Notices
Off Topic A place to boldly go off topic. Just about anything goes.

Behind Detroit's sudden embrace of ethanol

Old 01-29-2008, 03:11 PM
  #1  
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,503
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default Behind Detroit's sudden embrace of ethanol




SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinio...lonline28.html

Editorial Commentary:

Behind Detroit's sudden embrace of ethanol

Last updated January 27, 2008 4:23 p.m. PT

THE ECONOMIST

Two technological trends, both unimaginable a year ago, dominated the recent auto show in Detroit, the premier showcase for carmakers worldwide. One was the U-turn in the past decade's headlong pursuit of horsepower and size. The other, less apparent but possibly more significant, was the industry's wholehearted embrace of biofuels.

While carmakers wait for better batteries, gas-electric hybrids remain stuck in the slow lane -- and risk being overtaken by other technologies.

The third iteration of the Toyota Prius, with lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged from a socket at home as well as from the brakes and engine on the road, has been delayed again. Lithium-ion cells pack a far greater punch than today's nickel-metal-hydride batteries, but they continue to display explosive tendencies.

This summer, Honda will start leasing its clever fuel-cell car, the FCX Clarity. But judging from the limited numbers being made available and the steep $600-a-month leasing fee, the Clarity must be considered more a market-research exercise than an actual rollout.

In the meantime, with the global economy slowing fast and oil continuing to nudge $100 a barrel, carmakers worldwide are having to retool their wares in a hurry so as to appeal more to people's pockets than their fantasies.

In the process, diesel is becoming less of a dirty word -- a relic of Detroit's hastily converted gasoline engines that were pressed into service as passenger diesels in the aftermath of the 1973 oil shock. The noisy, smelly, lumbering brutes were ditched in the early 1980s when soaring oil prices returned to earth. But the unpleasant memory has lingered on.

Not so in Europe, where pump prices remained high, and diesel's 30 percent better fuel economy and greater torque won a loyal following. Thanks to innovations by Fiat, Bosch, Volkswagen and others, the modern turbo-charged diesel bears little resemblance to the smoky old clunkers Americans remember.

Today, one of two new cars in Europe is a diesel. In America, diesels account for less than 3 percent of cars and light trucks on the road. But that could quickly change, thanks to improvements in emission control and America's recent switch to low-sulphur diesel.

Ironically, despite their reputation of being dirty, diesel engines actually produce one-third less greenhouse gases than their gasoline equivalents. The price they pay, however, is more soot (known in the trade as "particulates") and nitrogen oxide in the exhaust pipe.

Until recently, that prevented diesels from being sold in California, one of the world's most profitable but persnickety car markets. But a change in the European Union's emission standards has forced European carmakers to produce diesels that are now even cleaner than California requires.

A month ago, Mercedes-Benz started selling a diesel version of its popular E-320 model in America -- the first diesel to meet the stringent emission standards of all 50 states. In Detroit, all the leading European, Japanese and Korean car companies had clean diesels on display. Expect them to start rolling into America later this year.

Still, the home team remains leery. While there is no shortage of state-of-the-art diesel technology in America, it mostly appears in engines for big rigs, buses, tractors and locomotives. Making clean, lightweight diesels for passenger cars is an altogether different matter.

Hence the move among American carmakers to concentrate instead on more familiar stopgap technologies. The current favorite is the "flex- fuel" vehicle that can run on either E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline) or straight gas
__________________
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11 is offline  
Old 01-29-2008, 05:49 PM
  #2  
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location:
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Behind Detroit's sudden embrace of ethanol

So this article seems to assert what my grandfather used to indicate about ethanol in the 80's how it was just an energy sink that was being promoted by the government. The more things change the more they stay the same. Now, one thing...how did Brazil do it? Cane sugar produces more alcohol more affordably?
__________________

~) 69.5 SuperBee

DSkippy is offline  
Old 01-29-2008, 06:43 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location:
Posts: 712
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Behind Detroit's sudden embrace of ethanol

I would love a vehicle powered by water!
MGDMike is offline  
Old 01-29-2008, 07:45 PM
  #4  
mac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location:
Posts: 231
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Behind Detroit's sudden embrace of ethanol

Yes sugar cane yields a huge amount of Ethanol vs corn due to Sugar content. That is why I wonder why we don't grow more sugar beets in the United States.
mac is offline  
Old 01-30-2008, 04:57 AM
  #5  
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location:
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Behind Detroit's sudden embrace of ethanol

Yeppers. Popsci had a different take on it, with special fungus that eat grass and produce either methane or ethanol. Kind of interesting from stand point of how fast it grows.....kind of makes one think of Kudzu as an energy source. Asian countries dine on it and it quickly proliferates and replenishes...of course, you have to contain it and whose to say how much it leaches from the soil....but if it were manageable, now that's a replenishable energy source.

I like the water thing....again...go to you tube and search hydrogen tap....you can spend an evening (and I have) watching that dude and his monotone drone conducting experiments with electrolysis trying to reproduce that guy's work whom allegedly figured it out then died of food poisoning...now, I love to pick fun at the conspiracy theorists as much as the next guy...but, the timing sure was odd....
__________________

~) 69.5 SuperBee

DSkippy is offline  
Old 01-30-2008, 07:16 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location:
Posts: 388
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Behind Detroit's sudden embrace of ethanol

my take on ethanol is that it is about the same as gasoline, so that means we could still have big engines. and if everyone started to farm agian the prices of ethanol would be lower than gas, so that means bigger engines right?
DK challenger is offline  
Old 01-30-2008, 10:03 AM
  #7  
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location:
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Behind Detroit's sudden embrace of ethanol

Everyone starts to buy big plots of land as they grow their fuel. Far out, man!
__________________

~) 69.5 SuperBee

DSkippy is offline  
Old 01-30-2008, 03:19 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location:
Posts: 388
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Behind Detroit's sudden embrace of ethanol

good idea huh, hehe
DK challenger is offline  
Old 02-04-2008, 04:57 PM
  #9  
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location:
Posts: 4,057
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: Behind Detroit's sudden embrace of ethanol

You'll find lots of E85 pumps in this area. There are two in the town I went to college in and one in my hometown in Southern IL, but you don't see many people pumping it into their tanks (except for the uneducated people who think they can run it in a 01 Lincoln Continental, which isn't a FFV). I'm for new diesels, they are fast for their displacement, reliable, and get amazing fuel economy without sacrificing anything unlike the electrifying death traps (aka hybrids).

Ethanol is not the answer (or at least the way they are doing it isn't). They really ought to go with Butanol instead, better mileage, can run in any gas powered model without any special mods, can be shipped through a pipeline, more octane, etc.
__________________
"To Debate and Moderate" since 2006

College Graduate:
B.S. in Marketing
A.A. in nothing

The first 426 Dual Quad member.
The first to 2000 posts

RLSH700 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
LCDP22
Challenger News
10
04-16-2009 04:19 AM
05flhtcse
Dodge Challenger R/T
6
02-23-2009 11:00 AM
TechmanBD
Off Topic
6
01-29-2008 10:14 AM
Jeremiah 29:11
Challenger News
1
01-08-2008 05:41 PM
RoswellGrey
Off Topic
1
09-29-2007 05:56 PM


Quick Reply: Behind Detroit's sudden embrace of ethanol


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: