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milehighflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:13 am

E85 Jetfuel

Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:07 pm

Hi members,

The price of oil and jetfuel has created a lot of talk about alternative fuel. I am wondering if e85 would be a possible, viable and sustainable solution for airlines. As long as they make Ethanol out of products such as wood chippings, algae, etc. it is something that could be sustainable. If they make Ethanol out of things such as Corn, that would be incredibly moronic and destructive. Please post your comments about e85 as possible airplane fuel alternative. Thanks.
 
Pope
Posts: 3995
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:57 am

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:14 pm

Ethanol attracts water. Water in the aircraft fueling system is a big danger.

Brazilians have developed a crop duster which uses ethanol as an avgas alternative. However, liter for liter, ethanol has about 75% of the power of avgas.

By the way, ethanol is not the solution to the world's fuel problems. It's a feel good alternative favored by those ignorant of the real facts. If you planted every acre of land currently used in the US for food production and instead used it for ethanol, you'd only meet about 20 to 25% of US energy demand (and we'd have no food). Furthermore, ethanol from corn or sugar cane is extremely destructive to the environment in terms of water used in its production (both corn and sugar cane) and the CO2 released when the fields need to be burned (sugar cane).

Finally, look at the economics. Ethanol only seems to work because of the subsidies the US government places on it. Take away the subsidies and there'd be no ethanol.
 
GPIARFF
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:36 am

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:14 pm

Possibly for AVGAS fueled piston aircraft, but you don't mix ethanol with the diesel/kerosene/jet fuel's.

[Edited 2008-06-06 09:14:35]

[Edited 2008-06-06 09:15:27]
 
af773atmsp
Posts: 2508
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:37 am

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:27 pm

I remember watching a show about a solar powered plane that was remote controlled. Except solar panels on an aircraft would be very expensive.
 
Pope
Posts: 3995
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:57 am

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:49 pm



Quoting Af773atmsp (Reply 3):
I remember watching a show about a solar powered plane that was remote controlled. Except solar panels on an aircraft would be very expensive.

I hope you never fly where it's cloudy or night time!
 
MOBflyer
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:42 am

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:51 pm



Quoting Af773atmsp (Reply 3):
Except solar panels on an aircraft would be very expensive.

No doubt. I wonder about the feasibility, but this cost would likely be justified if you NEVER had to fuel the plane in its X year life with the airline. Also, you might get tax breaks that end up in extra revenue from Uncle Sam. Nothing that requires this much of upfront investment would fly today, as airlines right now need a bridge until the economy stabilizes. Give it a few years, and if its possible, we'll probably be talking and speculating about the specifics on a.net.
 
AirframeAS
Posts: 9910
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:56 pm

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:39 pm



Quoting Af773atmsp (Reply 3):
Except solar panels on an aircraft would be very expensive.

Don't forget about the extra weight, too.
 
dispatchguy
Posts: 645
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 6:08 am

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:50 pm



Quoting Pope (Reply 2):
you'd only meet about 20 to 25% of US energy demand (and we'd have no food).

And therein is why anything corn-based is so damned expensive in the US.

I was listening to someone on NPR back in April, and he said that when they started all this ethanol craze, the increase in prices due to increased demand for corn wasn't considered.

HELLO? How the hell can you NOT consider that; and this dweeb was an Economist!
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:12 pm



Quoting Af773atmsp (Reply 3):
I remember watching a show about a solar powered plane that was remote controlled. Except solar panels on an aircraft would be very expensive.

Not really practical. Assuming you had a wing covered with photovoltaic cells, with an area of 1000m**2 (about twice that of a 747), and you flew it directly under a noon sun for 12 hours, had 40% efficient solar cells (wholly impractical triple junction devices can manage that), and we assume a flux* of 1300W/m**2 since we're above most of the atmosphere, you're going to generate 6.25MWh of energy.

That works about to about 180 gallons of Jet-A. But of course you’re not going to meet any of those conditions either, so the reality will be a lot less.



