Fuel, Pollution and Mileage Curiosity

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Administrator Since: Apr 03, 2002

On another forum I frequent we got in a spittin match over a member that bought an e85 powered vehicle...a few members, me being one, laugh at e85 while another member is actually part of a gov't agency that tests and promotes e85.

I live in Minnesota, the nations number 1 producer of e85, so my stance ins understandably unpopular here.

I look at e85 and the car mileage over here a big conspiracy, our "good mileage" cars are 30 or better, which I think is laughable, e85 is a joke of an alternative...

I am curious, what is the average mileage of cars in Europe or the UK? What are pollution control on cars?

Just kinda curious.

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Mans reach exceeds his grasp
Member
Since: Oct 23, 2007


Jan 14, 2008 10:14 am

I would think their emissions over there or anywhere else for that matter are the same.... all the engines run on the same principles. And I'm with ya, e85 is kinda a joke. You're still burning fluro-carbons, just more recently converted ones.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 14, 2008 10:37 am

Well, it's not only the issues while burning the fuel, but the issues involved in the processing of the fuel...or any form of anything...look at recycling paper, looks great on paper, then you take into account the bleach to make it white again...which wrecks the ozone...so which is worse? Same with e85...making it has issues, using it has issues.

e85 has less power, needing to carry more, cutting mileage more, requires more expensive parts in the engine.

The only way to really help is to get away from the combustion engine...but eh...

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 14, 2008 10:42 am

Not to mention that that it's a waste of perfectly good <hic> ethanol...

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Member
Since: May 11, 2002


Jan 14, 2008 11:53 am

well to me it's a fuel security issue. No point in great mileage if you just can't get it. :) ...besides when has efficiency actually helped? If each individual item used less of a resource it only means that more of those items can be used. :)

The problem if I recall with the negative study about e85 production is that they assumed the worst possible method to manufacture it.

There was apparently a recent breakthrough with hydrgenn production from bio-waste but whats easier for me immediately if gas goes they way of the dinosaur...err...again...?

I can spend 40K on a new car running a newfangled power source or I can spend $600 on a conversion and still get to work.

Getting to work is the #1 issue.

Remember 911 when gas was $6 and there were mile long lines and police at every station? An e85 user could just skip the line and go to the pump nobody's using. :)



---------------
edit

and I'm probably going to do a e85 conversion on my car this year... as e85 is almost a dollar less expensive per gallon in my area...

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 14, 2008 11:58 am

That is the other aspect, the future of production. e85 is young and subject to improvements...hopefully.

As far as when better mileage has helped...well, I dunno about you, but if my car gets better mileage I have no intent of buying a second just cuz I can...better mileage helps everything...except the oil barons.

Answer:On a good day, lipstick.
Member
Since: Jun 24, 2004


Jan 14, 2008 12:06 pm

Remember that in Europe/UK most people drive smaller 4-cylinder cars, so the fuel usage is less - plus they are paying around $2 per litre for gas.

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I'm very wary of ethanol. That the government is backing it makes me doubly wary as they obviously have a stake in selling oil...
Corn ethanol is not as efficient as cane ethanol, and the process is less efficient. Doesn't sound like a solution to me. If the funding had been put into fuel-cell technology like it was into ethanol we'd have amazing electric cars by now. Unfortunately we are being conned into staying with big oil.

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Member
Since: May 11, 2002


Jan 14, 2008 12:19 pm

I think I can address the conspiracy theory with the concept that the republican base are farmers... who were eviscerated by the Carter administration and still haven't really recovered... (failed breadbasket of the world policy) ethanol production has them excited because they can actually make good money farming.

I think a lot of bad press to e85 is the possibility that big oil doesn't want something whose production can be done in a back yard... most cars can run on 140 proof alcohol... and it isn't terribly hard to make 180 proof with just a double distilling process... mix it with gas though and it has to be 200 proof (no water) which is quite a bit more difficult...

and as brought up... the mix with gasoline is often considered unnecessary as one of it's purposes is to make it unfit for consumption. ...most states 'alcohol for fuel' laws at least require lead to be added. I think using lead solder is considered enough...

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 14, 2008 12:33 pm

And recharging a battery-powered car requires electricity which is generated by burning a lot of fossil fuels... ya just can't win..

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 14, 2008 12:37 pm

Thus far the best option I have seen, and will likely be our next purchase, will be a fuel/electric hybrid...but I am hesitant to buy one for the simple fact I know damn well when I buy one they will have a massive breakthru the next day that will lead to 200 MPG vehicles or something...

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 14, 2008 12:59 pm

I'm just going to hold out until I can get my own Teleporter.


http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/bbr/lowres/bbrn37l.jpg


bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 14, 2008 01:09 pm

Just two quick points, neither of which really address the key subject that db brought up. But...

