IMBC 2011: Ethanol is here to stay

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Gasoline mixed with 10 percent ethanol is here. Gasoline mixed with 15 percent ethanol is coming soon. Gasoline mixed with even more ethanol is almost certainly in the future, so the marine industry might as well adapt to it.

That was the consensus of a panel on ethanol and biofuel Thursday afternoon at the International Marina & Boatyard Conference in Fort Lauderdale. “The marine industry needs to adapt to these renewable fuels,” said Jerry Nessenson, president of ValvTect Petroleum Products, which makes gasoline additives.

On Jan. 21 the Environmental Protection Agency expanded its ethanol rule, allowing the use of 15 percent ethanol mixes in cars, SUVs and light trucks. The new rule excludes motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles and non-road engines, including boat engines, which now use E10, but Nessenson says E10 will become increasingly difficult to find because the marine market consumes less than 1 percent of the nation’s fuel.

He said a combination of additives, proper fuel system maintenance, preventive service and consumer education can ease the way to marine use of higher ethanol blends. “Ethanol is here to stay,” he said.

The Ethanol Security Act of 2007, which is intended to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil, mandates a gradual changeover to renewable fuels through 2022, which will require the use of increasingly higher mixes of ethanol in gasoline, Nessenson said.

“Refiners need to go from 10 percent to 15 percent ethanol,” and will have to go to even higher mixes in the future, he said.

“They’re going to keep adding ethanol,” said moderator and independent consultant Tom Delotto. “That’s just part of the future.”

Frank Kelley, a fuels and lubricants specialist at Mercury Marine, said E15 actually inhibits phase separation, produces less vapor pressure than lower ethanol blends and only slightly affects fuel compatibility with components such as hoses. He said the main problem with E15 is that it tends to run leaner in the open-loop fuel systems used in most marine engines and produce higher exhaust temperatures that could damage the engine, although that hasn’t been established yet.

The conference continues today at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

— Jim Flannery

This article was corrected to reflect Tom Delotto’s current position.

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Comments

22 comments on “IMBC 2011: Ethanol is here to stay

  1. Florida Patriot

    If you think there is only 10% ethanol in your gas now and there will only be 15% in the future, think again. Just down the street from our dealership is a lawn mower shop who was getting “bad” gas in their shop tanks down the street from them at a “name brand” gas station. They supected the ethanol content was the culprit, so they ordered some ethanol test kits off the internet and over the next 6 months randomely tested samples from this gas station. Guess what, they found a 10% to 25% ethanol content in the gas. No wonder they were having proiblems with their shop tanks. This stuff is added at the tank farms when the delivery tankers fill up with gas. The states are broke and the dept. of Agriculture does not have enough man power to go around and test every station selling gas, so it is like the wild west. Companies are adding as much ethanol as they can get away with to increase profits while killing the fuel economy in our trucks and costing us millions in added maintenance and repairs. The whole ethanol thing is a crock. The only folks benafitting from it are the big corporate farming outfits and companies like Monsanto.

  2. Thom Dammrich

    Jerry, I am not as pessimistic about the future outlook for ethanol in our gasoline as you are.  Ethanol has been exposed for the total scam it is.  It is less efficient than gasoline, more polluting than gasoline, leads to rising food prices, and I could go on and on.  There is a very large and diverse coalition fighting the EPA and Growth Energy’s efforts to increase ethanol in our gasoline, that includes NMMA, petroleum companies, food and grocery groups, and environmental groups.    Even Al Gore has come out and said he was wrong on ethanol and that he now believes it is bad for our environment.  The momentum is shifting against ethanol.  NMMA has joined three other associations in filing a lawsuit challenging the legality of the EPA’s partial waiver for ethanol.  If we accept it, surely it will happen.  If we all work to educate the public, Congress and the adminstration about how bad ethanol is, we can change the future.

