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Old 09-07-2012, 11:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Glycerol waste used as fuel 'breakthrough'

Please would the community be good enough to give me their opinion of this technology:
Powering Diesel Engines with Glycerine


The bit on their website that I most struggle with is:
"The patented technology makes Glycerine the perfect fuel, burning with higher efficiency than diesel".

Considering their process involves heating the incoming air to 200C how can it be even a match for Diesel's efficiency. However, a student friend says he's seen compelling evidence that the process works... ?

Many thanks.

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Old 09-07-2012, 11:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds good, maybe I can make $$ selling biodiesel waste to someone who wants to try to burn that sticky nasty junk.

But if you don't preheat it and get incomplete combustion it produces acrolein, very toxic. It also polymerizes, so it will gum up injection systems and engines with ease.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Seems like the article focused on using it for power generation rather than transport. Sounds like a good idea. If your by-products are fuel-grade, that should help amortize the cost of biodiesel production.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback; more please!
It's true, as Niky kindly points out, the research so far seems to have focused on electrical power (and CHP is also being looked at, I've heard). It was a bit remiss of me to stick this link up on a (mainly) car-focus site without explanation(!). And even then, it's still fair to be concerned about the acrolein emissions as well UFO!

Additionally, though they are supposedly also looking into Marine applications - Which is partially where my interest comes in, as I'm part of a group that's been looking to reinvigorate the commercial uses of London's great river!
In fact, it is something that I thought had marine potential (more than any other transport) straight away, as the operation of boat engines have a number of advantages for this tech (if it works!), as I see it.
First, I think I'm right in concluding that, as any engine design that requires serious amounts of charge preheating is going to require a pretty effective cooling system, water is our friend.
Second, the variation in load on a marine diesel is somewhat limited compared to, say, the average car engine in it's cycle. So this means that combustion control has the capacity to do a much better job of limiting toxic emissions.

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