Topic: Is Ethanol really worth it?  (Read 10004 times)

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Offline marstone

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Re: Is Ethanol really worth it?
« Reply #40 on: September 21, 2007, 01:51:29 pm »
Now for the fixation of carbon in the corn to the amount released, I would have to agree that it would be neutral or near neutral in total.  Reason being that a lot of the carbon fixed by the corn would also be in the stalk which would take longer to decompose and release the carbon in it.  The fermentation of the Corn, would release part of the carbon with more of it being fixed in the alcohol produced.  The remainder would be in the corn kernels that would be used as animal feed.  Thus being part of the normal carbon cycle it would be at or near neutral, IMHO.   But the release of the carbon would be faster then normal as the material is being converted and burned.

Bonk, I would say keep posting.  It is interesting to read.  Problem is that so much is put out as fact that is not, and then it is repeated so much that it becomes the truth to the public (who don't have time to research it themselves, or just believe the sources they hear it from).  To many times the facts are partial as the people repeating them take the parts that prove their point and ignore the parts that don't prove it.  Then they say that science has proved it and there is no debate on it anymore.  Sort of the whole global warming thing.  Is it man or just part of the normal cycle of nature?  So keep posting Bonk, nice to read posts from someone who you can tell is analytical and studied.
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Offline Panzergranate

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Re: Is Ethanol really worth it?
« Reply #41 on: September 21, 2007, 05:13:44 pm »
I looked up the fact again and I misquoted it, it stated that a human exhales more CO2 in a year than the family car will in the same period of time. Humans run continuously, cars run sporadicatlly.

The US gevernemnt lifeted their ban on 2 strokes 5 years ago after an in depth science investigation. When the bad was introduced in 1977, it was a knee jerk response to appease envioronmentalists, mot based on any science.

They tested all intermal combustion engines and found out the a 4 stroke engine emits 48% N2O per volume of fuel produced. A 2 stroke produces 2% N2) per volume of fuel burnt.

Because 2 strokes lean burn a more than 3 time the temperatures of a lean burn 4 stokre engine, several other noxious gases are not emitted either.

Back in the 1970's and 1980's any 2 stroke bike owner will remember having to dismantle the exhaust and scrape out a mini coal mind of hard carbon deposits. It used to clog up the exhaust ports, exhuast system, etc.

This was one of the main maintainance hastles of 2 strokes back then and many riders prefered to put up with the lower peformance heavy and bad handling 4 strokes than have to spend hours every few months removing solid carbon from the engine and pipes.

Another thing was seizure due to over heating and lacquering of the rings and bore duirng long high s[eed journeys.

Then synthetic 2 stroke oil replaced the SAE 30 crap, and this became a thing of the past. I've never had to decoke any of my classic 2 strokes in years. They just don't produce the carbon anymore, which is what the report found out as well.

Now computer technology has made Direct Injection 2 strokes, experimented with by the Czech CZ company in 1936, possible. A DI 2 stroke uses no oil in the fuel and the crank runs in the sump. There is no crank induction. The first DI 2T scooter was launched 2 years ago in Italy and does more than 200 UK MPG.

Nissan launched a 2L DI 2T sports car, which has the lowest engine emmsions of any car so far. It s also has the world's most 2 Litre engine so far. remember that a 2 stroke puts produces 2.5 to 3 times the power of a 4 stroke.

Catalytic converters, intended to prevent smog, increase a 4 stroke engine's CO2 emissions and reduces engine effieciency. Car manufactureres are increasing engine size to overcome the power drain by increasing sizes of catalytic cnverters.

The days of the 4 stroke are numbered as GM reckon that by 2020 car will be powered by either DI 2T, electric or something else. They predict that the power drain of the emissions countermeasure attached to 4 stokes will eventually balance out the power produced.

However, though the modern 2 stroke is cleaner than the 4 stroke, the Diesel was, by far the most poluting, in the tests carried out.

