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Why ethanol is actually worse than fossil fuels for the environment (at least in the US)


Why ethanol is actually worse than fossil fuels for the environment (at least in the US)21-09-2016 00:17
jwoodward48
★★★★☆
(1537)
Ethanol is often touted as greener than fossil fuels, but it's actually worse when one considers all aspects of its effects.

1. For every joule of ethanol, 0.8 joules of fossil fuels are burned. This is due to the source of ethanol, the very fuel-heavy corn industry. Transportation and growing take up almost as much energy as you get out. Ethanol is decent, but more like hydrogen - it's mostly an energy storage form, and its green-ness depends on the energy put into making it.

2. Growing more corn with more fertilizer is having a greatly detrimental effect on rivers, lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. The large "Dead Zone" in the Gulf, lakes choked by algae, rivers contaminated with nitrogen - all of these are caused and worsened by nutrient pollution.

So while ethanol might be slightly better than fossil fuels in theory (if fossil fuels are used to make it), in practice the nutrient pollution from growing more corn causes more damage than the slight benefits.


"Heads on a science
Apart" - Coldplay, The Scientist

IBdaMann wrote:
No, science doesn't insist that, ergo I don't insist that.

I am the Ninja Scientist! Beware!
18-11-2016 17:13
litesong
★★★★★
(2297)
Gasoline engine engineers are good, designing low 87 octane, low compression ratio(9:1 to 12:1) gasoline engines to burn 87 octane 100% ethanol-free gasoline(E0) efficiently. Ethanol engine engineers are good also, designing high 114 octane, high compression ratio(16:1) ethanol engines to burn 114 octane, 100% ethanol efficiently. Ethanol, as used(not burned efficiently) in gasoline engines.... fails. Only "ethanol in gasoline industry" & EPA propaganda says ethanol gives as much btu energy in gasoline engines as in ethanol engines. You would NOT use 114 octane E0(does such a fluid exist?) in your 87 octane, low compression ratio gasoline engine. You should not use ethanol in your 87 octane low compression ratio gasoline engine.
87 octane E0 averages 87 octane(duh). 87 octane E10 has 10% ethanol which, as mentioned, is 114 octane. What some people may NOT have calculated, is that the remaining gasoline molecules, comprising 90% of E10, must bring the total octane of E10 down to 87 octane by the remaining gasoline molecules averaging 84 octane! Whereas E0 gasoline molecules average 87 octane, E10 has few molecules which ARE 87 octane. Fuel, whether gasoline or ethanol, that is not the right octane for the specified engine will not perform efficiently. My own accurate mpg records in 5 non-hybrid, non-turbo standard 87 octane vehicles over nearly a decade, show mpg differences in favor of E0 of 8%, 8%, 7%-8%, 7% & 5%, caused by the introduction of only 10% ethanol fuel.

Yeah, you're right.... just 10% ethanol in low 87 octane gasoline engines drops mpg from 8% to 5%.
18-11-2016 19:46
Into the Night
★★★★★
(5741)
litesong wrote:
Gasoline engine engineers are good, designing low 87 octane, low compression ratio(9:1 to 12:1) gasoline engines to burn 87 octane 100% ethanol-free gasoline(E0) efficiently. Ethanol engine engineers are good also, designing high 114 octane, high compression ratio(16:1) ethanol engines to burn 114 octane, 100% ethanol efficiently. Ethanol, as used(not burned efficiently) in gasoline engines.... fails. Only "ethanol in gasoline industry" & EPA propaganda says ethanol gives as much btu energy in gasoline engines as in ethanol engines. You would NOT use 114 octane E0(does such a fluid exist?) in your 87 octane, low compression ratio gasoline engine. You should not use ethanol in your 87 octane low compression ratio gasoline engine.
87 octane E0 averages 87 octane(duh). 87 octane E10 has 10% ethanol which, as mentioned, is 114 octane. What some people may NOT have calculated, is that the remaining gasoline molecules, comprising 90% of E10, must bring the total octane of E10 down to 87 octane by the remaining gasoline molecules averaging 84 octane! Whereas E0 gasoline molecules average 87 octane, E10 has few molecules which ARE 87 octane. Fuel, whether gasoline or ethanol, that is not the right octane for the specified engine will not perform efficiently. My own accurate mpg records in 5 non-hybrid, non-turbo standard 87 octane vehicles over nearly a decade, show mpg differences in favor of E0 of 8%, 8%, 7%-8%, 7% & 5%, caused by the introduction of only 10% ethanol fuel.

Yeah, you're right.... just 10% ethanol in low 87 octane gasoline engines drops mpg from 8% to 5%.


E0 does exist, but it won't run in your car engine. That means your comparison is bogus.


The Parrot Killer
Edited on 18-11-2016 19:47
19-11-2016 18:31
Tim the plumber
★★★★☆
(1198)
The use of food as fuel has riased basic food prices by 30% to 70%.

For the poorest billion people on the planet this is disasterous. I guesstimate that at least 20 million people per year die as a result of this slow starvation.

Obviously the next poorest billion people are locked into poverty also with a greatly reduced chance of sending their kids to school or buying basic medicines.

Edited on 19-11-2016 18:31
20-11-2016 00:26
litesong
★★★★★
(2297)
Into the Night wrote:
Yeah, you're right.... just 10% ethanol in low 87 octane gasoline engines drops mpg from 8% to 5%.


E0 does exist, but it won't run in your car engine.


