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Ethanol-fueled Hummer - E85 H2 Answered

Do you think the people who designed this had some sort of irony-deflecting helmets?

Hummer will offer E85-compatible flexfuel engines on both the H2 and H2 SUT starting for model year 2009, and by 2010, all Hummer models will be flexfuel-compatible. We'd have to put a few hundred miles on a test rig to say for certain, but based on our experiences with (a) Hummers and (b) ethanol rigs, we'd wager that the 2009 Hummer H2 E85 may well deliver the absolute worst fuel economy of any vehicle based off a light-duty truck chassis sold in the US in the last 20 years. Our guess: 11 mpg highway, 8 city. Going downhill. With a tailwind.

As a special added bonus, E85 Hummer owners will be doing their part to jack up their monthly grocery bills---and everyone else's too--as increased demand for E85 has caused a serious disruption in a major component of America's food supply, which in turn has adversely affected the price of meat and dairy products, sodas and sweets, breads and breakfast cereals, baby formula, jellies and jams, salad dressings, and yes, even our beloved corn dogs. Now you've really ticked us off!

But hey, it's clean and it's green. When you put it that way, $7.99 for a bag of tortilla chips doesn't sound so bad after all, now does it?

via Fourwheeler

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quapod26 (author)2008-04-21

E85 is renewable so they can make more and other countries will start making it in there own country which will decrease there need for oil in the future which then lower prices it is just bad right now at the beginning. e85 in India is going to running all there cars they will, make there own corn so will China. They already working on it.

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Labot2001 (author)2008-04-07

Unfortunately, most people don't realize the threats that ethanol poses to our economy. More corn for fuel means less for consumption, less for consumption means higher prices...

That's why my number one alternative fuel is hydrogen =]

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Mr. Rig It (author)Labot20012008-04-08

Actaully the price of fuel would go down, supply and demand, there would be less demand. But now the price of corn is skyrocketing because it is in demand. This is good for corn farmers. I think all of the alternative ideas are good, hydrogen, solar, wind, and biofuels.

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Labot2001 (author)Mr. Rig It2008-04-09

I think all of the alternative ideas are good, hydrogen, solar, wind, and biofuels.

Yes, but I just don't think that the wold should rely on just one major fuel, like we've been doing with oil-based fuels for over 100 years.

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jtobako (author)Labot20012008-04-12

Right, we should learn a lesson from the million years of relying on only plants for fuel...wait, did that come out right? Let's see, 3.5 million years of wood-based fuel, 100+ years of coal, 90 years of oil... Not saying that your conclusion is wrong, just that your argument might need work : )

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Labot2001 (author)jtobako2008-04-12

=/

Sorry, I really don't understand what you're saying.

*holds up "STUPID" sign*

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jtobako (author)Labot20012008-04-13

Oil only got big in the 1930's or so. Human history is full times that a single source of fuel was used, millions of years in the case of wood : ) You should be arguing from the transition periods-such as when England used up it's forests to fuel iron production and had to find a replacement (coal) or loose it's place in the industrial revolution. But you can also add in the problems that arose when those same coal mines were shut down after oil replaced them.

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XValentine (author)Labot20012008-04-10

I do believe you've taken the environmental science class like I have.

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jtobako (author)Mr. Rig It2008-04-11

Supply and demand have very little to do with gas prices. The theory is that as price goes up, demand goes down. Gas prices have doubled (and more) but usage has only recently dropped-by half a percent!

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Mr. Rig It (author)jtobako2008-04-11

Actually I think you have that backwards as demand goes down the price goes down with it, as demad goes up the price goes up as well. Why would the price of something go up if the demand goes down? Where do get your statistics of (.5%)? Is that US usage or World wide usage?

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jtobako (author)Mr. Rig It2008-04-12

You have to pay attention to order : ) Price goes up and the people who need it least stop buying, decreasing demand. If demand goes down, prices fall to compete for fewer buyers. If more people want a limited amount of something, the price goes up until enough people don't want it at the higher price to supply the market. As far as price going up while demand goes down, think of specialty parts-the per unit manufacturing cost increase as numbers produced falls, increasing price (demand for appliance repair has fallen, but the price of getting that repair has risen). NPR, may be just midwest area, could have been nation wide.