A few years ago, a friend in the US, smuggled in a 2000 model Czech JAWA TS 350 2 stroke motorcycle in Johnny Cash "One piece ate a time" style and at great expence to add to his Czech bike collection. A few months after rebuilding it and having it licenced for road use under a pre 1977's bike's chassis number, te 2 stroke ban was listed and he moaned to me that he could now buy one at the local bike dealership for about one third of the expnse!! In fact one of his mate dis just that just to rub it in!!

Out of all the 15 bikes I own, the most poluting is the ROTAX 4 stroke single. It requires engine oil changes evey 3,000 miles, a 2 stroke needs this about once in 15,000 niles or more. The thing is that I have to dispose of a couple of gallons of dirty gear oil every year.

Now gear oil does decompose, very slowly, as it is ancient biomatter. Bacteria does start to break it down, which is why old gear oil smells like a rancid baby's nappy. Our normal way of recycling it is to paint the fence with it or lubricate things. I drain every drop out of oil bottles into oil squirt cans.

The thing is that 4 stroke produce a hell of a lot of waste oil, whch is a pain to figure out what to do with.
 
I'm still for electric power thrugh fuel cell. Mixing Hydrogen and Oxygen to produce water and electricity appeals to me somehow. The other idea of using a DI 2T running on Hydrogen, which is more feasible than with a 4 stoke engine, is another thing I'd like to play with one day.

At the momentI have a garage chocked full of gel pack batteries, slowly being charged up by solar panels. I'm conducting an experiment to guage the avarage time, in days, it takes to charge up a gel pack batteries. I then run up a 250 Watt 24 Volt chinese propulsion motor and see how long it takes to run out o power. Engineering needs numbers to work with.

I'm also in the middle of patenting the only true precisely controlled variable valve timing system using a special novel morphing camshaft. Any existing 4 sroke engine can be converted to the system with a new or modified cyclinder head. We've managed to convert a 1970's HONDA C70 to run the system, increase its top speed and push its 180 UK MPG past the 200 UK MPG mark.

Can't disclose anything yet as still in patenting.   :-X A friend and myself have been working on this for a few years now. We have the automotive industry's Holy Grail!! : ;D

Anyone who works and understands 4 stroke engines and their major handicaps, will understand how marvelous it would be to have precise control over valve lift, duration and timing. Up until now this has been the theoretical idealised dream 4 stroke engine. Not any more!! ;)

Making thigs Corporate Lawyer proof is so complicated and expensive and probally pointless anyway. The Chinese will just pirate it anyhow (badly).

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Offline The Postman

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Re: Is Ethanol really worth it?
« Reply #42 on: September 21, 2007, 06:47:42 pm »


The thing is that 4 stroke produce a hell of a lot of waste oil, whch is a pain to figure out what to do with.
 


Not a problem, it all goes in my fuel tank.



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Offline Panzergranate

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Re: Is Ethanol really worth it?
« Reply #43 on: September 21, 2007, 07:10:49 pm »
If yo put gearbox oil into a 2 stroke's fuel tank you end up destoying the Journak bearings through carbon soot and additiives in the gear oil.

Gear oil in fuel is to 2 strokes whet Asbestos dust is to humans,  one brief exposure always proves fatal.

I've opened up 2 stroke engines for inspection and you can tell that, for one instance somewhere in its life, that some idiot put gear oil into the mixture oiltank or gasoline mix. The Journal  with turn like they have fine sand in them. The crank cases are always covered in carbon soot as well.

Luckily, replacing the Journals is an hour at the most job on a 2 stroke and not the major fatality that it usually is on a 4 stroke. I've run a JAWA 2 stroke 350cc sidecar outfit with the right hand Journal completely devoid of ballbearing for 3 years until the engine decided that I ought to do something about it and blew out the seal.

Dirty oil in the gas tank not only ruins the engine, it also polutes the atmosphere with smog. On the plus side, the exhaust system will stop rusting away and last for dacades!!