  3. mm1e6

    Horray! The industry is finally getting the message. We truly need to stop with the griping and look to the capabilities we have, and look farther down the road than the next requirement.
    Bigger and bigger CI displacement is not the answer either. It’s time to look and changing the way IC engines are designed and run. With the advent of computer controlled technology we can change the parameters at which engines operate while still maintaining air quality. Changing the program in todays computer control systems allows us to compensate for much of the existing ethanol problem. Secondary problems with periferals are easily addressed if you know how and understand the fuel composition.
    A few things are key here.
    1. Get away from the old open fuel system.2. Understand the dynamics of satuation (combined fuels) and its effects.3. Address the presence of free radicals in current fuel production technology.4. Learn how to use separation and filter devices properly.5. Understand the dynamics of slow dispersion in fuel storage.6. Understand the need for proper routine maintenance.
    With regard to current technoloy and even older systems, it would have been better all around if the above points were carefully and properly considered in the first place.
    So what does this mean? The old curves, originally designed around a 140 Octane model need to go away, blending should have started at 22.5%, Engine component design in small engines (<12L) should have addressed multi and blended fuels earlier.
    Can it be done? Yes! Will it get done? Hopefully so.

  4. cptkman

    Don’t just roll over for another government mandated requirement that is supposed to be better for us.  Corn based ethanol is not the answer, and just adapting to this misdirected “aid” to the environment is wrong.  Sure, as mm1e6 mentioned, we can do all sorts of things to “survive” U.S. made ethanol, but why should the public be required to shoulder all of the added expense just because the misguided EPA and it’s political allies from the corn belt say we should.  I hope those who have filed suit continue their case until the full and true facts are brought to light and that intelligent people make the right decisions.

  5. Jim W.

    The biggest losers in all of this are all of us that own boats & vehicles made before 2007.  If the EPA et al is going to mandate the use of ethanol in gasoline, they need to mandate that the fuel industry add sufficient additives to keep fuel stable and prevent damage to fuel system components in older equipment.  There are millions of cars & boats out there built for regular leaded or unleaded gasoline.
    It’s absurd that fuel is mandated to be so unstable that it goes bad in 90 days.  A small boat can hold 100 gallons easily and even if you use your boat regularly but not daily, you can never remove 100% of the old gas. 
    I guess we are just supposed to scrap our older stuff & buy new.  Fine for millionaires but not for the average family trying to put kids through school & save for retirement.  (Oh, and have just a little fun too.)

  6. George in PA

    mm1e6 has one element right in his doctoral thesis; “3. Address the presence of free radicals in current fuel production technology.” — no kidding, but by what definition?
    Dammrich has it all rightly defined.
    This is a hoax orchestrated by the highly government subsidized junk science crowd having the environmentalist whacko’s carry their water. Who benefits but the agricultural lobby.  Legislators love this stuff and the consumer gets screwed.

  7. Florida Patriot

    I have read all these comments and with the exception of Thom, all who comented have shown that they are part of the problem and not part of the solution. When will the general public say enough is enough. When will most Americans realize the government is out of control. Why do most of you all continue to be sheep? When will you finally put your foot down and say ENOUGH ALREADY!
    Judging by your comments, you should read the following story that was sent to me by a friend earlier this week.
    Will this be your future?
    “Winston, come into the dining room, it’s time to eat,” Julia yelled to herhusband. “In a minute, honey, it’s a tie score,” he answered. ActuallyWinston wasn’t very interested in the traditional holiday football gamebetween Detroit and Washington. Ever since the government passed theCivility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its“unseemly violence” and the “bad example it sets for the rest of the world,”Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touchwasn’t nearly as exciting.
    Yet it wasn’t the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more thethought of eating another TofuTurkey.
    Even though it was the best type of VeggieMeat available after thegovernment revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to thelist of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes,cranberry sauce and mince-meat pie), it wasn’t anything like real turkey.And ever since the government officially changed the name of “ThanksgivingDay” to “A National Day of Atonement” in 2020 to officially acknowledge thePilgrims’ historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday hadlost a lot of its luster.
    Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam ofgovernment-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the TofuTurkey look evenweirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold. Ever sinceCongress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating allthermostats—which were monitored and controlled by the electric company—bekept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barelytolerable throughout the entire winter.
    Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of thefamily. Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she hadused up her legal allotment of live-saving medical treatment. He had hadmany heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned whenthe private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forcedinto the government health care program. And though he demanded she be kepton her treatment, it was a futile effort. “The RHC’s resources arelimited,” explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on thephone. “Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled.I’m sorry for your loss.”
    Ed couldn’t make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric carlast night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021outlawed the use of the combustion engines—for everyone but governmentofficials. The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Eddidn’t want to spend a frosty night on the road somewhere between here andthere.
    Thankfully, Winston’s brother, John, and his wife were flying in. Winstonmade sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the occasion.No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soonafter the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severelyaggravated his hemorrhoids. Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled acavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added“inconvenience” was an “absolute necessity” in order to stay “one step aheadof the terrorists.” Winston’s own body had grown accustomed to such probingever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere acrowd gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2022. That law made it a crime tosingle out any group or individual for “unequal scrutiny,” even whenprobable cause was involved. Thus, cavity searches at malls, trainstations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine. Almost.
    The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect aCourt composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the lawintact. “A living Constitution is extremely flexible,” said the Court’seldest member, Elena Kagan. “Europe has had laws like this one for years.We should learn from their example,” she added.
    Winston’s thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly wellwith his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him.Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone atany time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real confrontation hadoccurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that wasall he could afford. She whined for a week, but got over it.
    His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether.. Perhaps it wasthe constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, thebird flu, terrorism or any of a number of other calamities were “just aroundthe corner,” but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude thatranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility. It didn’t helpthat Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette inthe house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018,which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being.Winston paid the $5000 fine, which might have been considered excessivebefore the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13.The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiatedwas, once again, to “spur economic growth.” This time they promised to pushunemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was notparticularly hopeful.
    Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, beforeremembering it was a Day of Atonement. At least he had his memories. Hefelt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know whatlife was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to makelife “fair for everyone” realized their full potential. Winston, like somany of his fellow Americans, never realized how much things could changewhen they didn’t happen all at once, but little by little, so people couldget used to them.
    He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while therewas still time, maybe back around 2010, when all the real nonsense began.“Maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today if we’d just said ‘enough isenough’ when we had the chance,” he thought.
    Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so. 

