ALTERNATIVE FUEL discussion forum.

alternativefuel

New Member
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
26
Im starting this thread with the hopes that we can start an educational/discussion forum about all alternative fuel sources.
With rising fuel costs and interest in reduced emissions I feel we
can put our heads together and teach each other about whats
new or educational. Maybe we can relate it to our bikes if
we brainstorm and combine knowledge.

All alternative fuel sources welcome. Please, lets keep it mellow/civil.
 

darwin

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
4,614
It costs $1.45 to fill my mab up, Im not so interested in what new corn syrup may or may not work in it. But if you have the time to test and tinker and worry about it Ill be watching.
 

Esteban

Active Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
Messages
1,028
I pedal a bike much more than I ride a motorized bike, & I am almost 60 ! I feel that "human fuel" is as cheap as it gets. I would hope that many others on this forum feel the same way, & do not ride their powered bikes everywhere they go. It is a great & fun way to exercise. The need to conserve fuel trickles all the way down to each ounce of fuel.
 

SimpleSimon

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
1,180
A Suggestion

"Alternative Fueks", in my view, fall into 3 broad categories:

A) Liquid fuels
1) gasohol
2) biodiesel
3) alcohols

B) Gaseous fuels
1) Propane
2) LNG
3) Hydrogen
4) Other

C) Electric - for purposes of discussion, electricity is a de facto "fuel"
1) Mains sourced (charging battery packs)
2) Fuel cell generated (lots of options becoming available)
3) Solar array produced
4) Onboard generation (which might include fuel cells)
5) Other sources - wind, microhydro, methane digester/engine/generator

For transportation purposes, electricity is in many ways ideal. Compact, cheap to produce, efficient power exchange from electricity to mechanical motion. It has serious drawbacks, as well. Principally, power storage densities are relatively low as compared to various fuels. Power storage systems are relatively expensive, and for a reasonable life-span to be achieved, very expensive. Range is seriously limited for a pure electric vehicle.

Gaseous fuels have advantages and they have drawbacks as well. LNG is relatively cheap - but not readily available in many areas, and as primarily methane, it suffers from a pair of physical drawbacks; low specific energy, and incompressability. Getting a reasonable range takes a relatively large and heavy tank. Propane has the advantages that LNG does, and rather less of the drawbacks - higher specific energy, more easily compressed to liquid state, relatively low tankage weight. Hydrogen suffers from a very serious set of disadvantages, and benefits from some very real compensating advantages. First, it is difficult to work with - it will leak through ANYTHING, even steel. Second, it is extremely inflammable. Third, it has to be highly compressed for effective storage, yet the more compressed it is, the faster it leaks. Fourth, it reacts very readily with almost anything - it's difficult to work with in engines because it quickly degrades lubricants. In compensation, it burns cleanly, it has an excellent specific energy, and as a gaseous addition to a liquid fuel/air charge in an engine, it works very well indeed.

The various liquid fuel alternatives would require volumes to discuss adequately. In brief, pure alcohols (ethanol or methanol) have low specific energies, and from most more "traditional" sources actually cost more energy to produce than they provide. There are exceptions to that. They poise special concerns for handling (seals, etc) but those have been dealt with, for the most part. Biodiesel is not as straightforward a subject as it might appear. Biologically sourced oils (effectively, low molecular weight fats) might come from any of hundreds of plant sources, of wildly varying quality and production rates, or might well include animal sourced oils (whale oil lamps, anyone?) So, what's the source? What's the molecular weight mix (which determines viscosity, flammability, etc)? There are a multitude of questions to be asked (and answered) before one can reasonably discuss details.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
65
gasoline you can find it every were its now more expensive than beer so drink dont drive haha. but running gas at the right oil/fuel ratio with the right jetting and port timeing is the best fuel so far. did you know that these engines can run 13:1 compression on premium pump gas?