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Kiteman (author)Labot20012008-04-07

Think carefully about where the electricity required to produce the H2 will come from...

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Gjdj3 (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

Ah, but you all are forgetting wind energy. The US doesn't have much of it, but up in good ol' Michigan, there's a guy developing a giant wind farm. You can read about it in Traverse Magazine. It's pretty cool. If we're able to develop wind & solar electricity more efficiently, Hydrogen will become a far more reasonable option.

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Kiteman (author)Gjdj32008-04-07

Can't find the link right now, but the current thinking on wind/solar (outside of politics and marketing) is that you'd need country-sized systems to make a reasonable dent in energy demands. You wouldn't have a wind farm in Michigan, you'd have to make a wind farm of Michigan.

I've never been there, so I don't know if it would be an improvement...

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Patrik (author)Kiteman2008-04-08

I believ Kiteman is talking about Mackay's new Book on Global Warming, which was mentioned on the forums last week - definitely worth a read, even if you only browse the summary!

A few of MacKay's points:

- at the amount of energy you can extract per square foot using various renewable energy technologies, you'll need to cover a very significant fraction of the country (>10% for the UK, possibly more for the US) to satisfy current energy demands - let alone energy demands 20 years from now.

- Hydrogen is not a solution. It is a form of energy storage, just like batteries, or hydroelectric reservoirs. With current technologies, batteries are more efficient than hydrogen, and hydroelectric storage is far more efficient than either.

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Kiteman (author)Patrik2008-04-08

That is what I meant. I have now downloaded that book, and will eventually read it.

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Labot2001 (author)Kiteman2008-04-09

Eventually....*chokes back a laugh*

Er, uh... Downloaded the book, did you say? Do you have an e-book reader, or whatever they're called? I've heard of them, but...

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Kiteman (author)Labot20012008-04-09

I have a laptop. It's huge pdf file.

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Labot2001 (author)Kiteman2008-04-12
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Patrik (author)Labot20012008-04-13

Well... if you had checked out the links, you might have noticed there also a version split into 4 small pdfs, as well as various shorter versions in postscript and html...

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flio191 (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

well i think thats exactly why we should be doing much more to improve our energy creating machines, than making hummers (which are completely unnecessary anywhere... especially chicago, il) into ethanol guzzling machines. we seriously need to attack the problem from the source... like we could stop using craploads of pesticides and chemicals into farms... when its the water itself that gets contaminated... then the plants get so damaged that they need more chemicals to survive... when they were fine from the start. yuck. i need to start bow and arrowing these cars.

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Gjdj3 (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

Haha. You wouldn't have a wind farm in Michigan, you'd have to make a wind farm of Michigan. I've never been there, so I don't know if it would be an improvement...
I like that line. I know that you would need massive amounts of wind energy but I'm just giving an example of how wind, solar, and other energy could begin to work for H2 cell production.

Your point definetly taken, though.

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Gjdj3 (author)Gjdj32008-04-07

Whoops. Somehow made too much italicized. Oh well, you know your quote.

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CameronSS (author)Gjdj32008-04-08

Why bother with hydrogen at all? The energy conversion process here is as follows: Wind or solar energy is converted into electrical energy through turbines and photovoltaic cells/solar furnaces. The electricity is the used to split water into pure hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is recombined with oxygen in the fuel cell of the automobile, generating electricity. This electricity is then used to turn the motor, causing the vehicle to move.

One can simply eliminate the hydrogen conversion step with batteries. Rather than going through the inefficient process of collecting and storing hydrogen, and recombining it in a costly fuel cell, the electric power from the wind farm could be directly used to charge batteries, which would then be used to power the vehicle. It works. I went to and from school today using this process.

Kiteman: Last semester we watched a video in class about climate change, and it mentioned that all of the energy needs for the country could by met be a 100-mile-square mirror solar collector in the Arizona Mojave desert driving steam turbines or Stirling engines to run a generator. I cannot provide any evidence for this statement other than the aforementioned video clip, but it's food for thought.

