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Reply #14: There is NO technology currently available that will replace all the gasoline the world uses. [View All]

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JohnWxy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. There is NO technology currently available that will replace all the gasoline the world uses.
To say ethanol is not worth developing because it can't replace all the gasoline tomorow is a false argumant. Even plug in hybrids which will be an important part of reducing petroleum fuel usaage will take about 15 to 20 years to make much of an impact on the use of gasoline and therefor the price paid for it.

Regarding ethanol's energy content, the BTUs are not the whole picture. Ethanol has an octane rating of 113- 115 whereas high test gas is 92-93. THis means you can use ethanol in high compression engines which outperform the detuned low compresssion engines we must use with gasoline.

Ford Motor co. has plans to build an ethanol direct injection engine which is turbo-charged to pressures that gasoline (alone)could not handle. The engine (originally developed by MIT researchers) produces so much power per cubic inch that it can be downsized by about half. THe result is 25% to 30% less gas consumption. And how much ethanol does the engine use 5% - the other 95% is gasoline. To put this in perspective if all the cars and light trucks on the road were using this engine you could reduce total gasoline consumption 25% to 30% with a supply of ethanol equal to about 5% of the total fuel supply. WHen does Ford plan to have this engine for sale? 2011. And before then the amount of ethanol being produced in the U.S. will be about 5% of the total fuel supply (for transportation).

BTW when ethanol is made from corn only the starch is used to make ethanol. THe protein is recovered and sold as Dried Distillers Grains and Solubles - a high protein feed supplement used by beef and pork farmers. There is no loss to the food supply.

The reason for the rapid increase in ALL commodity prices (enrgy and crops) is that our economy is going into the tank. THis was foreseen last fall (and earlier) by money managers who started pulling out of commmon stocks (except for energy company stocks and materials companies stocks) and started puttin g billiions of dollars into commodities. Once they started runninng the price of commodities up and stocks were looking worse others piled on and drove the prices up even more. REnewable fuels demand has been a part of the price rise in food but only a small part compared to thte movement of money out of common stocks and into commodities. (wheat and rice prices have gone up tremendously too, and I don't know of anybody making fuel out of wheat or rice).

Also, the decline in the dollar caused by the Federal Reserves laarge reductions in interest rates (to help a faltering economy as well as to save the banking industry) has driven up the prices of everything traded in international markets. As the dollar goes down the price of commodities priced in dollars goes up.

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