The Case for Ethanol Fuel Use

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nn4jw

Jim
Senior User
E85 is 85% ethanol, so you would be using more fuel (ethanol), not necessarily more gasoline. (semantics)

Still, the rest of your analysis looks spot on to me. Looking forward to getting a Mr. Fusion installed on my old pickup.
Oops. Yep, I added percentages in my head instead of actually calculating the amount of gasoline in the 22.73 gal of E85 which would have been 3.4 gal of gasoline in 22.73 gal of E85. I'm going to edit that mistake and correct the original. Thanks for catching that.
 

nn4jw

Jim
Senior User
E85 is 85% gasoline and 15% ethanol. Most of the websites say 85% ethanol.
You should read what you just wrote and then do some googling. Better yet, next time you are at a gas station, read the label on the E85 pump.
 
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Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
As a rule, ethanol is about 65% as efficient as gasoline, so adding it will proportionally decrease your fuel mileage. Ethanol is less polluting, but can be more hazardous in one respect: Ethanol burns without a visible flame, so it is not readily noticeable when it is on fire.
 

nn4jw

Jim
Senior User

nn4jw

Jim
Senior User
I should have added that if you use the GasBuddy app on a smart phone you can search for gas stations near you by type of gas. E85 is one of the choices. It will also show the prices making it easier to shop for lower prices on any grade.
 

Danny Batchelor

Danny
User
I’ve enjoyed this thread very much but I had read that buying premium gas for any engine that was not high compression is a waste of money, as the purpose of higher octane was to delay detonation, allowing time for greater compression.
 

nn4jw

Jim
Senior User
I’ve enjoyed this thread very much but I had read that buying premium gas for any engine that was not high compression is a waste of money, as the purpose of higher octane was to delay detonation, allowing time for greater compression.
I've always heard that too. I know my 2008 350 isn't as high compression as my 1972 was. I don't hear knocking on anything, including E85. Of course my hearing is 46 years older too, so who knows?
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Now that we have digressed, back to original topic. I suggested using ethanol (10%) fuel in generator because of the savings of over a buck a gallon. During a typical power outage (Duke Energy Progress) this can easily amount to over forty bucks. I don't care for when economics are based upon a government mandate. Let the free market decide. It's the American way.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Let's not forget that older vehicles lose fuel efficiency over time. There is a loss (and it may very well be over 5%) but it likely isn't 20%.

Of course the important thing is that even with a loss in efficiency of just 3.3 percentage points, a vehicle with a normal range of 400 miles, now requires its owner to walk the final 13 miles to reach the gas station.
In the 13 years, and 200K miles I owned my Civic, less than five fill ups didn't have MPG figured. These were when someone else drove car, and didn't record the speedometer reading, or either the amount of fuel pumped.
 

Danny Batchelor

Danny
User
So what you are saying is be prepared to flush generators, mowers, etc. of cheap corn gas with the $1+ to off set potential motor maintenance?
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
So what you are saying is be prepared to flush generators, mowers, etc. of cheap corn gas with the $1+ to off set potential motor maintenance?
I use Stabil and have had no problems. As for decanting the gas and running the carburetor dry for seldom used equipment like chain saws, generators, etc, I would do that even if I didn't use E10 gas. I started doing that with lawn mowers before ethanol became an additive after having gas go bad over the winter. Right now, my mower runs often enough in the winter to mulch up leaves, etc, that I just leave it filled (to prevent water condensation in the tank). I do use higher octane gas for my 2-cycle equipment because the manufacturer recommends it for a cooler running engine.

To be honest, I trust gas with ethanol from a high-turnover tank at a high volume station over non-ethanol gas that may have been in the station's tank several months due to low use collecting condensation and algae. Today's equipment has been designed to run on gas with ethanol added, so I have no problem capitalizing on the engineering effort that went into the equipment's design.

jmtcw

Go
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Dan, here you go and it's a complex argument for ethanol. Scientifically, it's a cheap octane booster with fewer emissions. Politically it's a hot potato with the corn growers, ethanol producing industries, and gasoline refining industries as strong proponents over the last 10-15 years.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/02/10/466010209/the-shocking-truth-about-americas-ethanol-law-it-doesnt-matter-for-now

Old gas discolors a lot when compared to fresh gas and it loses some of its volatility.

If you believe anything NPR has to say....
 

tarheelz

Dave
Corporate Member
The sources for this piece from Dan Charles, a science and technology writer (and author), are:

The text of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
Robert Bryce, senior fellow at The Manhattan Institute.
Sen. Ted Cruz.
The Editorial Board of the Washington Post.
Paul Niznik of Stratas Advisors.
Scott Irwin, professor at Illinois.

Even with all of that, there will be some who still dismiss the story out of hand because the url includes the letters "NPR."
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Even with all of that, there will be some who still dismiss the story out of hand because the url includes the letters "NPR."
Simply because NPR is the most biased piece of "journalism" on the planet. I listen to it quite abit and try to keep an open mind about their point of view, but that's the problem, its blatantly one sided. And rarely, if ever tell the entire story. I regularly laugh out when their program comes on calling itself "All things considered" when in reality its "nothing else considered" typically.
 
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