PDA

View Full Version : Best blend thinner discussion



tbird650
14th August 2012, 09:42 PM
There's a few choices for thinners with pluses and minuses. Here are a few observations.

Petrol: Popular because it's cheapest around, thins well and is widely available. Has a reputation for volatility and believed to be the cause of difficult hot restarting, power loss in hot/stress situations and idling irregularities amongst others. Some components of it boil at 40c which appears to be a downside.

Diesel: Doesn't thin the vege well. It would have the benefit of any refinery added components to help reliablity and stability of the fuel which are suited to diesel engines.
Widely available from bowser. Boiling point 177 -343c

Kerosene: Thinner than diesel. Boiling point 150 -300c. Becoming more difficult to get and significantly more expensive. It's increasingly rare to find a gas sation with a kero bowser pump.

White spirits: This term covers a number of types and grades, some with a boiling point of up to 200c. Currently it's 50c a litre more expensive than petrol if bought in 208L drum lots. Has a reputation for being a good cleaner and forms the base of many "injector cleaners". Thins well.

One thought is to trial the white spirits because the boiling point was excellent therefore it might outperform petrol thinned blends. If power increased, then economy would also improve. Whether it's worth 50c a litre extra is the unknown quanity at this point. Perhaps someone is/has tried this?

Please add any thoughts.
Thanks.

peter1
14th August 2012, 11:26 PM
One thought is to trial the white spirits because the boiling point was excellent therefore it might outperform petrol thinned blends. If power increased, then economy would also improve. Whether it's worth 50c a litre extra is the unknown quanity at this point. Perhaps someone is/has tried this?



Yes, I have tried White spirits. I was given an IBC with about 250L Left in it which I used in a couple of different Vehicles.

*** Paragraph deleted by Moderator - not relevant to the topic ***

I have also used a lot of petrol as my main blending/ Thinning agent and found many of the traditional claims and information to be wrong about that. Some just defy known properties of internal combustion engines and fuels but still they are instilled in veg legend.

*** Paragraph deleted by Moderator - not relevant to the topic ***

:D

tbird650
17th August 2012, 11:42 AM
Today I was able to prove that our ULP starts to boil at 40c. This is in contrast to that what is currently available in the US.
See this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7AkcjnCTVU) demonstrating that US gasoline boils at 76.6c. Talk is that US gasoline has an ethanol content, so it looks as though their fuel recipe doesn't contain the light boiling point fractions.
This appears to explain the why some people are able to use more ULP in the blend and others, like me, pin the content to 10percent max.

I'm proposing to boil off the lighter fractions and condense them to be used elsewhere in the workshop. Today I was quickly able to demonstrate that if I heated the ULP to 65c, I could drive of all the light fraction which had their boiling at or below this range. The residual fuel would have a much higher initial boiling point (IBP) and the hope is that is will give superior performance in many ways, i.e. hot re-starts.

tillyfromparadise
17th August 2012, 04:32 PM
Hi tbird650,
You will find that the formula for petrol varies with the season. In the winter there are more volitals that boil at a lower temperature than in the summer. See Reid Vapor pressure (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reid_Vapor_Pressure)

tbird650
17th August 2012, 07:11 PM
Thanks Tilly, a most important piece of the puzzle!
I suppose that raises the question of whether my summer ULP will have a 76c IBP or somewhere in between. Indeed, what will the US winter gasoline IBP be?

While I was testing the ULP today, I noticed the boiling eventually stopped, so I raised the temperature and got more boiling at just over 50c. Finally, I got to 65c and after boiling for some minutes, the fractions were gone and the fuel was completely stable.
Next, I put some of my ready2go fuel in a test jar. This has 10percent ULP content. I was surprised that it didn't boil when heated through 81c.
Perhaps 10percent ULP isn't enough when compared to the total volume? Perhaps some of the volatile fractions had evaporated in my holding drum?

I'll see what tomorrow brings and ponder the next step. Logically, I believe it's undesirable to have diesel fuel with part having a 40c IBP.

peter1
17th August 2012, 09:15 PM
Tbird,

You also need to consider the influence of Pressure.
Under pressure the boiling point will be raised, Under vac the the boiling point will be lowered relevant to atmospheric.
If you have your fuel Pump at the tank pressurising the fuel, the boiling will be likley to be less than if the pump were under the bonnet and the majority of the fuel system was under draw.

tbird650
21st August 2012, 09:57 PM
Peter1, yes it's as you say, pressure or vacuum will have an effect. Thanks for bringing this up, it's good food for thought!

