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Messages - MachineNLectricMan

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Listeroid Engines / Re: maybe we should make our own engines ?
« on: January 02, 2022, 04:37:15 AM »
This older topic may be more relevant now that all the Covid shortages are going, no matter whether they are artificially staged or real.

Casting iron requires a lot less technology than one would ever expect. The melting can be done in a cupola furnace, and the molds are "green sand". Many modern folks have built cupola's in their back yard from scrap yard materials. In the old days of steam engines, cupola's were also often assembled from locally scavenged materials. They can be run on coal, coke, or wood charcoal. Coal can be used directly but is internally converted into coke during the run. Lime or limestone is often used as the "flux". You can bet this is the technology most of the Indians are using on the listeroids. It is interesting to note that in the steam engine days before coal came into use, England nearly destroyed it's forests casting iron from charcoal. It takes a lot more charcoal than coal or coke to cast the same amount of iron, although charcoal is a renewable fuel. Charcoal is also easy to make for the backwoods folks.

Green sand casting is also an old art. The sand often scavenged locally and purified with simple water processing. Horse manure was once used as a binder and is believed to be the process used to cast the Liberty Bell. There are many other binders such as starches, cereals, molasses, and natural substances used. The only real requirement is that the binders and additives do not create an oxidizing atmosphere when the molten metal hits the mold. They also must decompose a "limited" amount so the mold can be easily broken away from the casting but remain solid enough to contain the molten metal before it solidifies. The used sand is recycled with limited additions of new additives.

The sand molds are made from patterns that in the old days were usually made from wood, and often hand carved. The wood is usually varnished or painted with something to make it last longer in production. The mold frames can be made from wood or metal. There is a lot of manual labor involved in making sand molds. When duplicating an existing casting, "shrinkage" must be added, so does all machining stock  allowances. This prevents direct pattern making by reverse molding processes unless the duplicated object is "built up" or coated thick enough to allow for the shrinkage and machining. Yes you can make a mold pattern with nothing more than a pocket knife and wood cut off from a tree!

The cupola's are made from metal casings lined with refractory materials. This is the most challenging part for the back woods craftsman. Ordinary concrete will not work and is dangerous. Ordinary firebrick will likely melt as most is only rated for 1800 deg. F. or so and you will be hitting 2500 deg. F. or even a little higher in the cupola. High alumina is what you use. Kaolin clays can be used to DIY make these refractories. The easiest thing to do is order some high alumina castable or rammable refractory from a foundry supply or industrial supply.

You will also need some type of blower. The size depends on the size of the cupola but they are easy to find and can be DIY built and run off any electric motor that has the right HP and RPM.

All of the material handling equipment can be DIY assembled as well. Cupola's can be run as long as you feed materials into the top of them, or in batch runs if you single load them.

There use to be a lot of books about cupola furnaces available. They essentially won the west here in the US. Simply put, if they were not reasonably easy to build and use in "backwoods" type conditions we would not be getting Listeroids from India.

Now the "formulas" for cast iron are very well developed in today's world as metallurgy is a very mature science. However, they were not in the days of the original Lister engines. Back then cast iron "recipes" were more like secret moonshine making formulas, and some of the foundry men likely did make shine on the side in the moonlight. They usually read something like "add x amount of scrap from x metal yard, x amount of pig iron from x source only, x amount of wrought iron scrap from x source" and so forth. Use the wrong materials and you will have hard brittle cast iron that is fragile and not machinable but will last forever if not broken. Use the right formula and you get ductile and machinable cast iron you can make crankcases, cylinders and rings with. Today, cast iron can be made from low carbon steel from scrap yards. Enough carbon to change it to cast iron is naturally added in the melting process. Adding old cast iron castings (broken up) helps too.

