Alternative Fuels FAQ

Biodiesel, Veggie, CNG, Solar, Wind, Cow-chip, Nuclear and other alternative power...
User avatar
JoeIsuzu
Site Admin
Posts: 20524
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:11 am
Location: Germantown (next to Elvistown), TN
Isuzu vehicle(s): Original owner, '83 LS Diesel, 5-spd, 2wd, Long Bed, restoration in progress!

Alternative Fuels FAQ

Postby JoeIsuzu » Fri Dec 23, 2005 2:53 pm

I'd like to have a FAQ for the Alternative Fuels forum. Below is a sample of what I had in mind. Would one (or some) of you like to author and maintain our FAQ? If so, please PM me.

(Sample below)

Q: What's the difference between Biodiesel, SVO, and WVO?
A: See definitions below:
    Biodiesel - Diesel fuel that has been refined from any vegetable oil. Biodiesel is available commercially straight and blended. It is designated by a "B" and the percentage: B10=10% bio, 90% petro. It can be refined from virgin sources like soybean oil, or from recycled sources like Waste Vegetable Oil. Biodiesel requires little if any modification to diesel fuel systems.
    SVO - Straight Vegetable Oil. Requires fuel system modifications to use.
    WVO - Waste Vegetable Oil. This requires multiple stages of filtering, as well as extensive modifications to the fuel system.
Q: Will Biodiesel/SVO/WVO void my warranty?
A: (someone with more knowledge than me would need to answer this)

Thanks.
Jack

odie
Regular Member
Posts: 220
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:48 pm
Location: CC, TX

Postby odie » Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:32 pm

The diesel engine will burn many flamable liquids. Vegatable oil, motor oil, jet fuel, transmission fluid, hydraulic fluid, margarine, home heating oil, liquid animal fats, etc

Correct viscocity is the key and the central issue of all conversion and WVO systems.

The fuel must be able to flow thru the IP and have an acceptable, burnable spray pattern at the injectors. This is the only thing that you must achieve with alternative fuels.

There are many different methods and systems that have been created. But they all serve one end...viscocity...either by heating the fuel (WVO) or mixing it with a thinning agent (like gas or kerosene).

With any fuel, diesel or other, proper filtration is needed to keep the system flowing. Most diesel engines have a 10 micron fuel filter.

There are no right or wrong methods. What ever works for your application. You will find most people gravitate to commonly accepted methods...here are the three most common methods...

1. Bio-diesel requiring no engine modifications.

2. blends, many vehicles can run cold blends with no or minimal modifications.

3. Two tank heated systems for 100% waste oil.
1984 P'up diesel longbed project
1984 P'up, diesel, 4x4, 4 spd, AC, PS, SOLD, so sad to say goodbye
1983 Holiday Rambler 6.2 TD
1983 D-50, 2.3 TD, 4x4
1983 Maxima LD28
1987 Mercedes 300TDT for sale
other assorted "junk"

MaxB
Regular Member
Posts: 438
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:15 am
Location: Kaysville..20 miles north of Salt Lake City

Biodiesel

Postby MaxB » Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:33 am

Some people also process or "make" their own biodiesel at home with WVO. This, when done right, can be used straight, or with any blend of petro diesel.

odie
Regular Member
Posts: 220
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:48 pm
Location: CC, TX

Re: Biodiesel

Postby odie » Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:33 am

MaxB wrote:Some people also process or "make" their own biodiesel at home with WVO. This, when done right, can be used straight, or with any blend of petro diesel.


This is what is known as Bio Diesel. you use vegatable oils (waste, used or new) and mix with methanol and lye. It requires some heating and mixing to remove the glycerins.

The end result is a home made "bio diesel" that can be used in any diesel engine without any engine modifications. Event he newer TDI engines.

Bio-diesel is treated like regular diesel. You can run it straight or use it to blend with WVO or diesel or whatever.

Bio-diesel is obviously the easiest alternative fuel for your engine to burn. But the down side is the cost and time consumed to make it and what to do with the waste product "glycerin"...unless you need lots of lye soap.
1984 P'up diesel longbed project
1984 P'up, diesel, 4x4, 4 spd, AC, PS, SOLD, so sad to say goodbye
1983 Holiday Rambler 6.2 TD
1983 D-50, 2.3 TD, 4x4
1983 Maxima LD28
1987 Mercedes 300TDT for sale
other assorted "junk"

User avatar
JoeIsuzu
Site Admin
Posts: 20524
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:11 am
Location: Germantown (next to Elvistown), TN
Isuzu vehicle(s): Original owner, '83 LS Diesel, 5-spd, 2wd, Long Bed, restoration in progress!

