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Thread: Important Ethanol Message!

  1. #26
    Super Moderator MCHinson's Avatar
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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    Dave,

    Your "gas in cans for sale" might work for lawmowers but I don't see that as solving the problem for the small boat owners. There are probably a lot more of them than there are those of us who collect antique cars, so I still say we are not the only ones who would like to see "real" gasoline continue to be available.

    I have seen nothing to suggest that there is any serious governmental effort to move away from corn based ethanol to any "more appropriate ethanol sources". I attribute this to purely political and not scientific reasons.

    We have had this argument before. I tend to agree with Al's new position that he made a mistake. Maybe we should just agree to disagree and not waste any more time staking out our differing opinions on the subject.
    Matthew C. Hinson
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    Senior Member Ron Green's Avatar
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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    Too bad in 2006 more people didn’t voice their concerns and oppose the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007” when it was signed into law on December 19th 2007. Many think it is a recent mandate however that is just not the case.
    Ron Green

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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    Quote Originally Posted by MCHinson View Post
    Dave,

    Your "gas in cans for sale" might work for lawmowers but I don't see that as solving the problem for the small boat owners. There are probably a lot more of them than there are those of us who collect antique cars, so I still say we are not the only ones who would like to see "real" gasoline continue to be available.
    There's no argument there, however cars are a special case. You run whatever you want in a boat or lawn mower. It is a Federal offense (not to mention breaking state laws) to fuel a road going vehicle with fuels that are not taxed for it.

    If you consider 10% ethanol too much, it is already critical. It won't be long before even 10% ethanol gas starts to decline in availability. Knowing what I do about efforts in this area, I'll be surprised if "gas" with only 10% ethanol is the primary fuel available in even just 10 years. If you go through the pure-gas.org web site you'll see that already well more than 1/2 of the outlets listed as not using ethanol are marinas. In many states they are the only outlets listed.

    Currently fueling up your collector car (or any car/truck) at one of these outlets (with marine fuel, av-gas, etc.) is illegal. I'd like to see that changed as a concession to the reality of needing to keep historic cars running for historical purposes.

    That could succeed. Trying to stop progress isn't going to.
    "The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."--Issac Asimov

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    Super Moderator MCHinson's Avatar
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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    So far, there are still several legal sources for road taxed non-ethanol gasoline in my town. I am happy that I can simply drive about one mile and pull up to the pump and get my fuel without ethanol. The funny thing is that the marina fuel pumps are so overpriced that it is normal to see boats on trailers pulled up and fueling up with road taxed gasoline here.

    The reasonable approach is to allow the free market to keep a source of legal non-ethanol fuel available for those who desire it for marine, antique and small engine uses. Hopefully the government will be convinced of the merit of this.
    Matthew C. Hinson
    1937 Buick Century, 1954 Buick Special - For Sale, 1984 Buick Riviera, 1989 Buick Park Avenue
    AACA Life Member, MAFCA, BCA

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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    ..., there has to be some means of allowing licensed, identified antique cars to obtain real gas (>10% ethanol) from select outlets, be they marinas, hangars, fuel depots, or whatever. Instead of using "pump gas", touring with an antique car would require the use of a specific fuel source available in various areas, possibly from sources exempted from road taxes (like marine & aviation fuels).

    This needs to be pursued now, before we start seeing E15 only gas stations dominating the market.

    It'll be inconvenient as he!!, and many of us will have to drive miles just to fuel up the car. But at least we will have avoided the 5 gal. can fate for a while. I know my Triumph is not set up to cross the U.S. in 1909 Thomas-style, and neither am I.[/QUOTE]

    DAVE@MOON, I only saved part of your quote.

    What you stated is correct. The carburetor is dead for new cars. Fuel injection is more efficent. All I have to do is to compare a 1984 VW Rabbit with carburetor against a 1985 VW Jetta with fuel injection. Better mpg and fewer oil changes thanks to a superior fuel delivery system on the Jetta.

    Perhaps you are correct, and someday the only way to buy fuel for our antique cars will be to go to the local hardware store. One in my area sells wood, coal, and kerosene for home heating.

    Out of curosity I need to ask the following. You mentioned that mid-western states have been using ethanol/alcohol based fuel since 1979. Why haven't we heard problems from out there way? Or did I just not pay attention?

