Backcountry Pilot • Auto Fuel ???

Auto Fuel ???

Nothing happens without it. Discuss fuel locations, quality, alternatives, and anything else related to this critical resource.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Kevbert, thought of something else. On the E85 forum I frequent, we are always complaining about how the auto mfg's tune their flex fuel vehicles. They basically tune for gasoline and then when E85 is used the mileage takes a big hit. Gas has to be stoich right? You run gas lean then you have a problem. Now, why do the tuners (like you)make E85 run stoich when since it burns cooler it could easily run on the lean side and never hurt anything and increase fuel mileage. They aren't trying to do a thing for ethanol. The new Buick Regal has a turbocharged 2 liter engine(little bitty but big power) that can get comparable mileage on E85 by boosting big time as on gasoline. They have to drop the boost on gas because of the lower octane. I've seen a few ad's on TV for the car but not one mention about it being E85flex fuel.
180Marty offline
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Marty, if you tune the engine for optimal performance on E85, some schmuck will fill it with E0, and blow it up. And, there's no cheap sensor that you can put in the fuel rail that will tell you exactly the composition of the fuel, so the ECU can't just switch on the fly when a slug of different fuel comes down the fuel line. So, every time Congress gets all brilliant and legislates a new, different fuel mix, all of the new ECU's get programmed with wider, less efficient parameters.

The car companies don't care one iota about the mileage you get after the sale. They care very much about warranty repairs, so they tend to make the system have plenty of tolerance for the various extreme conditions instead of optimizing for a certain condition.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

I was just looking at some of my old specifications, and I found some notes on the spec for AGE-85. It's 88% ethanol, 11% gas, and 1% diesel!

I'm guessing that's the ASTM's interpretation of some pilot's recipe of "I put in pure ethanol, but there was some gas in the unusable part of the sump, and I added a few drops of Marvel Mystery Oil"!
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

And, there's no cheap sensor that you can put in the fuel rail that will tell you exactly the composition of the fuel,

You're probably right on the not cheap. My flex fuel 2001 Ford Taurus had a dielectric constant sensor in the fuel tank sending info on what blend of fuel was in the tank since ethanol and gasoline have different waves. That car actually had some stainless steel parts since it was an off shoot of the M85(methanol) deal they had in California in the 90's. They cheapened things up after that and just use adaptive memory. The best thing is to be consistent with the type of fuel you use and the computer is supposed to optimize itself. One thing on the AGE85----it is biodiesel, not diesel.
180Marty offline
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

I've fought the octane issues in snowmobiles for years. Octane requirements go down when you go up so a 10:1 Naturally Aspirated engine is effectively a 7.5 engine at 8000 ft. Throw in temperature changes to the mix and it really gets hard. Lots of people in my world think high octane means high performance so they're always hitting me up for avgas to run their stock sleds at 8000 feet. I run my high performance engine on 91 octane because 6500 feet is the lowest elevation it will see. On a cold day when the DA is lower than pressure, I run carb heat to compensate so I don't burn it up getting to the altitude I normally ride at. Since octane is a retardant, using a higher octane than you need will result in lousy performance.

Since it's complicated enough figuring all the variables on the ground, I've never been brave enough to run car gas in my plane. Now if I was turboed and could run sea level MP all the time, I think I could figure out a consistant blend.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Kevbert, You did get me curious about how the Buick tune was compared to what the factory said. After my mom went to the nursing home, I would drive it the 16 miles one way with three stop signs, visit and drive back home. 25 mpg was the worst it did on E30 and that was when the temp was well below freezing. 28 was the best it did doing that trip( warmer spring time temps). Sometimes there would be a stop at the bank in a town ten miles away. The very best it did on E10 was 32 mpg when we went to the Chicago area(450 miles) and we had a 25 mph tailwind. Here is the factory info and I think in 2000 they were using straight unleaded.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

This could be the one. Auto fuel for the car (plane?), and jet fuel.



Isobutanol is a highly evolved ethanol (second generation) which is a direct drop in replacement for gasoline and contains similar btu's and is pipeline compatible.

http://blogs.forbes.com/williampentland ... els-maybe/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 124917.htm


Gevo, a company based out of Denver has purchased a Luverne, Minnesota ethanol plant and intends to bolt on their isobutanol production technology based on the above research from the DOE. The facility will also be able to produce jet fuel and any other product that normally requires petroleum to produce. Isobutanol products (those other than fuels) are considered carbon sinks, able to hold carbon dioxide which is normally trapped on an annual basis from each years plant growth as opposed to petroleum based products which release new carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere as products are manufactured.

