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Thread: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

  1. #26
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    Arrow Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Wayne, read that parts you didn't quote from my post:

    However that VERY important argument for vigilance gets undercut severely when it's supported by even one "fact" of serious dispute. Mr. Brennan based his treatise in (large) part on the argument that "Ethanol requires more energy to produce than it replaces.", a position with which no competent professional familiar with the program as it now exists in 2012 would agree.
    Empirical information exists in sufficient quantity to support the hobby virtually indefinitely, as long as those making the arguments on our behalf don't over-reach and compromise their integrity.
    There is no "fault", and nothing to get upset over.
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    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    I'm with brian !!!!
    Any country that takes it's primary food source (corn) and turns it into fuel is just plain nuts...

    Having grown up in Iowa, and seeing whats happened to the cost of bread, milk and meat, due primarily to the introduction of what we used to call "gasohol", I can tell you, it makes me sick........

    And poor Brian is out there in the land of fruits and nuts where it all hits first.

    Mike in colorado

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    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave@Moon View Post
    Wayne, to my mind there is no disputing the goal of the author, or of you presenting the material here. However that VERY important argument for vigilance gets undercut severely when it's supported by even one "fact" of serious dispute. Mr. Brennan based his treatise in (large) part on the argument that "Ethanol requires more energy to produce than it replaces.", a position with which no competent professional familiar with the program as it now exists in 2012 would agree.

    This lie, and that is what it is these days, inspired some of the most thorough posters on this forum to expand on Mr. Brennan's position into areas that have nothing to do with driving/owning an antique car. We have been conditioned to fear change, and frequently react badly to it even if it's a lie.

    When making the case for the preservation of hobby, it is vitally important to stick to the facts as they are and not base it on partisan, dated, non-independent, or anecdotal information or "observations". Empirical information exists in sufficient quantity to support the hobby virtually indefinitely, as long as those making the arguments on our behalf don't over-reach and compromise their integrity.

    The world is not full of corn farmers greedily conspiring tho rid the world of 1967 Buicks. Portraying this subject in that manner is worse than counter-productive. It'll kill us.
    I fully realize and understand that many posters in this forum have many different points of view AND "points of reference" on many issues, including the many issues relating to ethanol use in motor fuels . . . motor fuels which we purchase to drive/use our vintage and collector vehicles as we might desire.

    Since the beginning of automotive vehicle emissions concerns, it soon became operative that in order to decrease NOx emissions, it would be necessary to lower engine compression ratios, introduce inert exhaust gasses back into the combustion process, and otherwise somewhat "put out the fire of combustion" in order to decrease these heat-related emissions, as HC and CO were already decreased significantly. In those pre-catalytic converter days, we had to make the engines less efficient to decrease emissions, which seemed somewhat counter-productive . . . as they also used MORE gasoline to do so. Now, with the perceived need to use ethanol as a "fuel extender", even amid all of its "renewable energy source" hoop-laa, fuel economy again takes a hit in the name of "many issues". The original RFG resulted in a reputed (and verified by my own experiences) a drop of 2-3% in highway fuel economy (using my '70 Buick Skylark 350 2bbl car), then here comes the replacement E10 with an additional 3% reduction, for an accepted 6% total fuel economy reduction. It doesn't seem to matter if the extender is ethanol or the prior combination of MTBE and ethanol, fuel economy has DECREASED from prior times. AND this affects every road-driven vehicle in use today and in the world of tomorrow!

    Certainly, we can compensate for some of the performance/driveability issues of an effectual leaner carburetor mixture when using these ethanol'd fuels, but if we fully compensate for these things, with larger main jets or computer/carburetor calibrations, then we also effectively ensure that should the vehicle be sold and transferred to a venue where "real, 1990s style gasoline" is used, or another modified fuel with no ethanol, then what's been done will need to be undone so the engine will run as efficiently as it was designed to run. The first seller might tell the purchaser what's been done, but once the second purchaser sells the vehicle, this information could be lost forever. No vintage vehicle purchaser really wants to spend several hundred dollars to get their new purchase to run acceptably well on "normal" fuels, just as the original seller might have wanted to spend that kind of money rather than keeping a drum of non-ethanol gasoline in their garage.

