Ethanol now OK????
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts HONG KONG PUGGY's Avatar
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    Default Ethanol now OK????

    What is with the apparent 100% about face by the big '4'??
    I was under the impression they were against the stuff and wouldn't honour warranty claims if ethanol had been used. What caused the almost overnight change? Has the federal govt done a back room deal with them so the govt can introduce ethanol fuels nationwide and be seen to be trying to reduce costs to the average motorist? (did I really alure to the govt doing something underhanded?)
    I haven't done any research into the use of ethanol fuels personally. Anyone know any worthwhile sites to browse??

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  2. #2
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    Default Ethanol fuels

    This is a piece of political mastery.
    The federal government gets "green" credentials, motorists get cheaper fuel. Win-Win!

    Footnotes. -you join the dots!

    1.... In Australia you would logically expect that we would get ethanol from sugar. Brazil does. Not many years ago Australian sugar cane farmers were beig "assisted" to leave the industry. Overproduction = low global prices and low local incomes. We have currently un-used capacity to grow sugar cheaply.
    2....In Australia we use grain to produce ethanol. You may remember the original flare-up about "nasty" ethanol was around the year 2000. Australia was in the grip of a drought and thousands of animals starved. They would have survived if they had been grain-fed. Obviously grain is in short supply and expensive at this time
    3....The largest Australian ethanol producer uses 'ethanol from grain' technology. The plant owner is a close personal friend of John Winston Howard.
    Last edited by David M; 19th October 2005 at 07:43 PM.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! OG15's Avatar
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    Ethanol is still BS!

    Fine, our warranties won't be affected, great! Our warranties will be fine without ethanol (obviously).

    A few weeks ago I read an article in the Financial Review. The gov't has said even if they introduce the law that allows servo's to sell fuel with 10% ethanol without disclosing it has been watered down, it's not expected to reduce the cost of fuel.

    It's just another ploy by out wonderful government to introduce ethanol, and when the contract with natural fuel producers ends in 2010 (or thereabouts) they'll tax the hell out of it like petrol (and as they already intend to do with LPG). In turn increasing the cost of tainted fuel moreso than the real thing.

    I'm still against ethanol and will be pissed when it's introduced.

    Biodiesel is the fuel of the future, Hydrogen won't available any time soon if you ask me.
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    My main concerns with E10 relate to the political corruption surrounding the main producer - he is a great friend of Howard and donates to the Liberal party.

    If they had to produce E10 for all fuel, we would have to import beef and most cereals (and derivatives such as beer) as the majority of grain and all the sugar would go to feed the ethanol tanks.

    These artificial market distortions are simply bad. If it was economic and viable without subsidies or distortions, we'd be doing it already.

    thanks,
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    I would be very reluctant to use ethanol in my cars.

    When I lived in Lae PNG the local fuel had ethanol in it (dont know what percentage though) because sugar was grown in the nearby Ramu valley.

    Ethanol was known to be a problem with it eating out the metals in fuel systems mainly carbys (I left PNG in 1989 so dont know how it treated injection sytems)

    Some of the expatriates there at that time used to use BP Zoom as it came pre mixed from Australia and therefore had no ethanol in it. The smokey exhaust from the oil content was worth putting up with to avoid ethanol damage


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    Default Future.

    All these arguments are interesting and in conext now but in time as supplies of crude oil diminish and we could be asked to pay $5.00 per litre they don't mean a thing. Given that the high price of fuel is already impacting on the cost of a lot of commodities what will it be like with fuel at $5.00 per litre? Ethanol looks very attractive in that scenario, trouble is it will take a lot of land to grow the crops for that much ethanol. I'm afraid the days of personal transport are numbered as much as I dislike the thought of it.
    Any move towards renewable energy as soon as possible, be it ethanol/blend, pure ethanol, biodiesel is a good move.
    But the three great killers of reason, Short-term economics, Politics and Religion ( not too sure how Religion fits in here, maybe divine redemption) will see to it that it doesn't happen, we will just plod along until we hit the wall. Who will survive when the oil runs out?, The people of the third world, they have been surviving without for so long. Western civilisation?? Wave good-bye to it. Unless as in time of war the urgency of the situation spawns rapid technological growth and development of alternatives.

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    Fellow Frogger! Kyle's Avatar
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    If we get a choice at the bowser i will be going nil ethanol... but i bet that won't happen....

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    Quote Originally Posted by HONG KONG PUGGY
    What is with the apparent 100% about face by the big '4'??
    I was under the impression they were against the stuff and wouldn't honour warranty claims if ethanol had been used. What caused the almost overnight change? Has the federal govt done a back room deal with them so the govt can introduce ethanol fuels nationwide and be seen to be trying to reduce costs to the average motorist? (did I really alure to the govt doing something underhanded?)
    I haven't done any research into the use of ethanol fuels personally. Anyone know any worthwhile sites to browse??


