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Old 04-26-2013, 08:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Um - how exactly is ethanol free from fossil fuels? An awful lot of diesel and natural gas goes into growing corn and distilling it and refining it into ethanol.
Not even Brazilian ethanol is fossil-free, if we consider the lube oils used in the farming machinery.

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Old 04-26-2013, 09:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
Not even Brazilian ethanol is fossil-free, if we consider the lube oils used in the farming machinery.
EVs aren't Fossil Fuel Free either.

I don't run the site and I don't set the rules. So I'm just making an observation here. We don't have a section that specifically includes Ethanol or E85. But what about Methanol, Biodiesel, or even Natural Gas? Those are all legitimate alternatives. Natural Gas is cheap and the Alcohols are considered next generation liquid fuels.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Point taken. The other point I meant to make is that E85 is still 15% gasoline.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Point taken. The other point I meant to make is that E85 is still 15% gasoline.
I covered that earlier. There was a recent rule change that changed the minimum Ethanol content from 70% to 51%. I'm watching to see how that turns out.

I would much rather that blender pumps become more common. Even one pump at every station would be better than the current situation of E10 everywhere, E0 being rare, and E85 being uncommon. Some cars or small engines don't run well on Gasohol while people like me want E85 to be available at competitive prices instead of one station dictating the price. Plus E30 is usually a better cost per mile so there's that.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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And electricity *can* come from carbon free sources.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Allch Chcar View Post
We don't have a section that specifically includes Ethanol or E85. But what about Methanol, Biodiesel, or even Natural Gas? Those are all legitimate alternatives. Natural Gas is cheap and the Alcohols are considered next generation liquid fuels.
Biodiesel is still my favorite option regarding alternative fuels. I've already used E100 and CNG before, and altough I'm not a fan of gaseous fuels CNG can be a valid option regarding fossil-free due to the use of biomethane instead of fossil Natural Gas.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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And electricity *can* come from carbon free sources.
Neil, are you familiar with the GREET results?

Forgive me if I tend to be more of a realist but carbon free doesn't do anything for me. Especially considering that in reality the vast majority of electricity is still from fossil fuel sources. Now mix hybrid engines with flexfuel and I might be more receptive. The initial cost of batteries is a huge drawback to me.

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Biodiesel is still my favorite option regarding alternative fuels. I've already used E100 and CNG before, and altough I'm not a fan of gaseous fuels CNG can be a valid option regarding fossil-free due to the use of biomethane instead of fossil Natural Gas.
My college uses biodiesel in their buses but that's as close as I've been. I'm not as big on biodiesel just because of how rooted Spark ignition engines are in American society. Diesel pumps are fairly common but biodiesel is especially rare.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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If I can suggest something to the OP (and others contemplating a conversion). My understanding is that the OEM flex fuel vehicles include a flame arrestor - fine stainless mesh across the pipe diameter - in the fuel filler neck. It might be worth fitting that as it's there for a reason. I have yet to see someone convert to E85 and state that they did include the arrestor so two things come to mind:

One is seldom fitted.

The risk associated with its absence is small.

I would still want it to be there though.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
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If I can suggest something to the OP (and others contemplating a conversion). My understanding is that the OEM flex fuel vehicles include a flame arrestor - fine stainless mesh across the pipe diameter - in the fuel filler neck. It might be worth fitting that as it's there for a reason. I have yet to see someone convert to E85 and state that they did include the arrestor so two things come to mind:

One is seldom fitted.

The risk associated with its absence is small.

I would still want it to be there though.
I hang around on a couple E85 forums and most don't even touch the fuel lines. Some people do as a preventative or for super high power but typically it's just a tune and go. I've never even heard of a flame arrestor being used, ever.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I did swap the fuel line for an alcohol resistant one, but haven't heard of a flame arrestor, will look into it.

I do wonder what about ethanol would require this while gasoline, another liquid with highly flammable vapor, does not. Still, I can't see why the many companies which make flexfuel cars would be spending the money for a piece of gear that doesn't do anything, so if you're right and this is industry standard, I'll certainly look into the reasoning.

(edit to add) here's a quote from EHow:
Quote:
Ethanol burns hotter and faster than regular gasoline, so vehicles that burn it must have more heat-resistant engines; metals in fuel lines, fuel injectors, fuel tanks, piston rings, fuel pumps and other components must be made of ethanol-compatible materials. Fueling and spark advance calibrations must be adjusted. Anti-siphon and spark arrestor features must be added to the filling spout because of ethanol's conductivity and increased flammability.
So they say the reason for the spark arrestor is that ethanol is both more conductive (more likely to generate a spark, I guess?) and more flammable.

The 1.4T engine in the Sonic was designed for E85, so I didn't have to replace most of the components they list here, the injectors I replaced because I needed a higher max volume. I did address the spark advance as part of redoing the tune to run E85.


Last edited by Swordsmith; 05-03-2013 at 02:52 PM..
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