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Topics - Simtech

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Listeroid Engines / Using dessicants to dry fuel
« on: June 16, 2012, 08:44:25 AM »
Through my work I have access to a LOT (5-10 lbs every two months) of silica gel beads.  The beads are fairly large, about 5mm across - they're out of cannisters we use to keep the vent air for the 400 gal hydraulic oil reservoirs dry.  Because of the design of the cannister when the silica gel is used up or contaminated with hydraulic oil fog badly enough they're thrown out. 

I've already figured out how to clean the beads of the hydraulic oil film (a quick bath in acetone) and I know I can regenerate them easy enough, but can I use it to dry out gasoline/diesel/WMO or will the fuels dissolve the silica gel beads and contaminate my fuel.


Mods, if this is in the wrong area I apologize.

Listeroid Engines / Whats the minimum load a diesel motor should run at?
« on: January 25, 2012, 06:13:14 PM »
How low can you load a listeroid before it begins to cause problems (not getting warm enough, coking up the injectors, etc)?
50%?  25%?  10%?

I've got a possible line on a 12/1 here in my local (ish) area.  Even derating it to 10HP it's putting out ~5000watts at max output.  

At 50% load its about 2500W.

After rectifying and conversion by a (in my case a Midnite Classic 200) charge controller thats:
208A at 12V
104A at 24V
52A at 48V
34A at 72V

At 48V and 72V to a battery bank the charge controller can handle that, but the size of a battery bank to take a 48V/52A or 72V/34A charge as its C/10 rate is rather large (and expensive).

I'm wondering if I reduce the load on the listeroid to match the charging ability of my planned battery bank I'm going to regret it down the road with increased maintenance problems.

I hope that made sense.

I also posted this on the other forum, thought you might all find this of interest

In my research to find a inexpensive means to clean waste motor oil I found a series of papers written around 1925 on using sodium silicate to clean it.  The gist is that SS of a 1.38 specific gravity is added to WMO at a 1 to 16 ratio.

It'll settle out the particulates to a underlying water layer, evidently with great efficiency and speed.

One paper is here:

And below is most of the text of another:

Purification of Mineral Oils.

Mineral oils which have been used for lubricating the crank cases of internal combustion engines, for insulating electrical transformers or for oil-immersion switches become contaminated with finely divided carbon which cannot be removed by filtration. The recovery of these oils will, in the future, assume a greater importance than it has in the past.

Van Brunt and Miller found that by agitating mineral oils con-
taining such colloidally dispersed carbon with a relatively concentrated
silicate solution they could cause it to pass completely into the silicate.
As the silicate solution is much heavier than the oil it is a simple matter
to throw the oil upon a body of water and allow the silicate droplets
as they quickly settle out to carry the carbon past the interface into
the aqueous layer, leaving the oil free of suspended matter. It then
remains only to remove the light fractions by heat to obtain an oil ready
for re-use. They worked with oils from the crank case of internal
combustion engines.

Na 2 0, 3.3Si0 2 at various concentrations yielded a sludge which sepa-
rated slowly from the oil at room temperatures, as indicated by Figure
149. It is evident that higher concentrations are more effective. Fol-
lowing this suggestion, Na 2 0, 3.3Si0 2 specific gravity 1.38, was tried in
various amounts. Relations between silicate and oil by volume indicate
that there is nothing gained by using more than 1 : 16 for sedimentation
at ordinary temperatures. Raising the temperature to 80 C. brought the
whole clarification of a 5 cm. layer of oil lying on water within 5-6
minutes and amounts of silicate solution down to 1 per cent were found
to be sufficient for some oils.

Contaminated crank-case oils are not simple suspensions of carbon
in hydrocarbon liquids, and some were found which did not yield to
this treatment, either hy failing to clarify or hy producing a sludge
which was not easily dispersed hy water. All these were brought into
line by adding a mixture of acid manganese resinatc and stearic acid
in the proportion of 1 : 200 and 1 : 1000 respectively, followed by a
1:40 by volume addition of Na 2 0, 3.3Si0 2 , specific gravity 1.38. A
single exception was an excessively dirty sample which required twice
the amount of silicate.

Fig. 149. Reclamation of Crank Case Oil.

Left hand tube Oil poured on water. Center tube After the silicate and
suspended materials have dropped out of the oil and passed into the water layer.
Right Same after settling.

Better dispersion of the sludges and hence easier operation of
mechanical devices was secured by using a still more concentrated sili-
cate, Na 2 0, 1.6Si0 2 , specific gravity 1.67.

