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EPA 100LL Fuel Phase out.

Posted By:
Jim Heffelfinger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
256
Posts
43
#1 Posted: 4/21/2010 22:23:13

 

With the EPA issuing an ANPR to phase out the 100LL a 20 year process is coming to a close.

IN the mean time

My suggestions to the EPA, who rightfully are concerned about the continued TEL being dumped into our atmosphere, is to mandate that 91 octane automotive fuel be ethanol free – or at least have a regular source available to aviation -  so that those of us who can burn 91  are able to without the problems of ethanol. 

There are many pilots who have shifted back to 100LL  or even worse, planes never intended to use 100LL are unable to confidently use 91 Unleaded and now burn AVGAS:  more expensive and dirtier. 

The number of airports that did have MOGAS on the field have stopped selling it because of the ethanol content.

How to clean up the air ?   Give some of the ethanol back to the farmers and allow aviation (and the boating industry, off road industry, UAV, classic cars,etc ) to have alcohol free premium.   

 



Jerry Rosie
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
482
Posts
101
#2 Posted: 4/22/2010 08:06:14

Jim - you have my vote.  How do we get this proposal to the right authorities?

 



Cheers, Jerry NC22375 out of 07N
Ryan Lunde
32
Posts
44
#3 Posted: 4/22/2010 13:02:53

I am in strong agreement of the ethanol-free gasoline options, but I wonder why there seems to be such little opposition among the pilot population to phasing out of lead.  While the environmental improvement of removing lead from automotive gasoline justified any headaches it may have caused,  aviation is a much smaller industry that is not nearly as equipped to change as fluidly as the auto industry. 

Most of the engines we use in recreational and personal light planes are happy to run off of unleaded gasoline, but most 100LL (~70% according to AOPA sources) consumed is by aircraft unable to operate on any other fuel.  These include many commercially operated aircraft that we as EAAers don't think much about.  Think of Cape Air's huge Cessna 402 fleet, various overnight freight outfits relying on Piper Navajos and Queen Airs, Alaskan DC-6 transports and the hundreds of aerial applicators using high-performance piston engines.  High horsepower radials demand lead and there are many still operating in commercial service all over the world.  Warbird operators like the EAA and CAF will be left with lots of non-flying museum pieces without lead.  The reality is that the piston-engine fleet is lopsided toward older aircraft and I fear that the industry cannot handle the devastating blow that new regulations could bring.  The effects would most likely affect all sectors of aviation, including our beloved put-puts and homebuilts, most of which do not depend on lead.

The industry is rightly responding and alternatives are being developed, both from engine manufacturers and fuel developers, but several questions remain.  Will these alternative fuels safely fuel ALL engines that now rely on 100LL?  Will it be be economical for these engines to continue revenue service?  Will it be economical to re-engine or otherwise modify airplanes to accept new fuels or powerplants?  What is the REAL COST of continuing to use 100LL as it relates to public health and the environment? 

Lead is a neurotoxin that we don't want in our bodies and especially in the developing bodies of children, but lead can be safely handled in small quantities (fishing weights, Pinewood derby cars, etc).  How much lead does the piston engine aircraft fleet place into the average human?  Into the average stream or well?  My guess is that with the dispersion into the atmosphere and the relatively low volume of fuel consumed, the result is virtually nil, but I could be wrong.  Still my guess is that the benefits of staying with lead far outweigh the costs of removing it.  When something is labeled as bad for the environment, it is often blackballed out of use entirely without stepping back and truly evaluating the situation.  I wish somebody would come forward and conduct an honest study answering the questions above and see if we really want to phase out lead unquestioningly. 



Bob Gish
Homebuilder or Craftsman
68
Posts
14
#4 Posted: 4/22/2010 16:24:43

It is possible to refine 100 octane fuel without lead or alcohol. Seen a NASCAR race lately?

We will all benefit from the removal of lead from our fuel; longer component and engine life from less corrosion, extended oil change intervals and much less engine wear. Does anyone remember operating 60's vintage cars on leaded fuel prior to 1975 and the giant oil filters they used? Remember how often you had to replace the muffler?

Not to mention combustion chamber deposits, plug fouling, valve sticking, need I go on?