I have actually built aluminum, steel melting and heat treat furnaces. They are really not that technically difficult. Casings are welded together, and anyone who has worked cement can deal with installing the refractory linings. Also keep in mind that you need at least 2450 deg. F. to get a minimal casting quality and you can't get that with natural gas, or propane and just a blower. You can get up to about 2300 but that wont work here. You can get that temp if you use a regenerative system like the foundries use but that is more complex than most DIYer's want to deal with and requires expensive high temp aerospace metals, or a large brick chamber switching system. Fuel oil might work theoretically, but again more complex. Most modern steel melter's use arc or induction. While induction is within reach of some of the more educated DIYer's it requires a substantial power source for Lister sized casting work and is not likely well suited for backwoods settings. My goal here is to present some methods that can be used in non-modernized "bush" settings.

And Please, NO TROLLS accusing their intended "prey" as being a troll.

Everything else / Re: Lithium cell balancing
« on: October 31, 2021, 12:29:46 AM »
I have a lot of experience with lead acid battery technology, to the point of in depth knowledge of their manufacture, and it is rare that a new technology comes along that is better, but I am convinced that the LiFePO4 is the way of the future. Lead acid technology is extremely sensitive to abuse and depth of discharge. There are some that will last twenty years if correctly managed, but one screw up and that is lost. Be prepared to spend 10k to 20k dollars to get a decent sized bank with the 25% max depth of discharge limit for this lifespan. There are (or were) only about three companies in the world that made true deep discharge batteries that are a spin off from the old submarine battery technology. Only two remain in North America, one is in Kalifornia, the other in Kanada. (spelling no accident). There were a few overseas. All other manufacturers offer deep cycle imposters which are basically modified engine start batteries labelled as deep cycle.

The LiFePO4 batteries however are not nearly as sensitive to depth of discharge as long as they are never discharged below 2.5v per cell, and most batteries are capacity rated with this limit as fully discharged. They need to have electronic managing to prevent this but one control can manage the entire bank. There is the 0 degree temperature limit for charging (but not discharging), but really...... how hard is it to provide minimal heating for a battery bank? If well insulated in winter, most banks will be self heating anyway. These batteries are less than 1/4 price of the same size equivalent of lead acid (at the 25% DOD limit!). The LiFePO4 technology does not have the thermal runaway problems that the other lithium technologies have. This is one of the reasons Tesla has recently chosen this technology for future cars. You pretty much have to intentionally heat them artificially to get a thermal runaway.

Balancing? I am humored to see all of the electronic "contraption" circuits people have come up with for this. Turns out that there is a DIY or "redneck" solution that is extremely simply. The only difference between lead acid and LiFePO4 is that lead acid technology "self balances". Both battery technologies actually required balancing! When charging lead acid batteries, after a certain voltage is reached the electro-chemical reactions begin to cause water to be broken into Hydrogen and Oxy.. This process allows current to leak through the charged cells that charges the cells that are lagging behind. In LiFePO4 technology this must be provided artificially, but does allow voltage mode charging the same as finish charging lead acid batteries. It also turns out that 4 LiFePO4 cells charge at the same voltage as 6 lead acid cells which allows the same charger to be used!

OK how do we do this? Turns out that low voltage zener diodes have a very wide "delta zener" range, which all established electronics designers are warily aware of.  A 3.3v zener gives just the right amount of bypass current at 3.6 volts to emulate lead acid self balancing. And just like the contraption circuits using mosfets, etc out there, the zeners are connected across the terminals of each cell so that the zener current direction is shorting the cell. (diode band towards the positive). After fully charging, disconnect them as they will leak discharge some of your battery capacity. Use 3 or 5 watt 3.3v zeners. Also, with the size of the battery banks used in off grid, the zeners will act as self fuses if anything goes wrong and you overheat one. I.E. The diode will fail shorted then mechanically melt and open.

Keep in mind that discharging below 2.5v or charging over 3.7v per cell will cause dendrites to begin to form internally which will cause a major cell failure if that condition continues very long. Same with charging below 0 C..

