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Mikeysbmw
04-24-2008, 01:36 PM
I fueled up and the gas station has a sign that says 10% ethanol is it every were in the USA? Also any ideas how bad it is on cars?

DSXMachina
04-24-2008, 01:45 PM
Are you sure it didn't read "...up to 10% ethanol"? Big difference.
Ethanol, up to 10%, is not harmful to cars. It is harmful to mileage.

Billd104
04-24-2008, 01:46 PM
This topic has been discussed at great length in many different threads here, you may want to search to find you answers.

Starab
04-24-2008, 05:18 PM
Ethanol, up to 10%, is not harmful to cars. It is harmful to mileage.

Ethanol is from corn > bad for everyone(less corn for groceries)..............
Even bad for cars( engines not designed for ethanol), mpg, maintenence,.......
No evidence of Air quality improvement, we still depend on foreign oil and high gas prices.

Good for Politicians, CEOs, and lobbyists(connected with corn fields and Ethanol)

bfdrise
04-24-2008, 08:58 PM
Agree with Starab - BTW ever wonder about how to create fertilizer for corn? you need oil....

ua549
04-25-2008, 08:08 AM
The corn used in the production of ethanol is feed corn - the top of the kernel is dimpled, not raised. It is not the type of corn we buy at the grocery stores.

That said, the farm acreage planted for each crop is changing. Farmers are planting more feed corn, less soy beans and other crops.
Ethanol should be produced from non-edible plant material and other biomass.

Biodiesel could be a solution, but only if made from used vegetable oil.
Using new vegetable oil creates the same issues as ethanol made from corn.

MMME30W
05-24-2008, 05:16 PM
I saw one of these "up to 10% ethanol" signs at my local fill-up (Costco) the other day. I swear I have not seen that little placard before.

Coincidentally, the last 4 tanks have seen a slight reduction in fuel mileage on my on-board computer. I drive virtually the same run each day, and with virtually the same driving habits.

My OBC has gone from about 25.5 down to 24.8 at the moment.

Related?

I filled up at a local Shell station today; I'm going to go back to top quality non-Costco (e.g. Shell, Chevron, etc.) and see what happens... :eeps:

AzNMpower32
05-24-2008, 06:37 PM
I have no choice, since all petrol stations in the area have the 10% sticker. But why do I have the feeling they're sneaking in a bit more than 10% ethanol...............

mdsbuc
05-25-2008, 04:39 PM
These labels (up to 10% Ethanol) are now popping up all over the place in the Tampa Bay area. Even the top tier gases have got the sticker. So not only is the price going up, the mpg provided by the fuel is going down. This really sucks.

LouT
05-25-2008, 07:18 PM
I saw one of these "up to 10% ethanol" signs at my local fill-up (Costco) the other day. I swear I have not seen that little placard before.


The State of Oregon has mandated 10 per cent ethanol blend. Our dear gov is trying to single handedly save the planet at our (the good citizens of OR) expense!

No one has mentioned and you all probably know, but your BMWs can handle up to e10.

scottvlaiku
05-25-2008, 07:21 PM
Here in Wisconsin, Ethanol is everywhere. e85 is huge here (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline). Every gas station you go to, the gas contains up to 10% ethanol. It is a hige ripoff, because the gas costs the same as gas that doesnt contain ethanol, and you get worse gas mileage. It is frustrating.

ua549
05-26-2008, 05:59 AM
The EPA set nationwide rules for the use of Ethanol effective 1 May 2008. IIRC they require at least 7.76% ethanol.

Faucker
05-26-2008, 07:58 AM
We don't see much ethanol here in Ontario but it is coming. I think there's other plants that get a better yield per crop to isn't there? Why are they stuck on corn.

iversonm
05-26-2008, 08:06 AM
The ethanol mandates have more to do with the elimination of the oxygenate MTBE than it does with reduced use of foreign oil. The elimination of MTBE is a good thing; it is detrimental to both public health and the environment.

While ethanol from food or feed crops is a bad idea, ethanol itself is not.

Ethanol from cellulose is probably the most viable alternate energy proposal there is today.

