's an article to put things in perspective.

ETHANOL
Ethanol, a pure alcohol made primarily by the corn refining industry, is today's alternative fuel. Henry Ford first suggested running cars on ethanol from corn, but it took the oil shortages of the seventies and the environmental problems of the eighties to turn ethanol into an important component in the American fuel supply. Ethanol-blended fuels account for 12% of all automotive fuels sold in the U.S.

Ethanol is made by fermenting sugars produced from corn starch. Many corn refining factories produce both ethanol and other corn products like starches and sweeteners so that capital and manufacturing costs can be kept as low as possible. While they are making ethanol, corn refiners also produce valuable coproducts such as corn oil and corn gluten feed.

Ethanol plays three major roles in today's economy and environment. First, it replaces about $2 billion dollars of imported oil with a secure, domestic fuel. Second, it is an important component of gasoline reformulated to reduce pollution in cities which are not achieving air quality standards mandated by the Clean Air Act. And finally, it provides a major income boost to farmers and rural communities where most ethanol is manufactured. Ethanol, blended with gasoline at a 10% level or in the form of ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) made from ethanol, is effective in reducing carbon monixide levels, ozone pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from automobile exhaust.

Corn Refiners Association Ethanol development
Ethanol Timeline
Canada catching up and using Ethanol in all fuels
A view against the exclusive use of Ethanol


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Avonlea22 
Posted: 05-Oct-2004, 08:25 AM
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When I lived in Pennsylavania, several of the gas stations I used to frequent used Ethanol in their fuels. It was marked right on the pumps.

It would be nice if it's use was a little more wide spread. Politics. That's all I have to say.


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Aaediwen 
Posted: 05-Oct-2004, 10:27 AM
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guessing it wouldn't be safe to use 100% without modification though, would it?


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oldraven 
Posted: 05-Oct-2004, 10:39 AM
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I imagine it would take some modifying, and you'd probably go through a lot more of it than gasoline. But read that last article linked at the bottom. Ethanol is by no means the perfect replacement for fosil fuels, but more a step in the right direction. I honestly think once a hydrogen fuel cell can be made ultimately contained, and impenetrable, that will be the answer. A renewable resource that creates nothing but pure water and steam.

As it stands now, driving with a tank of Hydrogen is like having an H bomb in your back seat. No, really. If one of those things went off, it would clear a pretty big chunk of highway. This is where we should be turning our attention. Safe containment of portable hydrogen.
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birddog20002001 
Posted: 05-Oct-2004, 01:11 PM
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I have heard that ethanol needs to have a heated engine in cold weather due to the spark tempature which is one slight problem. Many people that have converted vehicles use a std engine start with gasoline and then flip a swithch after the engine warms up to run ethanol.

Ethanol can be made out of any material that contains cellulose so instead of just the corncob you can use the entire stalk, it wont be quite as efficient due to the lower sugar levels throughout the plant; but you could also use sugar cane or sorghum. You just have to turn it into beer and then run it through a still. The DEA (in the US) allows people to have and operate a still with a permit if it is to be used only for vehicle use, meaning that there must be a combination with ethyl alcohol making it poisonous to drink. There is also the issue if you make it your self of tax evasion. Taxes on fuel run @ .40 to the gallon and fuels that no taxes are paid on are barred from highway use. Leaving only farm applications.


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Annham 
Posted: 05-Oct-2004, 03:04 PM
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Hello All,
Thanks Oldraven for starting this thread.. I didn't realize ethanol use was already so popular either.
Interesting information...
Anne


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Avonlea22 
Posted: 05-Oct-2004, 03:12 PM
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QUOTE (oldraven @ 05-Oct-2004, 12:39 PM)
As it stands now, driving with a tank of Hydrogen is like having an H bomb in your back seat. No, really. If one of those things went off, it would clear a pretty big chunk of highway.

Brings back memories of the Ford Pinto.
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oldraven 
Posted: 05-Oct-2004, 03:34 PM
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QUOTE (Avonlea22 @ 05-Oct-2004, 02:12 PM)
Brings back memories of the Ford Pinto.

