Gasoline vs. ethanol

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From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Sun Mar 12 2000 - 21:34:53 PST

Adam L. Beberg writes:
> According to the US Farm report, Ethanol is now cheaper than unleaded as
> of some time last week. And unleaded shows no signs of coming down,

It might be cheaper, but you get less mileage. (Look up ethanol
combustion enthalpy vs. say, octane).

> ever... while corn prices are going down down down thanks to genetic
> tinkering.
Methinks methanol from synthesis gas (CO+H2, e.g. through reforming of
methane or from coke gas generators) is way cheaper than ethanol. Does
anyone have actual numbers?

> I wonder how long the oil industry can suppress this information from
> the public while convincing congress to lower gasoline taxes. They
> better get those prices down in a hurry before E-85 (85% ethanol fuel
> burning vehicles) sales start to skyrocket.
The good part about alcohols, especially methanol, is that you can use
them in fuel cells, either directly, or after onboard reforming. This
more than compensates for lower energy density (especially through
diverse synergisms when you go electrical), and is a zero-emission
> Or is OPEC just in a race to cash in before the fuel-cell/solar/ethanol
> make them irrelivant?

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