Fulltone74
05-26-2008, 08:22 AM
Ethanol from cellulose is probably the most viable alternate energy proposal there is today.

It doesn't matter where the ethanol comes from -- whether by cellulose or by corn. The ethanol derived is chemically the same once the process is complete. A 10% mix, no matter how derived, is still going to cause mileage to drop by 10%.
So the net in the end is ZERO change in oil dependency, all else being equal.

Ethanol is a BIG LIE.
Follow the money. It is for the benefit of the corn farmers and commodities traders.
For modern cars, it makes NO appreciable difference in emissions that are actually HARMFUL -- (i.e. HC, CO, NoX, etc. ).

Faucker
05-26-2008, 08:48 AM
Fulltone74 I think your right. It does come down to money and they're squeezing every bit they can out of it. Next will be the hydrogen scam.

eazy
05-26-2008, 09:01 AM
Ethanol as a whole is not the problem but corn base ethanol is. Corn base ethanol is very inefficient and destroying the ecosystem in the gulf coast http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0310-ethanol.html I really hate corn lobbyist first they make us fat with high fuctose corn syrup and now they giving us an inefficient sorce of biofuels which gives it a bad name.

I do not have a problem with cellulose or algae base ethanol

Pinecone
05-27-2008, 05:42 AM
10% ethanol will NOT reduce your fuel mileage by 10%. It still burns and makes energy, so you will be a few % decrease.

And yes, ethanol is a big lie, in too many ways to point out.

jesimmons
05-27-2008, 09:12 AM
Ethanol as a whole is not the problem but corn base ethanol is. Corn base ethanol is very inefficient and destroying the ecosystem in the gulf coast http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0310-ethanol.html I really hate corn lobbyist first they make us fat with high fuctose corn syrup and now they giving us an inefficient sorce of biofuels which gives it a bad name.

I do not have a problem with cellulose or algae base ethanol

++1 Corn should be used for livestock feed and food (Oh...and don't forget my occasional sip of Jack Black :) ) Ethanol should come from non-food sources - switch grass being a promising possibility. Its a weed, needs no fertilizer, minimal water, grows well where other crops won't.

MangoMan305
05-28-2008, 04:57 PM
Damn I havnt noticed any gas stations around where I live with that sticker, I'd better keep an eye out for them!

Dammmittt
05-28-2008, 08:48 PM
10% ethanol will NOT reduce your fuel mileage by 10%. It still burns and makes energy, so you will be a few % decrease.

And yes, ethanol is a big lie, in too many ways to point out.

I disagree. Ethanol is the best alternative fuel source there is for too many ways to point out. 10% ethanol isn't going to be enough...and neither is E85. If the US is serious about this we need to go to 100% ethanol and give OPEC the :fingers:

CTBimmerGuy
05-28-2008, 11:50 PM
When you take everything into account including the fuel the farmers use to harrow and plant, fertilize and harvest the corn, process at the ethanol plant, ship from plant to refineries, blend with gas, truck from refinery to gas station there is more energy used to create the ethanol than the ethanol produces.

Other problems too including the fact that live stock farmers have to pay substantially more for feed corn which is a big part of the reason why the cost of beef and other meat products are rising out of sight.

Too many negatives to mention in detail as others have said and there isn't enough plantable land mass in the U.S. to grow enough corn to put a dent in our oil dependency problem and if we choose to use our land to grow our fuel we won't be able to grow our food and we'll starve ourselves and every other country that currently depends on the U.S. for food.

There are some very practical ways the U.S. could conserve oil, supply more of its own domestic oil and encourage the widespread implementation of alternative energy solutions. Corn as fuel is one of the worst energy ideas in a long time and the longer this goes on the more obvious this hoax will become to everybody.