    Similarly, the many water craft issues with phase separation and other ethanol-related damage to the fuel tanks and fuel systems have been very well documented. Phase separation reputedly affects ocassional-use vehicles, too.

    It has been reputed that ethanol from corn production makes a larger carbon footprint in the production and distribution stages than is saved by not using complete fossil fuel components in our gasoline motor fuels. Hence, an alleged "negative", by the time it's all computed, rather than a positive savings in total carbon emissions. IF these original computations were accurate, just relating to the production of ethanol from corn, indicating an increase of cummulative carbon emissions from ethanol from corn production positioned against vehicular carbon emissions when using non-ethanol'd motor fuels . . . how did these earlier computations now become lies in 2012? Might these "new revelations" tend to color these prior figures in a better light, which would better suit particular special interest groups . . . if the earlier figures were really accurate but now "are lies"?

    Regardless of who might desire to downplay whatever issues . . . we DO know that highway fuel economy decreases approx 6% with E10 gasoline in modern vehicles. I'm using "highway fuel economy" as my reference point as "City" mileage can have many variables in it. As CO2 content of exhaust gases relates to the amount of gasoline used in the engine, CO2 emissions would increase with greater fuel use . . . more "carbon emissions" and "greenhouse gases" as a result. Yet it seems that it's "greenhouse gasses" that everybody has been trying to decrease for how many decades, now???

    The fuel economy loss using E85 in FlexFuel rated vehicles is variable, but generally E85 can have significantly lower fuel economy in these vehicles. Certainly, if all engines were optimized for E85 fuels, the fuel economy loss would be a good deal less, I suspect. E85 fuels would allow for 1960s-level engine compression ratios . . . in the 13.0 to 1 range for the race motors of the time, which could raise fuel efficiency a good bit. This increase would also be due to the much higher Research Octane rating of E85, IF it's blended correctly. But, without universal availability of E85, such optimization can't happen . . . at the OEM level or at the consumer-owned level.

    Renewable energy is a great concept and orientation! But using ethanol to extend gasoline is NOT the best way to achieve energy independence for the USA, by observation. If we really want to decrease gasoline use, then we need REAL GASOLINE AGAIN. Gasoline that will improve fuel economy (as many brands used to advertise) and result in decreased CO2 emissions, as a result. Maybe not back to the leaded fuel days, but give us gasolines that will optmize fuel economy and power at the same time. Gasoline base stocks that are much heartier than what we've had in recent history, which won't "die" in 90 days (allegedly), for example. Gasolines which we can dump some alcohol fuel additive into, as needed, to help disperse moisture in the system . . . NOT a gasoline which does this when it's not needed, or attracts moisture on its on.

    I suspect that until we might regain the "universal motor fuel" approach to gasoline, which we had in the 1960s or so, where "gasoline was gasoline", no matter what state it was purchased in, although with some regional tweaking for better performance, then we can never really have the prior comfort level of knowing that such gasoline will not cause any problems in the vehicles we fuel with it. We don't have that with ethanol'd fuels, though, as they are not sold everywhere. Nor is there enough capacity to sell these ethanol'd blends everywhere! There HAS to be a better solution to what is trying to be accomplished!

    My research has also revealed that some computer software manipulation (at the aftermarket level) is reputed to allow any computer-controlled fuel injection vehicle capable of being a FlexFuel vehicle. And a few fuel additive suppliers whose products reputedly keep fuel fresh for much longer than normal fuel stabilizers might. At the present time, these particular fuel

    additives are only known about in certain smaller niches of our society, which are not a part of the vintage vehicle hobby per se. Eventually, technology can solve these problems for later model vehicles, but not for all vintage vehicles which can comprise the more visible segments of the vehicle hobby.