we can run alchol on thes bikes but you need to run the bike richer and also put on special gaskets cause alcy WILL eat your gaskets. but its expensive and the fumes arent exactly friendly. and you also need about 17:1 compression to run it

e85 or ethonal is a good alternative to bad it hurts the environment more than it helps... but since its got a higher octane you can up your compression and get better powereout of your engine but its got a lower btu and so you have to burn twice as much and use a colder plug
too me its pointless with e85 cause adapting it to these small engines is hard.

and there is nitro
anyone who runs nitro may as well drink it cause the only reason you put it in your tank is to gain rpm cause it burns slower but hotter than gasoline. simply put you go faster cause its burning longer hence pushing the piston longer but it can also burn so slow that if your motor does not have the correct transfer port duration/timeing it can burn the fuel in the crankcase causing a lean condition. also it works in rc's cause the have an 18:1to 20:1 compression. also you have to run massive amounts of nitro to make any power gains. so by puting it in your tank your just increasing rpms and burning up your mufflers

ive tested all of these combos and found that corect port timing and the right mix of gasoline yeilds the best results for power mileage and cost

the next best thing is alchol which needs high compression is expensive needs carb work but gets you the most kick in your pants vs the alternatives
 

dwsutton

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
109
I pedal a bike much more than I ride a motorized bike, & I am almost 60 ! I feel that "human fuel" is as cheap as it gets. I would hope that many others on this forum feel the same way, & do not ride their powered bikes everywhere they go. It is a great & fun way to exercise. The need to conserve fuel trickles all the way down to each ounce of fuel.

I have to pedal almost 6 to 10 feet to get my motor started. Sadly the reason I built and put money into adding a motor to a perfectly good bicycle was to yes, "ride my powered bike everywhere I go". Im not sure why anyone would have a bike with a motor added if their desire was to "not" use the gas engine. The forum for that would be bikes.com I think. I applaud folks that buy bikes to get exercise, save the enviroment, wear tight spandex shorts, but I am not one of "those" people. All the other fuels Simon mentioned I consider "alternative" fuels - I found I am having a hard time converting Miller Lite into bike power......... :rolleyes:

D
 

Esteban

Active Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2006
Messages
1,028
I have to pedal almost 6 to 10 feet to get my motor started. Sadly the reason I built and put money into adding a motor to a perfectly good bicycle was to yes, "ride my powered bike everywhere I go". Im not sure why anyone would have a bike with a motor added if their desire was to "not" use the gas engine. The forum for that would be bikes.com I think. I applaud folks that buy bikes to get exercise, save the enviroment, wear tight spandex shorts, but I am not one of "those" people. All the other fuels Simon mentioned I consider "alternative" fuels - I found I am having a hard time converting Miller Lite into bike power......... :rolleyes:

D

You misread or misunderstood my post. I don't pedal around on a motorized bike. I have about 6 bikes & use them all for different reasons. I like to ride a bike for exercise, so , as stated above, I pedal a regular bike more often than I ride my OTHER bike, that is motorized. I have an old cruiser, a Schwinn collectible, a 3 spd . , a nice mountain bike, an old Schwinn hybrid, & a motorized bike. The motorized bike gest the least use, right now.
 

alternativefuel

New Member
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
26
It costs $1.45 to fill my mab up, Im not so interested in what new corn syrup may or may not work in it. But if you have the time to test and tinker and worry about it Ill be watching.

Kind of a bummer, starting the first response on a negative note. But i guess I was warned ahead of time of what to expect bringing this up.
I guess I am thinking more of a lot bigger picture. Yes my MB's get from 95 to 145 mpg. I also have increased my car milage from 22 to 29 by introducing alternative means. I know for a fact that this MB group is FULL of inventive, tinkering, back yard mechanics types. This is where many of the worlds greatest things evolve. From this point forward I will only push ahead, no matter the response. :cool:
OK, let the games begin.LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJeLGnVTaMI
 

darwin

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
4,614
My response wasnt meant to be negative but if it was percieved that way think about this. Theres billion dollar companies out there with billions in research $ with scientists who have phds working on this problem and they havnt figured it out yet. I dont think I can come up with an answer or solution any faster than they can.
 
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