The method of agitation found to be most satisfactory is to break
up the silicate into small droplets, just enough to give complete contact,
but not enough to form an emulsion which may occur if too much agita-
tion is used in a relatively clean oil. This can be prevented by adding
carbon black. Air was also found to be essential and must be broken
into fine bubbles during the period of agitation. The authors comment
that this is undoubtedly connected with the fact that not only the more
polar bodies in the oil but also the silicate tend to enter the oil-air
interface. They promise a theoretical discussion of the action of the
silicate solution from the point of view of colloid chemistry.

This should be of great interest. The observation may, however, be
made that the process seems to be essentially a wetting of carbon, col-
loidally dispersed in the oil, by a silicate-soap solution heavy enough
to settle rapidly from the oil and soluble enough to be easily dispersed
in water.

The presence of resin or oleic acid would guarantee the formation
at least of traces of soap and acidic materials ; manganese or other
metallic salts would cause a precipitate in the concentrated silicate
which might, like the carbon black, favor the separation. This, of
course, is not a complete description of the observed phenomena, but
the process affords a striking example of the ability of silicate solutions
to wet surfaces which completely repel water, as well as their part in
suspending carbon after bringing it into water. Soap solutions and
other alkaline salts were tried and found greatly inferior to the silicates.

Other workers have used silicate solutions to wet colloidal carbon
and removed the sludge with the aid of centrifugal apparatus. While
oils of satisfactory quality may thus be produced it is neither so con-
venient nor economical to completely free the sludge from oil as in the Van Brunt method.

I read an article on Electrokinetic remediation for contaminated soils and immediately thought of potential use for WMO purification.

Basically the idea is two conductive plates with a strong DC charge applied and the contaminants move to the plates to be removed. 

I am NOT in any way a chemist/chemical engineer nor do I play one on TV so I have no idea if this would work, but has anybody here ever tried it?  It sounds like a fun experiment to do.

I'd do it myself but I'm in the middle of a move from Tacoma to the outskirts of Gig Harbor and I won't have a workshop set up for months yet.

Listeroid Engines / Adhesives and sealants
« on: November 30, 2011, 06:33:49 PM »
I've been designing the cogeneration domestic hot water system and I've realized I need a flexible sealant for the many tank penetrations thats capable of handling water at or near boiling.

The coolant coming from the engine thermostat will be @ ~195 degrees not to mention the heat derived from the exhaust.

Silicone isnt a sealant, its a gasket material:  There's no strength to it at all, however it has excellent chemical and temp resistance.  I dislike silicone immensely - I'd never use it in a permanent installation.

The only two common sealants that I know of are 3M polysulfide and 3M 5200 (polyurethane), both of which I've used on my boats.  (BTW, the boat-life polysulfide is crap - dont ever use it)  Both take up to a week to cure.  Both have excellent adhesion, 5200 is incredibly strong.

3M Polysulfide has a service temp of 180F
3M 5200 has a service temp of 190F

There are some exotic epoxies that I've used professionally like Duralco, but they're fairly expensive.  Duralco has a service temp of 450F and is still very strong yet flexible enough to tie it into a knot.

So, what other commonly available sealants are available that can withstand boiling water?


Hello from Tacoma WA.  I'd like to tap your collective knowledge and experience before I plunk down a large bit of my limited cash.

I need an absolutely reliable powerplant for backup power to be used for weeks or even months at a time as our only source of power.  It would have to be left with my extremely non-technicial and somewhat frail wife while I left for work each day.  It would be feeding a 1500AH battery bank via a grid-tied 4000w inverter/charger.

The most important thing is to provide power for my wifes 780 watt home peritoneal dialysis unit (her kidneys dont work) which is used 9 hours every night and MUST have reliable power, the unit will be plugged into the inverter/charger full time - basically turning the battery bank/inverter into a huge UPS for her.

We'll be moving into the outskirts of the Gig Harbor area, from all accounts from my coworkers who live out there power outages are frequent and long (up to 2 weeks).  
My plan is when the power is out I'll use a transfer switch to power the house from the inverter/charger and use the powerplant to charge the batteries.  I want to stay with a 120V charging system to use the pass-through capabilities of the inverter/charger.  I also plan to have a 100amp marine alternator as a backup power source.

Also, I'd like to do cogeneration of domestic hot water - I have a few ideas based around using a old gas-fired hot water heater.

I'm thinking my bet bet is to get a kit engine since I'd be tearing it down to learn/clean/desand it anyway and I'd save a few bucks.  I'm drawn to the heavy-metal engineering of the listeroids, the relatively quiet operation, durability and the ability to burn almost anything.  I'm also a bit of a disaster prepper and a listeriod would fall in perfectly with that.  I'm perfectly willing to drive up into lower British Columbia to pick one up if I have to - I've driven the AlCan highway 5 times now in my various moves to/from Alaska.

I'm a simulator technician at a full motion flight simulator and have been a tinkerer/DIYer all my life so I dont see any problems with the technicial aspects of the project.

So, what do you think ?

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