H2 from Ethanol by dehydrogenation. - Page 2 - Fuelly Forums

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Old 06-27-2008, 03:03 PM   #11
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Something happened! 27mpg near as dammit. See gaslog entry date of this post. 6% Higher than best tank, 15+% over average.

Now, did methanol do that on it's own or not???? Or on the other hand, who cares It's getting another bottle.
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
Something happened! 27mpg near as dammit. See gaslog entry date of this post. 6% Higher than best tank, 15+% over average.

Now, did methanol do that on it's own or not???? Or on the other hand, who cares It's getting another bottle.
Ok, the fondu methanol...

How much is actually methanol?

I used to sell racing fuels, and most of the "racing methanols" were only about 92% methanol.

The concept is at least interesting.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by usedgeo View Post
I don't want to high-jack the thread but I cannot find satisfaction when searching the net for more information on low temperature conversion of ethanol to hydrogen. The catalysts I see mentioned are not necessarily exotic but are more complex that just copper. Your initial post made me think I could wrap a piece or copper tube around my exhaust manifold and run an ethanol water mixture through that and get a 25% mixture of hydrogen and other things out the other end of the tube. To be sure I have found this link but it is a bit more than you indicate by your plans.

http://www.trnmag.com/Stories/2004/0...en_022504.html
The reason you're not finding much is because it's not really an objective of commercial processes to produce H2, but to turn the ethanol into formaldehydes or weak organic acids, which happens at higher temps and has better selectivity with other or additional metals than copper. Therefore you'll see stuff like copper/zinc catalysts mentioned. Also at these high temperatures, pressed powdered copper high surface area catalysts sinter themselves together. This means they typically need to be supported on other media.

Annnnd... WATER INHIBITS THE REACTION. Ethanol and water mixes will not dehydrogenate at low temperatures over copper. This is why moonshiners and whisky producers can use copper still and not turn their product into H2 instead of drinkable liquor. This is possibly why nobody has noticed much from using methanol based HEET before, they only add it when they suspect water contamination.

Quote:
Actually here is a low temp link that even suggests this reaction for fueling an engine using the waste heat from the engine to drive the reaction.

http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract...ef049692t.html

This catalyst sounds more complex than what you suggest. Doesn't the copper require the nickel also to make this reaction work?

Thanks,
Ernie
Yes that is a more complex reaction than I'm trying to get, hence different catalysts and higher temperatures.

I'm going for simple, don't need supported copper catalysts because I'm not trying to make gallons/tonnes/tankers full of product per hour at high temps, also not trying to make formaldehydes or other interesting organic molecules. What we have is about 12 square inches of intake port and a tiny drop of fuel spread all over it. We're talking a few thousands of a ml at a time.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by SD26 View Post
Ok, the fondu methanol...

How much is actually methanol?

I used to sell racing fuels, and most of the "racing methanols" were only about 92% methanol.

The concept is at least interesting.
The fondue fuel I have heard from Biodiesel guys is meant to be 99% pure. If racing meth is only 92% it may not work, water strongly inhibits this reaction. Use HEET methanol version if you want guaranteed 99% pure to test with.

Last night I walked to three stores looking for the "fondue fuel" methyl hydrate, couldn't find the damn stuff anywhere, might be a seasonal entertaining thing. Pretty sure Dollarama has it up here, but didn't get to one.

Anyway, went into a Home Hardware this morning and in the paint thinners etc aisle they have "Methyl Hydrate" for thinning shellac. 4 litres for 7.99 which is a lot more convenient than buying it in 500ml bottles. This should also be 99% pure otherwise it would make the shellac go cloudy or misty. Added 8oz of this to my tank outside the store, and halfway home with the engine nice and warm, I noticed the engine tone change again, goes a little higher pitched, less bassy. So I think this is doing exactly the same as the fondue fuel, whatever that was.

I don't think the quantity is super critical, just get 5% ratio to the ethanol, so a bit more doesn't hurt, but of course it's wasteful of the methanol. I'm suspecting my gas is only 5% ethanol, but I'm trying to keep the meth ratio as high as if I had 10%.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
The fondue fuel I have heard from Biodiesel guys is meant to be 99% pure. If racing meth is only 92% it may not work, water strongly inhibits this reaction. Use HEET methanol version if you want guaranteed 99% pure to test with.

Last night I walked to three stores looking for the "fondue fuel" methyl hydrate, couldn't find the damn stuff anywhere, might be a seasonal entertaining thing. Pretty sure Dollarama has it up here, but didn't get to one.

Anyway, went into a Home Hardware this morning and in the paint thinners etc aisle they have "Methyl Hydrate" for thinning shellac. 4 litres for 7.99 which is a lot more convenient than buying it in 500ml bottles. This should also be 99% pure otherwise it would make the shellac go cloudy or misty. Added 8oz of this to my tank outside the store, and halfway home with the engine nice and warm, I noticed the engine tone change again, goes a little higher pitched, less bassy. So I think this is doing exactly the same as the fondue fuel, whatever that was.

I don't think the quantity is super critical, just get 5% ratio to the ethanol, so a bit more doesn't hurt, but of course it's wasteful of the methanol. I'm suspecting my gas is only 5% ethanol, but I'm trying to keep the meth ratio as high as if I had 10%.
Good info.

Only racing methanol that I knew was pretty much pure was here...
http://powermist.com/methanols.html

Was 99.9% pure methanol. I know that methanol prices have dramatically increased in the past five or six years. Their methanol was available in five gallon pails for something around $5 a gallon, plus shipping, but I think it's now around $12 a gallon, plus shipping.

Methanols used in the Indy car type series aren't even as good as the 92% methanol mixes. They do this as a spec fuel so that no one has an advantage or excessive costs.

We're mandated to RFG here using ethanol, so I might have to make a run to the hardware store for some.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:38 AM   #16
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BTW minor correction/clarification. water or steam inhibits the reaction at lower temperatures, below about 180C, at 200-300C and higher pressures, steam will promote dehydrogenisation.

Therefore usedgeo, you might in fact be able to make a system whereby using exhaust heat and a dilute ethanol solution, you make H2... however, at this point you have to be careful not to be making too much acetic acid or other less desireable things to put into your motor. Also at those higher temps copper needs support or it will sinter together, thus while solid copper plates might be okay, or the inside of tubing, copper scrubbing pads might sag together and clog.

I started off this thing from seeing the wikipedia entry for ethyl acetate which is a ketone like acetone, and how it was produced from waste ethanol. Looking up "ethyl acetate" and dehydrogenation might find more articles and pages that are closer to what would be better for combustion and will work at lower temps.
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