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Are you aware of Flex Fuel? If so, question for you gassy folks.

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Are you aware of Flex Fuel? If so, question for you gassy folks.

Old 06-30-08, 09:49 PM
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Are you aware of Flex Fuel? If so, question for you gassy folks.

I filled up at a gas station that has Flex Fuel. Basically, Flex Fuel is for newer model cars that can take the E-85 mix of 85% Ethanol and 15% Gasoline. Now my car cannot take it. I usually fill up with usual E-10, 10% Ethanol and 90% Gas. I noticed that there is an E-20 and E-30 option as well. I drive a 1997 Nissan Maxima, can I fill up with either the E-20 or E-30? There is a significant price difference per gallon on these.
Old 06-30-08, 10:28 PM
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ethanol has less energy than gasoline so you will need to fill up more often
Old 06-30-08, 10:30 PM
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Only Nissan would be able to officially answer that question for you.

I would GUESS that E-20 or E-30 would damage an engine designed and built in 1997, so I wouldn't use anything more than E-10 (even that has risks for an older car, but what can you do)

When factoring in price, keep in mind that Ethanol has 30% less energy than Gas.

If 100% gas is $1
equivalent Ethanol would be $0.70

anything less than $0.70 would be a "deal" you would have to work the math according to blend.

Personally, I would boycott all Ethanol based fuels if I could.

Worst idea ever
Old 06-30-08, 10:37 PM
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I prefer E0 if I can get it. Actually, I prefer 10% MtBE, but the environmental lobbyists made sure that the super awesome fuel source was banned for no good reason. Of course, this also led to a 5% reduction in domestic fuel production.

Really, the single worst energy policy ever enacted in this country was the banning of MtBE. This is closely followed by the mandate for ethanol without the provision for ethanol based substitutes like EtBE. Not only did these policies reduce our fuel supply, but they have resulted in significant increase in pollution and cost.
Old 06-30-08, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
Personally, I would boycott all Ethanol based fuels if I could.

Worst idea ever
Me too. And this coming from the son of a farmer, they who were "supposed" to be making a pretty penny off of the Ethanol mandate. Pffff. Not so.

No getting around it now, since everything has 10% ethanol. My favorite stat is always the one that says if 100% of the US's corn was used for ethanol, it'd still only account for something like 12-15% of all the fuel used in the country. Good planning, gang!
Old 06-30-08, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by matta
Actually, I prefer 10% MtBE, but the environmental lobbyists made sure that the super awesome fuel source was banned for no good reason. Of course, this also led to a 5% reduction in domestic fuel production.
We've been through this before so I'm not going to bother.
Old 06-30-08, 11:17 PM
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That's what you get for living in Lawrence (as well as a killer men's basketball program). Have you made friends with the honk for hemp guy yet? Milton's for breakfast - Freestate for lunch and diner at Tellers with a ending at the Red Lion for pool and pitchers....?
Old 07-01-08, 12:22 AM
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The problem with using E-85 is that it can hurt the rubber components including the fuel lines and fuel pump.

And yes, there is less energy in it. If you can tune for it, you can add more volume of fuel to gain more power than regular gas (the engine will run cooler with E-85), but that typically requires larger injectors and a custom tune.
Old 07-01-08, 01:13 AM
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Thanks guys! I won't be filling up there anymore.

Originally Posted by Minor Threat
That's what you get for living in Lawrence (as well as a killer men's basketball program). Have you made friends with the honk for hemp guy yet? Milton's for breakfast - Freestate for lunch and diner at Tellers with a ending at the Red Lion for pool and pitchers....?
As for Lawrence, I have not made friends with the honk for hemp guy. I cook at home. However, I enjoy the Jazz House the most for the nights. It's a nice sized joint with decent music. If I want to hang around the grad students then I will go to Red Lyon.
Old 07-01-08, 01:25 AM
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How about all the bikers on those nice sunny days - I find it interesting the bars and restaurants still are suprised when there's an influx of commerce.


