10% ethanol vs. 100% gas - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 1:03 pm Thread Starter
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10% ethanol vs. 100% gas

Okay, I confess, I had too much time on my hands plus the bike was in the shop.

On a normal, country ride without hitting the slab or gunning the throttle I can manage 45 mpg with gas that has 10% ethanol. 2006 R1200RT - (one up with side bags only). Then I found a station with pure gas (no ethanol) and filled up. I was getting 50 mpg! (Same riding set up) WooHoo! So, without concern for what ethanol might be doing tto my engine I worked out some basic economics with assistance from our math department.

Given that there's no difference in price between the two fuels ($2.85/gal) - with six gallons in the tank it's 270 miles versus 300 miles. At a cost per mile, it's 6.3 cents per mile versus 5.7 cents per mile for operation. If the prices stay the same and I drive 10,000 miles in a year, I save a total of $63.00. Doesn't seem like much to me. Again, what's the ethanol doing to the engine?

My question to the math department was simple - if the 100% fuel costs more than the 10% ethanol fuel, at what price do I save nothing by buying the pure fuel. Their answer was quite simple - If the 100% fuel costs no more than an additional ten per cent of the ethanol fuel, but the pure. (Cost of ethanol times 1.1 < price of 100% gasoline per gallon)

When I mentioned that if I have to drive twenty miles to get the fuel and asked if it's worth it, the answer is still yes, but I'm now getting just ten more miles per tank and that does not include the time spent getting to and from the station, oil consumption and normal wear and tear on other moving parts.

This is why I teach social studies.

Oh well...

Take care,
Chris

"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God" Kurt Vonnegut

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post #2 of 12 Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 1:23 pm
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Re: 10% ethanol vs. 100% gas

Ethanol blends only benefit the producers of the ingredients, and then only because of huge government subsidies. They're not meant to benefit the consumers, and certainly not making any real dent in our dependence on foreign oil or our environmental impact as some claim.

Riding through the corn belt, you can see stations proudly displaying ethanol blends in varying quantities, because it directly benefits the local community through farm subsidies. It's a fairly obvious cash-for-votes scheme.

Everywhere else, they hide the fact that you're getting blended gasoline by putting a tiny sticker on the pump, with even tinier type, claiming that the fuel "may" be "oxygenated", meaning you're getting the blended fuel whether or not you like it.

If I see this sticker when traveling, I'll ride across the street to the next service station where I may not see it. Some truck stops are worse than others, so you learn which ones to avoid.

Here in California though, they "oxygenate" all the fuel for the "winter" months to "reduce emissions", so you never really know what you're getting.

Ken
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Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #3 of 12 Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 4:02 pm
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Re: 10% ethanol vs. 100% gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
Here in California though, they "oxygenate" all the fuel for the "winter" months to "reduce emissions", so you never really know what you're getting.
Yes they do, and then they use that as an excuse to raise prices during the winter...

Brian
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post #4 of 12 Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 6:10 pm
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Re: 10% ethanol vs. 100% gas

Luckily there's a station near me that sells 100% non oxygenated pure gas- 91 octane
I use it everytime I can. It's about 30 cents a gallon higher than the syrup, but that's fine with me

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post #5 of 12 Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 6:25 pm
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Re: 10% ethanol vs. 100% gas

In California we have no choice. Since I don't bother checking mpg and my LT runs fine on it I guess it doesn't matter.

Scott
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post #6 of 12 Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 7:33 pm
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Re: 10% ethanol vs. 100% gas

What most people don't know is the government is keeping these multi-million dollar plants in operation like Meese said. Even with the subsidy there is plants going out of business. Now the push is to use 15% Ethanol mix I've heard rumors that this is not good for carb motors, but who knows. It is beyond me why we are using corn for Ethanol. Ethanol through corn is not very productive. The big thing was we would be able to feed the by-product (DDGS) for animals. But this years corn crop has a ton of mold and when they are done with it the DDGS have 3 times the levels of mycotoxins as it went in at. We just had a bunch of feed that the pigs wouldn't eat because the mycotoxin level was too high. Now a lot of hog farms are not feeding DDGS at all because they have no idea what the levels are. This is cutting into income for Ethanol plants.