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Patrik (author)CameronSS2008-04-10

I don't think the 110mile square calculation is correct. Here's a related quote from MacKay's book (page 140):

"All the world's power could be provided by a square 100 km by 100 km in the Sahara." Is this true? Concentrating power in deserts delivers an average power per unit area of roughly 15W/m2. So, allowing no space for anything else in such a square, the power delivered would be 150GW. This is not the same as current world power consumption. It's not even near current world electricity consumption, which is 2000GW. World power consumption today is 15 000GW. So the correct statement about power from the Sahara is that today's consumption could be provided by a 1000 km by 1000 km square in the desert, completely filled with concentrating solar power. That's four times the area of the United Kingdom. And if we are interested in living in an equitable world, we should presumably aim to supply more than today's consumption. To supply every person in the world with an average European's power consumption (125 kWh/d), the area required would be two 1000 km by 1000 km squares in the desert, or eight United Kingdoms.

Hint 1: Total US energy consumption is about 1/5 of the total world energy consumption.

Hint 2: US energy consumption per capita is about double the average European energy consumption per capita.

The rest is left as an exercise to the reader. ;-)

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CameronSS (author)Patrik2008-04-10

As I said, I have no supporting evidence, only the documentary I referenced.

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Big Bwana (author)Kiteman2008-04-10

You don't honestly think they are going to use electrolysis to make that hydrogen with do you ?? Commercially it's made from natural gas, first we heat water into steam with natural gas then we mix the steam with more natural gas to form lots of hydrogen, and I won't mention all the CO2 and other SOx , NOx etc it makes..... Far from being green..... (( Take the electricity and go EV ))

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Kiteman (author)Big Bwana2008-04-10

Natural gas, being a limited resource, will not be the prime source of H2 for much longer.

If people want an energy-dense fuel, but don't want to sacrifice crop area, then the two most likely sources are H2 from electrolysis or algae-sourced oils.

At the moment, there is more money being pumped into H2 (by the oil and gas producers, since they supply the raw materials), so it is reasonable to assume that H2 will be "bigger" than algae until the natural gas runs out. By that time, the simpler tech that will run on algae oil will have been phased out in favour of H2, so we'll be stuck with it.

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Big Bwana (author)Kiteman2008-04-10

Cool it's a limited resource so when it's running low you'll pay more and in turn they will make more... So why wouldn't we switch over to E-85 right now, oil is a limited resource, and honestly I can switch over my car in under 30 min with a laptop, my hands won't even get dirty it's a simple timing adjustment on the computer and fill the tank with E-85 and drive away, I have run E-85 on a small gas engines with out doing a thing (( Stay away from aluminium parts if you can E-85 corrodes them )) The money is nothing, I doubt it's even %1 of Exxon's overall budget.. But the thought of only water coming out of your tail pipe is worth billions.. Hydrogen fuel cells while yes they are great and very useful in emergency power backup systems for a phone company, they will never take off in mainstream cars, the MTBF, is only 5000 Hours, that won't make warranty most people have come to expect, the anodes are easy to poison with CO for example, they don't work well in the cold, they are expensive, and the fuel costs are right now very very high.... Honestly if there is an abundance of clean power why make hydrogen ? you could make, say aluminium for use in an aluminium-air batteries, and they are right now the only power source that can be honestly considered an equal comparison to the internal combustion engine. (( if you recycle the aluminium hydroxide waste from your car it's cheaper to run then a Gas engine )) But the Algae oil, it would be nice to clean up the gulf of Mexico's dead zone from all the years of fertilizer run off from farming...

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killerjackalope (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

Well I reckon I've cracked it with the pulse jet plans, it would have much better longevity than most standard designs, would eke out almost every bit of energy form the fuel and be fairly self contained, needing only fuel which could be any flammable liquid or gas around... After I build it I'll try a turbo jet out for size but it's combustion efficiency would be lowered by a similar mechanism. Basically all that heat around the body is wasted, a pulse detonation jet could be the way forward here, however a turbo jet would be more practical in land based vehicles, any heavy lifting and plant equipment could use much less fuel by using a turbine powered hyraulic pump to move and steermuch like a bobcat, in which there is no connection directly between engine and wheels.