Postby JoeIsuzu » Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:32 pm

Guys, between you, and a few others on the forum, we have wealth of combined knowledge. However, I'm not looking for answers--I'm looking for a volunteer--
someone who will assemble a list of Frequently Asked Questions, along with their answers (also known as an FAQ).

Anyone want to volunteer?

Thanks.
Jack

odie
Regular Member
Posts: 220
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:48 pm
Location: CC, TX

Postby odie » Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:39 am

http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a ... =159605551

this is a better place to find WVO info. All we are doing here is repeating info that has been well documented and actively discussed on forums dedicated to WVO and bio diesel.

the Isuzu forum is good for specific info on what works for the P'ups and what type of systems have been built for the P'up. Basically, P'up drivers should be posting their specific info.

The other forums are kinda limited with Isuzu info. VW's and Mercedes are the favorites there...

I have a VW and used to drive a Merc...but I would desire specific info and input on what has been successfully done with the Isuzu engine.
1984 P'up diesel longbed project
1984 P'up, diesel, 4x4, 4 spd, AC, PS, SOLD, so sad to say goodbye
1983 Holiday Rambler 6.2 TD
1983 D-50, 2.3 TD, 4x4
1983 Maxima LD28
1987 Mercedes 300TDT for sale
other assorted "junk"

User avatar
JoeIsuzu
Site Admin
Posts: 20524
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:11 am
Location: Germantown (next to Elvistown), TN
Isuzu vehicle(s): Original owner, '83 LS Diesel, 5-spd, 2wd, Long Bed, restoration in progress!

Postby JoeIsuzu » Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:50 pm

I don't mind if the answer contains external links rather than going into detail. It could ave a very brief answer to the question, then offer a link such as the one you listed for people who want more information.

Jack

crossbones
Regular Member
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: Durham,NC

Postby crossbones » Mon May 22, 2006 9:02 am

Hello Jack. I have done extinctive testing of alternative fuels with the Isuzu 2.2 N/A and turbo engines for the last two years......most of my findings are the same as "Main stream thought" of alternative fuels in a diesel ............and some are not..........

If there is interest, I can provide a lot of simple information or very detailed information that is directly related to the Isuzu 2.2 engine and using alternative fuels.............

I have posted a lot of general technical information on other forums and can be more specific here..............

regards,
crossbones

MaxB
Regular Member
Posts: 438
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:15 am
Location: Kaysville..20 miles north of Salt Lake City

Postby MaxB » Tue May 23, 2006 1:17 am

Jack,
I'll talk to Graydon about maybe helping maintain site. Although his specific expertise is in homebrewing, he is very knowledgable about most other forms of bio-fuels. He also knows personally and communicates regularly with about the top authority on home brewing in the country.

That said, it appears Crossbones will have information that would apply very specifically to us.

Max

crossbones
Regular Member
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: Durham,NC

Postby crossbones » Wed May 24, 2006 8:46 am

Hello. First let me say that our Isuzu 2.2 engines are a great engine to use alternative fuels in. The basic design of the head is the Ricardo "Comet" and is a very old and time proven design. Ricardo was well known for Diesel combustion chamber design as well, particularly for his "Comet" combustion chamber. This can be seen well in a cross-section of the Waukesha Comet truck Diesel. The piston came very close to the underside of the head, forcing nearly all of the air into a small passage that opened tangentially into a small spherical turbulence chamber. This produced a violent swirling turbulence. The injector nozzle was centrally located in the top of the chamber, with a single orifice aimed straight down to the floor. Swirling air broke up this relatively coarse spray and mixed it with air, the heavy droplets that hit the floor mostly bouncing back as a fine mist into the raging cyclone, the heat of the chamber walls rapidly vaporizing fuel that wet the surface. As the fuel ignited and burned, the hot gases were forced back through the passage into the cylinder, entering at about a 35 degree angle to the cylinder axis and from one side, resulting in a highly turbulent mixing action with the air still present in the cylinder. This sort of combustion chamber is known generically as a "turbulence chamber," and differs from a "pre combustion chamber," "prechamber," or "antechamber" in that most of the air drawn into the cylinder is forced into this small chamber, and most of the combustion occurs within this space. In a prechamber design, only a little of the air is forced into the prechamber, where partial combustion prepares the fuel as a hot gaseous mix that's forced into the main chamber to mix with the rest of the air for complete burning. The terms are often used interchangeably, however. This style of chamber and head helps greatly in stopping "ring coking" often found when using alternative fuels..........

