Ethanol For Me Please !! Free Horse Power !! - Page 5 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


Performance, Brainstorming & Tuning Talk about modifications, or anything else associated with performance enhancements. Have a new idea for performance/reliability? Post it here. No idea is stupid! (please use Detailing and Appearance for cosmetic ideas)

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-23-2007, 04:28 PM   #41
Member
Posts like a V-Tak
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 47
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
WalterMitty is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Has oil refinement always been self sufficient?
Yes. Crude oil itself will burn and can be used to heat other crude for fractionation into other more useful products. That aside, atmospheric distillation produces enough product on a first pass basis to fuel a continuous process; until the crude runs out.

The first commercial refineries were built specifically to extract kerosene, a lighting and heating oil, that was used to replace whale oil for lighting. If anything saved the whales, it was the oil refineries of the 1850'*. The refineries were built near the oil fields and the product was hauled out in barrels by mule powered wagons, but that hardly represents an energy subsidy similar to what we see today with ethanol, hydrogen, solar, and wind technologies.

Everything else was considered waste at the time, including gasoline, which was usually dumped into the nearest river. Quite a mess. As recently as the early 70'* the flares at the typical refinery (used to burn off unwanted/unneeded fractions) were bright enough to read a newspaper on the ground. Since then we have learned that nearly every fraction has some value or use from fertilizers to plastics to fuels. Quite a big improvement.

Quote:
This is just my opinion, but the feeling I get from your thoughts on the subject is that it will never measure up to how we produce gasoline & other products of crude oil, so why bother?
If by "it" you mean some form of alcohol, that is correct, I do not think any form of alcohol will ever be able to become the primary energy medium economically, meaning, by carrying it'* own weight. I think it takes too much energy to produce, but more importantly, it will take more land mass than is available on the planet to grow the feedstock.

It won't ever come to planting soybeans in Yellowstone for fuel feedstock, but I do hate to see us waste time and money on boondoggles like subsidised ethanol, hydrogen, wind and solar power, when more promising technologies exist. e.g.

http://www.energybulletin.net/4057.html,

http://www.forbes.com/global/2004/0524/024_print.html

http://www.syntroleum.com/

Now, having said all that, I don't think we should stop researching better ways to power our civilization and I'm the first one to read every new report of somebody that claims to have produced cold fusion or anti-matter or any of that kind of sci-fi stuff that one day I hope we will look back and recognize as the big breakthrough.

It'* not that I'm a radical or anything, but I don't think our descendants are going to be able to explore the stars on a big tank of regular unleaded or a trunk full of lead acid batteries; if you know what I mean. We need something big and powerful, and in the meantime we shouldn't shuffle back to an agrarian society or let ourselves be distracted by every little shiney distraction that comes up. Particularly when those distractions are net CONSUMERS of energy.

So I'll close this up with an old joke:

There were these two guys from Texas who had a little money and an old pick-up truck. They heard they could buy these watermelons in Mexico for $1 each and they decided that they could sell them for $10 per dozen. So, they went to Mexico, loaded the truck with watermelons and headed toward Dallas, selling off these watermelons for that $10/dozen. They did a great business and sold out of watermelons before they even got halfway to Dallas. But, while sitting on the side of the road, counting their money, they noticed they were a little short of the amount they had started with. They wondered what the problem was since they had done a brisk business and it finally dawned on them—what they needed was a bigger truck.

WalterMitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007, 05:16 PM   #42
Senior Member
Posts like a Camaro
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Waterloo, NY
Posts: 809
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
swartlkk is on a distinguished road
Default

It keeps on being brought up that ethanol production is at a net loss and the fact of the matter is the same can be said of gasoline production or for any process known to man. Being self sufficient doesn't say anything about its efficiency. The cost and efficiency of producing gasoline can be attributed to the dependency on that product. I'd be interested in seeing how bad of a loss it is to produce ethanol in the varying sources of biomass that can be used. But there again, it all depends on the disposition of the person with the pen and paper. It is so subjective that until it has become accepted, the truth will never be known.

Part of the inherent problem with the production of alcohol based fuels is our dependence on fossil fuels for those means of gathering the raw materials necessary. With fossil fuels, the infrastructure is already there on a grand scale. Ocean going tankers transporting millions of gallons of crude oil, pipe lines for the transportation of the finished goods and raw materials, etc. All things that are not present or not on the same scale for the use in the creation and delivery of the raw materials of alcohol based fuels. As I have already stated, the demand for fossil fuels is why they are so economical to use and produce right now. The process has been optimized over time to work with that demand.

Maybe corn isn't the answer. Maybe there is a better biomass alternative that can be discovered or engineered that will not force us all to become, ek, farmers, as if that is such a bad thing. Problem with not trying is you will never know.
swartlkk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007, 06:30 PM   #43
Member
Posts like a V-Tak
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 47
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
WalterMitty is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swartlkk
It keeps on being brought up that ethanol production is at a net loss and the fact of the matter is the same can be said of gasoline production or for any process known to man. Being self sufficient doesn't say anything about its efficiency. The cost and efficiency of producing gasoline can be attributed to the dependency on that product. I'd be interested in seeing how bad of a loss it is to produce ethanol in the varying sources of biomass that can be used. But there again, it all depends on the disposition of the person with the pen and paper. It is so subjective that until it has become accepted, the truth will never be known.

