Monday, June 19, 2006

An Ethanol Future?

Will gasoline be replaced with a Gasoline-ethanol hybrid fuel?

To hear some people you would think the answer is yes, with no questions going with it.

It's a mixed bag.

The good news.
1. It's made from corn and we grow alot of corn in America.
2. It burns cleaner.
3. American automakers are actually ahead of the curve on creating the hybrids. (Amazing!!) That would help the domestic automakers.

The bad news.
1. We have no distribution system set up.
2. There would not really be a big savings at the pump.
3. Corn is not a really enviro-friendly crop (and why does this objection not suprise me?)
4. Hybrid cars get less mileage then gasoline cars. (That does suprise me!)
5. Hybrid fuel producers require a lot of water, though that can change with technology.
6. Corn being raised for ethanol would mean less crop space for food driving up food prices.

Clearly we need to look at this but we can't jump to any conclusions at this point. It is probably part of the solution but not the entire solution.

Perhaps the old TV gag of cars running on Hillbilly moonshine weren't so far out after all.

7 Comments:

Blogger Lone Pony said...

I read somewhere that if we used all the corn we grow right now for ethanol, it would only replace about 40% of our gasoline.

Corn is a crop that demands a lot of fertilizer and synthetic fertilizer (from fossil fuel sources) is expensive too. Cellulosic ethanol looks interesting. Thanks for the link Shoprat.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Switchgrass seems to be a better source, from what I have read.
Iuse E85 in my van when I am near a source (there are only 3 within 100 miles of me)and have found that it performs as well as gasoline, but that the mileage is a little less.Still, it feels good to know that that money is staying in America!
I have heard stories that the Germans had a way to make gasoline from coal, but have not been able to find out any info on the net about that.
Whatever we do, it's better than sending all that cash to the people who want to kill us!

9:43 AM  
Blogger Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ethanol is highly corrosive. It can't be piplined to delivery like natural gas or oil. Currently it needs to be trucked to the delivery point. Somewhat defeats the point, don't you think? The cost effectiveness of producing ethanol is not even really that great.

Here is a warning for anyone with a boat, mower or other equipment that is used infrequently. If you are using and ethanol blend gasoline, be sure to completely remove the fuel from your machine before storing for the winter or next year you will find the gas has ruined your carberator bowl and other parts of your motor including some hoses.

We learned this the hard way. It isn't a problem in your auto because you are driving it and moving the gas mixture through your engine.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Tom C said...

Been to a short track in Michigan lately? Lot of race cars running on alky. You can pump up the compression a bunch and still avoid engine damage from spark knock. Not an answer but every lil bit helps. OT By the way Rat, on the thread a couple of posts below you stated that I might be wrong. I hadn't stated my position.

8:35 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Hi tom
thanks. In the previous post - the "we" I was refering to was both Christians and Muslims, not any person. Sorry about not being clear.

dbq Thanks for the visit and comment.

9:04 PM  
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