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Old 10-01-2009, 05:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I and many here have no bias against ethanol itself, in fact when e85 was over $1 a gallon cheaper I was burning e85 in a non-e85 car.

It is the method and what the ethanol is being made from presently that most of us have bias against.

If ethanol was made the OLD low energy way where the plant didn't have to waste tons of fossil fuel to make the beer then waste more to distil it we would be all for it.

The sad part is corn is not grown in an low energy way (at least not by anyone but amish) Just 70 years ago corn was still picked BY HAND. In a country where it is grown and harvested by hand corn based ethanol would make sense. Even today if we would use old slow acting ROOM temperature methods of making the beer without heating we would be ahead of how we are doing it.

Also corn is NOT the best or even a good source for alcohol, tons of potatoes rot every year and the alcohol yield from potatoes is many factors better than corn but since there is no lobby potatoes just rot.

The changes that NEED to be made for ethanol to be viable.

1. Only produce at ambient temp, in other words either where it is warm or use different enzymes. Never heat the slosh to make ethanol faster.

2. Use the sun and low pressure methods of separating ethanol from water. Steam distillation to over 99.9% is very very wastefull, this ties into #4

3. Create ethanol from ANY food or non-food source that is NOT usuable for food or is surplus, do not use repurposed food specifically. No more corn only BS, use whatever is the most economical and FEASABLE which corn is neither.

4. Burn PURE ethanol WITHOUT ANY GASOLINE! Many of the problems both with cost, purity and corosion with e85 are solved when ethanol is left separate from gasoline. Ethanol can have a LOT of water in it and burn fine without corosion/phase separation issues so long as there is NO GASOLINE MIXED IN.

5. Develop motors that are DESIGNED TO RUN ETHANOL as primary fuel, gasoline motors even when retuned are not perfect for burning ethanol as is, several have made significant changes resulting in my better potential FE from pure ethanol even when compared to gasoline due to a few of its better qualities that go unused in a gas/alchol hybred motor. Racers know what to do but for some reason our car companies won't go that far.

Even with all of the above, ethanol is only part of the solution but at least if the above were followed it would be a REAL part of the solution, as it is now, it is not viable, just very wastefull like most industries in this country.


Originally Posted by shovel View Post
The thing I find amazing is how many people have an outright hatred of ethanol...

I use it all the time, it kicks ass, and I think it would be both economically and functionally successful if people would embrace it as a bridge away from petroleum rather than just being negative about it all the time. Has anyone considered that maybe ethanol has been struggling to gain economic viability because few stations sell it, few everyday, non-"ecomodder" consumers currently driving flex fuel vehicles know even what that means (let alone where to buy E85), and half the people who do know what it means have a vicious, unexplainable bias against it?
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