The nozzles are what is called a "zero degree" center pintle nozzle. The zero degree nozzle design was laboratory tested and found to be the better nozzle to use with this style chamber and more importantly the better nozzle to use when using a fuel with more viscosity than diesel fuel...............

These engines also have "piston oilers" that spray engine oil up onto the bottom of the pistons. This does three things that help with alternative fuels......first is that oil temperature gets to operating temperature before the block core does and this helps heat the piston to aid in combustion , second the oil spray helps in controlling max temperatures in the cylinder and last is this spray of oil leaves a small amount on the cylinder walls and ring gland area and the detergent in the motor oil helps in reducing "ring coking"...................

The injector pumps on our engines are the Bosch VE style and considered the second best style pump to use with alternative fuels...........

Our OEM glow plugs are the "extended tip design" meaning than they go deeper into the pre chamber and do a better job of pre heating the chamber...........

Our fuel filters by design are good.........

Now what is important to note here is this "if any one of these items above Are Not Performing As Designed, then your performance on alternative fuels will be effected and possible engine problems will happen.............

My idea of successful usage of a alternative fuel is equal to or better performance, mileage, emissions, less smoke than diesel fuel and absolutely No Engine Problems...............

Questions and comments are welcomed................I will "try" to post "the steps to success" on a daily bases and answer questions and comments as well...........

regards,
crossbones

MaxB
Regular Member
Posts: 438
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:15 am
Location: Kaysville..20 miles north of Salt Lake City

Postby MaxB » Thu May 25, 2006 5:39 am

wowwwww. Good info. Sounds like Isuzu didn't figure stuff out, but rather thought it out. Thanks.
Max

crossbones
Regular Member
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: Durham,NC

Postby crossbones » Thu May 25, 2006 10:07 am

Hello. The following is where I disagree with 99.9% of the modern excepted thought of successful usage of alternative fuels in a diesel........."Assuming that because your engine runs ok on pump diesel, it will run ok on other fuels and /or that if you use "technical grade bio diesel" that no changes to the engine are required......" This is not logical nor can it be supported with "math of how and why a diesel engine works".............So, what changes are needed???

Ok, irregardless of your choice of alternative fuel from used motor oil to B100 there will be three major factors that are different from pump diesel.........

1. auto ignition temperature of that fuel
2. cetane value and flame speed
3. viscosity

Auto Ignition Temperature is basically the temperature at which the majority of the fuel in the chamber ignites all at one time.........it is critical to understand that this is mostly a independent process with the majority of controlling factors being temperature/pressure and available oxygen.............it is aided by some atomization of the fuel from the nozzle, but absolutely not controlled by the nozzle...........
These are AIT's of some fuels I have collected for various places.......


#2 diesel fuel...............410F
kerosene......................410F
B20..........................>410F to 500F???
gasoline......................475F
#2 fuel oil....................500F
used motor oil............>505F to 850F
#4 fuel oil...................>505F
#6 fuel oil...................850F
B100........................>500F to 870F???
SVO.........................>850F???

As you can see some of the fuels needs as much as 400+F additional heat in order to go "bang"................

This required heat is made available from ambient temperature, compression and water jacket temperature...........
So, you must have good compression (OEM 441 PSI).........the colder your climate the better your compression needs to be........ about 425 PSI and a ambient temperature of 40F is about the limit for B20 and troubles begins with the fuels with higher AIT's..........

Always have a top radiator hose of 195F min at operating temperature..........regardless of fuel choice.............

So far required engine change(s) for you choice of fuel...................a simple proper working thermostat..........and checking your compression...................

more to come.........
crossbones

crossbones
Regular Member
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: Durham,NC

Postby crossbones » Fri May 26, 2006 7:53 am

Hello. The next step is simple enough.....making sure your glow plugs are working the best they can to produce the heat required to ignite some of these high AIT fuels and to test the battery and starter so the engine will spin over fast enough to reach cranking compression.......................

The next step is simple as well, but be aware this is where I disagree greatly with the excepted thought about injectors..............if you use a alternative fuel long enough, you will be a believer............

