Ethanol in gas is a negative

Latest study indicates that putting ethanol in gas at best does nothing to improve air quality, and likely makes it worse.
Ethanol at the Gas Pump May Be Hurting Air Quality, Study Says (

Could be, just remember how to take tests class in college, any time you see experts agree mark it false!

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Nah, I tend to take careful evaluations by an expert group with nothing to gain pretty seriously. Dismissing the opinions of folks that understand the problem is a path to ignorance.


This study confirms what the ethanol naysayers that studied ethanol said 20 years ago. The science said it wasn’t a net improvement. This is not new. Those scientists were criticized by scientists with contradicting studies.

Follow the money. If the ethanol lobby, the EPA or the DOE is paying for the study, the results will be “ethanol is good” because all wanted that to be the result. There will also be caveats stating that results will improve if switchgrass is used as feedstock. Yeah…that never happened.

There were so many government handouts to the farmers, distillers, carmakers for flex fuel vehicles, no one was willing to say the Ethanol Emperor was stark naked as he pranced down the road.

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And a full EV vehicle fleet uses no gas/ethanol. Sell your corn stock now. Corn will be $3/bushel soon.

Large business entities in Iowa reaped a LOT of income by pushing the ethanol myth, and the Senators and Congressmen from that state were very happy to help them propagate that myth.


Same for Ohio. We had several ethanol plants built that turned a profit before the first drop of corn-squeezin’s dribbled out! The farmers planted corn in fields they had left empty because the government paid them to leave them empty… until they paid them to plant corn for ethanol plants. They profited before the first harvest day!

We have a chain called minoco in mn. I think corn growers own it. They have e85, e30, e20, e15. Maybe even e10.

I never understood the appeal of buying a “flex fuel” vehicle. Sure, the E85 fuel is cheaper per gallon…but if your fuel economy drops as a result, you still have to buy more fuel. How does that do anybody any good?

Unless you’re a corn farmer, I guess…


I remember car shopping around 2008 or so and the salesman would brag about flex fuel capabilities on the cars. There were no stations in the immediate area selling E85, anyway. I’m sure you could find in somewhere around this area if you looked hard enough and travelled far enough. But I’ve never seen an E85 pump to this day.

I just searched the govt website out of curiosity. Closest e85 appears to be 54 miles away. Either it never caught on in this area, or it’s popularity is waning.

Big advantage for E85 was it let truck makers claim an MPG credit for their flex-fuel multi-ton wonders.

A Bloomberg story reported that several major airlines had committed to buying E15 in the summer and they are buying turbines rated to handle it.

I believe it was sold as an American thing, that is less fuel from foreign sources. If you reduce the amount of actual gasoline in a gallon of fuel and replace it with domestically produced ethanol, that’s that much less oil that we’re buying from someone/someplace else and we’re keeping the dollars here at home.

Much like driving a hybrid, it’s not about using less money, it’s about using less gasoline.

Recently one of our regular customers brought his Tundra in, seems he noticed a nose dive in fuel economy from 17mpg to 12mpg. Testing showed everything was in order, and the fuel composition was 85% ethanol. We asked him where he was filling up, well at the new E85 station because the gas was a dollar a gallon cheaper.

He insisted that his truck was designed to run on E85, which it was. But no matter how I explained it he couldn’t get it through his head that a 20-30% drop in mpg was normal.


Emissions was not the original reason for using ethanol as an octane enhancer. It was much lower than that: ground water. Ethanol was a replacement for MTBE, a proven ground water contaminant that wasn’t just poisonous, it would last essentially forever. Why didn’t the author of this article admit that? Maybe he want s to bring MTBE back, or more likely, he doesn’t have a historical perspective on this issue.


Yeah, I’ve always felt like that point was conveniently overlooked by those pushing for more ethanol in gas, that there’s less energy in the fuel.

I have a buddy who used to run E85 in his Yukon. He said it was cheaper to fill it up…but even he admitted he was having to fill the tank more often. I just don’t get that math.

What if that’s a US gallon of oil?

Also, the benefit isn’t very big, regardless. It takes about 81,000 btu to make a gallon of ethanol that provides 84,000 btu of energy.

That explains why farmers don’t just use all the ethanol to run their farm equipment. Too expensive, there would be almost no ethanol left to sell.

12 is closer to what I’d expect than 17 out of a 4wd tundra with the 5.7. 17 is a pretty lofty goal for Tundra’s anyway, I’d imagine.

I’m afraid we’ll be saying the same thing about EV’s on a mostly coal and natural gas grid in a few years.

More and more often over the past few years, I have encountered newspaper and magazine articles written by younger people who are totally ignorant of the history regarding a particular issue/topic. When I have emailed them about their factual omissions, the usual response was… Oh, I didn’t know that! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I usually to restrain myself from writing back to inform them that a responsible journalist will thoroughly research an issue before pontificating about it.

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I remember back in the MTBE groundwater pollution days. Alcohol replaced MTBE with the promise of less pollution. I even made money replacing old metal gasoline storage tanks with fiberglass tanks.
But I also remember at least a decade ago reading about the BTU’s ( fertilizer, diesel for transportation & farm machinery, etc. ) it took to make a gallon of alcohol, it barely made economic sense.
Greed and politics always obscures the truth.