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100% gas vs. Gas with ethanol

Dirtman

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"You could smell the whiskey burnin' down Copperhead Road"

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Some people don't like Ethanol because it did effect older fuel systems that were not meant to see alcohol in any form

And yes Ethanol does absorb water which is a good thing since all gasoline will have water mixed in and if not absorbed by ethanol it will settle to the bottom of tank/container

If you store your gasoline in an OPEN container then it's combustible hydro-carbons will evaporate leaving you with a poor combustion fuel
So most store fuel in a closed container(or sealed gas tank) and water absorption(from humid air) by the ethanol is not an issue

Ethanol has an Octane rating of 113
Octane is a heat rating, it tells you the self ignition point of a fuel
Most gasoline engines run at least 9.0:1 compression ratio, compression is heat
So 87 octane is about the minimum heat rating that can be used without pinging/knocking(self ignition of fuel)
If you combine 10% ethanol with 90% 85 octane gasoline you get an 87 octane mix
If you combine 10% ethanol with 90% 91 octane gasoline you get an 93 octane mix

In colder climates the water that's in ALL gasoline will freeze at -32degF(0degC) and that can block fuel systems, so winter mix fuel will have ethanol mixed in to bond with the water to lower its freezing point

There is no downside to ethanol/gasoline mix UNLESS you have a older fuel system

Same as unleaded fuel in an engine that was made to use leaded fuel, pre-1960s engines had softer valve seats and needed the lead in the gasoline to keep the seats from deteriorating so people use a lead additive in the gas tank
But engines made after mid-1960s had the hardened valve seats so can run unleaded fuel without issues, but would still not like the ethanol because it corrodes fuel system parts not designed for contact with ethanol
Vehicles/engines made after 1980 should be fine with ethanol/gasoline mix
I believe everything you wrote is true, BUT ethanol doesn't produce the same power per volume that gasoline does, and no one will ever convince me that it's cheaper to mix gasoline with ethanol (that costs more to produce) and it actually be cheaper than straight gasoline. The math just don't work. Of course we all know that the reason the mix is cheaper is because of subsidies from our nanny state that knows what's best for us.
 

Dirtman

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Well not that I'm defending ethanol for basic every day cars, but from a purely technical standpoint even though ethanol does have less energy per volume compared to gasoline it can actually produce more power in an engine that is optimized for it because of ethanol's high octane rating. When I say optimized for it I do not mean flex fuel nonsense, I mean high compression specifically tuned engines that can take advantage of the high octane rating.

Which leads me into the second part where you say there's no way ethanol is cheaper, well when you're talking about use in engines that require 105+ octane, ethanol is in fact cheaper.

Indy cars started using ethanol race fuel because it's cheaper than gasoline racing fuels since they need to add so much crap to the gasoline to bring the octane rating up. (There was environmental stuff behind it too don't get me wrong) E98 race fuel is 95+% ethanol which gives it 115-ish octane. It takes alot of work to get gasoline that high.

But again I do not believe ethanol belongs in regular passenger cars until A. Passenger cars are designed for it's use. Right now cars are designed to "tolerate it" not take advantage of it. And B. It's produced at a rate actually competitive with gasoline which will never happen since you'd basically have to plant corn across the whole country...
 
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G8orFord

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No doubt, but I wasn't talking about racing. We run 115 octane in our race truck. It's roughly $95 for 5 gallons.

I used to race go karts and ran alcohol in those. Used about twice as much as I would have with gasoline, but it was better for the air cooled engine because the sheer amount of fuel being delivered kept the cylinder head temps lower. You could literally bump the air/fuel screw a little if getting to hot and watch the temp go down with the fatter mixture. We had a remote knob for the screw and a steering wheel mounted monitor for basic engine data.
 

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Yes, ethanol has less stored energy per gallon than gasoline same as gasoline has less stored energy than diesel per gallon

Ethanol is made from "biomass", gasoline is made from crude oil

Cheaper is a relative term because production will be different

But Dirtman's point is a good one, for lower Octane gasoline(under 87) adding ethanol is the cheapest way to get a usable octane of 87, or even higher for higher compression engines

And ethanol is a renewable fuel if you HAVE TO run an ICE, gasoline is NOT, so eventually gasoline prices will be beyond affordable, lol, so ethanol WILL BE cheaper
But not in our lifetimes :)
 

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The source we get our ethanol from isn't exactly the best choice either. There are other crops that are much better for making ethanol than corn is. From everything I've read, with the existing structure we have for making ethanol, the over all environmental impact as actually higher than if we just ran straight gas. How much blame goes where and why they are doing it the way they are doing it? I'm sure we could get into all kinds of arguments and disagreements over it.

If I remember correctly, the original Model T ran on some form of alcohol but was switched later on. I don't remember why that was. Cost? Fuel source availability?
 

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Well not that I'm defending ethanol for basic every day cars, but from a purely technical standpoint even though ethanol does have less energy per volume compared to gasoline it can actually produce more power in an engine that is optimized for it because of ethanol's high octane rating. When I say optimized for it I do not mean flex fuel nonsense, I mean high compression specifically tuned engines that can take advantage of the high octane rating.

Which leads me into the second part where you say there's no way ethanol is cheaper, well when you're talking about use in engines that require 105+ octane, ethanol is in fact cheaper.

Indy cars started using ethanol race fuel because it's cheaper than gasoline racing fuels since they need to add so much crap to the gasoline to bring the octane rating up. (There was environmental stuff behind it too don't get me wrong) E98 race fuel is 95+% ethanol which gives it 115-ish octane. It takes alot of work to get gasoline that high.

But again I do not believe ethanol belongs in regular passenger cars until A. Passenger cars are designed for it's use. Right now cars are designed to "tolerate it" not take advantage of it. And B. It's produced at a rate actually competitive with gasoline which will never happen since you'd basically have to plant corn across the whole country...
They could do some more, for like the last 10 years corn has been about the same price it was in the 70's.

I remember it well, it was going to be a fun side gig when I bought my place. The bottom dropped out the first year I put a crop in and if I don't figure fuel and time I about break even.

Prices have spiked this year and I have yet to figure out why... I suspect it go away by the time I harvest.
 

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The source we get our ethanol from isn't exactly the best choice either. There are other crops that are much better for making ethanol than corn is. From everything I've read, with the existing structure we have for making ethanol, the over all environmental impact as actually higher than if we just ran straight gas. How much blame goes where and why they are doing it the way they are doing it? I'm sure we could get into all kinds of arguments and disagreements over it.

If I remember correctly, the original Model T ran on some form of alcohol but was switched later on. I don't remember why that was. Cost? Fuel source availability?
Gasoline had no use in the late 1800's, so was cheap
But there was no distribution for it, i.e. "gas stations"

People could legally make their own alcohol, and did
Ford thought who would pay for a fuel if you could just make your own or buy it from a neighbor
 

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I've been using straight 93 octane no corn for awhile now. Truck started having some minor cold start troubles. Takes three or four hits at the key to get it running smooth. Went back to using my home brew two gallons of E85 to 15 gallons 91. Still nets 93 octane. Starts first turn of the key every single time now. And runs like a scalded cat. Spun the big ole 255/60-15 Cooper Cobra GT tires inadvertently today at around 1/2 throttle. With traction bars. Mikes likes it!
 

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I find that anything older just does better with ethonal free gas. My 93 , and 83 get better mileage, better power, the carb on the 83 seams less like it needs rebuilt.
 

Dirtman

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I've been working on converting all my engines to run on a mix of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.
 

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I've been working on converting all my engines to run on a mix of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.
Engines go VROOOM.................KaBOOM
 

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