Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


Butane
October 13, 2013, 22:06
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Blending butane into gasoline is why gas prices fall in the fall, according to Robert Rapier. RVP = Reid vapor pressure, the higher the RVP the faster the evaporation. EPA sets limits on RVP of gasoline which are more stringent in summer months than in winter, allowing the increased blending of cheap, yet highly evaporative (word?) butane:

Butane has an RVP of 52 psi, which means pure butane is a gas at normal pressures and temperatures. But butane can be blended into gasoline, and its fractional contribution to the blend roughly determines its fractional contribution to the overall vapor pressure of the mixture. As long as the vapor pressure of the total blend does not exceed normal atmospheric pressure (again, ~14.7 psi) then butane can exist as a liquid component in a gasoline blend.

But with a vapor pressure as high as 52 psi, butane can’t make a large contribution to summer blends where the vapor pressure limit is 7.8 psi. For example, if a gasoline blend contained 10 percent butane, butane’s contribution to the vapor pressure limit is already 5.2 psi and you would still have 90 percent of the blend to go. It isn’t feasible to blend much butane into gasoline when the vapor pressure requirement is low. But when the limit increases by 5 or 7 psi, it becomes feasible to blend large quantities of butane.

Why do we care about blending butane anyway? Because it is abundant and cheap. Butane can routinely trade at a $1/gallon discount to crude oil or gasoline. Butane is a byproduct of oil refining, but is also a component of natural gas liquids (NGLs), which are condensed out during natural gas production. Given the huge expansion of natural gas production in the US, it should come as no surprise that NGL production is also on the rise.

via Why Gasoline Prices are Falling.



U.S. oil demand rising again

Via EIA Week in Review.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged about 19.7 million barrels per day, up by 3.7 percent from the same period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged over 9.0 million barrels per day, up by 3.3 percent from the same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied averaged 4.0 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, up by 11.1 percent from the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied is 1.6 percent higher over the last four weeks compared to the same four-week period last year.



Gas Prices
April 17, 2013, 22:32
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

The long view.

gaspricesgraph
click to enlarge



Meanwhile, a guy named Buick is on his bike and not in a panic

The lines themselves only exacerbated the problem; reports in the local media provoked drivers to buy gasoline before stations ran out. Some spent what fuel they had searching for more and could be seen pushing vehicles toward relief.

“I just want to have it, because you don’t know how long this is going to last,” said Richard Bianchi, waiting in the half-mile line at the Sunoco in Union with a tank that was three-quarters full.

via Gasoline Runs Short, Adding Woes to Storm Recovery – NYTimes.com.

This is also what happened after Ike n’ Katrina Gustav in many areas of the South when the refineries went out. (2008 — As described in Cyclist’s Manifesto.) Scarcity of supply does not cause the people to get together, conserve and steward resources. In fact it causes just the opposite reaction. They go nuts, and try to acquire more fuel than they ever did before, faster than they ever did before. Petrol panic! Every man for himself!!

When the going gets tough, the tough do not get going.

Politicians could get pro-active by (1) telling the truth (2) encouraging conservation so those who most need fuel (those who perform critical tasks for the rest of us, for instance) will have it, and (3) instituting a temporary rationing program in advance of supply problems like this, which are easily predicted.

Ha! Can you imagine? No wonder Chris Christie looks like a deer in the headlights.



Gasoline stocks 1981-2012

U.S. stocks of finished gasoline, via EIA.


click to enlarge



Gasoline Taxes in Canada

In 2010, per liter.


click to enlarge

See also GAS TAXES IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES



Friedman thinks US could soon export crude oil and join OPEC

That’s what oil exporters do! Yup, we’re going to frack our production up about 200% over its current level, and get more efficient of course, and, of course, “do it right,” and then we’ll start exporting crude to those suckers in Japan and Europe. But first –

But all of this depends on an understanding between the oil industry and the environmentalists. If President Obama could pull that off, it would be a huge contribution to America’s security, economy and environment.

Yeah, that’s it. If we can just come to an understanding with the environmentalists, it’s OPEC time!

Friedman is unbelievably bad sometimes. Other times, believably so.

via http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/opinion/sunday/friedman-a-good-question.html

You may also intensely dislike: THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN IS UNSUSTAINABLE




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