Recent RUG blending Experiences.

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

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Recent RUG blending Experiences.

Postby David » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:22 pm

I have been blending with RUG in various proportions over the last 4 + years but have come across a problem in recent times that would appear to have potential to affect a lot of people using these blends.

The problem I have experienced is with vapourisation of the fuel. I have for a long time found that around 5% ULP in oil gave my vehicles a boost in performance which I put down to the ULP igniting in the cylinders early to offset the the known lag in the oil burning in comparison to diesel.

Recently, even in temps where I could happily run 15% ULP previously, I have experienced a lot of stumbling, hesitation and general poor performance when running even a small amount of ULP.
After some head scratching and investigation that ruled out any vehicle fault and some repeated testing, I have found the problem is in the RUG itself.

Recently here in OZ, the decision makers keen to jump on the vote winning green bandwagon, like many otehr places have mandated all ULP contain a percentage of ethanol. Here it is mandated as a minimum 5% and there is apparently a lot of fuel getting around with 10% or more.
The problem I believe is occouring is that the Ethanol with a 20oC lower boiling point that Petrol, is boiling out of the fuel and causing the vapour problems.

At first when I had this thought I believed it was unlikley but repeated testing where I can create the same problem and symptoms on command has shown there is something to this without doubt.
Although the amount of ethanol in the fuel when blended at 5% in oil and only beiong 10% in the Unleaded to start with I would have first thought was too small an amount to make any difference, that certainly dosen't seem to be the case.

There are 2 significant factors I see in what is happening.

Firstly, some people like myself heat their blends. as the normal thing is to aim for engine temp which is wasily 10oC ABOVE the boiling point of ethanol, that is enough to make it boil out easily.
The second thing is that often people suck the oil from the tank rather than push it to the engine. This puts a vaccum on the fuel lines and negative pressure reduces the boiling point of any liquid.
I believe this is a significant factor as even when I experimented with turning the heat off on the fuel, I still got stumbling, albeit, not quite as bad but still far too much.

Of course on a vehicle that is working hard going up a hill or towing, You are going to have maximum draw on the fuel line as well as maximum heat input to the fuel just by convection from teh hot engine bay and various components attached to the engine such as the IP itself.
I was first thinking that any air that was in the system would be firstly bled back to the tank. I found that most pumps have a negative pressure on the fuel at some point after the fuel is actually admitted to them. I also thought that if an air bubble in say an injector line formed, the high pressure of the line itself would compress the vapor enough to recondense it back to its original liquid.
Apparently this is not the case and it is unlikely a vapor created from a liquid will ever go totally back to a liquid by pressure alone.

It would seem that even though the " Bubble" in an injector line would have to be tiny in this instance, it does seem enough to upset the very precise metering the IP is doing and enough to cause the hiccups I have experienced.

At the present time, I am only addind a dash of ULP to my oil and doing the rest of the blend with B100. I have not worked out a way this problem can be overcome to allow me to get back to the ratios of ULP I was using before or to allow me to make it a Viable blending agent again.
Undoubtedly the use of a pusher pump from teh tank to the IP would help as does running the blend cold but I suspect one would achive a far greater benifit in the reduction in viscosity of the oil with heat than Blending.

My thoughts and theroys as to what the actual cause of my problems are of course may be off and diffent vehicles and IP's may not suffer the same problems but I'm reaonably certain it will be a factor for a number of people given that I have experienced this with teh 2 most popular Ip'S in use in Veg circles.

Given I can repeat the problem on command with 100% predictability, the one thing I am positive of is that the change in the fuel formulation, namely the Ethanol content is responsible for the problem.

Ethanol laced fuel has failed in every single application I use it and I despise the stuff.
It has caused me problems in my bike with deteriating rubber fuel system components causeing the bike to get no fuel, it has caused problems in garden equipment with teh water it sucks from the air and then fills the carbys with, it has caused problems with equipment with fixed carby jetting and it has become a poor and troublesome blending agent.

