Anyone tried running methanol or E85? XR600 or anything else.


49 replies to this topic
  • absynth01

Posted February 24, 2008 - 01:07 PM

#41

That would be Los Angeles County Raceway in Littlerock. I'm pretty sure the motocross track is staying around, though.
I have *heard* that if you buy methanol in 55gal drums and pick it up yourself, the price can get knocked down below $4/gal. Finding distributors that deal with small quantities and the public is the hard part.



I'm not sure, but the local speedshop wanted $8/gal for their methanol. :smirk: The big bike shop around here wanted $10/gal and up for VP gasolines and didn't carry methanol. :ride:


Methanol and ethanol are different alcohols. One we get drunk on, the other will blind or kill you if injested enough. Methanol is "wood alcohol" derived from wood. Ethanol is produced by sugars (corn, cane, sugar) or anything with sugar in it. Corn just happens to have a high sugar content, is cheap to grow, and grows in many climates. I have not looked at the difference at SG, but imagine it is similar. Brazil uses Ethanol, by way of I believe sugar cane. There must be some reason we use Methanol here in the states for racing versus Ethanol. This is the question I now have. Just wondering if it has something to do with our Alcohol laws and sin tax on it? Or is methanol a superior alcohol to use for racing. At $2.50 ish a gallon for 90% Ethanol 10% gasoline this may be a good fuel to play with versus $4.00 and up for methanol, or race fuels. I'm still not sold on it, but will start to look into it. Anyone else with info???????:)

  • HeadTrauma

Posted February 24, 2008 - 04:15 PM

#42

Yeah, as a hobby homebrewer as well as a motorcyclist, I am familiar with the differences between methyl alcohol(CH3OH) and ethyl alcohol(C2H5OH)....and even isopropyl alcohol(C3H8O) which I used in a turbo engine I had. :smirk:

Ethanol is, from the data I have seen, less corrosive than methanol and that is even further reduced by adding 15% gasoline to make E85.

And yes, liquor laws do enter into ethanol production. it has to be rendered unfit for human consumption in order to avoid liquor tax. This is why denatured alcohol in the hardware store(which is ethanol) usually contains a few percent of something nasty like methanol, acetone, MEK, etc. Most any large quantity of "pure" ethanol is only easily obtainable in 98% concentration. The balance being non-removable water and the denaturing agent.

One problem with methanol is that it is often derived from petroleum gas and sometimes petroleum or coal. As a race fuel, is is in fact superior to ethanol simply because it has a numerically lower stoich air-fuel ratio and higher latent heat of vaporization. About the only thing better is nitro. Methanol allows for ~40% or more fuel mass throughput than E85. The ability to burn more fuel in less air means more power, but worse economy.

Just for fun trivia, the stoich AFR of nitromethane is 1.72:1. Nitro can also partially combust in the absence of air!

  • absynth01

Posted February 24, 2008 - 04:54 PM

#43

Should have figured someone was a homebrewer!! I'm assuming the E-85 is not "denatured", but instead has a 10-15% gas blend making it non-consumable. Same difference anyway. I do have a connect with 100% ethanol for use in the printing industry. I've seen people drink it, and it is not denatured. I'm gonna look into some E-85 figures for my built L, talk to the race guys at work, and come up with a viable mix to try. I remember my one buddy buying it by the drums, and mixing himself for drag racing. We happen to have an expert fuel guy locally with everything. He also likes to talk over a few beers.
I used to play with nitro a bit, until I smoked one of my motors in my early days, but what a rush of power!!
I'm going to stop at the E-85 dealer and see what else he knows as there are many warnings at the pump. I imagine he knows a little, but maybe he has some tech sheets from his supplier. I have just been disgusted with the results of having 10% ethanol ruin my Stihl saw. I am just not educated enough on this new fuel, and it's properties, to go mixing yet. Anyone run a 60 gas 40 E-85 for a season yet??

  • HeadTrauma

Posted February 24, 2008 - 08:28 PM

#44

You're also in a climate that sees more temperature and humidity swings than here, so I would expect condensation and water absorption to be more of a problem. Also, the winter blend of E-85 usually comes about of the pump as E-70. The extra gasoline is for better cold weather starting, but it can throw off jetting and mixture adjustments. GM flex fuel vehicles use a sensor in the gas line that measures the dielectric constant of the fuel to read varying percentages of ethanol in it, but obviously carbs and older EFI systems can't do that.

  • DrPie

Posted February 25, 2008 - 03:38 AM

#45

Here's a start for some tech data.
http://www.eere.ener.../e85_specs.html
http://www.eere.ener.../pdfs/40243.pdf
Gonna have to get some more info from the combustion engineers at work today. All the tech stuff in the world still won't replace kicking that motor over and taking it for a rip down the driveway. It just needs to get above 10 degrees outside, and the fun will begin

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  • martym8

Posted March 06, 2008 - 07:55 PM

#46

Bottom line with methanol you must build the motor to run on it or you will never realize the full potential of the fuel same with nitro methane been riding nitro hill climbers for 28 plus year. both are sensitive to weather changes. Methanol is great for a play bike but you will use 2 to 3 times more fuel in a day . more compression more power on methanol .....

  • jclaus98

Posted March 06, 2008 - 08:26 PM

#47

I've got a question for Headtrauma; you mentioned running something on isopropyl alcohol and I had been wondering what knowledge you could give me about using that particular alcohol. My question is, what are the pros/cons of using that in my regular 91 octane gasoline? I have access to a good amount of 99% isopropyl alcohol and have always wondered what gains, if any I could expect to see from mixing that in with my gasoline and what concentration I would need to mix to see any gains? Also, what carburetion changes I would need to make and what it would do to my regular unleaded gasoline carb if I were to mix it up with some 91 octane. I'm sure this has already been covered, but I sure would appreciate the info if anyone wouldn't mind.

  • HeadTrauma

Posted March 06, 2008 - 09:06 PM

#48

The isopropanol I used was little more than industrial waste. It started out as very pure reagent grade, but through the process being used for solvent wash, it absorbed quite a bit of water from the air.

The stoich AFR is numerically higher than ethanol and a LOT higher than methanol.....somewhere around 11.4:1. IMO, mixing it with gasoline would be a waste of time unless you're desperate to stretch some gas by diluting it with isopropanol. I was running it straight. If you can get decent quantities of it cheaply, then I suggest running it the same way or with a small amount of unleaded gasoline(~10% gas is my guess) if it even mixes well with gasoline...I don't know. Keep in mind that it will cause fuel system corrosion like methanol. I locked up an injector by leaving it in the fuel system too long.

  • jclaus98

Posted March 07, 2008 - 06:09 PM

#49

Thanks HT!!! One last question, what carb changes do I need to make as far as jetting goes? I'm assuming the mixture will need to be richer? About how much richer? I don't plan on running it for long, because as you said, it will corrode everything pretty quickly, I just wanna see what kinda extra BANG I can get :thumbsup:

  • HeadTrauma

Posted March 07, 2008 - 07:37 PM

#50

I would guess about 10-20% richer by mass versus E85's 15-30%. The nice thing about these alcohols is that they will run decently over a wider mixture range than gas, so you can overjet and still have the bike run right. Just be careful about diluting the oil and washing the cylinder down with too much fuel(a small amount of smokeless/ashless 2-cycle oil can help with that).





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