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Ethanol Myths and Facts

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  • #16
    Re: Ethanol Myths and Facts

    Hello Curtis. I am glad that you posted this data. Correctly applying and alternative fuels/energy technology is almost as, if not more so important then the technology itself. I probably have said this before, but it bears repeating. I am not certain if it is the American people, or the Government reacting to the people that continue to feel the entire US Fleet has to run on one fuel. I quite frankly was pleased to see the creation of flex fueled vehicles enter the market, and would have looked forward to more models utilizing different fuels. Only the ability to choose allows one to have individual power. Anything less is a monopoly, regardless of what company name is on the Station. Ethanol production from corn as a feedstock is ludicrus, but that does not mean that the fuel itself is not viable as an alternative fuel. There are many positive attributes to utilizing ethanol in ICEs. The Nations fuel system of the future as I see it, may have a system of somewhat regionalized fuel availabilities. Part of the reason for this methidology is the total cost involved in the transporting of renewable fuels. Generally any fuel which has to be transported over a 50 mile radius is beginning to shoot itself in the foot as far as return on energy investment. Fuel availability would not have been such a sticking point in the debate today had the engineers of the OEMs considered this. Localized energy/fuel production would ultimately reduce emissions, prevent enviromentally harmfull large scale disasters from happening, and would allow the energy currently being expended to be used for something that is of importance. Any type of forced induction system would level the playing field as far as variation in octane is concerned. It really is a moot issue if the cost were to be addressed at the OEM level. This entire transportation system, hopefully in my life time will be completely sustainable and self supporting. Ethanol should definately be in the mix. Currently the only Alternative fuel that I have a hard time making a case for is Hydrogen.


    • #17
      Re: Ethanol Myths and Facts

      I agree with you, Wellarmed. I think the single fuel paradigm has come about from historically cheap oil, and more recently the oil lobbies and Detroit. I also think they're starting to wake up and smell the coffee. Peak oil is not something out of an unimaginable future and alt fuels are now a forced reality for many reasons.

      As a Clean Cities Coordinator I'm supposed to be fuel neutral and promote all of them, and as I said, there are some emerging biofuel technologies that I stay up on, and most would have no way of knowing about, that are going to make tremendous strides (and a big dent) in oil imports over the next few years. Two of the ones to watch are waste stream (garbage dumps to ethanol) and algea technologies.

      I read reports from NREL, DOE, EERE and many others that is tracking, working on and funding these projects. I don't post much of it here becaused this is a rather fuel focused group with intrest in cng for the most part.

      You are right, the future holds a patchwork of regional fuels. It will become more diversified as the technologies emerge to fill the voids. Ethanol from corn was a midwest concern, but with algea and garbage contributing to the mix, it can exist anywhere.

      There is no silver bullet out there to resolve the oil delima. I think we'll see electrics become the next big thing in light duty over the next 5-10 years, cng in the heavy duty market. Propane finally woke up and is trying to get a foothold in the market again. They were a bit gunshy and late to the race after the big flop in the 70's and 80's. I think they finally realized that it's different this time.

      Hydrogen is a pipe dream until technology yields and inexpensive way of producing it. If your going to make it from natural gas... just use natural gas and save a bunch of R&D money. Plow it into cng infrastructure and the heavy duty cng market to get the bang from the buck. We'll benefit from the infrastructure developement that supports the big trucks. As that happens you'll see light duties become more prevelent.

      I think we're moving in the right direction. Somewhat of a shotgun effect, but the right direction.


      • #18
        Re: Ethanol Myths and Facts

        There was an interesting article in the LATimes business section yesterday about home refueling with Ethanol. See


        • #19
          Re: Ethanol Myths and Facts

          Let's see...

          Localized energy production -- every landfill produces Methane. Every wastewater treatment plant can or does produce methane.

          As for transportation, we already have an extensive network of pipelines to transport Natural Gas from the fields and from tankers to many homes and businesses. The marginal transporation cost is just maintenance. This system can also be used to collect Natural Gas from various sources. Rather than burning much of it in small turbines to make electricity, it would be more efficient (in a global sense) to use it for a motor fuel.
          02 GX
          01 GX
          03 Crown Vic
          06 GX
          Home Fueler


          • #20
            Re: Ethanol Myths and Facts

            Originally posted by cngacrossusa View Post
            I have to AGREE 100% with NTTrainer that cng should have more bio-cng push all across the USA to capture wasted methane. This is prime infrastructure spending zone that Obama can pursue IMHO, of course ONLY IF those systems result in more public cng refueling sites, and fleets of cng vehicles.

