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Old 19-11-2019, 04:03 PM   #1
Crazy Dazz
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Default Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

40 years ago (and previous) Ethanol was touted as the answer to the Oil Crisis. Infinitely renewable and cleaner than petrol.

This was even before everyone got their knickers in a twist about Carbon emissions.

For while, diesels, especially modern diesels, were all the rage. Much better fuel economy, and lower Carbon emissions. Combined with the promise of Bio-Diesel.

But it seems we have finally wised up, that CO2 is nowhere near as bad as NOx and the other crap spewed out by diesels.

The problem with diesels, as best as I can figure it, is that the combustion process is inherently poor, that the continuously variable ratio makes it both hard to run clean and combines poorly with Catalytic Convertors, and that the high initial compression lends itself to more NOx production.

We also figured out that there weren't enough fish & chips shops for an effective bio-diesel industry and that relying on palm-oil created its own set of problems.

Ethanol has significantly less calorific value than petrol, but this can be offset by higher compression and cleaner burning.
Of particular interest is Butanol which can be produced from biomass unsuited to fermentation, and has a much higher energy content.

Obviously any bio-fuel requires significant amounts of agricultural product, but my basic understanding is that (unlike palm-oil) it can be produced what what would otherwise be wasted byproducts.

As I understand it, cars designed to run on E85, have components more resistant to corrosion and solvent attack?

What I'm not clear on, is the need for the 15% PULP, as opposed to 100% Ethanol??
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Old 19-11-2019, 04:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

As I understand it, the small amount of petrol does two things,
1. improves starting and operation over E100, US has a winter blend (70% Ethanol/ 30% petrol)
2. The small amount of petrol allows people to see flames as ethanol burns with a near invisible flame.
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Old 19-11-2019, 06:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpd80 View Post
As I understand it, the small amount of petrol does two things,
1. improves starting and operation over E100, US has a winter blend (70% Ethanol/ 30% petrol)
I recall back in the day watching a documentary on ethanol cars, and they had a very small petrol tank (under the bonnet in that model) that was used for starting, so yes.
Apparently Alcohol has a very low "Cetane Rating" which is used to reflect how easy a fuel is to ignite.

But I would think that with modern high-compression engines, and electronically variable everything, there would be a way to overcome that problem?

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2. The small amount of petrol allows people to see flames as ethanol burns with a near invisible flame.
True, but surely they could achieve that result with a small addition of salts or oils?
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Old 19-11-2019, 06:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

No we don't need ethanol since EV's technology is the go these days.
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Old 19-11-2019, 07:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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Originally Posted by Crazy Dazz View Post
I recall back in the day watching a documentary on ethanol cars, and they had a very small petrol tank (under the bonnet in that model) that was used for starting, so yes.
Apparently Alcohol has a very low "Cetane Rating" which is used to reflect how easy a fuel is to ignite.

But I would think that with modern high-compression engines, and electronically variable everything, there would be a way to overcome that problem?
Nope, in freezing cold conditions during US northern winters, E85 needs more gasoline added to enable engines to start reliably. Apparently high Ethanol fuels are a real cow to start in low/freezing temperatures.

Quote:
True, but surely they could achieve that result with a small addition of salts or oils?
Probably because Holden pushed for it as the US based specification and that's what oil companies went with. We could probably use E100 in Australia but deferred to E85 as part of Holden's flex fuel vehicle strategy.
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Old 19-11-2019, 07:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

PX1 Ranger for Brazil had (has?) an under bonnet tank for cold start.

In Europe you can't even buy petrol and diesel that has at least some Ethanol in it. Maybe that's the future - just to stretch out the non-renewable stuff
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Old 19-11-2019, 08:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

Something went very wrong, somewhere along the line.
Ethanol was always the most logical fuel to use.
The Model T was ethanol enabled.

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Old 19-11-2019, 09:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

1925. prohibition!
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Old 19-11-2019, 10:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

Have you been drinking the ethanol again Dazz? :-)
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Old 20-11-2019, 01:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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Originally Posted by Crazy Dazz View Post
But it seems we have finally wised up, that CO2 is nowhere near as bad as NOx and the other crap spewed out by diesels.
Cars emitted orders of magnitude more CO2 than NOx. Non-issue.

The problem with NOx is that emitted by agriculture.
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Old 20-11-2019, 06:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

NOx causes cancer while CO2 causes global warming. I dont like the increasing number of rattlers (diesels) in the city...

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Old 20-11-2019, 07:12 AM   #12
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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Originally Posted by simon varley View Post
1925. prohibition!
I believe the ethanol had 5% petrol added to prevent human consumption. (and possible human combustion)
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Old 20-11-2019, 07:18 AM   #13
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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The problem with NOx is that emitted by agriculture.
Huh! Must be typo error here, NOx is produced when air is super heated and put under extreme pressure, like inside the combustion chamber.
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Old 20-11-2019, 07:23 AM   #14
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

I think he referred NO and NO2 commonly as NOx

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Old 20-11-2019, 07:37 AM   #15
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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Originally Posted by Crazy Dazz View Post

What I'm not clear on, is the need for the 15% PULP, as opposed to 100% Ethanol??
Ethanol burns clean and is difficult to see when there is a fire, adding 15% petrol makes a fuel fire look more orange colour and easier to see.

This one of the reasons it is used for racing, A driver could not see a car was on fire when it was using 100% ethanol.

And it stops people drinking it.
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Old 20-11-2019, 07:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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Originally Posted by hellrc5 View Post
I think he referred NO and NO2 commonly as NOx

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When you put an "x" in a chemical equation it usually means it a variable, That is "x" can be 1, 2 or 3.
In this case if "x" is 1 it is NO,
If "x" is 2 it is NO2
If "x" is 3 it is NO3.......

