Hey all, looking to work on some new high performance biodiesel options. More specifically, Methyl Ester structures that combine the best properties of multiple feedstocks into a single fuel blend sticking to true B100 principles. Since this fuel would be used specifically for racing engines, properties that might not work well in everyday applications are open to this fuel.
I believe that those of us who produce and use heavy biodiesel blends on a daily basis understand the properties better than most. We all know the BTU's are typically a little less than petro diesel, which equals lower MPG and a bit less power at B100 levels in stock applications. But the fuels other properties like higher Ctane, quicker burn rate, and resistance to aeration all lend themselves to the high performance side. So I'd like to look at how best to develop a blend or chain that focuses on these type properties and allow the engine tuners to adjust timing and fuel mixtures to them.
Here is some stuff I'd find to be a good starting structure.
Since I'm a engineer by trade, but not a chemical engineer, there is plenty of aspects to consider that I've missed. So this should be an open discussion where anything worth exploring is considered. Much of this info is out there on the web, so feel free to share what you find. We'll also need access to perform some lab testing on the blends. Once we have something mixed up worth perusing, the engines and dyno time I can line up to verify the fuels performance vs dynoD.
There is what I propose, a biodiesel that can outperform petrol diesel or be blended with it to achieve more power than petrol alone. Worthy of racing applications...
There has been some research done in the past to improve biodiesel in a few areas.
Biodiesel, with most common feedstocks available are long chain fatty acid methyl esters.
There was a company that was experimenting with biodiesel through some kind of modification technique to change it to SHORT chain fatty acid methyl esters. Their research was conducted to find a way to make a biodiesel-like fuel from WVO to use in turbine engines that had better cold weather properties and some other ones that made it better for combustion in turbine engines at high altitudes.
Sounds interesting, please post a link to that work if you run across it again.
I recall when Virgin made the first flight on biodiesel in 2008 they used a blend of coconut and Brazilian babassu as the feedstock, but primarily because those "did not compete with staple food sources and came from existing mature plantations." They were pretty concerned about the cold flow properties, only fueled one engine with B100. The Navy's Green Hornet tested in 2010 with B50 blends of fuel derived from the camelina plant, with no backup systems and no reported fuel issues.
This week I've started compiling some fuel properties data from the best sources of feedstock characteristics I've found, so far that's the 2009 Sanford, S.D., et al., “Feedstock and Biodiesel Characteristics Report,”. Covers a bunch of feedstock properties in detail, but it lacks data such as BTU's and Cetane figures on the finished methyl esters. Would love to find a completed study of those properties.
Found a partial BTU work up is listed in the March 2003 • NREL/SR-510-31460 Production of Biodiesels from Multiple Feedstocks and Properties of Biodiesels and Biodiesel/Diesel Blends. They list Canola biodiesel as the highest BTU's with 17,241 and Yellow Grease came in second at 17,215. Probably half that yellow grease was used canola oil, but it's still interesting.
Gotta be some more recent studies, I've just not found them...
This topic is interesting because more power per cu. in. is being squeezed out of engines on the normal production equipment being sold. We have a 150 hp tractor with the same block as our 285 hp tractor. My math skills are not good, but that is a lot more btus being pumped through the same cu. inches.
We are trying to get 10,000 hrs out of our tractors, not 15 seconds like the pullers.
i slipped and fell cleaning out tanks filled with cocconut oil for the bio jet project. I didn't mind, i love the smell of that oil...
AZ; I'd love to have some of that coconut biodiesel just to smell it burning.. Close your eyes and imagine your on a topless beach. Bet it smells better than the onion ring oil from the local bar we first made fuel from...
Farmer; you interested in trading a little canola bioD for some corn bioD to help out this project??
I found this interesting article on Jatropha biodiesel, Singh, R.N.; Vyas, D.K.; Srivastava, N.S.L.; Narra, M. SPRERI experience on holistic approach to utilize all parts of Jatropha curcas fruit for energy.
Two interesting parts in there, the dyno reported better numbers on higher bio blends, which they attributed it to the availability of oxygen in bio-diesel and lubrication. If this data is correct it would put Jatropha pretty high on the power feedstock list.
Found a fairly recent paper on engine performance with biodiesel that lists a bunch of other good studies as references. This one is a great read even if your just looking to understand why certain blends of bio and diesel fuel perform better than others. If anyone interested in this topic has some time to sort out the relevant studies related to this topic and list them here that would be great.
Effect of biodiesel on engine performances and emissions Jinlin Xuea,b,∗, Tony E. Grift a, Alan C. Hansena
Much of the stuff I've found so far supports my theory of biodiesels oxygen content is key to performance and lower emissions. Also that to achieve the best performance on high bioD blends you need to adjust [retard] injection timing and increase fuel rail pressure to optimize atomization of biodiesel. Since most of the research has been related to lowering emissions effects, no one turned up the fuel pulse width to use these fuels properties to go after more power. But I have found one study on oxygenates that tested increasing biodiesel oxygen content from 10% to over 25%. Emissions drop off was huge, and soot output was lowered dramatically without using a DPF.