    Looking forward to your response. And thanks for taking the time to educate me a bit more with your previous response.
    Jim Siegfried
    Nbr: 802500

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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    Quote Originally Posted by Siegfried View Post
    Out of curosity I need to ask the following. You mentioned that mid-western states have been using ethanol/alcohol based fuel since 1979. Why haven't we heard problems from out there way? Or did I just not pay attention?

    Looking forward to your response. And thanks for taking the time to educate me a bit more with your previous response.
    I did three years in Iowa (1980-1983) going through graduate school at Iowa State. At the time I was driving a 1960 Ford Falcon. Iowa had passed tax credits the previous year (1979), as I understand several states had in the "corn belt", which made "gasohol" cheaper than "real gas" (something otherwise impossible then and now). Only the comparatively rare Conoco stations where I lived did not use 10% ethanol.

    I ran up 35,000+ miles on E10 in Iowa using that car, and never noticed any major negative effects. I did notice that my Falcon would frequently stall out once on hot days when restarted while the engine was still hot, but had sat for a few minutes. If I anticipated this I could gun the engine when it strted to stumble and avoid having the stall occur. Restarting the car immediately after stalling ended the problem, which was probably caused by fuel percolation in the carb (which no one had ever heard oif at the time). Some of the older cars I knew at the time had similar problems on hot starts, but most didn't have any symptoms at all. It was almost a total non-issue then.

    If there were problems with E10 since then I haven't heard of them either, although that doesn't mean they weren't there.

    I've been told since then that we didn't have serious issues with ethanol at the time because we were running up so many miles on the cars. Regular use (it has been said) negates the problems ethanol causes. These supposedly only appear with long term storage and disuse. I don't see why myself, other than issues related to humidity absorption.

    People tend to forget that the vapor pressure of gasoline was reduced in the mid-1990s in many markets in response to the pervasiveness of fuel injection, allowing lighter components than previous. At the time I had a 1960 Buick, which went from having no problems in 1995 to having debilitating fuel percolation issues in 1996 that required major surgery. This was before wide use of ethanol, which I'm sure hasn't made things any better since for our old cars. I think that the gasoline of 1980 and the gasoline of 2011 probably aren't directly comparable, ethanol or no.
    "The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."--Issac Asimov

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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    The only stable fuel over the years has been aviation gasoline. No ethanol and still has tetraethyl lead (1.2-2 grams/gallon). Expensive at $5.20 - $5.70/ gallon currently.

  8. #33
    Cincinnati Chapter bhclark's Avatar
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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    My local airport has GRADE 100LL GASOLINE (LOW LEAD BLUE) at $6.44/gallon.

    I have no idea what that means...but I did find out I can get a pilot's license for about $6000 in 4 weeks, so, there's that!
    Brian Clark
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  9. #34
    Senior Member trimacar's Avatar
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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    One thing not mentioned about Ethanol in gasoline.....

    The Ethanol is added to the trucks that deliver the gasoline, NOT in the pipeline. Thus, they are relying on the truck sloshing, and adding the gas to the underground tank, to mix Ethanol and gasoline.

    You may get more or less than 10%, depending on the mix while traveling and unloading, with short runs to a service station from oil jobber being the most likely to have uneven mix....
    David Coco
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    1938 Packard Super 8 convertible coupe
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  10. #35

    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    This site has a lot of good information on ethanol, it's impact on collector vehicles and an interactive map for state pump labeling laws and where to find pure gas.

    Historic Vehicle Association

    They have an EthaNO campaign for the hobby

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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    As pointed out in charts in both a "research paper" funded by an ethanol-friendly organization and also in a recent "High Performance Pontiac" issue, the optimum air/fuel ratio for prior-normal gasoline is about 14.7 to 1. In the charts, the optimum ratio for E10 is 14.2, with E15 coming in at about 13.8 to 1. This means that with increasing ethanol concentrations in the blends, the bigger the carburetor's main jets will need to be. For the ratio needed for E15, that 13.8 is approaching the "part throttle enrichment" level for most carbureted engines on prior-normal gasoline. If you jet up to get that mixture ratio, it'll make it too rich should you find some non-ethanol fuel. Maybe not rich enough to smoke, but rich enough to decrease fuel economy at cruise at approximately sea level locations. Higher altitudes will probably be worse.

