Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 General Skepticism
 Diesel engine converted to Ethanol
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 4

Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2008 :  15:24:55  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ever since I heard that Ethanol has a higher octane-rating than your usual gas pump fuel, I've been thinking "Why not drive a diesel engine with Ethanol?".
The efficiency is higher in a diesel engine than the Otto-engine.

Finally, it happened. The Swedish sports/engine-tuning company BSR has converted a SAAB diesel to Ethanol, E95.

Most articles I can find is in Swedish, but here's one from SAAB in English.

If the engine can go into production, then Ethanol will very much be in the game for long term sollution in the transport sector.


Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.

bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2008 :  17:54:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dr. Mabuse.....

If the engine can go into production, then Ethanol will very much be in the game for long term sollution in the transport sector.
Michael Grunwald writing in the April 7, TIME, states:
But several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what its proponents intended: it's dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it. Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass, which has been promoted by eco-activists and eco-investors as well as by President Bush as the fuel of the future, looks less green than oil-derived gasoline.

Meanwhile, by diverting grain and oilseed crops from dinner plates to fuel tanks, biofuels are jacking up world food prices and endangering the hungry. The grain it takes to fill an SUV tank with ethanol could feed a person for a year. Harvests are being plucked to fuel our cars instead of ourselves. The U.N.'s World Food Program says it needs $500 million in additional funding and supplies, calling the rising costs for food nothing less than a global emergency. Soaring corn prices have sparked tortilla riots in Mexico City, and skyrocketing flour prices have destabilized Pakistan, which wasn't exactly tranquil when flour was affordable.
Ethanol, at a higher octane rating, is a less desirable fuel for Diesel according to the wiki article
you linked:
A high tendency to autoignite, or low octane rating, is undesirable in a spark ignition engine but desirable in a diesel engine. The standard for the combustion quality of diesel fuel is the cetane number. A diesel fuel with a high cetane number has a high tendency to autoignite, as is preferred.

It should be noted that octane rating does not relate to the energy content of the fuel (see heating value), nor the speed at which the flame initiated by the spark plug propagates across the cylinder. It is only a measure of the fuel's resistance to autoignition
Please note, none of this is my informed opinion, as my opinion on these matters is currently uninformed. However, I have been hearing more and more recently that the energy it takes to produce a gallon of ethanol is greater than the energy that that gallon produces!

I provide the above transcriptions for discussion, I am not yet sufficiently prepared to defend or attack the premises therin!
Go to Top of Page

Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2008 :  19:17:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck

Dr. Mabuse.....

If the engine can go into production, then Ethanol will very much be in the game for long term sollution in the transport sector.
Michael Grunwald writing in the April 7, TIME, states:
But several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what its proponents intended: it's dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it. Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass, which has been promoted by eco-activists and eco-investors as well as by President Bush as the fuel of the future, looks less green than oil-derived gasoline.

Meanwhile, by diverting grain and oilseed crops from dinner plates to fuel tanks, biofuels are jacking up world food prices and endangering the hungry. The grain it takes to fill an SUV tank with ethanol could feed a person for a year. Harvests are being plucked to fuel our cars instead of ourselves. The U.N.'s World Food Program says it needs $500 million in additional funding and supplies, calling the rising costs for food nothing less than a global emergency. Soaring corn prices have sparked tortilla riots in Mexico City, and skyrocketing flour prices have destabilized Pakistan, which wasn't exactly tranquil when flour was affordable.
Ethanol, at a higher octane rating, is a less desirable fuel for Diesel according to the wiki article
you linked:
A high tendency to autoignite, or low octane rating, is undesirable in a spark ignition engine but desirable in a diesel engine. The standard for the combustion quality of diesel fuel is the cetane number. A diesel fuel with a high cetane number has a high tendency to autoignite, as is preferred.

It should be noted that octane rating does not relate to the energy content of the fuel (see heating value), nor the speed at which the flame initiated by the spark plug propagates across the cylinder. It is only a measure of the fuel's resistance to autoignition
Please note, none of this is my informed opinion, as my opinion on these matters is currently uninformed. However, I have been hearing more and more recently that the energy it takes to produce a gallon of ethanol is greater than the energy that that gallon produces!

I provide the above transcriptions for discussion, I am not yet sufficiently prepared to defend or attack the premises therin!


