February 3, 2007

Fuel Efficiency

Hooray! Alternative fuels come to Philly!

The Shell gas station at 12th and Vine Streets now offers ethanol and biodiesel fuels.
Customer John Maratay's truck can run on regular gas or e85, a fuel is comprised mostly of ethanol made from corn byproduct.

On Friday, he filled it the first time with e85 gasoline.

"You know the carbon footprint might be a little smaller now," said Maratay.

Customer Jack Waterloo said he drove 25 miles to test out the gas station's biodiesel pump.

Would I brag about driving 25 miles out of my way to get some biodiesel?

Probably not.

Think of the CO2 emitted. He's killing polar bears and contributing to global warming climate change so he can feel better about himself.

No, I wouldn't brag about it unless it's less than used to drive for a biodiesel fix.

“I'll drive this car from this gas station on biodiesel to Miami, which is 1,200 miles away, without refueling. I'll average over 60 mph per gallon,” said Waterloo.

He said he's done it before but had to drive to Baltimore[105 miles. -ed] to fill up.

Saving the environment or feeling better about yourself? You be the judge.

Someone get this guy a Pious.


Oil and Energy Posted by AlexC at February 3, 2007 12:40 PM

I don't feel quite as bad driving six miles to the drive-through Starbucks.

I thought E85 produced a little more CO2 that gasoline, plus the extra energy input, oh man.

Posted by: jk at February 3, 2007 3:14 PM

The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition website says it emits "39-46%" less greenhouse gases than gasoline. Treehugger.com is skeptical, but a commenter makes the interesting point that carbon is removed from the atmosphere by growing corn (though released again by fermentation).

This doesn't matter to your point. I'm just trying to follow up on a rumor. I thought that Popular Mechanics Magazine had "debunked" Ethanol's advantage in reducing CO2 but I cannot find anything authoritative.

Posted by: jk at February 3, 2007 3:30 PM

If you follow the link in my Ethanol Myth post you'll see some related articles (subscription required) that discuss ethanol fuel:

Hot topics in the ethanol debate says - "Considering the entire “well to wheel” process, including growing and harvesting the corn, and producing, shipping, and burning the ethanol, David Friedman, the clean vehicles research director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, says that E85 made from corn provides an 8 to 15 percent reduction per mile today. That is countered by Tad Patzek, professor of geoengineering at the University of California at Berkeley. He says the “equivalent CO2 emissions from corn ethanol are 50 percent higher than those from gasoline.”

Tests of ethanol vs. gasoline shows NOx emissions from gasoline as 9 ppm vs. 1 ppm from E85, but HC and CO emissions are identical at 1 pmm and 0 ppm, respectively.

Posted by: johngalt at February 3, 2007 6:00 PM

Yep, if they were driving the kind of 'hybrid' I drive this would not be a problem at all :)

Still debating Holly or Edelbrock hydrogen delivery systems for the six-pack . . .

Posted by: Guy Montag at February 4, 2007 2:33 AM

Edelbrock! That's what feeds the 340 4 bbl. in my convertible '68 Barracuda.

Posted by: johngalt at February 4, 2007 6:23 PM

Fuel efficiency is defined by turning fuel into horsepower at the fastest rate possible.

Posted by: Guy Montag at February 4, 2007 8:06 PM

I had a 6-pack Holly in my younger days. I could never get the linkage adjusted properly. It was a 2-barrel until floored when all six would kick in.

Posted by: jk at February 5, 2007 10:30 AM

Was that on a MOPAR or something else? On MOPAR the outboards open from the vacume, not a mechanical linkage.

Posted by: Guy Montag at February 7, 2007 4:46 PM | What do you think? [8]