Finally, today I found the time to re-commence testing. I mixed fresh oil with fresh petrol at the ratio of 2:1.
I gradually heated the blend. At 40c, small bubbles began to stream to the surface. More heat increased the bubbling.
Temps were raised till 85c and after 10mins, all the lighter fractions were boiled away and the blend became completely stable at the 85c mark.
Sorry, I didn't record the percent of fuel lost to atmosphere. It wouldn't amount to much in my opinion, just a few percent perhaps at most.
I reasoned that the boiling would be "restrained" because of the viscosity and volume of the oil (66percent), nevertheless I currently believe the fuel as too volatile with the light fractions present. So I'm planning to boil off all the petrol volatiles to 85c in subsequent blends and carefully observe if there's any improvement in the van performance and fuel stability.

Even tiny bubbles in the fuel aren't going to be received well by the IP. It won't inject froth nicely nor will hot restarting be anything but poor. I'm confident that the processing of the low boiling point fractions will yield an improvement..... but we'll see.:p

So, that's where I'm up to with testing. Hope this is helpful. Stay tuned.

tbird650
23rd August 2012, 08:25 PM
Ok, so testing went really well. I've driven twice on two separate days. Approx 2hrs duration.
Starting was as good as one could wish for. Power was up, plus there's a smoothness in the way it runs.

Because there would have been residual fuel remaining in the IP, tank and filter when I swapped to the new spec blend, overall the fuel will improve with each subsequent fill.

Should testing continue to improve the engine behaviour and power, I then want to investigate ways of removing volatiles to the 85'c mark. One thought is to heat the petrol using a water jacket with 230v water heater and thermostat. The volatile fractions could be captured with a condenser and used elsewhere in the workshop. I'm cautious about heating petrol as it's vapour is very explosive. I believe that even a water heating thermostat contacts creates a spark. Proceed with caution if you're doing this!

Another idea is to put the petrol in an open container in the sun for some hours. How well this would work remains to be tested but it has the advantage of using no electricity.

cuppatea
28th August 2012, 12:02 PM
Very interesting Tbird. Great effort.

tbird650
29th August 2012, 08:50 PM
Thanks Cuppa
I'm still testing when I get time, am happy to share and hope the info is helpful.
I've been able to raise my blend ratio so it gives a good saving. What I'm puzzling over is how to achieve the desired evaporation with the easiest, most cost effective method.
It's looking like a blend can be seasoned in a relatively short time by venting the holding tank and allowing light fractions to escape to atmosphere.
Also, the boiling point of a blend is relative to the content of ULP, so the required extraction of volatiles will differ depending on ULP ratio.

Tony From West Oz
30th August 2012, 01:33 AM
TBird,
I use a 10 percent petrol in WVO blend in our cars. The petrol I get is petrol which the local bike shop empties from bike fuel tanks. In general it is "stale" petrol ie, the volatiles have been evaporated out over time. There is also a proportion of 2 stroke oil in it, but that is fine in a diesel. I supply 2, 20L drums and swap out the full one with another empty I bring along for that purpose.
Contact a local bike shop, and offer to take away their old stale fuel. Just impress on them not to put degreaser in with the stale petrol. Offer to supply the drums and pick up regularly so that they never run out of a place to put stale fuel.

Try it out as a blending agent.
This should overcome your need to boil off the volatiles.

Regards,
Tony

peter1
30th August 2012, 02:50 AM
Tbird you should capture the High end fractions and distill them out and use them in your petrol engines.
Bleeding them to the atmosphere is both wasteful and poluting.

I have been working on distilling WVO for filtering purposes but in doing so found I could make the oil the consistancy of Diesel or petrol
depending on how they are taken off. From Veg oil I am able to produce a product that will burn in an open container like petrol from it's own vapors. I intend to use this as a thinning agent for my WVO although there is a light diesel fraction that is easy to produce as well. If all the veg were processed this way, the output would be a light diesel substance that would not require thinning at all and be perfectly clean with no additional processing, drying etc. I have my prototype working well now and have just upscaled to a setup to produce 50L batches. This should take an hour or so of hands on time.

I have researched this and found that in decades past people were able to get diesel and petrol like substitutes from Veg oil but it seems the info was was sparse and no one really followed up on it. It may be something you would be interested in giving a go as it certainly beats the cost of petrol, isn't hard to set up once you know what to do, it's cheap to run the process and can be done in volume sufficent to run vehicles.
From what I can tell so far, it should be possible to use nearly any vegetable or mineral base stock with only minor variations to the tuning of the setup.

tbird650
30th August 2012, 09:47 AM
Great idea Tony. I have two friends who run bike shops so I'll see what they say.

Peter1
I'm not keen on wastage either. To improve the harvesting of light fractions, I pondered on whether condensing them in a recycled icebox would be worth the effort.
However, I also have been doing distillation of recycled mineral oil to diesel by thermal cracking. I want to run the wvo through in a similar fashion.
I've made enough from mineral oil to test run the van and what was clear was there were way too many volatile fractions in the sample.
At least some of the collected sample was ignitable from its' vapors.
Currently I'm struggling getting consistency with temperature in the oil fired burner. Are you using electricity? It seems like it would be easier but costs more.
What temperature are you heating to? For mineral oil it's around the 400c mark so a serious amount of heat needed unless vacuum is used.

tbird650
30th August 2012, 08:35 PM
Most interesting. Thanks.