I love Lawrence - I live in JOCO so its a nice short drive to get away to. I love to take my wife there for mental ealth days - what took you there? I remember an old thread but can't recall exacly why you're there.....
Old 07-01-08, 01:27 AM
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Lawrence Kansas = God's Country.





that's for Reddog.....
Old 07-01-08, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by matta
Actually, I prefer 10% MtBE,
Holy Crap, I agree with matta


Originally Posted by X
We've been through this before so I'm not going to bother.
Link? I must have missed it
Old 07-01-08, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jadasion
I filled up at a gas station that has Flex Fuel. Basically, Flex Fuel is for newer model cars that can take the E-85 mix of 85% Ethanol and 15% Gasoline. Now my car cannot take it. I usually fill up with usual E-10, 10% Ethanol and 90% Gas. I noticed that there is an E-20 and E-30 option as well. I drive a 1997 Nissan Maxima, can I fill up with either the E-20 or E-30? There is a significant price difference per gallon on these.
Where are you seeing all these options at? The 'Earth Friendly' station by 9th and Iowa?
Old 07-01-08, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
Link? I must have missed it
I'd like to see it as well. Surely X can't be that wrong on something.
Old 07-01-08, 09:46 AM
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Flex-Fuel is garbage on the whole. It's efficiency is questionable at best, and the energy that goes into actually making it will never be recovered by the savings, provided there are any, it provides. The marketing and lobby behind it are nothing short of stellar. Well, if you're part of the business, it's pretty crappy for everyone else involved. Bio diesel would have been a MUCH better investment for the industry...
Old 07-01-08, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by matta
I'd like to see it as well. Surely X can't be that wrong on something.
We discussed this some years ago. I would think you would remember.

In summary, MTBE is a poison to water systems and has actually made some water supplies here in California unfit for human consumption. When it was introduced it raised gasoline prices immensely. And it decreases mileage. It has cost California residents many billions of dollars because of these factors.

http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/water.htm
Old 07-01-08, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by lordzeppelin
Flex-Fuel is garbage on the whole. It's efficiency is questionable at best, and the energy that goes into actually making it will never be recovered by the savings, provided there are any, it provides. The marketing and lobby behind it are nothing short of stellar. Well, if you're part of the business, it's pretty crappy for everyone else involved. Bio diesel would have been a MUCH better investment for the industry...
Ethanol is a viable fuel substitute. Just look at Brazil as an example. Most of the light cars on the road run on pure ethanol and the price for ethanol, without subsidies (very important) is more than 30% less than gasoline, which more than compensates for the volumetric energy difference.

Ethanol from corn, however, is not a viable substitute.
Old 07-01-08, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by X
We discussed this some years ago. I would think you would remember.

In summary, MTBE is a poison to water systems and has actually made some water supplies here in California unfit for human consumption. When it was introduced it raised gasoline prices immensely. And it decreases mileage. It has cost California residents many billions of dollars because of these factors.
In summary, when gas tanks leak, they release all sorts of dangerous chemicals into the water supply, including Toluene, Xylenes, Benzene, and a host of other known carcinogens. ALL additives and components of gasoline, including those chemicals listed, are present in the water system. However, since MtBE has the lowest odor threshold, it's the one that's identified first by the general public, eventhough it is the least toxic of the chemicals listed.

So rather than fixing underground storage tanks or removing ALL carcinogenic chemicals from water supplies, environmentalists have focused on the banning the chemical that is the first indicator of a problem. Just like shutting off the fire alarm upstairs when your house is on fire downstairs.

And as for efficiency, MtBE greatly reduces the CO emissions from vehicles while increasing fuel efficiency.
Old 07-01-08, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jadasion
I filled up at a gas station that has Flex Fuel. Basically, Flex Fuel is for newer model cars that can take the E-85 mix of 85% Ethanol and 15% Gasoline. Now my car cannot take it. I usually fill up with usual E-10, 10% Ethanol and 90% Gas. I noticed that there is an E-20 and E-30 option as well. I drive a 1997 Nissan Maxima, can I fill up with either the E-20 or E-30? There is a significant price difference per gallon on these.
I would NOT recommend using any mixture that is more than E10 unless the owner's manual specifically tells you the car is rated for it. All the car companies agreed to design for E10 a long time ago (1990?), but except for full flex-fuel cars have generally not designed for higher concentrations. There may be some exceptions, but you need an OK from manufacturer.

Flex fuel vehicles can use ANY mixture from straight gasoline to E85, so the E20 and E30 mixtures would be options and could be evaluated based on price.

Ethanol has about 2/3 the energy per gallon, so if the ethanol mix is expressed as a decimal fraction, x, the energy count vs straight gas, is about 1 - x/3.
E30 has about 90% the energy of gasoline. If the price is less than 90% of gasoline (and your vehicle is rated for it) good deal. If price is higher than 90%, bad deal.

