Live Green, Go Yellow, E85 Ethanol

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by 007, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. 007
    Offline

    007 Charter Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    38,293
    Thanks Received:
    7,853
    Trophy Points:
    1,130
    Ratings:
    +11,859
  2. Mr.Conley
    Offline

    Mr.Conley Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,958
    Thanks Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA/Cambridge, MA
    Ratings:
    +116
    I agree that the effort should be expanded, but ethanol is no solution. If you look on the website you linked (look under E85: The 411/FAQs/Does Ethanol only come from corn?) The site notes that we already use 11% of the corn crop for ethanol, and thats for only 2 out of the 80 million vehicles on the road. And I would bet that most of that 2 million has never seen a drop of E85. Basicly, we'd need a lot more land than even we to switch over to ethanol. Even if it was possibly, I would not be surprised if we started seeing a water shortage for all those crops. However, ethanol is not a hopeless cause, it could help to somewhat reduce our oil dependency, but its still just a stopgap measure.
     
  3. 007
    Offline

    007 Charter Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    38,293
    Thanks Received:
    7,853
    Trophy Points:
    1,130
    Ratings:
    +11,859
    I disagree. I grew up in the midwest. Born in Iowa and raised in Wisconsin. I know for a fact that the DNR pays farmers to leave the land bare and grow nothing. I know this is also meant to replenish the top soil, but personally knowing quite a few farmers in my life, they abused this regularly. If they had a cash crop like corn to grow, they'd do it.

    Land? America has more unused land that is crop friendly than any other country in the world. Land to grow corn would not be a problem. And even the process in which the ethanol is made would no doubt be streamlined and refined. Alcohol also has a higher octane than gas, so higher compression ratios could be used in smaller engines, to make more power with less consumption. Alcohol also burns much cleaner than gas.

    This is only the beginning, and a good one at that. Don't you think it's a little early to just poo poo the idea away like you're doing? Especially with how badly this country has to rely on foriegn oil?
     
  4. misterblu
    Offline

    misterblu Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Messages:
    611
    Thanks Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +64
  5. fuzzykitten99
    Offline

    fuzzykitten99 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,965
    Thanks Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    You'll have to check the Marauder's Map...
    Ratings:
    +199
    i have heard from different sources like auto magazines and newpaper articles, that corn ethanol isn't the greatest in terms of mpg. Meaning, you get fewer mpg than with ethanol/gas mix or just plain gas. so even though ethanol may be cheaper per gallon, you have to fill up sooner, so really it isn't saving any money.

    instead of using corn-based ethanol, I read somewhere (i'd have to do some searching as to where) that sugar-beet ethanol (as used in South America) produces higher mpg results, and is easier to produce because topsoil useage is not as bad as corn. i'll check back when i find the info.
     
  6. dmp
    Offline

    dmp Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    13,088
    Thanks Received:
    741
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Enterprise, Alabama
    Ratings:
    +741

    If it's 'enough' cheaper, one or two mpg in reduced economy won't matter. :)

    IF the stuff allows me to make more HP, then it's all good.
     
  7. fuzzykitten99
    Offline

    fuzzykitten99 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,965
    Thanks Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    You'll have to check the Marauder's Map...
    Ratings:
    +199
  8. misterblu
    Offline

    misterblu Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Messages:
    611
    Thanks Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +64
  9. fuzzykitten99
    Offline

    fuzzykitten99 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,965
    Thanks Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    You'll have to check the Marauder's Map...
    Ratings:
    +199
    :confused: I have no idea what that is or means.

    Don't get me wrong, I have no problem looking for alternative fuels, but I also won't switch cars just because of fuel costs. I plan to keep my impala for many more years. Same with our Caddy. It would basically cost me more in the long run because of the need to finance one or both new cars, thus my needing to pay 2 car payments again, be in debt for another 5 years, and all the interest and down payments that go with it. Not worth it when one car is paid for and the other is nearly there. I suspect many others feel the same way.

    I hear a lot about using hydrogen for a fuel source. Isn't that what they used in the Hindenburg, and other 'balloons' that spontaneously combusted, sending hundereds to their deaths? I know they also use hydrogen in mass-destruction bombs. So why do we want an engine, less than a foot away from our bodies, powered by this? Sounds dangerous to me.
     
  10. Mr.Conley
    Offline

    Mr.Conley Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,958
    Thanks Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA/Cambridge, MA
    Ratings:
    +116
    I am aware of the DNR payment plan, and we do have a lot of land, but I don't think there is enough to fuel our car fleet. Lets consider:

    First we need to establish a few facts,

    1. 1 square kilometer = 247.105 381 467 acre
    (source http://www.onlineconversion.com/area.htm)

    2. There are 9,161,923 sq km of land in the US
    (source http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html)

    3. Of that, 19.13% is arable (Remember- arable land is the amount of land that can be harvested, not being harvested)
    (source http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html)

    4. If we multiply the total landmass by the percentage of arable land, we get 1,752,676 square km of arable land in the entire country.

    5. Now multiply 1,752,676 by 247.105 for the total number of arable acres, or 433,095,002.98 acres of arable land

    6. Now there are, as of 2000, 225,821,841 cars in the US.
    Source: (http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/2002/html/table_01_11.html )

    7. And if a car uses E85, it requires 11 acres to go 10,000 miles, about one years driving. So 11 acres per car.
    (source http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=99487&page=2)

    8. So if multiply the total number of cars by 11 we will find the amount of land required to fuel all our cars with ethanol.
    225,821,841 cars x 11 acres/car = 2,484,040,251 acres

    9. So we have 433,095,002.98 acres of arable land in the entire country, used and unused, but 2,484,040,251.00 acres are required. Now subtract 2,484,040,251 acres - 433,095,002.98 acres = 2050945248 acres

    10. So now we see we need an additional 2,050,945,248 acres or approx. 5 times the amount of arable land we have to fuel the auto fleet on E85.

    Now as we can see, ethanol is not the answer to our problems; however, it could be an effective stopgap measure. Also if the nation conserved, used automobiles less, had a greater fuel economy, etc. It could be theoritically possible to use ethanol.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 2

Share This Page