    In the research papers "out there", when you see who funded the research you can generally predict the outcome of their "findings".

    Whether it's carburetor jets or fuel injectors, there is a certain limit to the fuel they will flow. With E10, most will tolerate it pretty well, especially if the stock jetting might be on the rich side to start with. If the stock jetting was leaner (as many emission controlled engines were), then E10 tolerance can be decreased.

    If the particular engine's fuel injectors have enough capacity to flow the additional fuel for E10, things will be taken care of by the ECM. If the particular injectors are at their flow limits with E10 and E15 is used, it will probably set a "lean mixture" code, which can send technicians looking for failed intake manifold gaskets or other causes of vacuum leaks. Therefore, as the paramaters of the individual engine's fuel injectors' flow rates are known, there's no real way to predict how they'll act with E15 . . . as only the engineers who designed and the purchasing people who procurred them might know the answer to that question . . . unless the vehicle is a factory flex-fuel capable vehicle.

    Ford, GM, Chrysler, etc. have been building and selling vehicles in southern hemisphere locales, where E100 has been used for decades (sugar cane sourcing rather than corn). They know how to make cars work and last in that environment. In that respect, no real new testing is needed. In a carburetor part listing for (about) 1985, I found an accelerator pump cup listed for a QuadraJet 4bbl carburetor for "high aromatic fuels" in the "Export" applications. That would be for alcohol-based fuels, I suspect.

    The whole issue of ethanol-extended fuels is problematic. First, the amount of ethanol added to gasoline was set in legislation during the George W. Bush presidency. The amount started out lower, then increases each year. Those projections probably would have been more accurate had gasoline not had the price increases it has over the past decade or so. The reason for the E15 level was to keep pace with the mandated ethanol for gasoline useage. Now, add in the push for greater fuel economy, which will mean fewer gallons of gasoline used and it sets the stage for the need for even higher ethanol concentrations in our now-normal gasolines. All of this to stop the "addiction" to foreign oil?

    One observer recently noted that if the first presidential primaries were moved out of "middle America" (where corn is grown), the whole ethanol issue might become less of an election issue. It would seem that in consideration of more recent health developments, it might be better to replace the corn fields with grass fields to raise "grass-fed beef" on and then also put up wind generation farms for a steady monthly income (as many west Texas farmers have done). Might even opt for "solar" rather than "wind"! That would get us eating more healthy meat and also producing "green" energy to boot!

    The problem with the EPA is that "cost is no object" is their stated orientation. Cost effectiveness is not supposed to be considered, according to what I've read. It's not supposed to be a politically-influenced governmental agency, yet its administrator is appointed by the sitting President, which puts some basic orientations in play right up front. Political and social agendas of the sitting President (and his party) can and do influence what the EPA does and how it does it.

    In the first budget "negotiations" of the Republican House of Representatives, some of the members sought to de-fund the pump labeling requirements for the implementation of the sale of E15 fuels. That would have stopped it for about 6 months. That provision didn't make it into the final budget, though. Other Republicans have given notice to the EPA that more scrutiny of the EPA will be one of their agenda items, too. Still, though, it appears that E15 is getting ready to happen at some time in the future.

    SEMA and others are "on record" as opposing the sale of E15 fuels. There are many Democrats who are, with all due respect, "open ears" for environmentalists . . . historically. Nothing wrong with that, except that big-monied lobbys can exert more "force" than a band of citizens might seem capable of. The two plays . . . "renewable energy" and "Get us off of our addiction to foreign oil" seem to be the rallying cries being acknowledged by many in the current Obama administration. While valid concerns, they are NOT the only concerns NOR are they supported in solid science as to their complete impact upon the environment and the ozone layer (which seems to be a major concern). To me, this is why sending your concerns to the Obama operatives might well not be completely heeded. On the other hand, considering the orientation of many newly-empowered Republican operatives, that avenue might be the most beneficial, in this situation. This might be one area where funding decreases might actually be beneficial for some citizens!

