Guess my long winded posts must be more boring than even I thought!
In veg oil circles in it's heyday I was probably the biggest proponent of blending out there. Blending seemed to be the poor cousin to 2 tank conversions and Biodiesel. I thought it was the best of both worlds.
No 2 tank systems to much around with, no extra processing of the oil... at least nothing like the work that goes into Bio.
I have done conversions, quite a few for friends whom where not mechanical y confident as well as a few of my own Vehicles and I have made literally tens of thousands of liters of Bio. I know what's involved in both things intimately and I still think the poor cousin being blending is the way to go where you can.
Again, coming back to the theroy if it's not complicated, expensive time consuming etc, it can't be any good, I think one of the reasons blending never got the air time the other 2 did was money.
back in the heyday there were a lot of people selling 2 tank conversion kits and parts, just as many selling Bio production kits and parts and they were all making money for Jam.
What is there to spend in Blending? Nothing more than drying and filtering your oil with the sock filters and a fish tank pump. No easy serious profits to be made there.
And again, no complication, expense or glory factor and having all this modification or equipment to show your friends.
Wen I started out I was using 20% ULP in the oil. Worked great for like 3 weeks. Then I had trouble. The weather suddenly warmed up real fast with some out of season hot days and the car wouldn't go. having half a Clue I worked out it was vapor lock or at least air in the lines somewhere. The car was heat soaking when I stopped for a short while and the ULP with the ethanol in it ( 10%) was boiling out. At first I did the mental arithmetic of how much alchol was in the mix and thought it wasn't enough to do anything. Then I thought some more and worked out just 1Ml of boiled Booze would make 1litre of air in the system. And it got worse.
I was running this in a Merc which have a pump on them that would suck a golf ball through garden hose.
Pull a vac on a liquid and what happens? It boils out at a lower temp. Alcohol boils at 70o C which is way below the temp you'd expect to find ouner the bonnet on a hot day when it's already 30oc+ so the booze could have been cooking off at 50 quite easily. Wonder the thing ran at all really.
Solution was simple but 2 step. Back off the ULP and don't go anywhere near that alcohol laced rubbish. I think that is garbage fuel in any engine and has given me trouble in every application I have used it.
As " Pure"" Petrol is getting harder to get thanks to the omnipresent " Environmental" cry babies, I found a way to treat regular petrol to eliminate the alcohol and vapor problems.
Wash it. Literally. With water.
I put 20L of ULP in a 25L drum and top it off with water. Give it a good shake and in about 10 min there is a clear separation line. I give it about half an hour for good measure and then Drain the booze from the bottom or pump the Petrol off the top. Alcohol is water based and Miscible. Petrol is oil based and not. The water holds the Alcohol and the petrol is purified. Works and works well.
But what do you then do with the water?
You put it in the water injection system of course because thats' where you want the alcohol and it allows the water to give the engine a nice kick in the pants with the extra fuel value you are injecting. The percentage is low so when I want a strong mix for the WI system, I go buy the E-85 and instead of washing the alcohol from the petrol, I was the petrol from the alcohol. Same thing, 20L e-85, 5L water. Now you get a heap of clear and a little pink instead of the other way around. Drain off the booze, Dilute to the engines taste with water and all good. The petrol can go in your oil for blending or the lawn mower which won't attract moisture out of the air and corrode the shit out of everything. E-85 is the cheapest way I can buy alcohol for my WI system and takes very little effort to purify this way.
E-10 - E- whatever creates vapor Problems when Blending, pulls water out the air in stationary engines, gives crap economy in vehicles and stuffed all the seals in the fuel tap and carby of My Harley. Not even good for burning weeds as it's too volatile. Cleaning it gives 2 valueable products and no waste..... or problems.
I have found that 20% ULP in the vehicles I have owned is too much. It creates a loss of power and causes the engines to rattle through overly advanced timing.
People denounce blending with ULP saying it makes the mixture hard to light because Diesel works on cetane, the ability to light on compression and Petrol works on octane, the ability to resist compression ignition. They therefore argue that Petrol in a diesel is a bad thing.
Typically, they parrot the same thing the last guy said without ever thinking the theory through for themselves.
I have played with high performance engines. at 10:1 in a spark engine, your well aware of trying to keep pre ignition under control. With computers that can pull the heck out of the timing you can get away with it but still 12:1 would be way out there on the ragged and unreliable edge. A Diesel at the lower mid compression range is going to be 16:1. many run around 22:1 and some cutting edge engines are closer to 30:1.
If it takes " trickery" to get a 12:1 engine to not eat itself, how do people think that same fuel is going to resist or be slower to light off in an engine doing 16:1 and above?
It is illogical and makes no sense. It's also the very property I count on when I used it in oil to bring the WVO back closer to the light off point of regular diesel on engines that have not had the timing changed.
I like blending with ULP for several reasons..... It's cheap, it's thinner than anything else, it's available and it helps wit the timing as mentioned.
Given the choice, I'd blend with Kero or turps. Their Drawbacks for me are nearly impossible to get in bulk as from a servo and costs double or more than ULP when and if you can get it.
Blending with Diesel is not great to me. You are starting with the base viscosity you are aiming for not something thinner. To me, blending ith diesel does not give you thin oil, it gives you thick Diesel. It would be impractical to bring oil down to diesel viscosity with ulp but I would say you would do a better job in the real world than you would with Dino.
I don't blend with ULP over 15% I also found triple blends to work the best when things get real tough..... WVO/ ULP/ Kero-turps. Once I hit the 15% ULP, the rest would be kero from there.
Mercedes advised up to 40% ULP in their old OM617 Diesels ( till late '80's ) but the temp for that was similar, about -30C. Their rules as I found in practice was back off the ULP as the temp gets warmer.
No need to run 15% in summer, 5% may be fine. Listen to what your vehicle is telling you and get a feel for it. I say anything over 5% looses power for the benifit of thinner oil and easier starts. Once the engine is ru8nning and warmed up, over 5% ulp is detrimental to performance.
Mate of mine works on military aircraft and get what is drained from their tanks which is Jet-A1 or JP4 ( or is it JP-3 ?? Can't remember now but it's glorified Kero with additives, anti corrosion and Cold from memory) He " reverse blends" as I say and puts something like 30% oil in the jet fuel. He's running a late model common rail diesel on this mix and has about 4 years now with no problem. He reckons the thing runs far better on this than pump diesel. I tried regular blending with the drums he gives me from time to time and it works great. I also went to the airport and got some Jet-A1 but it was still more pricey than petrol and the anti cold additives ( Liquid to -40 , yes MINUS 40) make the stuff hard on your hands and leave a thick powdery residue if you spill or splash any.
As mentioned I have also blended with Turps which came in the form of a drum of " Printers press wash". Used o get than from a place that got it by the IBC and always left close to 100L in the bottom of each drum.
that was good to blend with, just like kerosene. Tested paint thinners, much like weak ULP but too expensive for practical use unless you could get dregs from drums or the like.
To me blending is a very over looked and under utilized way of running oil . It requires virtually no extra work over just filtering and drying the oil and you can " Tune" it to the weather and conditions fpr best starting and performance of your engine.