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Thu Sep 4, 2014, 07:57 PM

Corn priced at $3.46 a bushel. Ethanol production 3.5% aheadof 2013, estimate 14.1 biln gal for 2014


Since Aug 1999 the World Bank's Food Commodities Index has increased 117%. The price of corn over that period has increased 111%. The price of Crude Oil over that period has increased 421%.

[font size="4"]You would need 26 million Priuses to achieve Ethanol’s current GHG emissions reduction[/font]

Ethanol currently represents approximately 10% of our light vehicle fuel supply. With GHG reductions of 34% (Argonne National Laboratory - 2012) Ethanol, at ~10% of the fuel supply, in total produces a 3.38% reduction in the GHG emissions of the entire Light Vehicle fleet.

..... So how many Toyota Priuses would it take to achieve that much of a GHG emissions reduction? We must convert the 3.38% GHG emissions to an equivalent number of cars and light trucks. To do this we apply Ethanol’s aggregate GHG emissions reduction (i.e. as a percentage of the GHG emissions for the entire fleet) to the total number of vehicles comprising the entire fleet of automobiles and light trucks, or 250 million vehicles. Thus, 3.38% of 250 million vehicles would be approximately 8.4 million vehicles.

.... Since the Prius reduces gasoline consumption about 32.6% compared to a Toyota Corolla (a vehicle of comparable weight and payload), dividing 8.4 million vehicles by .326 gives you slightly more than 25.7 million Priuses which would be required to produce the same amount of GHG emissions reduction as Ethanol currently does, for the entire light vehicle fleet.

[font size="4"]... "You can replace the fuel cars burn faster than you can replace the cars that burn the fuel."[/font]

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 08:03 PM

1. I knew corn ethanol was a loser when George W Bush endorsed it.


We need to go electric.

All electric and series hybrid electric vehicles, like the Volt, only in more models than that one big sedan.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 7, 2014, 05:36 PM

8. that's a good one! LOL. it will take about 20 yrs to get enough hybrids and PHEVs on the road to

produce an appreciable impact. by then GW will be far beyond our ability to call it back. (see OP for how many hybrids will be needed to achieve the GHG emissions reduction we are getting RIGHT NOW from Ethanol.)

Future Global Market Demand for Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles May Be Over-Hyped - J.D. Powers

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 27 October 2010 — Combined global sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are expected to total 5.2 million units in 2020, or just 7.3 percent of the 70.9 million passenger vehicles forecasted to be sold worldwide by that year, according to a report issued by J.D. Power and Associates. For comparison, global HEV and BEV sales in 2010 are forecasted to total 954,500 vehicles, or 2.2 percent of the 44.7 million vehicles projected to be sold through the end of 2010.

The report, titled “Drive Green 2020: More Hope than Reality” considers various factors affecting the future potential for “green” vehicles in the world’s largest automotive markets. These factors include market trends, regulatory environment, consumer sentiment and technology development in these markets.

Drive Green 2020: More Hope than Reality - J.D. Powers and Associates

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 08:04 PM

2. I need to start buying corn by the bushel.

It's a heck of a lot more expensive by the ear.

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 08:28 PM

3. the trouble with 10% ethanol fuel

in every vehicle I've had and I've had a few when I check the fuel mileage with corn and with straight gas I always get 10% or more less mpg with the corn infused fuel. Having said that how does this 10% ethanol fuel result in less emissions when I have to burn more fuel to go the same distance? In fact the way I see it it makes for more emissions due to the fact I still use the same amount of fossil derived fuel plus the 10% from the corn. think about it...

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Response to madokie (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 7, 2014, 05:08 PM

6. the research by Argonne National Laboratory (Dept of Energy) covers it better than I can (link)

but very briefly - The Oil industry wanted Congress to pass a law indemnifying the oil companies against damages from lawsuits over the oil companies using cancer causing MTBE in their gas (to increase octane and prevent engine pre-ignition). When the Congress refused to do this, the Oil companies began buying all the Ethanol the industry could produce to replace the MTBE with ethanol. MTBE increases octane and so does ethanol. Whether there is a difference between mileage for gas with MTBE and gasoline with 10% ethanol it would be very small. I think what you may have heard is that there is a mileage deficit for FFVs running on E85 compared to operation on gasoline. This is entirely due to the fact that auto manufacturers are selling FFVs which are not designed to take full advantage of ethanol's high octane property.