Lars Gleitsmann
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
18
Posts
5
#5 Posted: 4/22/2010 19:10:15 Modified: 4/22/2010 19:15:41

With the ammount of lead that stays in the engine and with the low volume of 100LL used compared to other fuels I do NOT BELIEVE That GA's 100LL is a danger to my 4 month old daughter or anybody. When all fuel was lead'ed it was bad, no question. But AVGAS is such small usage (less than half a percent of the USA's fuel) and its use is so widely dispersed, I dont believe its a real problem. I believe the environmental special interest groups want to kill GA, Thats it. With killing 100LL they will wipe out a huge part of the AFFORDABLE part of the fleet. You folks dont forget all TCM engines need lead for Valves, guides and v-seats, THERE ARE NO V-parts on the market that work with no lead. Your engines usually run ok on car-fuel ONLY BECAUSE they have been run on 100LL for some time and the Valves have been Conditioned etc etc. Nobody know how long an engine keeps running on UnLead'ed before Valve problems kill it. Lyc Claims their Valves etc are fine with no lead, BUT educated folks in the field do say you should run with 100LL initially to condition surffaces....

Problems with Lead accumulation are around because scavenging agents have been outlawed, because they were real bad. NO question carfuel without alcohol is what we need too, BUT lets not sacrifice a huge portion of GA and our flying heritage to the demands of radicals like the "friends of the Earth". Let them do this, GA shrinks, is less attractive, too costly, and down we go, 4ever. Next thing they get us on CO2 and on noise, it will never end. These people will not rest until nobody flys a personal plane anymore.

ASIDE: Here in ALASKA we need the 100LL for DC6, DC4, C46, DC3, C123, C119, DHC-2 etc etc etc because they are the only ones that CAN DO THE JOB. The job is "essential services", they haul fuel to the villages, that have no road access and no barge service, we have hundreds of those here. IF WE LOOSE AVgas 100LL all those people in those villages will LOOSE EVERYTHING: All they got. - For WHAT? is there a measurable gain in healthy life that worth all this? - I doubt it.

Lack of exercise, bad junk food, drugs, antibiotics in meat, etc etc, is what gets us, not the 100LL. -where is the common sense?

For those interested: have a look:

http://avgasforak.blogspot.com/

 



Chaz Harris
10
Posts
1
#6 Posted: 4/22/2010 22:32:39 Modified: 4/22/2010 22:35:22

Lars,

I do think it's quite stupid for them to do this, but, I think it's more of a paperwork issue than a real mechanical problem, at least for most planes.

The DHC-2 has no problem, Beech 18 guys run 87 unleaded all day long in theirs, one down at my airport is rated for 91, if memory serves. (Cropdusters also did it in R-985 powered PT-17's.)

As for the C-119, H & P ran some at 3420HP out of 3500 in the 80's on 100/130, legally, using ADI injection.  ( http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgMakeModel.nsf/0/914950e80c409f15852567270060396c/$FILE/A24we.pdf ) There's also a C-119L cert. that has 100/130 and 3500. If you consider that the people today run them on 100/130 with 52" MP dry, at about 2900HP, I wouldn't think it crazy to say that you could run one on 91 or so, using ADI and 52" MP.

The DC-3 can also be run on auto fuel; http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/38A3BFC4E94A429C85256CC2005A7486?OpenDocument&Highlight=r-1830 and http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/02F7CF1285EA8A2B85256CC10083D3D7?OpenDocument&Highlight=r-1830

And for Evert's and Brooks' DC-4's,6's, and C-46's, I would have to think they would get STC's issued to run their planes on autofuel, even if at slightly reduced power. I'm sure it will be a challenge for them, but I don't see them just quitting and giving up without trying. My guess would be the same for C-123 operators.

Racing fuels are also commonly 100-118 octane and more, without lead.

As for valvetrains derailing (
wink), I just don't see any proof. They said the same thing about old trucks, but they never had any problems. My dad drove a '65 Chevrolet C10 for about 200-300,000 miles (And has many more on it, I think about 550,000 total.) with no valve issues on 87 unleaded.  If it does turn out to be an issue, I don't see why no one would make hardened valve seats, etc., for aero engines and get them aproved.