    In some of the news articles I've read over the past year or so, the ethanol advocates have seemed somewhat arrogant in being sure to get their way, no matter what. Their orientation is that with increased ethanol concentrations in gasoline, all we'll have to do is add some chemicals to the gasoline and it'll work fine in the older vehicles . . . which may or may not be accurate in all situations. They also seem to forget that the workers who help harvest the corn which will be used in ethanol production most probably get to work in older vehicles, too, with all due respect. I wonder if they'll get a pay raise to keep their older vehicles on the road, or a bonus to purchase a newer one?

    End result is that as the ethanol in gasoline issue has so many emotional ties on the environmental side of things and solid evidence of damage on the vehicular side of things, with each side funding research projects to prove their particular respective points, it's gotten to be a big mess. Even moreso in Australia, as I've seen some news accounts of.

    On the SEMA website, there's a list of legislators which are friendly to the vintage vehicle hobby . . . even owning some of those older cars, too. They should be aware of the issues of ethanol in gasoline in vintage vehicles. It might be good to send EACH of them an email stating your orientations on current levels of ethanol in gasoline (E10) and the proposed increase to E15 and higher in the future. It might also be good to do this in your own words, rather than with a pre-formatted Internet document. Still, though, pre-formatted Internet documents from various websites can be good too. Key thing is to make the contact with them and state your views!

    Regards,
    NTX5467

  12. #37
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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    HEAR, HEAR!

    Excellent points as always, completely thought out and well presented.
    Glenn Williamson
    AACA Life Member
    Member of all major Olds clubs

  13. #38

    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    How do you know if you're buying ethanol gas? Are the gas stations required to post a sticker on the pump? I have never had a problem till last week, while driving my 67 olds in 93 degree heat it seem to run out of gas but it had1/2 tank full. After an hour to cool down I poured a little gas in the carb and drove it home. I have'nt checked the filter yet ,or is this caused by vapor lock? Thanks Tony

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    Post Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    Quote Originally Posted by NTX5467 View Post
    As pointed out in charts in both a "research paper" funded by an ethanol-friendly organization and also in a recent "High Performance Pontiac" issue, the optimum air/fuel ratio for prior-normal gasoline is about 14.7 to 1. In the charts, the optimum ratio for E10 is 14.2, with E15 coming in at about 13.8 to 1. This means that with increasing ethanol concentrations in the blends, the bigger the carburetor's main jets will need to be. For the ratio needed for E15, that 13.8 is approaching the "part throttle enrichment" level for most carbureted engines on prior-normal gasoline. If you jet up to get that mixture ratio, it'll make it too rich should you find some non-ethanol fuel. Maybe not rich enough to smoke, but rich enough to decrease fuel economy at cruise at approximately sea level locations. Higher altitudes will probably be worse.

    In the research papers "out there", when you see who funded the research you can generally predict the outcome of their "findings".

    Whether it's carburetor jets or fuel injectors, there is a certain limit to the fuel they will flow. With E10, most will tolerate it pretty well, especially if the stock jetting might be on the rich side to start with. If the stock jetting was leaner (as many emission controlled engines were), then E10 tolerance can be decreased.

    If the particular engine's fuel injectors have enough capacity to flow the additional fuel for E10, things will be taken care of by the ECM. If the particular injectors are at their flow limits with E10 and E15 is used, it will probably set a "lean mixture" code, which can send technicians looking for failed intake manifold gaskets or other causes of vacuum leaks. Therefore, as the paramaters of the individual engine's fuel injectors' flow rates are known, there's no real way to predict how they'll act with E15 . . . as only the engineers who designed and the purchasing people who procurred them might know the answer to that question . . . unless the vehicle is a factory flex-fuel capable vehicle.

    Ford, GM, Chrysler, etc. have been building and selling vehicles in southern hemisphere locales, where E100 has been used for decades (sugar cane sourcing rather than corn). They know how to make cars work and last in that environment. In that respect, no real new testing is needed. In a carburetor part listing for (about) 1985, I found an accelerator pump cup listed for a QuadraJet 4bbl carburetor for "high aromatic fuels" in the "Export" applications. That would be for alcohol-based fuels, I suspect.