You love being a silly goose, along with ibm(inner bowel movement). Yeah, you do as ibm does, only its outside. E0 is the gasoline that existed before the EPA regulations put 10% ethanol in E0. Not only does E0 run in cars, some times (specially in older cars) cars run better. Matter of fact, many later vehicles run so well with E0, that their EPA emissions tests are as clean or cleaner than vehicles using (but not burning efficiently) E10.
20-11-2016 01:26
IBdaMann
★★★★★
(3109)
litesong wrote: Matter of fact, many later vehicles run so well with E0, that their EPA emissions tests are as clean or cleaner than vehicles using (but not burning efficiently) E10.

They should talk to the Global Warming berserkers about efficiently burning Arctic Climate utilizing thermal forcings and radiative feedbacks.




.


Global Warming: The preferred religion of the scientifically illiterate.

Ceist - I couldn't agree with you more. But when money and religion are involved, and there are people who value them above all else, then the lies begin. - trafn

You are completely misunderstanding their use of the word "accumulation"! - Climate Scientist.

The Stefan-Boltzman equation doesn't come up with the correct temperature if greenhouse gases are not considered - Hank

:*sigh* Not the "raw data" crap. - Leafsdude

IB STILL hasn't explained what Planck's Law means. Just more hand waving that it applies to everything and more asserting that the greenhouse effect 'violates' it.- Ceist
20-11-2016 19:57
Into the Night
★★★★★
(5741)
litesong wrote:
Into the Night wrote:
Yeah, you're right.... just 10% ethanol in low 87 octane gasoline engines drops mpg from 8% to 5%.


E0 does exist, but it won't run in your car engine.


You love being a silly goose, along with ibm(inner bowel movement). Yeah, you do as ibm does, only its outside. E0 is the gasoline that existed before the EPA regulations put 10% ethanol in E0. Not only does E0 run in cars, some times (specially in older cars) cars run better. Matter of fact, many later vehicles run so well with E0, that their EPA emissions tests are as clean or cleaner than vehicles using (but not burning efficiently) E10.


E0 requires another moderator. We used tetraethyal lead as the moderator (actually we still do, for some fuels).

No, you cannot use leaded fuel in your car today. It will destroy the EPA mandated pollution control devices.

If your car is old enough to not have EPA mandated pollution to pollution converters on them, then E10 is damaging your car. Those gaskets were not made to be exposed to alcohol.

So would you say that damaging your engine is better than destroying your EPA mandated pollution to pollution converter?


The Parrot Killer
21-11-2016 12:19
IBdaMann
★★★★★
(3109)
Into the Night wrote:So would you say that damaging your engine is better than destroying your EPA mandated pollution to pollution converter?

Drive your car to the Arctic and it will be Global Warming berserkers, not alcohol, that will be smashing your pollution converter.




.


Global Warming: The preferred religion of the scientifically illiterate.

Ceist - I couldn't agree with you more. But when money and religion are involved, and there are people who value them above all else, then the lies begin. - trafn

You are completely misunderstanding their use of the word "accumulation"! - Climate Scientist.

The Stefan-Boltzman equation doesn't come up with the correct temperature if greenhouse gases are not considered - Hank

:*sigh* Not the "raw data" crap. - Leafsdude

IB STILL hasn't explained what Planck's Law means. Just more hand waving that it applies to everything and more asserting that the greenhouse effect 'violates' it.- Ceist
07-02-2017 00:12
Wake
★★★★★
(3401)
litesong wrote:
Gasoline engine engineers are good, designing low 87 octane, low compression ratio(9:1 to 12:1) gasoline engines to burn 87 octane 100% ethanol-free gasoline(E0) efficiently. Ethanol engine engineers are good also, designing high 114 octane, high compression ratio(16:1) ethanol engines to burn 114 octane, 100% ethanol efficiently. Ethanol, as used(not burned efficiently) in gasoline engines.... fails. Only "ethanol in gasoline industry" & EPA propaganda says ethanol gives as much btu energy in gasoline engines as in ethanol engines. You would NOT use 114 octane E0(does such a fluid exist?) in your 87 octane, low compression ratio gasoline engine. You should not use ethanol in your 87 octane low compression ratio gasoline engine.
87 octane E0 averages 87 octane(duh). 87 octane E10 has 10% ethanol which, as mentioned, is 114 octane. What some people may NOT have calculated, is that the remaining gasoline molecules, comprising 90% of E10, must bring the total octane of E10 down to 87 octane by the remaining gasoline molecules averaging 84 octane! Whereas E0 gasoline molecules average 87 octane, E10 has few molecules which ARE 87 octane. Fuel, whether gasoline or ethanol, that is not the right octane for the specified engine will not perform efficiently. My own accurate mpg records in 5 non-hybrid, non-turbo standard 87 octane vehicles over nearly a decade, show mpg differences in favor of E0 of 8%, 8%, 7%-8%, 7% & 5%, caused by the introduction of only 10% ethanol fuel.

Yeah, you're right.... just 10% ethanol in low 87 octane gasoline engines drops mpg from 8% to 5%.


Oh great Sky Spirit - there is no conclusive proof that ethanol added to gasoline has any effect other than reducing power.

Because the gasoline will ignite and burn first, in order to keep the ethanol from simply blowing out into the tailpipe and burning on the way out you have to drop the compression ratios down, inject the fuel earlier and lead the ignition more. This means that that decrease in fuel economy is led by a decrease in engine power and the driver having to drive with the pedal down further.

How are the economy tests performed? On a dyno using what would be speed limited road speeds and not actual speeds that people drive. If you drive as they model on the dyno tests you can get as good or better milage than their reports. But no one drives like that.




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