On recycling paper, I'm not positive, but I think the same bleach is needed when you make new paper, so by recycling, I don't think you're adding any new bleach to the equation, just cutting down less trees. That's a net gain, if my assumptions are correct.

On electric cars. Yes, electricity is often generated by burning fossil fuels. But is done on a large scale and much more efficiently than a combustion engine in a car does. So, if everybody switched from combustion engine cars to electric cars, it would still be a net gain in terms of less pollution entering the atmosphere. Of course, we're still waiting for the useful electric car...

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 14, 2008 01:17 pm

"It was estimated by the Energy Information Administration that in 2005, 86% of primary energy production in the world came from burning fossil fuels. With the remaining Non-fossil being hydro 6.3%, nuclear 6.0%, and other (geothermal, solar, wind, and wood and waste) 0.9 percent."

86 percent? I knew it was a big chunk, but not that big...

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 14, 2008 01:22 pm

Good point on the bleach issue, I guess I never thought of that fact...as far as electric cars, yeah, no 100% electric is useful, but these hybrids are some neat technology I think...using gas only during acceleration which is clever, and efficient.

Answer:On a good day, lipstick.
Member
Since: Jun 24, 2004


Jan 14, 2008 01:24 pm

NiMH batteries available now are far more efficient, and could give up to 100 mile range. That's more than enough for most situation of commuting.

GM bought the controlling rights on the efficient batteries, and then sold it to Chevron....
And Chevron would just LOVE for you to stop buying gasoline.
I'm sure the current administration are just fuming at the idea and doing everything the can to make Chevron release these batteries and stop selling oil based gasoline.

Yours,
Sarcasmo

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 14, 2008 01:28 pm

Quote:
using gas only during acceleration which is clever, and efficient.


...and using the energy created from breaking to re-charge the batteries is awesome thinking as well.

I think one of the biggest struggles is that the richest people in the world (the ones that could actually make a go of new technology) are not likely to take a pay cut to explore these options.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 14, 2008 01:33 pm

yeah, the recharging is cool too, for sure.

I get skeptical when gov't starts backing things, like e85, because, nobody fucks **** up like the gov't...nobody wastes money, time and creates red tape and crap like them. Better results ALWAYS (I mean ALWAYS) come from the private sector. Competition breeds improvement...

Price controls, beauracracy, and union monopolies only create mediocrity. The private sector and free markets do the job MUCH MUCH better.

Which explains why US schools are going down the shitter...no competition, just the big gov't union...but I digress...

The private sector has been looking at alternative power and hasn't come up with a viable option, which leads me to believe it's just not out there, otherwise there would be private sector manufacturing...because whoever DOES create a viable alternative (beisdes nuclear) will be a VERY wealthy person...or wacked...

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 14, 2008 01:33 pm

I'd love to have this car. The fact it is electric is a bonus.


http://www.elementale.com/images/2006_tesla_Roadster.jpg


bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 14, 2008 03:02 pm

is that the tesla?

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 14, 2008 03:30 pm

Ya, the Tesla Roadster. Nice piece of work. Goes to show that an electric car doesn't have to look like ****.

The Eternal Student
Member
Since: Oct 08, 2005


Jan 14, 2008 07:46 pm

coolo, you're right in that nearly all the bleach and chemicals used in the paper industry may be reused (over 95% I believe).

e85's only advantage is that you can make it. The problem: it takes 300 gallons of fuel to create 200 gallons of e85 (or some similar ratio) and the only reason the industry is even surviving is the massive government subsidies. It'll never be realistically feasible till we have enough hydro/wind/solar power and the technology to start making things entirely electric. And then we wouldn't need e85 anyways... really the only truly quality alternative power generation in terms of cost/kW is hydro power. Nothing else pencils out (besides fossil fuels).

Oh but wait, hydro power hurts the fishies and wind hurts the birdies and solar panels makes the scenery ugly.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 14, 2008 08:01 pm

OK, I read through the whole thread hoping to see this in there but I didn't. Only a brief touch of it.

e85 is cheaper money wise indeed. But the fact has been proven that the mileage given by e85 ends up costing you more then the regular gasoline you burn while getting better mileage. In the end it will cost you more to drive and e85 car both in fuel cost's and in repairs. So there is no saving at all with e85. Looks good on paper but until the price is reduced even further it will not be comparable economic wise to use e85.

I'm with the hybrid idea or even the electric. We all no that nuclear is the power of the future, but again the government is inhibiting any research to make it better. It is by far more economical then all the others accept for wind and hydro.

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 14, 2008 08:05 pm

kenneth, i wasn't even thinking along those lines exactly (re: paper), but hell, that's even better!

clean energy is modern man's rubiks cube. You know there has to be an anser, but its gonna take a lot of effort to find it (my analogy doesn't work for you god damn rubiks cube whizzes, so no smart aleck replies. Thanks!).

