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A small electric flash evaporator to dewater WVO.
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Well, most of our community's useable waste (washing machines, water heaters, air compressors, etc.) goes to the landfill - except for the small amount of stuff which is sold to the salvage yard.

Yes, we do have a privately-owned salvage yard, but they strip/sort/crush almost everything as soon as they get it, so choices are limited to the incoming pile and they only get what individuals take to them. As far as I know, there is no cooperation between the city's landfill and "recycling" center and the salvage yard.

As an aside, our "recycling" center only accepts a small percentage of recyclable materials. For example, they do not accept any aluminum except for uncrushed soda/beer cans. They do not accept any steel except for un-lined "tin" cans -- try to find one that's un-lined! And they only accept type 1 and type 2 plastics. They do accept paper of all types, but nothing else.

As I said, almost everything here goes to the landfill.


Brian

2000 Jetta TDI
1982 Mercedes 300D Turbo
1986 Isuzu P'up (NA)
1985 Mercedes 300D Turbo
75/25 WVO/D2 for warm weather
50/50 WVO/D2 for cold weather
Uniqueness is a treasure not to be buried. - Laurence Martel
 
Location: High Point, NC | Registered: May 04, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tony -- Yes, it may be that 150-180 degrees of heat from the radiator water will actually be enough to insure thorough dewatering at a higher pressure. I will shim the spring a bit on my pump and see if I can test at 200-250 pounds, schedule 40 pipe appears to be specked at 300 pounds max so I still have a bit of a margin, not so sure about the seals in the water heater element, it drips a drop now and then already, testing will tell.

PerkHouse -- Bummer, maybe try a smaller community away from any large towns, usually there is someplace local that scrap metal goes. Don't know, may be your entire state is a bit more "modern" (read - legislative) than I am used to having to put up with. Ask what your landfill does with the recyclables, most don't bury it but pass it on to one of the larger local scrap yards.

my local scrap yard is about the same way, incoming stuff does not set longer than a day or maybe two, I check regularly as I have missed desierable items by as little as 20 minutes. I find that a few bucks "on account" with the owner or yard forman (depending on the size of the operation) will hold specific catagories of items for maybe a bit longer.
I am always a bit amazed at what a free 5 pound bag of in-the-shell peanuts left at the office and/or the workers break room can accomplish, adds some veriety to the day and they always seem to figure out where it came from.
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tim
Do you have a pic of that sure flo pump and or a model number?

Thanks
 
Location: Seattle, WA | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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By the way, Campbell Hausfeld has a new pressure washer/steam cleaner combo unit for about $240. It is model number PW15867. Not bad.

Tim, you mentioned another person using a larger steam cleaner for higher flow rates. What about shooting in the middle between your system and his with this 'store bought' steam cleaner?

The flow rate would be low and I believe it runs on 115v household current.

Todd


2002 F-250, 7.3l on WVO since '04
'82 VW Rabbit diesel 1.6l na
'83 GMC 6.2l Class C RV
'85 F-350, 6.9l flat bed
'85 E-350, 6.9l cube van
2 Mercedes 300SD's
3 Chinese Changfa-style diesel generators- 12kw, 8kw & 7.5kw
Mitsubishi 3 cyl diesel generator/light tower
Kubota 2 cyl. diesel, water cooled air compressor
Onan 12.5kw air-cooled diesel genset
I run my company entirely on renewable energy including electricity from generators running on biofuels.

 
Location: El Dorado, Ark | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Taz -- The shurflo pump that I was using for the flash evaporator, and still am using on my filter setup, is rated at 1.8 G/M of water, part no. is 8000-543-236. I have cleaned this with salvent so many times the part number is gone off the tag but here is a link to one for sale on ebay (no affiliation what-so-ever). My local farm store has these on the shelf for about this same $66.00, I wait til they run there twice-a-year 20% off sale and buy them then.

I am now using an oil fired furnace fuel pump for the flash unit. It requires a bit of modification but it is working fine. It is being turned by a small 12 volt DC motor. At about 600 rpm it moves the required 5 G/H oil flow and only draws about 6 amps. This small-tooth gear pump is also absolutely silent, the shurflo "purrs" a bit, not loud but hearable, this is because it uses 3 diaphragms that make pulses of pressure, these pulses make everything throb a bit and also cause my pressure guage to vibrate the needle into a blurr over about a 30 pound range, has to be hard on the guage.

Todd T -- It will depend on how much heat the unit makes. You can flow about 5 G/H for each 1100 watts of heat.