    The whole issue of ethanol-extended fuels is problematic. First, the amount of ethanol added to gasoline was set in legislation during the George W. Bush presidency. The amount started out lower, then increases each year. Those projections probably would have been more accurate had gasoline not had the price increases it has over the past decade or so. The reason for the E15 level was to keep pace with the mandated ethanol for gasoline useage. Now, add in the push for greater fuel economy, which will mean fewer gallons of gasoline used and it sets the stage for the need for even higher ethanol concentrations in our now-normal gasolines. All of this to stop the "addiction" to foreign oil?

    One observer recently noted that if the first presidential primaries were moved out of "middle America" (where corn is grown), the whole ethanol issue might become less of an election issue. It would seem that in consideration of more recent health developments, it might be better to replace the corn fields with grass fields to raise "grass-fed beef" on and then also put up wind generation farms for a steady monthly income (as many west Texas farmers have done). Might even opt for "solar" rather than "wind"! That would get us eating more healthy meat and also producing "green" energy to boot!

    The problem with the EPA is that "cost is no object" is their stated orientation. Cost effectiveness is not supposed to be considered, according to what I've read. It's not supposed to be a politically-influenced governmental agency, yet its administrator is appointed by the sitting President, which puts some basic orientations in play right up front. Political and social agendas of the sitting President (and his party) can and do influence what the EPA does and how it does it.

    In the first budget "negotiations" of the Republican House of Representatives, some of the members sought to de-fund the pump labeling requirements for the implementation of the sale of E15 fuels. That would have stopped it for about 6 months. That provision didn't make it into the final budget, though. Other Republicans have given notice to the EPA that more scrutiny of the EPA will be one of their agenda items, too. Still, though, it appears that E15 is getting ready to happen at some time in the future.

    SEMA and others are "on record" as opposing the sale of E15 fuels. There are many Democrats who are, with all due respect, "open ears" for environmentalists . . . historically. Nothing wrong with that, except that big-monied lobbys can exert more "force" than a band of citizens might seem capable of. The two plays . . . "renewable energy" and "Get us off of our addiction to foreign oil" seem to be the rallying cries being acknowledged by many in the current Obama administration. While valid concerns, they are NOT the only concerns NOR are they supported in solid science as to their complete impact upon the environment and the ozone layer (which seems to be a major concern). To me, this is why sending your concerns to the Obama operatives might well not be completely heeded. On the other hand, considering the orientation of many newly-empowered Republican operatives, that avenue might be the most beneficial, in this situation. This might be one area where funding decreases might actually be beneficial for some citizens!

    In some of the news articles I've read over the past year or so, the ethanol advocates have seemed somewhat arrogant in being sure to get their way, no matter what. Their orientation is that with increased ethanol concentrations in gasoline, all we'll have to do is add some chemicals to the gasoline and it'll work fine in the older vehicles . . . which may or may not be accurate in all situations. They also seem to forget that the workers who help harvest the corn which will be used in ethanol production most probably get to work in older vehicles, too, with all due respect. I wonder if they'll get a pay raise to keep their older vehicles on the road, or a bonus to purchase a newer one?

    End result is that as the ethanol in gasoline issue has so many emotional ties on the environmental side of things and solid evidence of damage on the vehicular side of things, with each side funding research projects to prove their particular respective points, it's gotten to be a big mess. Even moreso in Australia, as I've seen some news accounts of.

    On the SEMA website, there's a list of legislators which are friendly to the vintage vehicle hobby . . . even owning some of those older cars, too. They should be aware of the issues of ethanol in gasoline in vintage vehicles. It might be good to send EACH of them an email stating your orientations on current levels of ethanol in gasoline (E10) and the proposed increase to E15 and higher in the future. It might also be good to do this in your own words, rather than with a pre-formatted Internet document. Still, though, pre-formatted Internet documents from various websites can be good too. Key thing is to make the contact with them and state your views!

    Regards,
    NTX5467
    A few points:

    "High aromatic fuels" refer to fuels based primarily on benzene compounds instead of carbon chain molecules. It has nothing to do with ethanol.

