Blends for DI engines

Single Tank WVO systems and blending SVO WVO to thin it.

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Blends for DI engines

Postby John Galt » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:53 pm

I'm using a mix of up to 20% canola oil, 80% ULSD, plus 0.2% acetone, and 0.2% pure gum turpentine, in a 90 litre, [24 gallon] tank.

I premix to 50-50, add acetone, turpentine, then into the tank for final dilution. When it's below -20°C I warm the mix up to liquid temperature before adding to the tank.

The usual winter blend is 10% canola, 90% #1 winter ULSD, + 4oz acetone 0.2%, 4oz turpentine 0.2%, the mix stays clear to 30 below.

I'm used to the loss of power in the winter, with the hubs locked in, driving on snow, the lubes [even synthetics] thicker, and lower BTU winter diesel.

When I first added the 4oz of pure gum turpentine to the mix, the engine sound was slightly different, seemed to have just a tad more 'diesel clatter', and a noticeable power increase. It's almost like summer driving power in the winter.

PGT seems to be doing the same thing as the high priced 'cetane improvers'.


The research I reviewed at http://www.frybrid.com/docs.htm
indicated that blends in excess of 20% VO may cause problems with engine deposits on cold start-up.

There are lots of folks who use greater percent VO blends, but I don't see the point of risking damage to my very valuable engine just to save a few dollars. 20% savings is good enough for now.

Engine is '89 3.4L turbo DI, 2 years on VO-ULSD mix.
Bosch/Denso mechanical inline fuel pump.
The engine, fuel filter, and injector lines are preheated to the temperature of a warm summer day before starting.
Emissions Test: HC 9ppm, Opacity 1%, CO 0.03 %, CO2 1.6 %
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Postby SunWizard » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:24 am

I guess we need a post here describing DI and IDI and the differences for VO use, I will start one. A note for this thread is that in general, DI engines are not as tolerant of as high % of VO due to issues of it getting past the rings at startup. So its good to keep the VO% low like John is.
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95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
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Postby WyoSam » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:42 am

Sun,

I noticed in your tag line you're using a blend in your 81 Mercedes. How does it fair in your climate? How/why did you decide to go with a blend rather than convert to a heated two tank system?

I have a 1980 Landcruiser with a 2B engine, since it doesn't have a bypass, the purge times on a two tank system would be about 10 minutes. So I'm debating where to go from here, blending, making biodiesel - or even selling it and getting something that makes a better VO conversion. I hate sell it, it starts and runs really good, but it isn't made for interstate driving so in my situation it isn't as functional as it is just a toy.

If I could do a blend and not feel I was damaging the engine I'd try that, but it seems anything over 20% VO is risky?

Sam
Vegistroke V3
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Postby SunWizard » Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:07 am

It purrs like a 28 year old german, and likes the blend. Starts up fine even at 20F, but I don't use it much below that due to snow I need my 4x4. Over V20 is not as risky on a mercedes since they have a special feature in the pre-chamber that works like a glow plug on all the time. You can try various blend % and if you are not smoking on startup and hard acceleration, you are lower risk so you have a good indicator. There hasn't been enough testing of blends to say what % is OK for what engine, except for the mercedes where there is lots of test data provided by all the guys like me on forums doing the long-term experiment.

It has gone about 10k miles over a year on blend without even having to change the stock fuel filter. Like you I clean my VO very well with a centrifuge.

Its mostly my wife's car, and she was afraid of switches or valves. So blending is safer for her, she would probably forget to do something everyday. She also does mostly short trips where a 2 tank rig wouldn't get hot enough to run on VO much, so blending saves more $.

The only drawback is my wife says she doesn't feel "cool" when driving it. She says she feels like an old nerd.

Edit- since I am an old nerd, I like it. I remind her that she is getting the equivalent of 150-175 mpg of diesel, then she likes it too.
Last edited by SunWizard on Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
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Postby WyoSam » Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:22 am

SunWizard wrote:It purrs like a 28 year old german, and likes the blend. Starts up fine even at 20F, .....It has gone about 10k miles over a year on blend without even having to change the stock fuel filter.


Do you need to make the blend with warm/hot vegoil outside your vehicle tank and then add it to your tank, just to be sure there is a good blend without separation? I assume your D10 is diesel and K10 is kerosene? How much difference is there between kerosene and winter diesel, or could you use 20% winter diesel and add Amsoil Flow Improver?

Blending, even if only 40-50% would save me a lot. I've just been afraid to ruin a great running little engine.

Sam
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Postby SunWizard » Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:27 am

I make blend in a 35gal. truck tank with a 13 gpm Fill-rite diesel 12v pump on top . I put the winter Diesel in first (which I store up during winter for summer use) which is 50% kerosene, then I add the VO, then I stick the spout of the pump into the filler on the far end, and run the pump for a few minutes to get it well stirred. Then I have 35 gallons of blend ready to go in my "fuel station".

I don't know how well flow improver would work. I do have a visgage viscosity meter if you ever want to come down here and do some greasy science tests with it.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
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Postby WyoSam » Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:51 am

SunWizard wrote:I do have a visgage viscosity meter if you ever want to come down here and do some greasy science tests with it.