One situation that I have not yet addressed is concerning the concentration of the heat from the heat source. I have found that even when powering a standard cheap 4500 watt @ 220 volt (errored here originally and said 2400 watt) water heater element with 110 volts to make approx 1100 watts of heat will cause burning and thickening of static oil, this is why I now have 2 of these elements wired in series in my settling barrels. By wiring 2 of these elements in series and applying 110 volts across BOTH elements each individual element only produces 275 watts of heat, this is a low enough watt-density that the elements stay clean and do not effect the oil.

In the flash unit the oil is passing through the small heating chamber in under a minute, this amount of flow across the heater element seems to allow a bit more heating from one element. The 1100 watts I am using for the 5 G/H flowrate seems to be about max heat as even this much heat produces enough plasticised, or polemerizing, or whatever it is, to the oil that it requires the use of a filter after the heater to keep from clogging the orifice. If you increase the flow rate you must add more heat but if you do this by simply using the same physically sized heater element to make the heat you are drematically increasing the watt-density and will likely create a lot of thickened or plasticized oil that will clog things up. I have not actually tested this yet by using 220 volts on my heater, don't think I will, instead I intend to add a second 1100 watt element inside of a second heater pipe and plumb these in paralell. This will double the flowrate but keep the watt-density the same as I am now working with and not create any more plugging problems than I am now having.

This links to a past discussion of "watt-density" of heating elements.

The picture below is from the ebay add.

shurflo_pump_pic.art (5 Kb, 69 downloads)
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tim,

Absolutely awesome work. I've been following this thread all along and am currently putting together my own unit.

I have a question regarding your last post, however. If you're using a hot water heater element rated at 2400 watts at 220 volts, wouldn't that produce only 600 watts at 110 volts? (Power = V^2/R) I think that in your last post you state that this same heater produces 1100 watts at 110 volts. Did I miss something?

Keep posting your excellent work. I think this is changing the face of WVO as a fuel.
 
Registered: January 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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My mistake -- The elements are rated at 4500 watts @ 220 volts, this becomes roughly the 1100 watts when powered with 110 volts.

I will add a correction to the above post, good catch, been a long night.
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Todd T -- I did a quick search of the part number you posted, this was the first site that popped up. The picture makes it look a bit like a plastic toy, hopefully this is misleading.
Re reading the ad I am not sure if the steam portion is part of the pressure unit or a seperate item that simply boils water for steam but not at the high pressure ?

Thinking about this a bit more you may be on to something, small hot water/pressure cleaners or cold water pressure cleaner units usually run at these high pressures of 1000-2000 PSI,These units are a bit more pricy but have real high pressure multi-piston pumps turned by regular 1/4 HP or more AC type motors.

Based on my VERY limited and crude "cold dewatering using pressure only" tests so far it may be that all that is nescicary is to feed oil into one of these and point the wand into a barrel ?

This ad says 1.5 G/M flow and a 1450 watt heater and 1550 PSI. Not enough heat for the flowrate if only using my 150 pounds pressure but may be way more than needed if using the 1500 pounds pressure. I would want to do a good bit of investigation on the pump to deturmine its capability to pump thicker oil and its reliability. Reading the ad makes me think this unit is not expected to run continuously but just in short bursts as it has such a limited steam water capacity ? Again, the steam may be independent of the pressure washer ?

I will keep an cheap eye out for some sort of a similar "hot water/ high pressure" unit to do some testing with (good old salvage yard).

I have been considering trying one of these "home steamer" units for cleaning equipment, If this type unit really does produce steam it should be a lot nicer for cleaning oil off of stuff than solvent and a rag, probably do a better job and be a lot faster. They sure make it look good for this in the late-night TV infomercials.
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tim, you are right about it looking kind of like a toy. These new 'homeowner' pumps have gotten really low cost. And cheap, too. They are essentially disposable.

You also bring up a great point on the pump. In second thought, I doubt it could handle the heavier viscosity of oil, even pre-heated.

As for regular pressure washers, the largest hot water pressure washer will be around 1.8gpm and 1000psi. Remember, these can't handle greater than 140* F on the suction side. Again, the valves may cause problems. They may have to be force-fed or at least gravity-fed. Most manufacturers rate them at about 180 degrees max discharge though you can see steam vapors rising from the spray.

My atmospheric evaporator plan was to use only the hot water side of these pumps and use a low pressure feed pump. I have three units that are essentially "hot boxes". They are oil-fired, 115v (pump, blower & transformer) heaters ranging from 435,000 to 700,000 BTU. They can be used with 40psi water (garden hose) or downstream from a pressure washer up to 3000psi.

