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Old 03-14-2016, 11:50 AM   #15
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I calculate 4% increase in consumption for E10, and see about that in practice. It is hard to validate, though, as the actual ethanol percentage isn't usually known (you have to test for it). That is because of the blending pumps, and variable supply chains. In practice, it car vary week to week due to different fuel suppliers. When driving a vehicle that requires premium 91, which is labelled around here at up to 5% ethanol, I try and use 94 with no ethanol and then I notice improved mileage. If the cost difference is 4% or less I go for it.

The performance issues with ethanol usually aren't related to having a small amount of ethanol, and fresh fuel. The performance issues relate to having an unknown and larger percentage of ethanol due to a lack of control in the distribution system, and fuel that isn't fresh. Ethanol is a direct contributor to that degradation of fuel quality relating to moisture, and subsequent AKI reduction. That is the biggest reason why I give it a thumbs down. Secondary reasons include the energy balance when you consider how much energy is used to produce the ethanol, and the greenhouse gas emissions that result when that ethanol is produced from power produced by coal fired plants.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:09 PM   #16
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I wonder what the emissions measure out the tail pipe of a car using E85 vs E15 vs no ethanol unleaded. Aren't the catalytic converters on our cars and trucks working anymore?

Kelvin
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:34 PM   #17
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"Ethanol is lousy for a fuel when you figure the cost per mile driven. I cannot wait for the day when the brightest in environmental research discover that refined pure gasoline, today, is much superior in many ways."

Mister Ray, you answered your own question as follows "........ but then again, the politics of fuels and money becomes a factor.

Its not just the "brightest" (and don't even mention boat owners that hate ethanol)that discovered that ethanol is a miserable fuel....but as long as we have the lobbyists
you'll see no change. jon
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:42 PM   #18
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I wonder what the emissions measure out the tail pipe of a car using E85 vs E15 vs no ethanol unleaded. Aren't the catalytic converters on our cars and trucks working anymore?

Kelvin
Different gasses....Cats reduce hydrocarbons and sulfur. Ethanol reduces CO2.
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:06 PM   #19
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Having traveled extensively in and out of Colorado over the last 40 years, I've noticed a significant increase in gas mileage while there. That's in spite of using Regular at only 85 octane.

The high altitude in Colorado increases gas mileage in two ways: less air drag and an effectively smaller engine size for non-turbo cars (the opposite of an effectively larger engine size from a turbo). Less air, less fuel, less horsepower. The more effective the computer controlled air/fuel mixture the more efficient, so there have been dramatic improvements in gas mileage at high altitudes since the 1970's.

For example, several years ago we drove a Honda Civic to CO. We usually got 29 in town & 37mpg driving 77mph here in the Midwest (I drive too fast), but at 82mph on I-25 & I-40 in CO we got 44mpg. Used another full tank while staying in the San Juan's (10,000ft plus) at much lower speeds and got 48mpg(!) even with all the elevation changes. Engine response was pathetic, though!

Turbo's are wonderful at high altitude; done that too. But even turbo's get better gas mileage (when not towing up mountains) due to decreased drag at high altitude.

So, while quality of fuel is a factor, I think the higher elevations in CO are a more significant factor in the increased gas mileage you've noticed.

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Old 03-14-2016, 01:16 PM   #20
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Let's discuss Ethanol as a fuel. I am not interested in discussion the political nor social ramifications, as I and we can't fix that here.

It is a good fuel (Indy cars run 100%...and run like a scalded dog). However, the handling and storage of ethanol can be problematic when due diligence isn't followed...just like diesel and gasoline, BTW.

Ethanol is hygroscopic. It absorbs and locks up water molecules to the ethanol molecules. It can absorb water vapor from the air and absorb liquid water, if added to a container of ethanol....up to its saturation point. E10, at it's saturation point, will not contain enough water to affect starting and operation of the engine (possible exception of carburetors). E85 with water up to its saturation point will likely cause starting and operation issues...especially with carburetors.

Now, let's discuss WHY there is water in ANY fuel:

All automobiles since 1996 have sealed fuel systems, so absorption from the atmosphere is impossible. (if you have an unsealed fuel system for more than a few minutes, a service engine soon light will illuminate). If water is in the fuel at any significant level, it came from upstream of your car or fuel container. (ie. gas station or distribution channel). If you store your small engine fuel in a sealed container, same applies.

If you have a small amount of liquid water in your tank, ethanol is actually beneficial, as it will absorb it, pass it through the pick up sock (motor vehicles) and burn it, instead of letting it accumulate to the point that the sock is covered and no fuel gets to your engine. If you have water in a non-starting engine's fuel tank after pumping it out...it's not because of ethanol. It's because an amount of liquid water has been pumped into your tank in excess of the amount of the saturation point of the ethanol present. ETHANOL CANNOT ABSORB NOR ATTRACT MORE WATER THAN IT CAN HOLD AT IT'S SATURATION POINT. You would be in the same exact situation whether there was 100% gasoline or diesel present in the tank.

As far as boats.....everything above still applies, with some additional complications.