But, you just quoted the article where it says that it is more desirable in a deisel engine because of the perpensity for ethanol to auto-ignite. An attribute which is clearly (according to the article) a desirable trait for diesel motors.

And then you rant on about ethanol being harmful to the environment.

Look, the oil companies want ethanol painted in the worst possible light because they got pissed off that MTBE (their wholly owned chemical anti-polution additive) was declared a source of ground contamination and banned by the EPA.

Since they have to buy ethanol, their profit margins are made less by it, as if $123 Billion in profits by the big three isn't enough.

Then there is the reduction of refining capacity to convince the people that the EPA is too stringent and let them relax environmental standards. Even their current expansion is suspect because it is geared towards exploiting the Edmondton Oil Sands and not existing fuel lines.

So, who's zoomin who, bng?

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Go to Top of Page

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2008 :  20:36:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, bng has a legit point about ethanol (if he is aware of it or not). The net impact from farming corn, sugar beets, and other fruit bearing plants (when just the fruit is used for ethanol) is more greenhouse effect than what is countered by the carbon recycling.

This is mainly because of the nitrogenous fertilizers used to keep land productive. Some of it escapes as nitrogen oxide gas, which is a potent greenhouse gas.

We are well on the way to cellulosic ethanol however, which will not require fertilization if non-agricultural land is used. There are several plants suitable, especially plants that bind nitrogen in their root systems, which will keep the soil fertile without the need for fertilizers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulosic_ethanol#Enzymatic_hydrolysis
This process could use any plant matter. So the biomass wouldn't need to come from crops that require fertilization.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
Go to Top of Page

bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  00:11:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Valiant Dancer.....

But, you just quoted the article where it says that it is more desirable in a deisel engine because of the perpensity for ethanol to auto-ignite. An attribute which is clearly (according to the article) a desirable trait for diesel motors.
I suggest you read carefully before you write, VD! The bolded statement in your quote is not true. Ethanol has higher octane and less propensity to autoignite. You are confusing octane with cetane!

The octane rating is a measure of the autoignition resistance of gasoline and other fuels used in spark-ignition internal combustion engines. It is a measure of anti-detonation of a gasoline or fuel.
The higher the octane, the less the tendency to knock or, put another way, the more resistance to autoignition!

The standard for the combustion quality of diesel fuel is the cetane number
A diesel fuel with a high cetane number has a high tendency to autoignite, as is preferred!

A high tendency to autoignite, or low octane rating, is undesirable in a spark ignition engine but desirable in a diesel engine.
Low octane is desirable in a diesel engine!

Mabuse stated...
Ethanol has a higher octane-rating...
Ethanol is higher octane.

Higher octane is undesirable in a diesel engine.

Consequently, ethanol is LESS desirable for a diesel engine!








And then you rant on about ethanol being harmful to the environment
If it looks like a duck and quacks (a lot) like a duck, thinks like a duck, and dances valiantly like a duck: it must be making fowl comments like "rant on"!

I did not "rant" about anything V.D.! If you had read my original post, you would have read this:
Please note, none of this is my informed opinion, as my opinion on these matters is currently uninformed.
So kindly direct your unpleasant "rant" remarks to the author of the TIME magazine article I quoted, not to me, VD!
Look, the oil companies want ethanol painted in the worst possible light because they got pissed off that MTBE (their wholly owned chemical anti-polution additive) was declared a source of ground contamination and banned by the EPA.
Please post the sources of this statement, VD. If this is a specific disagreement with Michael Grunwald's statements in TIME, say so and I will contact him for a response!
Since they have to buy ethanol, their profit margins are made less by it,
Please post your sources for this statement, VD. If you are disagreeing with the author of the TIME article, read the article and then state where he errs! I will obtain his response!
Then there is the reduction of refining capacity to convince the people that the EPA is too stringent and let them relax environmental standards. Even their current expansion is suspect because it is geared towards exploiting the Edmondton Oil Sands and not existing fuel lines.
Sources for both statements, please!, and clearly state your disagreement with the TIME article.