  8. Tom Delotto, CMM

    I was the moderator of this 2001 Ethanol Seminar at IMBC and would ask Soundings to make a correction as I AM NO LONGER affiliated with Island Global Yachting.  I work as an independant consultant in the marina and yacht service business out of Newport RI.
    I am trained as a service technician as well as a CMM and can only hope and support Thom Dammrich and the NMMA in their battle over Ethanol as I have seen first hand what is happening to customers equipment.  My position during the seminar was that we have to work with the cards we are currently being dealt – dont have to like them but do have to play the hand.  Making our customers aware of steps they can take to reduce the impacts – use fuel additives and stabliziers with all fuel loads you take, make sure you have the best filtration available installed and have them serviced often, be aware of the condition of fuel lines and your equipment – are all steps our boaters must be made aware of.  Marina operators MUST recognize that simply taking fuel drops as we did in the past with no real management of that product is SUICIDE.  Watch the drops, check your tanks for water both with electronic monitors and the old fashioned stick and litmus paste, change your dispenser filters often and KEEP RECORDS.   We must be the ones who HELP our boaters was we wade through the Ethanol issues.  The last thing we need is another reason for them to quit and go play golf. 
    And listening to the doom and gloom is not productive.

  9. Jerry Nessenson

    I was asked by IMBC to do a presentation covering the ethanol “situation” and did so with the help of Mr. Kelley of Mercury Marine and Tom Delotto. We provided the information as accuratly and without bias as possible.
    First, I am NOT a “fan” of ethanol versus non-ethanol gasoline, but here are some facts that must be considered.
    First and most importantly: Congress passed the Energy Security Act of 2007 to reduce the amount and dependance of foreign crude oil and refined products (gasoline & diesel) being imported in the United States after years of ecallating imports and the record high prices and potential shortages experianced in 2006. 
    Consider that in 2006 the United States imported 73% of the crude oil and refined products we consumed. In addition to reliance on countries who controlled 73% of our energy (and our way of life) we were sending huge amounts of U.S. dollars to countries that do not like us. SCARY!! Congress, via the ACT, mandated the use of “renewable” fuels (ethanol and biodiesel) as a subustitute to foreign oil that can be produced in the United States. The ACT required the amount of renewal fuels to increase each year. Thus reducing the amount of forein crude oil and refined products in the future.
    In simple terms, by 2009 the amount of foreign crude oil and refined products was reduced to 60%. While some of this reduction was caused by the recession, a significant amount was filled by U.S. produced ethanol and biodiesel.
    Also in simple terms, I, and most people I know, prefer to buy ethanol from American farmers than buy crude oil from foreign countries such as Venseuela, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc. I truely believe most Americans feel the same way when faced with the option of supporting US farmers versus foreign (unfriendly) countries.  However I do not believe ethanol and biodiesel should be subsized with heavy tax breaks. The prices for ethanol should be “controlled” especially as their use are now mandated by law.
    Second, virturally all marine engines are compatable with E10. It is true there may be a few older engines and fuel tanks that experiance problems, but most can be corrected without great expnense. Unfortunatly a few may not, but that is still a better alternative that being dependant on foreign countries. Additionally, ethanol will not cause problems that cannot be prevented by multifunctional fuel additives (stabilizer, corrosion inhibitor, moisture dispersand and detergent), filters and preventive maintenance at a low cost which, again, is a better option that sending our dollars to Venseuela, etc.