I do agree about how stupid this is, for it will still be a paperwork nightmare for 100LL burning planes, for no real reason. The Fiends of the Earth seem to have ate quite a bit of lead themsevles, as; "AOPA indicated that piston-powered aircraft produce "one-tenth of 1 percent" of national lead emissions", yet they are the ones they are going after first, not the other 99.9%. "Lack of exercise, bad junk food, drugs, antibiotics in meat, etc etc, is what gets us, not the 100LL" I agree, and another interesting fact, Coca-Cola contains 55% Phosphoric acid, which is sold as "Naval Jelly" rust remover, and it states on the bottle that leaving it on to long (15 mins.) will etch the steel, and it does. Not something I want to drink! Drinking two a week also doubles your risk of getting pancreatic cancer, along with all the other "great" side effects of this "wonderful" beverage. (Such as causing your bones to disentigrate, etc.)

I really love what you guys are doing with the two C-119F's, please don't let the last 119's go down!

 

-Chaz

 

 



Kent Misegades
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
24
Posts
7
#7 Posted: 4/23/2010 01:58:57 Modified: 4/24/2010 05:39:57

Dean Billing, Todd Petersen (of Petersen AutoSTC fame) and I have been reporting on this issue for over a year on the GAFUELS Blog at General Aviation News.  Dean held three seminars at Sun 'n Fun and we hope to provide an update at AirVenture 2011.  See Dean's report and a link to his slides from SnF here: 

http://www.generalaviationnews.com/?cat=525

There is a solution for 80% of the piston fleet and it's called ethanol-free Premium autogas, which is also the preferred fuel for Rotaxes thus for most of the new LSA sector.  There is no solution (yet) for those who need 100LL's unmatched anti-detonation characteristics. 

The biggest need, in our mind, is for the various Aviation Alphabet groups to call on Congress for a national ban on the use of ethanol in Premium gasoline.  We do not understand their reluctance, but perhaps the specter of the EPA's impending ban on 100LL will encourage them to do this.

Look for our seminar on avfuels at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010.

Kent Misegades, EAA #520919, President, EAA 1114, Apex, NC

 



kmisegades
Lars Gleitsmann
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
18
Posts
5
#8 Posted: 4/25/2010 16:21:58

Hi Chaz,

Thanks for your last sentence about our thankless C119-saving-project, very appreciated !
You should Please study more about Valves, Seats and Guides. I have been studying this FOR A LONG TIME. Have been in Contact with Paul McBride, Lyc and TCM Tech Reps, Folks from Precision Airmotive in Everett WA, with The good EAA hdqrs folks in Oshkosh and in D.C. and with Engine overhauls shops all one the country AND EUROPE. ASK TCM, They need Lead for their Valves! My friends and me we have run Engines on unleaded carfuel AFTER THEY HAD RUN FOR HUNDREDS OF HOURS on 100LL in Germany Scandinavia, USA, Caribbean etc etc, Successfully for HUNDREDS of hours. BUT, how long that works out is unknown. NO QUESTION it will work for SOME TIME after running 100LL. ITS all game over as soon as You put on a NEW cylinder or VALVESEAT or GUIDE. HAVE run GO480's on Carfuel, the LOW COMPRESSION subtypes do fine. I KNOW. The high compression ones I would not dare. A friend tried GSO480 on Carfuel, he killed two of 'em.  THis leads us back to the Radial's:

SURE THEY WILL RUN, BUT they will not produce meaningful power. BTW, Powers, They wont remember Me, But I know Gene and his sons Ryan and Duane. We have run R3350's on 100LL up to 75inches of manifold (=yes I know, shouldn't) with ADI fluid.

We use ADI a Lot, and its used in gigantic amounts, I kid you not ! The BIG TANK in the C119 is EMPTY after VERY FEW takeoffs...!!! CAN you image the POWER a R3350 makes running THAT boost? SUPERCHARGED makes the difference, BOOST makes the difference. C46 here uses 54inches without ADI (C46 doesn't have it), DC6b's use 59.5inches with ADI. Some operators used WAY WAY more Boost with ADI. You couldn't carry enough ADI for using it al the time, whole flight. ALASKA IS BIG, very VERY BIG. We have no use here for LSA's and Ultralights, (as private planes), no payload no range etc etc....