Here are some links to the Argonne National Laboratory's latest study of ethanol - from corn and other feedstocks. NOw, even with the mileage deficit - that the FFVs are stuck with, because ethanol has a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline, even with the mileage deficit, you still come out with a reduction of GHG emissions using ethanol of 34% (per mile driven) vs gasoline - that's at the 50th percentile (which among scientific and statistically aware people is considered the most representative number).

Well-to-wheels energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of ethanol from corn, sugarcane and cellulosic biomass for US use

Energy ratio for ethanol (energy in fuel per unit of energy consumed to make the fuel) from various feedstocks

Ethanol GHG emissions reductions (vs gasoline) for various feedstocks

Any mileage deficit with 10% ethanol fuel is basically imperceptible to the average human driver (if you were a computer calculating mileage down to the hundredth of a mile per gallon maybe you would notice - maybe). Ethanol demand increased dramatically when congress did not pass a bill indemnifying Oil companies against any damages from lawsuits brought against them because of using the cancer causing MTBE. The oil companies started buying ALL THE ETHANOL the industry could make to substitute for MTBE - because Ethanol boosts octane too and does not cause cancer. If there is any difference in mileage between gas with MTBE (needed to prevent engine knock) and gas blended with 10% ethanol it would be extremely small. The mileage deficit you speak of exists for E85 vehicles (maybe this is where you heard of it) because we are burning ethanol in FFVs which are NOT OPTIMIZED for ethanol use. Cars optimized for ethanol's higher octane property get as good or BETTER mileage than the same car would get using gasoline. see below...


RE fuel efficiency. All engine designers, know that you can get more power per unit displacement of the engine using higher octane fuel - IF YOU SET UP THE ENGINE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE HIGHER OCTANE PROPERTY. We do not require the auto manufacturers to sell FFVs which take advantage of ethanol's higher octane (115) vs gasoline (~93 for high test gasoline). IF they did, you would get as good or BETTER fuel efficiency with ethanol than with gasoline. This could be done with a turbo-charger with an electronically activated waste-gate (for when gasoline was being used) and ignition controls which adjusted spark advance for ethanol or gasoline content of the fuel. As far as E10 is concerned the auto manufacturers no doubt DO have the ignition timing set to take advantage of the extra octane provided by ethanol - to prevent engine pre-ignition.

Ethanol Vehicle Challenge 1998 - about a dozen college Engineering student teams were given Chevrolet Malibu FFVs to Optimize for Ethanol. ALL the teams returned Optimized Malibus which got BETTER fuel efficiency than the stock Malibus did on gasoline in the Urban driving cycle. The three best teams returned with Optimized Malibus which got 13% to 15% BETTER fuel efficiency than stock Malibus got on gasoline for Over-all driving (both urban and highway driving cycles).

this is accomplished by using the optimum spark advance and turbocharging to increase the combustion chamber pressure. Ethanol's higher octane allows this to be done without experiencing pre-Ignition (engine knock). The Engineering students achieved this without (obviously) downsizing the engines! Which manufacturers could do and which would increase the fuel consumption advantage of ethanol.


Three MIT scientists designed a Ethanol Boosted Direct Injection engine (turbocharged) which achieves ~30% better fuel efficiency than a conventional Internal Combustion engine of comparable power.

Direct Injection Ethanol Boosted Gasoline Engines: Biofuel Leveraging For Cost-Effective Reduction of Oil Dependence and CO2 Emissions - Cohn, D.R., Bromberg, L. & Heywood, J.B.


Ethanol Boosting Systems

The Fuel Freedom Foundation conducted a study where they modified engines to run on alcohol (both methanol and ethanol) involving new rings and seals AND modifying the Engine Control Module to take better advantage of the higher octane of alcohol fuels. they achieved 17% better fuel efficiency, as miles per gallon consumed, with ethanol (E85) and 20% better fuel efficiency with Methanol (M60 and M100) than was predicted by the Government (the Government calculates ethanol's fuel efficiency based solely on Ethanol's Heating Value relative to gasoline's.)


...IF WE WERE SERIOUS ABOUT GETTING THE MOST OUT OF RENEWABLE BIOFUELS WE WOULD HAVE REQUIRED AUTO MANUFACTURERS PRODUCE FFVS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ETHANOL'S HIGHER OCTANE. We would get better fuel efficiency and GREATER GHG EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS FROM ETHANOL (OR METHANOL - which can be made from many different feedstocks - e.g. forestry product waste, agriculatural waste - right now and blended with gas and Ethanol). MOre biofuels means more GHG emissions reductions AND GREATER ENERGY SECURITY.

