Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: roffenburger on January 31, 2011, 11:33:47 PM

Title: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: roffenburger on January 31, 2011, 11:33:47 PM
I'm curious about your thoughts on fuel ethanol. Lets have a discussion. Corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, agriculture, food, cost, mpg, etc, etc, etc.

Go.


I'm all for it. :)
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: morticaixavier on February 01, 2011, 12:44:03 AM
I looked into this a few years back when I was looking to get off the petro bandwagon. I discovered that the federal government not only allows the distilation of ethanol for fuel but even gives tax credits for personal distilation for these purposes. The problems are that it requires specialized equipment for the production and that the energy inputs can be quite high! If one could get a solar stil that would help but even after an extremely efficient distilation you still have to remove some water to make it into fuel. This is usually done via catalysts which then require refreshing using even more energy.

I ended up going the bio-deisel route myself largly because it is readily available on the commercial market where pure ethanol is not.
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: roffenburger on February 01, 2011, 12:48:54 AM
Interesting. I had no idea the govt was allowing home distillation for fuel. I agree the equipment and energy input wouldn't really be worth it at a small scale.

What about ethanol as a fuel additive?
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: jaybeerman on February 01, 2011, 12:57:21 AM
haven't read this thread?

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=5550.0
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: roffenburger on February 01, 2011, 01:07:29 AM
haven't read this thread?

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=5550.0
Nope, I haven't been around much and didn't see this one. Sorry for the redundancy. ::)
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: jaybeerman on February 01, 2011, 02:31:05 AM

Nope, I haven't been around much and didn't see this one. Sorry for the redundancy. ::)

 ;D  no I wasn't pointing out a redundancy, only the strong politically based opinions posted in the other thread. 
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: roffenburger on February 01, 2011, 02:42:42 AM

Nope, I haven't been around much and didn't see this one. Sorry for the redundancy. ::)

 ;D  no I wasn't pointing out a redundancy, only the strong politically based opinions posted in the other thread. 
touche!
I guess its expected such a topic as ethanol.
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: jaybeerman on February 01, 2011, 05:50:08 AM
Hey, all joking aside, opinions are a good thing.  Dialog is good too, even heated debate.  I do think there were some good thoughts in the other thread and I also find amusement every time someone comes out with a miracle solution to a problem because it usually brings three new problems for every one it supposedly fixed.  Consumption is a huge factor which is easy for me to talk about since I live in an old 960 sq ft house and in general have a much smaller impact than the average American does.  I won’t comment on politics or ethanol, I guess.  I will say that some alternatives will have to be found eventually even if they have some negative qualities.
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: euge on February 01, 2011, 07:07:50 AM
I'm curious about your thoughts on fuel ethanol. Lets have a discussion. Corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, agriculture, food, cost, mpg, etc, etc, etc.

Go.


I'm all for it. :)

I saw a bit of strong opinion on but nothing overtly political in that thread and hopefully we all realize that political arguing is cancer to a beer forum. At least in my opinion.  ::) Dialog is much better. And a thick skin is nice...

I'm not so much interested in ethanol but lean towards electric and solar.
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: morticaixavier on February 01, 2011, 07:38:55 AM


I'm not so much interested in ethanol but lean towards electric and solar.

The only problem with straight solar is storage. with current technology there are issues with batteries. They have a life span. and are not entirely recyclable. So after 10 years you are left with one big pile of piles. Chemical storage of solar energy (Read plants) is so elegant I feel like it's a good direction to head in. I recognize the issues involved but it's a direction... course i'm a biodeisel guy so take it with a grain.
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 01, 2011, 01:15:30 PM
Electric cars have apeal from several standpoints.  The energy storage is the big problem.  GM's EV1 had a 1200 lb. lead acid battery pack that stored the equivalent of 1 gallon of gas.  With all of the research that has been going into batteries, and using a lithium ion battery pack that weighs 400 lbs, the Volt has the equivalent of 1 gallon of gas stored in the batteries.  Automotive gas is in the area of 6.2 lb per gallon depending on the blend and temperature.

In the early 20th century there were cars that ran on steam, electricity and gas.  Gas became the standard for a reason.

There is the tale that Henry Ford's wife drive an electric car before the self starter was invented by Kettering.  There was the range issue.  Ford's buddy Thomas Edison said he would have a battery to solve that problem in a year.  We know how that turned out.
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: morticaixavier on February 01, 2011, 05:13:34 PM
In the early 20th century there were cars that ran on steam, electricity and gas.  Gas became the standard for a reason.

direct combustion chemical fuel is the standard. not just gas. deisel engines have been around as long as gasoline ones and were originally designed to run on vegetable oils. (Peanut I believe) If the emmissions issues are dealt with it is among the most sustainable method of power generation and transportation energies. We still must reduce our usage as it would eventually come into competition with food. but if we can figure out a good way to prevent the combustion byproducts from entering the atmosphere a vegetable based fuel has the HUGE added benefit of carbon nutrality.

I apologize for the spelling. this browser does not have spell check.
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 01, 2011, 07:07:37 PM

In the early 20th century there were cars that ran on steam, electricity and gas.  Gas became the standard for a reason.

direct combustion chemical fuel is the standard. not just gas. deisel engines have been around as long as gasoline ones and were originally designed to run on vegetable oils. (Peanut I believe) If the emmissions issues are dealt with it is among the most sustainable method of power generation and transportation energies. We still must reduce our usage as it would eventually come into competition with food. but if we can figure out a good way to prevent the combustion byproducts from entering the atmosphere a vegetable based fuel has the HUGE added benefit of carbon nutrality.

I apologize for the spelling. this browser does not have spell check.

Maybe I should have said Petrol engines to be more correct.  I have a vague memory of my IC Engine Prof. stating that the first engines that Dr. Diesel experimented with were powered by pulverized coal.  Abrasion problems made him seek alternatives quickly. Found a reference, my old copy of "Internal Compression Engines" by Obert 3rd edition, page 5.

Of course CNG and LP gas can be used for transportation, but those have some drawbacks.

I have even driven a fuel cell vehicle.  Those are still some ways off.  The drawback is the source of hydrogen and lack fueling distribution infrastuctructure.
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: euge on February 01, 2011, 07:19:33 PM
I lay awake dreaming of this:

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3086/3179332336_af74e4db3a.jpg)
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 01, 2011, 07:27:26 PM
Where is the like button when you need it!
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: Slowbrew on February 01, 2011, 07:34:36 PM
We could extend our electrical generating capability if we simply did more thoughtful design.  Does every electronic device really need it's very own wall wart?  We have already, pretty much, standardized on 5, 9 or 12 volts.  I've always thought it made more sense to create a standard charging base and sell it separately.  If everything used a USB charging cable then you could have a charger with many connections that could actually be turned off and charge everything in your house.

One of my sisters was complaining about their electric bill one weekend and I told her to take away all the wall warts her kids have.  She didn't believe me until we went through her whole house and unplugged all of the major stuff she thought was using power.  Her meter was still turning.  After three passes through her house unplugging things, her meter finally stopped.  The I plugged back in her major appliances and the meter would start and stop.  After her kids got home and plugged all their stuff back in, even though none of it (for the most part) was turned on, her meter was spinning away happily again.

Does it need a power LED on 24 hours a day?  If it's turned off why does the cooling fan continue running?  Does it do the same job if you use a power strip to turn it off?  If yes, why does the transformer sit in the outlet all day and night?

This is just one of my rants.  Sorry.

Paul
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: morticaixavier on February 01, 2011, 08:32:48 PM
We could extend our electrical generating capability if we simply did more thoughtful design.  Does every electronic device really need it's very own wall wart?  We have already, pretty much, standardized on 5, 9 or 12 volts.  I've always thought it made more sense to create a standard charging base and sell it separately.  If everything used a USB charging cable then you could have a charger with many connections that could actually be turned off and charge everything in your house.

One of my sisters was complaining about their electric bill one weekend and I told her to take away all the wall warts her kids have.  She didn't believe me until we went through her whole house and unplugged all of the major stuff she thought was using power.  Her meter was still turning.  After three passes through her house unplugging things, her meter finally stopped.  The I plugged back in her major appliances and the meter would start and stop.  After her kids got home and plugged all their stuff back in, even though none of it (for the most part) was turned on, her meter was spinning away happily again.

Does it need a power LED on 24 hours a day?  If it's turned off why does the cooling fan continue running?  Does it do the same job if you use a power strip to turn it off?  If yes, why does the transformer sit in the outlet all day and night?

This is just one of my rants.  Sorry.

Paul

you can get power strips with remote on off switches to make that stuff easier. then you don't have to crawl around under desks etc. it really does make a huge difference.
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: Hokerer on February 01, 2011, 09:00:12 PM
you can get power strips with remote on off switches to make that stuff easier. then you don't have to crawl around under desks etc. it really does make a huge difference.

Except then that power strip is "always on" so it can listen for the remote :(
Title: Re: Ethanol--For your vehicle.
Post by: morticaixavier on February 01, 2011, 11:10:08 PM
you can get power strips with remote on off switches to make that stuff easier. then you don't have to crawl around under desks etc. it really does make a huge difference.

Except then that power strip is "always on" so it can listen for the remote :(

true but one thing always on versus the 6 or 8 things plugged into it is better! and people who might not otherwise unplug might then do the next best thing.