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Ethanol + plant oil/fat = two stroke?

Phil Hawkins
volunteer

Joined: Sep 13, 2011
Posts: 227
Location: Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
    
    8
Just wondering if anyone has ever looked into how one could fuel a useful two stroke device like a chainsaw with ethanol plus  some sort of plant oil (eg: olive oil, nut oil) or animal fat as the lubricant component.


I have a sporadic blog at http://philarly.com/
I twitter via @philarly
                      


Joined: Jan 08, 2011
Posts: 31
Google ethanol industries or organizations. I know there is a bunch out there here in the states alone who could give you the info needed.
Phil Hawkins
volunteer

Joined: Sep 13, 2011
Posts: 227
Location: Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
    
    8
Thanks, I will.  I guess I was coming at this from a self-reliance/self-sufficiency point of view.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
Phil H wrote:
Thanks, I will.  I guess I was coming at this from a self-reliance/self-sufficiency point of view.
I have been testing running a chainsaw using ethanol and peanut oil.  The vegetable oil makes a lot of carbon.  I had to remove the muffler and soak it after running it.  I didn't notice any engine damage when I pulled the cylinder though.  I used 180 proof ethanol or somewhere close to that percentage.  I did notice a small reduction in rpm based on sound and not a tach.  I do have a small engine tach and will use it next time I do a test.  I don't have a still so I only get my ethanol once in a while and in very small quantities.  I think a different oil is needed for my next test.  I am researching which oil will provide the lowest carbon residue.  I know someone that claims he uses his biodiesel cut with ethanol in his chainsaw but I cannot swear that it is true because I have not seen it.  I wonder if hemp oil would work better.


"When there is no life in the soil it is just dirt."
"MagicDave"
                      


Joined: Jan 08, 2011
Posts: 31
I would imagine you would run less rpm's since the chainsaw was designed for gasoline. Alcohol gets its best bang for the buck with higher compression and not so much of a retarded timing like gas takes to keep from detonating at wrong time.
Have either one of you heard of David Blume, "Alcohol Can Be A Gas"?
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
ytram wrote:
I would imagine you would run less rpm's since the chainsaw was designed for gasoline. Alcohol gets its best bang for the buck with higher compression and not so much of a retarded timing like gas takes to keep from detonating at wrong time.
Have either one of you heard of David Blume, "Alcohol Can Be A Gas"?
Yes, I am aware of David Blume.  The homegrown fuel guy right?  He did a series on PBS a really long time ago about alcohol fuel.  How I look at is that many race cars have been running on alcohol for decades so I know it works.  I have run lots of 4 strokes on alcohol but haven't fiddled with a 2 stroke until recently.  I have an older chainsaw motor that is really difficult to find part for so I just use that as a test bed.  I am all for growing my own fuel and ethanol source fodder can be anything that can be fermented.  I bought the plans for a column still and even most of the copper tubing but haven't assembled it yet.  I also have the process for using ethanol instead of methanol in making biodiesel that was done at the University of Idaho back in the early 90's.  My "plan" is to make biodiesel without methanol which made from petroleum or natural gas.  Alcohol is useful as a fuel but using both biodiesel and ethanol will "cover more bases."  Rather than retarding the timing on my 2 stroke I tried changing the fuel characteristics by reducing the proof by adding water. 
I believe that rape seed oil may be better than peanut oil because theoretically it produces less carbon during combustion. 
The game is somewhat rigged regarding running a still though.  I would rather have the opportunity to produce my ethanol fuel without having to get a permit from BATF.  I don't drink and I am not a moonshiner LOL.  I do use ethanol for making tinctures and plant extracts though.  As a fuel, Henry Ford proved it is a viable alternative to petroleum. 
                      