In my opinion, the price of these will continue to drop and they will become almost "disposable". The caveat is only china is making them. Tesla is currently getting them from china, but Tesla is also in the process of build a US plant to make these! Question is, can anyone in the public get these from Tesla, and will Tesla's prices be reasonable and affordable? China has very dicey quality issues, some times you can get good stuff, sometimes really bad stuff and you never know which on any particular order.  Also, individuals have no market leverage when ordering from china and may have difficulty in correcting any quality complaints.

Listeroid Engines / Re: crack in 6/1 head
« on: October 30, 2021, 11:20:32 PM »
I'll tell you how we use to repair thousands of cast iron bearing and gearbox casings back in the old oilfield days. Simply grind the crack out and run brass into the crack. You have to make sure you grind all of the crack out or it will continue to grow after it is repaired. It takes some skill to run the brass into the crack with an Oxy Acet. torch but when you get the hang of it (like judge Roy Bean) it is fairly easy. Brass is somewhat soft and will tolerate more shock and abuse and is great for water jackets and things that vibrate a lot.  For stronger repairs in bearings I used nickel based spray metal, which takes a lot of skill and experience to apply correctly but will reliably repair the nastiest cast iron. There are many varieties available for different purposes, some are machinable. Brass is also the best way to repair fuel tanks.

All of the good welding rods for cast iron were taken off the market decades ago, I once used them. The stuff they have now days is pure crap.

JB weld and the likes are intended for emergency temporary repairs only.

If I had my old equipment up and running I could do this work, but that may be another year or so.

Listeroid Engines / Re: From a 12/1 to a 16/1 to a 30/2...and a question
« on: September 08, 2021, 12:09:51 AM »
Hopefully your balancing your EGT's under at least 50% load. The two injector pumps won't necessarily be linear with each other with load response. I.E. If balanced at half full load, they may be unbalanced at low loads. Half load or more is where the majority of the fuel is burned so that is what counts.

Also, some of those Chinese IR thermometers can be quite inaccurate depending on the condition of the surface they are aimed at, the focal point, the absolute temperature and differences in how much heat is being conducted away by the metal parts. IR's tend to be more accurate at high temps. (I.E. half load or more). Drilling and tapping some holes and installing thermocouples directly in the exhaust stream is the only accurate way to measure EGT's. Permanent T-couples with those old fashioned passive read out  meters made for t-couples can also be used to quickly detect engine and fueling faults before they cause damage, and don't require additional electricity or batteries to operate.

If your going to a lot of effort to balance the fuel delivery, I hate to see the time and effort wasted by hitting a mark that is actually way off balance while appearing to be balanced by inaccurate measurement tools.

General Discussion / Any steam engines left?
« on: September 07, 2021, 09:25:04 AM »
More nostalgic than anything else but would also be good for emergency emergency power. I.E. You can't get any fuel for your normal emergency Lister power. We had an ice storm once that was so bad you couldn't buy any fuel anywhere as there was no electricity anywhere to power the station pumps. Outages lasted a couple of weeks. Doesn't take but a few days to use up your reserves. If anything really bad happens there won't be any natural gas either to power those inefficient gas generators everyone is being conned into buying. Thanks to the tree huggers (whose tree's are now all burning down), the natural gas distributors are no longer allowed to burn natural gas to power the compressors that send the gas to you the customer. It's all electric now. Texas is a prime example of what can happen, seems the tree huggers got control of things there somehow before last winter. Next thing they'll have to use mule powered compressors with EPA emissions controls on the mules.

While extremely inefficient, steam could get you by until you could get other means back running. After all, you could burn just about anything to "raise steam". Our pioneers had been known to burn dried cow and buffalo chips, and even cook doing that. Not sure I would like my dinner meat smoked like that though.

Six to eight horsepower would be good. Steam engines are a bit "cool" anyway. Steam still remains a good way of heating too, and in that use is just as efficient as some modern means. This gives a double use for the boiler.