I'm betting this heavy oxygen approach will work well for power if you put say 15-20% more fuel into the cylinder until it starts rolling coal again.
Can folks comment on ways to oxygen enrich biodiesel?
Would be it as simple as adding air bubblers at the bottom of the tank?
If so, would be possible to pressurize the tank to an amount and leave it under pressure?
Two things could be done with that.
One: have a pump circulate the biodiesel inside the tank going through something like a fine shower head to atomize the biodiesel inside the air space cavity inside the tank, and
Two: if the tank was at or near the fueling point, it would be simple to fill a car instead of using another pump to fuel the vehicle.
I would have thought that blending bio with small quantities of "organic" peroxide ,benzoyl peroxide for instance,might be possible.But you could be on the road to making a big bang if not careful.
NASA's Cenataur rocket engine is powered by a blend of kero and liquid oxygen-that must be some fuel.
Chemically blending looks to be an easy way to do it. Found these compounds that have been successfully tested in diesel fuel emission studies.
VOL. 6, NO. 3, MARCH 2011 ISSN 1819-6608
ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
THE EFFECT OF TWO OXYGENATES ON DIESEL ENGINE EMISSIONS
"Two different synthetic oxygenated compounds namely Diphenyl ether (DPE) and Diethelene glycol dimethyl ether (DIGLYME) "
Also found this interesting fuel blend studied. A "tri-component", rapeseed oil methyl esters, diesel fuel and ethanol (RME–D–E) . Blend was tested at 15-19% oxygen levels. Also an emissions study, but I can't find the entire article posted for free anywhere. Here is one link, to the abstract.
they use the liquid oxygen for not so much thrust producing but more as an oxidizer... to enable propulsion rockets to burn in low oxygen environments, ie upper atmosphere and space.
While it may very well be possible for a well funded, well equipped organization to experiment with such things as adding liquid oxygen to biodiesel, the rest of use have to invent other ways to enrich our fuels.
I view biodiesel as a real-world, viable, open source fuel, and my idea behind it is to keep it that way. Keep a fuel for the people, liberate from and give competition to the monopolies.
So if the oil companies that own the refineries which make our gas, diesel and other petroleum products that the world has sick reliance on using technologies that folks can only dream of, then there is a way for the intuitive folk to do the same.
The technologies they use are not magical. If you google search refraction distillation towers, you will see how the petroleum products are made. They just do it in a very large scale.
Now. This discussion can get off topic real quick. So let's get to this point.
Any fuel that does not contain any or little amount of oxygen molecules must have an external source of oxygen in order to burn. The fossil fuels in your vehicle has a stoichometric ratio, or the air/fuel ratio. Given this, if you add more oxygen molecules to the fuel being burn, you will have a more successful burn completion rate, and the requirement for fuel goes down... to a point. There comes a level when you have too much of one or the other and the combustion will not occur.
Now, the question or challenge to solve. How does the home biodiesel producer enrich his fuels for a better, more complete burn?
It is obvious the while diesel engines can run without modification on WVO or biodiesel, but at a lower output because the engine is tuned for a specific burn rate. WVO and biodiesel have a slower burn rate and the engine timing must be advanced.....
BUT, one forget that there is an optimum engine speed for an engine to burn the fuel completely and a specific load. The faster the engine turns the crank, the less time the fuel has to completely burn.
I think you need to change the alcohol from methanol to butanol. Energy comes from breaking bonds, the more bonds broken the more energy. Saturated fatty acids such as palm oil have more bonds. Butanol has 3 more carbon bonds than methanol, therefore more energy. Likely not good in the cold.
This is the fuel used by Audi in their endurance racers (ie 24 hours of Le Mans racing) This year they won with a hybrid diesel that captured the energy from braking (KERS - kinetic energy recovery system)
Good info TDI, sounds easy enough to explore with some small feedstock samples.
Ya gotta respect the Audi engineers, or anything spilling out of the Bosch boys rolling bio labs. Majority of the worlds new diesel engines are now fueling by common rail..
Project23D, biodiesel actually has a quicker burn rate than petroleum diesel. Hence less timing advance is needed to achieve optimal cylinder pressures.. So by theory that property would also allow you to burn more fuel in the same time-frame before TDC.
As a quick performance enhancer have you tried adding acetone to bio?The addition rate is very small,of the order, ~0.15%.
It does seem to give more grunt when you put your foot down,and easier quicker starting.
It is always hard to know if the effect is real,or you just think it is.But the thinking behind it is that it enhances wetting and better spray patterns.