I've tried cracking plastic too. On my first run I got wax, about 6-7litres of it. It was then I realized I needed a reflux to feedback the distillate till it had been cracked to a liquid fraction. By the time I built the reflux and condenser array, I'd decided to use 90percent mineral oil + 10percent plastic as feedstock. This yielded my best result with a sparkling amber fuel. However, the writing was on the wall for the test rig as it was wood fired which was inefficient and cumbersome. I needed a better heat source, cheap or free. I decided to have a try at an oil fired turk burner with a small scale retort, continuos feed. Once I'd solved insulation issues and devised an oil spray system, the unit produced huge amount of heat though more work is needed to stabilize temperature. The turk howls like a hurricane! Efficiency isn't one of its' stronger points either. The turk chewed through a litre of oil in 25 minutes... plus runs a vacuum cleaner(on blow).... and a 16cfm compressor was supplying air for the spray.

In reality, I've really only identified ways that don't work... or don't work efficiently enough to warrant the time and effort.

What method of burner control have you devised? Is it drip feed or spray?

By the way. Good news on the way the van runs with the light volatiles removed. I drove 3 hours round trip today with 2 stops. I couldn't wish for better. I'm optimistic that this solution is what I've been looking for. More testing to come to find the limits!

tbird650
31st August 2012, 08:54 PM
The smell is like nothing I have come across before. It's exactly like smelling salts if you have ever had a whiff of those. It literally almost knocks your head off and then burns your nasal passages.
That smell!... like sulphur, sounds the same as I get with wmo cracking. It sure is pungent. You don't want any on hands or clothes!



This isn't inefficency, it's simpy consumption. Yu need fuel to make heat and these are quite efficent at doing that. If the thing dosen't smoke when you are running it, it's efficent. Veg produces roughly 10Kw per litre so your burner is a modest 25? kw ruoughly which is pretty good.
I have built a few diferent designs, my big turk has run over 400Kw/h. I can throttle it down to just over 10 and designed it to do 200 but found with a bigger blower it would do more. I'm going to build one that does 1000Kw/ hr just for a bit of fun.
I have been using old, expired LPG cylinders for most of my retorts and for the turks. Are these your vessels of choice too? The 1000kw would be fun. Quite a spectacle!

I put the airfeed tube as deep in the burning chamber as I can get it then just feed the oil into the airstream. Once the burner is preheated, the oil will vaporise in the burner. If you set up the air entry angle right the thing will run excess air and the burn will be completely clean. By putting a valve on the air inlte as well as the oil feed you can get a good controlability on the output.
I have a throttle valve on the blower plus a flap to dump all/some of the air volume as an option. I just picked up a multispeed fan which promises to be quieter and easier on the current draw. (Yet to be properly tested). Currently my turk has 1.5" inlet and 3" out.



I only use dripfeed. I can get away with gravity on the small burners/ output but use a fuel pump for when I really crank them up as the backpressure will tend to blow the oil back and starve the burner. I recently got a new higher pressure blower and tapped a fitting near the output and another in the drum I feed the fuel from. As the backpressure is highest near the blower, this tends to compensate the burner pressure and give a slightly positive pressure in addition to the effects of gravity.
This still isn't enough to overcome the demands at over 200Kw output but it gets me higher outputs than gravity alone.
Ah!. There's been one of my problems with gravity feed. The oil stopped flowing fast enough which restricted heat. Your solution is excellent.
Any oil pre-heating before it gets to the turk? My oil feed is 8mm.




The one thing with what we are doing is we can be truly fuel independent. If something happened that veg oil became unobtainable, We still have a way and means to produce our own fuel from sources that will always be around. I'm looking to this to be able to produce my own fuel of a quality that new
vehicles can run on and as a way of making a Biodiesel equivalent without the need for the chemistry I have achieved that already, now is just a matter of getting hold of some larger retorts and putting that 200Kw Burner to work. .
WMO is around everywhere and easy to get. I have a wrecker sitting on over 600L and growing till I want it. This is real easy to crack back to a diesel or petrol equivalent as you would have seen. I think I'll be getting so much petrol I'll have to get an SI car to use the stuff.
Fuel independence is certainly one of my goals. As you'd know, there's a wide range of raw material that fuels can be extracted or recycled from. Turbulent times may well be ahead. As one source dries up, I want the flexibility to move onto the next. I have offers of plenty of raw wmo too. I'd want the processing properly sorted first in any case. It's great that you've tested cracking wvo. I'd reasoned that it would be possible but hadn't got far enough with trialing anything, though outside sits 500Litres of wvo as I write.