TURBOCHARGED Navajo's are about the Mainstay of Village to Village Airtaxi in AK. Do you know those engines?? Ever flown one? Those engine need all the help they can get to stay reliable, they produce so much power out of so little Cubic inch etc.

To compare an old vintage truck with a R3350 or R2800 is NOT reasonable, Big radials put out 250HP out of ONE Exhaust Valve, and theire run all day every day! An old truck, run occasionally, low output, doesn't compare at all.

Anyway, Have to get off my soapbox NOW and more later.

Best regards,

Lars

 



Chaz Harris
10
Posts
1
#9 Posted: 4/26/2010 14:22:08

Hi Lars,

 

Your very welcome, I really am saddened that more people are not interested in saving great aircraft such as the C-119. I wish I could help, but I'm in the Southeast US. (For now, at least.)

I had just seen that a similar thing had happened with old auto engines, if it's real for radials, (and it souds like it is), then I'm against the lead ban. I saw the website you linked to, but it didn't really shown a way someone like me could help. Is there a way?

It sounds like a much more reasonble solution to this problem would be to just put a 94UL or similar pump up at all the fuel carrying airports. The engines that need lead would have it, and the ones that don't would burn the cheaper unleaded instead.

(Especially as there are more large piston aircraft being brought back flying all over the country.)

75", that's what, 22.5 pounds of boost over nomal? Pretty amazing it held together, especially for the reputation the 3350's get!

That's also amazing about DC-6's using more than the 59.5" of stock MP, even 59.5" seems high! (It hurts just thinking of the BMEP at those power levels!)

Also, probably a stupid question, but has there been any ivestigation about other additives that would do what lead does, or possible reto-fitting for unleaded fuel?  

It really sickens me that people are going after such a trivial thing as this, for instance;

"While lead concentrations in the air have declined, scientific studies have demonstrated that children's neurological development is harmed by much lower levels of lead exposure than previously understood. Low level lead exposure has been clearly linked to loss of IQ in performance testing. Even an average IQ loss of 1-2 points in children has a meaningful impact for the nation as a whole, as it would result in an increase in children classified as mentally challenged, as well as a proportional decrease in the number of children considered "gifted.""

All just BS. Almost anything can cause that small a difference. If you notice, you can see how hard they have to strech the truth to make it sound like even a small issue. On the other hand, sodas. It has been proven that, if you drink one twice a week (I assume the can/bottle amount) you DOUBLE your chances of getting PANCREATIC CANCER! Not "ohh, it will make a person 1-2 IQ points down in a test orginized by people opposing it at two different schools". And most kids are drinking one or more a day, with some people driking those 32 ounce cups! (Not to mention the bone thing.) Think it's BS, anybody? Here's a link; http://www.webmd.com/cancer/pancreatic-cancer/news/20100208/pancreatic-cancer-linked-sodas . (I am using this again as it's a prime example of something almost everyone does, that's been proven to cause real health problems.)

I guess at this point the same can be said for my soapbox, too.

Anyway,

My best regards as well,

-Chaz

 



Lars Gleitsmann
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
18
Posts
5
#10 Posted: 4/26/2010 22:05:35 Modified: 4/26/2010 22:10:30

Hi Chaz,
Many Thanks for your reply, REALLY appreciated. - Now I am back on my soapbox...
You know, The STC's for the R985 etc etc, for Beavers, Otters, Texans, Cropdusters, DC3's etc, all these STC's are under the condition that there is not just straight carfuel being used 4ever. They all specify the fuel to be blended, like 1/4th or 1/3rd of it to be 100LL, also to run 100% 100LL now and then to keep the Valves etc. happy. Todd Petersen himself said that with the dead of 100LL, we will see all those engines die.
He also confirms that the Turbocharged engines have no chance whatsovever and that the Ethanol producing industry and their lobbyism is absolutely killing our means of using carfuel in any plane, especially due to raising percentages of Alcohol in the carfuel on top of it all.  When You check for Alcohol in fuel, to see how the Alcohol readily mixes with water and then stays separated with the water in the fuel, GEEEZZZ its ugly, dangerous! Water in the fuel is a REAL KILLER especially in winter.
I REALLY LIKED YOUR QUOTE of the EPA doc with the Kids and the 1-less IQ !!! THAT kind of BS is all there is behind this whole story of BAD AVgas100LL.
YOUR example of the cancer caused is ALSO PERFECT, REALLY. With Kids and IQ our countries problem is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and similar very sad disorders caused by drug abuse by the parents etc etc. THAT is the real problem. The BS of the 1-or-2 IQ number less CANNOT be proven with anybody, so its the TYPICAL unsubstantiated claim.
NO USER FEES in GA wont matter any after they outlaw our 100LL and destroy the usefulness of carfuel for us by the Alcohol-contamination....WE will have no place left to go. With 100LL and any bottled substitute outlawed we will see the end of any WARBIRD, Ford 3Motor etc etc coming and then OSHKOSH will be a sad place....
WHERE IS THE OUTCRY? Where is the outrage? why is there not more opposition?? Both against the Alcohol in Carfuel and the EPA's lowlead -ban???
Regards,
Lars



