Ethanol and Methanol Q's

Discussion in 'Alternative Fuel' started by quadcam boat, May 3, 2005.

  1. quadcam boat

    quadcam boat New Member

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    I am a farmer and we are being promised that an Ethanol industry in Australia will be the saving grace that will improve our grain prices and make farming profitable again..... Yeah well we can only hope. The droughts out here have just about crippled any hope of a reasonable income from being a farmer.
    enough winging!

    Interestingly, fuel companies are doing their best to scare car owners from using the product, however other countries have used ethanol in thier fuel for years. Fuel companies just have their self interest at stake.

    Anyway, what is the differance between Methanol, Ethanol and Metholated Spirits?

    What is each one like as a fuel?

    Could I distill some of my own grain that I grow on my farm and run my boat on it? Or would I be better off just drinking it to help forget about the drought and crap grain prices?
    Andrew.
     
  2. Zuffen

    Zuffen Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Antdrew,

    You need a licence to run a distillery (or a still) in Australia. I would think the regulations and cost would outweigh the benefits.

    For any non-Aussie metholated Spirit is white spirit. Metho make a good drink when mixed with black boot polish to give it colour (color!).
     
  3. chrisman

    chrisman New Member

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    one alchohol is made from wood and one is made from grain.. i forget which one is which.. in the US, we have had ethonal upto 10% in our fuel for many years..
    ethonal has a much closer-to gas--btu ratting than methanol.. in either case, because of the lower than gas btu ratting, more of it will need to be used to make the same power.. now that i think about it, the methanol is made from wood. the ethanol from grains..
    there are many advantages to using alchohol as a fuel.. higher octane, cleaner burning, and i believe it contains more oxygen..and it has a cooling effect onall the engine parts it comes in contact with..--before combustion..
    in an engine using alcohol, you can run rich,, and not lose power like gasoline, also, it is not as sensitive to timing.. because of some of these qualities, you can run very high compression ratios--ive heard of 16 to 1.. or on a turbo engine, ive heard of up to 60 psi boost..
    in the US, there is also an 85% mix you can buy at certain stations.. i believe its 85% ethonal and 15 gas..
    i would not recomend drinking any of this stuff, i have also heard of blindness and the like..
    right now, alchohol is more expensive to produce than gasoline,, but that may someday change.. but i doubt that this will happen any time soon..
    does australia import all its fuel?if it did, i could understand that it may be leaning towards alternative fuels.. especially home grown fuel like ethanoll.. i think that we will see hydragen will more likely be the fuel that replaces gasoline.. but again, a person could manage to make it for himself, and im sure big companies dont like the idea of a person making his own fuel--im sure tha thoght scares the money right out of their veins..the day they( big fuel companies) figure out how to keep people from making fue-thier own hydrogen- is the day you will see hydrogen stations opening up everywhere..
     
  4. webbie

    webbie New Member

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    I have to add my 2 cents worth in this as I studied it to some degree.

    Ethanol is made from grain and Methanol is made from wood.

    It causes no problem to the engine itself, it does however break the rubber in the fuel lines down. Change the fuel lines to a silicon compound and all is good. It has a lower energy per unit rating than fuel, therefore increased fuel consumption.

    There was a place that was actually making ethanol from sugar cane and using the waste (ie, outside of the cane) as a heat source to distill the ethanol with very little external energy needed - ie coal ect.

    Just my little bit of useless info floating around in my head.

    Cheers.
     

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  5. urtwhistle

    urtwhistle New Member

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    i dont know how the law is written but, u may not need to have a license for the still if its never going to be used for human consumption. if u do, well remember the old saying, its not illeagle if they dont know about it lol. i think here in perth my father said u can buy small stills for a few hundred and not need a license. so u may be able to just argue. how big is big.
     
  6. R-Jay

    R-Jay New Member

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    ahhh, well, i'm a farmer (sortta... my dad owns a sugar farm)....

    geez, sugar cane is the easiest to get alcohol from... and to make things easier, we already have a press to squeeze the juice from it....

    hmm... i wonder what would happen if you got caught distilling some home brew in the back shed? then again, being on a farm in rural NSW, it's unlikely anyone would care..

    for those curious, the farm is in Harwood on the banks of the mighty Clarence river... now i wish i had a 1uz boat, hehe. (down the road from Yamba/Illuka).
     
