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Old 04-22-2007, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska (moving to Ohio)
673 posts, read 3,693,791 times
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I was wondering what do you think the U.S economy will be like in 5 years?

Personally, I think that in 5 years this bizzare love-affair with ethanol
will come to an end because of increased food prices and the fact the ethanol has 1/3 less energy content then oil. I think in the next 5 years the mid-western rural areas will do very well economically at the expense of higher grocery prices because so much corn is being used for fuel purposes.

I sort of wonder how all the outsourcing, immigration, falling dollar and baby boomers will impact the economy though?
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Old 04-22-2007, 05:55 AM
 
2,967 posts, read 1,656,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattDen View Post
I was wondering what do you think the U.S economy will be like in 5 years?

Personally, I think that in 5 years this bizzare love-affair with ethanol
will come to an end because of increased food prices and the fact the ethanol has 1/3 less energy content then oil. I think in the next 5 years the mid-western rural areas will do very well economically at the expense of higher grocery prices because so much corn is being used for fuel purposes.

I sort of wonder how all the outsourcing, immigration, falling dollar and baby boomers will impact the economy though?
Hard to tell, that's why this next election is sooo important (but arn't they all!) A lot depends on who is elected right?
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Hell
606 posts, read 504,916 times
Reputation: 85
election,oil,iraq..are all important factors
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:59 AM
 
1,735 posts, read 4,139,762 times
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Ethanol isn’t the answer to anything. If every farmer switched to growing corn today the yield wouldn’t sustain the US for more than a few days.
We will never be able to break our oil addiction unless we start using more diesel powered vehicles. This love affair with hybrid and conventional engines running ethanol is the wrong direction. Diesels will run on just about anything. Vegetable oil, waste oil, bio-diesel, etc. They have developed bio-diesel from all sorts of things and it is a proven renewable source of fuel.
Diesel vehicles get at least 2 times the fuel economy of most gasoline engines and more power and torque.
The “real” answer is diesel engines. Anything else is a waste of time attempting to use technology to solve a problem when the answer is already right under their nose.
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:18 AM
 
10,873 posts, read 41,191,303 times
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I'm a multiple diesel car and truck owner, with over 1million miles on diesel powered cars since 1972 (MB's, Peugeots, BMW's, and Audi's), and over 200,000 on light duty pickups (Ford/IHC, powerstrokes, and Dodge/Cummins). I've have to disagree with the "2 times the fuel economy" assessment above.

My MB 1972 115 chassis cars, for example .... a 230 gas powered car vs a 220D, yielded a fuel economy difference of 24 mpg vs 31 mpg. The diesel was decidedly slower, but it did run for almost 400,000 miles before being retired.

There's about 15-20% more energy in a gallon of petroleum based diesel fuel compared to good quality gasoline. Hence the improved fuel economy when measured per gallon of fuel consumed.

Our experience on running "bio-diesel" is that it's closer in energy content to gasoline than diesel fuel, with a subsequent drop in fuel mileage per gallon in our cars and trucks. I have a friend with a fleet of Peterbilts, and he has the same experience with biodiesel .... loss of fuel economy. OTOH, it is a renewable resource fuel, which can be made from many vegetable sources.

My Peugeot 505 TurboDiesels yielded 33-34 mpg, my 504D station wagon about 35 mpg, and my 504 sedans almost 38.

My Audi diesel customers got mostly mid 30's, and my VW Rabbit Diesel customers got consistently around 50-52 mpg. That was back in the 1970's! While emissions have constantly been improved on the diesels, fuel economy has gone up, too.
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:37 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,751,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedNC View Post
The “real” answer is diesel engines. Anything else is a waste of time attempting to use technology to solve a problem when the answer is already right under their nose.
Diesel is dirty. Ethanol can meanwhile be a part of a realistic short-term program. And the point of corn, by the way, is not to use it for ethanol instead of as a foodstuff, but in addition to as a foodstuff. Ethanol will be no more than a very minor player however until cellulose problems are resolved. And at that point, more appropriate crops than corn (e.g., switchgrass) will come into play. At its best, ethanol will be a part of a temporary answer. We simply need to replace oil (from anywhere) as a source of transportation energy. That won't be easy or happen quickly, but ethanol can be a helpful stone along that path...
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:53 AM
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
54,208 posts, read 38,274,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Diesel is dirty. Ethanol can meanwhile be a part of a realistic short-term program. And the point of corn, by the way, is not to use it for ethanol instead of as a foodstuff, but in addition to as a foodstuff. Ethanol will be no more than a very minor player however until cellulose problems are resolved. And at that point, more appropriate crops than corn (e.g., switchgrass) will come into play. At its best, ethanol will be a part of a temporary answer. We simply need to replace oil (from anywhere) as a source of transportation energy. That won't be easy or happen quickly, but ethanol can be a helpful stone along that path...
Gasoline was dirty before we decided to clean it up, no reason the same can't be done with diesel.

There's 2 main downsides up ethanol, it's energy/volume isn't so great and it requires a large amount of energy to produce it.
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:53 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,751,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
There's about 15-20% more energy in a gallon of petroleum based diesel fuel compared to good quality gasoline.
Closer to 10%. Diesel would contain 138,700 BTU's per gallon versus 125,000 for gasoline. Grades of either (per octane or cetane ratings) would effect the percent of that energy content that is recoverable, but not how much there is to begin with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Our experience on running "bio-diesel" is that it's closer in energy content to gasoline than diesel fuel, with a subsequent drop in fuel mileage per gallon in our cars and trucks.
Ethanol contains 84,600 BTU's per gallon. Adding it to either deiesel fuel or gasoline will reduce mpg. That's a given.
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Old 04-22-2007, 10:07 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 27,751,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burdell View Post
Gasoline was dirty before we decided to clean it up, no reason the same can't be done with diesel.
Gasoline is still dirty. It's just a lot better than what it was before. Diesel too could no doubt be cleaned up in time. But there is the concurrent question of whether investment in petroleum-based paradigms is appropriate at all at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by burdell View Post
There's 2 main downsides up ethanol, it's energy/volume isn't so great and it requires a large amount of energy to produce it.
Actually, those are the two main upsides to gasoline et al. Nothing else readily available can approach petro-based fuels on either count. But despite the enormous advantages that they enjoy in these areas, a continued reliance on petro-fuels has costs associated with it that many see as outweighing the benefits, if not at this very moment, then still rather uncomfortably soon. Ultimately, we do need a different basis for transportation energy in particular, and given the long lead times that are necessary in such a shift, starting soon (e.g., now) would be a good idea if we are to make the transition a relatively smooth one.
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Old 04-22-2007, 10:16 AM
 
Location: NOTfromhere, Indiana
341 posts, read 1,340,603 times
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Five years? Hmmm, it's just a guess, but if a Democrat's elected I'll be looking into my empty wallet LOLOLOL!
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