Ryan Lunde
32
Posts
44
#11 Posted: 4/27/2010 10:44:33

Where is the outrage, indeed.  I challenge EAA and other alphabet groups to demand that these issues be addressed and not take this lying down.



Dean Billing
104
Posts
26
#12 Posted: 4/29/2010 19:39:48

The issue may have little to do with the EPA.  People need to understand the economics of avgas as I pointed out in my presentation at SnF.  Overall avgas represents nothing in the gasoline production scheme of things.

Consider:

The US consumes about 135 billion gallons of auto fuel.

Aviation uses about 185 million gallons of avgas (2008 stat) and demand has steadily declined for the last seven years, or so, at the rate of about 7.5 million gallons / year.

Avgas represents less than 0.15% of the gasoline consumption in the US.

Avgas is made by less than 10 refineries out of more than 150 in the US.  All of it must be handled outside the mainstream gasoline production cycle so as not to contaminate unleaded gasoline.  It cannot be moved by the most efficient means, through a pipeline.

TEL is made at only one plant in the world and it isn't in the US.  Demand for it steadily declines.

The EPA wants TEL out of gasoline and has the legal authority to make it so.

Is this an economic model for a business any sane business person would want to be in?

What if the refiners decide that making and distributing leaded avgas just isn’t worth it?

The reality is that the decision may have nothing to do with the EPA. Meanwhile the supposed growth area of GA, the Light Sport Aircraft fleet cannot get the gasoline they need at our airports, premium unleaded mogas, which could also be used in 80% of GA aircraft..

None of the aviation alphabets support a program to add airport infrastructure for a second pump for the unleaded avgas that is available today, 91 AKI mogas, which unfortunately is rapidly disappearing because of the unintended consequences of the federal RFS mandate in EISA 2007. So when 94UL is approved by ASTM, which should happen this year, there will be no demand for it because there will be no place to put it on our airports.

That is what you ought to be outraged about.

Remember, if the gasoline industry announced the termination of 100 LL production tomorrow, it wouldn't show up on the bottom line of any of their balance sheets even though it would devastate GA because we haven't prepared for even the one alternative that would spare 80% of us.



Jim Heffelfinger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
256
Posts
43
#13 Posted: 4/29/2010 21:44:37 Modified: 4/29/2010 21:46:05

Great to see continued interest in this thread.

Here is a special webpage just for us on the EPA site....

http://www.epa.gov/otaq/aviation.htm

EAA  please add your lobby efforts on this topic !!!

The refineries know what havoc would rain down if they dropped the 100LL.  With their profits swelling the last few years - political fallout would be more government interaction and scrutiny in the name of national security.   They will maintain the status quo for now especially since there is no clear alternative.

Is there an available additive that will allow the engines needing TEL to mix it in the tank and the rest of us get the airports to shift to unleaded - without alcohol ?

jim

 

 

 



Chaz Harris
10
Posts
1
#14 Posted: 4/29/2010 22:17:50

Hi Dean,

You do make some good points, but also consider this;

185 million gallons x $4.76 average is still $880,000,000 gross sales. Now, I know that the profit is nowhere near that number, but it's still a lot of money for a small operation. If it was only a dollar a gallon profit, it would still be $185 million. They have started making leaded automotive fuel in England, I believe it was, for older restored cars, due to the demand. (Or so I read.) I don't think that English hot-rodders burn as much fuel as Evert's Air does, much less 185 million gallons worth. (I typed it in and it seems the entire population of England is less than 52 million total.)

