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Thread: Best blend thinner discussion

  1. #1
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    Best blend thinner discussion

    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.

  2. #2
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    Re: Best blend thinner discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by tbird650 View Post
    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 ***

    Last edited by Tony From West Oz; 15th August 2012 at 01:07 AM. Reason: *** Paragraphs deleted by Moderator - not relevant to the topic ***

  3. #3
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    Re: Best blend thinner discussion

    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 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.
    Last edited by tbird650; 17th August 2012 at 10:43 AM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
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    Re: Best blend thinner discussion

    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

  5. #5
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    Re: Best blend thinner discussion

    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.

  6. #6
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    Re: Best blend thinner discussion

    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.

  7. #7
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    Re: Best blend thinner discussion

    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.

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

  8. #8
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    Re: Best blend thinner discussion

    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.

  9. #9
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    Re: Best blend thinner discussion

    Very interesting Tbird. Great effort.

  10. #10
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    Re: Best blend thinner discussion

    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.

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