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Thread: alcohol internal combustion small engines

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    alcohol internal combustion small engines

    anyone know if they exist? like a few horsepower. I'm not referring to gasoline and ethanol. I mean all alcohol... or alcohol and something that is obtainable if gasoline isnt.
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    Not sure what small engines you are talking about, but they can be adapted to run off propane. A lot of people with RV's have their generators running off their propane tank.

    I run 100ll avgas in my two small Honda generators, pressure washer and also my log splitter when I had it. Whats great about that is it lasts years and can be bought at airports. Although it is pricey.

    My experience with alcohol years ago with my buddies small block Chevy powered modified circle track car, is they have to be jetted really fat. Hence they use a lot more fuel than a gasoline engine. The biggest advantage is they run way cooler which was great at the race tracks in the hot Sacramento valley in summer. Availability would be tough as only race shops sold it and only in 55 gallon drums.
    Last edited by Kodiak; 03-30-2020 at 09:36 PM.

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    Hmm ... we all made IC one cylinder engines in shop back in high school running on alcohol. There have to be plans somewhere. If I remember correctly, they were clear plastic, so we could see what was happening. We never did any real work with them, so power was unknown.

    I also seem to remember where someone ran a truck off alcohol that was produced from a still burning wood in the bed of the truck. They had to start it with gas but down the road would make the switch.

    My stepfather always told stories of his Model T that would run on kerosene. Again, he started it with gasoline and flipped a switch to run off a kerosene tank. This was in WWII when gas was scarce.
    Last edited by dinosaur; 03-30-2020 at 09:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Ishmael View Post
    anyone know if they exist? like a few horsepower. I'm not referring to gasoline and ethanol. I mean all alcohol... or alcohol and something that is obtainable if gasoline isnt.
    Drinking alcohol is not greater than 40% ethanol. An engine cannot run on this level of dilution.

    Ethanol is the type of alcohol that is in beer, wine, whisky, etc.

    Yes, of course it's possible for an internal combustion engine to run on ethanol. It is a little bit more corrosive over time than regular fuel. It also burns a little bit cooler, which is not entirely a bad thing.

    Your question was not the most precise and I am not exactly sure what you are asking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dinosaur View Post
    I also seem to remember where someone ran a truck off alcohol that was produced from a still burning wood in the bed of the truck. They had to start it with gas but down the road would make the switch.
    This is called "wood gas". I believe we have had a thread about it in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kazenatsu View Post
    Drinking alcohol is not greater than 40% ethanol. An engine cannot run on this level of dilution.

    Ethanol is the type of alcohol that is in beer, wine, whisky, etc.

    Yes, of course it's possible for an internal combustion engine to run on ethanol. It is a little bit more corrosive over time than regular fuel. It also burns a little bit cooler, which is not entirely a bad thing.

    Your question was not the most precise and I am not exactly sure what you are asking.
    you can make nearly 100% ethanol... or other alcohols.
    I said nothing about using the diluted kind you drink.
    Last edited by Call_me_Ishmael; 03-30-2020 at 10:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazenatsu View Post
    Drinking alcohol is not greater than 40% ethanol. An engine cannot run on this level of dilution.

    Ethanol is the type of alcohol that is in beer, wine, whisky, etc.

    Yes, of course it's possible for an internal combustion engine to run on ethanol. It is a little bit more corrosive over time than regular fuel. It also burns a little bit cooler, which is not entirely a bad thing.

    Your question was not the most precise and I am not exactly sure what you are asking.
    what am I asking?

    post a link to an engine I can buy that runs on just alcohol...or a link to a conversion kit. I'm not asking about theoreticals.
    Last edited by Call_me_Ishmael; 03-30-2020 at 10:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiak View Post
    Not sure what small engines you are talking about, but they can be adapted to run off propane. A lot of people with RV's have their generators running off their propane tank.

    I run 100ll avgas in my two small Honda generators, pressure washer and also my log splitter when I had it. Whats great about that is it lasts years and can be bought at airports. Although it is pricey.

    My experience with alcohol years ago with my buddies small block Chevy powered modified circle track car, is they have to be jetted really fat. Hence they use a lot more fuel than a gasoline engine. The biggest advantage is they run way cooler which was great at the race tracks in the hot Sacramento valley in summer. Availability would be tough as only race shops sold it and only in 55 gallon drums.
    I've converted multiple small gasoline engines to run off of propane as well as natural gas. I'm asking about alcohol fueled engines.
    Last edited by Call_me_Ishmael; 03-30-2020 at 10:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinosaur View Post
    Hmm ... we all made IC one cylinder engines in shop back in high school running on alcohol. There have to be plans somewhere. If I remember correctly, they were clear plastic, so we could see what was happening. We never did any real work with them, so power was unknown.

    I also seem to remember where someone ran a truck off alcohol that was produced from a still burning wood in the bed of the truck. They had to start it with gas but down the road would make the switch.

    My stepfather always told stories of his Model T that would run on kerosene. Again, he started it with gasoline and flipped a switch to run off a kerosene tank. This was in WWII when gas was scarce.
    yes...a one cylinder engine is what I'm interested in. I'm not going to make one though. I'm impressed that you did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Ishmael View Post
    I've converted multiple small gasoline engines to run off of propane as well as natural gas. I'm asking about alcohol fueled engines.
    Pretty sure you can run any engine off alcohol if it's jetted correctly and has a carb set up for it. As far as finding one that is alky ready, the internet is your friend.

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