Drought, Corn and 13% Ethanol

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Fuel Economy' started by willrob, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. dbcassidy

    dbcassidy Toyota Hybrid Nation, 8 Million Strong

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    Check ocean marine propulsion systems, wait, you can't - your're in Minn. Marine apps see quite a bit of ethanol issues with ethanol. What the video that was posted on this thread missed BIG time: seals. I lost track with how many seal replacements that had to be done on engines over the years, the majority of seal failures were due to ethanol. But, hey, I can't really complain about the ethanol seal failures, I make a pretty good living off of this. So keep those dried, up, ethanol failed seal repair jobs coming, $$$$ for me! Why would I hate ethanol, it makes me $$$$!

    DBCassidy
     
  2. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes plus rivers. I have never had an issue running alcohol in blends in any kind of gasoline motor. I am glad you make a good living doing what you do. I make a good living doing what I do too :) Have a nice weekend,
    Mike
     
  3. alfon

    alfon Senior Member

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    Ethanol in all its forms, from waste products or corn, is still a negative
    energy source, where you receive less energy than what you put in.

    Petroleum is about $100.00 a bbl (42 gals / bbl), you would think that with
    oil that high alternative energy sources would pencil out, but they don't.

    If it was true the private market would be there making a profit without
    any government intervention.

    I have heard discussion and news about oil from algae and other
    substances that would replace petroleum. Well many many years have
    gone by and today I still can not go to the gas station and fill up
    our car with gasoline or diesel from algae.
     
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  4. willrob

    willrob Junior Member

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  5. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    A snipit from that article. Gotta read it all to get past the dramatic title...

    Ethanol production and the drought are hardly the only forces contributing to higher prices. Exports of corn to China and other countries also play a role, as do ethanol policies in Europe. And it is true that ending the ethanol mandate might cut food prices by no more than 5 percent at best.

    Mike
     
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  6. Jon Hagen

    Jon Hagen Active Member

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  7. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    I just had to click that link and see what that article said. Then to just get into it and read that paragraph I posted from the article, just what I had thought on the corn for food debate. I just put 13 gallons of E85 in my SUV today. Got another 24.5 mpg calculated tank out of it :) Gotta love that sweet smelling E85 as it is filling my tank :) Doesn't stink like straight gas does.

    Mike
     
  8. walter Lee

    walter Lee Hypermiling Padawan

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    By seals do you mean valve cover/head gasket and the oil pan gasket?
     
  9. dbcassidy

    dbcassidy Toyota Hybrid Nation, 8 Million Strong

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    More like fuel system seals drying out, cracking prematurely. It is a preety good business replacing them.

    DBCassidy
     
  10. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    How many years or hours did the seals last? What percentage Ethanol was in the gas? How many gallons of this gas were run over these seals? What manufacturer are the seals? Material type? Were these seals subjected to any other fluid? Did the seals fail causing gas to leak past them?

    Just trying to put together some data.

    Mike
     
  11. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    The "government" is the people we elected. In this case, the corn belt legislators and legislators from states that profit from ethanol, shippers, refiners, distributors.

    Always funny to watch those who rail against the government suck up government money, none more than the rural legislators claiming to represent farmers.

    The selling point for the farmers, shippers, refiners and resellers of Ethanol are two fold.

    1. Additive to replace more lethal MBTE to cut CO emissions.
    2. Additive to replace oil to reduce US oil imports, replacing 10% of oil with ethanol.

    Solution is to mandate cleaner burning engines that use less gasoline and eliminate the two problems of emissions and oil use that ethanol is being sold to fix.
     
  12. walter Lee

    walter Lee Hypermiling Padawan

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    Is there an approximate level of ethanol in the fuel that seems to cause the fuel system seals to dry out prematurely?
    And how much sooner should gasohol users expect this premature drying of the seals to occur?
    That is - if supposingly one has to use ethanol (E10 or E15) at what point in the lifetime of my ownership of a Prius should I expect to need replace the fuel system seals (that is can I predict/schedule maintenance for this) ?

    By fuel system seals are you referring to?

    A. fuel pump seals (For example, item #19 in the diagram below)?
    2010 TOYOTA PRIUS Fuel Pump Tank Seal

    B. Fuel injector seals? For example...
    2010 TOYOTA PRIUS Fuel Injector Seal
    2001-2003 Toyota Prius Fuel Injector Seal - Standard Motor Products, OE replacement - JCWhitney

    C. Fuel Injection Throttle body mounting gasket? for example..
    2010 TOYOTA PRIUS Fuel Injection Throttle Body Mounting Gasket

    D. Gas cap seal? For example...
    Toyota Prius Gas Cap Seal - Free Shipping - Mark Automotive
     
  13. NiHaoMike

    NiHaoMike Member

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    Considering that the main other uses of "ethanol corn" are high fructose corn syrup and factory farming (neither of which is good for your health), making fuel would actually be a great way to use it. Even better, of course, is to grow less ethanol corn in the first place and instead grow more crops that can be directly used as (healthy) food. Maybe they'll figure out how to make ethanol from the inedible parts of edible corn or other food crops. Then you'll be making use of something that would otherwise be wasted...