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Offline marstone

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Re: Is Ethanol really worth it?
« Reply #44 on: September 21, 2007, 09:57:38 pm »
I had read years ago of a head for a diesel that used electronic valves.  The engine has no cam, lifters, rods, etc.  So all the little HP drag of those were removed so the engine was more efficient.  Also the valve timing could be adjusted by the computer.  But haven't seen anything about it for along time now.
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Offline The Postman

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Re: Is Ethanol really worth it?
« Reply #45 on: September 22, 2007, 06:55:59 am »
If yo put gearbox oil into a 2 stroke's fuel tank you end up destoying the Journak bearings through carbon soot and additiives in the gear oil.

Gear oil in fuel is to 2 strokes whet Asbestos dust is to humans,  one brief exposure always proves fatal.

I've opened up 2 stroke engines for inspection and you can tell that, for one instance somewhere in its life, that some idiot put gear oil into the mixture oiltank or gasoline mix. The Journal  with turn like they have fine sand in them. The crank cases are always covered in carbon soot as well.

Luckily, replacing the Journals is an hour at the most job on a 2 stroke and not the major fatality that it usually is on a 4 stroke. I've run a JAWA 2 stroke 350cc sidecar outfit with the right hand Journal completely devoid of ballbearing for 3 years until the engine decided that I ought to do something about it and blew out the seal.

Dirty oil in the gas tank not only ruins the engine, it also polutes the atmosphere with smog. On the plus side, the exhaust system will stop rusting away and last for dacades!!



Who said anything about 2 strokes, your quote was about 4 strokes.



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Offline Panzergranate

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Re: Is Ethanol really worth it?
« Reply #46 on: September 22, 2007, 02:13:10 pm »
It still not a good idea to put dirty used oil into the gas tank of any engine.

Just the muck being fed through the fuel system is bad enough, and then there's the crap coming out of the exhaust pipe.

I suppose you bother to filter it or do you just like to clean out the fuel system from time to time??

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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Is Ethanol really worth it?
« Reply #47 on: September 22, 2007, 02:24:01 pm »
Part II(a) - An analysis of carbon fixation by corn.

OK, I already have a pretty much definitive, logically strong and non-chemical counter argument to Nemesis' point about corn fixing carbon during growth offsetting fermentation.

If the land being used to grow corn for ethanol was left alone it would support vegetation that would fix carbon at similar (or greater) rates, and would not be then fermented to produce ethanol and its subsequent combustion. Even if said land was used for normal agriculture the resultling release of carbon dioxide would be far less through human consumption of the produced food products. Ignoring the possibility that the land could be used for non-consumable agricultural products...

That said, I will still consider a detailed analysis of the carbon fixation of growing corn. (Damn carbohydrate chemistry... always a pain.)

You have a logic error.

If the land is left alone the plants fix the carbon.  Then they either die and decay, releasing the carbon back as CO2 OR they get eaten and digested, again releasing the carbon as CO2.   Ultimately all the carbon returns to the air, just as if used for fuel or human consumption.   The length of time for that return can be months to centuries depending on the environmental conditions and the plants life cycle (grass returns the carbon quickly, redwoods rather slowly in human terms).

To keep the amount of CO2 in the air from being increased by the burning of fossil fuels you need to remove the carbon on a long term basis (long term being in the geological sense of millions of years) such as by returning it back to the oil fields from which it came.  You would need to be mulching fields of plant life and pumping the resulting mess back into the oil fields from whence the carbon originally came. 
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Offline Panzergranate

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Re: Is Ethanol really worth it?
« Reply #48 on: September 22, 2007, 02:57:46 pm »
There is the long term CO2 release by volcanoes. At the moment Mount Etna is cancelling out all of Europe's CO2 neutral plans!! Nature is always bigger and stronger than humankind's feeble efforts!!

The Carbon Cycle is anything but fragile or deleicate. Saying that the 1% contribution that the whole humna race makes to the Carbon Cycle is like expecting the way 1% of an electorate vote will decide a nationwide election. Fortunately Nature holds the 99% majority in the CO2 vote.

The world's internal combustion engines contribute 0.0002% of the world's CO2 at present and even this is dropping.

CO2 is a Red Herring to distract everyone from asking awkward questions about the obvious increase in Solar UV levels. Anyone else realised that we have been having to use stronger and stronger sunscreens for just over a decade now??

We all know how governments don't tell us things "For our own protection", etc.

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