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Report casts doubt on E15 use in cars & trucks {Extra Ethanol in Gasoline}
Fuel Fix ^ | May 16, 2012 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy

Posted on 05/16/2012 10:42:20 AM PDT by thackney

Automakers and the oil industry released a report today that casts doubt on the safety of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol and shows that at least some engines running the fuel suffered damage during recent testing.

But ethanol backers and the Obama administration immediately countered that the study was fundamentally flawed, because it used engines with known durability issues” and didn’t include control group testing of the 10 percent ethanol blend that is now the standard at filling stations nationwide.

The dispute is the latest round in a long-running fight over the 15 percent ethanol fuel blend known as E15. A 2007 energy law mandated 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels be used by 2022, and the Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 approved the sale of E15 for model year 2001 and newer cars and light trucks. The agency did not clear E15 for use in older vehicles, boats or other devices, such as lawn and garden equipment.

In the new oil industry and automaker-funded study, the not-for-profit Coordinating Research Council tested eight specific engines (28 in all) from vehicles spanning model years 2001 through 2009. Researchers ran the engines for 500 hours under conditions representing about 100,000 miles of driving while fueling them with ethanol-free gasoline, the E15 blend containing 15 percent ethanol and a variety comprising 20 percent ethanol.

Two of the eight engines showed damage while running on E15, according to the study. Specifically, both of those auto engines showed leaking cylinders. Subsequent analysis by their original manufacturers revealed damage to intake valve seats, possibly causing the leakage.

One of the eight engines running E15 also failed emissions tests.

American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said that the study results reveal millions of cars are at risk of damage from E15.

“Not all vehicles in the CRC tests showed engine damage, but engine types that did are found in millions of cars and light duty trucks now on America’s roads,” Gerard said. “We believe there’s at least as a minimum, 5 million that are subject to damage as a result of this rule, and we believe that is a conservative estimate.”

Automakers said the metallurgy and makeup of the engines that had valve leakage could foreshadow problems with similar vehicle engines, including some just now rolling off the assembly line.

Federal regulators and ethanol boosters panned the study. In a blog post, the Department of Energy, which conducted its own testing before the EPA approved E15 in 2010, provided a laundry list of criticisms:

None of the engines were tested with E10, which would have provided a better baseline for comparison, since it is the “de facto standard” representing more than 90 percent of gasoline available in the U.S. market. Instead, the vehicle engines were run on E20, E15 and an ethanol-free gasoline.

The engine test cycle, which was designed specifically for this study, was specifically designed to stress the engine valve train. Since the test method hasn’t been used in other studies, there’s no clear way to interpret the results, the Energy Department said.

The standard for measuring engine leakdown — and deeming it as having “failed” — is not a standard used by automakers and federal agencies for warranty claims or other uses.

The Energy Department also said the study included “Several engines already known to have durability issues, including one that was subject to a recall involving valve problems” when running on E10 and ethanol-free fuels. “It is no surprise that an engine having problems with traditional fuels might also fail with E15 or E20,” the Energy Department said.

Bob Dinneen, the president of the Renewable Fuels Association, characterized the study as misleading.

“By funding research using questionable testing protocols and illegal fuels, the results of this study are meaningless,” Dinneen said. The study results “only serve to further muddy the waters and shun the overwhelming desire of 75 percent of Americans for greater choice at the pump.”

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: biofuels; corn; energy; ethanol; gasoline; mtba; ntsa; stfu
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To: Loyal Sedition

Avgas has lead so it’s more problematic than just the road tax.
It’s trouble for the cat converter.

41 posted on 05/16/2012 12:24:15 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: mountainlion

Kind of hard to think twice if you’re dead. sd

42 posted on 05/16/2012 12:46:30 PM PDT by shotdog (I love my country. It's our government I'm afraid of.)
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To: mountainlion

Kind of hard to think twice if you’re dead. sd

43 posted on 05/16/2012 12:46:35 PM PDT by shotdog (I love my country. It's our government I'm afraid of.)
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To: nascarnation

I need to correct my original post. I meant to type E85 instead of E15.

44 posted on 05/16/2012 12:52:28 PM PDT by Ben Mugged ("Life's tough..... It's even tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne)
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To: nascarnation

Not an issue for me, I refuse to drive anything new enough to require a computer in order to run.

These idiots are pushing us closer to the “Third Box”!

45 posted on 05/16/2012 12:57:07 PM PDT by Loyal Sedition
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To: nascarnation
I have a 95 Polaris 425. The alcohol evaporates and dissolves the $100 diaphragm in the carb. I can see alcohol bubbles in the fuel filter while it is running. If it gets too warm there are too many bubbles and the engine vapor locks and stops.
46 posted on 05/16/2012 1:03:25 PM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: mountainlion
I have a 71 Norton with a fiberglass tank. (Luckily it's in storage.) Ethanol will eventually eat through it. Before I can put it on the road again, I have to buy an expensive epoxy sealer and coat the inside of the tank.

Ethanol has raised the price of metal Norton tanks to almost $500.

47 posted on 05/16/2012 1:08:35 PM PDT by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: thackney

You don’t have to process corn to be able to feed it to cows. If is a high calorie cattle feed as grown.

All the processing does is remove calories, which are turned into ethanol. The remaining cattle feed, which did not need processing in the first place is lower in calories.

Corn prices in my part of the world have gone from $2.65 for 50 pounds of corn prior to ethanol in gasoline to $10.20 now. That increase is much more than the increase in energy costs over the same time period.

Food costs are only about 15% of disposable income in the US, but may be 40-50% of disposable income in other parts of the world.

When corn prices increase, because it is used to make ethanol, someone somewhere cannot no longer afford food.

