TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

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Thread: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

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    TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    Special Report: Could More Ethanol Harm Your Vehicle?
    WSB-TV, Atlanta



    ATLANTA -- While ethanol enjoys government backing as a homegrown fuel alternative, some say it has harmed their vehicles.

    Right now, four million cars registered in Georgia and built within the last ten years can handle gas made with 50 percent more ethanol, the federal government said. That ruling could bolster the ethanol industry.

    On Tuesday, Georgia's lone corn ethanol plant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Ten percent ethanol became the standard Georgia fuel mix in 2007.

    Backers say it means more jobs and less dependence on foreign oil. But there are plenty of others who said mixing in more ethanol means trouble.

    Driver Donna Johnson shared her own experience in an interview with Channel 2 Action News consumer investigator Jim Strickland.

    "I was livid," Johnson said.

    She had just spent $1,000 to service her SUV after it sputtered and stalled in her driveway, luckily.

    "I was so upset. The thought of me being on a highway with the car stalling out like that; it could have put my life in danger as well as my children," Johnson said.

    She had previously taken her car to mechanic Tom O'Donnell.

    "We checked the fuel pump and the fuel pump was bad," recalled O'Donnell, whose shop had installed the part just two months earlier.

    He showed Strickland the dried remains of the slimy grunge he said ruined Johnson's pump.

    "We've seen it happen with many other cars, including my own."

    A new fuel pump on O'Donnell's Mercedes Benz lasted only 6 months.

    "I think ethanol's playing a big part in this," O'Donnell said.

    Article continues here:
    http://www.wsbtv.com/2investigates/26718102/detail.html

    Video here:
    http://www.wsbtv.com/video/26737175/index.html

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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    yeah, we're not talking about an e15 mandate at all- because thats exactly what happened with e10.

    the govt says its ok, but bmw specifically says it isnt. i know who i believe.
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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    I drove each of my last two cars to over 150,000 mile. No fuel pump problem. All gasoline where I live is E10.

    Funny how that didn't make it into the Action News' "investigation".

    If Mercedes is selling cars with fuel pumps that are not compatible with E10, then you have a REAL story to investigate.

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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by MalibuMan2010 View Post
    All gasoline where I live is E10.
    Same thing here in Minnesota. All we've had for the past decade is E10 year-round. Prior to that, it was a decade of only E10 during the winters. No trouble with any of that. And we have a climate that's really hard on vehicles.

    Heck, it's went so well, there's actually an upcoming mandate for E20 and quite a few studies underway to ensure it goes well locally... regardless of what the rest of the country does.
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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    The question isn't whether or not Mercedes is building non-Ethanol friendly fuel pumps.

    The question is have you been lied to about the compatibility of ethanol and most vehicles engines/fuel systems?

    A Google search will show you tons of reported problems, and not just Mercedes.

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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    Sounds to me like this mechanic is ful of s**t!! fuel pump dead after 2 months and its a %5 change in ethanol's fault??? could get over on me like that. current ethanol blends might not be the ideal fuel for some older cars, but results like these are not what we should expect!!!!!

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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by BigityBalzworth View Post
    Sounds to me like this mechanic is ful of s**t!! fuel pump dead after 2 months and its a %5 change in ethanol's fault??? could get over on me like that. current ethanol blends might not be the ideal fuel for some older cars, but results like these are not what we should expect!!!!!
    Think he installed a knock off part??? That sounds like an awfully short life, even with the ethanol in it.

    I live in MN (e10) and haven't really had a problem with any of our vehicles, but have heard of lots of problems with small engines. If its not used quickly enough it absorbs water and turns into a sludge. Not Good.
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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    Ethanol. Total BS from the get go. Bad for motorcycles, bad for outboard motors, lower gas mileage, lower performance in cars, expensive, creates pollution when you make it, takes away from the food supply, we can't possibly produce enough to make any difference on our dependence on foreign oil.
    Somebody cut off all the wasted federal billions in hand outs on this and stop this madness.

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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    Go to www.pure-gas.org. There are 2500 listed stations in the U.S. that sell ethanol free fuel. All of my gas engines run so much better since I have gotten rid of the ethanol. The auto makers should just refuse to warranty any fuel system or fuel system related issues on cars using E15 unless the car is specifically designed for it which would mean only 2012 cars and later.
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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    I've been using E10 for as long as I can remember. Never had any problems. Even in my old hot rods. I've never lost a fuel pump, never had any corrosion issues.