dagwill
17th February 2013, 09:59 AM
also now running a gemini that i use blends for,, hot restarts are not good. After reading yourthoughts on getting rid of light fractions ,today i will paint a jerry can black and leave 20ltrs [ulp ] in the sun and see what happens

tbird650
19th February 2013, 08:11 AM
As an update to my boiling point tests for ULP, I tested again now that it's mid summer. The initial boiling point (IBP) was exactly the same.
I was surprised as studying the subject, showed that IBP was supposed to vary because of the ambient temperatures the fuel was used in.
Perhaps the IBP varies between antarctic and tropical conditions and the figure doesn't change so much on a seasonal basis??
Food for thought...

Tony From West Oz
19th February 2013, 10:40 PM
As an update to my boiling point tests for ULP, I tested again now that it's mid summer. The initial boiling point (IBP) was exactly the same. Was the fuel from the same can? Fuel composition may vary with the seasons and the climatic zone

I was surprised as studying the subject, showed that IBP was supposed to vary because of the ambient temperatures the fuel was used in.
Perhaps the IBP varies between antarctic and tropical conditions and the figure doesn't change so much on a seasonal basis??
Food for thought...

tbird650
19th February 2013, 11:24 PM
I tested ULP I bought 2 days before, so it was a fresh as it can be. It's been about 5months or so since I last tested ULP and that was bought fresh at the time.

Tony From West Oz
20th February 2013, 10:58 PM
In that case, is it possible that the two ULP samples could have different compositions, with less volatiles in the one for warmer weather? That could explain the results you attained in your 2 tests.

Regards,
Tony

tbird650
21st February 2013, 05:40 PM
The result was a surprise. I was convinced that the 2 samples, both of which were bought fresh 5 months apart, would exhibit distinctly different IBP.
The fact that the IBP tested identical, presents the possibility that the compositions don't vary between seasons.

For the benefit of blenders, please test your local ULP and report here. A test can be as simple as heating a glass jar of ULP using hot water. Monitor with a thermometer and keep adding hot water till bubbles appear. The info could be invaluable. For example when comparing ULP blend practices, a recommendation could vary if IBP was pegged at a different point.

cotton top
24th March 2013, 11:58 AM
From Veg oil I am able to produce a product that will burn in an open container like petrol from it's own vapors. I intend to use this as a thinning agent for my WVO although there is a light diesel fraction that is easy to produce as well. If all the veg were processed this way, the output would be a light diesel substance that would not require thinning at all and be perfectly clean with no additional processing, drying etc. I have my prototype working well now and have just upscaled to a setup to produce 50L batches. This should take an hour or so of hands on time.
.

Hi Peter,
I realize that it's a long time since you posted this post, but would you be so kind as to elaborate on exactly how you're processing wvo to produce light fuels...... are you pyrolizing and condensing the vapours, if so, what percentage of output do you achieve and at what condenser temp and primary retort temp,......are you using catalyst and/or reflux chamber?
Sorry, lots of questions, but I'd like to have a go. I don't much like chemical reactions because you're relyant on somebody else for the chemicals, and it's easy for big brother to shut off the supply.

Regards

Cotton Top.

tbird650
26th March 2013, 08:58 AM
Hi Cotton Top

Hopefully Peter will respond with the info. It's been a few months since he last posted.

I'm planning on testing wvo in my prolysis machine. The hope is that it will crack to lighter fractions in the same way that hydocarbons do.
No doubt you have seen my blog. I'll be updating there so keep an eye out.

cotton top
26th March 2013, 05:28 PM
Hi tbird650,

I'd love to view your updates on your blog BUT, I have absolutely no idea what that means, or how to access it, any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, I presume that "tbird650" refers to a Triumph motorcycle,.......what year?

Regards,

Rob.

tbird650
26th March 2013, 08:07 PM
Cotton Top, sorry I should have given the address earlier.
Fuel from waste oil & plastic DIY (http://diydiesel.blogspot.co.nz/)

Re the bike. Yes I've had a '61 Tbird once upon a time. Now I have numerous bikes including a '74 Trident, '41 Indian amongst others but the bike that's been taking all my time over the last few years is a '73 Bonneville dragbike. There's another blog on that, which is itself another story...
Triumph Bonneville 750 Nostalgia Drag Bike Excalibur (http://triumphbonneville.blogspot.co.nz/)

timorcoco
26th March 2013, 11:30 PM
tbird , cottontop ,
you may be brave enough to try " cracking" plastics and risk exposure to lethal , persistant chemicals ( PCB's PAH's ) ,
but PLEASE keep clear of the neighbours !
. . . . and remember , your neighbours include all lifeforms on this planet .