Starab
05-29-2008, 03:23 PM
[QUOTE=Pinecone;3281522]
10% ethanol will NOT reduce your fuel mileage by 10%. It still burns and makes energy, so you will be a few % decrease.[QUOTE]

It does drop significantly,
My MDX average was 22/23 MPG without ethanol, Now It is 18/19 MPG with Ethanol
Gets worse in winter as ethanol is BAD in winter

Starab
05-29-2008, 03:30 PM
Ethanol is the best alternative fuel source there is for too many ways to point out.
If the US is serious about this we need to go to 100% ethanol and give OPEC the :fingers:

Gas/Diesel with Electric/Battery is the BEST.
US has oil reserves and technology for alternative fuel.
You can go with 100% ethanol and fill the tank everyday, Good Luck

Pinecone
05-29-2008, 07:53 PM
[QUOTE=Pinecone;3281522]
10% ethanol will NOT reduce your fuel mileage by 10%. It still burns and makes energy, so you will be a few % decrease.[QUOTE]

It does drop significantly,
My MDX average was 22/23 MPG without ethanol, Now It is 18/19 MPG with Ethanol
Gets worse in winter as ethanol is BAD in winter

Think about it. If 10% ethanol dropped your mileage by 10% it would mean that the ethanol supplied NO fuel/energy. If ethanol has 50% less energy per gallon, your mileage would drop by 5%.

And why would ethanol give less mileage in the winter? That used to happen because of changes in the amount of MTBE in the fuel during winter.

Also, ethanol is replacing MTBE in fuels, which already reduced gas mileage over previous blends.

Might want to put in a new air filter and check your tire pressures.

Pinecone
05-29-2008, 07:57 PM
Ethanol requires more energy to produce than you get out of it. Ethanol depletes the soil as you grow whatever it is to produce it. Recent info I saw is that Brazil is going to be in BIG trouble in afew years. Ethanol takes productive land to growth the raw materials. Brazil is chopping down rainforests to make space to grow sugar cane to make ethanol. Cutting down rain forests decreases the ability of the earth ot convert CO2 into oxygen. So a loose/loose situation.

Batteries require mining of various exotic metals. Mining, processing and manufacturing batteries take energy. And recycling takes energy again. Net? Not that great.

Hydrogen, not an energy source, as you have to make it. It is an energy transfer medium.

Starab
05-30-2008, 04:16 AM
[QUOTE=Starab;3289304][QUOTE=Pinecone;3281522]
If 10% ethanol dropped your mileage by 10% it would mean that the ethanol supplied NO fuel/energy. If ethanol has 50% less energy per gallon, your mileage would drop by 5%.
Also, ethanol is replacing MTBE in fuels, which already reduced gas mileage over previous blends.

Might want to put in a new air filter and check your tire pressures.

I always get my MDX serviced at a reputable DEALERSHIP and follow recommendations.
I fill my BMW /MDX tires with NITROGEN that was also checked last week.

Ethanol should not be made mandatory, but it should come with incentives(as in Europe with Diesel). It is a free country and people have the right to use any fuel /car as long as it does not harm other people. No evidence that Ethanol is making difference in air quality or making difference in dependence of oil from other countries except effecting the consumers.

jesimmons
05-30-2008, 03:47 PM
[QUOTE=Starab;3289304][QUOTE=Pinecone;3281522]
10% ethanol will NOT reduce your fuel mileage by 10%. It still burns and makes energy, so you will be a few % decrease.

Think about it. If 10% ethanol dropped your mileage by 10% it would mean that the ethanol supplied NO fuel/energy. If ethanol has 50% less energy per gallon, your mileage would drop by 5%.


A gallon of gasoline contains 116,090 BTUs of energy. A gallon of ethanol has 76,000 BTUs. So a mixture containing 90% gas / 10% Ethanol will have 112,081 BTU's. That's 96.5% the BTU's of pure gas - a reduction of 3.5%. So all other things being equal, the milage on 10% ethanol blend should drop by about 3.5%.

If you get 22 MPG on pure gas, you should get no less than 21 MPG. If you are getting less, then other factors are involved - perhaps the engine management system believes the octane is lower and retards timing (thus reducing mileage). Who knows. :dunno:

My 535i is running on 91 octane ethanol blend and I'm averaging 24.5 MPG. I cannot find 100% gasoline in my area, so I have no way to compare.