Waste Motor Oil / Conditioning waste motor oil
« on: August 19, 2021, 08:12:15 AM »
Waste motor oil is a good source of energy for a Lister. The only drawback is the abrasive wear that this fuel causes and the premature ring and cylinder end of life. There may be a good solution to this though and that is Vacuum Distillation. This process is a lot easier to set up than imagined, requires low temperatures and could likely be conducted using only engine coolant and/or exhaust heat. Refineries use this process a lot and old motor oil is often recycled using this method. Since the abrasive character of burning used oil comes from the "ash" produced mostly from the additives, it is likely that vacuum distillation would easily remove most of these. Only additives that form "Azeotropes" would remain but reduced if the operation uses a "reflux" bubble chamber between the boiler and the condenser.

The higher the vacuum, the lower the temperature required. Since the system is sealed, theoretically once the vacuum is pulled, it stays as long as an equal amount of distilled oil is removed for the waste oil that is added to the boiler. However, if any oil breaks down, or any molecular changes occur, additional vacuum or evacuation flow will likely be needed to maintain the correct vacuum. The product must be pumped out to keep the seal. The feed can be orifice and needle valve regulated since the vacuum will suck it into the retort, just keep the feed and pump out balanced. A fluid level glass, float, or indicator will also be needed in both ends.

Also, playing the higher vacuum lower temperature option will result in more water coming over the still if there is any in the oil. Other more volatile materials will also come over. As long as they are fuels it doesn't matter, but if destructive additives start coming over, the purpose of the whole operation becomes defeated. The key will be finding the vacuum that gives the best balance.

The vacuum process might be useful with waste veg. oil too, but probably in reverse. I.E. Using vacuum distillation to remove water and taking the purified product from the retort side of the operation using a staged retort.

Assuming most Lister users likely have welders, and since low cost flux core migs are so common now days, construction should not be an issue. Silver solder, Phos/copper and other techniques used in HVAC work would also work. It is also possible to assemble such as system without any welding or soldering, but perhaps not as efficient. Old 20 pound propane tanks for instance that may no longer be safe at 110-120 PSI in the summer would be OK in a vacuum system as long as they are not in really bad condition. Use one for the retort and one for the distillate collector. Set the retort tank in the top of that barrel you use in that thermo-syphon cooling system. You might even use two smaller barrels, one smaller top barrel that just fits around the propane tank retort, then the coolant flows into a lower barrel for more cooling. Insulate the top barrel to keep more heat for the vacuum distilling input.

Another more efficient method would be to weld or braze a DIY heat exchange coil or loop into the inside of the tank used for the retort, and circulate engine coolant through it. If designed correctly thermo-syphon would also work for the coolant flow, I.E. larger tubing and fewer coils and bends inside the retort tank. Input the coolant into the top coil and exit from the bottom coil to a radiator or barrel.

Most electric vacuum pumps sold pretty much everywhere for automotive AC work will give the proper vacuum, and there are dozens of ways to rig a mechanical vane type vacuum pump to a Lister, preferably using a clutch of some type. If you are running a generator, the electric method is easiest to set up and control. Whatever method, just rig a regulator so the vacuum pump only comes on when the vacuum is not high enough, and use a tank to "store" some vacuum between vacuum pump cycles so the system stays balanced better. If you just leave the pump running you will needlessly wear it out soon, and burn a lot more extra energy than you would like.

In summary, the idea is to set up a self distilling waste motor oil fuel feed for the Lister, not sacrifice engine life, and take advantage of a high energy fuel source that is widely available. Waste motor oil usually has more energy than diesel per gallon.

Also bear in mind that there is a close cousin to this process called Steam Distillation. While this would also likely work, it would be more complex requiring a boiler, and/or system steam circulation pumps and so forth, slightly higher temperatures, and may waste more energy. The steam serves to reduce the "partial pressure" and creates a type of "artificial" vacuum. Then you have to add a water separation stage.

