Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

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Dave Grason
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby Dave Grason » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:28 am

Ok, I'll throw in my 2 pennies worth and probably start a firestorm.

A few years ago I considered building an ethanol still for the truck fleet my landscape biz was using. I learned an AMAZING wealth of knowledge conserning the use of ethanol as a fuel and I'll flatly state right here and now that the oil companies are jamming misinformation down the public's throats because they're scared to death that they are going to lose the market share that they now have locked down. If and when the time comes that ethanol is readily available, the oil industry will be turned upside down and the HUGE powers that be, do NOT want this to happen. Ethanol gets a LOT OF BLAME for problems that are NOT due to the use of ethanol. So here are a couple of thoughts that I personally know to be correct:

Yes, it's true that older engines don't really like ethanol. This is because older seals and rubber parts will be attacked by the alcohol. If you fall into this category, simply upgrade and your problems are over. This includes old outboards.

Yes it's true that vehicles that switch to ethanol get poorer mileage. But this is because the oil companies have been jamming low octane crap gasoline onto the market in the interest of profits. This results in vehicles having to have lower compression engines to burn the stuff without pinging themselves to death and then the fuel injections have been dialed in to get the most mileage at that octane rating. If the country were suddenly faced with no other choice but to use ethanol, compression ratios would climb to take advantage of the 110 octane ethanol, fuel injections would be recalibrated and we would have a wonderful world of high performing cars with no pinging problems, they would perform WAYYYY better than they do now and the mileage would be excellent. CR is free gas mileage. Any good mechanic can tell you that.

And speaking of 110 octane ethanol, THIS is why it's such a superb fuel for race cars such as the IRL. It yields excellent power that is totally on par with the old METHANOL that the IRL ran before but SOOO much cleaner and cheaper to produce. Ethanol burns very cleanly, very efficiently and leaves extremely little pollution. AND... the pollution that it does leave is biodegradable and easily broken down in the normal natural way of things. If every internal combustion engine in operation right now, on the earth, were set up for ethanol and running it everyday, there would not be a pollution problem so great that the earth itself couldn't handle it. It would NOT even be a consideration in climate change. We could all run those old high compression hot rod motors from the 60s. We could all be gearheads in our glory days and we would not have to feel one bit of remorse about contaminating the environment because the ethanol is THAT CLEAN!

Many have stated that ethanol production is using up too much plant material and is cutting into the nation's food supply. They say this because the main source for feedstock is corn. Corn is used because it ferments easily due to the high sugar content. But one of the largest misconceptions in the public's mind is that corn is the ONLY source for ethanol and this is totally UNTRUE. Ethanol can be made from all kinds of plant material however, it takes a little more complex fermentation process to produce the alcohol. However, this is not a bad thing. The result is that many fields can be allowed to go fallow and whatever weeds pop up can be used for ethanol production. Here in Tennessee, switchgrass is very common, is native to Tennessee (so you know that farming it would be a breeze) and makes one of the very BEST sources of ethanol in existance. So what's the problem with switchgrass? A field planted in switchgrass can be harvested 3-4 times per year as compared to 1 time per year for corn. One acre of switchgrass can make the same amount of ethanol as 10 acres of corn. A field planted in swithgrass will never need to have the crops rotated because the field is basically thinking that it's laying fallow. This means that the farmer can plant it one time, get 3-4 harvests per year, (he just needs to "mow the lawn" lol) and won't have to replant for decades in some cases.

However, it does take a special enzyme to start the fermentation process. This enzyme comes from the stomachs of cattle. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville is on the very cutting edge of research for this type of biofuel and they have the enzymes under development right now. So guess who is funding the research! Yup, the oil companies are. And this means that when the students and researchers at UT Knoxville get it right, the oil companies will grab the research and trash it.

