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Another gas, cornahol

  1. Mar 18, 2005 #1
    there was once experiments on turning corn oil into gas. it was cancelled due to protest by oil companies that it would lower the price of gas. Now i think it is time to reinstate the experiments. they were proving succesful when they were shut down
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2005 #2
    How are you supposed to turn corn oil to gas? I can see why the oil companies would have protested, but that shouldn't have stopped them from working on the experiment.
     
  4. Mar 18, 2005 #3

    SOS2008

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    Check out a previous thread entitled: "Peak Oil" on the second page...
     
  5. Mar 18, 2005 #4

    kat

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    I believe that most of your midwest high octane gas contains a certain percentage of cornahol. The reason they had stopped using it in the past..or the reason there were issues with it is that the producer..and then the distributor were both mixing a certain % of cornahol with petro and it was causing a loss of viscosity and then engine damage or some such thing. It's now used ..at 10%?..in most premium gasolines in the midwest..ya know, corn country. I think the other drawback was the cost of transporting or some such thing..
    some one who knows the facts can...join in with me on this any time....
     
  6. Mar 18, 2005 #5

    selfAdjoint

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    In the two states I am familiar with, Illinois and Wisconsin, they have to post a sign on the pump if they use ethanol. And not all the pumps by any means have those signs.
     
  7. Mar 20, 2005 #6

    BobG

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    Both Nebraska and Colorado use ethanol. It used to be very common in Nebraska, making the mid-level gasoline (the ethanol gas) cheaper than the regular grade gas.

    Yes, it was 'said' that gasohol would theoretically shorten engine life, but that's so ambiguous. I put it in the same category as 'change your oil every 3000 miles' and 'never let your gas drop below a quarter of a tank'. You look at the color of your oil and decide when it's time to change your oil. As to the gasoline cooling your fuel pump and extending it's life, I guess it's possible - but, if you never personally replace a fuel pump at least once in your life, how can you expect to truly appreciate pleasant experiences (such as turning the key in your ignition for the first time after replacing your fuel pump and not having your gas tank blow up).
     
  8. Mar 21, 2005 #7
    From what i heard it was a way of making the corn oil into a fuel that could be used by itself, and if it hurts the engine (they were still testing and doing experiments with it).
     
  9. Mar 21, 2005 #8

    russ_watters

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    The fuel you get from corn (or any other grain) is ethanol. It can't be used directly for fuel - it doesn't have the same properties as gasoline (but various things could be modified to burn it) - and there is nothing conspiracy theory-ish about it. The reason it isn't used more is purely economic.
     
  10. Mar 21, 2005 #9

    kat

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    Ethanol
     
  11. Jun 30, 2005 #10
    You can make your own still (popular manual sold is $30 and materials they say will cost $400-$600) and produce 4-5 gallons per hour with this still at about .85 per gallon. I am thinking about building one myself because it would be nice to be paying 85 cents a gallon instead of what it is at the pump. Octane is as high as 110 also. Just imagine if everyone got their own still what would happen to oil prices??
     
  12. Jul 1, 2005 #11
    I've been told by my mechanic, a reputable one, that the more ethanol is in your fuel the worse it is for the engine. Perhaps he's only saying that due to literature that says so but he generally speaks from experience.
     
  13. Jul 1, 2005 #12

    russ_watters

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    You seem to be operating on the common myth that higher octanes are inherrently better in some way. They aren't. The only reason for high octanes is to prevent autoignition (knocking) in higher compression ratio engines.

    More info: http://science.howstuffworks.com/question707.htm

    It talks about efficiency and cost too....
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2005
  14. Jul 1, 2005 #13
    Indeed. Alcohol has no lubricating properties and will indeed damage a motor in the long term if more than 10 % is mixed with gas. The motors can be adapted though, like they have done for decades in Brasil. Ther are also special additives for high ethanol (or methanol) fuels, that will protect your motor.
    A better alternative is bio diesel, which causes much less problems, not only in the motor, but also in the distribution system (ethanol is very flammable and evaporates, while biodiesel is very safe) It makes a big difference in the transport, storage and distribution. That is why the EU is focussing on biodiesel rather than ethanol.
     
  15. Jul 2, 2005 #14
    Gasoline or Diesel do not lubricate either. In fact, both of these substances will displate the thin oil layer which adheres to the honed surface of a cylinder. The problem with Gasahol is a) It is exceeding corrosive. Steel gas tanks and steel lines will corrode in the presence of gasahol unless the concentration of ethanol is low (>10%) or the system was designed for gasahol(flex fuel vehicles:FFV's) another problem, b) if you will, is the combustion temperature and rate of flame propogation of gasahol. Ethanol mixtures are great for high compression or supercharged apps but for everyday use they WILL cause carbon build up at a rate far in excess of straight gasoline. Finally, c) gasahol exhaust is an irritant(if ethanol concentration is too high the resulting exhaust will burn eyes and resratory tracts) and environmentally unfriendly.

    Gasahol is by no means a panacea. In fact, it is probably the opposite.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
     
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