Can a gas engine run on alcohol?
Chapter 1 Alternative Fuel Source – Are you as tired of the “gasoline shortage” as I am? Long lines at the pump, shorter service station hours and higher prices are here to stay. Rationing has affected various areas of the nation. Unstable, international politics threaten our continued dependence on foreign crude oil.
- Politicians and oil executives predict the situation to worsen.
- Faced with these grim facts, I began to search for an alternative energy source.
- I wasn’t looking for a solution to the entire country’s energy problems.
- I simple wanted to insure that my family and I would have the fuel to power our vehicles when and where necessary, without interference or restriction from Uncle Sam’s energy “experts” or the whims of a greedy oil sheik in the Middle East.
Alcohol fuel is the little man’s best hope for relief from gas “pains”. The all-but-untapped, domestic resource has many advantages. The following is a list of the ones I feel are most significant:
Almost any gasoline-powered engine can be made to run well on alcohol. Only minor and inexpensive modifications to the engine are required. Anyone with reasonable, mechanical skill and common handtools can make the modifications once they’ve learned the procedure. Alcohol can be produced from a variety of organic materials and is a natural substance. Distilling can be done a small scale by individuals or on a very large scale by local companies. And profit generated by production of domestic alcohol fuels will stay in America and will pay American farmers.
With these thoughts in mind, I decided to undertake a test project. The first goal was to successfully convert a vehicle fuel rather than “gasohol”. The vehicle was then to be driven daily to determine was practical for use under normal everyday conditions.
Can you run a diesel on alcohol?
Why is alcohol bad for my diesel? – Alcohol is an enemy of diesel and diesel engines are not engineered to use alcohol-bearing fuel additives. Introducing alcohol into your system in any manner can be destructive and hazardous, potentially causing numerous problems.
- First and foremost, alcohol has a flashpoint of around 65°F, while diesel fuel has an average flashpoint of 150°F.
- Mixing a product with such a low flashpoint in diesel fuel is extremely dangerous.
- Engines run hotter when alcohol is present, which can potentially lead to scarred fuel injectors, melted pistons, and scuffed cylinder walls.
Tanks can wind up with coating issues, sometimes requiring major structural corrections. Alcohol has the capability to remove residue and varnish from fuel systems that have been in place for ages. Eventually, these particles will make their way into the filter or main jet, blocking the engine’s access to fuel.
- What’s more, the alcohol itself can oxidize in the tank.
- This creates a sticky brown residue, one which is significantly more harmful to fuel systems than the typical varnish seen in systems that only burn pure fuel.
- With almost no lubrication properties, alcohol can severely decrease the life of your fuel injection system.
It can degrade plastic, rubber, or even metal parts in diesel fuel systems. Fuel lines can swell up in the presence of alcohol while gaskets and seal materials can start to break down. “Through our continuous testing and ever-expanding experience gained over the years, we’ve come to learn that many alcohols serve as good ‘food’ for both bacteria and other various microorganisms that then produce a stubborn sludge.
Is ethanol fuel drinkable?
Ethanol: Versatile, Common and Potentially Dangerous – VelocityEHS We have all heard of ethanol, somehow, somewhere. But what is it, exactly? How is it used? And most importantly – how can ethanol be dangerous in the workplace and beyond?
(Photo: by Seth Anderson) In this information post from the experts at VelocityEHS, we’ll take a look at what ethanol is, how this chemical is traditionally used, and the safety precautions needed to handle this substance safely. What Is Ethanol and how is It Dangerous?
Ethanol is a colorless, volatile and highly flammable liquid that has a slight odor. Ethanol has been around for centuries, having been discovered as a by-product of fermentation for alcohol. Ethanol is part of the hydroxyl group, which makes it a substructure of the water molecule.
Because of its incredible versatility, ethanol mixes very well with other solvents and water, as well as chlorides and hydrocarbons. Being this versatile, ethanol is used for a great many things – but it can also be quite dangerous. The most common blend of ethanol is E85, which is comprised of 85 percent denatured ethanol fuel and 15 percent gasoline or other hydrocarbons.
Where is Ethanol used in the Home or Workplace? Ethanol is most commonly used in alcoholic beverages; however, there are many more household and workplace items in which it is used:
Manufacture of varnishes Nail polish remover Perfumes Biofuel Gasoline additive Preservative for biochemical samples Medicines Household cleaning products Beauty products Various solvents
Hazards Associated with Using Ethanol Even though ethanol is very commonly used, it is a dangerous chemical. As previously mentioned, it is highly flammable; as such, it has exact which are important to know when using it. While ethanol is consumed when drinking alcoholic beverages, consuming ethanol alone can cause coma and death.
- Ethanol may also be a ; studies are still being done to determine this.
- However, ethanol is a toxic chemical and should be treated and handled as such, whether at work or in the home.
- Safety Practices when Handling Ethanol Ethanol safety guidelines are similar to those for handling gasoline.
- Protective gear is important when handling any toxic substance.
The following should be worn whenever using ethanol:
Respirator Boots Long rubber gloves Industrial aprons Overalls Chemical safety goggles Face shield
Managing Exposure to Ethanol Exposure to ethanol can be in vapor form (breathing it in), skin/body contact or ingestion. All are serious and need to be managed appropriately to ensure more damage is not incurred while trying to attend to the exposure: Inhalation – if you are exposed to ethanol vapors, move to a well-ventilated area to access fresh air.
