At work we had to get rid of a carburated outboard
on one of our small boats and replace it with an equivalent fuel injected outboard
because the alcohol in the fuel kept causing the carburetor jets to become fouled. Even the fuel stabilizer designed for gasoline with ethanol did not prevent the fouling. After paying to have the carburetor jets cleaned out three times, the outboard shop we use said there was no solution to the problem other than buying
a fuel injected engine
The alcohol in the gasoline has cost us about $8000 to replace a perfectly good (now obsolete) carburated four-stroke outboard that had very low hours. I wonder how much pollution was generated in creating and delivering our replacement outboard? I wonder if the pollution generated in producing this engine
will ever be more than the pollution generated in using gasoline with up to 10% alcohol?
It really makes me question what we are doing using valuable farmland to create an additive to gasoline that causes problems, has a lower energy content and is relatively expensive to produce. It really does not provide for much less pollution in terms of carbon content or CO2 content or a reduction in other types of pollution either.
Ironically, it takes diesel
powered machines to plant and harvest the corn. It then takes diesel trucks to get the product to where the corn is distilled in to alcohol. It then takes diesel trucks, diesel tugs pushing barges or diesel powered trains to get the alcohol to the refineries. I wonder if they come out ahead at all in the energy equation, as well as the total pollution equation?
The production of alcohol has also driven up the price
of corn, one of our basic food
staples....not to mention hurting the poor and everyone else with increased food
prices. A lot of the other food we eat, eats corn as well.
Alcohol does not seem to be worth the multitude of negative side effects. I wonder if anyone has ever put together the real numbers?