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Ethanol Getting Greener
According to an analysis conducted by the Argonne National Laboratory, American ethanol facilities are using less energy and water than just five years ago while producing more ethanol. Water consumption is down 26.6 percent, grid electricity use down almost 16 percent and total energy use almost 22 percent lower.
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“This is not your father’s ethanol industry anymore,” said Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen. “As the industry has grown over the past several years, we have adopted new technologies, we are looking at new feedstocks, we are becoming more efficient every day. The ethanol industry takes its responsibility as stewards of the environment very seriously.”

The Argonne analysis also found key trends that are making ethanol more efficient and environmentally friendly. Nearly 25% of ethanol producers today are capturing their carbon dioxide emissions for use in dry ice production and carbonated beverage bottling. In addition, 37% of distillers grains – the high protein livestock feed co-product of ethanol production – are now sold in the wet form, reducing the energy needed to dry and transport the product.
 

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that's a good news to hear, let's cross our fingers then the technique will improve so in the next years, the ethanol facilities will use less water and less electricity to extract ethanol (and then the facilities who made butanol and biodiesel can also use less water and less electricity as well with some similar process)
 

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Efficiency is the key. I do love to hear about how more and more of these producers are, not just helping get our dependence off foreign oil, but also utilizing every resource they use with startling efficiency!:cool:
 

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Maybe it's the fact that I've grown up near oceans and lakes, as well as always having a private well rather than a town supply-but for some reason I never understood the talk about how important it is to use less water.

All the kids shows growing up talked about shutting the water off while brushing your teeth and such. But why? I mean, I am all for saving energy, with the CF bulbs, new appliances and keeping the house a degree cooler in winter. But water? When you burn gas, it's gone, but when you boil water away, there isn't that much less water in the world.

Clearly I am missing something.
 

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Now THIS is encouraging. It's one thing to ramp up as much ethanol production as possible... but making it in and of itself a more efficient industry is a very important goal. This alone would encourage me to go to an ethanol-based fuel.
Absolutely.

I've heard it costs about $100 more to make a car e85 capable. What is the reason for GM not making every vehicle with the E85 capable engines use that fuel?

If you go online to build a car, you can often choose between the same engine, being e85 or not, why? Wouldn't it help their CAFE numbers if they made it standard?
 

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Absolutely.

I've heard it costs about $100 more to make a car e85 capable. What is the reason for GM not making every vehicle with the E85 capable engines use that fuel?

If you go online to build a car, you can often choose between the same engine, being e85 or not, why? Wouldn't it help their CAFE numbers if they made it standard?
Doesnt fuel economy get a bit worse when using ethanol?? Im pretty sure here in Aus they say that ur fuel economy gets a bit worse when using the E10 we have so wouldnt using E85 use more fuel??
 

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Maybe it's the fact that I've grown up near oceans and lakes, as well as always having a private well rather than a town supply-but for some reason I never understood the talk about how important it is to use less water.

All the kids shows growing up talked about shutting the water off while brushing your teeth and such. But why? I mean, I am all for saving energy, with the CF bulbs, new appliances and keeping the house a degree cooler in winter. But water? When you burn gas, it's gone, but when you boil water away, there isn't that much less water in the world.

Clearly I am missing something.
It takes energy, and chlorine, to clean everything that goes down your drain before it can be released into the ocean. Also, the more that goes down the drain volume wise, the more that leaks out into the environment, and the harder it is for them to make sure it is all fully cleaned before going out.
 

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Doesnt fuel economy get a bit worse when using ethanol?? Im pretty sure here in Aus they say that ur fuel economy gets a bit worse when using the E10 we have so wouldnt using E85 use more fuel??
Not necessarily. I'm going to make this simplistic. One's real world mileage will obviously vary.

For example, say you're getting an even 30 mpg on average on straight dino juice gasoline in your FFV capable vehicle, and you consistently pump 20 gallons of gas into your tank when empty.

You decide one day to make the jump to E85. Pumping 20 gallons of E85 means you pump only three gallons of dino juice into your tank. Now, since E85 has roughly 1/3 less energy than straight gas, you're now only averaging 20 mpg on E85. You are now using 26.7 gallons of E85 to cover the same distance in your car. So, when you refill the tank, you are now using only 4 gallons of dino juice to cover the same distance. The only product you're using more of, is the renewable resource. You're now only burning approximately 20% of the non renewable fuel in your vehicle. This is your savings.
 

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It takes energy, and chlorine, to clean everything that goes down your drain before it can be released into the ocean. Also, the more that goes down the drain volume wise, the more that leaks out into the environment, and the harder it is for them to make sure it is all fully cleaned before going out.
But I have a well and septic. How does this efect me??????????
 

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But I have a well and septic. How does this efect me??????????

This depends on where you live. If you live in the midwest, you are probably drawing from the huge acquifer (I cannot recall the name at present) that spans from S. Dakota, across Nebraska, Kansas, parts of Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. This aquifer is being drawn down at a rate that exceeds it's replenishment. Your well will dry up when this acquifer is depleted.
 

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Maybe it's the fact that I've grown up near oceans and lakes, as well as always having a private well rather than a town supply-but for some reason I never understood the talk about how important it is to use less water.

All the kids shows growing up talked about shutting the water off while brushing your teeth and such. But why? I mean, I am all for saving energy, with the CF bulbs, new appliances and keeping the house a degree cooler in winter. But water? When you burn gas, it's gone, but when you boil water away, there isn't that much less water in the world.