As I can get it free from work ,I add it to most of my homebrew (when I remember that is).
Here's an explanation on biodiesel performance I grabbed and saved during a conversation at CumminsForum, I think.
I took this all to heart when I set the fuel timing on my 12V Cummins. I wanted to push toward better mileage-more complete burn, but knowing I would get some effective advance just from running BD, I couldn't push too far. I settled at 17 degrees advance, knowing 18 degrees was considered the furthest you could go and still start well in cold climates on dino diesel. I figure in the summer as I am running higher and higher % of BD, I might be seeing an effective 20 degrees advance between the physical change and what the BD adds in lighting off sooner.
I did that last summer and so far so good.
Taralec; I've heard of using acetone before, mostly from the UVO/diesel fuel blending side. Any technical studies out there on the web showing the effects in diesels? Will add it to the list of possible performance enhancers for now, believe it falls under organic compounds. When I last worked with it [25 years ago] I recall it evaporating rather fast like ether, that's about it.. Since I plan on lab testing a bunch of fuel samples before moving onto the dyno testing, would be an easy mix.
On the biodiesel timing topic, that forum description is in line with stuff I've collected over the years. The ease of ignition and quicker burn rate [both heavily related to oxygen content] equals more cylinder pressure before the piston reaches TDC. The trick is finding that sweet spot where you reach optimal pressure for power without going past it. You go to advanced you get counter productive, at worse you bust pistons and bend rods in high HP applications.
That's why I have few biodiesel casualties laying around the shop. Boat Dmax was tuned for max power [27deg primary pulse] on petro diesel by the builders. When I moved up to high bioD blends the failures started. Now use switch on fly tunes running 20 to 24 degrees max advance for bioD, she is a happy camper so far. There is a tool I'm attempting to barrow that takes all the guess work out of timing. With pressure sensors in the glow plug holes you can map the burn patterns against crank angle. A lot of variables come into play like rpm, fuel atomization properties, burn rate and such that are best guess unless you can see the pressure spikes. On the street you see these changes as MPG, in racing applications it's not easy to isolate such slight differences before breaking parts. Is also why teams like Audi can dominate on biodiesel.
Thanks for a great response and all the info,I assume you are talking common rail when you mention multi pulse injection.Nearly all my homebrew goes into a 2.5lt tdi(idi engine) land rover.I have recently (last autumn before it got cold)run 50 lts of bio through my ford 2lt tdci common rail engine,which went well on about b70/dino diesel.In fact the bio must have done a good clean on the injectors because when I reverted to 100% dino,my odometer was showing (and still is) 53.8 mpg.In the 5 years I have owned the car it has never read higher than 46.8 mpg (all dino diesel)
Acetone/Rug etc, I only mess around with the landrover,I would hate to suggest you try acetone in a premium common rail just in case something went wrong ,or the acetone (albeit tiny %)chewed up seals etc.
That piece of kit you plan to borrow for exact i/p timing sounds brilliant,looking forward to seeing how you get on.
Kens speed boat is awesome on b 100. I use a water/methanol injection system with my f 250 and it seems pretty happy when i stomp on it. When going up a steep grade it feels as the engine doesn't work as hard and it accelerates without pushing any more pedal. With 80 to 100 % bio in the tank. As for the fuel, what if we could make a special catalyst in the fuel filter that could somehow oxygenate the biodiesel just before the injection ? just a thought!
PPE in Ca. video on Youtube.
625 HP DMax in a 22 ft boat with the Allison 5
speed. Has a list of trick parts in the motor.
Didn't say anything about how it was programmed but it did claim
65mph @ 2200RPM.
Their boat smokes
regards to all
1999 K3500 Dually with a new AMG 6.5TD turned up a bit by John Kennedy
Chevy DMax Totaled thanks to a 20 year old in a Mustang
Thanks coop, I actually have a water/methanol injection system on the boat, yet to be wired in. That same oxygenating effect is a key property I feel needs to be elevated in this fuel. The inline catalyst is a neat idea that could be explored further, would dampen any OX-Stab issues that I foresee by jacking the oxygen level.
I'd like to isolate the best power potential from a few feedstocks then O2 boost chemically with (DPE)or(DIGLYME) just prior to dyno testing. That way we can chart each fuel performance raw, then adjust fuel injection quantity to the additional oxygen.
Tom, that boat is the latest marine test bed from the guys who originally owned and built mine. The addition of an Allison transmission in there greatly improved the diesels overall marine performance. However it takes up a lot of seating space. Mine can run 80mph, with 7 people on-board... Those guys are great to work with and also into biodiesel. I spoke to them last week about helping out on this fuel project. They have a Dmax that's engine dyno ready and access to those nice test probes I mentioned above.
Mine will roll some coal too, just not near as much on B100.
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