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Member
Since: May 11, 2002


Jan 14, 2008 09:00 pm

interesting read
www.smh.com.au/news/envir...0159363527.html

The one problem I have with electric cars is I'm uncertain our infrastructure is up to the task... as 300 houses were built across the street I was having brownouts... an older community I lived in had daily minor brown outs with no construction... add 1-4 cars per house also needing electricity and I don't think we can do it.


The Eternal Student
Member
Since: Oct 08, 2005


Jan 14, 2008 10:02 pm

the problem with e85 is that financially, we shouldn't be producing it, period.

sure, to the consumer it becomes advantageous if it were even cheaper. But considering the cost of production, prices would be $4-6 per gallon.

Unfortunately it's in law now that we have to be producing ethanol. And the dudes doing it are making tons of money and they aren't going to let that stop, so again, the government has dumped millions, perhaps billions of dollars into a program that shouldn't have even gone beyond the research stages.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 14, 2008 10:27 pm

Thats the funny thing. People seem to think and electric car is going to suck their electricity completely dry current wise. It doesn't as it is a very slow trickle but very efficient.

I'm betting on future battery tech evolving to the better. I just bought a new drill at work. 18volt Lithium Ion. It ways half of what my NiMH did and is much smaller. The battery pack is less then half the size, yet puts out a higher current and lasts longer the my NiMH cells did. And id I mention it weighs less then half of what my old drill with less power did?

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Member
Since: May 11, 2002


Jan 14, 2008 10:39 pm

ok, the tesla capacity is 53 kWh... which lasts 3 hours about... basically one day... which means it will need to be charged every day... at at least 2kW per hour... that is almost 24 times that of a refrigerator(1)... which is one hell of a trickle :)


1. Kenmore Elite - 687 kW per year

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 15, 2008 01:59 pm

hmmm, if only we could exchange spending on ethanol to spending on our infrastructure, we might have something...

Member
Since: Aug 13, 2005


Jan 15, 2008 02:21 pm

Giant solar panels in Africa and electric cars would be nice.
My car does about 30mpg (petrol).The diesel estate I had before did about 50mpg.200 miles a week is about my average but not sure of UK average.Fuel at 5 a gallon ($10) I dont want to drive much further:)

Prince CZAR-ming
Member
Since: Apr 08, 2004


Jan 15, 2008 02:35 pm

re: electricity to charge new electric cars:

www.solarmissiontechnolog..._technology.htm

i want to build one of these in my yard. Maybe not so big, but the same idea.

=).

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 15, 2008 02:56 pm

The sun = unlimited fuel source.

We gotta tap into that sucka better than we are right now, that is for sure.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 15, 2008 02:59 pm

Ya know, I have been seriously considering putting a couple big solar panels on my roof. I have a house with no real obstructions between it an the sun, nor will there be in lifetime...and they really are not that expensive any more either...

I agree totally, but highly doubt there will be real power generating capabilities for vehicles any time soon.

Member
Since: Aug 13, 2005


Jan 15, 2008 03:03 pm

Fantastic,nice find pjk :)

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 15, 2008 03:18 pm

Turn the entire state of Wyoming, except for Yellowstone and a few other acres, into a wind farm. We could power the entire country with it, and possibly part of Canada. If you've ever been there, you know what I mean.

And I'll save you the trouble with the joke...

Why does the wind blow constantly in Wyoming?

Because (adjacent state) sucks!

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 15, 2008 03:21 pm

yep...same reason the Mississippi River flows south...Iowa sucks.

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 15, 2008 03:35 pm

I've seen some pretty cool advances in "wave" technology as well. Wind, sea and sun.... jeesh, what more do we need?!!

Just announced yesterday was a $14 billion dollar upgrade to our transit system which would make us one of the greenest regions in the world.... on paper.

I find it very difficult to beleive that in all these years there hasn't really been any advancement in alternative fuels. Please Note Sarcasm:
I mean at this rate it is going to be a long, long time before I get my teleporter
. Come on people, lets get a move on. Stop spending so much money on proving global warming and war etc and put it towards some new ******* technology!!

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 15, 2008 03:39 pm

That just tells me some of the technologies have not proven to be worth the investment. I mean, that's my issue...it'll cost me about $8k to have a good system installed in my home, how long would it take to recoup that expense?

That's the rub, and the fact the private sector hasn't run with these means to me they have been proven they are not viable...yet...

The Eternal Student
Member
Since: Oct 08, 2005


Jan 15, 2008 03:46 pm

If they can get the cost of fuel cells down, they could be quite viable for home power and heating (granted, they're really only viable for northern houses requiring heating).

If you don't require heating, it'll take a huge decrease in cost of fuel and equipment to make it pay in southern areas.

Eliminate infrastructure problems and massive blackouts from storms and whatnot, and create an all new sort of industry. Sounds interesting to me.