Clearly I am missing something.
Fresh water is becoming more scarce as the demand increases. Southwest United States is the biggest concern. There are big battles going on right now for the rights to the water supplied by the Colorado river, and the depletion of Lake Meade. In addition you may recall the drought in the Southeast this past year that put large lakes at record lows, so low pumps couldn't supply whole towns. The great lakes in the northern United States have also felt the strain, as thier levels are down as well. Not everyone feels the strain on the demand for fresh water, yet, however we're starting to see signs of future problems with fresh water availability.
 

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Not everyone feels the strain on the demand for fresh water, yet, however we're starting to see signs of future problems with fresh water availability.
This should be more of a concern to us than jamming ears of corn into our gas tanks.

How are we supposed to wash our SUVs if we have no water left...
 

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This depends on where you live. If you live in the midwest, you are probably drawing from the huge acquifer (I cannot recall the name at present) that spans from S. Dakota, across Nebraska, Kansas, parts of Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. This aquifer is being drawn down at a rate that exceeds it's replenishment. Your well will dry up when this acquifer is depleted.

I live in New Jersey and I have neighbors and customers that are having the "well going dry" problem from over development (Drill it deeper)
 

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This depends on where you live. If you live in the midwest, you are probably drawing from the huge acquifer (I cannot recall the name at present) that spans from S. Dakota, across Nebraska, Kansas, parts of Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. This aquifer is being drawn down at a rate that exceeds it's replenishment. Your well will dry up when this acquifer is depleted.
Here we have the opposite problem. They thought it would be fun to build a neighborhood on a swamp. Only they didn't build the land up enough, and water can be found less than 10 feet down in some cases.... that causes all kinds of fun problems.
 

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..., and the harder it is for them to make sure it is all fully cleaned before going out.
It is actually more complicated than that. Pure water is a pollutant in the environment. Water that has been scrubbed of its minerals and gases cannot sustain life. Therefore, every liter of water that passes through an industrial plant should go through multiple stages of treatment before it is fit to be returned to the environment. Obviously, toxins and pathogens introduced during the industrial processes must be removed. Minerals, nutrients, and gases must be restored before it is safe for the ecosystem downstream.
 

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Doesnt fuel economy get a bit worse when using ethanol?? Im pretty sure here in Aus they say that ur fuel economy gets a bit worse when using the E10 we have so wouldnt using E85 use more fuel??
Yes, I usually hear about 30% less. However,you are using a fuel that is renewable, and cheaper to produce anyway. So in a sense, you would burn more, but it would be cleaner.

Also, I am not suggesting we all use E85, more I am suggesting that making more FF vehicles would lesson GMs CAFE load (the whole only 15% gas thing) as well as having a whole bunch of future ready vehicles. Kind of like how computers come with lots of slots to add more hardware later....understand that what isn't needed now, will be later.
 

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Not necessarily. I'm going to make this simplistic. One's real world mileage will obviously vary.

For example, say you're getting an even 30 mpg on average on straight dino juice gasoline in your FFV capable vehicle, and you consistently pump 20 gallons of gas into your tank when empty.

You decide one day to make the jump to E85. Pumping 20 gallons of E85 means you pump only three gallons of dino juice into your tank. Now, since E85 has roughly 1/3 less energy than straight gas, you're now only averaging 20 mpg on E85. You are now using 26.7 gallons of E85 to cover the same distance in your car. So, when you refill the tank, you are now using only 4 gallons of dino juice to cover the same distance. The only product you're using more of, is the renewable resource. You're now only burning approximately 20% of the non renewable fuel in your vehicle. This is your savings.
Yes indeed.

It isn't that using E85 means you are using less fuel (you aren't) it means that you are using less OIL. and that is helpful in many, many ways. Ethanol is getting to be cheaper than oil-based gasoline. Using less oil would also help our foreign trade imbalance, lessen our reliance on a potentially unfriendly source for our energy needs, and lessen the funding for terrorists.

And if the demand for oil is displaced by a supply of ethanol, than the price of oil should also come down.
 

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But I have a well and septic. How does this efect me??????????
It even affects people outside the midwest. It can be anywhere. I know people (here in Michigan, surrounded by the huge freshwater supplies of the Great Lakes) who have suffered in dry years when the water table drops far enough to be below your well pump. When that happens, your well pump will burn out. One of those costs about $800 to replace, but you've still got to replace something that's 100 feet, or more, underground. (another $400) And that's if you're lucky enough to not have to drill an entire new (deeper) well, which will cost you a couple $1000 per 100 feet.

A friend of mine had a pond dug in his back yard. a couple years he had nothing but a twenty foot deep crater in his yard with a foot of water in the bottom. He has a dock on that pond, which was about fifteen feet above the water level then. He wanted to solve the problem by drilling a new well to fill the pond with. But a pond's surface IS the top of the water table. Pumping water from underneath that, to the surface, will just sink right back down to the water table.

Plus, as the water table thins out, you can get stuck with the mineral contaminants, such as calcium (hard water - I got that) iron (rust) arsenic (some in my area have THAT).

Believe me, if I had any chance to hook up to the Detroit City Water system, I would. Even though I'm 25 miles outside Detroit, Detroit water is available a mile away, and I'm hoping for a new line out my way.
 
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