I repeat, because you did not read or did not care to not read this the first time around.....
I provide the above transcriptions for discussion, I am not yet sufficiently prepared to defend or attack the premises therin!
VD, if you will be gracious enough to supply me with the sources of your opinions stated above, as requested, I will be pleased to continue this discussion with you. I have not yet researched the subject sufficiently to comment on your statements.

Thank you for responding to the comments I directed to Dr. Mabuse Hopefully, I will hear from the good Doctor himself before this thread is finished!
So, who's zoomin who, bng?
Indeed, who is "zoomin" who, VD?









Go to Top of Page

bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  00:57:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dude.....

Dude, soon we'll have to form a two-man mutual admiration society.
Well, bng has a legit point about ethanol (if he is aware of it or not). The net impact from farming corn, sugar beets, and other fruit bearing plants (when just the fruit is used for ethanol) is more greenhouse effect than what is countered by the carbon recycling.
I am certainly aware of the point, and after additional research I may be more aware of it's legitimacy!I understand that it is Mr. Gore's statement, but I haven't checked that yet; and I have read that several scientists have backed him up on it but I don't know their names or pedigrees!

Corn appears to be the biggest offender, as more corn is going into the production of ethanol than any other crop in the US. The information than Grunwald presented in TIME was new to me, and I want to look up a few more sources before saying it is my opinion, but his arguments seem reasonable!

Grunwald also states in his TIME article that cellulosic ethanol, primarily from switchgrass, looks less green than oil derived gasoline! I pretend no expertise on this subject, Dude, all I know is what I have read quite recently! If you have additional information (the wiki article is great, but it does not speak to Grunwald's specific statement, "looks less green than oil-derived gasoline) on cellulosic ethanol that contradicts Grunwald's statements, I would like to consult them.

This appears to be a controversial subject, judging from the Grunwald article, Valiant Dancer's strong opinions that the oil companies are responsible for the derogation of ethanol as a green energy source, and Mabuse's feeling that ethanol is the way to go in Sweden, at least in the "Transport Sector"

I do not have sufficient information on ethanol, its variants, and the effect of it's production on the ecostructure to make intelligent and informed statements yet. However, my interest is piqued, and when I have learned enough, I intend to start a thread on the subject! Thanks for your comment!
Go to Top of Page

Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  01:47:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck
Mabuse stated...
Ethanol has a higher octane-rating...
Ethanol is higher octane.

Higher octane is undesirable in a diesel engine.

Consequently, ethanol is LESS desirable for a diesel engine!

Can you please explain to me why higher octane is undesireable in a diesel engine ethanol-converted diesel engine?



Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 04/02/2008 01:59:47
Go to Top of Page

Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  02:18:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Can you please explain to me why higher octane is undesireable in a diesel engine ethanol-converted diesel engine?
From Wikipedia

A high tendency to autoignite, or low octane rating, is undesirable in a spark ignition engine but desirable in a diesel engine.
Go to Top of Page

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  07:04:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
bng said:
Grunwald also states in his TIME article that cellulosic ethanol, primarily from switchgrass, looks less green than oil derived gasoline! I pretend no expertise on this subject, Dude, all I know is what I have read quite recently! If you have additional information (the wiki article is great, but it does not speak to Grunwald's specific statement, "looks less green than oil-derived gasoline) on cellulosic ethanol that contradicts Grunwald's statements, I would like to consult them.

The enzymatic process, specifically, should* end up with a net carbon reduction and a net reduction in greenhouse effect. I don't think there are, yet, any large production facilities using this process though.

The current methods (adic hydrolysis or gasification) are not so eco friendly, even with switchgrass.

Ideally you'd have a large facility that could use any plant matter for biomass, so you could eliminate the need to use agricultural land and nitrogenous fertilizers.

*I'll see if I can dig up some references other than wiki this evening.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
Go to Top of Page

Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  08:00:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Starman

Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Can you please explain to me why higher octane is undesireable in a diesel engine ethanol-converted diesel engine?
From Wikipedia

A high tendency to autoignite, or low octane rating, is undesirable in a spark ignition engine but desirable in a diesel engine.


And yet, everything BSR did ran contrary to what Wikipedia says. Why bother to convert a diesel engine to alcohol if ethanol characteristics are undesirable?


BSR's conversion involved raising the compression of the engine beyond the normally high compression of a diesel. In fact, it's not a flexi-fuel engine at all and cannot run on diesel anymore.