As a final thought on this post, folks, keep in mind that the entire nation of Brazil runs on pure ethanol. They don't mix it with gasoline. They are totally free of having to deal with OPEC. They don't have their government controlled by the oil companies. And YES, there are plenty of outboard motors both old and new operatin within their borders.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

Dwain the ski king
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby Dwain the ski king » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:34 pm

MAN, did you learn all that crap mowing lawns??????I'm not an engineer or chemist, but I do know "gasohol" is not good for old OR new engines.....It does have less BTU's that's why you need more to make the same power(re: less gas mileage)...AND, I don't think it reduces that polution that much...But I'm not an expert...I think the public is kept in the dark about what's good or not....That includes the oil companies and the govt....I'm fortunate to have a farm station near that sells pure gas, and I use it in my boat and all small gas motors...Cant' put it in a car here($500 fine??)But I do know my V-10 Dodge get about 3 mpg better with than gasohol.....I only had 1 cent worth...Dwain, The, SKIIIIIIIII KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNGGGGGGGGG...........

Oyster
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby Oyster » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:08 pm

Before you leap into the all ethanol world, Brazil produces its fuel from sugar. The climate is favorable for growing but the prices flutuate to the extremes. The U.S. has over 250 million registered vehicles unlike Brazil which is just under 15 million. Importing ethanol which would have to be done for the U.S. from unpredictable counties using unpredictable products and prices which can change on a whim is even worse than what we have now. Its bad enough having screwy politicans now that grew up and continue to live in a fantasy world, knowing nothing about the real world and energy and its sources and avaliability more than what some college professor that also has never had to exist in the real world tells them too. The problem is not supply, its the stranglehold or boot on the throats of the producers by the politicans now thats the problem. We have plenty of equipment and much of the same technologies that other countries are using much shorter distances than even the middleeast. But remember, Canada is right up on top of the top producers of oil and provide us oil, right there across the borders to the north evenw while we continue to ban new drilling and even new state of the art refineries. We need manufacturing jobs which continue to be destroyed and ways that keeps our dollars at home.
Disclaimer: if this offends anyone, facts have a way of doing that. :P
oh Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. See you guys next year when my airtank is refilled. :P 8) :lol:

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Dave Grason
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby Dave Grason » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:17 am

Dwain Colton Skiii Kiiing wrote:I do know "gasohol" is not good for old OR new engines.


Please be more specific and point out exactly where the problems are. A broad sweeping statement is just biased without the specifics.

Dwain Colton Skiii Kiiing wrote:...It does have less BTU's that's why you need more to make the same power(re: less gas mileage.


It is a very different fuel from gasoline and we would have to adapt. But think about this. Currently here in my area, we're seeng $2.94 per gallon of 87 octane swill at the pumps. If a gallon of ethanol could be sold at the same profit for $.76 per gallon, I personally wouldn't care if I had to use 20% more. I'd still be WAYY ahead.

But this is again the place that the 110 octane comes back into play. If we were setting engines up to run on the 110 octane, we'd start seeing cars with 12.5:1 CRs and we'd be getting that mileage back. It would only be a matter of time when technology reversed itself to adapt to that fuel.

Oyster wrote:Before you leap into the all ethanol world, Brazil produces its fuel from sugar. The climate is favorable for growing but the prices flutuate to the extremes.


Agreed! But again, ethanol can be made from ALL SORTS of plant material. That's why I talked about switchgrass before. If the country started making the right moves towards using what is advantageous for those of us right here in America, we'd be using plants that are native to us right here in America. We wouldn't have to import a single drop of the stuff because we could keep our own farmers employed, farming would be very profitable, the distillation process could be done through local co-ops just like other cash crops and we could all thumb our noses at the Arabs and their dang oil.

Oyster wrote: The U.S. has over 250 million registered vehicles unlike Brazil which is just under 15 million.


This is true. However, you gotta admit that 15 million vehicles is more than enough to prove feasibility.

Oyster wrote:The problem is not supply, its the stranglehold or boot on the throats of the producers by the politicans now thats the problem.


And NOW we're at the real CRUX of the problem. It's really not about ethanol, it's about how the politicians can keep making money when they've already got a money making system in place that keeps oil in demand as the major source of fuel for a hungry country.

HEY, HEY! This is post number 3000 for me. That's gotta be a milestone. WOW!
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

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Dave Grason
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby Dave Grason » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:29 am

In fairness I should say, ethanol is not without its problems. There are 2 main problems that the buying public would have to address if we had a nation that ran on ethanol entirely.