I believe that, at least in my opinion, that the reason for outrage towards the EPA is because that by banning the fuel, no more can be made. No possibility TEL sold for mixing in with unleaded gas, etc. It will mean that it's gone for all practical purposes. If it simply fell out of demand, I would still think that small batches would be sold, probably at a much higher price, but still there for those whose engines truly need it. They make 160/180 of something just for the Reno Air Races, I believe, along with a supposed run of 115/145 every now and again. Expensive, I would surely have to think, but it can still be obtained.

As Lars and others have said, LSA's are not the main concern. They are banning TEL, not Unleaded gasoline. It's the C-185's, C206's, Piper Twins, DC-3's, 4's, 6's, and Curtiss C-46's, Fairchild C-119's, etc., that still are the main supply line to many people in Alaska, and in some cases for the 185's and similar, the North-West US. A lot of mail and supplies are also delivered to Islands in the Bahamas by DC-3 and the like, out of Opa-Locka Florida. Of couse we also have the many "Warbirds" and restored propliners and similar that frequent airshows and the like, many of which thousands of hours of labor and tons of money have been put into to make flyable.

I also would support the addition of 91 or 94UL pumps at airports, or just taking off that stupid 10% ethanol thing. I actually had afew gallons of real gasoline that came from Alabama, that seemed to run much better in all my engines, and to "solve" severaly problems. My father also noted that his truck seemed to run better on it, which he attributed to the mixture being possibly lean, but the 8HP Briggs and Stratton I ran on it I adjusted before and after the change, still seemed to run better. I could just be going crazy, but it sure is odd that both of us noted a difference. I assume that "EISA 2007" is related to ethanol. I don't know what AKI means, either, it would be nice if you would clarify.

I don't really get what you mean about having no place to put it. If 100LL is gone, then I would think that 94UL would replace it at the pumps.

Anyway, time to get back off,

Chaz

 

 



Chaz Harris
10
Posts
1
#15 Posted: 4/29/2010 22:32:24

Hi Lars,

Interesting about the STC's being under a condition that 100LL be mixed in, I had alway heard people recomending it be done to approximate the levels of lead in the old fuel, but never knew this was the condition of the STC.

I am also not a big fan of ethanol laced gasoline, even for "normal" non-aviation use. (See my other post)

Thanks, and of course thats just one in tons of stuff that's like that, the list goes on and on and on.

I agree that this seems to have stirred up rather little resistance among pilots, I don't know why. In addition to Alaska, states like Idaho would also lose mail and other services to remote mountain communites. Opa-Locka Florida also hosts quite a bit a old prop planes the make the daily mail runs, etc., out to the Bahamas. It will be a very sad event if the DC-7's are grounded due to this, they were just supposed to start flying them this year.
sad

Regards,

Chaz

 



Chaz Harris
10
Posts
1
#16 Posted: 4/29/2010 22:41:42

Also Lars, I forgot (post wouldn't edit for some reason), heres some of the latest in aviation-based legal stupidity; what is your idea of a congested area? Think about that, then look at what they decided here; http://www.eaa.org/news/2010/2010-04-29_overflight.asp Crazy, isn't it?

Regards,

Chaz



Jim Heffelfinger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
256
Posts
43
#17 Posted: 4/30/2010 01:16:43

Here is more info and a contact person

http://www.foe.org/epa-proposes-rule-phase-out-lead-aviation-fuel

 

Perhaps we can encourage FOE to apply pressure to encourage removing alcohol in premium mogas.

jim



Dean Billing
104
Posts
26
#18 Posted: 4/30/2010 13:00:46
Chaz Harris wrote:

 

Hi Dean,

You do make some good points, but also consider this;

185 million gallons x $4.76 average is still $880,000,000 gross sales.

136 billion gallons at $2.75 / gallon is $371.250 billion so avgas represents maybe .24% of their gross.  If I was a bean counter in the refinery business and looked at the hassle of handling and distributing leaded gasoline, I would seriously consider whether it made any business sense, especially when demand declines every year.