  7. urtwhistle

    urtwhistle New Member

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    i think the only chance of u getting raided would be that some 1 tipped off the coppers cos u were trying to sell the fuel. if not i say live dangerouse and start collecting copper pipe to make a big friggen stilll. i want grappa now , dad had some grappa once that was sooo potent u could pour it out the window of my uncle plane and set it on fire leaving a big flame from the door lol
     
  8. quadcam boat

    quadcam boat New Member

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    Very interesting. How do you ferment wood? I am familiar with fermenting grain, but what do they use for a wood source for methanol, woodchips i guess?
    So for racing use,ethanol on its own would be a slightly better fuel than petrol, but not quite as good as methonol due to its octane.
     
  9. chrisman

    chrisman New Member

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    the octane rating for ethanol and methonal are very close--but the btu s are different.. if you were to use methanol instead of gas, you would need to use roughly twice as much..
    but if you used ethanol instead of gas you would use roughly 1 1/2 times as much.. since it has a higher octane, it burns slower than gas..--so timing adjustments need to be made in order to achieve an optimum tune..
    then, like i stated, it has a cooling effect.. and because you use twice as much, it has an even greater cooling affect..
    one thing you guys could consider is that if you car is capable of supplying too much gasoline volume, lets say, for an FI configration, you may lean it down by mixing in some alcohol. and run the full volume your fuel setup is capable of..
    . this may help reduce detonation and cool things down quite a bit--and you can make some free power..
    just by switching over to alchohol, people say that you will can increas HP output by upto 25%..and if your setup can benefit from the alcohol, like an FI setup, it is possible to increase hp by even more by much higher boost pressures.
    yes alcohol does dry up fuel lines and rubber, but as long as you have an oil in the fuel, likle gasoline, you can use it and not be as worried..
    and remember that alcohol is hydroscopic(i think i got that right) which means it is very capable of absorbing water and mixing with it....so you always need to worry if the alcohol is contaminated with water...
     
  10. 1UZFE_CORONA

    1UZFE_CORONA New Member

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    doesn't methanol contain something like 70% water? Thats why it cools so well when due to the evaporation rate when a heat source is applied ie combustion chamber. And thats why you have to inject some much more than normal gasoline because it has a lower energy mass.
     
  11. capn

    capn New Member

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    I too would like to know more about this. Saab has introduced thier Aero-x concept car that runs on E100 (ethanol made from 100% bio-mass). Supposedly its a 2.8L V6 with twin turbo with 12:1 CR. it will be producing power levels around 400bhp. They said they can achive this because E100 has an octane rating of something around 115 and can safely produce this power with something ungodly of like 40-50 miles per the gallon.

    So I wanna know why not the 1uz?
     
  12. Toysrme

    Toysrme Member

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    I intend this to be nothing more than a grossly abbreviated, "all you need to know about alcohol as a fuel in 28 seconds".
    1. alcohols contain very little energy (btu per gallon):
      diesel (US No.2) 138,000 btu
      gas 114,132 btu
      ethanol 76,000 btu
      E85 (85% ethanol 15% gas xxx ratio addatives) 66,143 btu
      methanol 56,800 btu
      • alcohols have substantually higher octane ratings & can run more effective compression to compensate for knock lmits
      • alcohols have much lower oxygen requirements than gasoline, making it easier to make higher power
      • both of these can more than make-up for alchohol's lack of energy.
    2. METHYL ALCOHOL SEVERLY CORRODES ALUMINUM it is NOT a good partnership...
    3. alcohols do not generally appreciate the type of seals found with petrolium products

    4. alcohols get SUBSTANTUALLY increased gas consumption per volume. Remember that if it's a daily driver.
     
  13. Toysrme

    Toysrme Member

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    The Aero-x engine is nothing out of this world special. OEM compression Toyota v6's slammed into MR2's get 30-40mpg (low 40's highway has been done before), yet can make those power levels easy enough on boost without being cracked open, or designed for it.

