E-85......why not methanol instead of ethanol? - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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E-85......why not methanol instead of ethanol?

Is ethanol based E-85 for mass production really the great "renewable problem solver with no drawbacks" fuel it was originally touted to be?

Sure the corn farmers making some money is good for them. But the ever increasing jump in demand for corn to make ethanol for E-85 is causing some corn shortages that are quickly driving up the costs of beef/poultry production. Plus the price of grain products are increasing because less wheat is being planted so more corn can be planted in it's place for E-85 production. You might spend less money per gallon for E-85 (vs gas), but the money you might save will be spent for higher food costs.

Plus will E-85 really save you any fuel costs over gas? Lower cost per gallon vs gas doesn't really mean much if your total money spent in the long run is higher (due to lower fuel mileage numbers) because it should take more of the alcohol based fuel volume to equal the same BTU energy output of gasoline.

Why choose ethanol to make an alcohol based fuel alternative to gasoline which causes shortages of corn stuffs that increases the cost of meat/poultry and grain products in the long run? Why not choose methanol (call it M-85??) instead which can be made from damn near anything, even trash/garbage?

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 06:52 AM
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Good point, but I think this thread has potential to be "political/religious" I'm sure someone will get a "woody" and Lock the thread soon, so why bother ? :roll: :roll: :roll:
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blastertech70
Good point, but I think this thread has potential to be "political/religious" I'm sure someone will get a "woody" and Lock the thread soon, so why bother ? :roll: :roll: :roll:
What is political about this? He only wants to know the reason why they use Ethanol instead of methanol!

I think it has to do with the way the two are produced. If I remember correctly methanol is a fossil fuel where ethanol isn't. I was reading a interesting artical the other day about how they can pull ethanol from almost anything. The newest form is from old tires. They don't have to use corn it just seems to be the most abundent crop at the moument.

I fiqured it would be a good thing for the farmers.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 07:47 AM
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Anything that has potential for argument/difference around here anymore gets the "locked thread" police all over it. :roll: really, why bother commenting anymore .
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 07:50 AM
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I believe that it has to do with how ethanol is easier to blend into gasoline than is methanol. Methanol and gasoline do not really combine but they will mix sort of like salad dressing, shake it up and it'll go together for a little while as an emulsion but give it some time and it'll settle back out again and this is not a good characteristic for a motor fuel.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blastertech70
Anything that has potential for argument/difference around here anymore gets the "locked thread" police all over it. :roll: really, why bother comenting anymore .
Well maybe you are arguing over the wrong threads? You can argue over anything besides Political or Religious.
I hope that you visit this site for more than just to start arguments over political / religious threads. It is 460ford.com after all.

Anyway, if you want to argue start another thread and I'll argue with you. Let's not Hijack this thread.

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 09:25 AM
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Ethanol is BS, But it is creating alot of jobs.........
post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 10:11 AM
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A Farmer's viewpoint

I remember awhile back listening to a farmer interviewed and he made a critical point, "Would you rather import your gasoline/oil from overseas or would you rather import your food?" That sealed the deal for me.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 10:56 AM
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Good Point, Nothings Free......
post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 11:07 AM
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One of the guys on the turbomustangs forum had a job researching ethanol viability where he spent 8-10hrs each day for 6 months getting all the stats and figuring it all out. He said ethanol is a loser any way you look at it. Using switch grass instead of corn would make it much closer to a gain instead of loss. Wave power is looking good as it can make more electricity than wind in the same amount of area and would work great for coastal areas. There's also some way that gasoline can be made by taking CO2 out of the air and putting it through some kind of acid treatment. In large scale production, that would even out with oil made gasoline at around $3.40/gal. The drawback to that (reduce CO2 and make gas, great idea) is that it takes a lot of electricity to do, so nuclear energy would be needed to produce our gas. The advantage over battery packs in electric cars is that by volume gasoline has a lot more energy for more driving distance than batteries.

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 11:11 AM
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The Biggest Problem with all the alternitive (Gas / Liquid) Fuels is the amount of energy required to do the conversions, anything can be done as far as making Hydro carbons, the problems lie in the efficiencies of the processes. It tough to beat mother natures in the ground source........
post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 12:09 PM
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Here are a couple of links to articles on the Methanol vs. Ethanol debate. Good reading.

http://domesticfuel.com/2006/02/13/ethanol-vs-methanol/

http://www.technologyreview.com/read...on&id=16629&a=

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 05:35 PM
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Yes it is not energy cost effective to make ethanol from corn... right now but this is a new mass production enterprise. Give it some time to show itself to be profitable or not. This will evolve greatly in the next 5 years and if gas goes to $4 dollars/gallon you will see E50, E60, and E70 grades in most states. This is also a difficult time when we are coming off of MTBE and shifting to ethanol for the 10% adder where alcohol production is stretched as it is.
Lets hope that we can perfect the process and tell OPEC to keep its fuel or maybe OPEC will be scarred to raise prices. Just heard the other day that OPEC wants to reduce production. Wont that be nice.
We need a winner bad and fuel cell technology isnt gonna do it.

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 07:02 PM
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I would like to clear up some misconceptions about ethanol production. First and foremost it is not taking food out of the mouths of animals. The shortage of wheat and the high price of grain is not due to corn acres increasing. The demand for ethanol drove the production of it. We are not allowed to build any new oil refineries right now(thanks so much environementalists) so they made grain refineries to help with our fuel production shortage. The result of ethanol production was a byproduct that is being used to feed animals at a cost that is less than the raw grain with almost the same feed value. I have fed cattle and know many in the business and they are extremely happy with the results of corn byproducts. When I fed cattle it took approximately 65 bushels of raw grain to fatten an animal. When feeding ethanol byproducts this number gets cut in half because of the nutritional value of the byproducts. Wheat acres and production compete with corn in very few areas and is not a huge factor. The wheat shortage and resultant high prices are from a drought in the wheat belt, not from a shortage of acres. Now that wheat became such a high priced commodity the rest of the grains that are traded on the CBT are being influenced from outside fund investors. There is no shortage of corn or soybeans any where, there are piles of it all over the place here and many bins and elevators are full also, so no real reason for the price to go this high other than CBT trade price overinflation due to outside investor inflation. I am a farmer and all that I have recieved so far for my higher paycheck is a whole bunch of people standing around with there hands out wanting their piece of my pie. Higher land rent prices, higher seed and fertilizer prices, and higher equipment prices. On top of all that higher fuel prices for my equipment and I don't get to pass it all on like the guy in town does. Farmers are the only businessmen in the world who get told how much they get for what they produce. The businessman in town tell you how much you get to pay him for his service/product. I personally believe that we would see almost double the price for fuel if it were not for the amount of ethanol we are producing now, because the fuel shortage would be astronomical by now from lack of production of gasoline. We need more oil refineries in the worst way. Switch grass and all cellulosic ethanol production have a very inflated position. IMHO it has a long ways to go to be viable, as the switch grass itself has a very overinflated production goal. As far as the research on ethanol so far, liars figure and figures lie. I can tell you that ethanol does not consume more energy than it takes to produce, period.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-05-2008, 07:10 PM
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Well I guess there needs to be some price adjusting on this exported corn maybe start selling it by the barrel about $ 500 / barrell.

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