E88 gasoline also known as E15, at 70 cents less per gal

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rvance

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That's impressive. My experience in other FFV's has been 8-15% fuel economy drag.
No doubt I am an ethanol supporter but when I had an FFV, if e85 was 15% cheaper at the pump, I would buy e85. Cost per mile driven is the economic rationale for this fuel (at the consumer level).

There are also GHG emission reduction/ air quality benefits, lower cost fuel constituent and domestically produce product benefits that drove the implementation of fuel ethanol but the consumer generally doesn't take this into consideration.
I'm totally against using food to make fuel. It costs more, is wasteful of resources, and causes more pollution to produce than it saves. But I can't do anything about it so I buy what gets me there the cheapest.
 

Shawn Burns

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My imput into this discussion is based on the US government's choicel of how ethanol is produced. As others have said, ethanol in the US if produced from corn. If you look at the ratio of energy produced to create one unit of ethanol, there is nearly no energy produced from the process compared to what is used during the conversion. The US government subsidizes (or used to) farmers to produce corn to produce ethanol.

Let's look at Brazil, for example. They use surplus sugar cane to produce ethanol. From my understanding, most cellulose based crops can produce ethanol. Not all crops are created equal when we discuss converting the crops to ethanol. Sugar cane is a much better crop for producing ethanol. The conversion is much more efficient than corn. The ratio makes sense, especially considering that they are using their surplus crops and not forcing farmers to produce something they wouldn't already be producing. Brazil is using the ethanol and blending it with their gasoline to keep costs lower.

I personally have a tuned hemi that works well with ethaol-free 90 or 93. I live within 5 miles of work and the only time I take longer trips, I am towing. Otherwise, we take my wife's Mazda CX-9 that can run on anything. So, I prefer higher octane fuels with the most fuel density as possible.

Otherwise, I am an avid motorcyclist. I only run ethanol-free fuels in my bikes. I bring the octane up on my fuel choice with a quality additive, since they all require at least 91. My dirtbikes are still carbureted. I've had to rebuild the carb in my KTM three times because I left ethanol fuel in the float bowl by accident.

Another issue that I have with fuels that are blended with octane is that they degrade over time quicker than straight gasoline. You can watch shows on motortrend TV (I like roadkill), where people get cars in a junk yard running off what was stored in the tank 20 years ago. I've read that ethanol can seperate from gasoline as soon as one month during storage. I've also read that additives, such as Stabil do nothing to prevent this from happening. The only fuel additive that I've read that has any chance to save ethanol blended fuel is star tron.

If I had a turbo vehicle that could use E85, I would consider that option. I read a story of a WRX owner who had a highly modified car that made a 100 horsepower increase using the fuel after tuning for it. The car fulling took advantage of the increased ethanol rating of the fuel.

In summary, I would support the usage of ethanol more if I needed to drive more miles to work and I needed the cost savings, if the US produced it more effiicienty, and if I had a vehicle that could gain a performance advantage from the fuel.
 

06 Dodge

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My imput into this discussion is based on the US government's choicel of how ethanol is produced. As others have said, ethanol in the US if produced from corn. If you look at the ratio of energy produced to create one unit of ethanol, there is nearly no energy produced from the process compared to what is used during the conversion. The US government subsidizes (or used to) farmers to produce corn to produce ethanol.

Let's look at Brazil, for example. They use surplus sugar cane to produce ethanol. From my understanding, most cellulose based crops can produce ethanol. Not all crops are created equal when we discuss converting the crops to ethanol. Sugar cane is a much better crop for producing ethanol. The conversion is much more efficient than corn. The ratio makes sense, especially considering that they are using their surplus crops and not forcing farmers to produce something they wouldn't already be producing. Brazil is using the ethanol and blending it with their gasoline to keep costs lower.

I personally have a tuned hemi that works well with ethaol-free 90 or 93. I live within 5 miles of work and the only time I take longer trips, I am towing. Otherwise, we take my wife's Mazda CX-9 that can run on anything. So, I prefer higher octane fuels with the most fuel density as possible.

Otherwise, I am an avid motorcyclist. I only run ethanol-free fuels in my bikes. I bring the octane up on my fuel choice with a quality additive, since they all require at least 91. My dirtbikes are still carbureted. I've had to rebuild the carb in my KTM three times because I left ethanol fuel in the float bowl by accident.

