Dan Liljenquist: The economic impact of high-ethanol blend fuels

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  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 9:12 p.m.

    I'm all for more ethanol in our gas, but I've got a vested interest in it. I repair small engines for a living.

  • BioPowertrain Detroit, MI
    Aug. 1, 2014 4:22 p.m.

    DanL: Thanks for the great position statement. Like it!

    Follow-up Request: CO, NOx, HC, PM emissions comparison chart for:
    1. NG-Ethanol E85
    2. Corn Ethanol E85
    3. Sugar Cane Ethanol E85
    4. NG-Ethanol E100 (what they use in Brazil)
    5. Corn Ethanol E100 (same as above)
    6. Sugar Cane Ethanol (same as above)
    7. E10 Gasoline
    8. E0 Gasoline (the old stuff)

    I've heard some corn ethanol emissions are 50% lower than gasoline emissions. It'd be interesting to know if that's true and also how nat gas ethanol emissions compare.

    A word of caution: I cannot believe how much garbage "research" has been published about ethanol: by a Cornell professor whose chair is paid by API, by AAA (that one really surprised me), by Big Corn, etc. I'd start w/government studies, seems crazy those would be considered reliable but fuel-based energy is the biggest political football in the world.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    This makes it sound very rosy. Is there no down side to Ethanol? Say burning our food supply so we can drive to work?

    Food is plentiful today. But will that always be the case?

    I wonder what will happen in a future generation, where we are burning our food supply, while people are starving?

    Then what???

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 31, 2014 10:28 p.m.

    Hey george of the Jungle -

    Your list of things that are wrong with ethanol don't change the fact that ethanol is ALREADY in gasoline.

    About 10% of what we put in our gas tanks when we fill up is ethanol.

    It comes from corn.

    But if we can get ethanol more cheaply from natural gas, then why not do that?

  • Paul Delta Denver, CO
    July 31, 2014 10:14 p.m.

    Dan Liljenquist writes like NatGas to ethanol is here and available. Its not! Who is he talking to? And what type of methane to ethanol technology would produce the liquid product which he writes this entire article about?

    Something is missing here. Please advise your readers Dan.


  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    July 31, 2014 7:19 p.m.

    Ethanol fuel is the same as corn liquor from a distillery. Natural gas is from the ground. Ethanol has 5% water from the distillery plus water from condensation from the tank in the gas station and in your gas tank. Ethanol will separate like vinegar and oil. you have 90 day from the time it leaves the plant to be gone out of your cat before it's separated. water stays in the bottom of your gas tank always being added to from the condensation. Ethanol is a solvent that melts rubber, and causes corrosion. That check engine light we all have seen Ethanol made that happen. That what cost you engine repair.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 31, 2014 5:02 p.m.

    Hey Procuradorfiscal -

    "That can't honestly be a suggestion by a liberal that Republicans are somehow to blame for the federal government's chokehold on the energy economy?"

    You may speak for a "Conservatives, but as a Moderate, I can't speak for Liberals.

    How is that you believe that the federal government has a "chokehold on the energy economy?" The Federal Government has fostered the development of energy sources and extraction methods.

    Oil and gas drilling and production has steadily increased since Obama took office.

    And it was the federal government working together with the private sector that completed research into using a horizontal drilling together with fracking that resulted in a process that can recover much more natural gas.

    Wind Energy production in the US has increased 29.7% a year on average over the last decade, due largely to government support. And . . . "The price of wind power has dropped by 43% over the past four years, benefiting utilities and consumers, according to the U.S. Department of Energy."

    The purpose of government is to give us good governance. And that's exactly what government does, as long as we can keep progressive, progress-centered public servants in office.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    July 31, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    Forty years ago I watched oil well natural gas flare offs in north eastern Utah and thought what a horrible waste. It ought to be against the law to waste this wonderful source of energy. I suggest that flare offs be outlawed or taxed heavily and we'd see the technological changes to use natural gas in our vehicles very quickly. Maybe this is something both parties could get behind.

  • RSL* Why, AZ
    July 31, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    Republicans are incompetent and Liberals fly which ever way the wind is blowing. They both are terrible for the economy. Anywise CNG vehicles could be a great impact on the economy especially if we can convert vehicles at a low cost.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 31, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    Re: ". . . a real positive good that perhaps even Republicans could rally around? . . . And just MAKE IT HAPPEN."

    That can't honestly be a suggestion by a liberal that Republicans are somehow to blame for the federal government's chokehold on the energy economy? That would just be too laughably ironic.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 31, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    "I am persuaded that a new market for natural gas based high-ethanol blend fuels would have an incredible positive impact on our economy."

    I hope you're right Dan.

    If you are right, then this a real positive good that perhaps even Republicans could rally around? . . . And just MAKE IT HAPPEN.

    Wouldn't it be nice if Republicans could finally get behind something that would do some real good for this nation and the world?

    . . . Like back in the day . . . When Republican leaders were actual Public Servants.