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Old 02-07-2012, 05:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Is it still progress?

I had this thought today;

Suppose I have a car that gets 15 miles per gallon of gasoline.

I trade that in for one that gets 30 miles per gallon of gasoline.

But then I switch from using gasoline, to using E85 ethanol.

I lose 10-15% mileage, yet I'm still getting higher mileage per gallon of fuel that I was with the old car.


The question: Is this still considered progress?

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Old 02-07-2012, 02:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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yes. First, it's way better than 15. 2nd, it's an alternative to gasoline. There are multiple sources of ethanol. Not just corn.
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arctic Fox View Post
Suppose I have a car that gets 15 miles per gallon of gasoline.
I trade that in for one that gets 30 miles per gallon of gasoline.
Meaning you have halved your fuel use - given you'd drive it the same distance.

Quote:
But then I switch from using gasoline, to using E85 ethanol.
I lose 10-15% mileage, yet I'm still getting higher mileage per gallon of fuel that I was with the old car.
If the 15 mpg is 100%, the 30mpg car is at 50% , but by using E85 you'd then get back up to 55% - 57.5% fuel wise.

Quote:
The question: Is this still considered progress?
With ethanol from renewable sources, it surely is.

There's only 15% gas in E85, so you've reduced your gas-use to 8.25 to 8.6 % of what you used with the 15mpg guzzler.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If I have a truck that gets 17, mod it so it gets 7, then mod it again so it gets 9, is that progress?
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arctic Fox View Post
The question: Is this still considered progress?
I'd say so. Your are certainly using a ton less gas. You may or may not be more energy (and CO2 footprint) efficient overall, depending upon how the ethanol is made. This is where the GREET tables come into play.

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Going from using 1 gallon of petro for 15 miles, to using (assume 30 mpg E85 so math is easier) .075 of a gallon of petro for the same 15 miles, winter blend of E70 would use 0.15 gallons of petrol.

Check out the Buick Regal Turbo, one claim of 5-8% MPG drop using E85. I saw somewhere a claim of equal MPG on it yesterday, never heard of it till yesterday. Too pricey for me, but I think the techonology will work down to the Cruze. (EPA rating are the nomal 1/3 third off).

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Old 02-07-2012, 09:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you consider it progress to switch to a more costly fuel that delivers less performance, then you have answered your own question.

My definition of progress includes concepts such as lower cost, higher performance, and with respect to the environment, benefits which are proven and highly predictable.

Ethanol will not be fueling our vehicles 30 years from now. It is not the fuel of the future. It will be fueling people for many years though, and I'm saddened that I cannot purchase it so cheap for bodily consumption.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My thoughts on ethanol;

~The cost of E85 could be $1 less if the special tax was removed from it. Locally it was 50 cheaper per gallon (than 93 gasoline) a few years ago.

~I'd rather have switchgrass- or sugarcane-based fuel than corn. Brazil's been using it for years.

~Alibaba and Habib don't control it.

~I could make it myself if I needed to. (same with biodiesel)

~It's renewable, sustainable, a multipurpose fuel.

~Imagine keeping the US fuel production AND consumption on this side of the planet. CA/US/MX all sharing energy independence. A meteorite can crash down on an oil pipeline in Iprakistania and no one here would have to take a bus to work because of fuel prices jumping $2 overnight. lol


Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5
Ethanol will not be fueling our vehicles 30 years from now. It is not the fuel of the future.
Personally, I think Hydrogen would be considered my "perfect" future fuel, but until that technology catches up with the small space in my car, I need to make what adjustments I can to remove 'oil' out of my equations. I just was wondering if taking a step backwards (efficiency) for three steps forward for oil dependency / environmental awareness / renewable options, was accepted by those here who may think the same way as myself.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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People always get so hung up that Ethanol reduces MPG, but the fuel has less energy in it so who cares if you use more volume, you are still using approximately the same energy content..
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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People always get so hung up that Ethanol reduces MPG, but the fuel has less energy in it so who cares if you use more volume, you are still using approximately the same energy content..
And part of that energy content can be grown right next door by farmer Joe.
There's the real benefit of E85.
Unfortunately, Joe and Uncle Sam decided to produce ethanol from corn.

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