Another issue that I have with fuels that are blended with octane is that they degrade over time quicker than straight gasoline. You can watch shows on motortrend TV (I like roadkill), where people get cars in a junk yard running off what was stored in the tank 20 years ago. I've read that ethanol can seperate from gasoline as soon as one month during storage. I've also read that additives, such as Stabil do nothing to prevent this from happening. The only fuel additive that I've read that has any chance to save ethanol blended fuel is star tron.

If I had a turbo vehicle that could use E85, I would consider that option. I read a story of a WRX owner who had a highly modified car that made a 100 horsepower increase using the fuel after tuning for it. The car fulling took advantage of the increased ethanol rating of the fuel.

In summary, I would support the usage of ethanol more if I needed to drive more miles to work and I needed the cost savings, if the US produced it more effiicienty, and if I had a vehicle that could gain a performance advantage from the fuel.

I have own 2 Mopar's that were flex E85 rated neither one was a Hemi, after using E85 for 6 weeks the wife calculated that the E85 would have to be a minimum of $1.00 cheaper than E10 just to break even and even lower when compared to non ethanol gas, in the cold winter months of the Midwest forget E85 it was a real pain in the @ss.. I know things may have changed over the years since we used it but the only way to know what one is the cheapest to run is to use the calculator....
 

crackerjack1957

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E85 is a cheaper higher octane fuel alternative for tuned engines by increasing timing, compression, fuel & air

 

Shawn Burns

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Docwagon1776

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If you look at the ratio of energy produced to create one unit of ethanol, there is nearly no energy produced from the process compared to what is used during the conversion.

True 40 years ago. Not true now. Depending on the process, it's around 2.0-2.3x energy out vs energy in, inclusive of all energy needs from planting through processing but not including distribution.

I don't care enough to go through your notions point by point, but if you're interested I'd take a look at the numbers/financials from any producer in the last 5 years or so and compare.
 

Shawn Burns

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True 40 years ago. Not true now. Depending on the process, it's around 2.0-2.3x energy out vs energy in, inclusive of all energy needs from planting through processing but not including distribution.

I don't care enough to go through your notions point by point, but if you're interested I'd take a look at the numbers/financials from any producer in the last 5 years or so and compare.
my point was more to the choice of crops. Certainly, other crops could be planted that are more efficient than corn, if production of ethanol was such a priority. I don't see ethanol being sustainable without the subsidies.
 

El Guapo Phil

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Since living in Belize and having my 2016 RAM Hemi with me for six years, each time I fill up it is with regular gas...88 octane. Performance seems to be good. You can purchase either 88 or 91 octane gas in Belize, so I choose the 88 regular.
As for price difference between the two, it is about $0.30 cents U$D.

Performance is not the question in Belize, functionality is.
 

Docwagon1776

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my point was more to the choice of crops. Certainly, other crops could be planted that are more efficient than corn, if production of ethanol was such a priority. I don't see ethanol being sustainable without the subsidies.

And other crops are also used. As is waste product. Corn grows easily in the climates where we tend to farm. Does sugar cane?
 

Shawn Burns

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And other crops are also used. As is waste product. Corn grows easily in the climates where we tend to farm. Does sugar cane?
I'm not sure where you are getting your info? It surely is different than what I've read.

I would say a better crop in addition to sugar cane is switch grass. This was from a 30 second google search.

While corn-based ethanol contains scarcely as much energy as is required to produce it, fuel made from switchgrass, a native prairie plant found in the Great Plains region, contains more than 5 times as much energy than it takes to grow it and refine it into ethanol
 

Docwagon1776

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I'm not sure where you are getting your info? It surely is different than what I've read.

I would say a better crop in addition to sugar cane is switch grass. This was from a 30 second google search.

While corn-based ethanol contains scarcely as much energy as is required to produce it, fuel made from switchgrass, a native prairie plant found in the Great Plains region, contains more than 5 times as much energy than it takes to grow it and refine it into ethanol

Well, I surely won't argue with the expertise of a 30 second google search and won't rehash your misconception of corn ethanol's energy balance. Just a thought, though, energy is money. You'd think if it was as simple as planting "X" instead of corn it would have been done. There's no "big corn" forcing the seed on farmers.
 
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