Part of the inherent problem with the production of alcohol based fuels is our dependence on fossil fuels for those means of gathering the raw materials necessary. With fossil fuels, the infrastructure is already there on a grand scale. Ocean going tankers transporting millions of gallons of crude oil, pipe lines for the transportation of the finished goods and raw materials, etc. All things that are not present or not on the same scale for the use in the creation and delivery of the raw materials of alcohol based fuels. As I have already stated, the demand for fossil fuels is why they are so economical to use and produce right now. The process has been optimized over time to work with that demand.

Maybe corn isn't the answer. Maybe there is a better biomass alternative that can be discovered or engineered that will not force us all to become, ek, farmers, as if that is such a bad thing. Problem with not trying is you will never know.
The issue isn't that energy is or isn't lost at each conversion, we know by law that it must, but it'* getting closer to the point. Which do you think came first, the global oil infrastructure, or the first small profitable oil refinery? Do you think the government subsidized early oil refineries to make kerosene cheaper so people would buy it?

Do you really think that being very dependant on something makes it cheaper? Which happens first; the cheapness or the dependance? Do you think the internal combustion engine displaced animal power because it was more expensive or because of a global oil infrastructure?

I wonder why distillers have to use wood, propane, oil, electricity, etc to make their product. Seems like in the two or three hundred years men have been making alcohol and spirits, they would have come up with a way to use some of that excess energy and actually sell power to the utility companies. I know I have better use for their products than burning it, and they get something like $50.00 a gallon for it, but still...

So what you're saying is that if it can't be made to sustain itself on a small scale, it just needs to be tried on a larger scale?

Are you saying we just need a bigger truck?
WalterMitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007, 06:52 PM   #44
Senior Member
Certified Car Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 12,432
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
J Wikoff is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
approximately 10.4 gallons of gasoline will end producing sufficient quantities of ethanol to deliver as much energy as... now follow this, please.... 10gallons of gasoline!
I know a lot of farmers, including my dad. None of them burn a drop of gasoline farming. How much deisel does it take?
J Wikoff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007, 06:57 PM   #45
Senior Member
Posts like a Camaro
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Waterloo, NY
Posts: 809
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
swartlkk is on a distinguished road
Default

WalterMitty, you raise some very valid points and it is clear that you know more on the subject than I...

Let me ask this. With all of our technology today, ignoring the fact that a vast majority of it would not be possible without the discovery and use of fossil fuels, if crude oil refinement were just starting today, how would we look at it? On another token, how would we proceed if crude oil were no longer available?
swartlkk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007, 07:33 PM   #46
Senior Member
Posts like a Corvette
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Montréal, QC
Posts: 1,374
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Foghorn is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Wikoff
Quote:
approximately 10.4 gallons of gasoline will end producing sufficient quantities of ethanol to deliver as much energy as... now follow this, please.... 10gallons of gasoline!
I know a lot of farmers, including my dad. None of them burn a drop of gasoline farming. How much deisel does it take?
Quite right, I'm sure the gasoline number used is some sort of convertion from diesel. Bear in miond also that ethanol cannot be transported by pipeline, it must be trucked because once it comes in contact with oxygen it becomes extremely corrosive.

Cheers,
Foghorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007, 08:20 PM   #47
Senior Member
Posts like a Camaro
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Waterloo, NY
Posts: 809
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
swartlkk is on a distinguished road
Default

Corrosive to what? Source?
swartlkk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007, 08:23 PM   #48
Senior Member
Certified Car Nut
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 12,432
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
J Wikoff is on a distinguished road
Default

Gasoline doesn't make it to the station in a pipeline either.
J Wikoff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007, 08:26 PM   #49
Senior Member
Posts like a Camaro
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Waterloo, NY
Posts: 809
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
swartlkk is on a distinguished road
Default

From what I was able to find online, it may affect the pipelines ddue to the material used, but in modern engines, the materials already in use should be more than up to the task of delivering ethanol blends.
swartlkk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007, 08:38 PM   #50
Senior Member
Posts like a Corvette
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Montréal, QC
Posts: 1,374
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Foghorn is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Wikoff
Gasoline doesn't make it to the station in a pipeline either.
Of course not, but before it becomes gasoline it can be transported by pipeline for refining at least improving somewhat the efficiency of moving it from place to place. In contrast, ethanol is trucked (or manipulated by large mobile machinery) at every stage of production right from planting to final distribution.

Cheers,
Foghorn is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ethanol users? This one's for you: willwren General GM Chat 28 06-23-2007 04:04 PM
Ethanol Acting as a Detergent...? Söy 1992-1999 9 05-23-2006 06:20 PM
ethanol gas? Hans General GM Chat 21 05-11-2006 02:24 PM
Ethanol Conversion? MACDRIVE General GM Chat 4 05-11-2006 03:05 AM
10 free horse power. Lots of pics ComfyCar Performance, Brainstorming & Tuning 67 08-26-2005 11:23 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:02 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.