    How we might interpret this whole ethanol in gasoline issue can depend upon which side of the fence our vehicles are on. It's been acknowledged that an older vehicle, with a carbuetor, used infrequently, can have many of the issues reputed to be caused by current ethanol blend levels, where E10 fuels are sold. But this same vehicle, if used reasonably daily, once it gets past the "first cleaning" effect of E10 fuels, will generally be fine (after the many rubber components in the fuel system might need to be changed/upgraded). Still, though, this does not address the decrease in fuel consumption or the need to re-jet the carburetor of such an older vehicle to better use the current ethanol'd blends. Many of us understand these things, BUT I also suspect that there are many, many, many more in the hobby that don't . . . and any mechanics which might also understand these things are retiring from the business of vehicle repair and maintenance. Where's that going to leave us in the future???

    It's one thing to have an electronic "box" that will replace ignition points, inside of a distributor. But trying to use a 2bbl TBI fuel injection set-up on a vintage carbureted vehicle is something completely different, especially in a situation where the vehicle is in a concours judged show event, where strict originallity matters. Perhaps the promoters of these events might need to also have the concessions on "real gasoline" as many drag strips do for "race gas"???

    Regards,
    NTX5467
    Last edited by NTX5467; May 20th, 2012 at 02:03.

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    Thumbs down Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    The Oak Ridge lab study I cited was a detailed comparison of E10, E15, and E20 with E0*, not RFG w/ MTBE. Until somebody else spends tens of millions of dollars in the best of laboratory conditions using a wide variety of likely consumers of these fuels, I'm going with their results.

    That's not a "point of view". That's recognizing the finest authority on the subject and relying on their peer reviewed results. This aspect of the issue is science, not politics.

    =================

    *which is pure, crude oil derived, 87 octane "certification gasoline" (a.k.a Indolene { What is Indolene }).
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    Post Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by NTX5467 View Post
    It has been reputed that ethanol from corn production makes a larger carbon footprint in the production and distribution stages than is saved by not using complete fossil fuel components in our gasoline motor fuels. Hence, an alleged "negative", by the time it's all computed, rather than a positive savings in total carbon emissions. IF these original computations were accurate, just relating to the production of ethanol from corn, indicating an increase of cummulative carbon emissions from ethanol from corn production positioned against vehicular carbon emissions when using non-ethanol'd motor fuels . . . how did these earlier computations now become lies in 2012? Might these "new revelations" tend to color these prior figures in a better light, which would better suit particular special interest groups . . . if the earlier figures were really accurate but now "are lies"?
    Ah, the old "It has been reputed..." ploy!

    First of all, who reputed it and when? The actual studies are not in agreement with whoever "reputed" whatever this was. In 2007, the relative dark ages of commercial ethanol production, it was determined @ the University of Minnesota (given the then inefficiencies of ethanol production using corn at that time) that ethanol production resulted in only a 12% net reduction in new carbon emissions. ( Biodiversity and ecosystem services: Carbon-neutral corn ethanol produced using low-input high-diversity prairie biomass to power conversion facilities ) Today, given improvements in the system, it's likely double that already. Once cellulosic ethanol becomes a commercial reality it's expected to be nearly a 100% reduction.

    Seriously, if there were real, scientific arguments that were not in dispute re. the use of this stuff, and not just the "It has been reputed (by some guy on Fox News)..." disputes, could this material have gained this much traction in the marketplace? Ethanol may have huge funds behind it, but you can't buy a new reality on a permanent basis no matter how much you spend.
    "The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."--Issac Asimov

    "Whisper words of wisdom"--Paul McCartney

  6. #31

    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Why does CORN have be an ingrediant in the process of ethanol production???? What qualities or properties does corn have that makes it a necessary ingredient in the production of ethanol???

  7. #32

    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Here's a fairly cheap, fast and ez to set up and very simple experiment that anyone could try:

    Buy some Active dRY yeAST at nearly ANY grocery store. Drop it in a clean jar, add about the same quantity of common ordinary granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of water, tap water from anywhere should work.

    I started such a experiment yesterday. Never tried this particular method before. AND NO, NO distillation would be required as that would be illegal.

    Probably about 21 days during summer time weather will be the length of fermentaion. Fermentation will start in about 3 days and last about 17 days unti l it stops.

    Cover the container. DO NOT CAP IT TIGHTLY!!!!! Co2 is released in the production of ethanol and it builds up pressure in sealed containers. Just cover the container so that any CO2 can escape as it is produced.