> ... If it simply fell out of demand, I would still think that small batches would be sold, probably at a much higher price, but still there for those whose engines truly need it. ...

My point is why would anybody produce TEL?  The only plant in the world has publicly stated that if any one of their major customers, in this case a major customer is a country like the US, stops ordering TEL, they will shut the plant down.  It is clear that the US is going to ban TEL in the near future.

As Lars and others have said, LSA's are not the main concern. ...

But my point is that the aviation alphabets are concerned about the declining number of pilots in the US and they pin their hopes on LSA to attract new recruits to their organizations.  It is kind of stupid to build an airplane for which the recommended fuel is unavailable on airports because we only have one pump on most airports selling 100 LL which drastically increases the maintenance costs of the LSA.  Are we so worried about dealing with the museum airplanes that we are unwilling to insure that the new GA aircraft represented by LSA are useful.  I can guarantee you that AOPA doesn't give a damn about historic aircraft and warbirds, they want a replacement for 100 octane avgas that will keep the 25% of commercial prop aircraft that they claim burns 70% of the avgas running.

> ... I assume that "EISA 2007" is related to ethanol.

The reason that ethanol blended gasoline is showing up everywhere is because of a federal law, EISA 2007, which contains a Renewable Fuel Standard section that deals with ethanol and bio-diesel.  It was supposed to increase the demand for E85 but it is having the unintended consequence of making all of the auto gas in the US E10.  More information here if your are interested:  www.e0pc.com 

I don't know what AKI means, either, it would be nice if you would clarify.

Avgas is rated by octane.  Auto gas is rated by AKI, Anti Knock Index.  Every auto gas pump has a label on it that tells you the AKI, regular gasoline is usually 87 AKI, premium gasoline is 91 AKI or above.  AKI is not the same as octane as we know it for avgas.  It is an average octane.  STCs for mogas use define the minimum AKI allowed.  The EAA STCs, the Petersen low compression STCs and the Rotax 85 HP engine require at least 87 AKI mogas and the Petersen high compression STCs and the Rotax 100 HP engines require at least 91 AKI mogas.

I don't really get what you mean about having no place to put it. If 100LL is gone, then I would think that 94UL would replace it at the pumps.

As long as 100 LL is available, no FBO will order 94UL unless he has a second pump, but less than 4% of the airports in the US have second pumps and they are pumping cheaper mogas, so there will be no demand for 94UL when it is approved this year.  If 100 LL goes away without a replacement, 94 UL will probably be put in the 100 LL tanks but the commercial segment of GA will take a big hit and they use the majority of avgas.  The aviation alphabets are betting that one or more of the three very small companies that claim they can make a replacement 100 octane avgas will do it.  The irony is that mogas is disappearing because of ethanol so the second pumps at those few airports will probably disappear too, especially if they are underground tanks.  Environmental laws make you remove unused underground tanks in most states now.

 

 



Chaz Harris
10
Posts
1
#19 Posted: 4/30/2010 21:34:29

Dean,

As I said, you make some good points, but;

All of the fuel sold is not just 87. Look at this; http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_cons_prim_dcu_nus_a.htm

You will see that the demand for almost ALL fuels has declined over the years, not just 100LL. (Except for diesel fuel, which actually increased.) It does show how small an industry avaiton fuel is, but as has been said, anything is small in comparison to the production of 87 Unleaded. Midgrade and Premium are also small in comparison (albeit not as small), but can be found at almost any filling station. 100LL is also, acording to you, made by one out of 15 refineries.

Your next statment is a bit of a conundrum. You suggest that we forget all these "museum airplanes" (I.E. all planes with engines O-360 size of larger.), then say that AOPA is looking for a fuel that will keep the 25% that burns 70% of avgas. The 25% are not LSA's, they are the "museum planes" you mentioned earlier. What a DC-4 needs and what a brand-new C-206 need are the same thing. Also, in the locals listed, the WW2 prop planes are NOT musem planes, they are the planes that are flown all day, every day, until they wear out, hauling cargo and supplies where mordern planes can not go. (And I'm pretty sure a LSA can't haul 2,500 gallons of fuel 400 miles, land on a 3,300' rough gravel strip and fly back.) The LSA's are great, and I support them, but they are not the hardworking WW2 cargo planes, nor the hardworking big engine Cessna's and Piper's ferrying people about. They are planes for having fun in, going out and flying about, and I love that, but a $130,000 Cessna "Skycatcher" can't do the work that a beat-up old $80,000 C-180 can, much less a $150,000 DC-3. They are leisure planes, and are designed as so, not as cargo haulers.