I will eventually get on of those round tooits and do this myself like I eventually do with everything else. In the mean time, why withhold this from the rest of the Lister folks? Since most folks here are pretty smart and creative, here is something to experiment with!

Engines / Re: Makeshift repairs and babbit
« on: June 19, 2021, 12:46:06 AM »
Actually some if not all modern engine earing shells still use a layer of babbit over the backing metal it serves to cushion shock loads and provide crankshaft protection. How thick depends on the application. Ford may have had something to do with thin shell development but Henry's Model Ts and As had poured babbitt bearings.
As for pouring an emergency repair bearing it is indeed a satisfactory repair when there is no other option. As an example there are no big end shells available for the Z4 Banfords engines. When I rebuild one the rod goes to a specialist who pours babbitt directly in the rod and adds a shim pack so it can be adjusted down the road if needed. Same would work for a CS type but when replacement shells in every conceivable undersize are easy obained and cheap there is really no reason go another route outside of an emergency repair and try to find Babbitt in your home town, might as well order a bearing as order babbitt.

Actually it is a thin layer of a special aluminum alloy applied over a layer of copper on the soft steel backing shell for most modern shell bearings. Some manufacturers cut corners and do not use the copper under-layer.  The copper under-layer also was once used when babbit was used for the bearing material as it helps the bonding of the babbit to the steel.

You have to appreciate the simplicity and effectiveness of some of the old technologies. With so much of the world going down the toilet now days, we may find ourselves reverting back to some of these older methods in the near future.

Do you have another pump to try? Possibly the pump position that would result in 200 RPM, produces no fuel?

I'm going to go out and run my engine and see how slow I can run it. I'm pretty sure it will go down to a very low RPM. Checking now.

Update: Tried low RPM by pulling up on the shut off lever. The not warmed up engine was 100% unwilling to run at low RPM. I could hear the injector's clank, so I'm pretty sure it was working. After warming it up, I tried again. The engine would maintain low RPM, but only fired every other time. Even though the injector clanked every time. The engine was difficult to control at this speed, and would occasionally need an open rack to get enough fuel to initiate combustion. Eventually, it slowed down to the point where the injection event brought the engine to a fast stop-n-reverse. At which point I engaged the compression release and the thing rolled backwards for a bit.

That 200 RPM video you posted did not seem to have much of an audible combustion event, and the RPM seemed very even. Mine would speed up and slow down around each combustion event.

Thinking aloud here, it's entirely possible that the compression is insufficient to ignite a tiny fuel quantity, and/or the indirect chamber has insufficient oxygen in it. Hence the 8 cycle running. I really do think the injector is working, as I can hear it.

If the Indian video is real, maybe they have higher compression or adjusted the timing to be closer to TDC, so the engine won't reverse like mine did.

Remember that injectors "pop" open when a certain pressure is reached, then they "pop" shut when the pressure drops below a certain level which is a lot lower than the "trip" pressure (I.E. Hysteresis). This prevents dribble and gives a good well defined injection cycle. You must also note that steel is "elastic" with a modulus of elasticity of about 30 million PSI, this includes your fuel injector delivery tubing! The longer the delivery tubing, the more elastic "storage" it has.  At such low fuel deliveries, the tiny amount of fuel on the first injection may be just enough to expand the elasticity in the tubing, but not accomplishing enough pressure build to trip the injector. On the second injection, the fuel already "stored" in the tubing plus the new injection fuel is enough to trip the injector, so the engine fires.

Have you invented a "Hit and Miss" diesel? ;D

Listeroid Engines / Re: Powerline 24-2 and Genhead for sale
« on: June 17, 2021, 01:47:52 AM »
Selling my Powerline 24-2 and 20KW Genhead.

Located south of New Orleans.

Message me for details.

Last I knew, south of New Orleans was the Gulf of Mexico. Kind of hard to drive in that direction.