    Allowable ethanol levels in gasoline were set at a maximum of 10% in the late 1970s under President Carter, not under either President Bush. Oxygenate levels in fuel were set under G.H.W. Bush in the early 1990s, ethanol being an acceptable oxygenate. (It's now the dominant oxygenate now that the Haliburton-sourced push for MTBE has run it's course.) However those levels (in areas where oxygenated fuels are required) are well below 5% when using ethanol strictly as an oxygenate.

    Fuel injectors set the fuel mixture by the length of their operation during intake, firing for set periods of time (in milliseconds). Cars are presently being tested backwards in time (by date of manufacture) to see the compatibility with E15. Thus far everything from 2006 on is compatible, but nothing has been said for some time so possibly there are problems with some cars.

    With EPA regulations during development and promulgation cost is ALWAYS a major consideration, especially cost to the consumer. To believe otherwise is just plain silly, although some people who expect to never have any cost (or use that motivation to inspire others) like to make that specious argument.

    For good or bad, both political parties are deep in the pockets of the moneyed powers behind ethanol fuels. In fact the rural areas that benefit financially the most from ethanol production are predominately represented by Republicans, who support ethanol in numbers at least as strong as environmental-leaning Democrats. The idea that this particular issue is divisible along party lines is naive.

    Few people in America can't afford a fuel injected car these days, even farm workers, because the cheapest cars you can buy today are fuel injected. If someone can afford a car at all, they can afford a fuel injected one. To say that there is a problem with people affording ethanol-compatible fuel injected cars is to say that they're new. Fuel injection has dominated the auto industry for 30 years, to the complete exclusion of carburetors for 20 years.

    Sadly, our hobby cars are an afterthought at best in this issue. That is why access to appropriate fuels needs to be the emphasis of any such collector car lobbying on this issue. Nobody in public service with any brains is going to stop or limit a biofuels program of any kind to make driving an antique car for fun more convenient for the owner.

    We are a special interest with special needs. To pretend to represent our interests as the mainstream interest is folly.
    Last edited by Dave@Moon; August 7th, 2011 at 18:35.
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  15. #40
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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    There are people in public service with brains? You could have fooled me... Agendas and ideologies do not necessarily equate with brains.

    So, Moon, we are now a "special interest group"? Then the politicians should be bending over backwards for us if I read your logic right.

    We all know that even as an organised bloc, we cannot compete with campaign money being funneled by large corporate interests, and that is why I have become convinced that lobbyists should be outlawed, campaign contributions severely curtailed if not eliminated, and strict term limits for politicians at all levels enforced. Get the campaign and price support money out of it, and you will see ethanol die a quick economic death.

    There's rumour here in tobacco-land that biofuels can be made from it. Maybe I should start the farm back up? No, I'd have to pay back my buyout that according to most uninformed people made all the tobacco farmers (excuse me, murderers) millionaires.

    And no one has yet satisfactorily explained why aviation gasolines contain no ethanol, and are still leaded fuels for the most part. Guess it's no problem to inconvenience a driver or homeowner whose car or yard equipment is not designed to tolerate ethanol or other oxygenate fuels, but we cannot have gasoline-fueled aircraft falling out of the sky due to compromised fuels, can we? The pollution is still going into the air, just from a different source.
    Glenn Williamson
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  16. #41
    Senior Member Bleach's Avatar
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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    Just a slight detour here.
    In my humble opinion ethanol should remain a beverage and not a fuel additive. It has no business being in a gas tank.
    Does this make your car under the influence every time you fill the tank?

    Anyway, this is an issue I take seriously and perhaps we should find some elected officials who are sympathetic to our cause. There certainly have to be some members in congress who collect and enjoy vintage automobiles as much as we do.

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    Red face Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    Ooops. I made a mistake. Ethanol is blended at precisely 5.6% in gasoline when used as an oxygenate only, not "substantially less than 5%" as I stated. I had the wrong figure in mind when I wrote the post.

    Even a public servant with brains can misspeak on occasion.
    "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: Important Ethanol Message!

    Quote Originally Posted by rocketraider View Post
    There's rumour here in tobacco-land that biofuels can be made from it.
    What you are talking about is called cellulosic ethanol, which is ethanol made from the whole of any plant. That is the ultimate goal of the building ethanol infrastructure in the U.S. When achieved any rapidly growing plant can be used, and species used will be chosen based on local conditions. It might be tobbaco, it might be sawgrass, it might be kudzu, etc.