*1300W/m**2 is basically what's hitting the top of the atmosphere from the sun. We usually assum the noon flux at ground level is 1000W/m**2.
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8573
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:51 am



Quoting MileHighFlyer (Thread starter):
As long as they make Ethanol out of products such as wood chippings, algae, etc. it is something that could be sustainable.

It's theoretically sustainable, but the demand for jet fuel is so much higher than the current biomass availability that it's functionally not. If you go to algae, you might as well use the ones that produce oil instead of ethanol anyway.

Quoting Pope (Reply 2):
Ethanol attracts water. Water in the aircraft fueling system is a big danger.

Virtually all aircraft fuel systems have water in them. In reasonable quantities, it's not a big deal.

Tom.
 
wingscrubber
Posts: 824
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2001 1:38 am

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:09 am

Technology exists now to procure a kerosene-imitation fuel from coal. I believe there is a south african company who has patented the process...

Instead of coal? Oh.. well tupolev built and flew the Tu-155 cryoplane 20 years ago. In its cryogenic fuel tank, although large in volume, it carried liquid natural gas or hydrogen.



Cryoplanes are the future.. mark my words, western aircraft manufacturers just need to see the sales figures drop when we run out of affordable oil to do anything about it.
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:35 am



Quoting Wingscrubber (Reply 10):
Technology exists now to procure a kerosene-imitation fuel from coal. I believe there is a south african company who has patented the process...

The technology existed in 1920. The Germans used it in WWII. The only question is economics, and the annoying issue that these processes are all carbon intensive.

Quoting Wingscrubber (Reply 10):
Instead of coal? Oh.. well tupolev built and flew the Tu-155 cryoplane 20 years ago. In its cryogenic fuel tank, although large in volume, it carried liquid natural gas or hydrogen.

While compressed or liquid methane or hydrogen have excellent density on a mass basis, they're not so hot on a volume basis. LH2 and compressed (200atm) CNG is less than a third the density of Jet-A, and LNG is about two-thirds (which is not so horrible). But all of these require heavy tank structures for both pressure and insulation. Remember that Jet-A is basically at zero pressure and liquid at all the relevant temperatures anyway.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 21061
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Sat Jun 07, 2008 4:29 am



Quoting Af773atmsp (Reply 3):
I remember watching a show about a solar powered plane that was remote controlled. Except solar panels on an aircraft would be very expensive.



Quoting Pope (Reply 4):

I hope you never fly where it's cloudy or night time!

The aircraft, which was NASAs Helios, could fly through the night on battery power. The engines were extremely efficient but the total power output was very low. Building even an electric engine to replace even small turbofans is not currently practical. Sure, it will be very efficient, but the energy density of batteries is not even close to that of hydrocarbons. And we're not even taking into account efficiency losses from all that cabling, charging the batteries and so forth.


It crashed btw.
 
AAH732UAL
Posts: 242
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:41 pm

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:57 pm

The E85 would not make sense unless it dropped to over a 1 less a barrel.

Right now its only like 30cents cheaper and would not be feasible to take a plane OTS and pay all the money to convert it IMHO.

Maybe if Oil goes to 200$ a barrel and E85 stays the same, then you might want to look into it.

I got a feeling when the Harvard Oilman is out of office, the price of oil will drop again, meaning that if you paid all that money to convert to E85.... that airplane will be running in the red for very very long time. IMHO option of course, E85 is just a fad  Wink
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: E85 Jetfuel

Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:36 am



Quoting Pope (Reply 2):
Furthermore, ethanol from corn or sugar cane is extremely destructive to the environment in terms of water used in its production (both corn and sugar cane) and the CO2 released when the fields need to be burned (sugar cane).

Moment, you are talking of biofuels of the first generation. First, the sugar cane areas of Brazil are not regions, where lack of water is a problem (the same applies to the sugar cane islands in the Philippines), there is enough rainfall, so that artificial irrigation is not needed.
Secondly, never second generation biofuels use the whole planr, not just theseeds (as currently with corn) and the leftovers don't have to be burned, but instead get converted into fuel as well.

Jan

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