1) there are still a lot of carbureted boats around.
2) if those carburetors (small engines as well, like generators, etc.) haven't had a rebuild in the last 25 years, they still may have soft parts which are susceptible to deformation and degradation. A carb rebuild with modern carb kits will fix that.
3) I am not sure that even new boats are sealed at their fuel cap or if they are still vented. Vented caps can allow for water to be absorbed over time, if the fuel ins't turned over frequently.
4) marinas are WET and humid. There is much more opportunity for liquid water to enter the delivery and storage systems.

I have always run E10 in both of my outboards with zero issues....but they have both been rebuilt (1966 Merc 6hp and 1971 Johnson 9.5hp), both live at home, carbs are run dry after each outing, and my 6 gallon tank is sealed when not in operation.

If I had a boat that lived at the marina, I also, would not use ethanol. That environment is too risky....but that isn't the fuels fault, per se.

I know I'm missing some points here, but that's the truth in a nutshell.
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:34 PM   #21
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I did not intend to start any political arguments....I simply stated the reasons why we have ethanol in our gasoline. I bet the vast majority of us would prefer non-ethanol fuel for our various engines if we had a choice (locally many of us ...including all the boat owners I know) are paying ~$0.40 more per gallon for "pure" gasoline. You enumerated many of the reasons for that in your reply. OK? OK! jon
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:45 PM   #22
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Rich
I did not intend to start any political arguments....I simply stated the reasons why we have ethanol in our gasoline. I bet the vast majority of us would prefer non-ethanol fuel for our various engines if we had a choice (locally many of us ...including all the boat owners I know) are paying ~$0.40 more per gallon for "pure" gasoline. You enumerated many of the reasons for that in your reply. OK? OK! jon
I wasn't addressing anyone in particular. I just think the social and political energy source issues are non-solvable....because of their nature, and discussion of them in a FUEL mileage/performance thread is useless. Valid discussion elsewhere, but I base none of my comments on anything other than the chemistry, price, logistics, and performance characteristics. I apologize if anyone thought my intentions were other than that.
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:55 PM   #23
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An article in Consumer Reports a few years ago found that up to 10% ethanol produced only a small reduction in fuel mileage but 15% ethanol would reduce mileage by as much as 20 to 25%. The test vehicle was a fuel efficient small sedan. I suspect the reduction in mileage would be greater with any vehicle carrying a lot of weight or pulling a heavy load such as an Airstream trailer.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:10 PM   #24
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An article in Consumer Reports a few years ago found that up to 10% ethanol produced only a small reduction in fuel mileage but 15% ethanol would reduce mileage by as much as 20 to 25%. The test vehicle was a fuel efficient small sedan. I suspect the reduction in mileage would be greater with any vehicle carrying a lot of weight or pulling a heavy load such as an Airstream trailer.
Two things:

The Consumer Reports findings are based on cars equipped and calibrated for E10 (not flex fuel cars) when running on E15. That issue (and durability issues) were at the heart of the automakers being successful in delaying the Fed's E15 mandate. GM started calibrating (non- flex fuel) vehicles for E15 in 2012 or 13. BUT, it takes 20 years for the national car park to turn over, so E15 could still be a problem....but I doubt the mandate will be delayed for another 15 years......

Second, the mileage reduction (percentage) is pretty equal to the comparison to 100% gasoline with a given load. Remember, ethanol does have a higher octane rating than gasoline (before additives)....so there is some wiggle room in the vehicle calibrations for cam and ignition timing....in some concentration circumstances.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:12 PM   #25
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We make every effort to not purchase Ethanol fuels. Makes burning premium much less painful.

Never thought about improved engine efficiency from higher altitude driving. Always thought it was the result of the down hill run out the other side, because we are always on the way through and spend little time at elevation. Very interesting point.

Someday I hope they can turn the non-irrigated prairie grass into fuel and use grain as people food. Production of fuel from bio growth is also an interesting development. Maybe someday they can bring down the break even point to something better than $20/gal. Yes, "someday" is a common factor. At least now folks are investigating the alternatives.

Thank you all for running the most efficient rig you can afford. Pat
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:16 PM   #26
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We make every effort to not purchase Ethanol fuels. Makes burning premium much less painful.

Never thought about improved engine efficiency from higher altitude driving. Always thought it was the result of the down hill run out the other side, because we are always on the way through and spend little time at elevation. Very interesting point.

Someday I hope they can turn the non-irrigated prairie grass into fuel and use grain as people food. Production of fuel from bio growth is also an interesting development. Maybe someday they can bring down the break even point to something better than $20/gal. Yes, "someday" is a common factor. At least now folks are investigating the alternatives.

Thank you all for running the most efficient rig you can afford. Pat
Not a lot of investigating/investing at $65 a barrel oil.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:17 PM   #27
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We make every effort to not purchase Ethanol fuels. Makes burning premium much less painful.

Never thought about improved engine efficiency from higher altitude driving. Always thought it was the result of the down hill run out the other side, because we are always on the way through and spend little time at elevation. Very interesting point.

Someday I hope they can turn the non-irrigated prairie grass into fuel and use grain as people food. Production of fuel from bio growth is also an interesting development. Maybe someday they can bring down the break even point to something better than $20/gal. Yes, "someday" is a common factor. At least now folks are investigating the alternatives.

Thank you all for running the most efficient rig you can afford. Pat
Be observant, if you want to follow your plan, not all Premiums are E-free. Some use the ethanol as one of the octane boosters to make 93 octane.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:21 PM   #28
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