New biofuel could have an edge over ethanol

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 14, 2012 - 3:32 PM

Scientists who have tested isobutanol, a fuel alcohol made from corn, say it packs more energy and has other pluses over ethanol.

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beavis38Apr. 14, 12 9:09 PM

It is a stupid law to begin with. We should be able to choose if we do not want to burn ethonal, even if it means paying more. Let us make our decision at the pump. I am not bashing ethonal, just our state forcing us to burn it. I have to drive 21 miles to purchase gasoline for my garden tractor, snowmobiles, snowblower, motorcycle, etc since it eats up the carborators, gas line and plastic tanks on these units. What a hassle. Also, please stop the subsidies. If it can't support itself by now we need to move on.

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greatxApr. 14, 12 9:30 PM

beavis38 wrote: "since it eats up the carborators, gas line and plastic tanks on these units" ----- Hogwash... I have had three cars (1992, 2005, 2008), three ATV's (2001, 2004, 2007) and a ten year old JD lawnmower that all have used E10 fuel with no problems. I will admit one must keep fresh gas in the tank, or add a fuel stabilzer.

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davehougApr. 14, 12 9:52 PM

Why don't these articles compare blends on price per mile??? That takes all factors into account. THEN we can decide if the policy to force / allow the blend to be sold makes sense. Granted performance for same blends can vary among the same 25 mpg cars, but still more informative way to support a policy.

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akmscottApr. 14, 12 9:56 PM

It all wreck cars and engines.Outlaw all of it. Use the corn to feed livestock and people and quit wasting it.

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george13Apr. 14, 1210:09 PM

In response to "beavis38"- nonsense.

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greatxApr. 14, 1211:40 PM

Btw, beavis38 and akmscott, my 1992 vehicle has over 120,000 miles and my 2005 vehicle has over 100,000 miles on it. It is a Dodge Caravan w/3.8 V6 and still gets 29-30 mpg on the highway. You two just do not know how to care for your automobiles.

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arspartzApr. 15, 12 1:14 AM

1: Ethanol is hard on engines because it has poor age stability. This is why most people use premium (no EtOH added) in small engines that sit for extended periods.

2: IsoButanol has one more carbon (50% more) than ethanol. This will be a large negative to the MMGW crowd. This is also where it gets more energy per gallon. Any of the Octanols would be about the same as regular gasoline in energy content.

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beavis38Apr. 15, 12 7:39 AM

@greatx - I do know how to care for my vehicles. We have a 2000 Camry with 183,000 miles and a 2000 Sienna with 236,000 miles that both run great yet. We are fiscal conservatives that do not buy a new car until it is needed. Once again I am not putting down ethanol just saying I want the choice. I do not want to burn it in my small engines but because of the goofy law it is much harder to find just plan gas out in rural MN. If it wasn't required in the blend I could buy it in my home town as it would be more available. As an example my Arctic Cat requires an updated computer chip to run it (stated in owners manual). My Airens snowblower recommends not to use it. It is a hassle to make a 42 mile round trip to buy gasoline.

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LundExplorerApr. 15, 12 8:47 AM

It's not hogwash. E10 fuel, when left sitting over time, will build up what some call varnish and clog fuel systems. It generally is not a problem in autos because fuel is consumed regularly, before it goes bad. Also autos are for the most part fuel injected as opposed to carbureted these days. badly has formed varnish a fuel injector can blast the fuel thru the clog unlike a carb which sucks the fuel in thru a jet. If the jet is clogged, problems. beavis is not wrong which is why some gas stations sell clear premium with no ethanol. I use it in all my small engines.

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stolaf80Apr. 15, 12 9:21 AM

Isobutonol is still a ridiculous product (like Ethanol) which drives up the cost of food while at the same time taking more energy to produce than it yields. Only a politician or the ignorant could buy into this scam.

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