Article: ethanol blends get lower gas...

Article: ethanol blends get lower gas mileage too

There are 64 comments on the www.columbiatribune.com story from Feb 24, 2008, titled Article: ethanol blends get lower gas mileage too. In it, www.columbiatribune.com reports that:

When state law required Missouri petroleum dealers to switch last month to selling ethanol-blended E-10 fuel, the driving public barely uttered a peep. Most motorists were probably unaware they were filling their vehicles with fuel that was 10 percent grain alcohol.

But as the change settles in, some people are asking questions about ethanol and its fuel economy.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.columbiatribune.com.

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P E Haiges

Auburn Hills, MI

#1 Feb 24, 2008
Of course the fuel mileage will be less. Alcohol has less BTU per gallon than gasoline has

Less BTU per gallon equals less miles per gallon.

P E H
TEXAS

Auburn Hills, MI

#2 Feb 24, 2008
If you can't run it, THEN drink it!!
Silly Whopper

United States

#3 Feb 24, 2008
Lower gas milage means more refills!..Missouri law makers ROCK!
TEXAS

Auburn Hills, MI

#4 Feb 24, 2008
If you can't run it,then drink it!!
turkeyboy

United States

#5 Feb 24, 2008
E85 ethanol does not have nearly the energency density of gasoline, but if an engine was truly optimized to use the stuff, the power and mileage differences would be less noticible. Basically, the things that need to happen to an e85 optimal engine would be to raise compression ratio (around 12 to one, e85 has an octane rating of about 105), and then program the emu (engine management unit) to lean out the mixture somewhat (burns hotter, more power)...other internal changes would also help..maybe miller cycling with a supercharger..
Farm Boy

Harrisonville, MO

#6 Feb 24, 2008
It helps the poor farmers, though.
John Baake

Alamogordo, NM

#7 Feb 24, 2008
It's going to be cars getting dwi's now instead of the drivers.

Since: Jan 08

Location hidden

#8 Feb 24, 2008
I heard it takes 1 1/2 gallons of gasoline to make 1 gallon of ethanol.
Tim

United States

#9 Feb 24, 2008
Using any blend of Ethanol in a modern auto that is not FFV will use more fuel, because the sensors will detect a lean condition because of the oxygen in ethanol and it will increase the fuel input and burn more fuel, Ethanol is a good fuel but does not work well with computorize gas burning auto's....
Hudmar

Tampa, FL

#10 Feb 24, 2008
If it takes approx. 1 1/2 gallons of gasoline to make one gallon of ethanol and it takes more usage to run a vehicle, then is a waste of money on both end.
David Beach

United States

#11 Feb 24, 2008
I have read that it is energy inefficient to use alcohol as fuel because it requires more energy to make it than it generates. Ethanol is just a political football that illustrates how our politicians care more about looking good than being good.

“Measure, Measure, Cut”

Since: Nov 07

El Paso ,TX

#12 Feb 24, 2008
I can't believe the news media is so slow to get the news. I have known this for years. Not to mention that the engine runs worse and is harder to start when cold and the alcohol is deliterious to some of the rubber and plastic parts in the delivery system.
Will duRANT IV

United States

#13 Feb 24, 2008
RE: David Beach: "Ethanol is just a political football that illustrates how our politicians care more about looking good than being good." Right! Trouble is, they look to us to see what they should say/do to "look good" and we the sheeple always come through. They know pandering to the masses, aka populism, works.
Smart fuel

United States

#14 Feb 24, 2008
Ethanol was tried decades ago and found to provide lower gas mileage. The miserable experience during the failed jimmy carter administration when gas stations had long lines, fuel supplies were short, fuel prices were high, economy cars got 20 MPG, The American auto industry had massive layoffs, the government printed fuel rationing coupons, the economy went south, and owners of large cars drove them to the scrap yards to sell them for a penny a pound. Public buildings set their thermostats to 50 degrees and ethanol was tried as a desperation measure. --- Today, 25 and 35 MPG vehicles are widely available for less than list price and hybrids are still on the lots. The American Strategic Oil Reserves are completely full as a result of orders by George Bush for the last 7 years. --- Ethanol should be reserved for farm vehicles and gasoline for highway vehicles.

Since: Jan 08

Killeen, TX

#17 Feb 24, 2008
Unleaded regular gasoline has 120,000 BTU per gallon. Ethanol has 80,000 BTU per gallon. That means when you are running 90/10 gasoline/ethanol mixture you have at least a 3.3 % reduction in fuel mileage. Or put anothe way, it will take 1.034 gallons of the mixture to travel as far as 1 gallon of gasoline would take you. That makes that $3.00/gal. gasoline cost the equivalent of $3.10/gal.

To compound this mistake further, making ethanol from corn is a loosing proposition since it takes more BTU of fuel to grow and process that corn into ethanol than yjr BTU you get in return in the ethanol.

Using ethanol as fuel for vehicles makes no sense so long as crude based fuels are consumed in the manufacture of the ethanol. Of course in counties like Brazil where crude is almost non existent, and growing sugar cane for ethanol feed stock has a much smaller fuel requirement than growing corn, ethanol makes plenty of sense.

I don't want anyone to misunderstand me. I am well aware that we need alternative fuels so that our consumption of crude will decrease, but making ethanol from corn is another government boondoggle. This was an idea that the politicians apparently jumped on without ever looking at all the ramifications.

One other little tidbit on the stupidity of using corn to make ethanol for vehicle fuel is the price of corn has more than doubled (from about $2.00 bu. to about $4.50 bu.) within the last couple of years. That means the price of more than 75% of our foods will increase because of the price increase of the corn.
Steve

United States

#18 Feb 24, 2008
It's been a couple of years or more since I've seen anything other than E10 at the pump.

