Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Compare Fuels Chemically - Page 3

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Posted by nospam on February 7, 2010, 5:59 pm

Curbie wrote:

Wouldn't be better just experiment with SVO (straight veggie oil) and
avoid everything but growing the crop and pressing the Oil?

Posted by Curbie on February 7, 2010, 8:06 pm

everything but growing the crop and pressing the Oil?

Exactly my point! I don't know the answer, but I better find it out
before I select an option. I can see where the mostly mechanical
process of SVO would have some advantages for someone from the view
point of simplicity, but I believe given a little time and practice,
I'll be able to follow the beaten path for any one of the three
options, so in my view the "Best" question becomes which option gives
the best return of investment.

From the stand point of crop yields ethanol has a clear advantage, but
then considering energy density of yielded units, oil crops narrow the
gap. When I look at time, material, and energy costs for all three
options the clarity goes away.


Posted by Jim Wilkins on February 7, 2010, 6:57 pm

I believe you are headed in the right direction, your spreadsheet is
necessary but insufficient. My guess is that your biggest hurdle will
be leaky pipe joints rather than the relative theoretical merits of
various fuels.


Posted by Curbie on February 7, 2010, 8:43 pm


I think your right with the leaky joint analogy, but I want to focus
on building or fixing leaky joints with the commitment that for me
comes from the knowledge that I chosen the best option. Just because
the spread-sheet says one option has a better energy density, doesn't
mean that option will be the most cost effective path, although I
think a spread-sheet will help there too.

One step at a time.


Posted by Jim Wilkins on February 7, 2010, 11:52 pm

I'm not a chemical engineer, but I understand that they proceed from a
lab trial to a pilot to the full-sized process. They start by making
small batches and don't go to the final continuous design until they
are sure it will work.

You could do the same, buy some raw material and try making a liter or
so of fuel, then test it for viscosity, wax point, ash residue,
sulphur content, etc. Those are easy to do and I have an old lab
manual that describes them.


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