    I will not fully address E15 use in marine engines as this fuel is “illegal” to use in marine engines, however marine manufactures I have discussed this with indicate engines produced since the mid-90s are compatable with E15 with simple adjustments to the fuel/air ratio and use of fuel additives as described above. True some older engines will be problematic, but it is the trade off as described above.
    Again, I am NOT a fan of ethanol or biodiesel, but I am a fan of buying U.S. products versus foreign oil and prefer to keep my dollars in the U.S. versus sending them to countries who do not like our way of life.
    THE BOTTOM LINE: the more money that goes to Ameriacan farmers and U.S. ethanol producers versus Venseuela, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc. the better!

  10. Ron Longman

    What is the marine industry, Chopped liver? It is not whether the marine industry will adapt, it is if the marine industry refuses to purchase the compound produced, with government incentives, that destroys the very bread and butter the marine industry depends on:  the boating consumer. That is where the solution starts. Do not buy the 10+ stuff and marinas stand clear and apart.
    If this goes forward, and thousands of boaters end up with engine problems that are known now to happen with the use of better than 10% ethanol, it is the industry that has failed, by selling this destructive juice. Refuse to stock it.
    If boaters fuel at RaceTrac, and put this stuff in their tanks, it then is not the marine industry that has failed. Government mandates do not work. 

  11. Rick M

    Why is it we have to accept ethanol?  It sounds altruistic to say we need to end our dependence on foreign oil, lessen pollution or produce renewable fuel. As far as I can tell all of the original arguments for ethanol have been proven wrong or complete fabrications. 
    While it is true ethanol is a renewable fuel, studies I have read indicate from seed to the end user it takes about the same energy to produce a gallon of ethanol as the gallon of ethanol produces.  Zero sum gain.
    Fuel economy declines with ethanol blended fuels.
    Ethanol has its own pollution problems.
    Ethanol blended fuel is more expensive and would be even more expensive if our tax dollars were not subsidizing production.
    Recently, I have noticed the EPA’s arguments for increased use of ethanol seem to center around their assertions that “It is believed it won’t hurt this engine or that engine”.  Is that all they have?
    Don’t give up the fight, with a more conservative Congress and budget cutting sentiment in the air, perhaps ethanol subsidies will go away and make ethanol less attractive.

  12. Capt Brett

    Anyone who believes that E15 is not harmful to engines, the environment, and our econmy is living under a rock.   You guys read too much and spend too much time in your offices.  You probably have a lawn care company do your lawn.
    The plain and simple reality that all of you are missing is that the Ethenol laced gas has such a short shelf life that it ruins engines.  The octane drops and the stuff turns to garbage after a few short months.  So, if you don’t fire up your weedeater or leaf blower every week and if you don’t run your boat on a regular basis, it will eventually clog up the carb or tulip your valves from trying to burn crap in your engine.   Also, your environmentally friendly E15 crap also burns less efficiently and thus wastes more.
    Further waste comes from all of the materiel wasted to repair the damaged engines.  It takes petroleum to produce parts and componentes, gaskets, carb kits. Then we have to treat your E15 crap with additives that are petroleum based and cost a fortune.   Then you keep hearing that food prices are affected because the farmers are selling the corn at higher prices to produce Ethenol.  OK, how much pretroleum was used to farm their product and what is the trade off? 
    You guys need to jump into reality and think a bit before you spout off all of the garb you read in the tests.  E15 is bad, bad, bad……  The trade-offs are worse for the environment. 