    When cellulosic ethanol becomes a reality it is expected to rival sugar cane ethanol processes for energy production efficiency. Presently corn-based processes make 2.3 BTUs for every BTU expended (up from 1.76 BTUs 6 years ago). Cellulosic ethanol should produce an expected 9 BTUs for every BTU expended, similar to Brazil's sugar cane based industry.
    "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: Important Ethanol Message!

    Answering Glenn’s question on why aviation fuel (avgas) doesn’t contain ethanol. There are probably a few reasons:

    1) Avgas is a specific product with its own additive package and has always had a separate distribution system as compared to automotive fuels, so it has been easier to keep it out of the main stream changes.

    2) Avgas is a fairly low volume commodity (0.14% of auto use) and is not as scrutinized.

    3) Changes to avgas would require a significant investment by any piston engine aircraft user and manufacturer and would kill an already weakened industry.

    4) The aviation community has a pretty strong lobby representing about 1.3 million people.

    Add all that up and they have been successful is keeping ethanol out and lead in (for the time being). The lead issue is coming to a head rather quickly and there is a lot of work going on to find a cost effective substitute.

    Scott

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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    Guess I'm lucky...we have an independent gas station in Satellite Beach. FL that sells ONLY non-ethanol gas. Station usually has lines of folks filling their cars, boats and cans. I'm one of those in line.

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    Exclamation Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    Quote Originally Posted by RayG View Post
    Guess I'm lucky...we have an independent gas station in Satellite Beach. FL that sells ONLY non-ethanol gas. Station usually has lines of folks filling their cars, boats and cans. I'm one of those in line.
    If they're filling road vehicles with marine gas don't expect it to last long, especially if it's as well known as you say. Avoiding the fuel tax is illegal, and in Florida it is outright against the law period to sell gasoline with less than 9% ethanol for motor vehicle use. ( Isn't it illegal for stations to sell non-ethanol fuel? | TBO.com )
    "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: Important Ethanol Message!

    Legal issues aside, from a mechanical perspectivem does anyone know if it is ok to use Avgas (100LL) in a 1920s Packard? I believe this is basically straight gas (around 93 octane) with some lead added? Would this damage the engine or any of the fuel system components? Would this be a better alternative to E10 gas?

    Thanks
    John

    1929 Packard 626 5 Passenger Sedan

    AACA
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    Packard Automobile Classics (Keystone Packards, Mid-Atlantic Packards)
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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    "That law now requires all gasoline sold or offered for sale to be blended with 9- to 10-percent ethanol, except when sold for some special use, said Matthew Curran, chief of petroleum inspection with Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Among those special uses: Fuel for aircraft, boats, collector/classic vehicles with a state tag, off-road vehicles, motorcycles and small engines, i.e. lawn equipment."

    So at least someone in Florida realises the folly of ethanol for those "special uses".

    Sounds to me like Floridians need a wholesale changeout of their state legislature, beginning with the ones who devised and voted this law into existence in 2010. I can promise you Big Agriculture was in every one of their pockets.

    One thing I have learned- re-election is the ONLY thing that matters to a politician. The only way most of them get the message is the threat of losing their office. Hence my argument for strictly enforced term limits and campaign money.
    Glenn Williamson
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    Re: Important Ethanol Message!

    Quote Originally Posted by rocketraider View Post
    "That law now requires all gasoline sold or offered for sale to be blended with 9- to 10-percent ethanol, except when sold for some special use, said Matthew Curran, chief of petroleum inspection with Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Among those special uses: Fuel for aircraft, boats, collector/classic vehicles with a state tag, off-road vehicles, motorcycles and small engines, i.e. lawn equipment."

    So at least someone in Florida realises the folly of ethanol for those "special uses".
    I would be VERY happy if this were a national policy, and not just in Florida. I don't know any other state that makes this exemption, but I sure hope there are others. Also I hope that this exemption applies to tags from other states, i.e. a registered antique just visiting FL.

    BTW, I find it hard to believe that there are "lines of folks" buying this gas just for the purposes stated in the law, at least not on a regular basis. If Ray's description is accurate, I think this outlet may be asking for trouble.
    "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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