Todd


2002 F-250, 7.3l on WVO since '04
'82 VW Rabbit diesel 1.6l na
'83 GMC 6.2l Class C RV
'85 F-350, 6.9l flat bed
'85 E-350, 6.9l cube van
2 Mercedes 300SD's
3 Chinese Changfa-style diesel generators- 12kw, 8kw & 7.5kw
Mitsubishi 3 cyl diesel generator/light tower
Kubota 2 cyl. diesel, water cooled air compressor
Onan 12.5kw air-cooled diesel genset
I run my company entirely on renewable energy including electricity from generators running on biofuels.

 
Location: El Dorado, Ark | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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OK - That saves me the trouble of trying to use a standard pressure washer pump. Thinking about this "high pressure cold dewatering", maybe all that is needed is an appropriatly sized standard high pressure hydraulic gear pump and a big enough motor to turn it, whatever that needs to be to create the pressure at your desired flow rate. Squirt oil through a pinhole at high pressure, a hydraulic gear pump, a motor, and a pinhole, can't get much simpler than that if it will do the job, won't know til I get to try it.
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah! I got my ShurFlo earlier this week and my McMaster-Carr order today. I got the .016" orifice and the 90 micron filter. But I'm a bit confused about the filter. Mine doesn't look anything like the one in your picture, Tim. It's much smaller. It looks more like a 1/4" male-male adapter with a bit of sintered bronze stuck inside. Although the filter itself is somewhat cylindrical, one end is more convex, the other more concave. It's p/n 98355K842 (300F/300psi). Now, I'm thinking you probably used 9800K41 (400F/3000psi).

I hope I'll be able to clean mine. Any ideas which way I should orient it: concave = in OR convex = in? I'm thinking it might be a bit easier to clean using the concave = in. I think a Q-tip might go in there, but if junk builds up around the edges of the convex, I don't think I could get anything down in there to clean it out except maybe a piece of wire. Then that might damage the element.

ShurFlo: When you put that plate over the end in place of the pressure switch diaphram, did you remove that little check valve?

Thanks for everything! (Oh, and did you get my PM?)


Brian

2000 Jetta TDI
1982 Mercedes 300D Turbo
1986 Isuzu P'up (NA)
1985 Mercedes 300D Turbo
75/25 WVO/D2 for warm weather
50/50 WVO/D2 for cold weather
Uniqueness is a treasure not to be buried. - Laurence Martel
 
Location: High Point, NC | Registered: May 04, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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johno -- I can not see the motor on your fan, does it have brushes or is it an induction motor ?

It's induction. Doesn't move much air - less than a hair dryer, but about right for what I need.

I also recently successfully tried reducing the power to my 1500 watt heating element using an autotransformer. In a viscous mixture of glycerin and water, it's easy to burn-out the element, even running at half voltage. By turning the autotransformer to 40% the unit was drawing only about 250 watts - enough to bubble but not enough to create hot spots that would burn out.
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Perkhouse -- Yes, The filter I am using is the 9800K41 - 400 deg, hi pressure.

Your smaller filter may work as a final filter just before the injection pump, been looking for somthing to use for that. The filter just above your part number on the mcmaster page also looks interesting, it has a removable stainless 10 micron screen that can be removed and cleaned without having to fiddle with the plumbing connections, a bit pricy at $66.00 but sure would make a conveniant final fuel filter.

The filter you have should work ok in the flash unit with good clean oil. I have found it wise to clean this filter each time I shut the unit down for a long period, the cintered brass holds on to the crud a lot once it cools down and the oil/crud gells inside the porous brass.

Usually a filter will put the dirty liquid on the outside of the filter element, the outside has a larger surface area than the inside so there is more space to clog up before having to change out the filter. This also allows you to fill the center with solvent and blow air from the inside to the outside, this helps to dislodge the gunk that is closest to the surface on the outside and the inside stays the cleanest. This also allows you to more easily use a brush and solvent to clean the outside surface.

Shurflo pump check valve -- The check valve stays, it is what keeps the pressure in the output hose from pushing back into the pump diaphragms. I left everything in place, even the ruptured diaphragm seal, this way I am sure that all the spacing and clerances are correct. A final gasket under the cover plate seals everything from leaking to the outside world.