And no, I don’t mean that people eat hard corn, just that many of the calories in that hard corn are being burned in our cars.

Do the calculations yourself. Average fleet mileage is about 20 miles per gallon. Annual average mileage is about 12,000 miles. That means each car is burning about 60 gallons of ethanol per year. Look up the caloric content of ethanol and see how many calories were burned in that car.

48 posted on 05/16/2012 1:36:15 PM PDT by LOC1 (Let's pick the best, not settle for a compromise.)
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To: thackney
Will the government foot the bill for the engine damage done by this mandate and will Government Motors continue to honor the warranties of its vehicles when the owner's manual specifically says that no more than E10 can be used as fuel.
49 posted on 05/16/2012 1:36:26 PM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: mountainlion

Based on that you’d be better off running E0.

or if you’re not using that many gallons, racing gas may actually be more available depending on your location

50 posted on 05/16/2012 1:46:46 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: thackney

Gasoline vs. Ethanol Blended Fuels
Adding alcohol of any kind to gasoline, dilutes the fuel, and lowers the heat energy.

One US gallon of Gasoline (regular unleaded) = 114,100 BTU/gal

One US gallon of Ethanol (E100) = 76,100 BTU/gal
[67% of gasoline BTU]

One US gallon of 10% Ethanol/Gasoline Blend (E10) [114,100 X.9] + [76,100 X .1] = 111,300 BTU/gal
[97% of gasoline BTU]

Adding 10% ethanol to gasoline requires burning 3% more fuel to accomplish the same task.

All ethanol blended gasoline requires the consumer to buy more gallons of fuel in order to travel the same distance.
Highway fuel is taxed “by the gallon”, so governments collect more tax revenue from the consumer with blended fuels.

What happened to those bartenders in the old-west movies when they were caught watering down the whiskey?

51 posted on 05/16/2012 1:49:40 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th (We have met the enemy and he is us.)
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To: mamelukesabre

Detonation occurs when you have too much timing advance and or too high of a compression ratio for the octane rating. The higher the octane, the slower the burn rate.

Detonation is basically what a diesel engine does. The way it is able to survive is that the fuel is injected directly into the cylinder at a predetermined time so that it detonates a few degrees before top dead center on the compression stroke.

Gasoline engines mix the fuel in the carburetor or in the intake runnier if fuel injected and compress the mixture.

Alcohol is only one of the ways to raise octane. In the days of olde, we used lead.

Methanol, ethanol, LPG and CNG all have higher octane than gasoline. For diesel it is called cetane.

52 posted on 05/16/2012 1:57:16 PM PDT by Clay Moore (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: LOC1

I don’t dispute the calorie consumption. But I read the initial “removed from the food chain” to mean a reduction in available food.

In reality, the ethanol scam has created more corn in production. In spite of a history of dwindling farm acres, the actual crop acres harvested went up from 2002 to 2007 (first date set I found). The ethanol mandate went into effect in 2005.

My argument is that due to the swindle of tax-payer subsidy, more corn acres were planted and harvested, not all of it was taking other crops out of production, total acreage harvested actually rose.

To me, that sounds like an addition to the food chain, or more accurately a secondary production outside the food chain. There may be some reduction, but not all of it if the total acreage grew.

53 posted on 05/16/2012 2:01:58 PM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: mamelukesabre
There is no damage to the engine itself. fuel lines are not a problem to replace on small engines. The gas tank is in close proximity to the engine and the lines are easily accessible.

Actually, that's NOT the case. Especially in the case of older engines, the higher concentration of alcohol in the fuel acts as a solvent, even more-so that gasoline, getting rid of needed oil on both intake valves, and if there's any blow-by, from the cylinder walls as well. It will also play hell on any seals or lines not designed specifically for use with fuel that includes alcohol. Finally, being hydroscopic, it tends to attract water and cause rust.

Alcohol in fuel is a well known old engine killer. Sure, they can design engines to run on it, but it also requires more fuel for the same amount of driving.


54 posted on 05/16/2012 2:02:55 PM PDT by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: Ben Mugged

I guess my Cummins diesel is flex-fuel.

I run used dino motor oil and any type of combustible hydraulic fluid I can get my hands on at about 5% by volume. Oddly enough, the mileage increases more than the volume added.

55 posted on 05/16/2012 2:04:33 PM PDT by Clay Moore (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: thackney

A friend of mine ran operations at a local summer camp and they couldn’t figure out why their gasoline storage tanks kept getting water in them (which they used to fuel the boats). Turned out it was the ethanol degrading and the byproduct was water. The ethanol gas has a short shelf life. If you burn through a tank of gas in a week or two, you won’t notice anything. However, if it takes longer, you’ll likely be pumping fuel into your engine that has 10% or more water.

The stuff is a total nightmare and needs to be removed from all stations.

56 posted on 05/16/2012 2:18:22 PM PDT by Marko413
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To: Clay Moore

I know all this. It was a question to make you think and realize your error.

57 posted on 05/16/2012 2:21:27 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: MarkL

yeah yeah

You ever heard of Ethyl grade gasoline? It was the fuel of preference(well, except for aviation fuel or straight alcohol) for all the hotrodders in the early 70s.

and it was the same thing as E10.

58 posted on 05/16/2012 2:26:54 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: mamelukesabre

“...Ethyl grade gasoline...was the same thing as E10...”
mamel, you are just so full of crap.
“Ethyl gasoline” referred to “tetra ethyl lead” not to ethanol.

59 posted on 05/16/2012 3:09:21 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th (We have met the enemy and he is us.)
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To: Repeal The 17th

ethyl alcohol=ethanol alcohol. Look in your chemistry book.

60 posted on 05/16/2012 4:05:50 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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