Compared to diesel, in a diesel engine, ethanol is a poor choice, simply because ethanol isn't diesel.

But in the converted engine, ethanol performs excellently, even on par with a conventional diesel.
That's what makes this car so interesting.



Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 04/02/2008 08:04:02
Go to Top of Page

Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  08:08:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote

A high tendency to autoignite, or low octane rating, is undesirable in a spark ignition engine but desirable in a diesel engine.

So why aren't we driving around with petrol-fueled diesel-engines?


Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Go to Top of Page

bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  13:17:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dr. Mabuse.....

Can you please explain to me why higher octane is undesireable in a diesel engine ethanol-converted diesel engine?

Dr. Mabuse, I, unlike some correspondents on this forum, am not an instant expert in all fields of knowledge. However, from what I have been able to learn in the past few days about this subject, I can say this:

1. Generally speaking, diesel fuel ignition quality is not measured in octanes, as these are a unit for gasoline. A similar reference value, but for diesel, is the cetane rating. The higher the cetane number, the easier the fuel ignites when injected into an engine.

The cetane number is determined by an engine test using two reference fuel blends of known cetane numbers. The reference fuels are prepared by blending normal cetane (n-hexadecane), having a value of 100, with heptamethyl nonane, having a value of 15. The higher the cetane rating, the higher the fuel's propensity to knock! Choosing a very high cetane number will not make the car run better, but using a fuel with too low cetane number may prevent the engine from starting or running.

2. The higher the octane, the more resistance to autoignition.

3. The Diesel engine is designed to autoignite (compression ignition)

4. Ethanol has a much higher octane rating (105) than petrodiesel fuel (10-15). Ethanol's cetane rating is obviously much lower.

5. Therefore, to convert a diesel to ethanol, higher compression than that required for lower-octane petrodiesel fuel is required.

6. A diesel engine built to run on ethanol, must be heavily reinforced to withstand the stresses of the higher compression needed to ignite the high-octane, low-cetane ethanol.

7. Extreme high-compression engines are very difficult to start, particularly in cold weather. Continuous 24hour operation is not feasible due to both fuel waste and greater emissions!

8. Because of the high ignition temperatures of pure ethanol, the addition of ignition improver is necessary for successful diesel engine operation. Since the 1980's, E95 designates a blend of 95% ethanol and 5% ignition improver and is used in some diesel engines where high compression is used to ignite the fuel, as opposed to the operation of gasoline engines where spark plugs are used. This fuel has been used with success in many Swedish busses for years!

9. When ethanol fuel availability allows high-compression ethanol-only vehicles to be practical, the fuel efficiency of such engines should be equal or greater than current gasoline engines. However, since the energy content (by volume) of ethanol fuel is much less than gasoline, a larger volume of ethanol fuel (151%) would still be required to produce the same amount of energy.

So, to summarize several disadvantages of Diesel ethanol conversion:

A. Heavier and more expensive engine design.

B. Difficulty in starting

C. Ignition improver is necessary

D. 50% more fuel by volume is required for the same energy. Depending on comparative fuel costs, this may be a cost disadvantage.

E. If you subscribe to energy conservation relating to carbon footprint reduction, the choice of ethanol may be a very bad choice indeed, as a fuel for vehicles of any type. The jury is not entirely in on this matter, but the juryroom door is opening - as Dude and I have attempted to point out in this thread!

In summary, I have obtained much of this information from a variety of sources, most of which are readily available on the internet. I am not shooting from the hip with my own speculation.

If you are in disagreement with anything I have said here, I will be glad to provide references for any point made above. All I will ask in return, is that you similarly document any statements or opinions that you have that contradict the information that I have found! That way, we all learn something instead of uselessly exchanging unsubstantiated opinion!

I would like to repeat. I am not a petrochemist nor any type of expert on automotive fuels. The information I have gathered is from professional chemists and scientists that work in this field. I am not competent to judge their expertise, all I am doing is presenting their statements.

Valiant Dancer accuses me of...
And then you rant on about ethanol being harmful to the environment.
...."ranting on" about ethanol being harmful to the environment.

I am not only not "ranting", I am not yet certain that the arguments against ethanol are all completely valid. I am in the process of investigating this to the best of my ability, as it relates directly to another aspect of a subject I am writing on currently!

