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Thread: Ethanol

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    Moderator Jim in NC's Avatar
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    Ethanol

    If my thinking is correct, it seems ethanol subsidies were enacted to encourage its production to increase the supply of gasoline and make it more affordable.

    Under current conditions of rapidly falling fuel prices, it seems that if ethanol production subsidies continue, gasoline will be made more expensive.

    I also believed that ethonal subsidies were a form of political favoritism as well. I'd like to know from yall that are in corn country if there has been any talk of changing policies regarding ethanol production and blending with fuels since oil prices have dropped.

    Knowing that the production of ethanol requires more energy than it creates, it damages engines, and the craziness of burning food, now seems to be a good time to re-address the need to produce ethanol for fuel.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from a cornfield." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." Henry David Thoreau

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    Moderator John M's Avatar
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    I think those subsidies went away a couple of years ago, and according to some, the ethanol plants are still in full production. I for one have NEVER, ever had any problems running ethanol, either E10 or E85, and have never seen any of the "problems" people say they have. I have used the E10 in everything, and the E85 in all but one of my tractors, and have yet to have a single problem, even if it sits over the winter. I have had more problems storing nonethanol then E85. I suppose region has a lot to do with it though. (Rant ver!)
    1939 F14, 1940 M (Sold), 2 1941 Ms - Consecutive Numbers, 1945 I-4, 1949 Cub, 1972 154 LoBoy

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    Moderator Ernie N Ky's Avatar
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    We once had a Tahoe and it burnt E85 just fine, so we'll in fact that it got far less mpg. We switched back to gasoline because the cost was the same in the end and the only place with e85 was 20 miles away.
    Ernie N Ky

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    Senior Member 4imnotright's Avatar
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    Several gas stations around here have quit the E85 completely
    Steve
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    Moderator Jim in NC's Avatar
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    I think ethanol blends were mandated by the EPA or some such agency, then subsidies were give, also called pork, to make it affordable to be produced. The subsidies may have expired, but my point is that with lower fuel prices, it seems economical suicide to continue this way especially when a gallon of pure gas produces more energy than a gasohol.

    To me a way to achieve less pollution is to burn less fuel, and my vehicles got better mileage on straight gas. Of course who'd think the proper and sensible thing would be done. It seems to me that now is the time to pursue a better path.

    John, like you I believe I have had minimal problems with ethanol blends. I have one carb on an ATV giving me fits now, but I think it was caused more by sitting idle than the fuel. I'm not advisig anyone to do this, but some of my stuff runs only once or twice a year. My leaf blower for one was started last week on the third pull, and it had been a year since used.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from a cornfield." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." Henry David Thoreau

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    Moderator prwttsh's Avatar
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    I haven't noticed anything unusual with ethanol fuels. I do think it helps keep the moisture out of the lines.
    Rain makes grain

    Bruce

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    I'm not so sure that older small engines are not effected by the new 'blended' gasoline. I know that summer blend gas when used in a chainsaw seems to make it harder to start on cold days. Refresh the tank with new 'winter blend' gas and they usually start up more easily. As soon as I bring home a few 5 gallon containers of gas, I treat it with stabilizer.

    A year or so ago I posted a link to a chainsaw shop that had some serious issues with the blends and their effects on the engines due to the oxygenation etc. Here is another link giving a bit of insight, but from a different source : http://www.forestnet.com/TWissues/August08/chainsaw.pdf

    Within the last week, I've worked on a neighbors McCoullagh Timber Bear, my own Stihl 026, another neighbors small 31 cc Homelite and a 38cc Craftsman, plus a 41cc Poulan. All of them are old saws and every one had swollen, rotted and leaking fuel lines. The older saws essentially had rubber lines wheras the newer saws have a material designed to withstand the effects of ethanol. I don't seem to be having an issue with my Stihl 440 or 038, the 028 or the 025 yet, but the 038's fuel line was changed a few years ago, I assume with the updated composition.

    What's causing the deterioration in the fuel lines is the fuel I'd say. I have some old Clinton, McCoullagh's and Stihls that have been dry docked for years and the several fuel lines I've checked for comparison are all still intact and not rotted. I should fill a few of them with the new gas and do a test....but it'd take a year or two of waiting. lol

    Well Jim, I got a little off topic I'd say... Sorry sir.

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    Moderator Jim in NC's Avatar
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    No problem Wendell. From what I've heard from others regarding blended fuels, I guess I've been lucky to have few problems.

    One thing I am trying to address in this post is that it seems to me the need for ethanol has lessened because of lower prices and the increase of proven petro reserves that have "magically" appeared because of new drilling technology.

    I remember not too long ago when prices were high and reading about the world running out of oil and the "peak oil" mantra which indicated our supplies were dwindling. All this was geared to forcing greener energy sources on us. Just look at your power bill now as compared to a few years ago while coal mines continue to be shut down.

    We were told in the 1970s during the first "energy crisis" that oil supplies would have been depleted by now.

    I've never thought it to be a good thing to burn our food to produce fuel, especially when we know that our food world production must doubled by 2050 to feed the population.

    I am just curious to know if anyone, anyhere has suggested that ethanol blended fuels be eliminated. It might not be beneficial for the corn growers in the short term, but even if half of what I have read about the world's coming need for food is true, corn growers will be busy in the future.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from a cornfield." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." Henry David Thoreau

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    Moderator wizzard's Avatar
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    i seen a study here a couple years ago where they thought burn less feul meens less palution. they put a 454 power chevy truck up against a honda civic and a yamaha 4cyl motorcycle. first thing i thought was why waist the time the bike was goin to win hands down. in reality at42mpg the bike was the worst one putin out almost twice the emisions as the civic.

    im shure alot of ya'll know i run a tractor repair/resto shop. so ofcorse i see alot of strange things come threw here. one of the bigest problems i see on a weekly basis is the problems ethanol causes to old time tractors! it bad enuff that i stock carbs for the most popular ones around here. i even seen one weep ethanol blended gas threw the float bowl casting! dont ask me how but it was. so a word of advice, ethanol will cost you alot of money sooner or later and is about the worst thing one can do to an old tractor. gas without it cost more shure but itll save ya headaches down the road.

    the ethanol plants around here (3 of them) i believe dont get much help from uncle sam if any. ive herd the farmers talk when the plants get in a tight spot and think about shuting down cuz then the farmers have to find another place to go with there corn. we used to take our corn there as well when corn was up around 7bucks. now its around 3.65 here and we just cant justify the travel time and miles to go there anymore
    Bert.

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