Original Lister Cs Engines / Re: Iister CS 6/1 electrical problems
« on: June 17, 2021, 01:25:16 AM »
Sounds like relay contacts are wired backwards. Looks like its it's signalling for compression during the start, then signalling for decompression after startup, LOL. If the solenoid is energized to actuate the decompression, and the relay is "off" on start, the the NC contacts should be wired to the soleniod. If the relay is actually "on" during the startup timout sequence, then the NO contacts should be wired to the solenoid.

I use to do a lot of work with very complicated "Ladder Logic" relay control systems back in the 1980's, and these things are actually fairly simple to work out. The really old style relays are even easier because you can usually see the contacts very easily and note what "state" they are in at any time in a sequence.

Engines / Re: Noisy CS 8/1
« on: June 17, 2021, 01:13:08 AM »
While this topic has aged a little, I'll add my 2 cents. Piston "slap" is a common annoyance in many types of aluminum piston engines. I have an 8/1 and the slap go's away after it warms up. The extra clearance is to allow for more skirt expansion as the engine gets hot, but is annoying in a cold engine. Also the engine may have excessive piston clearance even for aluminum. The noise can be unnerving and sometimes will cause a person to mistakenly look for a serious engine problem that doesn't actually exist. Better to be safe than sorry though.

You can actually knurl piston skirts, or hand stipple them to decrease the clearance. This actually causes more oil to be retained on the piston skirt too. This was an old race engine building trick in the older days. There is a proper way to do this though, so let a machine shop do this.

Engines / Makeshift repairs and babbit
« on: June 17, 2021, 12:49:50 AM »
   I was reading some posts about makeshift bearing journal repairs and there were surprisingly few mentions of babbit metal. Our early American railroad westward expansion was built with babbit bearings. The unique feature of this material was easy field repairs without needing machine shop equipment or having to keep a large inventory of spare parts. My grandfather use to often talk about this metal. In today's times with shortages all over, maybe it's time to re-visit this material.

   There are many different variations of babbit alloys for high speed, low speed, heavy loads, ect.. If I remember right, the metal expands slightly when it solidifies, so it adheres well to clean and properly prepared bearing case bores. Sometimes these bearing case bores were just rough cast using green sand molds at the cast iron foundry with no machining needed before the babbit was poured in. The shafts were simply coated with some greasy release material or special paint, centered in the bore and the metal poured in. Clay was often used to seal the bottom and any gaps, and if an oil hole was needed, a coated steel, or iron rod was inserted before pouring. After pouring, and when cooled, the shaft was removed easily if everything was done right, and the proper clearances were hand scraped into the bearing bore, along with smoothing out any imperfections.

   Also, the metal was extensively recycled in the field. When a bearing got excessively worn, the old metal was removed, often by melting, then it was re-melted and some extra metal added to make up for metal lost from wear and any melting slag, then re-poured back into the bearing case to form the renewed bearing.

   If babbit can support locomotives weighing more than 100 tons, it ought to work well for any emergency Lister repair if you choose the correct alloy, and I believe the early Lister's actually did use babbit. Henry Ford was likely responsible for the demise of the widespread use of this metal because he needed interchangeable parts for his auto manufacturing.  Although babbit was used in the early replaceable bearings, it was not well suited for thin coatings inside replaceable steel bearing shells.

   Sometimes modern technology throw's the baby out with the bathwater. Seldom does new technology actually completely eliminate the use or need for all of the older technologies. There is always some nich that only one type of technology does the best. We should think of new technology as adding another useful tool to the technology "toolbox", but not going and hastefully dumping out all of the other tools that will always have some special uses.
Modify message.

Listeroid Engines / Re: New to listers, is a knock normal?
« on: September 21, 2017, 08:08:38 AM »
In my previous post, the idea was to be on the safe side and make sure the knock wasn't from something bad first.