    Chris
    GM, Ford and Chrysler have been making cars to tale 82% ethanol in the USA for about 10 years. Pumps are branded 82% for thes cars.
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  9. #9
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    504-504-504,

    Yes, but the UK experience says that people will just buy smaller cars than do without them. They're paying near enough to $2.26 per litre now.

    My next car will be a diesel, which does better than fuel and therefore will be affordable even if we pay UK prices.

    However, in the long run, I think we need to look at things like pure electric cars (I could certainly use pure electric - my daily commute is 50 km), hydrogen cars, and diesel - electric hybrids.

    When we run out of dino juice, people aren't going to be worried about fuel prices as much as they're going to be worried about continuing our western lifestyle. Nearly everything we do and use every day involves it - plastics, food (and preservation), energy, shipping, flying, tourism, etc.

    Even when we run out of dino juice, ethanol is still not the solution - there is simply not enough arable land to produce E100 in the volumes the planet currently uses. Therefore, we need more efficient cars and cars which don't require the internal combustion process.

    Andrew
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    it is very simple to make a car run on ethanol

    read the holden site to see what mods they do for the cars they send overseas

    given the choice of straight fuel and blended i'll run the blended

    who cares who's mates with who as at the end of the day petrol for cars is going to run out so running a renewable fuel is the answer

    i don't believe gas is the answer nor hybred cars

    ethanol is used in new york and brazil at 22 and 85% respectively without drama and i don't think there are "mates" between the grain growers and pollies there
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    Fellow Frogger! vanderaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugrambo
    who cares who's mates with who as at the end of the day petrol for cars is going to run out so running a renewable fuel is the answer
    Actually, it matters a great deal. Manildra's $$$$ for actual government action is against the constitution and parliament's own laws - it is illegal to bribe politicians. This action establishes that corruption is acceptable. This leads inevitably to the sort of patronage which is damaging to any society. See any crackpot third world nation for an example.

    Bribery of politicians as it relates in Australia:
    http://www.transparency.org.au/docum...omhistory.html

    ethanol is used in new york and brazil at 22 and 85% respectively without drama and i don't think there are "mates" between the grain growers and pollies there
    In the US, ethanol is not mandated in any state. It is relatively hard to get E10 let alone E22 outside certain corn-producing states. It is easier to get Biodiesel. When I was in Vegas in August, I saw no ethanol blends at the two gas stations I attended with friends. I didn't ask them about ethanol cos I was more interested in learning how they knew they could get 93 MON fuel they needed when it wasn't advertised on placards outside the gas stations. Practice, apparently.

    In Brazil, only E24 (gasohol) is mandated. Many cars use either E85 or E100 as long as they are modified to use any mixture of ethanol up to 100% (which is an option on most cars, called "Flex-Fuel"). About 30% of new car sales in 2004 are so modified. The rest are E24 cars.

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005...udy_ethan.html

    However, unlike the assertion that Brazil took up ethanol by accident or some similar pipe dream, actually it was mandated by the military dictatorship to deal with high oil and low world sugar prices, and to keep their farmers in work in depressed areas.

    The democratically elected government of today are now paying the price as they're trying to scale back subsidies and so on whilst not killing their heavily dependent rural sector. In the 1990's when E85 production tanked with consumers due to a shortage in 1989, the government bought unused ethanol stocks once production resumed, and subsidized cars which ran on E85, rather than the default E24. Brazil is a perfect example of a state-run distorted market. It's so distorted, it affects the world price for sugar and ethanol.

    My concerns are about the distorted markets. If it was undistorted, we could import cheap ethanol from Brazil today and sell it - if consumers warmed to it. But the Australian govt imposed a disgusting (and illegal under WTO guidelines) 38% excise on imported ethanol in 2002 to support his mate Horan and Manildra. The excise was imposed when a ship containing cheap Brazilian ethanol was on its way to Australia, as a sop to the ra-ra vote in redneck wonderland. It made Manildra richer (potentially) and killed two companies to the tune of $1m for that shipment alone.

    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/20...936100973.html

    As we're never going to see political interference in such matters resolved, even if we got a Labor government who don't like Horan, I am not going to be a happy camper. However, I am a realist - although we are producing more oil than ever before, it cannot continue indefinitely, and something will happen. I will chose the solution which makes the most economic sense to me, coupled with my desire to minimize my green footprint. I doubt ethanol will be that solution.