As I mentioned earlier, the nozzles are a "zero degree center pintle" design. Basically what this means is that the nozzle does not produce much if any "fan pattern". It keeps the injection in a "tighter core"...........this is a very good thing for more viscosity fuels as the fuel is injected deeper into the chamber to expose it to more heat and more turbulence and offers a better combustion (see the comments earlier about the Ricardo "Comet" chamber)..........
Now this is one of the reasons that your injectors needs to be pressure tested and set at OEM Pop Off Specks (so injection will go deeper in the chamber)...............I will "bet my hat" that if you have not properly set your injectors in the last 45K miles that the pressure is down on your injectors, maybe as much as 250 PSI........when you use a more viscosity fuel with weak injectors, the fuel charge does not reach the depth in the chamber that it needs to reach for complete combustion and over time you will have coking problems............

The next major problem with weak injectors is that they do not cut the fuel flow off cleanly causing a leak or drip........most likely this drip of fuel will happen when the conditions in the chamber or cylinder will not burn the fuel and this to will cause coking problems...........

The next major problem with weak injectors is that it changes the timing of the injection of each cylinder as they do not weaken at the same rate...........

With a "zero degree" nozzle, it depends on the correct pressure to "scrub off" the very small droplets of fuel from the side of the "core" as it goes through the nozzle of which start to burn first and is a great aid in providing the much needed heat and turbulence for a more complete combustion......

The very simple fix for this is to clean and set your injectors to OEM POP OFF PRESSURE and make sure that they do not drip at 75% or more of this pressure.........if they do not hold this pressure, they are not clean or needs to be replaced..........(my injectors hold at OEM pressure and are "bone dry".................)

more to come,
crossbones

crossbones
Regular Member
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: Durham,NC

Postby crossbones » Sat May 27, 2006 10:11 am

Hello. How this part is about the effects of a alternate fuel on your IP.......this information comes from my own test results and can not be found (to my knowledge) elsewhere to support this...........

What I have found is the viscosity of the fuel has a major bearing on the function of the IP to maintain the proper Injector Timing..............I have seen it be both positive or negative on our engines.............

So far, the best results have been with doing the following:

with a clean fuel filter, install a combo vacuum/pressure between the filter and the IP........note the reading.........

now install a electric fuel pump at the tank ((3-5 PSI) or if you use a higher PSI rating you may need a pressure regulator)).............how your engine performs best with your fuel determines the pressure setting........most likely it will be in the 3-5 PSI range???

Now install a clear inline pre filter before the main filter such as a Fram G2 or G3 with a non heated system or a glass filter with a heated system................

Install new screw clamps at all locations.....

installing the electric pump also helps with priming the system when changing the filters and will eliminate 99% of the problems of air getting into the system (a very common problem with more viscosity fuels)

At this point and have followed all of the above your engine is 90% ready for almost any alternative fuel of your choice to use................and you should see a marked improvement with engine performance, fuel mileage, and emission levels from before you did these things...............

more to come,
crossbones

crossbones
Regular Member
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: Durham,NC

Postby crossbones » Sun May 28, 2006 8:48 am

Hello. Most likely the most user friendly alternative fuel is bio diesel for the average person. The biggest advantages of bio diesel over pump diesel, used motor oil and VO is that it has a higher cetane value, lower viscosity and AIT than motor oil and VO and no in the tank blending issues with pump diesel...

The cetane value of the fuel is very important, it is the expressed values of how easy and how fast the fuel burns. In my state the minimum cetane for pump diesel is 40. On a IDI engine it is stated that they can use a fuel as low as 35 cetane (40 for a DI).........

cetane values (about)

used motor oil....................35-37
SVO.................................35-39
pump diesel......................45
b20...................................55
b100..................................62.5-65

The Dept of Energy concluded when using b20 that there was lower over all emissions than pump diesel (NOx was higher) and that the net effect of the cetane and viscosity increase was a 1° advance in timing...........(my own test on my engine was about 1.5°???)

It is stated that when the temperatures in the cylinder increases so does the NOx levels.........

It is important to note here that I believe that our engines were factory set 4° retarded in a effort to reduce NOx levels for the times........???

I have tested with all of the fuels above except b100 and have found that advancing the timing (varied amount to the fuel used) from factory settings decreases cylinder temperatures and can have marked positive improvements with performance..........(I do not have a way to test emissions)

The biggest negative with using bio diesel (if you can call it that) is that it is a excellent cleaner.........it will start cleaning all of the build up "junk" in the fuel tank and system out................start with clean filters and carry spares with you........at first the filters may plug up in a few hundred miles..............

If you experience some problems in colder temperatures decrease your percentage of bio...........or add a little heat to the fuel.......

more to come,
crossbones