Excess power could be put back on the grid...

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 15, 2008 03:47 pm

I live in Minnesota...yeah, heating is mandatory :-D

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 15, 2008 03:51 pm

Quote:
I live in Minnesota...yeah, heating is mandatory :-D


Ya, around here as well. Heat is energy though and that could be used to "cool" as well.

The Eternal Student
Member
Since: Oct 08, 2005


Jan 15, 2008 03:55 pm

yeah, we penciled out some studies of having 5kW fuel cells for individual houses and stuff, the only kicker was the initial cost and fuel cost. If they can get down to a threshold (I ashamedly don't remember what it was), they'd pay for themselves quite nicely and the logistics (not to mention losses) burden of powerplants would be hugely decreased.

Tons of research money in fuel cells now though, hopefully only a matter of time...

yeah, you can use heat for cooling, but it's a very expensive process in terms of efficiency; you're better off to just turn on the AC than use the heat byproduct of the fuel cell and try to cool with it.

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 15, 2008 03:59 pm

Quote:
efficiency


This is what it all boils down to. The time WILL come though. I remember when it took a HUUUUGE battery to power my cell phone. Now it is really small and lasts 100x longer (stat pulled out of my ***).

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 15, 2008 04:01 pm

Yeah, it'll come when we absolutely need it...one of the best quotes came out of a horrible alien movie.

"Humans are at their best when things are at their worst"

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Member
Since: May 11, 2002


Jan 15, 2008 05:21 pm

actually that movie got an Oscar nomination...

but I havn't seen it because it sounds awful :)


Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 15, 2008 09:34 pm

BH, thats what I was talking about in referring to my new drill. The new Lithium Ion cells are so much smaller and pack way more wallup then the NiMH do. My Razor has a Lithium Ion cell, not the standard pack by the way. And it can last with me doing average call time for about 3 days of moderate use.

The new phone I am looking at is slightly larger then a pack of gum and the battery time on it is even more then I have now and it has a smaller cell. Lithium Ion as well. So battery tech is starting to evolve faster from what I can see.

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 18, 2008 04:00 pm

Have you guys seen this one yet? The Nissan Pivo2??

www.nissan-global.com/EN/PIVO2/

Answer:On a good day, lipstick.
Member
Since: Jun 24, 2004


Jan 18, 2008 04:15 pm

Quote:
hmmm, if only we could exchange spending on ethanol to spending on our infrastructure, we might have something...


What? Spend money domestically to improve the lives of those here? Rather that making them foot the bill for it all and spending all the money on empire building?
Nah...

Quote:
My car does about 30mpg (petrol).The diesel estate I had before did about 50mpg.200 miles a week is about my average but not sure of UK average.Fuel at 5 a gallon ($10) I dont want to drive much further:)


I forget you're in the UK sometimes....

You gallon is a bit bigger than the US version (your is 4.5 litres, our is 3.99 litres). Even so, you're paying much more at the pump than we are in the USA.

I drive 400 miles just on Wednesdays for work, and plenty the rest of the week (I get about 28 MPG from my Grand Prix in freeway mileage). That Pivo ain't gonna work for me. Besides, where do you put your groceries?


Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 18, 2008 04:17 pm

Quote:
Spend money domestically to improve the lives of those here? Rather that making them foot the bill for it all and spending all the money on empire building?


My #1 problem with every administration since I remember...worrying more about everybody else while poeple starve in our own borders...

Prince CZAR-ming
Member
Since: Apr 08, 2004


Jan 18, 2008 04:21 pm

Quote:
Have you guys seen this one yet? The Nissan Pivo2??


I like it just because of the Kick-butt web intro =).


Answer:On a good day, lipstick.
Member
Since: Jun 24, 2004


Jan 18, 2008 04:22 pm

Yeah, dB-Wan. I don't get it.
Very sad.

I'm not a communist, or even a socialist really, but I'd like to see at the very least socialized health care just for kids.

Eat Spam before it eats YOU!!!
Member
Since: May 11, 2002


Jan 18, 2008 06:45 pm

The Nissan Pivo2


... just imagine being in a collision where the driver compartment separates and is rolling down the road for a couple miles...

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 18, 2008 06:49 pm

.. or you drive off a bridge and look like a bobber going down the river - lol

Member
Since: Aug 13, 2005


Jan 19, 2008 08:13 am

Looks like they would be driven by 'The Simpson Aliens'

www.TheLondonProject.ca
Member
Since: Feb 07, 2005


Jan 19, 2008 01:08 pm

http://www2.truman.edu/~ramberg/teaching/jins362/simpsonsaliens.gif


Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 19, 2008 03:11 pm

Ya, its a cool concept for sure. It would be an inner city car for sure. For me with my close drive to work it would be a great commuter car for sure.

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