[font size="4"] So why aren't we getting all that is possible out of biofuels? - ask EXXON-Mobil et al.[/font]

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Response to Bill USA (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 7, 2014, 06:10 PM

9. Bill I'm talking about my experience with 10% ethanol compared to straight gas

Last edited Sun Sep 7, 2014, 06:53 PM - Edit history (1)

We have a 2014 flex fuel focus and with it we are getting a half mile plus more per dollar spent consistently. I check the mileage every tank and so far and I switch back and forth from 10% to straight gas and using the price of the straight fuel for comparisons. It runs 20 cents more a gallon here. I'm not talking about what I'm reading I'm talking about real world figures that I keep the records of myself. I write the price of the gas each time I fill up so I have the price I paid at hand so I'm comparing corn to corn, straight gas to straight gas.

When I compared E85 I get more miles per dollar with it but don't like the more often fill ups plus not real sure what the corn is doing to the engine in the long run. This is a 12 to 1 direct injection 2000 cc twin cam 4 valve variable valve timing both intake and exhaust engine. 160 hp 149 lb ft.

Like to add: this mornings fillup, We went 372 miles on 10.092 gallons of straight gas at a cost of 339.9 a gallon ($34.30) for 10.84 miles per dollar, 36.86 MPG. No long trips on this tank either and with 4 full sized adults on 90 of those miles, just the two of us the rest of them. I weight 170 my wife weighs 138. My friend weighs 250 and his wife 160.

Same station, same pump both fill ups, all I can squeeze in both times.

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Response to madokie (Reply #9)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 06:13 PM

10. your engine is a Flex Fuel engine so it is able to handle E85. you might want to check out the study

by Fuel Freedom Foundation (http://www.fuelfreedom.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/White-Paper_GGE-Scientific-Report-final1.pdf)
some of the cars they used were FFVs (built to handle E85) and they too were able to improve their mpg just by altering the Engine control module (basically Spark advance). But it has to be done by someone who knows what they are doing. If you have a turbo-charged engine you can set it up (i.e. I mean the manufacturer can design it this way) to give you more boost when running ethanol than when using straight gasoline.

Ethanol has an added advantage in Direct Injection engines in that it's Heat of Vaporization is greater than gasoline's and in Direct Injection since the fuel is shot straight into the combustion chamber, ethanol absorbs more heat and results in a cooler combustion chamber which enables the engine to run at higher compression. -- But this must be considered when designing the engine.

Based on your experience, it sounds like your car is giving better fuel efficiency than the Dept of Energy predicts it will. They just look at the Heat Content of the fuel. They don't consider octane rating - perhaps because they allow for the fact that MOST FFVs don't do anything to take advantage of ethanol's higher octane than gasoline. But your car sounds like it's performing better in terms of mpg than many other FFVs do.

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 09:06 PM

4. Hemp oil should be the fuel. Much better crop

and doesn't deplete the soil like corn.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 5, 2014, 07:53 AM

5. Not as profitable though ...


... at least not for Farmer Bill the Corn Fuel Shill ...

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 7, 2014, 05:26 PM

7. we should be making renewable fuels from any feedstock that is practical.

IF we actually had a plan to fight GW - for real, we would have required the auto manufacturers to build cars capable of handling blends of both ethanol AND methanol. THis would enable us to use methanol blended with gas in addition to ethanol. You can make methanol from many different feedstocks. Like, agricultural or forestry product waste materials. This would have enabled us to reach perhaps 20% to 30% of the light transportation fuel supply from ethanol and methanol far quicker than we can from ethanol alone.

We need to get much more of our fuel supply from renewable sources as quickly as possible to more effectively reduce the severity of GW (the opportunity of stopping it and turning it around is pretty much lost now. The best we can probably hope forn now is to slow it down a little until much more advanced technologies can be brought to bear on the problem (i.e. wind and solar powered planet). But it's going to get MUCH worse long before it get's better now.) Another reason rapid development of biofuels is important is for Energy security.

I actually haven't seen any analyses of hemp's productivity in making ethanol, but am interested in any potential source of renewable fuel. Keep in mind the efficiency of the process of growing and harvesting the feedstock is very important. But we should develop every biofuel feedstock that is practical!

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