Personally, I feel that concern about ethanol as an alternative fuel is somewhat overblown as I feel that electricity will supplant and ultimately replace petroleum as a mobile energy source long before any ICE alternative fuel! {Hybrids} to {plug-in hybrids} to {pure plug-in electrics} in fairly short sequential time frames.

Finally, you ask:
Why bother to convert a diesel engine to alcohol if ethanol characteristics are undesirable?
and
So why aren't we driving around with petrol-fueled diesel-engines?
The answers to both questions may lie in my comments above. Apparently, many Swedes are currently riding around in ethanol-fueled busses, and that may be a good thing or not, depending on whose mega-analysis of the use of ethanol as a fuel you favor.

The only thing I personally am certain of, concerns a totally different use of ethanol! And that, is a good thing!

I hope that my work here has met your quality standards for senility-impaired antiquarians posting on these boards, Dr. Mabuse!
































Go to Top of Page

Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  15:20:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
....
Originally posted by bngbuck
4. Ethanol has a much higher octane rating (105) than petrodiesel fuel (10-15). Ethanol's cetane rating is obviously much lower.

I had no idea that "petrodiesel fuel" was only rated 10-15 octane. This was news to me. I suppose you could provide a link to your source?

5. Therefore, to convert a diesel to ethanol, higher compression than that required for lower-octane petrodiesel fuel is required.
Which may not be a bad thing, since higher compression translates to higher engine efficiency.

6. A diesel engine built to run on ethanol, must be heavily reinforced to withstand the stresses of the higher compression needed to ignite the high-octane, low-cetane ethanol.
Not so much more heavily reinforced than the standard SAAB diesel engine apparently, since they only replaced the pistons (and possibly the connection rod).
Of course, it's only a prototype, but it could easily be industrialised with (I suppose) minor modifications.

7. Extreme high-compression engines are very difficult to start, particularly in cold weather. Continuous 24hour operation is not feasible due to both fuel waste and greater emissions!
Diesel-engines from antiquity used to have that problem. The lack of complaints from today's diesel car owners and lack of media-coverage suggests that it's not much of a problem anymore. Probably thanks to advances in engine technology.


8. Because of the high ignition temperatures of pure ethanol, the addition of ignition improver is necessary for successful diesel engine operation. Since the 1980's, E95 designates a blend of 95% ethanol and 5% ignition improver and is used in some diesel engines where high compression is used to ignite the fuel, as opposed to the operation of gasoline engines where spark plugs are used.
As if this would be a problem. There are several viable options for ignition improver.

This fuel has been used with success in many Swedish busses for years!
Indeed! At least 15 years...
It's cool that there can now be cars that run on that fuel.

9. When ethanol fuel availability allows high-compression ethanol-only vehicles to be practical, the fuel efficiency of such engines should be equal or greater than current gasoline engines. However, since the energy content (by volume) of ethanol fuel is much less than gasoline, a larger volume of ethanol fuel (151%) would still be required to produce the same amount of energy.
Maybe close to 150% compared to the same volume of diesel, since diesel is more dense than ethanol or unleaded 95 octane for that matter. Did you even have a look at the mileage of that SAAB article I liked to?
How many litres of crude oil do you have to pump up to make a litre of diesel, and how many litres of fossil fuel does it take to make a litre of ethanol E95?
(By the way, I'd like to see a citation for that 151% number. On the ethanol forum I frequent, they talk about an increase around 35% in fuel-consumption when converting from unleaded 95 octane to E85 without increasing the compression ratio. Which suggests that your 151% isn't entirely accurate.)


So, to summarize several disadvantages of Diesel ethanol conversion:

A. Heavier and more expensive engine design.
Not so much more than today's diesel engine.

B. Difficulty in starting
Not so much more than today's diesel engine.

C. Ignition improver is necessary
Since there already are such improvers in premium diesel today, and Swedish busses uses E95 on a daily basis (in our climate, not warm and cozy USA) we know that such ignition improvers aren't a problem to introduce to ethanol.

D. 50% more fuel by volume is required for the same energy. Depending on comparative fuel costs, this may be a cost disadvantage.
Cost differences have always existed between comparative fuels, since the dawn of gas-pumps. So what? The net carbon foot print is ethanol's greatest advantage against fossil fuels. When fossil fuel tax goes up (or oil gets more expensive because Arabs decreases output) ethanol gets competitive.