I have far more diesel engines than SI engines. When tinkering with these engines the first thing is to check the injectors to make sure they spray a completely atomized mist with all ports.  I also check the valve train and the compression. If all is well in those area's, the next thing I like to check is the type of smoke the engine makes under a higher load. It should be black without any hints of white smoke. If there is some white smoke, advance the injection timing a little at a time until it just turns all black. I always notice an increase in the "diesel knock" when this is done. Too far advanced is not good either as the engine not only knocks louder, but also generates more internal heat without any gain in power or fuel economy. This shortens engine life. Timing by the book doesn't always give the best performance either. You do have to be sure the engine is in good shape to time by the smoke as a bad injector, low compression, bad valve timing, or poor valve lash setting will also cause white smoke. Some smaller generator engines require you to make custom injector pump timing disks to change the timing. I've done that too, and with very pleasing results.

Now the indirect injection Lister's use a pre-combustion chamber system. There is also another type of system called an "energy cell" which is quite different from the Lister design. While the energy cell system is known to be a little finicky about over fueling, I am suspicious that it would do very well with WVO, better than a normal pre-combustion chamber design. A good experimental project to look into some day.

Listeroid Engines / Re: New to listers, is a knock normal?
« on: September 20, 2017, 08:34:11 AM »
Could also be a rod bearing. Better check your bearing clearances.

If it is piston slap, that does have a distinctive sound, and as noted is far worse on air cooled engines.

Injection timing could also be too far advanced.

Listeroid Engines / Re: How Slow can a CS go?
« on: September 20, 2017, 08:28:15 AM »
Well, these engines might be easy enough for one of us to start, but maybe not if the spouse needs to start it while your away for periods of time in the winter, and the engine has no electric starter yet. In addition to that, the engine would stay warmed up if it was simply "idled".

I disagree on the fuel consumption. In spite of a little more blow by, I think the difference would be dramatic. You would definitely want to use an engine with an oil pump though. At slower speeds, combustion would have much longer to complete. So even if compression was slower and ignition was a little lazy, these effects would be canceled out by the longer stroke time giving combustion extra time to do the same job. I doubt there would be any injector dribble with the type used on these engines, even at ultra slow RPM. I think we are largely in the territory of empirical knowledge here, where the only way to know for sure is to test things out in a well designed experiment. Using full synthetic non-detergent diesel crankcase oil would help a lot at slow speeds as well. Does anyone make such an oil! Probably not.

I specified pump diesel as a baseline comparison fuel. It is true that biodiesel, being an ester with methanol, would have a higher cetane and burn better, but with lower BTU's per gallon. WMO and WVO would not be the same unless mixed with generous amounts of pump diesel or Bio.  I always thought it was funny how people would get into making biodiesel to get away from using petroleum oil based products. They didn't realize that all of that methanol they were using in the biodiesel manufacturing process was............ a by-product of oil refining! Sometimes it's made from natural gas reforming. I think the oil Barron's were getting excellent laughs out of that, and were probably actually promoting the use of biodiesel! My late father was a chemical engineer who designed refineries nearly all of his life.

You would be surprised at what you can make diesel and/or gasoline from. The Germans had very little oil reserves during WWII, (except maybe from some nations they conquered) they made most of their liquid fuels from reforming coal. Their processes made far better diesel than gasoline. That might explain why most of their tanks ran on diesel, while most of our's ran on gasoline. Now days, it is theoretically possible to make gasoline, or diesel from almost every drop of a barrel of crude, although no refiner would ever do that due to the extreme costs. There are many installations currently making gasoline and/or diesel from natural gas. Very little fuel is "straight run" anymore.

This is a good time to work out these details. Next time the price of oil goes up, maybe 5 years or so from now, we'll all wish we had alternatives. I am suspicious that the next time the pricing of a barrel of crude goes viral, it will take on biblical pricing proportions. By then, I hope to be mostly solar. Of course, by then, the fed's will probably have figured out how to tax for the use of the sun as well.

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