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Blacksandfarmer
Esteemed Advisor

Re: Oh, and a PS

Kay, I have been running E-10 for a long time and don't notice any mileage difference. For me, my support for ethanol all comes down to lives. I lost a couple good friends in the Iraq war. The more we supplement ethanol in place of foreign oil the less attractive a war over oil becomes. My personal feeling towards E-100 is that we would have to change the corn plant to produce double its current capacity or E-100 would not work.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Build me a 100% ethanol engine.

You sort f answer your own question on the methanol...no fuel s worth that much trouble every few hundred miles, if that is the equivalent of your race miles.

No one seems able to explain fuel prices with a straight face anymore. Why is diesel so high???
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Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: Build me a 100% ethanol engine.

It's all relevant.  What has the price of soda done in the last 50 years compared to fuel?

Everything has gone up in price, why would anyone think fuel would be any different?

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Build me a 100% ethanol engine.

Everything that  "goes up in price" does so because each dollar is worth so much less.  Lots of items are extremely cheap in comparison to what they cost just a few years ago...take your average computer, byte for byte, and compare what your capabilities cost then v. now. 

 

Of course, a lot of things that stay pretty much the same, or which don't go up comparatively, are in the category of the twelve-ounce "pound of coffee."  I rarely buy supermarket ground coffee anymore, but the last can I bought last fall for company was the same size as the pound cans I always used to buy, but weighed only 3/4 as much. 

 

One that really caught me in mind of this today was that Mike called me while I was in town, and told me to pick up a toilet paper holder for one of the bathrooms in the rental house he was working on.  TP just isn't as wide as it used to be, so you pretty much have to have a narrower holder, or one with a spindle, which the one in that olderbathroom didn't have.   

 

 

 

A new car with features similar to those of my first car is about four to five times as high as it was in 1972, but gasoline is at least 10-12 times higher.   

 

Houses are about 5-7 times as high as when we built out first one in 1973...but maybe 60 times or more what they were when my in-laws built their home in 1938. 

 

Major purchases - homes and vehicles -  in my adult lifetime, which spans right about forty years, had thus gone up in price let's say by five times on average.  How much of that is appreciation of asset, and how much depreciation of currency, you would have to tell me.  Gasoline way outstrips them both, for sure. 

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Oh, and a PS

I am not so sure what we went to Iraq to do...are you?  Afghanistan looks more like we are keeping China's access to their mineral assets open to me.  I am not so sure we have a choice but to dance to that tune, are you? 

 

I wish to express my condolences, however belated they may be, for the losses of your friends.  We sacrifice the bravest and best - whether in the military, or crawling through a coal mine - to supply the world's appetite for energy.  All the while, we waste or ignore the most plentiful and cleanest choices, simply because no one has found a way to truly profit from them.  It's a sick system....

 

 

 

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ECIN
Senior Advisor

Re: Oh, and a PS

Kay -- I wasn't asking any questions -- I was just replying to wind on -- build me a motor . yes it was a lot of  work , we ran  , hot laps , heat races , andd the feature -- with luck , and may be ran 20 miles ALL night , Everything is just not as simple as seems . lol

 

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Oh, and a PS

I am just adjusting my mind, after a lifetime of making 3,000 mile interval oil changes, to the 5,000, 7,500 and now even 10,000 mile ones, called for in various newer vehicles, running new lubricants. Of course, that might be a $60 service cal, rather than a $20 one, so the price for the protection is about equal...but, with half to one- third the trouble to stop and schedule the work done.

People are getting more and more accustomed to having fewer and fewer inconveniences. Alternative energy is often quite inconvenient...the difference in cost coming much from someone being willing to make the effort/taking the time to make it work. For example, we are heating our homes and my office for next to zero bought energy cost right now....

BUT, Mike is busy with cordwood harvesting, hauling, and stoking boilers. Not many folks would do what he does. To him, it is his workout, and he enjoys a reason to be outdoors and active. Saves us a fortune, and keeps him fit, which is a win- win. He worries out loud about how long he will be able to do the work down the road. I say we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Not many people will spend the time -much less make the upfront investment in the pricey alternatives. Figuring out whole new infrastructure for new energy sources is always a treat, too.
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hRex
Frequent Contributor

Re: Oh, and a PS

I, for one, haven't seen a measurable difference in mileage since we switched from regular unleaded to 10% years ago. It's true that when ethanol wasn't always available that the first tank or two of 10% would produce lower mileage as the varnishes in the fuel system were dissolved by the solvent power of the alcohol. Thereafter, we'd get equal or better mileage with the 10%. It is really hard to determine if mileage drops by 1 or 2%, though, and I've seen credible research reports that indicate approximately a 2% decrease in fuel economy with 10% ethanol fuel (0.6 mpg on a 30 mpg car).

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Blacksandfarmer
Esteemed Advisor

Re: Oh, and a PS

Thanks for the condolences Kay. Those guys passed away years ago. My generation paid a price for decades of failed energy policy. I think that's why I get so worked up over the energy debate. I believe we as a country were duped with mythical WMDs, and the real reason the Bush administration wanted to go into Iraq so bad was for money and oil. The Afghanistan war was fought for the right reasons but was side tracked by Iraq and our government's idea that Afghanistan could run its own government/country.....That said, it's been over a decade and we're still there. Enough about politics, we could talk about it forever. I don't think we will ever get to anything higher than a 15% ethanol blend. Not because man can't make an engine capable of running pure ethanol but because corn demand would outstrip supply in a big hurry. So far the seed companies have made corn hybrids with defensive traits that have led to higher yields but not the high yields that some may have predicted years ago. So unless we figure out a way to completely reinvent the corn plant, I think E-15  will be the wall.

 

You brought up a good point about coal. Coal like oil is an unsustainable resource; both have the illusion of being cheap and easy. Cheap and easy only exist in the minds of the investors and not the ones crawling in the mines or living in the trenches.  Ethanol may be here for a short while or a long while, but it's a start. If we don't change our energy policies to more sustainable forms of energy, our kids and grandkids will be fighting the same battles we're fighting today.

Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Oh, and a PS

Honestly, energy may be the present battleground; but, water has a role in some regional conflicts already, and will increasingly do so in years to come. Arid areas have always struggled to allocate this essential resource, and more areas are fighting between population pressures and the needs of agriculture.

In less developed parts of the world, potable water is dear. In America, we have established TMDLs that attempt to quantify he assimilative capacity of every watershed. If farming is attributed with X pollutants, and industry needs Y assimilative capacity to site on the river, guess who gets a new reg?

Beyond that, population centered in huge concentrations often outstrips the local water supply. That calls for inter-basin transfers...and water leaving a stream concentrates pollutants in the water that's left, which reduces further assimilative capacity. It is a vicious circle, one which unenfranchised ag areas, with lower population densities of voters, will never win.

As you said, enough about politics. And, no matter how long ago, the losses are no less profound today than those many years ago. I always wonder if one of those guys or one of their descendants would have been the one human ever born who could have solved this mess....
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