    Which brings me to why saab's v6's are not ungodly for that class of engine on those power levels....

    Saab has been using single bank turbo v6's for > 10 years now. All they ever had to do to go from 220bhp to 400bhp+ & keep good fuel consumption was to ditch the GT17 turbo @ 3.75psi for something abit larger running 7-9psi. They've probably done nothing more than double up on the GT17's.


    Here's the kicker... 12.0:1 static compression ratio.
    *COMPLETELY* meaningless!!!!! The engine has vvt-i... It takes nothing more than alittle more cam timing to throw that charge right back out the valves & the *effective* compression ratio drops like a rock. Been done forever. ;) Varryiable Atkinson cycle. It's been done on alot of engines since "cam trickery" became avalible.


    Also, the alcohol blends / straight alcohol has been used for soooo long! E85 has been a known alternative to low end race gas for years.
    Great engine, yeah, but it's nothing earth shattering by any means.







    Alcohols cool better because they atomize into finer particles & evaporate at lower temperatures.
     
  14. Anaema

    Anaema New Member

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  15. capn

    capn New Member

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    OK, well if the technology isnt so "far out" then whats stopping conversion of a stock or modified 1UZ? Maybe some upgraded seals to prevent the degrading of the lines? or maybe a bumped up compression?

    I am so interested in E100 mainly because there are A LOT of tax incentives in my area and the possibility to have a high performance and good economy sports car is very tantalizing.
     
  16. Anaema

    Anaema New Member

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    there isnt anything at all thats stopping you from converting a 1UZ to full alcohol but yourself. it can and has been done to other engines before.
     

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  17. capn

    capn New Member

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    does anyone have any info on who has done it? I really have an itch to do this now.

    or if you dont know a site in general, what modifications would one have to do to make a car run off of E100 and get these super high MPG like others are getting.
     
  18. Cobolt

    Cobolt New Member

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    Just make shure that the liners in your fuel lines can withstand alcohol, some can´t.

    Same with fuel pressure regulator, fuelpump, filter and couplings.

    Then increase the size of your injectors by approx 50%.

    If you are going to boost, you´ll need to upgrade the ignitionsystem as well to one with more spark energy, different gaps on plugs and other heatranges, alcohol engines run colder than petrol engines, so does the spark plug.

    When mapping, do NOT try to push timing to the limit, E100 will probably have similar caracteristics as E85 and when one pushes timing to much, it detonates without little warning - it can take REALLY much spark advance so it is often those "oooh coool, I can have sooo wery much spark advance" guys that blow engines. If you are going to push it as far as possible, you´ll need in-cylinder pressure sensors, a standard knock detector mounted on the engineblock/head will not do the job so keep it safe and have fun.

    When starting an E100 engine, it can be really difficult, at least when not in warm climatzones like here up in sweden.... DO NOT use the starter to much, as you´ll need to give the engine heaps of fuel to start you´ll risk hydrolock if you use the starter to much... if the engine is really hard to start you may have to use "start-spray" don´t know if you got it where you are from but here we use a little spray-can to help us start lawnmovers, chainsaws and such and that is really helpful when starting up some alcohol engines.

    Up here, we also have electrical eninge heaters and in some cases heated intake manifolds to be able to start E85 engines in winter conditions, guess it´s not common if you for example are from Dubai or so.. but I guess the problem isn´t an issue there either.. ;)

    When running an alcohol engine, make shure to change oil often, the problem with starting an alcohol engine is that the alcohol cleans the cylinder walls free of oil and that increase engine wear rate and because there are no ringseal to mention without combustion when you start the engine, a lot of alcohol goes down in the sump and that´s quite mean to the oil, especially if you don´t drive a long way after starting the engine and by heating the oil gives the alcohol sufficient time to evaporate.
     
  19. Anaema

    Anaema New Member

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    you arent going to get very good fuel mileage running E100. it just wont happen, unless your a god.
     
  20. capn

    capn New Member

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    So i guess that makes Saab god?
     

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