    LEt's see what happens. Don't worry, IT WILL happen with corn if anyone wants to try some of that too. Best to use crack corn avaialable from equine supply or farm supply stores. In the corn experiment the sugar and water is used but NOT any added yeast.
    Last edited by RenegadeV8; May 20th, 2012 at 22:42. Reason: added instruction

  8. #33
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    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by RenegadeV8 View Post
    Why does CORN have be an ingrediant in the process of ethanol production???? What qualities or properties does corn have that makes it a necessary ingredient in the production of ethanol???
    For the same reason it's the primary ingredient/sweetener in Coca-Cola*. It is the cheapest/fastest growing/most productive source of sugar molecules available in the climate of the United States. Brazil uses sugar cane in their clime for the same reason. Getting anything better will require a way to commercially break down cellulose into sugars. Whoever develops that method will become a very wealthy person.

    (BTW, it is not as if 100% of the corn is consumed in the fermentation process. The remaining solids are sold as DDGS ( http://www.ddgs.umn.edu/overview.htm ), a higher value animal feed product than straight corn (due to increase protein concentration.)

    =======================================

    *Between 4% and 5% of corn production goes into syrup production.
    Last edited by Dave@Moon; May 21st, 2012 at 00:10. Reason: Added BTW w/ better reference link
    "The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."--Issac Asimov

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  9. #34

    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Ah yes!!! THe sugar in the corn. Point well taken.
    Last edited by RenegadeV8; May 21st, 2012 at 08:24. Reason: sell correction

  10. #35

    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Dave Moon

    Is i t most probable that within 10 years from now that the US fuel for passenger car type operation will approach something on the order of 80% ethanol or more (regardless of the source of the ethanol) ????

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    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by RenegadeV8 View Post
    Dave Moon

    Is i t most probable that within 10 years from now that the US fuel for passenger car type operation will approach something on the order of 80% ethanol or more (regardless of the source of the ethanol) ????
    I think 10 years is a bit quick for that to happen. For a majority of fuel needs to be met by ethanol it would be a near necessity that cellulosic fermentation be a commercial reality. If that happens next week it might be 10 years for ethanol to essentially take over like that. If it proves insurmountable then it will never happen, and we will be in deep doo-doo.
    "The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."--Issac Asimov

    "Whisper words of wisdom"--Paul McCartney

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    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave@Moon View Post
    ...If it proves insurmountable then it will never happen, and we will be in deep doo-doo.
    I've long thought that hydrocarbon liquids are the only practical fuel for long distance highway travel today. And for commercial vehicles it seemed unlikely to me that other alternatives existed so I was guessing that we'd be moving freight off the highways and onto railroads which historically can be relatively easily electrified. But then I came across this recently:

    2012 Siemens - eHighway Test track - YouTube

    I guess the old electric trolley bus concept that is still in use in some cities like San Francisco can be updated for long distance trucking. There is talk about trying out this electric highway system on the main freeway out of the port of Long Beach and Los Angeles to reduce the problem with diesel exhaust causing health issues for residents in the area.

    Maybe we can get by with lower volumes of liquid hydrocarbon fuels than we think.

  13. #38

    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Safety, legislation, fuel, tyres, emmisions, refrigerants, metric v US std. etc. are all such topics that are controversial, age or type of vehicle/equipment notwithstanding.

    The underlying problem that constantly arises is a lack of established standards or established standards that change about as often as womens shoe styles change. At some point some standard, probably with terrific compromise, must be established for the long term of say no less than 15 years.

    It is the constant change and claims that shed doubt or generate suspicions of veiled agendas that seem to constantly creep into these topics.

    In the immortal words of Lee Iaacoca: "just exactly how much clean air do we really need anyway".

    That concept can applied to the rest of the issues too. It's not a perfect world.

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    Arrow Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by RenegadeV8 View Post
    In the immortal words of Lee Iaacoca: "just exactly how much clean air do we really need anyway".
    The year that he said that somewhere between 10,000 and 13,000 people died of preventable, non-smoking related early lung disease in Los Angeles County alone. How much clean air we need depends on who we're visiting under oxygen tents at the hospital, and how much we love them.

