Fuel Vent Part 2  

rm_MustangD6644 51M
1052 posts
4/20/2006 6:44 pm

Last Read:
4/21/2006 10:33 pm

Fuel Vent Part 2

A couple of years ago there was a move here to introduce Ethanol into the petrol to reduce its cost as well as the pollution.

The biggest pollution problem, Lead has been progressively eliminated from petrol here in Australia due to concerns over lead poisoning issues. The reason lead was introduced to petrol in the first place was to prevent "knocking" when the fuel air mix prematurely ignites prior to the piston passing Top Dead Centre [TDC] and so causing engine stresses. The lead helped to raise the octane rating and prevent knocking thus ensuring that ignition only occurred at the proper time following the passing of TDC and the correct firing time by the spark plug.
The lead problem was why "Super" petrol was eliminated as it contained lead.

At the same time there was also the introduction of catalytic converters to the exhaust system to neutralise some of the more harmful elements in the exhaust gases. Lead in the petrol would have clogged the converter and so rendered it useless, hence the reason for the restrictive sized nozzle to prevent cross fuelling with "Super".

So what is Ethanol and why was there an attempt to introduce it??

Ethanol is one of the "New" "Bio-Fuels" which are basically fuels derived from the conversion of plant products into an easily consumable liquid fuel.

All Bio-Fuels are derived from plant crops which are then refined and distilled to produce a liquid fuel.

Ethanol here in Australia and Brazil uses sugar cane as the base ingredient, which is then fermented and distilled to produce Ethanol. There are several buses running around Melbourne now using Ethanol as their fuel source, notably Ventura Bus Lines have several buses running up and down Warrigal Road with flashy adverts showing they are running on Ethanol.

So why did Ethanol not take off? Because the average consumer was not educated about this new product and a "scare campaign" was mounted [funded indirectly by the petrol companies] to "warn" motorists of the "dangers" of increased engine wear when using ethanol.

If ethanol was such a "danger" then how come dear reader, 2/3 of all cars in Brazil now run not just on ethanol mix, but on straight Ethanol?

Now admittedly if you wish to run on full ethanol you do need to have an engine fuel management computer system installed on the fuel line to tell the engine which fuel the engine is running on. Drivers in Brazil report that running on full ethanol gives more power and better fuel economy than petrol.

The reason Brazil is so big on Ethanol is because during previous economic troubles the government made the decision to wean the country off imported fossil fuels and instead utilise a fuel source that Brazil could produce easily, sugarcane.

Bio fuels offer Australia the same opportunity but we have to tell the petroleum lobbyists to shut their guts and educate consumers as to the benefits. It is also possible that we could utilize our agricultural sector to also produce bio fuels to export to the world.

If you think that idea sounds nuts, then check out the various companies like Shell and BP. They have made slight adjustments to their names to reflect a slight change in focus from being totally petroleum companies to "Energy" or "Fuel" companies.

Consider also the fact that CSR invested big dollars in building an Ethanol plant in QLD.

The smart money is beginning to head for the bio fuels sector because they have seen the writing on the wall.

So what are you doing still paying big bucks for petrol????


PS Coal and Oil are technically bio fuels, its just that it has taken the Earth millions of years to convert fossilized plants into coal and oil and as such they are not easily renewable unlike today's bio fuels.

PrincessKarma 43F
6188 posts
4/20/2006 9:03 pm

I have an interest in vegetable oil as a diesel substitute. the problem is that the engine needs diesel fuel to start the combustion process.

Perhaps the biggest problem is the insistence on using internal combustion, as far as I know it's muck less efficient than even a modern self-contained steam engine.

The Big Bang was the mother of all orgasms.PrincessKarma

TTigerAtty 62M

4/21/2006 8:04 am

Good post, Mustang! I live in Missouri, a mid-western state in the USA. Corn is one of our big crops here. More and more is going into the production of ethanol, and I see they are increasing the mix in our gasolines too. When this started, the common blend was 10% ethanol and now we are seeing a few stations around here offering an 85% blend. I understand the residue from use of corn can be used as a food supplement for cattle and so nothing goes to waste, which is a side-benefit.

rm_MustangD6644 51M
1031 posts
4/21/2006 4:05 pm

Princess; Does this mean you wish to become Princess Bio Diesel?
As for the comment about starting a diesel on bio-diesel, I cannot comment as it is beyond my level of knowledge on the subject at this point in time. I will however state that of all the types of engines devised by man, the diesel would have to be the one most likely to be able to start on anything.
With regard to the energy efficiency of a diesel versus a steam engine, the diesel wins hands down in all situations except for large electricity generation plants which utilize steam turbines. The inventor of the diesel engine Karl Diesel was obsessed with the waste of steam engines and early gasoline engines and thats what drove him to invent the diesel engine. He is the only man in history to have an engine named after him. That says something of about the importance of his discovery/research.


rm_MustangD6644 51M
1031 posts
4/21/2006 4:20 pm

Thank you TT. I would be interested to learn more about your thoughts on ethanol and its acceptance by US consumers. Personally I think corn is not a terribly efficient means of producing ethanol as it is a real water hog, but you have to utilize what grows best in each area. That is one of the benefits for the whole world, particularly the third world, of developing an agrofuel/biofuel like ethanol.
The side benefits of the by products are good as well.


RailBaron2 54M

4/21/2006 8:46 pm

Mustang- Gas here is $3.20 a gallon ( For us that is higher than a jet propelled kangaroo!)The Good Lord gave me 2 feet & I am useing them.or taking Dial a ride .

rm_MustangD6644 51M
1031 posts
4/21/2006 10:33 pm

Well Jim then I suggest that you read the next installment as I'm sure a resourceful bloke like you could come up with a solution if presented with the right idea.


Become a member to create a blog