  13. G. Shover

    Folks, I just paid $6.29 for one pound of bacon.  Why has bacon gone up so dramatic?  We were warned.  Over 40% of corn grown now is going to the ethanol program.  What do pigs eat?  Everything in the grocery store related to grain is going up from what I see.   E15 is only going to make matter worse.
    Even Al Gore has stated that he was incorrect in some of his “global warming” predictions/statements, etc.  He has also state that once you get a government program going and the PACS and lobbyist’s get up and running, you cannot stop the moment.
    Want to get off foreign oil?  Easy, drill in Anwar, develop more natural gas reserves, etc.  Put American to work.
    So the answer is correct, ethanol is here to stay, but not because a correct need. Follow the money.   Always follow the money.
    Carbon off-sets?  What a money making joke that is!

  14. Todd L. Petersen

    Owners of light General Aviation airplanes in the US have been fighting ethanol too.  Boat owners aren’t alone.  We all dislike ethanol and for the same reasons.  We too represent only something like 1%, or less of total gasoline consumption and so are ignored by the government when it comes to ethanol.  Airplanes have been safely using automotive gasoline since the early 1980’s.  Ethanol however has put an end to that and now we’re having to go back to leaded aviation fuel with a host of problem inherent in its use.
    An attempt is being made to petition the EPA to require that Premium fuel be made ethanol free.  It amounts to less than 12% of the nations fuel supply.  The govt ought to be able to forego that small amount of fuel in order to give relief to owners of boats airplanes, antique cars and small engines, but they won’t unless we become more vocal.  Please join with us pilots to fight ethanol by going to this link where you can sign our petition:
    http://stopethanol.wordpress.com/
    Then check out this link for more info:
    http://e0pc.com/
    There’s no need to divide our efforts.  We’re all opposed to these stupid ethanol mandates.  Let’s work together.

  15. Dean Billing

    Hate to burst the IMBC’s bubble but E15 is going exactly nowhere for a whole bunch of reasons.  If you want to understand why, see: stopethanol.wordpress.com
    The federal RFS mandate in EISA 2007 which is driving the E10 madness is not a mandatory E10 law.  It is a corporate welfare act for E85 which is the only Renewable Fuel defined in the act.  No other ethanol blend is mentioned in the act, not E10 or E15 or E20, etch.  E10 or E15 is NOT Renewable Fuel! E10 or E15 is gasoline laced with ethanol.  E15 cannot be sold today for the class of engines that are defined in the E15 waiver because there is no ASTM specification for it, which will probably take at least a year or more, by which time we will be at the blending wall and the whole ethanol program defined by EISA will implode.
    The marine industry ought to get some backbone and work with the EPA to ensure that ethanol is not blended into premium unleaded gasoline so that all of the users that must have ethanol free gasoline have a source.  Quit rolling over to the ethanol industry.
    THERE IS NO FEDERAL MANDATORY ETHANOL LAW!  And all states with mandatory E10 laws, all five of them, grant exceptions for marine use.  There is no reason that boats have to use ethanol blended gasoline.

  16. Kent Misegades

    I am a pilot and boat owner involved in an effort to ban ethanol’s blending in Premium fuel.    Check out the thousands of signatures and comments from boaters, pilots, and owners of many other engines that may not use any level of ethanol:
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/keep-pure-gas/
    Add you comments to this if you have not done this, and be part of the solution.
    We are getting support from several key members of the House and are gaining confidence that we’ll be successful.   We do not have to accept the inevitability of ethanol contamination of pure gas.

  17. bpante

    Just like all the other little regulations.  Ethanol had done billions of dallars in damage to marine equipment.  This will drive more people out of boating, and discourage people from ever considering buying a boat. 
    Since boat license thing in New Jersey (where you never drive a boat) I have heard hundreds of times “I’m not getting a boat because that license thing is too much trouble”  One more nail in the coffin of the boating industry.
    Thank God New Jersey hasn’t been infested by that NON-NATIVE INVASIVE SPECIES called the Manatee.  Talk about discourage boating.
    You don’t want to even think about the CASH COW they have turned fishing regulations into.

  18. Tom Marlowe

    Boating concerns are of little interest to the folks making lots of money off the ethaol debacle, therefore we need to fight the battle on a more effective front. Ethanol is an ecological disaster building every day adding more polution to the Gulf of Mexico than the oil spill ever could. It comes from the runoff of fertilizer and pesticides used to grow the corn in the Mississippi valley. Simply put, ethanol is a huge mistake. As the president accurately said in his state of the union speech, we need to become more competitive. To do so we need to be the country to make the least mistakes.