First, ethanol is the basis for the same alcohol in alcoholic beverages. It would have to be "de-natured" to keep people from drinking it in an attempt to get a cheaper and cheaper buzz. This is done by mixing it with something very toxic that renders it unfit for human consumption. For fuel ethanol, this would be gasoline.

Next, because it is alcohol, it absorbs water like there's no tomorrow. This means that storage facilities need to take measures to keep it dry. But even then, once it's in the tank of a car, it can absorb enough moisture to create a problem of water "slugs" hitting the fuel system and killing the engine. But, IMHO, this would simply be a matter of development.

Another problem is that of cold weather starting. Ethanol become difficult to atomize in cold weather and the cure is to develop engine heater systems. Sweden is one country that is leading the development in this area. (Hmmm, I wonder why THEY would do that?)

The mileage problem would be most acute for flex fuel vehicles. If a vehicle is NOT flex fuel, it should probably be set up to run on gas or ethanol but NOT both. If gas, then CRs would be kept low and if ethanol, CRs would be bumped way up. But a flex fuel vehicle is forced to maintain a low CR in order to burn gasoline. But then when ethanol is burned, the fuel injection automatically recalibrates but mileage goes to hell in a hand basket. And earlier, I did state that there might be a 20% difference in mileage but I should have clarified that this would be a difference between a car with an 8:1 CR and running on 87 octane gas compared to a car with 11:1 running on ethanol. I don't think that we would totally get our mileage back until we started seeing CRs on everday vehicles in the neighborhood of 13:1 or 15:1. But hey, that would be fun!

But even the owners of flex fuel vehicles have not been told the entire story. Their mileage will definately suffer with ethanol but it's not necesarily the ethanol's fault. It's really the entire system that has been set up to force us into using the fuel that generates the easiest profits for greedy big business and biased politicians.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

Nova SS
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby Nova SS » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:02 pm

IMHO, flex vehicles on ethanol would be a pig. though the computer can adjust the air fuel mixture depending on the fuel its running it wont be able to adjust the compression to take advantage of the higher octane rating ethanol has. It will have to run a compression based on the poorest fuel the flex vehicle will use.

As far as converting an older motor is concerned anything rubber in the fuel system will have to be changed possibly fuel line dia. too. The carb metering will have to be changed, the fuel pump may have to be changed (if its not up to the task of delivering the volume) I would think on just about any motor converted the ignition timing could be advanced a fair bit (helping both HP and MPG). Finely if you want to really take advantage of the ethanol you would want to bump the compression up a LOT (compression is free HP). 12:1 for e85 and higher still if your running the straight stuff. Keep in mind that any motor converted this way will be tough to fuel up in areas without similar fuels being available. (ie you wil NOT be able to fill up at your average filling station as their fuel would not have anywhere near enough octane to prevent detonation) Moisture can be an issue in vehicles that dont use their fuel up in a regular bassis. I would think the use of water traps might help with this issue.

For toys (muscle cars, boats, etc) this is not a bad idea but of course you might have to take fuel with you to the places you boat. For your everyday vehicles I'm not sure this would make sense until the avialability increases massiviely. If and when that happens I think its a great idea.

sschefer
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby sschefer » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:24 pm

It's interesting and informative read here. The statement that was made originally was one concerning the use of Ethanol in the Marine environment. The key factor here is Water. Water is not compressable and when it enters the combustion chamber of an engine, cylinder pressures rise dramatically but is that really the problem? If the Ethanol that is in your fuel is attracting a large amount of water a couple of things are going to happen.

The first thing thats going to happen is that your fuel/air ratio will become lean. As the cylinder temps rise so will cylinder pressures becasue of the addition of water. When this happens, fuel that is normally stored in the squish band becomes forced over the edge of the piston and the edge begins to overheat. If it reaches 1250 degrees, it begins to melt and the metal flows into the ring land and onto the cylinder wall. Eventually the piston seizes in the cylinder and the motor stops. Was it the Ethanol... nope, it was the water.. However, Ethanol was the contributing factor in the water's presence.

Like I said in my previous post the key to using Ethanol in a marine environment is a closed loop presurized fuel system. Bear in mind now, I'm talking specifically about a marine environment.