            As ironic as it is, town in Michigan with GM roots (Flint, MI) in undergoing first attempt in USA for wastewater biogas system with help from Sweden company that has already perfected it. See at:

            Biogas not only from sewage but also from controlled landfills appear to be a better option than ethanol. The problem is that gaseous fuels are not so easy to handle than liquid ones. Personally, I'm a biodiesel enthusiast (since biodiesel requires less arable land and can be made out of some feedstocks that can be used to recover environmentally degradated areas or can improve life conditions in brazilian northeast), but have driven some CNG-powered vehicles, and what I just don't like is the space required by a CNG setup in a dual-fuel vehicle. And I usually go to some small cities where CNG is not avaliable, and biogas projects are also not developed. What I don't like in ethanol is that it's as easy as gasoline to caught on fire but even harder to extinguish a fire from ethanol since the flames are transparent...


            • #21
              It was announced Feb 16 2017 that Woodfibre Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project in the District of Squamish near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada has awarded a contract to Flour Corporation for front-end engineering and design (FEED) services.

              The proposed 2.1 million-tonnes-per-year natural gas Woodfibre liquefaction plant and export facility will be powered by BC Hydro to help it be one of the cleanest LNG facilities in the world.

              All of the commitments Woodfibre LNG Limited made in its environmental assessment certificate application, and the regulatory conditions, plans and permits required for construction and operation of the Woodfibre LNG Project will remain in effect for the 40 year life of the project. In this way, Government, First Nations(native american) partners, stakeholders and potential customers can be assured of the certainty of this project, said Byng Giraud, Country Manager and Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Woodfibre LNG Limited.

              What can a project like this mean to a community? See for yourself:



              • #22
                Aug 1 2017 by Lauren Tyler for NGTNews - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency s (EPA) public comment hearing took place today on the 2018 Renewable Fuel Volume Standard Proposed Rule to advocate for RNG transportation fuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

                According to the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition), the RNG industry was heavily represented at the hearing, noting that nearly 40 of the 143 stakeholders pre-registered to provide public testimony carried the RNG Coalition s message to the EPA.

                Kevin Dobson, vice president of business development with DTE Biomass explained to the EPA that DTE Biomass is increasing production 18 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017 due to plant upgrades and facility expansions currently underway at our existing projects.

                Patterson added, Across the country, RNG projects are under construction and anticipated to generate new cellulosic biofuel next year.



                • #23
                  Will Owen for LNG Industry, 06 December 2017 - The selection of KBR for Pre-NTP services follows the successful completion of a competitive Front End Engineering Design (FEED) process for the Woodfibre LNG Project, which was announced in October 2016. Pre-NTP services will be carried out by KBR s operating centers in Houston and Edmonton. Woodfibre LNG expects to commence the engineering, procurement and construction​ phase of the Project in 2018.


                  • #24
                    Heard on All Things Considered June 4, 2019 - Getting Fire From A Tree Without Burning The Wood

                    A scientist walks up to a cottonwood tree, sticks a hollow tube in the middle and then takes a lighter and flicks it. A jet of flame shoots out from the tube. Turns out, there's methane trapped in certain cottonwood trees.

                    The wood in this particular species naturally has this condition called wetwood, where it's saturated within the trunk of the tree. This wetwood makes for a welcoming home for all sorts of microorganisms. Some of those organisms turned out to be species of archaea that are known methane producers.




                    • #25
                      LNG World News Mar 26, 2020 - Canada’s Woodfibre LNG pushes back construction start

                      The developers behind the Woodfibre LNG export project are pushing back the start of construction to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

                      “COVID-19 has had implications for our vendor’s manufacturing facilities and fabrication yards in China, delaying the manufacturing of specialized equipment and fabrication of modules related to the construction of our project,” Woodfbre LNG said.

                      The Woodfibre LNG project tipped to be worth more than $1.5 billion has received approval from Canada’s National Energy Board to export LNG over a period of 40 years.

                      Additionally, last week the giant Shell-led LNG Canada project said it would reduce the size of its construction workforce at Kitimat by half to help deal with COVID-19.