Thank you, might have to do that, maybe bring you a barrel of clean oil just to make space for more here.

Regarding viscosity, I'm sure this is different for different vehicles/pumps and injectors. But is there some kind of guidance, standards, that one can go by to know if the viscosity falls within a range to be acceptable? A way you could know if you'd need to add more diesel or could get by on less, or if an ounce of cold flow improver would actually have much significance. One would have to know that your blend is still acceptable at the coldest temp faced in your driving situation too.

It seems to do it right, one would have to know exactly much each percent of change in the formulation balance would change the viscosity?

Sam
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Postby John Galt » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:03 pm

is there some kind of guidance, standards, that one can go by to know if the viscosity falls within a range to be acceptable?

Even the newest diesels are likely designed to reliably handle #2 diesel at temperatures approaching freezing. One can make an effective viscometer with a soft drink bottle. Cut a 1" hole in the bottom and an 1/8" hole in the cap. Chill the sample in the fridge, and with a finger over the hole in the cap, fill the bottle to a convenient index mark, then time how long it takes the bottle to empty. That gives the slowest time [highest viscosity] a modern engine can easily handle. One can then test various mixes at various temperatures, and as long as one uses the same tester bottle filled to the same index mark every time than the results are comparable with cold #2 as the standard.

For example if it takes 60 seconds for the cold #2 and 30 seconds for a VO-RUG blend, then one could estimate that the blend was half as viscous as the standard. One could also experiment to find a blend that also takes 60 sec like #2 and is therefore as viscous as #2 at the test temperature of the blend.
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Postby SunWizard » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:12 pm

Some engines, mainly ones with piston lift pumps and piston IP like the cummins and mercedes can handle very thick VO. Much thicker than cold D2. So I think the more important thing would be to find what viscosity still produces a good spray from the injectors.

There are some greasy science projects that could be done with one of your injectors in a home brew injector tester, and different % of blends. Anyone ever see tests like that?
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
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Postby John Galt » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:52 pm

Some engines, mainly ones with piston lift pumps and piston IP like the cummins and mercedes can handle very thick VO. Much thicker than cold D2.

Yes, I was thinking of the common rotary IPs in most modern vehicles when choosing cold D2 as the lower limit for trouble free operation.
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Postby WyoSam » Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:57 pm

Since I have solids formed in my oil, even at room temp, I'd have to blend it with enough solvent to keep the saturated oil dissolved, yes/no?

I'd think, even if I made a 50/50 blend of diesel/vo as soon as it started to cool in my tank, and especially when it dropped well below freezing, I'd have separation between the saturated oil and the rest, and with a fuel pickup on the bottom of a tank, it would first be sucking the saturated oil, before getting any of the diesel.

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Postby zoochy » Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:06 pm

WyoSam wrote:Since I have solids formed in my oil, even at room temp, I'd have to blend it with enough solvent to keep the saturated oil dissolved, yes/no?


From my crude tests, it seems like once the fuels are well mixed they stay mixed for long periods of time. I have a clear glass container of blended diesel/RUG/WVO/acetone sitting outside that has not noticeably separated in over 4 months. A chemistry grad student told me that acetone, because it's such a powerful solvent, helps keep the mixture blended together.
91 Toyota Hiace 3L engine w/ a 300W ½” heated fuel line, lift pump, additional 10um fuel filter, and a 2nd diesel tank for starting.
>160,000 km on:
88% canola WVO
11% old gasoline
.6% turpentine
.3% acetone
.1% eye of newt
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Postby John Galt » Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:58 pm

WyoSam wrote:Since I have solids formed in my oil, even at room temp, I'd have to blend it with enough solvent to keep the saturated oil dissolved, yes/no?


No amount of solvent will dissolve the stuff that separates out at room temperature. To use cold blends that stuff has to be separated out, before the mix is made. All the water has to be removed too.
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Postby SunWizard » Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:00 am

WyoSam wrote:Since I have solids formed in my oil, even at room temp, I'd have to blend it with enough solvent to keep the saturated oil dissolved, yes/no?

I'd think, even if I made a 50/50 blend of diesel/vo as soon as it started to cool in my tank, and especially when it dropped well below freezing, I'd have separation between the saturated oil and the rest, and with a fuel pickup on the bottom of a tank, it would first be sucking the saturated oil, before getting any of the diesel.


That sounds like you need a science project, take your VO, blend at several ratios in clear jars, and put them outside in the cold shade and see if you get separation. Thats another YVORMV which is the answer to so many questions.

I did some tests with my VO which had a little PHO, and it didn't separate in my V50/D50 or V80/D20 blends after 4 months even when 20F. There probably is a temp where it would separate since even diesel can gel if its cold enough.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
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Postby John Galt » Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:17 am

Samples of my summer mix of 50-50 VO-ULSD sit outside all winter. At freezing 32°F only 1/8 is settled PHO, at zero F the bottom 1/3 of the sample is waxy looking settled PHO. Until 10 below it's still 1/3 solid PHO 2/3 clear amber oil/diesel blend. The clear mix doesn't start to gel until -10°F.

During the winter the barrel of 50-50 mix has about 1/4 PHO in the bottom; I pump off the clear top mix and add ULSD for the final percent I want, and never have clogging problems.
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