Joined: Jan 08, 2011
Posts: 31
Yep, that would be the guy.
I had worked in a ethanol plant. If ATF was not involved to where we could run straight ethanol, they could increase the efficiency greatly. There is no way to remove the last 7% of moisture (14 proof) with out mechanical means and or lots of heat. Although engines designed to run on alcohol can run on 140 proof alcohol (70%). I am sure you already are aware of this. For those who wonder why we have to have it 100% is cause the moisture will not mix with the gasoline. From the plants they have to mix a cheap denaturant of aprox 5% so people can not boot leg it.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
ytram wrote:
Yep, that would be the guy.
I had worked in a ethanol plant. If ATF was not involved to where we could run straight ethanol, they could increase the efficiency greatly. There is no way to remove the last 7% of moisture (14 proof) with out mechanical means and or lots of heat. Although engines designed to run on alcohol can run on 140 proof alcohol (70%). I am sure you already are aware of this. For those who wonder why we have to have it 100% is cause the moisture will not mix with the gasoline. From the plants they have to mix a cheap denaturant of aprox 5% so people can not boot leg it.
I use molecular filter media to dry my alcohol.  I make 200 proof.
                        


Joined: Jul 07, 2010
Posts: 508
Speaking of people who hae been around for a while in this alternate fuel space reminded me of  Harold Bate who was written up years ago in Mother Earth News for running his car on chicken and pig manure. I found a video  about him
http://www.onf.ca/film/bates_car_sweet_as_a_nut/ ;  
I wonder what happened to the design for his carburator. Can't imagine he is still alive, this video was made in '73 and he wasn't a young man then.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
Pam wrote:
Speaking of people who hae been around for a while in this alternate fuel space reminded me of  Harold Bate who was written up years ago in Mother Earth News for running his car on chicken and pig manure. I found a video  about him
http://www.onf.ca/film/bates_car_sweet_as_a_nut/   
I wonder what happened to the design for his carburator. Can't imagine he is still alive, this video was made in '73 and he wasn't a young man then.

The biggest problem with methane/propane/butane is the fuel tank.  The combustion qualities are excellent but storage is a problem.  Compressing it into a liquid so you can carry enough to make it a worthwhile conversion is that the fuel tank would need to be incredibly over engineered because a gas bottle that large with liquid methane would make an incredibly huge explosion if it were ruptured in an accident.  I do like the idea of running engines from bio-waste methane though.  Using that system on a stationary generator would be ideal especially if you have lots of manure available.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
Phil H wrote:
Just wondering if anyone has ever looked into how one could fuel a useful two stroke device like a chainsaw with ethanol plus  some sort of plant oil (eg: olive oil, nut oil) or animal fat as the lubricant component.

According to my most recent research biodiesel is all that is needed to mix with the alcohol to run in a 2 stroke engine.  I will have to make a trip out to a friend's farm and pick up some biodiesel from him and try it out.
Steve Palmer


Joined: Jan 28, 2012
Posts: 18
According to an old timer who used to race small boats with 15 horse engines, the mix was ethanol and castor oil. I don't know the percentage but the power gains were pretty impressive over standard high test gasoline and two stroke oil.

This guy was over 70 in the late seventies and cast babbit bearings in the ford v-8 and 4 cylinder flatheads as his source of retirement income. I just love the advice from old timers.
Satamax Antone
volunteer

Joined: Sep 24, 2011
Posts: 878
Location: Southern alps, on the French side of the french /italian border 5000ft high Southern alpine climate.
    
  12
In france, we used to race two strokes moppeds with castor oil and methanol.


God of procrastination (Pratchett's style) )
Jan Warnqvist


Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 1
I have been doing experimentation professionally on ethanol as a fuel both in 2-stroke and 4-stroke applications. The recent years I have been working with biodiesel and raw materials for biodiesel so let me tell you this:
Castor oil or any other bio-oil is not suitable as a good lubricant in a two-stroke system. This is due to that these oils naturally have a too high content of inorganic salts which causes deposits inside the engine. And the deposits always occur where they should not be; on the piston rings, the cylinder head, the exhaust gate, the inner skirt of the piston etc. There is only two ways out of this problem. The first one is to chemically alter the bio-oil into full ethanol solubility. The second one is to add the necessary additives to the processed oil. But on the other hand - then you will have a first class lubricant, micsable in all proportions of ethanol and/or gasoline. A commercial success ? No. How to process the oil ? Ask me.
jan-anders.warnqvist@glocalnet.net
 
 
subject: Ethanol + plant oil/fat = two stroke?
 
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