(got the PM, send a mailing address)

johno -- Blower -- I have found that the small 12 volt blower unit I got from Ebay is working well for the flash unit. Running it at 12 volts moves just the right amount of air to clear the flash chamber of vapor but not so much that it carries a lot of the oil vapor out also. I did have to super glue the plastic blower wheel to the motor shaft - still think the commercial heat guns with 110 volt brush motors and metal blowers will work great with a cheap lamp dimmer to control there speed, I will eventually win a sale for one of these.

250 watts on one heating element seems to be a magic number for most things then, it does not burn veg or cause it to stick to the heater, they do turn dark but not cruddy or crusty. I run 2 elements at 250 watts each in my settling barrels and filter barrel, you can hold your hand on them for a couple of minutes when first plugged in, they even have survived being left on in free air with no oil in the barrel for about an hour without burning out. (these are elements with an original rating of 4500 watts with 220 volts. Now wireing 2 in series and putting 110 volts across both, this puts 55 volts on each element)

Autotransformers (variac type things) are real handy, especially for testing. I have several of different amperage sizes.
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was thinking of buying the 3/4 HP motor (with dual shafts) because it's a lot more versatile than the 1/3 HP and they draw the same current (???). I might find other uses for it. Besides, even with being 24 lbs vs 16 lbs, it's still a few dollars cheaper.
However, here's a price that can't be beat:
Do you think 1/12 HP is enough to turn the Suntec 2-stage pumps at 180 psi @ 20 gph? I looked through the Suntec specs, but couldn't find anything about pump load.
edit: Ok, sorry... after re-reading, I now see I need a minimum of 1/6 HP.

I've already ordered 2 of the Suntec model B2VA8216 - one for me and one for another SVOer here in town. We built his FE yesterday. I'll post pics to the list soon.
I found these links:
http://www.suntecpumps.com/B8000.htm
http://www.suntecpumps.com/PDFs/Form%202720%20-%20Model...20Flow%20Diagram.pdf

Flow & lower RPMs: We are planning to add multiple "orifi" to the output to increase the flow. We're pretty sure our heating elements can take it because of the very low duty cycle on the PID. Besides the pump, are there any other potential problems we should consider?

edit: I think I'll go with the 3/4 HP @ 3450 RPMs. Do I still need to block off the internal bypass?


Brian

2000 Jetta TDI
1982 Mercedes 300D Turbo
1986 Isuzu P'up (NA)
1985 Mercedes 300D Turbo
75/25 WVO/D2 for warm weather
50/50 WVO/D2 for cold weather
Uniqueness is a treasure not to be buried. - Laurence Martel
 
Location: High Point, NC | Registered: May 04, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I found these formulas at SurplusCenter.com
1 Hp = 1 GPM x 1500 Psi (linear relationship i.e. 2 GPM @ 1500 Psi = 2 Hp)
Hp to drive hydraulic pump = Psi x GPM / 1714

According to this, at 180 psi and 20 GPH (.33 GPM), a 1/29 HP motor would be sufficient. I think that assumes 100% efficiency, but I read somewhere that most small motors are about 35% efficient. So, if that's true, then a 1/10 HP motor should work.

Does any of this sound close to the real world?


Brian

2000 Jetta TDI
1982 Mercedes 300D Turbo
1986 Isuzu P'up (NA)
1985 Mercedes 300D Turbo
75/25 WVO/D2 for warm weather
50/50 WVO/D2 for cold weather
Uniqueness is a treasure not to be buried. - Laurence Martel
 
Location: High Point, NC | Registered: May 04, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Your "B" pump is a 2 -stage pump, these have more suction on there intake side, output pressures seem to be the same. I am using a single stage "A" pump, works ok as long as the oil does not need to be drawn up more than about 6 ft in height.

The larger motor should not be a problem, just overkill. From measuring the amps of the small 12 volt fan motor that I am using to power my similar suntec pump (A2Va-7116) I find that it takes right at the 1/6 HP to produce 180 pounds pressure. My pump only turns about 800 rpm and even this moves a bit more than the 5 G/H flow of oil that my FE will accept so there is a 1/16 inch trickle of oil flowing from the pumps overflow return line, If I turn the pump faster it only pushes the extra oil out the return line.

Motor HP requierments -- Looks like the 1/6 H/P is all that is needed for 150-180 pounds pressure, the flowrate is deturmined by the RPM. Once the pump hits the preset pressure and starts passing oil out the return line the HP requierment stays the same, faster RPM does not make any more pressure so the pump does not require any more significant HP to simply move the excess oil back out the return fuel line (or round-n-round inside the pump if you have it set up for only a single input fuel supply line and no return line, this simply reduces the amount of "suck" available on the input fuel line).

