FAQ  •  Register  •  Login

Ethanol

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

<<

Neil74

Posts: 251

Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 9:38 pm

Location: Hudson, Florida

Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:45 am

Ethanol

Can you run Harley;s on a 85% alcohol mix? I don't mean only the new bikes, but all models. I see were Georgia will be producing ethanol and I assume several other plants to follow. We can't expect to have gasoline only forever. Can there be changes made to burn 85%-100% alcohol so we can continue to enjoy riding our old machines or are our day's numbered? I read the article on building custom bikes from scratch, can these machines meet the emissions on alcohol? Or will they have the same emissions as with gas? Just wondering if our machines will all become show bikes, no longer used for a pleasurable ride? Don't they use alcohol in South America, What do they do different to there bikes and cars? Neil
<<

Curt!

Posts: 903

Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Hill City, Ks. USA

Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:37 am

Neil
Man, that's a complicated question. I do know that none of the current fuel injection systems will work with more than 20% ethanol. In the 30's a lot of people particularly farmers around here that had still ran all sorts of motors on ethanol. That doesn't mean that they were dependable or ran well, but they did run. I'm a big proponent of E85, but there are a lot of changes that would need to be made to jetting and timing . Ethanol tends to eat some plastics and rubber gaskets and o-rings. Most of that sort of stuff will need to be replaced with different materials. I don't expect that gasoline will disappear in our lifetimes, but it may get more expensive.

Ethanol plants are popping up all over this part of the country. It's a technology who's time has come, but more research needs to be done on how to use it effectively. Brazil is almost completely powered by Ethanol. HD is making bikes to run down there, but I haven't heard how they are working with the local fuel.
Curt!
<<

Neil74

Posts: 251

Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 9:38 pm

Location: Hudson, Florida

Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:12 am

Curt
If Harley is selling machines and they are running in brazil shouldn't there be some sort of literature and parts numbers to label the changes? Also do the automotive company's ship the same vehicles we purchase to Brazil and then require them to make the changes? Shouldn't this information be available to all of us? Why do we need to re-research information that has been used for years?
<<

Curt!

Posts: 903

Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Hill City, Ks. USA

Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:18 am

Neil
The bikes sold in Brazil are built in Brazil. Primarily it is and import duty issue, but if there are ethanol mods, they would be done there. I was just in several EFI seminars when I went to Cinci and the question of E85 came up several times. The experts just cringed every time it was mentioned. One of the guys commented "When Harley makes an E85 bike, we'll make an EFI controller for it" So officially HD isn't building one. I'll have to look into what the bikes sold in Brazil will run on. Anybody who has some info about this can sure chime in with an answer.
Curt!
<<

Neil74

Posts: 251

Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 9:38 pm

Location: Hudson, Florida

Post Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:40 am

Curt
If the bikes are built in Brazil minus the ability to run on Ethanol and then made to run on Ethanol, who owns the information on the running of these machines? Is this information Harley has and won't disclose? Or does the government of Brazil own this information?
<<

Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2675

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:54 am

Mike Brown proved years ago that an OHV can be easily made to run on 95% ethanol by just cleaning the old carbon out and opening up the fuel supply.

Ethanol itself is a great fuel, but mixing it with petroleum products is a diabolical conspiracy.

....Cotten
<<

Andrew J. Hester

User avatar

Posts: 614

Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 1:01 am

Location: Roxboro, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Post Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:51 am

To elaborate further on what Cotten stated, I always began my alcohol experiments on one of the many 5 hp B&S engines that I kept around. Blow one, and you have plenty of cheap parts for the others. Anyway, I wouldn't even go as far as cleaning the carbon. I would advance the timing so far, that the flywheel key/crankshaft key slots never came close to matching. Couldn't even use the offset keys that the cart racers use. Just torque it down and run it. These engines run great, with lots of torque. And, cranked very easy. No other mods. Of course, I never left it at that. The carbon disappeared on it's own. And, oil changes were a must, as it got milky after much fun.

Jack
<<

Neil74

Posts: 251

Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 9:38 pm

Location: Hudson, Florida

Post Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:03 pm

When running 95%, what did he use for the 5%? If Georgia is going to make ethanol from waste lumber, shouldn't we all be fighting for the use of Hemp? It would solve the greenhouse effect by leaving our forest alone,and supplying paper, cardboard, lumber and cloth, plus we could get alcohol and bio-diesal. And instead of paying our farmers to not grow a crop it would cost no more to pay them the same money to grow a crop! If I am reading right, i would have to open up the jets in my carbuerator and advance the timing.
Cotten you say an OHV will run, What about a flathead, will my Indian also run on Alcohol? Can you open the jets on a Linkert for alcohol and close them to run gasoline if that is all that is available? or do they have to be opened much more than that?
Neil
<<

Curt!

Posts: 903

Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Hill City, Ks. USA

Post Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:36 pm

As I understand it, you get the most bang for the buck making ethanol out of sugar beets. Around here the plants use corn. When they are done with it, the waste is fed to cows and has as much nutritional value as the corn did before it was processed.
Curt!
<<

Neil74

Posts: 251

Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 9:38 pm

Location: Hudson, Florida

Post Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:58 pm

At least that way they're using everything with little waste! And the money stays here in America.
<<

Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2675

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:12 pm

The first sweet drippin's from a still is 95% ethanol and 5% water.
Thats the same as 'Everclear', or the best moonshine.
And that's what Mike Brown ran on.

