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Old 08-08-2008, 11:41 AM
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Default So you wanna use E85, do ya?

My son sent me this from his shop:
Quote:
Situation

1. Some motorists using E85 even though vehicle not equipped to handle ethanol

2. They may feel E85 is more environmentally friendly than gasoline

3. Experts worry this trend could lead to fires, especially at repair shops



Significant Points

1. Different extinguishers needed to fight ethanol fires

2. Ethanol can eat up o-rings, gaskets, which can then leak fuel

3. Repair shops urged to conduct close inspections

4. Even Coast Guard working on ways to contain ethanol spills

5. E85 mixes w/ water, so shops can't always be sure it's diluted



Says

"You're going to have a lot of car fires in shops because of this." -- Bob Lorenz, firefighting consultant, College of DuPage

"I sat across from a station here in Topeka that was selling E-85 and watched people; you would not believe the older cars that are filling up with it. I think we are going to start to see some of these older cars having fires." -- unnamed Kansas firefighter

"We did some testing and found that when we diluted E-85 by 500 percent with water it still burned. So now you will have shops that wash out tanks, wash out spills and wash them down the drain. Even heavily diluted E-85 is flammable and even explosive in the right environment. So when you spill one gallon of E-85 and wash it down with five gallons of water you've created six gallons of flammable liquid." -- Todd Hoffman, executive director, Scene of Accident

"An ABC fire extinguisher will put the fire out, but these dry chemical extinguishers do not stop vapors from being released -- so there is a greater chance of the fire re-igniting when the vapors reach an ignition source or hot metal. E-85 has a wider flammability range than gasoline and a lower ignition temperature; it will ignite faster and catch fire in a wider range of concentrations in the air." -- Hoffman
Toyotas are not rated for E85. Igniting and burning down on the road is not on my list of must-dos.
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Old 08-09-2008, 05:11 PM
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Hadn't even thought of the fire hazards. E85 is inefficient and unsustainable ecologically, drives up the price of other food crops as land is diverted for corn, not to mention what it's doing to the rest of the food chain (cattle, pork and chicken feed is primarily corn). Uses tons of water and has a poor energy return on energy investment. In a word: "Boondoggle".
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Old 08-09-2008, 05:39 PM
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Gosh, it never occurred to me about the flammability. Indy cars used to run on it (I assume they still do) and there are alcohol NHRA cars. I remember seeing drivers jumping around for no apparent reason. It was that he was on fire! Stuff is volatile. Wonder how fire fighters deal with it in traffic accidents and what-not. The thing about diluting it with water, that's a probably with gasoline, too. It can sit on top of the water and burn, right? I know you are most definitely not supposed to throw water on a kitchen grease fire for the same reason, the oil and grease don't dilute, just spreads the flame out over more surface area, turning a pan fire into a house fire! Reminds me of the time that some idiot dumped gasoline into the sewer in the neighborhood a summer or two ago, had Denver Fire knocking on doors for blocks and having them dump buckets of water into their basement floor drains to keep from getting gasoline in the trap as they flushed the sewers.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:04 PM
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IIRC, race cars use methanol, not EtOH. But it's the same thought. Most xtOHs are lighter than water and thus float on water. Higher vapor pressure, lower flash point. And unlike "normal" hydrocarbons, they are very hygroscopic. Gasoline is primarily Heptane (7 carbons), with some octane (8 carbons) thrown in. EtOH is of course, 2 carbons with the OH thrown in at the end. Lower molecular weight, less efficiency per volume. That's why diesel is more efficient than gasoline - more carbons, higher molecular weight.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzeppa View Post
IIRC, race cars use methanol
Yeah, my mistake, you're right about methanol and nitromethane.

Although Dave Slatten builds E85, E98 and methanol engines that are all NHRA-legal.

http://www.slattenracingengines.com/

Also had to check, the IRL uses 100% ethanol.

http://www.indycar.com/tech/specifications.php
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzeppa View Post
Hadn't even thought of the fire hazards. E85 is inefficient and unsustainable ecologically, drives up the price of other food crops as land is diverted for corn, not to mention what it's doing to the rest of the food chain (cattle, pork and chicken feed is primarily corn). Uses tons of water and has a poor energy return on energy investment. In a word: "Boondoggle".
TRUE, but 700 billion of our nations wealth is being transfered to other countries that are laughing to the bank.

So, we needed to do something
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:33 AM
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It ain't making a dent, and is driving up food costs to boot. Just diverting the wealth.
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOTONKA View Post
TRUE, but 700 billion of our nations wealth is being transfered to other countries that are laughing to the bank.

So, we needed to do something
When you owe the bank $5,000 you have a problem. When you owe the bank $5M they have a problem.

Driving up food prices by growing corn in an unsustainable monoculture reliant on fossil fuel pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer in an utterly petroleum dependent industrial agriculture model is hardly a solution to energy problems, but it will get you votes in the midwest.

The people who are laughing all the way to the bank live in this country.
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nay View Post
....
The people who are laughing all the way to the bank live in this country.
Ouch.




but I don't disagree.
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nay View Post
When you owe the bank $5,000 you have a problem. When you owe the bank $5M they have a problem.

Driving up food prices by growing corn in an unsustainable monoculture reliant on fossil fuel pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer in an utterly petroleum dependent industrial agriculture model is hardly a solution to energy problems, but it will get you votes in the midwest.

The people who are laughing all the way to the bank live in this country.
That's an excellent point about who has the problem, I like the way you framed it. Basically they give us oil, and we give them an IOU in the form of T-Bills. We default, they're screwed. Of course if it comes to that, we're a pauper nation and are screwed too.
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