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El Dildo

Efficiency is banned in the US

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The Online Gamer

But doesn't diesel burn slower? I was told that by my second grade teacher and I have remembered it ever since. I think that, if gas prices keep rising, I'm not gonna be able to top off the tank at the station anymore. And I get around 25 mpg, give or take.

For some of you international forumers, I'm going to let you in on the big picture. The states, we have our own petroleum reserves, but SOMEBODY decided that we should buy foreign oil. It wasn't Obama, he spoke out over it;

Foreign oil means prices go up 10 cents a day (exaggeration there) which in turn means you need more cash for gas, which in turn means more people work more hours to pay for a full tank.

That's just how I perceive the situation.

Gas prices aren't 4 dollars yet, but the cost of livin's high, goin up.

Seeing as diesel is a petroleum derivative, the octane deposit is higher, due to Diesel engines usually being larger and used in utility vehicles (until now where there are diesel cars) and those engines need more juice

That's why most diesel v8's have a bit of POWER under the hood.

I'm sorry for rambling on but I had a brain fart.

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1) Diesel has a higher volumetric energy density, a lower energy density by weight due to higher volumetric density and roughly similar heating value, and a lower detonation velocity than petrol. The latter is what I suppose you would refer to as "burning slower".

2) I'm not going to get into a discussion on the US energy economy here, but suffice to say it's often cheaper to import fuel processed in nations with low average wages and lower standards of living than it is to produce and process fuel domestically.

3) The reason diesel engines are popular in heavy vehicles is due to a combination of higher energy density in a given volume than petrol and the fact they have a much higher peak thermal efficiency. This is why diesel engines tend to have relatively narrow power bands.

4) Diesel has a lower octane rating than petrol.

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The Online Gamer

I have much to learn man.


1) yes.

2) would it not be cheaper to just import fuel from your own reserves?

3) I agree. I'm not very good at wording....

4)really? Maybe where you are but at least where I am the diesel here is referred to as high octane and it says something about not using it in certain vehicles.

Maybe there is high and low octane diesel? I'm not sure exactly.

I just want you all to know:

I'm not very smart when it comes to engines. I can tell when the tire pressure is low, a belt is loose, your brakes are hot, you're about to explode....

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You can't import fuel from your "own reserves", it kind of ceases to be "importing". The same companies that drill for oil and refine fuel in the US do so elsewhere in the world, often where costs are much lower. The US does have fairly large oil reserves but the costs of production are very high, mainly because of the price of land in the US and because of how high average wages are. It's much cheaper to produce and refine fuel in-situ in the Middle East, North Africa and South America where average wages are $5k a year and then ship it to the US, where average wages for petrochemical industry workers are about $50k. Basically you always import a certain amount to keep average costs at a relatively steady level; fuel is going to get more expensive in the US now there's a drive for more self-sufficiency.


Diesel does have a very low octane rating- around 20 RON compared to 95 RON for conventional petrol, 97-99 for Super and 102-120 for race fuel. Diesel combustion quality isn't dependent directly on knock (which is what octane is designed to portray- higher octane is a higher resistance to premature detonation, which means greater flexibility in the timing and more power) but does have a comparable measure, which is the Cetane number. Cetane number is used to represent the ignition delay on compression- basically how long or short the time from compression to detonation is. A higher Cetane number means more consistent detonation, smoother engine performance and greater potential peak power as there's less chance of unburned fuel from incomplete combustion due to imperfect conditions.

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The Online Gamer


I just got owned...

You know a lot man, I've not reached college yet

Starting hopefully this year

I thank you for informing me about this.

I've only one question...

WTF is a Gerald?

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No idea I'm afraid.

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To be honest I never thought about the lower associated costs of importing oil (I always assumed the logistics were expensive enough to offset any savings).


My understanding of the US's oil strategy is that their oil reserves are exactly that: reserves. I always thought that the idea was that the country recognises its heavy dependence on oil so wants to insure its future against war, political posturing (i.e. Russia) and just general diminishing oil supply.

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Basically yeah. The US has pretty epic production capability, up there with the biggest in the world, but their known exploitable reserves don't really cover demand. There's a big movement in both the US and Europe towards domestic energy security- or more accurately energy security which relies on nice, friendly nations like Australia and Canada (Uranium) instead of nasty ones like Russia (oil) and China (coal).

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I am a big fan of nuclear fission, I can't stand the scaremongering and general anti-nuclear vibe that countries like Japan and Germany are increasingly subscribing to.


It's practically the perfect answer to any energy problem: clean, safe and excellent value for money. The answer is right in front of us and people just want to find tenuous reasons that "it's bad." I would launch into a big rant about the real statistics of nuclear and its safety record versus conventional forms of energy generation, but I am sure you are well-clued up about it.


I can't wait for fusion though, my professor always used to joke "every generation of physicists are told 'Fusion is only a decade away'" but it's still really exciting.

Edited by epoxi

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