E. If you subscribe to energy conservation relating to carbon footprint reduction, the choice of ethanol may be a very bad choice indeed, as a fuel for vehicles of any type.
Can you explain to me why energy conservation is paramount in the choice of ethanol? We're choosing ethanol because we want a neutral carbon footprint. Reducing fossil CO2 and dependence on oil, would be my reason for choosing an ethanol powered car.
If you really want to be as energy efficient as possible, then the electric car is probably the way to go, at least in Sweden where 90% of the electricity is either nuclear or hyrdo-power. But for me, that is not an option (though I'd love to have a Tesla).

There's also a third alternative: fuel-cell powered by ethanol.
Actually, there are two schools of thought about that. a) fuel-cell that process ethanol, b) reactor that process ethanol into hydrogen to feed to a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell.


Personally, I feel that concern about ethanol as an alternative fuel is somewhat overblown as I feel that electricity will supplant and ultimately replace petroleum as a mobile energy source long before any ICE alternative fuel! {Hybrids} to {plug-in hybrids} to {pure plug-in electrics} in fairly short sequential time frames.
What if you could be right... Finland is building a new nuclear plant. We could buy electricity from them.


Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Go to Top of Page

Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  20:12:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by bngbuck

Valiant Dancer.....

But, you just quoted the article where it says that it is more desirable in a deisel engine because of the perpensity for ethanol to auto-ignite. An attribute which is clearly (according to the article) a desirable trait for diesel motors.
I suggest you read carefully before you write, VD! The bolded statement in your quote is not true. Ethanol has higher octane and less propensity to autoignite. You are confusing octane with cetane!


I sit corrected. I regret the error.


The octane rating is a measure of the autoignition resistance of gasoline and other fuels used in spark-ignition internal combustion engines. It is a measure of anti-detonation of a gasoline or fuel.
The higher the octane, the less the tendency to knock or, put another way, the more resistance to autoignition!

The standard for the combustion quality of diesel fuel is the cetane number
A diesel fuel with a high cetane number has a high tendency to autoignite, as is preferred!

A high tendency to autoignite, or low octane rating, is undesirable in a spark ignition engine but desirable in a diesel engine.
Low octane is desirable in a diesel engine!

Mabuse stated...
Ethanol has a higher octane-rating...
Ethanol is higher octane.

Higher octane is undesirable in a diesel engine.

Consequently, ethanol is LESS desirable for a diesel engine!








And then you rant on about ethanol being harmful to the environment
If it looks like a duck and quacks (a lot) like a duck, thinks like a duck, and dances valiantly like a duck: it must be making fowl comments like "rant on"!

I did not "rant" about anything V.D.! If you had read my original post, you would have read this:
Please note, none of this is my informed opinion, as my opinion on these matters is currently uninformed.
So kindly direct your unpleasant "rant" remarks to the author of the TIME magazine article I quoted, not to me, VD!
Look, the oil companies want ethanol painted in the worst possible light because they got pissed off that MTBE (their wholly owned chemical anti-polution additive) was declared a source of ground contamination and banned by the EPA.
Please post the sources of this statement, VD. If this is a specific disagreement with Michael Grunwald's statements in TIME, say so and I will contact him for a response!


I had read in 2000 that the EPA was banning MTBE. Calling for it to be phased out in 3-4 years.

http://www.umaine.edu/waterresearch/research/mtbe.htm

Turns out the President put the kibosh on phasing it out. So the states had to.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/mtbeban/index.html




Since they have to buy ethanol, their profit margins are made less by it,
Please post your sources for this statement, VD. If you are disagreeing with the author of the TIME article, read the article and then state where he errs! I will obtain his response!
Then there is the reduction of refining capacity to convince the people that the EPA is too stringent and let them relax environmental standards. Even their current expansion is suspect because it is geared towards exploiting the Edmondton Oil Sands and not existing fuel lines.
Sources for both statements, please!, and clearly state your disagreement with the TIME article.



