Posted by Michael B on February 7, 2010, 2:41 am
Hey, I thought you might find this interesting.
Posted by Curbie on February 7, 2010, 5:39 pm
Thanks, it is interesting but like I said in other posts, I like
technologies with a well defined and well beaten path; I wouldn't even
know where to begin with this.
Posted by Michael B on February 7, 2010, 7:54 pm
Right. Completely agree. I figure the Auto-X contest is
going to cause the winners to work themselves to the front.
Posted by Jim Wilkins on February 7, 2010, 3:46 am
Neither do I. My machines haul and process firewood, which stores
well, heats the house and serves for a little blacksmithing, but isn't
practical for transportation unless we return to WW2 rationing or
worse. I'm retired and don't need to travel much.
You could waste a lot of time and money or conversely miss an
opportunity due to a bad measurement. Here's a classic:
"Learium" was based on the observation that water changed and became
more viscous (like oil) when passing through extremely fine glass
tubes, along the lines of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-nine
or sulphur http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allotropes_of_sulfur
Lear thought he could use it as the cylinder lubricant instead of
troublesome steam oil. Closer investigation showed that the water had
dissolved a bit of silicate from the glass and its bulk properties
weren't new at all. Sodium silicate was already a common boiler
additive to reduce corrosion. Bill Lear was too embarrassed and
discouraged to continue and the conspiracy rumors spread, as the
I didn't confirm your data but it looked OK, though oxygen gas is a
molecule made of two atoms. This describes the behavior of a gas:
except near the boiling point where it can condense when cooled or
I'm not trying to discourage you, just give a realistic assessment of
the issues. I have been building experimental prototypes for decades
and have seen quite a few projects crash because some "small" detail
turned out to be unexpectedly difficult. For example I was working on
the electronics of a desktop color inkjet printer way back in 1985 for
the Centronics people, who didn't solve everything, and I've worked on
new developments at Segway, who did.
Posted by Curbie on February 7, 2010, 5:33 pm
I think I understand your Lear point, he was getting results but
mischaracterize HOW those results where achieved and when people
followed the mischaracterizations their results where random and a lot
effort was wasted.
My interest is in following tried and true technologies and to that
end I was half-settled on ethanol for no other reason then it's what I
know best (racing with methanol), but in talking with people on-line
about DIY production of ethanol people suggest alternatives like SVO
or bio-diesel as being a better option, but their reasons for their
selection was kind of the same as mine, what they knew best.
In thinking about their reason for their choice it seemed silly, but
occurred to me that I had the same silly reason for my choice and had
better study all three processes to base my choice on something of
That was the reason for starting my spread-sheet, just compile all the
information I've accumulated on fuels over the years into one
spread-sheet for comparison, simple. In doing that the numbers were
not jiving and that lead to my attempt to calculate for the numbers,
not so simple.
I've never worried too much about a "wild goose chase" because I
always seem to learn something of value in the process, I know that
two of these three technologies will turn out to be wild goose chases,
but I expect the effort to narrow my focus on the one technology that
best suits my needs.
I know the calculations in my spread-sheet are close, but since this
is the start (or foundation) they better be right here or they will
become progressively inaccurate as I build on them. I talk on-line in
a lot of different places and sometimes find people who have knowledge
I don't, but are interested in the same results, and I've found it
never hurts to ask.
I'm retired too, so a have time new to play with things I'm interested
in, and I'm not inventing any new wheels, just trying to determine the
best beaten path to follow.