  19. Philip Topps

    The debate on this red herring of ethanol will continue on into the future, but the overarching issue was, is and always will be WHY in God’s name we are still dependent on foreign oil, when we have proven reserves of petroleum, a virtual SEA of natural gas, and coal (which provides the majority of our electrical energy. )
    The incompetent Jimmy Carter saw the inception of  the Dep’t of Energy, which was originated to wean us FROM foreign oil. It is a multi-Billion Dollar boondoggle, and should be shut down immediately, and the resources dedicated to domestic production.
    The other farce is the EPA. A band of UNELECTED, UNACCOUNTABLE “Regulators” who can enact mandates, outside the boundaries of Congress, whose SOLE purpose IS legislation.
    The business of America IS business, including OURS ( I am a practicing Marine Surveyor) and it is time to let our ELECTED representatives know what we think, on this and other critical BUSINESS issues. Here endeth the epistle.

  20. David the Observant Realist

    The age of petroleum is nearing the very end. Worldwide “proven reserves” are really simply made up. As we discovered going into Iraq, there is very little oil there anymore. Its nearly all gone. Just salt water in those wells.
    And the calls for burning all the US petroleum: At the current rate of production and consumption, there is about 8.5 more years of US oil. The last scraps will be very expensive and slow to extract, so oil will be pumped for many years thereafter, but in few wells, but at very low volumes, and at prices far too high to burn recreationally.
    Petroleum is a biofuel, its just one that took a billion years to make, and we have burned it all up in 150 years. Its simply idiotic to pretend that we can continue doing so. There is no rational basis for pretending we can ignore the fact we just can’t keep doing what we have been doing.
    Biofuel (chiefly ethanol) is added to petroleum because ITS CHEAPER, not because of a government mandate. As we all know, people don’t follow government mandates. People choose cheaper products. If you want to buy pure gasoline, its available, but its very expensive, and its inconvenient. Its inconvenient because nobody wants to pay more, and soon a LOT more, for pure petroleum.
    The total cost to the pump of 100% ethanol is $1.10 — this includes the cost of buying the land, seed, running all the farm equipment, distilling the ethanol, etc. Everything. The extra $2 or $3 you pay is the petroleum (and tax) part.
    Why would anyone want to spend more for energy than they need to? Others don’t, YOU DON’T.
    So stop complaining, and simply recognize that the world has changed –we changed it — and we can’t put it back like it was before.

  21. dave

    DOR
    you may want to check your facts…producing ethanol uses more energy than the final product produces in use.
    Among his findings are:

    An acre of U.S. corn yields about 7,110 pounds of corn for processing into 328 gallons of ethanol. But planting, growing and harvesting that much corn requires about 140 gallons of fossil fuels and costs $347 per acre, according to Pimentel’s analysis. Thus, even before corn is converted to ethanol, the feedstock costs $1.05 per gallon of ethanol.

    The energy economics get worse at the processing plants, where the grain is crushed and fermented. As many as three distillation steps are needed to separate the 8 percent ethanol from the 92 percent water. Additional treatment and energy are required to produce the 99.8 percent pure ethanol for mixing with gasoline.
    Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion to ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make 1 gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTU. “Put another way”, Pimentel says, “about 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in ethanol. Every time you make 1 gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTU”.

    Ethanol from corn costs about $1.74 per gallon to produce, compared with about 95 cents to produce a gallon of gasoline. “That helps explain why fossil fuels-not ethanol-are used to produce ethanol”, Pimentel says. “The growers and processors can’t afford to burn ethanol to make ethanol. U.S. drivers couldn’t afford it, either, if it weren’t for government subsidies to artificially lower the price”.

    Sad, perhaps but true…
    ethanol is NOT the answer
     

  22. Flagrante Delicto

    Oh, I don’t know… what with more and more parts and accessories being manfactured in China, I see disaster on the horizon.
    Personally, I had a less-than one year old Chinese motorcycle have the rubber gas line from the tank to the carb desintegrate and dump a tank load of E10 gasoline on the ground.
    And less anyone misses this… data indicates that performance actually decreases as ethanol blend increases.

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