I am seriously considering a washing setup where I remove all the ethanol in teh fuel I get before using it by the addition and draining of water. The water will take the ethanol with it and a leave pure ULP and I can use the water in MY WI injection system which will provide a cheap and practical use for the unwanted Ethanol.

I hope in teh future the real failures and problems of this fuel can be realised and BS green " save the planet bandwagon" bleding heart pacification can be put aside and it be removed from fuel.
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Until then, it's just more endless gloom and doom Veg folk law.
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Postby SunWizard » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:06 pm

I agree. RUG in the US has had an ethanol content mandated at 7-10% at a subsidy cost of $25 billion/year to the gov. I had problems with my RUG blends when it got hot, and the problem was a no- start of the engine due to a big air pocket after a hot shutdown. Which is more of a pain than the issue of stumbling, which I get too depending on the ambient temps and blend ratio.

Separating the water and ethanol from RUG seems like too much work (and dangerous explosion risks), why not simply blend with diesel?
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
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Postby coachgeo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:19 pm

Would think the vapor issue would be easy to solve. There were a good number of gas cars that used an inline fuel filter with a built in vapor bleed. The vapor was returned to the tank along with a little fuel in a simular fasion air bleed systems worked on older diesels.

You can find these filters at most any auto part store still; last time I looked. They come in different configurations. The difference is mainly where the vapor port is. You want one to where the fuel flows thru filter like you need to fit your set up, and also has the vapor port verticle. (vapor rises). Suspect you could just T it into your return line. Might, might not need a check valve or two. Matters how much fuel to vapor ratio gets pushed out that port.
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Postby David » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:41 am

Coach,
The mercedes like Sun and I have experienced the problem with have a factory filter with this bleed as standard.

I too had the shutdown/ no start problems with my merc as Sun describes although I have not had it with my Current Nissan patrol even thugh it does not have a bleed filter but then again I have only run a high blend ( 15%) on a couple of occasions in winter in this vehicle.
Thinking back, I had the problem back in my very early veg days and then realised i had far too much ULP in the mix for the summer temps we had here. I cut it way back and had no more problems but the bleed on the filter didn't prevent the trouble.

They say Mercs are tough, long lived engines that are good on oil.
Not that you guys will ever get the pleasure to find out, but trust me, the 4.2 Nissan engines run rings all over the mercs! My truck weighs near 3000KG ( +_ 6000lb and although the engine is considered low on power here in the NA version I have, it manages to propel the block of flats down the road a lot quicker than the Merc ever went and uses no more fuel at all.

Thankfully I dont need to run the level of blends with the Patrol that I did with the merc but the patrol still shows the benifits of having the ULP running in the form of a more responsive and definately more powerful engine.
For this reason Sun and the fact I hate the stink of Diesel and the fact it stains everything and is hard to shift that I prefer unleaded along with the fact you need so much less of it to get the same amount of thinning.

With the Nissan I have been just adding a slop of B100 into the tank before I top it off with 50-75L of oil and have had no problems at all.
I did come back from an interstate trip in the middle of winter that I had filled up completely on WVO as I have installed the mother of all heat exchangers and forgot about the SVO in the tank till the next morning.
It was -3C and I was wondering how it would fire up and had the Methanol at the ready to coax it into life like I had with the merc a million times before but after 2 glows of about 5 sec each, it started within maybe a second and a half of being cranked.

The next morning was -2 and I repeated the experiment still with 100% Wvo in the tank and again it came to life with no more than a couple of turns more than usual. Given this result, I'll only be adding about 5% ULP this winter and about 10-15% Bio.

You are right about the extra work with seperating the ethanol from the Unleaded Sun but If I did a 50L batch that would be all I needed for a couple of months and there is no risk of explosion or even fire when I do this in the open of the backyard. In any case I think I'll just pour the unleaded into a Cubie with 5L of water already added, seal it up, slosh it around well and then let it settle overnight. With a tap in the plastic drum, I'll easily be able to get 95% of the water out with any leftover sitting in the " sump" of the drum. I can then decant the ULP straight into another drum which I can seal up straight away.

