A Free-Market Energy Blog

Ethanol Performance: Rauch vs. Lynch (Part II)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 19, 2019

This concludes the discussion/debate between ethanol proponent Marc Rauch and ethanol critic Michael Lynch. Part I was yesterday.

Lynch: Do ethanol blends burn cleanly?  At one point, you say “ethanol is clean” but then later you admit “ethanol is hardly dirty”, which is precisely my argument.  That it can be burned indoors is not evidence of its cleanliness, since kerosene lamps have long been used, and many people still have wood-fueled fireplaces.  The faults you take with my citations from the EPA website treats them as if they were the only research on the question, rather than the only articles I cited.  The EPA website has numerous links to studies showing that ethanol causes some types of emissions, such as formaldehyde, to increase, I did not choose to cite more than a couple. 

Rauch The clearest proof of ethanol’s clean burn (as compared to gasoline) is the video I cited previously.

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Ethanol Performance: Rauch vs. Lynch (Part I)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 18, 2019

Editor Note: An interesting historical note is that ethanol as a motor fuel was victimized by Prohibition, a subject discussed back in 2016 by Marc Rauch. In this discussion/debate, ethanol-proponent Rauch and ethanol-critic Michael Lynch share their thoughts on the quality and competitiveness of ethanol as a viable alternative to petroleum-based transportation products. Part II tomorrow concludes this series.

Lynch Technically, a wide variety of engines and fuels can be used to power vehicles, from steam and electricity to hydrogen and even water. At present, although compressed natural gas and electric vehicles are in use, most road transport remains powered by gasoline or diesel.  For its part, gasoline must have a certain octane level or it burns imperfectly, creating engine knock.  A number of additives have been used historically to ensure the octane rating is high enough for best engine performance, including lead, MTBE, and ethanol. 

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New Oil & Gas Drilling: A Schematic (‘Time for Tiramisu’)

By Jim Scherrer -- September 17, 2019

“Current technology liberates, at best, 5 percent of the available oil in shale so continued technology advances would significantly improve future resource recovery.”

Oil and gas drillers continuously evolve and enhance their drilling techniques. Their more recent revolutionary technique to drill horizontally along the rock formation has come to be known as “unconventional” drilling.

To illustrate, we can compare the confectionery jelly donut to tiramisu, which is a delicious Italian dessert that coincidentally means, “carry me up” or “lift to heaven.”

Versus prior drilling, new generation hydrocarbon production provides an “energy lift” as illustrated below.

Conventional Drilling: Jelly Donut

Basic Vertical Penetration; Limited Formation Contact

Illustration © James Scherrer

New Drilling: Tiramisu

Sophisticated Horizontal Penetration; Extensive Formation Contact

Illustration © James Scherrer 2014

What’s So Unconventional About it?

Oil and gas resources are commonly divided into two distinct types, conventional versus continuous or unconventional.

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Energy & Environmental Newsletter: September 16, 2019

By -- September 16, 2019
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Europe’s 2019 Heat Wave: The Rest of the Story

By Robert Endlich -- September 12, 2019
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Don Lavoie on the Green New Deal (timeless insight for today)

By Robert Bradley Jr. --
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Dear Enviros: Will You Support an Offshore Moratorium in the Great Lakes for Wind Turbines?

By Sherri Lange -- September 11, 2019
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On the Houston Chronicle’s Editorial Crusade Against Fossil Fuels

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 10, 2019
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EVs: It’s Hard Being Green

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 9, 2019
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Museum Solar: A Carter 1979 MEOW moment revisited

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 5, 2019
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