They must also survive the recent filing of lawsuit by BP/Dupont who holds similar product patents.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

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Edit........ This is old news :oops: :oops:

:D
Last edited by 58Skylane on Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Pat, you must be bored??? :lol: Whoever made that ad probably has some ocean side property in AZ they'll sell you also. Funny how some people can make an old Cessna purr along on E10 and I know of quite a few people around here using E30(30%) ethanol in unmodified cars and trucks and getting good, cost effective, mileage. You can tell that ad is dated since there are no subsidies for ethanol anymore--- subsidies just go to oil companies. :) I'm still using E85 in my 2012 Focus even though it is only 30 cents cheaper than E0 since I like supporting myself and the car still gets 31 mpg.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

180Marty wrote:Pat, you must be bored??? :lol: Whoever made that ad probably has some ocean side property in AZ they'll sell you also. Funny how some people can make an old Cessna purr along on E10 and I know of quite a few people around here using E30(30%) ethanol in unmodified cars and trucks and getting good, cost effective, mileage. You can tell that ad is dated since there are no subsidies for ethanol anymore--- subsidies just go to oil companies. :) I'm still using E85 in my 2012 Focus even though it is only 30 cents cheaper than E0 since I like supporting myself and the car still gets 31 mpg.


Damn! You got me figured out. Yes, I'm very bored! That popped up on a friends Facebook page today and stupid me, I didn't research it. Just thought it was interesting enough to share here :oops: :oops:

:D
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

There may not be subsidies for ethanol for fuel use now but there are mandates that require its use which is about the same thing. It artificially props up prices in food production and auto fuels. It still gives us fits in engines that are not built to withstand ethanol......you know outboard engines and such. Was at a friend's boat shop this last week and he was showing me what ethanol does to fuel lines. They look good from the outside but are falling apart on the inside. It doesn't increase fuel mileage as per gallon it contains less energy then regular gasoline. With new dino oil coming online, do we really need ethanol??
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Well said we need to go back to plain old gas
Everybody can Agree the Honda lawnmowers are pretty reliable Up until I put alcohol in it and then I had nothing but problems
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

I got nothing against ethanolized gas, those that like it can have it. But don't force me to use it-- give me a choice. If it's so good, it'll stand the test of a free marketplace.
FWIW when E-zero 87 octane at about $.20 more than E10 became available locally again, I started using it in both my car & my airplane. Mileage on the car seemed to go up between 5 & 10%.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Well said should have a choice not force it on us
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

58 Skylane is right..
Ethanol harmful to all manner of older machines. Not just the fuel mileage and heat issues, but all of the rubber and other perishable materials in your fuel system. Vapor locking from winter blend oxynegated fuels is another issue.
I am a HUGE supporter of Mogas in aviation but Ethanol blended fuels are a menace.
On a "side note", the third world food costs due to Ethanol mandates are having devastating consequenses. In Haiti, they add mud to their grain mixture to try to feel full when they eat beacuse corn prices are so high.
Save the Corn for the hungry families, I'll pay more to have clean fuel, and no swollen bellies...
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

cap wrote:58 Skylane is right..
Ethanol harmful to all manner of older machines. Not just the fuel mileage and heat issues, but all of the rubber and other perishable materials in your fuel system. Vapor locking from winter blend oxynegated fuels is another issue.
I am a HUGE supporter of Mogas in aviation but Ethanol blended fuels are a menace.
On a "side note", the third world food costs due to Ethanol mandates are having devastating consequenses. In Haiti, they add mud to their grain mixture to try to feel full when they eat beacuse corn prices are so high.
Save the Corn for the hungry families, I'll pay more to have clean fuel, and no swollen bellies...



I don't use ethanol blends in my aircraft although I am seriously considering it if I am convinced I can make the switch safely. I use it in everything else and have since 1980 (correction 1990) with no problems.

I also need to call bullshit on the Haiti reference to hunger.

Ethanol was credited in the recent EPA study to be responsible for a one percent increase in the price of corn.