It's also 95 octane.

But here's where things go sour:
In order to mix it with gasoline, that last 5% of water must be removed.
There is where the economics of the whole conspiracy goes to hell. It takes more energy and expense to rectify the ethanol than you get back out of it. It's a loser.

For a quarter century this folly has been foisted upon the public while addicting farmers to subsidies just so the 'green' psychographic has something to ease their consciences.

It does nothing to reduce dependency upon fossil fuels.
It only reassures the petroleum industry of its hold upon the world economy.

Almost any vegetable biomass can be fermented: wood chips, silage, even recycled paper. Sugarbeets or cane or fruit have the advantage of not needing so much cellulose or starch converted to simple sugars before the yeast can convert them to ethanol.

The technologies for community-based fuel production were worked out thoroughly in the 1930's. With mass transit vehicles such as buses and trains dedicated to using it, there really could be an impact upon motor fuel needs, while saving the fossil fuels for vehicles that require them.

But that would rob the petroleum industry of billions.

....Cotten
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4718

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:49 pm

And that ain't no Bull !!!! If you all got land, buy or build a still and brew your own fuel. Don't toss those tater skins and the like ! Distill them. No federal laws prevent the distilling of moonshine brews for fuel usage. Law does prevent and or regulate the sale of or use of for consumption. Local laws may have guidance levels pertaining to this but most of them are directed at land area needed and safety.

Jack........I replied to a familiar topic on this many months ago about a neighbor of mine and the lawn equipment he ran on it. Saw it for myself in action. Pa
<<

Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2675

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:14 pm

Remember also how alcohol racers eliminate fins on their motors?

Ethanol burns too cool for a normal flatty. In a cool climate, even an 8to1 OHV would be hard to start and run until it got up to temperature.

One excuse for blending gas into it is to make motors start easier, and run hotter.

To run a high ethanol percentage you will need to increase the effective compression dramatically. And start working on an enormous tank as well.

....Cotten
<<

Neil74

Posts: 251

Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 9:38 pm

Location: Hudson, Florida

Post Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:42 pm

Thanks Pa and Cotten,
As usual a wealth of information in a short order. My hats off to you. I will take it all in and do some more research, sounds like we all will be enjoying fossil fuels for some time to come!
Neil
<<

Dusty-Dave

Posts: 883

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Ojo Caliente,NM,USA

Post Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:48 pm

A little nitromethene will warm it up nicely.
Dusty
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4718

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:06 am

We have diesel engines now running on cooking oils that are initially started with normal diesel fules for warm up purposes. Why not incorporate a small fuel tank which holds gasoline for the same purpose on fossil fuel run engines combustion engines ? Pa
<<

Neil74

Posts: 251

Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 9:38 pm

Location: Hudson, Florida

Post Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:46 am

Could you put the alcohol in the freezer and skim off the frozen water?
Ethanol may not be as efficient as gasoline but we may be needing something quick, I know we have all heard stories of different fuels being used during WWII. What did they run flatheads on then?
<<

Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2675

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:02 am

Alcohols have an affinity for water that makes them hard to separate completely. That's why "Heet" works as a gasline antifreeze, as it 'absorbs' traces of water.

Rectification is that last step after what simple distilling will remove. Usually it means distilling with really bad things like benzene, and it takes a lot of energy, and of course, a very special facility that won't blow up.

I found that merely passing the distillate through a column of dessicant such as "Drierite" (a lot like baked kitty litter) could easily take it to 96 or 97%.
But to mix it with gasoline it needs to approach 100%. At that concentration, it will pull moisture out of the air.

Stable 95% ETOH and 5%H20 is the obvious choice for a fuel. Think of it as water injection!

....Cotten
<<

Andrew J. Hester

User avatar

Posts: 614

Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 1:01 am

Location: Roxboro, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Post Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:17 am

To the question about cold starting, as in Winter weather, I've hand cranked the B&S flatheads (meaning the little 5 hp engines that are common-place to everything) with the temperatures in the 30's DegF. No gasoline or any other starting fluid. I've never tried alcohol on a Flathead V-Twin. And, I don't remember the compression ratio of a typical B&S 5 hp. But, they ran strong, and they ran clean.

As far as changing the effective compression on the Flathead H-D's, degreeing the intake cams to close a bit sooner (also, meaning that they open a bit sooner) is easy enough, though I'm thinking a special grind to open them at their OEM spec, and close sooner may be better. Maybe someone has tried this. I'm thinking the stock ones will run ok, for a trial.

Jack
<<

Curt!

Posts: 903

Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Hill City, Ks. USA

Post Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:27 pm

Neil
Here's an interesting read for you from Mike Brown's website.
http://www.mikebrownsolutions.com/ethanol.htm
Curt!
Next

Return to Shoot The Bull

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2012 phpBB Group.