That's the plan, I'll see how it much work it pans out in practice. :lol:
_____________________

I don't give a damn about what might or could happen until a significant group of people can tell me it HAS happened to them.
Until then, it's just more endless gloom and doom Veg folk law.
David
 
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Location: Sydney Australia

Postby SunWizard » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:47 pm

David wrote:I hate the stink of Diesel and the fact it stains everything and is hard to shift...

I get the exact same veggy exhaust smell with V80/D20 as with RUG blends. I never get any stains, so I'm not sure what stains you mean? And I don't know how it would affect shifting?
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
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81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
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Postby coachgeo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:33 pm

is ULP, UnLeaded Premium?
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Postby SunWizard » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:34 pm

coachgeo wrote:is ULP, Uleaded Premium?

Unleaded Petrol, same as RUG.
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 coachgeo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:07 pm

David wrote:Coach,
The mercedes like Sun and I have experienced the problem with have a factory filter with this bleed as standard....
Could that be telling ya there is more to it than what you think it is? How can there be an air/vapor pocket causing the issue if you have an air/vapor bleed system built in?

Either the volume of vapor/air is greater than the built in system can handle or it is something else??? More experments need to be done?
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Postby SunWizard » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:38 pm

coachgeo wrote:How can there be an air/vapor pocket causing the issue if you have an air/vapor bleed system built in?

On the no- start issue, any air bleed system takes a lot of cranking once air gets in the plungers of the IP or lift pump. Ask anyone who runs any diesel out of fuel. Thats the effect when I get a RUG vapor pocket after a hot shutdown.
Either the volume of vapor/air is greater than the built in system can handle or it is something else???

Yes on the no start issue, too much vapor for any bleed setup.

For the stumbling issue, it could be many things anyplace after the filter where the air bleed is: like vapor forming in the IP (which gets very hot since its got 300F engine oil flowing through), lines between IP and injectors, in the injectors, vapor bubbles suspended in the fuel lowering injection pressure, etc. The lower power I got while testing the RUG blends on my mile long 12% grade floor it power test hill (even when not enough to cause stumbling) was the bigger issue, and using D2 blends was the easy fix.
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 coachgeo » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:21 pm

SunWizard wrote: ......like vapor forming in the IP (which gets very hot since its got 300F engine oil flowing through), lines between IP and injectors, in the injectors, vapor bubbles suspended in the fuel lowering injection pressure, etc. The lower power I got while testing the RUG blends on my mile long 12% grade floor it power test hill (even when not enough to cause stumbling) was the bigger issue, ...


When under vacume it takes less heat to vaporize a liquid and Im pretty sure the opposit is true. (which is why coolant system is under pressure) So another words... under pressure boiling points raise soooooo.... their should be less to no vaporizing going on in the IP, possible even after the fuel pump.

Also wondering about what the new vaporization point of the blend really is.. as in Im doubting that the materials seperate and each one goes into vapor at seperate times. Would think the "combination" creates one single vaporation point that happens to be lower than veg alone.... I could be wrong in that assumption though.

wonder if the vapor that is an issue on cold start comes from vapor created just AFTER shut down while everything is still hot but no longer under pressure? A delayed shut down of an aux. fuel pump to keep fuel moving thru the system while it cools to prevent vapor creation by fuel sitting in one place under no pressure might be the trick needed?
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Postby John Galt » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:26 am

In any case I think I'll just pour the unleaded into a Cubie with 5L of water already added, seal it up, slosh it around well and then let it settle overnight.
That seems like a simple solution to separate the ethanol. The ethanol is much more soluble in water than petrol.

The ULP in N.Canada does not contain enough alcohol to cause any noticeable effect with my cold temperature blends. I've run as much as 15% ULP to dissolve fats and PHO that settled out in the tank, and while I did notice a drop in power on hills because of the lower BTU content, there were no irregularities.
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Postby David » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:37 am

coachgeo wrote:
Also wondering about what the new vaporization point of the blend really is.. as in Im doubting that the materials seperate and each one goes into vapor at seperate times. Would think the "combination" creates one single vaporation point that happens to be lower than veg alone.... I could be wrong in that assumption though.


My thoughts are the opposite, I think the relative boiling points stay the same for each material and they will seoperate readily.