Neil '00 K1200LT '08 KLR
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post #7 of 12 Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 8:35 pm
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Re: 10% ethanol vs. 100% gas

So much for the free competition that supposedly defines capitalism.

One of the articles I read said that automakers are already warning about increased warranty costs from damage caused by a 15% blend. That would seem to go against the ethanol supporters claims that most cars later than 2001 models would be fine.

And it doesn't address cars made before 2001, or jet skis, lawnmowers, motorcycles, etc.

It's a big mess all over, and by all rights the farming subsidies should be removed and the land repurposed for a more economically sustainable crop. Then dump all that subsidy money into other alternative energy developments.

But that doesn't buy votes in the midwest . . .

Ken
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Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #8 of 12 Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 10:49 pm
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Re: 10% ethanol vs. 100% gas

About 2/3 of the single engine aircraft in the US are legal under a supplemental type certificate to use unleaded mogas (but without alcohol) instead of a heavily leaded (don't let the low-lead name fool you) 100LL aviation fuel.

The trouble is though that pure gasoline is unavailable in most parts of the country. This is at the same time as the EPA is taking aim at getting lead out of the environment.

We sure are willing to shoot ourselves in the foot aren't we!
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post #9 of 12 Old Dec 4th, 2009, 8:25 am
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Re: 10% ethanol vs. 100% gas

Have to say I worry what it is doing to my bike?

I use Marvel Mystery Oil in about every third tank of gas. I also add it to my lawn mower gas. I feel that at least I am getting something back into the top end. I dont know what our valve seals are made of, most replacements on HD when you redo the heads and valves are vioton (sp).

However I see no performance hits from the welfare corn so hard to say. Still don't like it and for sure the oil companies are loving it making a pure 10% profit, selling 90% gas.

Lee
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post #10 of 12 Old Dec 4th, 2009, 11:20 am
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Re: 10% ethanol vs. 100% gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
So much for the free competition that supposedly defines capitalism.. . .
Quite the opposite. Competition works well here: ADM and other agro-concerns compete for the attention of the lawmakers against you. Big industry (agricultural industry) vs. public good. Result: money talks, BS walks.

Robert in Northern NJ

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post #11 of 12 Old Dec 4th, 2009, 1:11 pm
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Re: 10% ethanol vs. 100% gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese



It's a big mess all over, and by all rights the farming subsidies should be removed and the land repurposed for a more economically sustainable crop.

But that doesn't buy votes in the midwest . . .
Farmers & farm subsidies is one topic that really gets my undies in a wad.
I have a brother & a nephew who are farmers here in Illinois. About ten years ago it got posted in the newspaper what they were all getting for subsidies. My brother was getting over $110,00 a year, and my nephew over $180,000 a year. Since then they have expanded quite a bit. This is not to mention that they pay no sales tax on anything related to the farm. That's why they all drive new pick-up trucks all the time. Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread, but it's Ken's fault
That reminds me...gotta go & take my blood pressure medicine.....

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post #12 of 12 Old Dec 4th, 2009, 6:51 pm
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Re: 10% ethanol vs. 100% gas

Be happy for them, They're family!

Have them sell you a acre, then buy a new truck!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Razmataz
Farmers & farm subsidies is one topic that really gets my undies in a wad.
I have a brother & a nephew who are farmers here in Illinois. About ten years ago it got posted in the newspaper what they were all getting for subsidies. My brother was getting over $110,00 a year, and my nephew over $180,000 a year. Since then they have expanded quite a bit. This is not to mention that they pay no sales tax on anything related to the farm. That's why they all drive new pick-up trucks all the time. Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread, but it's Ken's fault
That reminds me...gotta go & take my blood pressure medicine.....

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