Dammmittt
05-30-2008, 04:12 PM
Ethanol can be made from any plant material that has cellulose in it, so I'm sure that devoting lots of land to produce ethanol bearing crops is one way to do it, but used/unwanted plant material can also be recycled into ethanol. Granted I have no clue about the volumes needed to sustain the country and the ability for us to convert crops and wasted plant material into ethanol, but I'm sure some mixture of dedicated fields and recycling would be a better solution.

Also gasoline engines can be converted to run on 100% ethanol, and it requires truckers to move...as far as hydrogen and electric goes, no trucks, which means angry teamsters...good luck getting that to fly in the US.

I think biofuels are the way to go for the near future anyway, we have to get away from petroleum based fuels, and we need to keep the teamsters happy.

djfitter
05-30-2008, 04:27 PM
[QUOTE=Pinecone;3290030][QUOTE=Starab;3289304]


A gallon of gasoline contains 116,090 BTUs of energy. A gallon of ethanol has 76,000 BTUs. So a mixture containing 90% gas / 10% Ethanol will have 112,081 BTU's. That's 96.5% the BTU's of pure gas - a reduction of 3.5%. So all other things being equal, the milage on 10% ethanol blend should drop by about 3.5%.

If you get 22 MPG on pure gas, you should get no less than 21 MPG. If you are getting less, then other factors are involved - perhaps the engine management system believes the octane is lower and retards timing (thus reducing mileage). Who knows. :dunno:

My 535i is running on 91 octane ethanol blend and I'm averaging 24.5 MPG. I cannot find 100% gasoline in my area, so I have no way to compare.

Can't argue with that. And very well said I might add. :thumbup:

dj

tmba2002
05-30-2008, 04:32 PM
Ethanol derived from corn should only be sipped from your best canning jar and not wasted in your gas tank. We can derive all the ethanol we could ever use from waste cellulose.

And as everyone else has said, they are replacing MTBE with ethanol. You should not notice any difference in mileage, as MTBE lowers your gas mileage about the same as ethanol does.

Pinecone
06-05-2008, 12:30 PM
[QUOTE=Pinecone;3290030][QUOTE=Starab;3289304]


A gallon of gasoline contains 116,090 BTUs of energy. A gallon of ethanol has 76,000 BTUs. So a mixture containing 90% gas / 10% Ethanol will have 112,081 BTU's. That's 96.5% the BTU's of pure gas - a reduction of 3.5%. So all other things being equal, the milage on 10% ethanol blend should drop by about 3.5%.

If you get 22 MPG on pure gas, you should get no less than 21 MPG. If you are getting less, then other factors are involved - perhaps the engine management system believes the octane is lower and retards timing (thus reducing mileage). Who knows. :dunno:

My 535i is running on 91 octane ethanol blend and I'm averaging 24.5 MPG. I cannot find 100% gasoline in my area, so I have no way to compare.

Exactly. To get a 10% reduction in mileage on a 90% gasoline blend would mean the blending agent had ZERO BTU value. :)

Billd104
06-05-2008, 12:33 PM
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=149234&stc=1&d=1212694387

Pinecone
06-05-2008, 12:36 PM
Ethanol can be made from any plant material that has cellulose in it, so I'm sure that devoting lots of land to produce ethanol bearing crops is one way to do it, but used/unwanted plant material can also be recycled into ethanol. Granted I have no clue about the volumes needed to sustain the country and the ability for us to convert crops and wasted plant material into ethanol, but I'm sure some mixture of dedicated fields and recycling would be a better solution.

Also gasoline engines can be converted to run on 100% ethanol, and it requires truckers to move...as far as hydrogen and electric goes, no trucks, which means angry teamsters...good luck getting that to fly in the US.

I think biofuels are the way to go for the near future anyway, we have to get away from petroleum based fuels, and we need to keep the teamsters happy.

It is harder to make ethanol from cellulose versus starch, as you have to do an extra step in digesting the cellulose.

Bio based fuels, IMO, are not the answer as they reduce the ability to grow food. Thus raising the price of food. The current stated goal is to double ethanol production for fuel by 2010 or 2012. Doing so will replace a whopping 4% of our fuel needs. And since we are well away from that goal and already seeing both ethanol and food prices going up significantly, think about increasing ethanol production 25 times. And don't forget, lower fuel mileage with ethanol, so you have to increase production it in excess of the quantity of gasoline we are using.