What I don't understand is how do you get NOx from agriculture?
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Old 20-11-2019, 08:09 AM   #17
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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Originally Posted by yearby View Post
When you put an "x" in a chemical equation it usually means it a variable, That is "x" can be 1, 2 or 3.
In this case if "x" is 1 it is NO,
If "x" is 2 it is NO2
If "x" is 3 it is NO3.......

What I don't understand is how do you get NOx from agriculture?
Reactions.

Nitrogen is used alot in agriculture, some of it is likely being turned into NOx
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Old 20-11-2019, 08:11 AM   #18
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

[QUOTE=Crazy Dazz;6367453]

The problem with diesels, as best as I can figure it, is that the combustion process is inherently poor, that the continuously variable ratio makes it both hard to run clean and combines poorly with Catalytic Convertors, and that the high initial compression lends itself to more NOx production.

QUOTE]

Diesels need a fuel which can lubricate the injector pump and the injectors, that means heavier viscosity fuel. Or another way of saying it, is using a fuel with larger fuel molecules, unfortunately this slows down the burn speed. Diesel is sprayed into the combustion chamber as small droplets which burn in layers from the outside towards the centre and not all is burnt thus you will get a lot of particle matter (soot).

If on the other hand you was to inject fuel in the diesel engine with some type of electronic injector that did not need to be lubricated by the fuel, the engine could then be designed to run what ever fuel you like, petrol, ethanol, what ever and it would greatly reduce emissions in the particulate matter (soot), carbon monoxide and Hydrocarbons.

But it would not solve the NOx problem.
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Old 20-11-2019, 08:20 AM   #19
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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Originally Posted by Nikked View Post
Reactions.

Nitrogen is used alot in agriculture, some of it is likely being turned into NOx
Arrrh! Okay, now I see.

Does the NOx stay in the soil or is it realised into the atmosphere. If it stays in the soil it is possibly be okay, (I don't know)?

I do know that NOx in the upper atmosphere is natural and normal, it protects life on the earth from the suns radiation or something like that.

I understood that it was the amount of NOx at ground level in the atmosphere that was the problem?
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Old 20-11-2019, 08:35 AM   #20
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

[QUOTE=Crazy Dazz;6367453]


As I understand it, cars designed to run on E85, have components more resistant to corrosion and solvent attack?

QUOTE]

Most cars (there are a few exceptions) can run E10 without problems and the fuel flex cars made to run E85 are really only a poor compromise at best for E85. Sure a Fuel Flex car can change fuel ratio, and timing, but it really needs a higher compression ratio, something like 15:1 for fuel economy. It is the poor fuel economy of the fuel flex vehicle, that puts off the public.
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Old 20-11-2019, 09:23 AM   #21
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

It is you Hulk isn't it?
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Old 20-11-2019, 10:09 AM   #22
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

In Melbourne, we had some Scania buses that ran on 100% Ethanol, these have recently gone out of service due to being at replacement age at nearly 20 yearrs old. It was found they used more fuel and the fuel bill was higher. Also they had issues losing power on hot days. They used stainless steel fuel tanks, different pistons, different compression ratio and a stronger starter motor.
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Old 20-11-2019, 10:31 AM   #23
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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What I don't understand is how do you get NOx from agriculture?
Nitrogen fertilisers plus nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil.
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Old 20-11-2019, 11:08 AM   #24
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

Ethanol is a great interim solution, I'll explain further tonight as I'm on the crapper at work and have **** to do
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Old 20-11-2019, 12:21 PM   #25
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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Ethanol is a great interim solution, I'll explain further tonight as I'm on the crapper at work and have **** to do


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Old 20-11-2019, 12:35 PM   #26
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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Originally Posted by yearby View Post
Arrrh! Okay, now I see.

Does the NOx stay in the soil or is it realised into the atmosphere. If it stays in the soil it is possibly be okay, (I don't know)?

I do know that NOx in the upper atmosphere is natural and normal, it protects life on the earth from the suns radiation or something like that.

I understood that it was the amount of NOx at ground level in the atmosphere that was the problem?
https://newatlas.com/environment/agr...reenhouse-gas/
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Old 20-11-2019, 12:37 PM   #27
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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Old 20-11-2019, 01:05 PM   #28
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

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In Melbourne, we had some Scania buses that ran on 100% Ethanol, these have recently gone out of service due to being at replacement age at nearly 20 yearrs old. It was found they used more fuel and the fuel bill was higher. Also they had issues losing power on hot days. They used stainless steel fuel tanks, different pistons, different compression ratio and a stronger starter motor.
Interesting Extra cost is always the deciding factor.

I searched ethanol buses and found this - looks like its been shut down

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/64593291.cms
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Old 20-11-2019, 01:33 PM   #29
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Default Re: Are we "Back" to Ethanol?

I remember years ago when Holden were pushing E85, there were a number of stories about ethanol being made from rubbish, and there were a number of prototype plants built to test the concept. Whatever happened to that? Never heard of it again after that.
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Old 20-11-2019, 04:46 PM   #30
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I checked out the link you have here, then looked up nitrous oxide. What I found was that N2O (Nitrous oxide) released due to agriculture and NOx released as a by product of vehicle emissions are not the same all though they would be classed as Nitrogen Oxides.

The N2O acts like a green house gas, but NOx causes cancer.

N2O breaks down the ozone layer.

NOx reacts with sun light to form ozone.

Both are considered green house gases.

So, the way I see it, the nitrous oxide (from agriculture) is not considered harmful, only a green house gas.
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