Except this time, Ford can't use a plastic shield to solve the problem. tongue.gif
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Shadows 
Posted: 05-Oct-2004, 04:01 PM
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I drive a 1991 Geo Metro XFI! I have been getting 50 -62 miles per gallon of gas since the day I bought it new... it now has 269,000 on it and is still going strong. This car was made as a throw away car after 5 years... trouble is it was made to well and now can not be found on the market... repairs are minimal and the industry and gov could not stand that!

Makes ya think dont it!?!


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oldraven 
Posted: 05-Oct-2004, 10:08 PM
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Oh yeah. It makes me think a lot. (kind of like the Corvair. The point at which America left the rest of the world with the task of making cars more efficient) They made the Corvair sound very unsafe, while it was perfectly fine to drive a VW bug. (and seat belts weren't standard on most vehicles then either).

My Turbocoupe get's amazing milage, considering how large of a vehicle it is. The 3.8's and 302's would guzzle back the juice, to no end, but the 2.3T, (a European engine, also found in the Merkur XR4ti, a german company. Who's leading the world today in fuel efficiency? The germans), needs to be filled once every 10 or so days as a daily driver. Meanwhile, it's got more power (40hp more) than the engine 2 1/8 x bigger. But it ended up costing more (hmm, shipping taxes and tarifs for foreign components), and coupled with the mentality 'no replacement for displacement' it didn't sell well. Now we're back up to sports cars with 8.3L V10's. Trucks that get 9 mpg.

We spend less for gas over here. Why? Because we buy more of it. Something to think about.

Oh, I just thought of something. Something that will peve a lot of oil buddy's off. The Germans are at it again. Not only do they have the most fuel efficient production car on the planet, but they've broken records recently with a hydrogen fueled internal combustion powered vehicle. The '04 BMW HR2.

Hydrogen does not only mean top performance in rockets traveling to outer space: BMW has proven what the hydrogen car is capable of, setting 9 records for cars powered by a hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine. "Nine records marking the start into the hydrogen age. BMW technology has already come a long way. Now, together with politicians and the energy industry, we must turn our vision of sustained mobility into reality", stated Professor Burkhard Göschel, Board Member of the BMW Group, during the speed record trials in Miramas. Achieving this amazing success at the high-speed Miramas Proving Grounds in France, the BMW Group has clearly proven its conviction that hydrogen is able to replace conventional fuel without requiring the driver to compromise dynamic performance.

You want specs?

285hp 6.0L V12 (yes, that's a big motor, but hydrogen is in the pioneering stage)
1/4 mile 14.9 @ 97 mph
0-60 in 6
185.5mph

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Aaediwen 
Posted: 06-Oct-2004, 04:24 AM
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ZodiacHolly

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sweet! As you say though, it's the carrier and the weight that are still the issues. Weight is drastically decreasing though. Containment of the fuel is another matter. I wouldn't want to ride around on today's highways with a tank of Pure H on board.
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Blue_Rogue 
Posted: 08-Oct-2004, 09:45 AM
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Has anyone seen the fuel cell??

We had on of the 7 series drive through about a year ago.
A hughe square tank, takes up where the spare tire would be, plus approximately the lower third of the trunk.

The guys at BMW were saying at that time that it wasn't the issue of contanment so much as it was an issue of infrastucture for fuel stations.

On a side note.....
BMW was leading the world in electric vehicle when "they had a fire" in thier R&D department and distroyed the car and the researh (does this sound funny to anyone else??)
It wasn't a few months later that they announced a breakthrough in hydrogen fuel (hmmmmmmm)

That was back in the mid to late 90's


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Blue_Rogue 
Posted: 17-Mar-2005, 09:04 AM
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Hay All,
Anyone interested in this subject, Sceince Channel is having a special this weekend on BMW's hydrogen race car.
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ogdenmusic 
Posted: 08-Oct-2007, 10:56 PM
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This may be old news to some. Did you hear that some are now using straight vegetable oil for diesel engines. I heard over the weekend that a few stations are popping up on the east coast.

Also see
http://www.dancingrabbit.org/biodiesel/veg...le_oil_fuel.php

I'm not sure how you could take a road trip, but local driving might be ok.


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