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Ethanol

5378 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Insightful Trekker
I've tried the 10% ethanol blend and noticed a slight decrease in overall mpg. Not much of a difference, no more than a few mpg but certainly not worth the extra couple cents a gallon. Of course I'd give anything for the 85% blend seeing how cheap it is but you know...

Anyone else able to confirm the lower mpg?
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I am taking delivery of a 2006 Civic hybrid on 2 Jan 2006, after my better half decided against the low-riding Insight.

In Nebraska, where we make a lot of it, ethanol is heavily promoted. Until I read several articles about the ethanol plants themselves using straight petroleum based fuels for their own energy needs, I too filled up with patriotic ethanol. I calculated mpg for two tankfulls of the 10% ethanol I had been using in a 2001 Honda Accord (6 cyl), my 1998 Chevy Lumina (former Avis rental), and my 1986 Ford E150 van (V-8). For the same vehicles and the same type of driving, on average after two tankfuls of regular, the the average mpg of this group of vehicles increased by 20%.

An earlier posting stated that the energy content of alcohol is less than straight petroleum based gasoline. My guess is that the energy content of alcohol is signficantly lower, given a 20% difference from a 10/90% blend in E10.

Doug Lynn
 

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Based on the 20% better gas mileage figures described in my previous post, for 10% ethanol to be competitive with 100% petroleum fuel, the price of ethanol should be approx 20% cheaper. At $2.00 a gallon for regular, 10/90 ethanol should be priced at $1.60 per gallon. In Nebraska, typically, 10/90 fuel is only about 5 cents cheaper and is often the same price. I do appreciate the argument that running ethanol helps eliminate gas line lock due to moisture in the tank, but I believe that occasionally running a full tank of ethanol during the winter time should be enough to keep moisture problems at bay. IMHO.
 
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