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Labot2001 (author)Kiteman2008-04-07

Yeah, that's the only problem in most cases. =[

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CameronSS (author)Labot20012008-04-07

That's one problem in all cases. In addition to storage in the vehicle (the best hydrogen cars have have close to that of the wussiest battery EVs), about 16% of the energy required to refine and distribute H2 is actually returned in kinetic energy in the car.

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Labot2001 (author)CameronSS2008-04-07

OUCH! Didn't realize that =X

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Goodhart (author)Labot20012008-04-09

Worse even that this is if most farmers switch to corn, as the "new cash crop" everything ELSE will skyrocket in price and become much less available.

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jtobako (author)Goodhart2008-04-11

Not because of farm prices. If the price of grain doubled, the amount that would need to be added to, say, a loaf of bread to cover it would be about $.40 if wheat prices go from the February high of $24/bushel to $48 (instead of today's price of $10) assuming that you need one pound of wheat before processing to make a loaf.

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Goodhart (author)jtobako2008-04-11

No, not because of prices, because of land use...

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jtobako (author)Goodhart2008-04-11

When it becomes worth while (ie makes a profit) a lot of land will come out of 'retirement' and return to farming. Not just the land in government holdings or left fallow for wildlife, but the land that is now covered by 'new' forests that once was farmland but got too expensive to farm.

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Goodhart (author)jtobako2008-04-11

but the land that is now covered by 'new' forests that once was farmland but got too expensive to farm.

Do you think the "environmentalists", that is, the crazed ones, not the sensible ones, will allow that ?

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jtobako (author)Goodhart2008-04-11

When that time comes, the people who want to eat will won't let anyone stand in their way. Besides, it's all private land. The best they can do is get an injunction from the people they are trying to NOT feed...

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Mr. Rig It (author)jtobako2008-04-11

Farmers don't just farm private land, they lease it from the goverment also.

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jtobako (author)Mr. Rig It2008-04-12

If the politicians are willing to drill for oil in a wildlife preserve, are they really going to stop a farmer from feeding hungry people or, more importantly, exporting food?

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jtobako (author)jtobako2008-04-11

If nothing else, I'm sure that environmentalists will make good fertilizer-no nasty chemicals in them, right? ; )

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Goodhart (author)jtobako2008-04-11

It depends on whether they have been sneaking preservative laden foods or not :-) They may not even be biodegradable LOL

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Goodhart (author)jtobako2008-04-11

Private land. Definition: any land someone lives on or thinks they own, that the government can take at any time, or if thought to be a sanctuary for wildlife on the verge of extinction, can be sectioned off and made untouchable. private land.

*sigh* I just don't like the trends that the masses tend to go for.

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Mr. Rig It (author)Goodhart2008-04-11

It already has. Portions of food (packeged items) in the stores are getting smaller and prices are going up. The price of milk alone is increasing dramatically soley because the price of corn has gone up. More people are buying the corn, this drives the price up. Them dairymen have to pay more for corn to feed the cattle and they pass the cost on to you an I.

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topazeyes (author)2008-04-08

as long as big companies can create demand by limiting capacity high prices and even higher prices in the months to come will never go away. down here in Texas I pay 15.8 cents per kwatt/hr. all year around and all the electric companies charge about the same rates. So the deregulation that happened here did not reduce the price like the politicians said. It only made it go up. So no matter what new fuels and energies come out we will alway pay an arm and a leg for it.

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Patrik (author)2008-04-08

Ah, but look at it this way: at 15% regular gasoline in E85 fuel, this Hummer will probably just about break even with a Prius in gasoline consumption! :-D

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LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-04-07

Yuck! E85 is a lie. Turbo diesel!

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candyrandy (author)2008-04-07

Also, might the whole ethanol thing be a result of the farmer lobby?

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