    Going from 10% to 13% is unlikely to cause problems.
     
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  14. szgabor

    szgabor Active Member

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    The article actually says

    that is all fine but what is the probability this caused by ethanol over 1 million prius sold worldwide 500K or so in US ... AND this would be NOT just prius issue how many car should have all this issues if this was due to ethanol ???
     
  15. szgabor

    szgabor Active Member

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    This issue is bogus the US export MORE corn to China than it is used for ethanol production... even MORE info the US government purchase and then donate MORE corn for charity (starving palestinian, ethiopian sudanse etc) then it is used for ethanol production ..

    all thanks to the same corn lobby by the way
     
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  16. dbcassidy

    dbcassidy Toyota Hybrid Nation, 8 Million Strong

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    Usually vehicles 5+ years or older is where I am seeing problems with fuel injector, pumps, lines and tanks (corrosion) issues. E10 seems to be a very powerful solvent that impacts plastic and rubber seals letting go. Newer vehicles (under 5 years of age) the above issues are less frequent, but can crop up from time to time. New vehicle problems, warranty usually covers fixing the problem. The E10 also seems to act as a drying agent with older seals.

    A little off topic - water condensation and phase separation on E10 in either new vehicles or older. The condensation, what I noticed seems to occur in in tanks 1/2 full. If the temps drop, condensation starts to form. This ends up in the fuel lines, pump, and injectors. I also seen the condensations' impact on older vehicles with carbs - corrosion. Also the separating of E10 after 3 months of sitting in the tank usually from snowbirders leaving the vehicles unused until they come back and try to start their car - rough / no start, lousy idle, rough running, stalling.

    After rebuilding, replacing parts and getting their vehicles running correctly, I try to school the customer in using a fuel stabilizer to minimize issues with the E10. The mileage on the odometers can vary from 15k up to 150k when these vehicles need work on the fuel system.

    I never imagined I would be doing this much work related to E10 issues, but it is what it is.

    DBCassidy
     
  17. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    My other summer car sat for 3 years in our garage with a tank of 92 E10 and it popped off with barely a turn of the crank when I fired it up. It had a quarter tank full. Here's a even better one, my step mom's car sat for roughly 15 years with a partial tank of 92 E10. Other than a battery needed, it started up like it had never sat. Now that gas stunk like old gummy gas does, but it started, and has run fine ever since. That car was built in 1987, very old school fuel injection :)

    Not doubting anyone's studies or findings, but this is just my experience. Maybe our Midwest moonshine is better than the East coast 'shine [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  18. dbcassidy

    dbcassidy Toyota Hybrid Nation, 8 Million Strong

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  19. walter Lee

    walter Lee Hypermiling Padawan

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    :cautious:
    I'm forced to use gasohol ( E10) :( by the powers that be :rolleyes: (e.g. so if there's an extra maintenance cost due to its use that I can predict with some accuracy - I am better off facing up to that reality and planning ahead and budget for that repair/maintenance/cost. :cautious: It's not that I don't care about other prii outside the USA or non-prius vehicles - but I'd ratherwork from a constructive detailed assessment of the risk/damage if any as a starting point. From the damage of one car, we can deduct to 1 million cars - can we not? From the probablity of damage from a few make and models we can project to other make and models of similar form - can we not? :cautious::whistle::sneaky: BTW - I had a 1990 Honda Accord LX Automatic 4 door sedan from 1990 to 2010 - and I was force to switch to solely using 10% ethanol (at about 1996) ; however, I never had a fuel system seal problem with it. o_O However, I am concerned of the risk that raising the level of ethanol above 10% may have. The following wiki pedia article has a chart that outline problem component as the percentage of ethanol is increased. :cautious:

    Common ethanol fuel mixtures - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    see Chart
    "Required adjustments to gasoline engines to cope with different blends of ethanol fuel"
    E05 to E10 = fuel Injection instead of carburetor
    E10 to E25 = fuel injection, fuel pump, fuel pressure device, Evaporative system, fuel filter, fuel tank, Catalytic converter
    E25 to E85 = all the above, plus basic engine, motor oil, intake manifold, exhaust system
    E85 to E100 = all the above, plus cold start system

    The above chart is very general in nature. Real world experience - with a more detail overview - whether it is to confirm, contradict/correct, or to expand our knowledge base would be more useful.
     
  20. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    I have done that on snowblowers and lawn mowers that have sat around with old gas. Model airplane fuel works great too :)

    Mike
     
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