Distalition is done at the boiling point of alcohol or very close to it and I have seen a batch of bio being made that got heated a bit too warm and seen first hand how the meth boiled out of the oil with no problem at all.

As for the stumbling with the ULP, I only got that on the Merc with very rich blends. The Nissan does not have a bleed filter so that may explain why it appears to be so much more prone to hesitation whilst driving.
Another difference between the 2 Vehicles is on the merc the HE I built was probably lucky to get the fuel to 60oC.
The one I built for the Nissan is a mother of thing and it gets teh oil to within a degree or 2 of the Coolant temp without any problems. It's so effective I built it double loop for pre and post filter heating but as soon as I installed the thing with just one side hooked up, it became very apparent that was more than enough.

With seperating the ethanol from the petrol, I did it in reverse over the weekend. I bought some of the new E-85 " Flex" fuel we have here ( in about 5 servos across any capital City! :roll: ) and tried " washing that to get the petrol out of the ethanol so I could use it for my Water injection setup. I was really thinking with the high ethanol blend the petrol may have mixed in but first test revealed very much the opposite.

As soon as I put probably 20% water in a bottle, the petrol started seperating out and coming to the top. I wonder how this will affect the vehicles the fuel is used in?
Anyway, It was very nice and easy to let the bottle settle for a few min then squeeze it to push the petrol off the top into another bottle and then add the mix to my WI Bottle.

Next time I'll get a 25L cubie, put 15L of the E-85 in it then fill with water. I can drain the ethanol water mix from the bottom and then Decant the leftover petrol into a smaller container for more accurate final seperation.
I might also try tapping a hose nipple into the cap of a drum and then add the water from the bottom to just push the petrol out the top which would probably allow a cleaner seperation.

Hopefully if it works this well and easily the other way round as I expect it will given the obvious attraction and repulsion the 2 fuels have to each other. E-85 or E-10, I'll get nice clean petrol no matter which way I go!
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I don't give a damn about what might or could happen until a significant group of people can tell me it HAS happened to them.
Until then, it's just more endless gloom and doom Veg folk law.
David
 
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Location: Sydney Australia

Postby coachgeo » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:52 pm

David wrote:
coachgeo wrote:
Also wondering about what the new vaporization point of the blend really is.. as in Im doubting that the materials seperate and each one goes into vapor at seperate times. Would think the "combination" creates one single vaporation point that happens to be lower than veg alone.... I could be wrong in that assumption though.


My thoughts are the opposite, I think the relative boiling points stay the same for each material and they will seoperate readily.....
You may be right.

What about the notion of the start up issue being from vaporization that occured AFTER shut down? Got any other ideas on how to test that beside my suggestion of a pusher pump running for a while AFTER shut down to keep fuel moving till it cools below a rate of vaporization in order to see if this brings start up back to normal.
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Postby John Galt » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:13 pm

I added the FPHE after the fuel feed pump so all heated fuel is under pressure. I've never experienced any abnormalities with fuel mixtures up to the the 15% ULP I've tested.

Heated fuel under suction will 'boil-out' volatiles like ULP and can cause 'air' locks in looped return systems.
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Postby David » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:49 pm

coachgeo wrote:
David wrote:
coachgeo wrote:
What about the notion of the start up issue being from vaporization that occured AFTER shut down? Got any other ideas on how to test that beside my suggestion of a pusher pump running for a while AFTER shut down to keep fuel moving till it cools below a rate of vaporization in order to see if this brings start up back to normal.


The only way I can think to test that is add or don't add the ULP and see what happens or, if you had a 2 tank system, you could easily change from teh tank that had the ULP to the one that didn't after a short drive and leave the vehicle the same amount of time ( when the ambient temps would have changed very little) and see what happened.

that's about the limit of my testing. I can make the fault appear on cue with the unleaded.
_____________________

I don't give a damn about what might or could happen until a significant group of people can tell me it HAS happened to them.
Until then, it's just more endless gloom and doom Veg folk law.
David
 
Posts: 333
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:12 am
Location: Sydney Australia

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