Engineering Question. (Moved to Alt. Energy Forum)

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by Bladesmith, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. Bladesmith

    Bladesmith Well-Known Member

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    I'm no engineer. Not even close, and lots of numbers make me queasy. So a question for someone better at it than I.

    Ethanol, moonshine, juice, whatever you want to call it, is a relatively easy to make renewable resource made from plants. Got that part.

    Car engines cannot tolerate more than, what, 15% ethanol in the gas mix?

    So.....what would be required to build an engine that ran only on Ethanol? Or is ethanol alone, not combustable enough to use as fuel?
     
  2. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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  3. Bladesmith

    Bladesmith Well-Known Member

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    Hmm wonder if anyones experimented with Graphites, Ceramics or Cerametals, or things like Titanium?

    What I'm hearing from you is that a radical new design for ICE's is required. Isn't that sort of thing what America is supposed to be great at?
     
  4. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I doubt worth it for ethanol, but remember reading about ceramic direct injection diesels being developed by Isuzu. Ceramic allows them to run at higher temps and thus greater efficiency. Isuzu has some pretty good diesel technology.

    As to ethanol, why not ask VW, or GM or Ford that manufacture and sell cars in Brazil for use with 100% ethanol. Obviously they can make cars that work with ethanol. Arent some vehicles that are sold in USA NOW that can use something like an 80% or 90% ethanol blend or regular gasoline whichever is available? Not sure why if 90% not 100% but that may be politically unwise. Big oil has lot of clout at the moment and lot money. Plus we cant yet manage to produce enough alcohol to make a 10% blend for all distribution.
     
  5. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    Cars will run on ethanol but the power output is poor and there will be corrosion problems. It's not a matter of getting engines to run on ethanol, because they already will.

    If there was a way to produce enough ethanol to meet our needs at a price that would be competetive with gsoline then I suspect that the problems with corrosion and power output could be dealt with. Until that happens it is a moot question.
     
  6. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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  7. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    You can outfit todays vehicles all the way back to vehicles from the 20's.
    I think the ones back pre 70's were better built to handle ethenol. One of the things that is a problem with running 100% is valves. They burn up in no time at all. You need stainless steel valves and valve seats to b able to burn alchohol. Plus you have to lubricate the fuel to prevent siezure. Not sure what kind of lubricant will work in it.
    Th older vehicles that the bootleggers used to use used flathead engines which had the valves in the sides of the pistons. They were built heavier and heartier. Hell you could run a flathead 8 cyl with a blown radiator and not blow the engine.

    Biggest problem with alchohol today is its goiing to cost you 3 -4 bucks a gallon to produce and getting the sugar is going to be next to impossible without getting nailed by BATF. IF you go the route of getting a license to produce alchohol, your going to have to cough up the tax per gallon which is something like 10 - 12 bucks in tax.
     
  8. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    If the ethanol is "denatured" there is no tax. To distill ethanol pure enough to use as fuel you would need to use benzene as an extraction agent. Benzene tainted ethanol would be considered denatured.
     
  9. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    ROTFLMAO really you think so?? Boy tell the folks around here that! No you don't have to use benzene. In fact 100% is not desired in a alchohol fuel. You do not ever want to run 100% alchohol, you want to run 85% max.
     
  10. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    Who's the fuels expert here, you or me?
     
  11. Bladesmith

    Bladesmith Well-Known Member

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    Which leads to my other thought. Is it possible that Big oil and Big Auto are in cahoots to keep America from growing their own fuel?
     
  12. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    I have no clue as to your qualifications. I know that you don't have to use benzene in alchohol. I would say the bootleggers probably know a hell of a lot more than you do.
     
  13. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    I doubt it. It takes a lot of time and effort to gather and process enough organic matter to make a gallon of ethanol. I suspect that it is just not cost effective enough to do. Let gasoline go beyond $5/gal and we'll start seeing alternatives created in people's backyards though.
     
  14. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    Yeah, and Bootleggers don't need fuel-grade ethanol either. The problem with distilling pure ethanol from water is that ethanol & water make a binary azeotrope that boils at a lower temperature than either water or ethanol individually. Therefore, the ethanol will contain no less than 4% water, which is unacceptable for fuel use. Here is the cure:

    ******
    This problem is solved by taking advantage of another azeotrope. The benzene-ethanol-water ternary azeotrope boils at a lower temperature than the ethanol-water azeotrope. By introducing benzene to a water ethanol mixture, the water can be extracted through distillation leaving behind the pure ethanol which contains a minor amount of benzene as an impurity."
    http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/chemistry/azeotrope-woc.html
    ******

    I have a four year degree in chemical engineering and retired from a 24 year career in the petroleum refining industry. Bootleggers indeed!
     