I know the anti-knock vs. octane thing, and the ethanol law, I simply did not know what the abbriviations stood for, nor the exact bill pertaining to the ethanol law. It is interesting/irritating that it is not actually required. (I would have normally put two and two together, late night and lots of typing.)

That was my point, if 100LL is no longer available they will be forced to use 91 mogas or 94UL if they can't get it without ethanol.

This is exactly our point, the banning of 100LL before even a suitible replacment would all but kill commercial GA. (If a WW2 DC-6 flys 1200 hours a year working for hire, I call it a commercial plane.) There is no replacment that I know of that has been tested to work at this point.

You confound me once again here, you say that 94UL should be aproved this year. If there is mogas, there will be no demand, if it becomes unavailable due to ethanol, there will be demand and they will begin the production of 94UL. Just how soon do you think the supply of no-ethanol gas will stop? I heard that the Taylorcraft guys sometimes buy a few hundred gallons at a time direct from the refinerey, and that the plant does not put the ethanol in, at least it is the last thing before it goes on the truck.

I don't at all mean to sound anti-LSA, I myself am trying to get my licence in a couple years (money) and my plane is most likely going to be a Taylorcraft BC-12D. A LSA, and a plane made in the 1940's. Just because it's an old plane does not mean it is not a working plane. If the only option was a $130,000 brand-new one, or high rental on a C-172 or similar for every flight hour, my God, it'd be impossible!

Time to get off again,

Chaz



Dean Billing
104
Posts
26
#20 Posted: 5/1/2010 11:39:20 Modified: 5/5/2010 19:51:08

While the demand for all gasoline fuel is in decline, auto fuel is not threatened with extinction because of the decline.  Avgas may be if TEL becomes unavailable.

My reference to "museum airplanes" refers to round engine and racing and historical airplanes for display.  No round engines are being produced.  Many of them can use mogas as you pointed out above.  My point was that AOPA is concerned about the C-206 that needs 100 octane avgas, not the DC-6.

They will NOT begin to make 94UL avgas if all of the mogas has ethanol in it.  There aren't enough tanks on airports to support production economically.  We have had an 82UL avgas spec for years which would work in more than 30,000 EAA STCd aircraft plus a bunch of homebuilts.  Do you see it on any airport?  According to AIr-Nav there are about 120 airports with mogas.  Do you think refineries would make 94UL for 120 customers that might use a few thousand gallons a year?

The Taylorcraft guys do NOT buy a few hundred gallons direct from a refinery.  They buy it from a terminal.  A refinery would never deal with hundreds of gallons, they deal with millions of gallons.  While it is true that the terminal mixes the ethanol to make E10, they don't make it with gasoline.  They make it with BOB (Blendstock for Oxygenated Blending).  BOB is not legal gasoline for sale to the public.  Pretty soon terminals will not have any finished ethanol free gasoline, they will only have BOB.  I live in Oregon, a mandatory E10 state.  There is no finished gasoline coming into the huge Portland terminal at the end of the Olympic pipeline from the Washington refineries, only BOB.  There are four large refineries in Washington.  One of them has already ceased production of finished gasoline, the only product they make is BOB.  The Portland terminal has one tank in their farm for finished gasoline which comes in on railroad tank cars or ocean going barges.  It is getting increasingly difficult to get finished gasoline and as all of the auto gasoline goes E10, and probably higher, it will become impossible.  There is only one terminal in the state of California that still gets finished gasoline.  The problem is spreading.

You ask when I think the supply of ethanol free gasoline will cease.  Just do the math.  EISA 2007 requires that 13.8 billion gallons of ethanol be blended into gasoline by 2013.  If we only use about 135 billion gallons of gasoline, then all of the gasoline will be E10 by about 2013, maybe sooner if demand decreases as you pointed out it is.  All of this information is in my presentation that I made at Sun'n Fun, the slides are at:  www.e0pc.com/SNF10.pdf  

 



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