Originally Posted by brianjames
Depends on the price. When E85 is 20% less than the standard E10, it is a wash. And if your vehicle is made to run on it why not use it and support an american jobs rather than foreign oil?
Please don't start the debate about ethanol reducing the supply or raising the price of feed or food: Ethanol subsidies have expired, corn prices are the lowest they have been in 3 years, and they are still able to produce ethanol for a profit (there is demand).
And please don't start the debate about it taking more energy to produce than you receive. It simply isn't true. Modern farming practices have increased yields with less energy inputs every year. Fertilizer use has declined ~50% per bushel in the past 30-years. Ethanol plant efficiencies have also increased - most producing 120%+ of their design capacities. And ethanol plants also produce valuable co-products for feed and alternate energy sources.
I have a 2007 Jeep and a 2011 GMC that are both Flex Fuel and can run on anything up to E85 and I haven't had any issues using it. I use it when the price difference is at least 15% (which has been about 50% of the time, in Iowa).
I believe that 20% is a maximum drop in fuel efficiency when using E85. I've found it to be ~15% less in both of my vehicles. The drop is less when towing compared to towing with standard E10.
It is also a proven fact that ethanol burns cleaner than gas. Even when you factor in the loss of efficiency, ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by over 30% compared to gasoline. Ethanol is non-toxic, water soluble and quickly biodegradable. Say that for oil.
All that said, I wouldn't use it in any engine that it wasn't made for. Especially engines that are not regularly used - like lawn and garden equipment because it can gum up carburetors when it sits for longer periods of time. If used regularly E10 and maybe even E15 are fine.
As you can tell, telling someone on this forum to NOT say something doesn't usually have the desired effect...
. Subsidies as a whole have not ended.
. Ethanol is a big business (agribusiness and Archer-Daniels) subsidy in a very big way. It took a substantial lobby to get it going and keep it up as it makes NO economic sense. It is not about farming it's about big chemical plants.
. No more or less polluting than oil manufacturing, lots of biased stats out there inculing some posted here.
. Only lowers emission on old pre emission controlled cars, current cars adjust the air fuel ratio to compensate.
. Horrible for all small engines.
. Great to add a little bit to the intake of a diesel engine, but not much interest out there.
. The new trend for energy in the future is horizontal drilling and fracking, neither which is new, but combined they let one surface drilling site cover an entire square mile or more of subsurface deposits. It is no more dangerous than conventional drilling, which does depend on strict government controls to safeguard the water aquifers, as it always has. It will be 50 years before we exhaust all the new supplies accessible with this technology.
Just my opinion, of course, based on nearly 40 years of experience with all of these area's of endevour. Your experience may vary.
Get a diesel and avoid the problem altogether...