Ethanol isn't such a bad fuel, but making it from corn may not be the best choice. The national labs have been fiddling with ethanol from cellulosic biomass for a long time. The enzymes that convert cellulose to fermentable sugar work but are too expensive to be practical. If it ever works out, ethanol will be a pretty good alternative fuel choice. Right now, the truth is somewhere between the evil the ethanol haters say and the godsend the ethanol lovers say. If you can run it, it is a simple economic decision (after you adjust price for energy equivalence)
Old 07-01-08, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by matta
In summary, when gas tanks leak, they release all sorts of dangerous chemicals into the water supply, including Toluene, Xylenes, Benzene, and a host of other known carcinogens. ALL additives and components of gasoline, including those chemicals listed, are present in the water system. However, since MtBE has the lowest odor threshold, it's the one that's identified first by the general public, eventhough it is the least toxic of the chemicals listed.

So rather than fixing underground storage tanks or removing ALL carcinogenic chemicals from water supplies, environmentalists have focused on the banning the chemical that is the first indicator of a problem. Just like shutting off the fire alarm upstairs when your house is on fire downstairs.

And as for efficiency, MtBE greatly reduces the CO emissions from vehicles while increasing fuel efficiency.
No need for tank leaks, although the mandated replacement of storage tanks to prevent MTBE's release and the resulting cost to independent station owners (many of whom went out of business due to this) added to the price of gas.

With enough cars burning gas with MTBE in it, it eventually gets into the water. Among the carcinogens in gasoline, MTBE has the unique property of not degrading as it works its way though the ground and the way it mixes with water it gets carried further and can't be removed.

The studies I've seen show MTBE reducing mileage. It used to be quite obvious when the seasonal blend containing MTBE came in that your mileage decreased and would increase when it went back to the non-MTBE blend.

We've been through this all before and as an industry advocate, you may not want to agree.
Old 07-01-08, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by matta
Ethanol from corn, however, is not a viable substitute.
Exactly. I should have been more specific.
Old 07-01-08, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by matta
In summary, when gas tanks leak, they release all sorts of dangerous chemicals into the water supply, including Toluene, Xylenes, Benzene, and a host of other known carcinogens. ALL additives and components of gasoline, including those chemicals listed, are present in the water system. However, since MtBE has the lowest odor threshold, it's the one that's identified first by the general public, eventhough it is the least toxic of the chemicals listed.

So rather than fixing underground storage tanks or removing ALL carcinogenic chemicals from water supplies, environmentalists have focused on the banning the chemical that is the first indicator of a problem. Just like shutting off the fire alarm upstairs when your house is on fire downstairs.

And as for efficiency, MtBE greatly reduces the CO emissions from vehicles while increasing fuel efficiency.
Gas tanks shouldn't leak, blah,blah. The truth is they DO. And MTBE is much more soluble in water than most other gasoline components and so it travels both further and faster, (as well as having a VERY low evil taste threshold). Therefore it can damage ground water at distances the gasoline would never reach.

As to CO and fuel efficiency, the role of oxygenates in gasoline is pretty clear in carburetted cars and pretty questionable in fuel injected cars. What is the real mix on the road today -- I think nearly all fuel injected. But any oxygenate decreases fuel economy by just about the percentage oxygen added to the fuel. If you require say 3% oxygen, whether MTBE or ethanol is used to supply it, the gasoline will have about 97% the energy of straight gasoline. (Frankly that is the reason ethanol has less energy content than gasoline)

I am not in favor of high ethanol fuels like E85 until cellulosic ethanol is a reality. However, I think ethanol is a better oxygenate and octane booster than MTBE and I'm prepared to see us use some corn crop to make enough for those requirements, ie an additive, not a fuel (yet).
Old 07-01-08, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by X
No need for tank leaks, although the mandated replacement of storage tanks to prevent MTBE's release and the resulting cost to independent station owners (many of whom went out of business due to this) added to the price of gas.

With enough cars burning gas with MTBE in it, it eventually gets into the water. And it can't be removed and degrades slower than the other carcinogens.

The studies I've seen show MTBE reducting mileage. It used to be quite obvious when the seasonal blend containing MTBE came in that your mileage decreased and would increase when it went back to the non-MTBE blend.