  15. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    Thats funny they seem to get by with using it as fuel. Like i said its been used as fuel for decades straight out of the still.
    And i don't know about your vehicle, but alchohol burns fine with 15% water in it.
    Now in dragster fuel, you might end up with needing 100%.

     
  16. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    You'll never find any water in a commercial fuel. Oil companies are also concerned about ethanol drawing water from air. Even the smallest amount of water is unacceptable.

    The other problem with ethanol, even pure ethanol, is that it's vapor pressure is much lower than gasoline. The are concerned about inadequate fuel/air mixing with fuels with too much ethanol.

    I've never seen a car run in wiskey-grade ethanol. I don't doubt that the car will run on it, but I do question how well the car runs and what kind of corrosion problems it creates.
     
  17. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    Why not ask bill elliot he ran whiskey grade for years.
     
  18. mohillbilly

    mohillbilly Well-Known Member

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    HE HE HE!!!!


    done that, alternitive fuel that is! Not the drinkin kind!!!!!!!! (well, it does taste good, nough said)


    Ran it in 2 old dodges at about 75%, for about 2 weeks. No issues developed. The damn cars run GREAT. Had to stop doing it though, the demand for it elsewhere was more beneficial, if ya know what i mean..........
     
  19. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    Tritec Motors 1.6L
    Engine Model Otto cycle, 4-stroke gasoline or alcohol
    Induction Naturally aspirated
    Layout 4 cylinders in line, 16 Valves
    Displaceament (cc) 1598
    Valvetrain Type, Drive & Layout
    16 valves, SOHC, roller rockers with hydraulic tappets. Chain driven with hydraulic tensioner.
    Bore x Stroke (mm) 77 x 85.8
    Compression Ratio 10.5:1
    Cylinder Blocks - Material Grey Cast Iron
    Cylinder Heads - Material Aluminum alloy A319 - High Silicium Content
    Fuel Delivery System Multipoint Sequential Fuel Injection
    Engine Management System
    Siemens 2000
    Valve Diameter (mm) 30.23 Intake 23.26 Exhaust
    Maximum torque (Nm @ rpm)
    Obvio ! special specs – original starts at 149 @ 4500 RPM
    Maximum Power Output (kW @ rpm)
    Obvio ! special specs – original starts at 85 @ 6.000 RPM
    External dimensions Length x Width x Height (mm)
    590 x 465 x 675
    Weight of engine (kg) 104

    This is one of Obvio's models. They have been producing alcohol-fueld vehicles for 9 years, and exporting them.

    Keep in mind that these will not be the first alcohol-fueled vehicles to run on American freeways.

    My first car was a Rambler Classis with an aluminum block, and it would run on alcohol or kerosene.

    My sister's family drives a model-T which was originally designed by it's manufacturer to run on alcohol, and it still can.

    :)
     
  20. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

    Messages:
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    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Tritec Motors 1.6L
    Engine Model Otto cycle, 4-stroke gasoline or alcohol
    Induction Naturally aspirated
    Layout 4 cylinders in line, 16 Valves
    Displaceament (cc) 1598
    Valvetrain Type, Drive & Layout
    16 valves, SOHC, roller rockers with hydraulic tappets.
    Chain driven with hydraulic tensioner.
    Bore x Stroke (mm) 77 x 85.8
    Compression Ratio 10.5:1
    Cylinder Blocks - Material Grey Cast Iron
    Cylinder Heads - Material Aluminum alloy A319 - High Silicium Content
    Fuel Delivery System Multipoint Sequential Fuel Injection
    Engine Management System
    Siemens 2000
    Valve Diameter (mm) 30.23 Intake 23.26 Exhaust
    Maximum torque (Nm @ rpm)
    Obvio ! special specs – original starts at 149 @ 4500 RPM
    Maximum Power Output (kW @ rpm)
    Obvio ! special specs – original starts at 85 @ 6.000 RPM
    External dimensions Length x Width x Height (mm)
    590 x 465 x 675
    Weight of engine (kg) 104

    :)