Advice needed,Would you use ethanol if you had a choice?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Trev, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Trev

    Trev New Member

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    Here in Nsw Australia our regular unleaded(91 octane no ethanol)is now being banned (by July this year at the latest) to try and force consumers onto E10 (10% ethanol). Some petrol stations are already selling E10 in the regular unleaded pumps with a warning (very small, and most people don't notice) "may contain up to 10% ethanol".Anyway ,back to my question, Would you use ethanol if you had a choice? Can step up to premium unleaded(98 octane no ethanol), about 8 to 10 cents per litre dearer (ie $1-40 to $1-48, $1-50) approx. I thought we should go to premium to avoid ethanol but even premium might have ethanol oneday and perhaps I just should join the modern world. Is ethanol causing anybody a problem?
    Regards Trev.
     
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  3. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    There is no harm to the fuel system but you may notice a small drop in fuel economy due to the reduced energy content of E10
     
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  4. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Only if they start making the alcohol out of something other than corn! Wasting all that corn has driven up food prices, taken food away from those who need it and the only folk who are making money off of it are some farmers and the OIL COMPANIES.
    Nice idea, incorrect implementation!
     
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  5. dustoff003

    dustoff003 Blizzard Brigade #003

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    No worries I think you shall be just fine, we have had Ethanol legislated upon us here in Hawaii. Our pumps have the same sticker (May contain up to 10% Ethanol). I have used more expensive Ethanol free 89 octane fuel available at fueling stations near our small boat harbors and have not noticed any better economy or improved MPG's over the supposedly E10 fuel. Sometimes I wonder if they even put the Ethanol in the fuel.
     
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  6. Erikon

    Erikon Active Member

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    If you had the choice of regular without E-10 and with, go with the unadulterated gas, but paying more for premium would offset any savings.
     
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  7. Feri

    Feri Active Member

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    Hi Trev,

    I wouldn't touch it. I hope Victoria doesn't go down the same path. it isn't cleaner, makes fuel more inefficient, and promotes environmentally harmful farming practices.
     
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  8. DetPrius

    DetPrius Active Member

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    Having just used real gas for the first time in my 2010, I would use it regularly if I could. I was on a cross country trip and the increase in MPGs was very noticeable. During the trip my calculated MPG was running 46-47 and the tank of pure gas gave me 54.9. Of course there are many other factors but the pure gas was clearly good for an MPG bump. There is a marina with pure gas within about 7 or 8 miles from my home and I am going to check out their price and convenience.
     
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  9. Dolce_Vita

    Dolce_Vita Member

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    I filled my Prius with E10 twice, only to see my economy get worse, so i stuck to 95 or occasionally 98. My current car requires minimum 95 or 98, so i don't have the option anymore.
     
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  10. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I've been driving Prius using nothing but E10 for over 11 years now, that's over 230,000 miles from 3 different generations without any trouble or MPG concern whatsoever.
    .
     
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  11. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    If you've used nothing BUT E10, how would you know how it compares to E0? ;)
     
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  12. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    There are some benefits to using E10. The engine runs cleaner, and any water in the tank gets absorbed into the fuel and "burned" rather than pooling in the bottom of the tank.

    I have been using it in Pearl and find no downsides other than slightly reduced mileage.
     
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  13. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Correct me if I am wrong, I thought Etoh was originally put in petrol to replace more harmful anti-knock additives.

    As for the fuel economy hit, I have reached 80 US MPG in my G2 Prius and routinely since 2004 go over 70 MPG in city driving in temperate weather.
     
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  14. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    It was fist put in gasoline to fatten up Agribusiness.
     
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  15. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    Another day.....
    Another temperance thread.

    I have a choice.
    The closest gas station to "my" (company) G3 is an independent "PURE" station that sells E-0.
    I almost never go there.
    They actually only charge about 5 cents more than the bigs, who sell E10.
    In addition to this place, there are about 5-10 of the grungier stations in my area that sell "real" gas to motorcycle enthusiasts, gearheads, and other folks that buy into the notion that alky-haul is wrecking their motors.

    When I became a Prius driver and went through my hypermiling phase, and wanted to see if I could squeeze another 0.234 MPG out of my G3 by burning E0.
    I didn't notice any measurable difference even when alternating tanks.
    I sure that if I could get some dyno time in a lab I could quantify some sort of difference, but I just didn't see any in my highly unscientific observations.