Contact emergency medical personnel for further assistance. Skin contact – should ethanol come into contact with your skin, gently wash the area with warm water and soap. If the skin is still irritated, seek medical assistance for further treatment. Contact with eyes – if ethanol splashes into your eyes, find a flush station and flush eyes for at least 15 minutes.
Contact emergency medical personnel. Ingestion – lay down and contact emergency medical personnel immediately. Do not induce vomiting as it can create more damage. Do not drink anything else. Safe Ethanol Storage Ethanol is a corrosive substance. If you need to store it, make sure the piping and container are not susceptible to the corrosion ethanol can cause.
The most recommended containers are those made of stainless steel when storing ethanol. Tanks need to have secondary containment, be fire rated and impact resistant, the same as those for gasoline storage. Underground ethanol tanks cannot be placed anywhere near water, and the preference is to have any ethanol storage tank above ground.
Ethanol is very prevalent. If you find yourself coming into direct contact, either through employment or home use, take the proper steps to maintain your personal safety. Follow all procedural steps and take care to wear the proper gear – just because it’s common doesn’t mean it can’t be very dangerous.
Can you make your own fuel alcohol?
Basic Facts About Making Ethanol –
Making your own ethanol is legal. All you need is a permit.You can produce fuel from your own crops. From an acre of corn, you could produce 300 gallons of ethanol.A wide variety of other crops can be used for alcohol-fuel production including apples, potatoes, rye, and wheat. Food waste is another good option, and so are crop culls.You can generate useful byproducts when producing ethanol, including livestock feed.You can find used equipment for distilling ethanol, or if you weld, you can make your own.
Originally published as ” Make Your Own Gas! Alcohol Fuel Basics ” in the April/May 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Richard Freudenberger managed the research facilities of MOTHER EARTH NEWS from 1980 to 1990 and coordinated our Alcohol Fuel program during that time.
Why is methanol not drinkable?
Pearls and Other Issues –
Methanol is metabolized to its toxic metabolite, formic acid/formate. Formic acid is responsible for metabolic acidosis and end-organ toxicity. End-organ toxicity includes primarily retinal damage, and possibly basal ganglia damage. Methanol is osmotically active. An osmolar gap cannot be relied upon to rule out toxic alcohol poisoning. A normal osmolar gap is not reassuring and should be expected in the presence of an anion gap acidosis believed to be related to toxic alcohol poisoning. The mainstay of treatment is fomepizole, supportive care and resuscitation, and dialysis. Dialysis indications include the presence of end-organ toxicity. In the absence of end-organ toxicity, methanol toxicity often benefits from dialysis, unlike ethylene glycol toxicity, due to its very long elimination rate once alcohol dehydrogenase is blocked with fomepizole.
What alcohol can be used as fuel?
A dish of ethanol aflame Various alcohols are used as fuel for internal combustion engines, The first four aliphatic alcohols ( methanol, ethanol, propanol, and butanol ) are of interest as fuels because they can be synthesized chemically or biologically, and they have characteristics which allow them to be used in internal combustion engines.
- The general chemical formula for alcohol fuel is C n H 2n+1 OH,
- Most methanol is produced from natural gas, although it can be produced from biomass using very similar chemical processes.
- Ethanol is commonly produced from biological material through fermentation processes.
- Biobutanol has the advantage in combustion engines in that its energy density is closer to gasoline than the simpler alcohols (while still retaining over 25% higher octane rating); however, biobutanol is currently more difficult to produce than ethanol or methanol.
When obtained from biological materials and/or biological processes, they are known as bioalcohols (e.g. “bioethanol”). There is no chemical difference between biologically produced and chemically produced alcohols. One advantage shared by the four major alcohol fuels is their high octane rating,
Can pure alcohol be used as fuel?
Using alcohol as a fuel source Pure forms of alcohol, such as denatured alcohol, may be used indoors with adequate ventilation. However, some forms may be toxic and need more ventilation due to toxins produced from combustion. The following forms of alcohol are good candidates for use as a fuel source.
- Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) is an acceptable cooking fuel.
- It may be purchased in 70 percent, 91 percent.
- The higher the percentage of alcohol, the better the alcohol will burn.
- Isopropyl alcohol produces a yellow flame and does not burn as cleanly denatured alcohol or ethanol.
- Denatured alcohol is often recommended by manufacturers of alcohol stoves.
It can be purchased online or in hardware stores in the paint section. Ethanol or ethyl is about 95 percent alcohol and is a fantastic fuel for burning indoors. It burns so cleanly that the flame is blue or nearly invisible. Remember that any flame can produce carbon monoxide.
- Although alcohol is one of the safest fuels to burn indoors, proper ventilation is required to ensure adequate oxygen is available for complete combustion to prevent carbon monoxide from building up.
- Be sure to keep a working carbon monoxide detector with a digital readout nearby when burning anything! Alcohol is a great storage fuel and has an indefinite shelf life if stored in a tightly sealed container.
Alcohol will evaporate quickly if left open and lose potency. Alcohol has a low flash point, which means that it catches on fire very quickly. Alcohol burns about half as hot as some other fuels but is a great choice for cooking indoors. It is extremely flammable, but not explosive.