    Andrew
    Last edited by vanderaj; 19th October 2005 at 10:02 PM.
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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    ok so we get rid of the bribery and continue to produce fuel from grain and canola

    we benefit from not having to rely on the world oil prices and we produce our own fuel and at the same time create jobs and industry

    we have cars tuned to run the fuel

    i can tell the difference in the 604 when i put ethanol in the water injection over straight water and i have run ethanol blended fuel in it without any dramas so far

    you can even make it in your own backyard if you wanted to
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugrambo
    ok so we get rid of the bribery and continue to produce fuel from grain and canola

    we benefit from not having to rely on the world oil prices and we produce our own fuel and at the same time create jobs and industry
    As I've said before, Australia does not have enough arable land to produce the ethanol required to displace 18 billion litres of petrol we use every year. It assumes we want to give up producing high value crops and products like wood, beer, furniture, wool, clothes, cotton, and low value crops like rice, wheat, barley, crops for animal feed (and thus all animal husbandry), and so on.

    Such a displacement would also put control of the crops into the hands of a handful of extremely large agribusiness holders as they would finally have a reason to buy out the little guys. It would not help the little farmer. It would simply accelerate the decline of the rural rust belt.

    The energy required to change these crops into ethanol would require the building of either nuclear power plants or more coal or gas fired plants to feed the new refineries which would have to be built at huge cost. Remember when the QLD government sold one of its coal fired plants to an aluminum producer? How did you like those blackouts?

    So, if we assume we can't move to E100 for all of our petrol consuming fleet any time soon, we are still tied to the world oil price, particularly now that the govt seems intent on removing information about the fuel at the bowser. Why sell 5c cheaper when you can keep it as pure profit? Who would get that profit? Not the farmer - they are tied to the world price for grain or sugar.

    Ethanol really is not the solution. It is a small part of the solution in the short term until we can wean ourselves off internal combustion engines as long as they can stop lying to us long enough to restore consumer sentiment. As I have to pay through the nose for premium fuel, I like my fuel to be pure as driven snow with no additives which sap fuel economy*.

    Andrew

    * Ethanol increases fuel consumption by 7-24% (depends on blend E10-E100), so you need more fuel to go the same distance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanderaj

    * Ethanol increases fuel consumption by 7-24% (depends on blend E10-E100), so you need more fuel to go the same distance.

    that's for engines not designed for ethanol

    to run ethanol efficiently you need to run higher CR's than we currently run and different fuel maps

    i get better mileage in the 604 with blended fuel over 98octane from BP but the engine in the 604 is not standard hence the difference

    straight 98 octane fuel the car will return on average 24/25mpg yet on blended fuel it will return 27/28mpg
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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    i should add that to burn 1kg of ethanol you need 9kg's of air where as 1kg of petrol needs 15kg's of air

    you raise the CR from the average of aorund 9:1 to around 11/12:1 and the ethanol the engine starts to burn the ethanol more efficiently to produce the same power needed to drive the car as petrol

    you can raise the CR further with ethanol than you can with petrol due to it's higher RON value and this needs to be taken advantage of

    LPG falls into this same scenario but ethanol is at least a lot easier to carry than a pressurised gas tank and safer IMO
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  16. #16
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    Default ethanol

    The largest producer of ethanol in this country is CSR ,produced for industrial purposes only , as a by-product of sugar refining . They do-not have the capacity to produce to produce FUEL,S grade ethanol,& according to reliable inside sources have no intentions to do-so.

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts HONG KONG PUGGY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugrambo
    you raise the CR from the average of aorund 9:1 to around 11/12:1 and the ethanol the engine starts to burn the ethanol more efficiently to produce the same power needed to drive the car as petrol

    you can raise the CR further with ethanol than you can with petrol due to it's higher RON value and this needs to be taken advantage of
    Kewl I will have to make a water injection up for the R10's' replica, due to the comp ratio of the engine I have built being 10.5+:1 from what I can work out, it'll be a good candidate for ethanol and I'll have to get a recipe for it Rambo....wow a club car that will run on fuel I can produce myself. Woohoo, hobby fuel for a hobby car. Excellent..good value for my a real cheap
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    I've done some sums, and calculated that Australia would indeed be able to grow enough corn or sugar to produce the ethanol required to 100% replace petrol.

    In the US today, there are 9 million acres of land under corn producing nothing but 3.1 billion US gallons of ethanol.

    See page 10:
    http://www.nrdc.org/air/energy/biofuels/biofuels.pdf

    This equates out to be:

    36421 km^2 of land to produce 11.7 billion litres of ethanol.

    Extrapolating to 18 billion litres of fuel (which if you recall, the fuel efficiency of ethanol is 25% less than fuel at E100 strength), we'd need ~ 70,000 km^2 of arable land.

