View Full Version : The Great Ethanol Scam -- Great BusinessWeek article

05-18-2009, 09:31 PM
The Great Ethanol Scam:

http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/may2009/bw20090514_058678.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index +-+temp_lifestyle

05-19-2009, 03:22 AM
I have been saying for years that it was less cost effective and hurt mpg. Glad someone with a degree and some cred finally decided to ante up and call those fuckers out.

05-19-2009, 03:41 AM
Well, MPG was really never the point, it was emissions for distance travelled.

That, and it's been shown for a long time that the way the U.S. produces ethanol is uneconomic. The push has been a political one, rather than an economically-driven one.

I did notice the focus of the story was on engine damage, however. The bias there was rather apparent. It was ethanol's fault when people used ethanol blends in vehicles not designed for it, when a pumping stations delivered the wrong fuel, etc. I wonder how many engines have been damaged by diesel versus gas mixups.

The concept is sound. The execution, particularly in the U.S., has been poor.

05-19-2009, 03:50 AM
It would still work the way they planned it to if the automobile manufacturers did a full retooling of their fuel systems. Then it would not be so damaging, I suppose.

05-19-2009, 03:53 AM
The issue is that all the gas pumps contain up to 10% ethanol anyway, which every case shows that the gas tested is above that content.

Any other mix ups, like putting diesel in a gas car, is the fault a person (typically the car owner).

One case noted in the article was a guy with a FlexFuel vehicle was given 100% ethanol, which the car wasn't designed for. Which voided his warranty, and it wasn't even his fault!

05-19-2009, 04:09 AM
The fuel is mixed by the delivery driver. The tanker driver is the person that mixes the fuel. It is an interesting and complex process, and knowing some of the guys that do this for a living, I can see how they would fuck it up. I have a buddy of mine who drives a fuel truck. He is a sharp tack and as such he is normally the guy sent to mix the tanks for the other drivers.

There are benefits to ethanol, but if economy is what you are after, you aren't gonna find it.

There are studies in act right now (in Oak Ridge, locally) where they are trying to genetically mutate the poplar to break down faster and easier into ethanol without producing the waste and byproducts which are giving ethanol a bad name. Right now, with the level of funding that they are getting to research, refine and expedite, it is gonna go bust. However, with the right funding and education to consumers, I see ethanol as a viable and most importantly a renewable source to keep our internal combusted vehicles operating well into the future.

It just needs to be handled wiser.

05-19-2009, 05:30 AM
Around here we have a different view compared to the rest of the nation... Ethanol has scewed up the cattle feed and grain industries big time. To sum it up simply some people have reaped the benefits of high grain prices, but it has mostly just scewed up the supply and demand for many farm products normally used for food here and in other parts of the world.

Here in Montana we are sitting on top of oil reserves that rival the middle east but everything is so rigged in the government we would rather buy oil from the arabs and use our food to make fuel that doesn't work very well and causes infrastucture problems because it's the green thing to do. I guess if they are using trees instead of grain that's better but I still think it's a complete waste of time.

Stupid... :thumbsdow

05-19-2009, 01:19 PM
Once again, our glorious govt at work.

05-19-2009, 01:58 PM
Oh, and apparently some of the Suby guys convert to E85 on the turbo cars and get more power out of them with a tune.

05-19-2009, 03:00 PM
A TON of the turbo'd Honda guys in Utah do it.

05-19-2009, 05:01 PM
Ethanol does act much like very high octane ratings going for it.

05-19-2009, 05:52 PM
I'm converting over to e85 very soon. Maybe this week. Race gas at the pump for cheeeeep! :bigthumbu

05-22-2009, 11:36 PM
I'm converting over to e85 very soon. Maybe this week. Race gas at the pump for cheeeeep! :bigthumbu


05-23-2009, 02:01 AM
i already know! i cant get it up here though :(

05-23-2009, 07:07 AM
Oh snap!