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Thread: alcohol internal combustion small engines

  1. #21
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    JustPassinThru's Avatar
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    Well, you may find that the engine, which does fine with gasoline, is unable to spin the generator stater at full throttle under any significant electrical load. So, depending on the generator, it dumps the load by tripping a breaker, or it sends reduced power out. Which won't work for most essential equipment.

    I've never worked with a natural-gas conversion, so I don't know exactly; but I expect the atomizing jets are entirely different or modified at least. NG and propane are both vapors as delivered; they need only be mixed with air.

    So the engine can suck down more; as much as the pressure-regulator allows.

    Not so much with alcohol. It has to be vaporized, similar to gasoline. There's a limit to what a small carb can do; so you may find fuel delivery limited.

    Look, I'm not trying to bust your chops; I'm encouraging you to be skeptical. It's not been done in large numbers, and I think, if you try, you may find out the reason.

    You may spend a lot of money and time finding that out.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physics Hunter View Post
    Ish, If I were to try this, I would start with the basics from this link:

    How to Build an Alcohol Engine | It Still Runs
    Thanks PH. And BTW.... hope you and yours are OK.

    although the modification experience would be slightly different for a single digit horsepower engine - easier or harder I'm not sure - there is some good info there.

    In the defense industry, I'm full time working but maybe this summer or fall I might take one of my three WEN 56202 generators and experiment. I won't jeopardize the couple of hondas EU2200s that I have experimenting.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustPassinThru View Post
    Well, you may find that the engine, which does fine with gasoline, is unable to spin the generator stater at full throttle under any significant electrical load. So, depending on the generator, it dumps the load by tripping a breaker, or it sends reduced power out. Which won't work for most essential equipment.

    I've never worked with a natural-gas conversion, so I don't know exactly; but I expect the atomizing jets are entirely different or modified at least. NG and propane are both vapors as delivered; they need only be mixed with air.

    So the engine can suck down more; as much as the pressure-regulator allows.

    Not so much with alcohol. It has to be vaporized, similar to gasoline. There's a limit to what a small carb can do; so you may find fuel delivery limited.

    Look, I'm not trying to bust your chops; I'm encouraging you to be skeptical. It's not been done in large numbers, and I think, if you try, you may find out the reason.

    You may spend a lot of money and time finding that out.
    I don't need much. We need our radio batteries charged as well as our security cameras. We find it easier to plan our operations over a couple square miles of our fort when we can communicate. Solar and wind are fine but looking for a fallback solution as well. The squibs that set off the charges to stop the roving band of marauders trying to steal our water and ammo can run off of the capacitor bank but those things need charged too.... occasionally.

    With a full time distiller on site, we can make and distill as much as we need of the 90% stuff. Got plenty of wood. Would prefer not to use up the grain stores but ... in a pinch can use some.

    Last edited by Call_me_Ishmael; 03-31-2020 at 12:39 PM.
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  4. #24
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    I know there aren't long term usage issues that this experiment didn't have to be concerned with. But hey hey hey...... this is exactly what I was asking about..... small engine usage. as far as the engine not being real smooth, my honda eu2200i generators purr on gasoline. on natural gas.... not as smooth. Maybe a spark or timing adjustment could change that but the point is the alcohol and the natural gas seem to run a gasoline engine pretty well at least for a short time.

    Last edited by Call_me_Ishmael; 03-31-2020 at 04:48 PM.
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