    Methinks its more along the lines of a faulty new fuel pump. Now, that I have seen before.
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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    I dont think that the ethanol is causing any sludge problem, there has to be some other underlying issue. never had any issue with the E10 here in PA. Maybe just slightly lower milage. That is all.
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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    Fuel pump broke, so of course ethanol MUST be the problem right? Because everybody know fuel pumps never broke before they added some ethanol to gas, right? And if the BMW or Mercedes-Benz dealer that installed the fuel pump knew that its fuel pump was the problem and not ethanol (which doesn't involve his responsibility), of course he would come clean and not blame ethanol to avoid being responsible for it, right?

    I'm ambivalent on ethanol, but this article is an hatchet job that takes personal opinions as facts.

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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    Ethanol is highly corrosive and considering it has no real benefit as a fuel for automobiles it only is used because of government mandates. I say abolish the government mandates!

    David Pimental, a leading Cornell University agricultural expert says:

    * An acre of U.S. corn yields about 7,110 pounds of corn for processing into 328 gallons of ethanol. But planting, growing and harvesting that much corn requires about 140 gallons of fossil fuels and costs $347 per acre, according to Pimentel’s analysis. Thus, even before corn is converted to ethanol, the feedstock costs $1.05 per gallon of ethanol.

    * The energy economics get worse at the processing plants, where the grain is crushed and fermented. As many as three distillation steps are needed to separate the 8 percent ethanol from the 92 percent water. Additional treatment and energy are required to produce the 99.8 percent pure ethanol for mixing with gasoline.
    * Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion to ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make 1 gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTU. "Put another way", Pimentel says, "about 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in ethanol. Every time you make 1 gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTU".

    * Ethanol from corn costs about $1.74 per gallon to produce, compared with about 95 cents to produce a gallon of gasoline. "That helps explain why fossil fuels-not ethanol-are used to produce ethanol", Pimentel says. "The growers and processors can’t afford to burn ethanol to make ethanol. U.S. drivers couldn’t afford it, either, if it weren’t for government subsidies to artificially lower the price".

    * Most economic analyses of corn-to-ethanol production overlook the costs of environmental damages, which Pimentel says should add another 23 cents per gallon. "Corn production in the U.S. erodes soil about 12 times faster than the soil can be reformed, and irrigating corn mines groundwater 25 percent faster than the natural recharge rate of ground water. The environmental system in which corn is being produced is being rapidly degraded. Corn should not be considered a renewable resource for ethanol energy production, especially when human food is being converted into ethanol".

    * The approximately $1 billion a year in current federal and state subsidies (mainly to large corporations) for ethanol production are not the only costs to consumers, the Cornell scientist observes. Subsidized corn results in higher prices for meat, milk and eggs because about 70 percent of corn grain is fed to livestock and poultry in the United States. Increasing ethanol production would further inflate corn prices, Pimentel says, noting: "In addition to paying tax dollars for ethanol subsidies, consumers would be paying significantly higher food prices in the marketplace".

    * Nickels and dimes aside, some drivers still would rather see their cars fueled by farms in the Midwest than by oil wells in the Middle East, Pimentel acknowledges, so he calculated the amount of corn needed to power an automobile:

    * The average U.S. automobile, traveling 10,000 miles a year on pure ethanol (not a gasoline-ethanol mix) would need about 852 gallons of the corn-based fuel. This would take 11 acres to grow, based on net ethanol production. This is the same amount of cropland required to feed seven Americans.

    * If all the automobiles in the United States were fueled with 100 percent ethanol, a total of about 97 percent of U.S. land area would be needed to grow the corn feedstock. Corn would cover nearly the total land area of the United States.

    http://healthandenergy.com/ethanol.htm

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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    So corn is the only source of ethanol, right?

    Who knows, maybe all sources have production issues, but let's consider all of them. Oh, but that would get in the way of demagoguery.

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    Re: TV Station Investigates Ethanol Concerns

    SO the mechanic is stating E15 caused this problem? Really?

    Where in Atlanta are they buying E15 anyway?
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