    According to GeoScience Australia (http://www.ga.gov.au/education/facts...ns/compare.htm) we have close enough to 500,000 km^2 of arable land in Australia.

    So if we took up E100 ethanol for all car use, we would use 14% of our arable land, displacing all other crops in those areas.

    So theoretically, we could grow what we need. I take those claims back.

    thanks,
    Andrew
    Last edited by vanderaj; 20th October 2005 at 02:31 AM.
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    1000+ Posts 504-504-504's Avatar
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    Default Methanol

    Quote Originally Posted by HONG KONG PUGGY
    Kewl I will have to make a water injection up for the R10's' replica, due to the comp ratio of the engine I have built being 10.5+:1 from what I can work out, it'll be a good candidate for ethanol and I'll have to get a recipe for it Rambo....wow a club car that will run on fuel I can produce myself. Woohoo, hobby fuel for a hobby car. Excellent..good value for my a real cheap
    Chris
    Chris, would you really have the time to make ethanol?

    How about running on methanol. $1.00/litre in 200L drums.
    Consumption would be much higher than with petrol, but engine could be set up for much more power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BDG
    The largest producer of ethanol in this country is CSR ,produced for industrial purposes only , as a by-product of sugar refining . They do-not have the capacity to produce to produce FUEL,S grade ethanol,& according to reliable inside sources have no intentions to do-so.
    United Fuel is using CSR ethanol in their 10% blend.
    Graham

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    Default Cheaper ? Fuel, not in the long run!

    It is amusing to see that adding 10 per cent Ethanol will make fuel cheaper at the pump.

    Sure that may be the case initially, but it will rise in price as popularity increases until it is the same as "pure"? non ethanol mixed petrol is today, and still jump around due to artificial manipulation in our non competitive market system.

    Gas conversion was the go until sufficient vehicles were converted then those prices rose, so don't expect the honeymoon effect to last that long with E10 fuels.

    The only thing that may cause some real competition will be new players in the retailing industry buying in cheap refined fuel to blend with local or imported ethanol in a tarriff free environment.

    I hope someone has the courage as then we might see better pricing of pure fuels in competition.

    Unfortunately there is even greater opportunity for confusion creation and profit manipulation/exploitation as you add a component that will alter the RON factor of fuel unless there is some independent hard fact road testing done to lay down the relative merits of each fuel or fuel plus additive.

    Motoring clubs like the RACV used to be the obvious place to conduct such research and testing, but sadly seem to lack that element in recent years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 504-504-504
    Chris, would you really have the time to make ethanol?

    How about running on methanol. $1.00/litre in 200L drums.
    Consumption would be much higher than with petrol, but engine could be set up for much more power.

    Paul.
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    I doubt I'd ever actually do it. It was just a n outloud thought to add to the topic. I tihnk pure methanol would attract a little attention if I drove the car on the road on club rego plates. A racing fuel smell from a little old R10's'.
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    However, in the long run, I think we need to look at things like pure electric cars (I could certainly use pure electric - my daily commute is 50 km), hydrogen cars, and diesel - electric hybrids.
    Where does all that energy come from???

    Another question.. if ethanol production requires lots of of arable land to produce... where does biodiesel come from? And how can we make enough of it to impact the fuel usage in Australia?

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    Pure electric comes from any sources of wall outlet power. This is currently brown coal for most of us, but I live in a suburb served by gas fired power station (the first power station built in Victoria in over 30 years).

    I live in a very windy suburb - I'm sure if we were allowed to install turbines or a smaller alternative (as seen on Beyond Tomorrow a couple of weeks back), I could generate enough electricity for my needs.

    Biodiesel can come from secondary uses of existing vegetable oil stock - ie refined from waste oil from restaurants, etc. It can also be grown directly using canola or similar. I'm unsure of the percentage of diesel oil required compared to petrol. If many cars converted over to diesel (as in Europe) it would take eat into the 18 billion litres of petrol we use every year. If it was a 100% conversion, we'd need about 12.5 billion litres of diesel, less if we used diesel-electric hybrids. This would save on arable land use as well.

    We still need a way to work around the end of dino juice for plastics and all other things which we rely upon for our modern lifestyles. Computers can't be made from wood.

    thanks,
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    Quote Originally Posted by mantra
    Where does all that energy come from???

    Another question.. if ethanol production requires lots of of arable land to produce... where does biodiesel come from? And how can we make enough of it to impact the fuel usage in Australia?
    Biodiesel comes from the shed at the back of the garden, made from waste vegetable oil WVO Whilst it is commercially available now (saw a station selling bio at 9cpl lower than diesel) the drive for change etc will come from the backyarders.
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