Oil companies reduced capacity. And using it as a stick to beat down regulations.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/06/14/national/main296584.shtml

Stuff on current expansion

http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idUKN2530030820070925



I repeat, because you did not read or did not care to not read this the first time around.....
I provide the above transcriptions for discussion, I am not yet sufficiently prepared to defend or attack the premises therin!
VD, if you will be gracious enough to supply me with the sources of your opinions stated above, as requested, I will be pleased to continue this discussion with you. I have not yet researched the subject sufficiently to comment on your statements.

Thank you for responding to the comments I directed to Dr. Mabuse Hopefully, I will hear from the good Doctor himself before this thread is finished!
So, who's zoomin who, bng?
Indeed, who is "zoomin" who, VD?



I will admit I was tired when responding.

It just sounded like yet another anti-ethanol rant with Grunwald spouting off about flour riots. No. Can't be the corrupt governments and unrest in those countries, must be those damned ethanol producers.

The EPA even says that Ethanol vs MTBE is statistically a wash but both reduce smog and air polutants. But Grunwald pops off about how it is worse as a global warming agent. Calling it "environmentally disasterous".


Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Go to Top of Page

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2008 :  23:37:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cellulase primer.

Once the price of enzyme production comes down, this may provide a potent (and at least carbon neutral) method of ethanol production.

It will be simple enough to allow the average person (doubt it will be legal... ) to produce ethanol from their yard/garden waste, or to let cities open their own ethanol production facility where people could trade biomass for fuel credits.

Thats the idea anyway.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
Go to Top of Page

bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2008 :  20:13:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dr. Mabuse.....

Sorry to be absent for several days, other threads and personal business interfered.
I had no idea that "petrodiesel fuel" was only rated 10-15 octane. This was news to me. I suppose you could provide a link to your source?
Of course Here
Which may not be a bad thing, since higher compression translates to higher engine efficiency.
Neither a bad thing nor a good thing, just a different thing.
Not so much more heavily reinforced than the standard SAAB diesel engine apparently, since they only replaced the pistons (and possibly the connection rod).
Of course, it's only a prototype, but it could easily be industrialised with (I suppose) minor modifications.
The converted prototype is not designed for a lifetime of use with the higher compression ratios necessary for ethanol use. A production engine will certainly be of a sturdier overall construction and will cost more to produce
The lack of complaints from today's diesel car owners and lack of media-coverage suggests that it's not much of a problem anymore. Probably thanks to advances in engine technology.
Typical fleet owner complaint regarding Diesel engine starting
Most starting problems with diesels have to do with the glow plugs not getting hot enough or fuel pressure issues. During cold weather the glow plugs need to heat a lot longer than in mild weather. Most of my equipment is diesel and I tell my operators to run the glow plugs 20 to 30 seconds before attempting to start the first time in cold weather as opposed to 10 seconds when its warm, but they never seem to learn and are always cranking the engine over and over wondering why it wont start. I dont know if its all that cranking thats doing it but ive gone through several sets of glow plugs this last winter, in one case the relay that is supposed to shut them off after a few minutes of running was not doing its job and they glowed till they could not glow any more. What it boils down to is give plenty of time for the plugs to warm up, remember they need to be hot enough to ignite the fuel ( there is no other way to ignite the fuel ) and a cold engine takes longer to heat up, and once it is running give it time to warm up the rest of the engine ( long enough for the temp guage to start to rise ) before driving. Your glow plugs can be ohm tested to see if they are still good and it is entirely possible that one or more has gone bad.
Source
As if this would be a problem. There are several viable options for ignition improver.
Of course there are and have been for years. It merely points up the fact that ethanol requires more additive than petrodiesel due to higher compression. Gasoline Otto-cycle engines of higher compression require similar additives (tetraethyl lead until outlawed) There is no free lunch, if you are going to increase the compression of an internal combustion engine, various technological concessions must be made to achieve the desired efficiency. Frequently, additional cost is incurred!
Cost differences have always existed between comparative fuels, since the dawn of gas-pumps. So what?
The what is that if the fuel costs more, people don't buy as much. Look what is happening to SUV and big-engine car sales in the US as gas prices rise. My wife is the comptroller at the world's second-largest automobile dealership, and she reports that the decline in sales of big SUV's and other gas-guzzlers is alarming (to the dealership owner)!
Can you explain to me why energy conservation is paramount in the choice of ethanol?
No, I can't for the life of me. It takes more energy produced by petrofuels to produce a gallon of ethanol than that gallon of ethanol produces to run the vehicle that burns it. So the vehicle might just as well run on petrofuel! More total energy is consumed by the ethanol car. That is not energy conservation!
the electric car is probably the way to go, at least in Sweden where 90% of the electricity is either nuclear or hydro-power. But for me, that is not an option (though I'd love to have a Tesla).
Not a Tesla, a Chevy Volt, in 2009! The Tesla is pure plug-in and the World's electrical distribution system is not yet ready for millions of pure plug-ins. But the Volt will start the bridge-building to a new era of mobile energy supply - a transformation that will take several decades to achieve. The first forty thousand Volts are already sold, and the car won't even be delivered to dealers until late 2009!!