This is an internesting dilema we're finding ourselves in. Is it politically motivated by special interest groups with politicians in their pockets.. Of course it is but then so is baby food and imigration. If we drop that from the equation and put on our American way thinking caps we can find a solution and another and another and another because that's how we do battle with politicians in the USA.
Steve Schefer
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New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby Bill Edmundson » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:34 pm

I have a flex-fuel engine. I'm not arguing one side or the other. This is just my observation. Best mileage/dollar is pure gas, 87 octane. E10 is about the same price per gallon. But E10 takes about a 10% hit on mileage. E85 is about 10% less per gallon. Yet, E85 takes another 15% hit over E10.

The E85 runs very clean and the engine ran very smooth. But, I'm cheap. I'll take the bang for the buck.

In a boat... No alcohol in the tank!

Bill
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Nova SS
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby Nova SS » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:42 pm

Question:

Would filling a tank absolutely full when you are storing the vehicle stop the alcohol from absorbing water? :?: I know up here in the winter time keeping your tank full will help reduce the chance of getting moisture in the tank. Funny enough we add alcohol to help remove the water from the system...lol.

I know there is at least 1 member on the vdrive site that has converted his boat to e85. The last I read anything from this member he was happy with the conversion. However I'm not sure how they deal with periods of storage (drain fuel system, fill to max, other)

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Dave Grason
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby Dave Grason » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:55 pm

Nova SS wrote:Question:

Would filling a tank absolutely full when you are storing the vehicle stop the alcohol from absorbing water?


It will certainly not give the water anywhere to collect. I ran into this when I winterized my landscape equipment. I would mix a stabilizer for the winter in the tank of each piece of machinery and then make sure each gas tank was filled to the brim.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

Nova SS
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby Nova SS » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:53 am

Dave Grason wrote:
Nova SS wrote:Question:

Would filling a tank absolutely full when you are storing the vehicle stop the alcohol from absorbing water?


It will certainly not give the water anywhere to collect. I ran into this when I winterized my landscape equipment. I would mix a stabilizer for the winter in the tank of each piece of machinery and then make sure each gas tank was filled to the brim.



Dave, that is my thoughts on this too. If the tank was full to the brim there would be little to no room left for water to accumulate. I would think a water trap in line with the filter would help with the water issue too.

jcallends
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby jcallends » Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:05 am

Need a higher compression ratio to run ethanol? You can do it without touching a cylinder head! Just bolt on a supercharger, when an engine gets a fuel mixture at a pressure above atmospheric it thinks it's got a higher CR. Been done for years and years.

Nova SS
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby Nova SS » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:32 am

jcallends wrote:Need a higher compression ratio to run ethanol? You can do it without touching a cylinder head! Just bolt on a supercharger, when an engine gets a fuel mixture at a pressure above atmospheric it thinks it's got a higher CR. Been done for years and years.



Ahhh that would work too. 8) Good idea. A set of pistons though should be substantially less money then a supercharger(more involved to install though) but there is always a cool factor to a superchager that pistons just don't have 8)

sschefer
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby sschefer » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:34 pm

Filling the tank to the brim so it's running out the vent and the cap then sealing them both with a plastic bag to allow for expansion and contraction seems to work just fine. You still want use a fuel stabilizer at the recommended mixture for storage and not the normal run mixture. If you're not already running Marine StaBil all the time then I suggest you do, ethanol or not.
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

Nova SS
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Re: Help Get Ethanol out of Premium Gasoline

Postby Nova SS » Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:13 am

ok I asked over on the vdrive site about this and got a reply from a person that is actually running e85 in his boat. This is his reply to my question about moisture in the ethanol.

That would be me. I have done a lot of Internet reading and research and the general feeling is don't worry about it. I have put Stabil in the boat tanks and the 110 gal. tank in my truck. I also add a little Marvel to the mix. 'Unchained' over on powerboat.com has been running this stuff longer than anyone I know in boats and doesn't worry about it. He is going to start producing his own fuel and will be running E-98 this season. the http://www.yellowbullet.com forum has a 38 page thread on E-85. Love the sh** and it smells good too!


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