We've been through this all before and as an industry advocate, you may not want to agree.
How am I an industry advocate? I'm in academia.

If MtBE gets into your water, doesn't that mean that the other components of gasoline are in your water? Like the highly carcinogenic Xylenes and Toluenes? Time and time again, lab studies have shown that the prevailance of these chemicals in MtBE contaminated water at equivilent levels to the concentration in the gas tank. At that concentration, the Toluene and Xylene, which you can't smell are more toxic than the MtBE that you can smell. However, people apparently don't care that they're drinking toxic water as long as it doesn't smell bad.

And blaming MtBE for causing the replacement of gas tanks is ridiculous. Gas leaking into the drinking water caused the replacement of gas tanks. MtBE was just the first sign that gas was leaking into the drinking water.

Hell, regardless of the oxygenation requirements of fuel, I think it's a good idea to add MtBE to gas just to know when we have it in our drinking water. I would certainly prefer a 50 ppb warning level, when the components in the water (MtBE, Toluene, Xylene, etc) are in low enough concentration to not be cancerous, rather than the ppm level when Toluene shows up and several components are at carcinogenic levels.
Old 07-01-08, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ike0000
Where are you seeing all these options at? The 'Earth Friendly' station by 9th and Iowa?
Exactly.
Old 07-01-08, 01:04 PM
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And just incase you guys are really wanting to know which gas station I am talking about:

EPA pumped up about new Zarco station

Photo by Richard Gwin. Enlarge photo.

State and federal officials were in town Monday to celebrate the Zarco 66 Earth Friendly Fuels, 2005 W. Ninth St. From left are state Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, Adrian Polansky, Kansas secretary of agriculture, and U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan.

Email Comments (14) iPod-friendly Print By Mark Fagan

July 1, 2008

Advertisement
Zarco 66 'Earth Friendly Fuels'

Scott Zaremba, president of Zarco 66, discusses the original Zarco station No. 1, and what it meant to his family, and the community.


Interview with Scott Zaremba

Interview with U.S. Rep Dennis Moore

Interview with John Askew, regional administrator for the EPA

Zarco 66 unveils 'Earth Friendly Fuels'
Scott Zaremba sells a variety of so-called “flex” fuels, illuminates his fuel pumps with compact fluorescent light bulbs and grows grass that doesn’t require mowing on the roof of his soon-to-open coffee shop at Ninth and Iowa streets.

Next up in his environmental drive: installation of solar panels to go on top of the canopy. And an electricity-generating wind turbine is on order.

“If all of us do a little, we can make a big difference,” Zaremba said outside his latest venture, Zarco 66 Earth Friendly Fuels, 2005 W. Ninth St.

Turns out Zaremba is doing more than anybody else, and on a national scale, when it comes to offering renewable fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol blends with an increased eye toward environmental sustainability and pollution prevention.

John Askew, regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, said as much Monday as he and other officials — Lawrence city commissioners, state representatives, federal administrators and a U.S. congressman — applauded Zaremba’s commitment to “green” operations during an event that was part award ceremony and part environmental revival.

About 200 people crowded onto the site of the station, which opened in February to much fanfare and today remains the only one of its kind nationwide. Joining the site’s information-loaded pump displays, specially designed pumping systems and other features Monday were several alternative-fuel vehicles, including an ethanol-powered Indy race car.

The EPA is working with Zaremba to track both how his energy-efficient systems perform and how his alternative fuel offerings sell. The results will be used to see what works in a market that is thirsting for more options, and potentially give station operators real guidance for how they can respond and succeed, Askew said.

“This has national attention,” said Askew, who presented Zaremba with a Blue Skyways Award, honoring his leadership in “green” operations.

Zaremba said the new station cost him about 30 percent more to develop and equip than one of his traditional stations, of which his family has seven in Lawrence, Olathe, Ottawa and Paola.

Customer response has increased “every day” since opening in February, he said, and he’s confident that the “Earth Friendly” operation one day will surpass volume at some of his traditional stations. It’s simply a matter of educating the public about the fuels’ performance and benefits.

“This is where we’re going,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., said that while Zaremba’s operation might seem small in a world driven by demand for petroleum, that’s a sense that shouldn’t last for long.

“One little place can’t make a huge difference,” said Moore, who carpooled to Monday’s event with Askew from Kansas City, Mo., “but you multiply this by 50,000 around the country and that can start to make a big difference.”

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