Welcome to the club Missouri.

Since: Jun 07

Port Angeles, WA

#19 Feb 24, 2008
Smart fuel wrote:
Ethanol was tried decades ago and found to provide lower gas mileage. The miserable experience during the failed jimmy carter administration when gas stations had long lines, fuel supplies were short, fuel prices were high, economy cars got 20 MPG, The American auto industry had massive layoffs, the government printed fuel rationing coupons, the economy went south, and owners of large cars drove them to the scrap yards to sell them for a penny a pound. Public buildings set their thermostats to 50 degrees and ethanol was tried as a desperation measure.--- Today, 25 and 35 MPG vehicles are widely available for less than list price and hybrids are still on the lots. The American Strategic Oil Reserves are completely full as a result of orders by George Bush for the last 7 years.--- Ethanol should be reserved for farm vehicles and gasoline for highway vehicles.
I remember those days when people panicked & gave away their good cars & went into hock to get those tin cans like Pintos & Vegas. It really tickled me to hear them talking about the great 20 mpg they were getting. Back in 1963 I bought a new Crown Imperial and I got 17.5 to 18 on trips cruising at 75-80 and 13.5 in town. In case you think I am prejudiced against small cars I would like to point out that I had a TR-3 as well as the Imperial and I have also had a Jag 120, Saab Sonnett, Corvette, Acura, Vanguard, Honda, and a Renault 2CV.

The funniest thing I heard at the time was a couple of young men discussing their cars in our lobby. The one man was bragging about his new Pinto and then he started in on his buddy who had just bought a 5 year old Imperial for $190. I had seen the car and it was immaculate but the elderly couple who had it panicked when gasoline hit $0.70. Pinto owner: "What on earth possessed you to get that Imperial? Why didn't you get something sensible like a Pinto?" The Imperial owner replied: "What do you mean more sensible? I spend less on gas in two months than your monthly car payment, my car license is a lot less, my insurance is cheaper, and I'm a lot more comfortable while driving." Pretty darn sensible for a young fellow.

By the way, that Imperial was still on the road long after that Pinto was in the junk yard. No, that Pinto didn't happen to be one that exploded.

Since: Jun 07

Port Angeles, WA

#20 Feb 24, 2008
Bob2 wrote:
Unleaded regular gasoline has 120,000 BTU per gallon. Ethanol has 80,000 BTU per gallon. That means when you are running 90/10 gasoline/ethanol mixture you have at least a 3.3 % reduction in fuel mileage. Or put anothe way, it will take 1.034 gallons of the mixture to travel as far as 1 gallon of gasoline would take you. That makes that $3.00/gal. gasoline cost the equivalent of $3.10/gal.
To compound this mistake further, making ethanol from corn is a loosing proposition since it takes more BTU of fuel to grow and process that corn into ethanol than yjr BTU you get in return in the ethanol.
Using ethanol as fuel for vehicles makes no sense so long as crude based fuels are consumed in the manufacture of the ethanol. Of course in counties like Brazil where crude is almost non existent, and growing sugar cane for ethanol feed stock has a much smaller fuel requirement than growing corn, ethanol makes plenty of sense.
I don't want anyone to misunderstand me. I am well aware that we need alternative fuels so that our consumption of crude will decrease, but making ethanol from corn is another government boondoggle. This was an idea that the politicians apparently jumped on without ever looking at all the ramifications.
One other little tidbit on the stupidity of using corn to make ethanol for vehicle fuel is the price of corn has more than doubled (from about $2.00 bu. to about $4.50 bu.) within the last couple of years. That means the price of more than 75% of our foods will increase because of the price increase of the corn.
Right, using ethanol presents the same problems that we had using propane. It only works if you modified the engine by raising the compression or, as we did, supercharging it. The big advantage of supercharging is you don't lose so much power with altitude. With all the computerization of today's cars one also needs a top notch software man to tweak the programming to take advantage of the higher octane of the fuel.

I certainly cannot agree that ethanol from corn helps the poor farmer. It is actually helping the "poor" corporations like Midland & ConAgra and I will let you guess just who was giving contributions to politicians to support corn ethanol. The whole idea of making fuel from food is absolutely stupid and this process should be restricted to converting waste material to bio-diesel or ethanol.

THINK AMERICA

Auburn Hills, MI

#21 Feb 24, 2008
THE ALCOHOL BLENDED FUELS HAVE NOT DONE A DAM THING TO REDUCE GLOBAL WARMING, IT'S ALL A BUNCH OF AL GORE-IAN BS WITH THE TREE HUGGING BUNCH WANTING TO CONTROL YOUR LIFE. AS I SEE IT IF YOU GET LESS MPG YOU ARE BURNING MORE FOSSIL FUELS YOU WOULD THINK THE TEE HUGGING AL GORE-IAN TYPES WOULD BE UP IN ARMS OVER BURNING MORE OIL TO GO THE SAME DISTANCE. BUT NO YOU DON'T HEAR A WORD ABOUT THIS OUT OF THE LYING AL GORE-IANS IT'S ABOUT THE MONEY AND THE CONTROL THEY HAVE OVER
YOUR LIFE AMERICA WAKE UP!! HOW MUCH MORE DO YOU WANT TO PAY TO TRAVEL, HEAT YOR HOME, AND PAY FOR YOUR FOOD ON YOUR TABLE??
BUCK

United States

#22 Feb 24, 2008
Keep working with it, the technology will improve, and so will the mileage.

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