Internal bypass blockage -- Don't know about this if you are turning the pump at its rated 3600 RPM. My pump is from a oil fired pressure washer, the pump worked fine when I fired the burner up on the pressure washer, once I pulled the burner off the washer I could not get the pump to make pressure even when turning it with the motor that worked originally and while pumping the original red diesel fuel. Don't know what the differance was ? It was bypassing all the pumped oil back to the return line. From reading posts on web discussions of oil burner maintenance folks I found one referance indicating that the pump would not output oil until the speed was about 3200 rpm, this was with thinner fuel so it may be a bit less with thicker oil, I had to block off the internal bypass openings before the pump would move any oil at my low speed of 800 RPM. Even then I had to sometimes bump the pump with a wrench to get the internal pressure regulator piston to move into the "pressure" position as it has some bypass groves to further cause the pump to not output oil until it is up to speed. This has not been a problem lately, I think the thicker cold vegoil inside the pump at startup blocks these small bypass groves now that I have used the pump a few times.

20 G/H -- That may be a bit more than your pump will move even at 3600 RPM, will have to try it. I found referance to 17 G/H max for my pump, again on a maintenance web page. You will have to remove the internal strainer to get these higher flow rates, the strainer is what deturmines the listed G/H flow rate for these pumps, the particular gear set in the pump and the RPM that you turn it is what will deturmine the max flow rate (4 different gearsets used in these pumps).

Multiple heater pipes -- This should work ok, just one comment. - I am finding that at my 5 G/H flowrate the 1100 watts of heat from my heating element is about max before starting to cause the oil to thicken and/or burn to the heater element. Even this amount of heat required the use of the filter before the orifice to insure that the orifice plugging crud was caught. I now find it best to clean this filter each time the unit is cooled down for storage as the filter catches a good bit of thickened glop, sort of like petrolium jelly, If you let this jelly cool inside the cintered brass 90 micron filter element it is a lot harder to wash out of the brass matrix than when it is warm.
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ok, good stuff Tim!

One clarification though. We didn't intend to run multiple heaters, just 4 orifices from the same heat chamber. Do you think we'll have a problem heating the oil moving that "fast". (It's less than 3/4 ounce per second.) Maybe 3 orifices (15 GPH = 1/2 oz/sec) will be the max?

On another note: I don't know if you did any testing on the distance from the orifice to the strike plate, but from my experiments the greater the distance the more oil is vaporized. It seems that 3 to 4" is about optimal. But I have a .016" orifice; it may be different with the .018" orifice because of the different volume of oil.

I've got some pics to post as soon as my younger daughter finds the memory card I was using. Mad


Brian

2000 Jetta TDI
1982 Mercedes 300D Turbo
1986 Isuzu P'up (NA)
1985 Mercedes 300D Turbo
75/25 WVO/D2 for warm weather
50/50 WVO/D2 for cold weather
Uniqueness is a treasure not to be buried. - Laurence Martel
 
Location: High Point, NC | Registered: May 04, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Tim C just spent ages trying to read and take in all this dewatering with flash evaporator stuff, fascinating stuff you are doing. Earlier you were looking for a way of condensing water vapor with a bit of oil in it. If an on board 'filter on the fly' setup with exhaust heat was feasible what about sending the water vapour straight into the intake of the engine. The very small amount of water would do no harm. (water injection has been used for decades in various engines). The tiny amount of oil would be burned. The water would not be passing through the IP. When driving in rain or drizzle the engine would be likely to suck in more water with no ill effect. Comments? Good luck with your testing.
John


Johnno
4WD Isuzu Jackaroo 3.1 110,000km on WVO 2 tank home built system 6 solenoids. Mk. 8 version.
 
Location: South Oz | Registered: October 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by Johnno:
.... If an on board 'filter on the fly' setup with exhaust heat was feasible what about sending the water vapour straight into the intake of the engine. The very small amount of water would do no harm. (water injection has been used for decades in various engines). The tiny amount of oil would be burned. The water would not be passing through the IP. When driving in rain or drizzle the engine would be likely to suck in more water with no ill effect. Comments? Good luck with your testing.
John
Not a bad idea, but would water contain other stuff not wanted in the engine? Acids, etc. If not the only thing I might see as an issue is the oil in the water clogging whatever you use as an injecter.


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Location: North Tx | Registered: November 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The water would also need really good filtering before spraying into the engine, probably better than was strictly necessary for the oil being spray dried. If it's like my oil, it contains a lot of grill-cleaning brick grit.
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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