Go Back   EcoModder Forum > EcoModding > General Efficiency Discussion
Register Now
 Register Now
 

Reply  Post New Thread
 
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-15-2008, 02:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
EcoFodder
 
hvatum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 74

Jetta TDI - '00 VW Jetta
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Turtle Ethanol - why not just ride a horse?

Converting corn into Ethanol, and then burning that ethanol to power cars presents a lot of energy losses.

If we're going to be essentially running our cars on corn why not get rid of the car part and feed that same corn to a horse. Would a horse actually be a more efficient method of converting corn into transportation ability?

From college I remember animals getting about a 15% conversion efficiency of food into motive power, depending upon metabolic rate and environment. Basal metabolic rate also burns up energy, unlike a car which can be turned off, and I'm not sure what a horse's basal metabolic rate is.

But growing food, turning that food into gasoline, and then burning that gasoline in a car seems roundabout compared to nature's solution.

An amusing idea at least, something to make the corn ethanol supporters stop and think a bit perhaps.

__________________
I put the animated icon together in Photoshop, feel free to use it if you like!
  Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

   
Old 04-15-2008, 03:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
Green Rodder
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: maywood, new jersey
Posts: 28

Grease Beast - '92 Dodge D250 Standard

Econo-Beater DX - '92 Toyota Corolla DX
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Actually having is horse is a great idea. After a nuclear attack, they aren't subject to the same damage from EMPs that modern ignition cars have.

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 03:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
Batman Junior
 
MetroMPG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 21,710

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 66.29 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,442
Thanked 6,264 Times in 3,238 Posts
Speaking of horses, I came across an interesting factoid about the year the number of automobiles (in the US) overtook the number of horses (kept for riding/work). It was much later than I would have thought. Of course I can't find the reference now, but if I'm not mistaken, it was into the early 1940's.
__________________
Latest mods: 3-cylinder Mitsubishi Mirage. EcoMods now in progress...
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 03:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
EcoFodder
 
hvatum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 74

Jetta TDI - '00 VW Jetta
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
How does ethanol production compare to oil production? That stuff doesn't exactly come flying out of the ground and into your tank either.

I'm imagining doing a 700 mile trip by horse... or grocercy shopping... etc. It's not looking like an appealing alternative.
Yeah but you can't feed oil to horses. Well, you can, but the horse won't be doing too hot afterwards

Idea wasn't met to be insulting, just (I thought) an amusing observation.
__________________
I put the animated icon together in Photoshop, feel free to use it if you like!
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 04:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
EcoFodder
 
hvatum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 74

Jetta TDI - '00 VW Jetta
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Speaking of horses, I came across an interesting factoid about the year the number of automobiles (in the US) overtook the number of horses (kept for riding/work). It was much later than I would have thought. Of course I can't find the reference now, but if I'm not mistaken, it was into the early 1940's.
That sounds about right. Everyone owning cars would have been really expensive, also cars wouldn't even run on a lot of the roads out there in 1940.

At the start WW2 the Polish army's mobile assets were mostly horse based. Axis powers also employed horses, especially at the beginning of the war.

http://groups.msn.com/2NDUSCAV/ww2germancav.msnw

The Blitzkrieg actually relied to a large degree on horse transport and in some cases cavalry advances! But the actual breakthroughs did rely largely on armored divisions followed by infantry. People who claim that Blitzkrieg is a myth and that the German army was really mostly horse based don't understand Blitzkrieg. The idea of Blitzkrieg is not that your whole army speeds along, rather that you make a fast breakthrough, confuse enemy defenses, consolidate your gains with infantry then rinse and repeat.

You don't see much WW2 footage of horses though because horses were boring and mundane, not the kind of thing you want in a propaganda movie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee
No insult- question of how energy conversion for oil production vs ethanol is serious. And, I suppose, horse energy conversion as well!
None taken . If Ethanol conversion (as well as Canadian tar sands) were driven by nuclear then it would make more CO2 sense, so the source of the energy used in conversion also makes difference.
__________________
I put the animated icon together in Photoshop, feel free to use it if you like!
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 06:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
Dartmouth 2010
 
SVOboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hanover, NH
Posts: 6,427

Vegan Powa! - '91 Honda CRX DX
Team Honda
90 day: 66.52 mpg (US)
Thanks: 92
Thanked 114 Times in 82 Posts
Send a message via AIM to SVOboy Send a message via MSN to SVOboy Send a message via Yahoo to SVOboy
If we had horses, then the internet would have to morph into the pony express as it could no longer rely on trucks (but luckily, it's a series of tubes).
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 06:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
EV OR DIESEL
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 1,733

FarFarfrumpumpen - '03 Volkswagen Jetta Wagon GLS Premium

Quorra - '12 Tesla Model S P85
Thanks: 55
Thanked 99 Times in 79 Posts
Send a message via AIM to dremd
A) Horses are Expensive (not just feed, purchase it's everything else)
B) Horses are Dangerous I had my arm broken by a horse.
C) I hate horses

Sorry Guys, I just hate them,

Carry on.
__________________
2012 Tesla Model S P85
2013 Nissan LEAF SV totaled by now deceased intoxacated driver.
2012 Nissan LEAF SV
6 speed ALH TDI Swapped in to a 2003 Jetta Wagon
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 07:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
MP$
 
diesel_john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 594
Thanks: 5
Thanked 19 Times in 14 Posts
Send a message via MSN to diesel_john
Smile

Horses keep eating when they are not being used. tractors and cars are much more efficient. (quote from my 98 year young neighbor) and then there is the methane and the flies.

I did have a big pony which tried to kill me several times. Fun used to equal danger. But now fun is squeezing the most energy out of fuel.

Last edited by diesel_john; 04-15-2008 at 07:26 PM..
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 07:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
Future EV Owner
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Sussex Wisconsin
Posts: 674

Wannabe - '05 Honda Civic LX
90 day: 40.53 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by diesel_john View Post
Horses keep eating when they are not being used. tractors and cars are much more efficient. and then there is the methane.
Depends upon the cost of grass. Plus, horses don't require the same energy resources or infrastructure to produce.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 07:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
Batman Junior
 
MetroMPG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 21,710

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 53.56 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 66.29 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,442
Thanked 6,264 Times in 3,238 Posts
Oo! Way to sneak in the lifecycle cost-of-production angle.

__________________
Latest mods: 3-cylinder Mitsubishi Mirage. EcoMods now in progress...
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
  Reply With Quote
Reply  Post New Thread


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ethanol takes another hit Lazarus General Efficiency Discussion 19 05-30-2011 06:40 AM
[Article] Better Fuel Economy with Ethanol? SVOboy General Efficiency Discussion 62 04-02-2010 11:31 AM
Direct Injection Ethanol Boosting + Turbocharging Lazarus The Lounge 7 01-24-2009 04:27 PM
Ethanol kills grain food market WaxyChicken The Lounge 14 12-11-2008 10:07 PM
Newcomer - 1995 Ford Aspire Ethanol cbergeron Introductions 20 07-09-2008 11:52 PM



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com