If you are going to invest in anything in these times, invest in utility stocks! They are a sure bet for the next five to ten years! I have put thirty percent of my portfolio in utility stocks and mutuals.

Here's some Swedish help for your arguments:
Tanka etanol i dieselbilar!
Alrik Söderlind - 2007-11-16 09:13

Sverige satsar stenhårt på E85-bilar, för miljöns skull.
Tyvärr verkar det vara helt fel väg.
Det förstår jag efter att ha samtalat med Scanias utvecklingschef Hasse Johansson, på den stora miljömässan Michelin Bibendum i Shanghai.

Scania har kört sina dieselbussar på etanol i över 20 år, och man är nu inne på sin tredje generation dieselmotorer som går på E95.
Det fantastiska är att man får ut i stort sett samma verkningsgrad med etanol i tanken som med diesel! 43 procent - mot 44 procent för dieselmotorer på dieselbränsle.

Hasse Johansson, utvecklingschef på Scania.
Alla vet att en E85-bil drar mellan 30-40 procent mer bränsle än en vanlig bensinbil.
Och alla vet att en dieselbil drar cirka 30 procent mindre än en bensinbil.
Alltså borde vi konvertera dieselbilar för etanol, och inte bensinbilar.
Hasse Johansson säger lite skämtsamt att han brukar säga till Saabs chef Jan-Åke Jonsson: "När ska ni börja bygga riktiga etanolmotorer!"
Nästa år kommer Scania att sälja mindre lastbilar som går på E95, och dessutom kommer man testa hybridbussar i större skala i Stockholm. Kombinationen hybrid och E95 låter som en riktigt klimatvänlig lösning.
Det bränsle som Scania kör på består till 95 procent av etanol och fem procent av en tändförbättrare. Enligt Hasse Johansson är konverteringen av en dieselmotor för etanoldrift lite mer komplicerad än konverteringen av bensinmotorer där det mesta bara handlar om att materialen ska tåla etanolen.
"För en dieselmotor måste också spridarmunstyckena anpassas till etanolbränslet, men det är inga stora problem" säger Hasse Johansson.
På frågan om varför vi använder etanol till törstiga bensinmotorer i stället för energieffektivare dieselmotorer svarar Hasse: "Saab kunde för mycket om bensinmotorer och för lite om dieselmotorer."
Min slutsats är att Sverige styrt in på E85-spåret eftersom Saab lyckades övertala Göran Persson om att E85 är den rätta vägen. Tänk om Göran Persson också hade frågat Scania, och om de svenska lastbilstillverkarna Scania och Volvo hade haft ett intimt teknikutbyte med de svenska biltillverkarna… Då skulle vi redan idag kunna köra riktigt energieffektiva bilar på biobränsle, och alltså ha en etanolförbrukning på runt 0,6 l/mil jämfört med 1,3 l/mil som dagens törstiga Saab-E85-bilar drar.
Vi skulle alltså kunna komma dubbelt så långt per liter etanol, om vi tankade den i dieselbilar.
Men tåget har inte gått. Varför inte erbjuda valfri etanolblandning på besinmackarna?
Kör du en E85-bil får du E85. Många bensinbilar går för övrigt att köra på E15, men någon sådan säljs ju inte.
Kör du dieselbil konverterad för etanol får du en E95 med tändförbättrare.
Så vem blir först med en E95-dieselbil?! En sådan vill jag ha.

What the hell did that guy say?


















Go to Top of Page
Page: of 4 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.66 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000