    The underlying problem that constantly arises is a lack of established standards or established standards that change about as often as womens shoe styles change. At some point some standard, probably with terrific compromise, must be established for the long term of say no less than 15 years.
    The major emphases behind ethanol (which most of this thread is about) are two-fold: reducing carbon emissions to reduce climate change and to reduce dependence on dwindling supplies of increasingly imported oil. President Carter was giving frequent speeches regarding the importance of the latter during 1977/1979/1979, working hard on programs that could have helped immensely with the problem if they hadn't been scrapped in 1981. At the same time I was studying and taking college exams on the former, which already had been a known and potentially serious issue for at least 30 years then. It wasn't really an issue in the public forum yet. That would happen in another 10-12 years, now more than 20 years ago, when documentary evidence of the reality/severity of the situation became apparent.

    It isn't a matter of issues changing every 15 years. It's an attention span issue.

    It is the constant change and claims that shed doubt or generate suspicions of veiled agendas that seem to constantly creep into these topics.
    They always will. That is hardly unique to automotive environmental impact, and it will never change regardless of the subject. When your ophthalmologist tries to sell you cataract surgery, is he trying to save your eyesight or make a boat payment? Ditto for the mechanic who wants to flush and tune your automatic transmission? Etc.

    You could make up your mind on this issue based on your choice that either college professors or oil executives are the liars trying to make payments on their boats. A lot of people are doing so, and they have a lot of encouragement in that particular tack from media sources on both "sides". There's a better way.

    It takes work to be better than that. As a hobby, that's what we will have to do to survive.
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    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Just once I wish someone would show me real evidence of "dwindling supplies of oil".
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    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by Restorer32 View Post
    Just once I wish someone would show me real evidence of "dwindling supplies of oil".
    Easiest one is to look at the location we are now getting oil from versus where we used to. Never had to do deep water drilling before nor grind up and use energy intensive methods to extract oil from shale before. If it the supplies weren't dwindling we'd still be getting most/all of our oil from easier places to access or from supplies that are easier to process.

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    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    The fact that the oil is harder to get to doesn't equate with the supply "dwindling". I'm sure old Mr Drake thought the oil supply was running out when he had to dig a deeper well in Titusville too. Again, where is the evidence that the worldwide supply of oil is dwindling? Obviously there is less oil in the ground than 100 years ago but there is no verifiable evidence that we will run out any time soon.
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    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by Restorer32 View Post
    The fact that the oil is harder to get to doesn't equate with the supply "dwindling". I'm sure old Mr Drake thought the oil supply was running out when he had to dig a deeper well in Titusville too. Again, where is the evidence that the worldwide supply of oil is dwindling? Obviously there is less oil in the ground than 100 years ago but there is no verifiable evidence that we will run out any time soon.
    A web search on "conventional oil production" will turn up reams of stuff. Conventional oil production has been flat or down for several years now. Difference has been made up for that by going to "unconventional" sources like deep water, Canadian tar sands, etc.

    And the problem isn't running out so much as it simply becomes more and more expensive. At some point other sources of energy will be cheaper. Or, if you are a pessimist, there will be a world wide economic collapse.

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    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Price of electricity from coal .02/KWH. Price of electricity from solar .12/KWH. It will be a while before the playing field is leveled. Natural gas has promise though. Viva la fracking!
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    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Quote Originally Posted by Restorer32 View Post
    Price of electricity from coal .02/KWH. Price of electricity from solar .12/KWH. It will be a while before the playing field is leveled. Natural gas has promise though. Viva la fracking!
    Unless we have electrified highways so we can talk about vehicle collecting, this is getting farther off topic. But for building and operating a new plant you are correct that solar electricity is quite a bit more expensive than coal at present.

    And yes, natural gas "has promise". At present natural gas is actually cheaper than coal for new electric power generation plants according to some of the more authoritative sites I've seen. And it is a lot cleaner too.

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    Re: The Disappearance of our Hobby?

    Ok guys, I guess this topic has run its course. From what I can tell, our hobby needs to become a lot more focused before we can reach our goals.

    Lets move on to something else.

    Wayne

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