    Even though I do have a choice, I usually eschew E0 because the independent stations that sell the stuff are usually more expensive, dirty, smoke-filled, and I have a better Gedunk selection with the bigs, and they're more likely to have cleaner tanks and pumps---to say nothing of restrooms.

    As far as the notion that using corn to make gas.....I'll leave that to the punditry,
    However (comma!) I'm thinking that converting corn to gas is a little bit better than converting it into high fructose corn syrup!!! ---just sayin! :D
     
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  16. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Everything else being equal, I wouldn't use ethanol. If the E10 were enough cheaper to make up for the ~3% mileage hit (that I would never notice because of my varied tank to tank driving) and everything else were equal, then I would go for whichever was the more convenient.

    ETC(SS)'s comment on gasohol vs high fructose corn syrup put things in perspective as much as anything else said here so far.:D
     
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  17. oldasdust

    oldasdust Member

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    No i would never use it if given the choice. Using a food source for fuel is a bad idea. What happens if corn prices spike and there is a shortage, a big impact on food prices and fuel. The government has been saying for years to use less gasoline and to be less dependant on foregin sources. How much would be saved in one year if all gasoline was pure or without ethanol? How much in ten years ? Take into consideration gasoline used in everything other than vehicles. How about one gasoline formula for all 50 states ? Ethanol is here to stay ADM is too powerful and connected to change, they developed it right here in Decatur, Illinois in the ivory towers.
     
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  18. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    All things being equal, I would not use ethanol gas.

    All things are not equal so:

    1) If it is a choice between ethanol gas and gas with lead or MTBE, use the ethanol gas.
    2) If it is a choice between ethanol gas and gas with NO additives, use the ethanol gas.
    3) If they are otherwise the same, and the straight gas is more expensive, the price needs to be 3.3% greater to more than offset the better fuel economy.
    4) Ethanol made from non-food resources, would be preferred over food resources.
     
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  19. Gary Otto

    Gary Otto Member

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    I thought the idea behind that was to conserve oil resources...but since we are already doing that by driving a Prius....we shouldn't have to put up with the mileage reduction when using the doctored fuel.
     
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  20. Jon Hagen

    Jon Hagen Active Member

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    If you have a trusted high quality source of E10 blended gasoline, I would most certainly use it on a generation 3 Prius.

    I also own a 2010 Prius. The gen 3 Prius has an Atkinson cycle engine that is capable of adjusting both cylinder pressure and ignition timing to take full advantage of higher octane fuel.

    I have a local fuel station brand that uses blender fuel pumps. They have the pumps connected to their very good quality 87 octane gasoline and a tank of E85 (85% ethanol /15% gasoline.).
    The blender pumps will mix these two fuels to produce the customers choice of 87 octane gasoline, E10, E30, or E85.
    E10 is a recommended fuel in the 2010 Prius operators manual.

    During the first summer I owned my Prius, I did very careful fuel economy checks with my favorite fuel brand.
    I ran 3 tanks each of 87 octane gasoline, 89 octane E10 and 91 octane gasoline and kept very careful records of the fuel economy with all three fuels.
    E10 was better by a bit more than 2 mpg over 87 octane gasoline, and even a bit better than 91 octane premium, which I dont understand, it should have been better than 89 octane E10, but was not ??

    By BTU content alone, the E10 might have reduced fuel economy by 3%, but actually gained 4% which I attribute to the Atkinson engines ability to tune itself for better conversion efficiency with higher octane fuel. It appears that the engine gained as much as 7% conversion efficiency from the 2 points higher octane to produce those results.

    I am at a loss to explain why the 91 octane gasoline did not atleast equal the MPG of E10, but it did not. My guess would be that my Prius "likes" their E10 blend, but does not "like" their 91 octane premium gasoline. Maybe has to do with that premium fuel blend, maybe has to do with the engine control setup ?

    Bottom line is I seek out that brand of E10 because for 2-1/2 years my Prius has made it's best fuel economy on it, plus it is a nickel per gallon cheaper. Also does not hurt my feelings that atleast a portion of my fuel does not come from that middle east blood bath:)
     
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