Add to that that overall ethanol production is an energy loss, especially if you use harder to process cellulose base material, it is hard to see where this would do ANY good.

SC4ME
06-07-2008, 04:40 PM
Hydrogen, not an energy source, as you have to make it. It is an energy transfer medium.

Using that logic, everything is just an energy transfer medium except for sunlight (the main source of energy for the earth). Oil is just millions of years of sunlight energy concentrated down. So the best energy source would be electricity derived from photovoltaic with no by products.

Hydrogen is a good medium as burning it (or using in a fuel cell) produces water, a good waste product, no?:thumbup:

Dammmittt
06-07-2008, 06:38 PM
It is harder to make ethanol from cellulose versus starch, as you have to do an extra step in digesting the cellulose.

Bio based fuels, IMO, are not the answer as they reduce the ability to grow food. Thus raising the price of food. The current stated goal is to double ethanol production for fuel by 2010 or 2012. Doing so will replace a whopping 4% of our fuel needs. And since we are well away from that goal and already seeing both ethanol and food prices going up significantly, think about increasing ethanol production 25 times. And don't forget, lower fuel mileage with ethanol, so you have to increase production it in excess of the quantity of gasoline we are using.

Add to that that overall ethanol production is an energy loss, especially if you use harder to process cellulose base material, it is hard to see where this would do ANY good.

If Indy Cars run off it, the energy loss can't be that horrible.

Alex_Lounsbury
06-10-2008, 09:10 AM
If Indy Cars run off it, the energy loss can't be that horrible.


I believe Indy cars blend it. They use it for the higher octane rating, so they can run higher compression and or boost. And as described about ethanol has about 1/3 less the energy. So they compensate by adding 30% more ethanol to make a richer air/fuel ratio. Not something your ecu is going to figure out for you...

djfitter
06-10-2008, 10:22 AM
I believe Indy cars blend it. They use it for the higher octane rating, so they can run higher compression and or boost. And as described about ethanol has about 1/3 less the energy. So they compensate by adding 30% more ethanol to make a richer air/fuel ratio. Not something your ecu is going to figure out for you...

The blend is a little higher than that. As per Wikipedia...

In 2005, driver Paul Dana brought the sponsorship of a consortium of ethanol producers to the IRL. For the 2006 season the fuel was a 90%/10% mixture of methanol and ethanol. In 2007, the League advertised "100% Ethanol" but in reality it was 98% ethanol -- the remaining 2% in the fuel is gasoline, which satisfies the US Government's demand that the alcohol be unfit for human consumption.

dj

Pinecone
06-19-2008, 01:23 PM
Using that logic, everything is just an energy transfer medium except for sunlight (the main source of energy for the earth). Oil is just millions of years of sunlight energy concentrated down. So the best energy source would be electricity derived from photovoltaic with no by products.

Hydrogen is a good medium as burning it (or using in a fuel cell) produces water, a good waste product, no?:thumbup:

Ture, but you can't drill or mine hydrogen, you have to "make" it which takes energy TODAY, not millions of years ago. And since most hydrogen is made using electricity and electricity is made burning fossil fuels, why convert?

Pinecone
06-19-2008, 01:24 PM
If Indy Cars run off it, the energy loss can't be that horrible.

Indy cars don't worry about fuel mileage. There is less energy per gallon of alcohol than in gasoline.

invariant
06-19-2008, 03:02 PM
[QUOTE=Pinecone;3290030][QUOTE=Starab;3289304]
A gallon of gasoline contains 116,090 BTUs of energy. A gallon of ethanol has 76,000 BTUs. So a mixture containing 90% gas / 10% Ethanol will have 112,081 BTU's. That's 96.5% the BTU's of pure gas - a reduction of 3.5%. So all other things being equal, the milage on 10% ethanol blend should drop by about 3.5%.


Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Regular gasoline has equal or slightly higher energy content than premium gas, but fuel economy in your car will be better with premium. Why? Because timing cannot be advanced as much with the regular gas, which lowers fuel economy. Same with ethanol: it has lower octane number IIRC, thus your timing will need to be retarded, or the ethanol has to be mixed with a higher octane gas to maintain the required octane number of the mixture.

SC4ME
06-19-2008, 09:07 PM
Ture, but you can't drill or mine hydrogen, you have to "make" it which takes energy TODAY, not millions of years ago. And since most hydrogen is made using electricity and electricity is made burning fossil fuels, why convert?

True, but photovoltaics are great at making electricity (except for battery life and capacity not a bad energy source) but it is wonderful at performing hydrolysis that turns water into hydrogen and oxygen. There is the inevitable loss of energy (inefficiencies) every time you convert from one to the other, but sunlight is pretty cheap and plentiful in certain areas. But probably not the holy grail energy source with current technologies.

Right now, it will be a combination of various sources that will enable us to get off of oil and eventually technology will catch up and sunlight or fusion will probably be the final solution due to availability and minor byproducts.

Yshen
06-23-2008, 09:10 PM
honestly though, if NA is very serious about fuel economy and the environment, forcing everyone to buy the smart car is the best way to go. but even communist countries aren't crazy enough to force such an insane law

mjpmia
06-24-2008, 09:01 AM
Ethanol requires more energy to produce than you get out of it. Ethanol depletes the soil as you grow whatever it is to produce it. Recent info I saw is that Brazil is going to be in BIG trouble in afew years. Ethanol takes productive land to growth the raw materials. Brazil is chopping down rainforests to make space to grow sugar cane to make ethanol. Cutting down rain forests decreases the ability of the earth ot convert CO2 into oxygen. So a loose/loose situation.

Not sure about lose/lose situation. Increases in CO2 have shown to increase the plant life on the planet. Even with the cutting down of rain forrests, there is more plant life today then there was 20 years. This is due to the increase of CO2 in the atmorsphere which is needed by plants for photosynthesis. The oceans also absorb/release CO2 based on the increase/decrease of temperatutre in atmosphere. As the earth warmed in late 80's and 90's due to the increase in sun spots, levels of CO2 increased from the warming of the oceans. As CO2 increased in the 90's, plant life and preciptation both increased, making the earth greener. As the greening of the earth continued into 2000's, the sun spots dissipated causing the tempratures to cool. The oceans have also cooled and CO2 is starting to be absorbed by the coeans. In a few years, we will have colled enough that the oceans will absorb enough enough CO2 to offset the increases in 80's and 90's. Plant life will start to decrease due to the redcued amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the cycle will start again.

Finally, CO2 accounts for less than .038% of the air particles in our atmosphere. The slight changes in CO2 has minimal effect on the atmsopheric conditions compared to the effects of sun spots, the subsequent natural warming and cooling of the oceans, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and forrest fires. The concern with CO2 is a farce.

valeram
06-24-2008, 11:04 AM
I just read a news article yesterday that corn based ethanol will produce power of less than 2 units per one unit of power for processing. While sugar cane based ethanol got a ratio of 8:1. The article mentioned that everything is political and a lot of lobbying from corn producing states and ethanol refineries.

options
06-26-2008, 06:23 AM
Just a heads up but Ethanols days are numbered. The whole Ethanol strategy has blown up in their faces as its taking food off tables. Also a gallon of Ethanol produces only 85% of the horsepower of a gallon of gasoline so where's the logic there?

Ethanol is also highly corrosive and one of the reasons why they cannot ship it via pipelines, so one can only wonder what damage its doing to our engines over the long run?

Currently Ethanol plants are facing voluntary or involuntary bankruptcy so again its days are numbered.

Tym
06-26-2008, 07:29 AM
Older Boat owners are the ones who really got screwed with this new 10% ethanol chit, i live next to a boat yard, quite a few fiberglass tanks dint mix well and caused havoc of biblical proportions..

As far as alternatives, i have some old scuba tanks laying around, hmmmm...

http://www.theaircar.com/acf/imagenes/t_articulo_coche_aire.jpg

:)