Biofuels vs. electric power wars - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    Richard230's Avatar
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    Here is news about the push to increase ethanol in U.S. gasoline to 15% as well as arguments regarding which is worse for the environment and the economy, biofuel power or electric power.
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    Biofuel i would argue is better for the environment. If all combustion engines can run on it, then you are keeping all these vehicles running for longer which will reduce their overall carbon footprint.
    Otherwise you are subscribing them to the scrapyards in 10/20 years time and all of them will have to be replaced with new vehicles. Only a certain degree of components from a car can be recycled into new parts/materials. The rest is landfill waste.
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    Wow, a biofuel positive news story from Iowa
    No potential bias there
    There are a bunch of folks on this earth that can't get enough food to eat, yet our government pays farmers to use a food source so that soccer moms' mini-vans have gas.
    I am sure starving folks really appreciate the environmental benefits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ123 View Post
    Biofuel i would argue is better for the environment. If all combustion engines can run on it, then you are keeping all these vehicles running for longer which will reduce their overall carbon footprint.
    Otherwise you are subscribing them to the scrapyards in 10/20 years time and all of them will have to be replaced with new vehicles. Only a certain degree of components from a car can be recycled into new parts/materials. The rest is landfill waste.
    While biofuels are renewable, I believe burning them still results in the production of the various air polluting greenhouse gases. In terms of pollution, is this any different from burning petroleum? The exhaust may smell like french fries, but burning "stuff" of any kind is not beneficial to the environment. I am not understanding how combustion-engined vehicles could be better for the environment than electric vehicles. I do agree that there is an overall carbon footprint to producing any sort of vehicle, but does keeping old carbon-burning vehicles on the road in the long run result in less pollution than building new electric vehicles? Surely, this would be a complicated calculation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccwatchmaker View Post
    While biofuels are renewable, I believe burning them still results in the production of the various air polluting greenhouse gases. In terms of pollution, is this any different from burning petroleum? The exhaust may smell like french fries, but burning "stuff" of any kind is not beneficial to the environment. I am not understanding how combustion-engined vehicles could be better for the environment than electric vehicles. I do agree that there is an overall carbon footprint to producing any sort of vehicle, but does keeping old carbon-burning vehicles on the road in the long run result in less pollution than building new electric vehicles? Surely, this would be a complicated calculation.
    "Biofuels" are not "renewable" unless the product is totally produced and processed using solar and their own biofuels. Is in no way renewable to use diesel to power tractors and trucks, then natural gas to power distilleries. And then more diesel to tank the ethanol to distribution because almost no environmentally safe and energy efficient pipeline is clean enough to carry the highly detergent ethanol.
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    Personally, I am concerned about what my farts are doing to the environment after eating a super bean burrito.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by N4HHE View Post
    "Biofuels" are not "renewable" unless the product is totally produced and processed using solar and their own biofuels. Is in no way renewable to use diesel to power tractors and trucks, then natural gas to power distilleries. And then more diesel to tank the ethanol to distribution because almost no environmentally safe and energy efficient pipeline is clean enough to carry the highly detergent ethanol.
    My understanding of renewable varies from yours. Compared to petroleum, which is a finite resource, at least on a human time scale, biofuels can be produced on an ongoing basis. This is not to say such production is without consequences to the environment. It is very likely that there is no carbon reduction advantage to producing alcohol. The production of ethanol is benefitting middle American corn farmers and massive corporations like Archer Daniels Midland, but it seems doubtful that it does anything to reduce greenhouse gas production. As long as ADM can afford to rent folks in Congress, ethanol production will continue.

    Then, there is the point that Randy made a few days ago, using a food commodity to produce an inefficient motor fuel makes no sense at all when people are going hungry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    Personally, I am concerned about what my farts are doing to the environment after eating a super bean burrito.
    Don’t worry about it. According to biofuel science the farts are zero-sum-gain as they were originally captured growing the beans. Unless talking about cow farts. Meat is arbitrarily declared bad so ipso facto cow farts are now bad no matter the origin is grass which captured the material from the air. Dead grass compositing will do much the same as a cow’s digestive tract.

    If only our primary form of transportation was still the renewable horse we would be overrun with horse manure. And methane. Instead we have internal combustion engines emitting nice clean C02 plant food which makes O2 which is essential for human life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ123 View Post
    Biofuel i would argue is better for the environment. If all combustion engines can run on it, then you are keeping all these vehicles running for longer which will reduce their overall carbon footprint.
    Otherwise you are subscribing them to the scrapyards in 10/20 years time and all of them will have to be replaced with new vehicles. Only a certain degree of components from a car can be recycled into new parts/materials. The rest is landfill waste.
    That is not true, the claim engines will last longer on biofuels.

    When the first FFVs hit the mass market 20 years ago service schedules invoked the “severe duty” clause for any use of E85. I had a 2001 GMC Sonoma 2.2L, one of the first FFV. Spark plugs had half the rated life. Oil was half, to 3750 miles. At least in part because motor oil formulations did not yet know how to deal with ethanol dilution, and ethanol combustion byproducts.

    Considering the price of E85 and resulting poor EPA MPG rating I had no interest. Still do not.

    Last fall purchased fuel for my F-150 on a 500 mile day. MPG plummeted. Returned to normal next couple of tanks. Math says MPG dropped exactly what E85 would have done yet the gas station I purchased from supposedly does not sell E85.
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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by N4HHE View Post
    That is not true, the claim engines will last longer on biofuels.

    When the first FFVs hit the mass market 20 years ago service schedules invoked the “severe duty” clause for any use of E85. I had a 2001 GMC Sonoma 2.2L, one of the first FFV. Spark plugs had half the rated life. Oil was half, to 3750 miles. At least in part because motor oil formulations did not yet know how to deal with ethanol dilution, and ethanol combustion byproducts.

    Considering the price of E85 and resulting poor EPA MPG rating I had no interest. Still do not.

    Last fall purchased fuel for my F-150 on a 500 mile day. MPG plummeted. Returned to normal next couple of tanks. Math says MPG dropped exactly what E85 would have done yet the gas station I purchased from supposedly does not sell E85.
    I never said the engines will last longer on Biofuels. My comment was that combustion vehicles will have a longer life should standard/normal petrol no longer be available or supplied, Biofuels would keep them going rather than them being scrapped.
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, Denali Spotlights, Denali CANSmart, Wunderlich Crash Bars, 55K Miles & counting 

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