Here is the real Haiti Fact Check: University of Minnesota Library.

http://blog.lib.umn.edu/jcomazzi/haiti/ ... mports.pdf

Look at the graph of imports/exports/domestic production of corn by Haiti from 1960 to 2010. Imports almost unchanged. The reason they can't feed themselves is explained on the right side of page. Nothing to do with ethanol, nothing to do with the price of corn. They never did import much corn, high price or low. But if those of us who are willing to pay more to help would actually do it and send that difference to them it surely would improve things. Contact any one of the missionary pilots that have posted on this website.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

I'm not a farmer or an economist, but I don't think ethanol production would necesarily affect the rice of corn. What it would affect is other grains-- if everyone's busy growing corn, they're not growing wheat beans rice or whatever. Dues to the laws of supply & demand, the pirces for those commodoties would go up. I think most cultures (and more third-world countries) eat more rice than corn.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

hotrod150 wrote:I'm not a farmer or an economist, but I don't think ethanol production would necesarily affect the rice of corn. What it would affect is other grains-- if everyone's busy growing corn, they're not growing wheat beans rice or whatever. Dues to the laws of supply & demand, the pirces for those commodoties would go up. I think most cultures (and more third-world countries) eat more rice than corn.


Rice and corn can only compete for acres in those small overlap areas where it is possible to grow both crops. For most of the midwest the answer is no they do not compete (for the same acres) and that is also true for the majority of the wheat acres of the US. The corn belt states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and including all of the western corn belt which are the biggest producers of corn historically do not grow rice and raise very little wheat because of different requirements of moisture and soil quality. The second choice instead of corn throughout the midwest is usually soybeans. Anyone driving through the midwest will notice the monotony of Beans and corn.
For understanding agriculture, think of the available acres as you do with oil. What happened to peak oil? There was not supposed to be any more known reserves but guess what, as the price paid for oil went up all of a sudden it justified bringing into production the tar/oil sands of Canada and the total supply increased. Same for the Bakken find. The rising price drove the fracking technology that brought sand and shale oil to the market. Oil was not as finitely limited resource as economists thought, rising prices brought more supply. Same happens with agriculture. Rising prices for corn has brought marginally profitable land back into production and acres have been added for all crops with formerly seeded pastures and CRP coming back. Genetically Modified Corn has been bred up for production on these lands and yields are increasing. Because of higher prices more corn is now going to be on the market (except for drought years), which in turn, like the increased oil and natural gas supplies available these extra supplies will drive down the price of corn. Its an old saying in ag that high prices are generally the cure for high prices. The other old saying is that ag is not a zero sum game. Prices will dictate the amount of acres that will come into the market and get planted. When all of that has come into play, then it will be time to talk about peak food.

I realize that the small amount of auto gas used by GA will never dictate a standard for national energy policy or the exclusion of ethanol from gas. It would take an act of congress and almost no one can remember what that is like.

I do favor maintaining 91 octane premium for recreation and aviation use although to expand it to cover all piston single engines would likely prove to be a detriment competing and taking from what tax is being raised by FBO sales of 100LL. Haven't heard that from anyone yet.
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

A interesting article on using corn for food, not fuel......

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/opini ... -fuel.html

and another......

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/20/opinion/m ... index.html

Hey Dirtstrip, any interest in trying to explain how CRP works? Is it like being paid not to plant?
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Re: Auto Fuel ???

Sig, I'll put my slant on the CRP since I have 13 acres. It entails 100 feet on each side of the creek that runs through the farm. I get $83 per acre per year. The idea is to keep the soil in Iowa instead of the Gulf Of Mexico and while I don't hunt, there are a bunch of people that get to shoot pheasants. Because I need some passive income, I am renting some good farm ground for $300 an acre to my cousins and if it wouldn't be an environmental disaster, I'd gladly let them farm by the creek. Oh, I am still farming also by renting from another relative so I still drive a tractor. On the ethanol and food, 1/3 of the corn that goes to the ethanol plant comes back out for animal feed. Some corn actually gets fractionated before the fermentation process where the starch and germ are separated and the germ gets processed at another place like I invested in and you get food grade, kosher corn oil and the germ meal can make gluten free cereal , cookies, and other tasty food products---how do I know---I have eaten some very good cookies. Ethanol is the cheapest octane booster there is and while I know we are swimming in oil in North Dakota, I don't think all the gasoline molecules in a barrel are 93 octane. Doesn't it make more sense to make 84 sub-octane gas and get every possible part of a barrel that can go for gasoline out and mix with a octane booster instead of limiting 87 as the lowest octane E0 and wasting some potential fuel molecules?
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