Fuel Woes

Discuss lifestyle changes to better survive disasters. This category is for topics pertaining to being self reliant such as DIY, farming, alternative energy, autonomous solutions to water collection and waste removal, etc.

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Shinigami
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Fuel Woes

Post by Shinigami » Tue May 03, 2005 1:21 pm

The Zombie Apocalypse has come.

Gasoline has become an extremely valuable commodity and your SUV just keeps on guzzling more of it.

Well, there is a solution to that problem (besides stealing/ siphoning gas out of gas stations [if anyone knows how to do that actually...please tell me because that would be useful].

Vegetable fuel.

A place to get your car turned into Diesel/ Veggie fuel

So I figure that you'd have one tank for gasoline when you can get it and another for vegetable oil. That way you can have more sources of fuel and if you know how to extract vegetable oil from vegetables, even better. Best of all, the exhaust smells like french fries.

Warning though, make sure you pay your Excise duties on your veggie fuel.

Oh and bio-diesel fuel instructions are here.

Also, another solution to a common problem about power.

What do you do when you have battery woes. First off I'd say use rechargeable batteries. They might not last as long as a normal bettery but well...they're easier to recharge.

But how does one recharge said batteries when all the power plants are gone?

Solar energy. Specifically, portable solar chargers

I just posted that one sinec it was the first one I found...but I'm sure you can fabricate your own or find a cheaper version.

And just a side note, these solar plants are totally kickasslooking. Impractical when compared to a flashlight, yes. But it adds a bit of decor which adds a bit to morale. And Morale = good.
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Post by Rus » Tue May 03, 2005 2:43 pm

Interesting... I've heard much about biodiesel ( all good ).

One question... is there an alternative fuel for gasoline ( not diesel ) engines?

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Post by jamoni » Tue May 03, 2005 3:29 pm

They can be converted to alcohol. With the proper crop and equipment, you can manufacture fuel quality alcohol, but I bet it isn't easy. Also more likely to go boom. Any race mechanics that have dealt with alcohol burners out there?
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Post by TDW586 » Tue May 03, 2005 3:36 pm

jamoni wrote:They can be converted to alcohol. With the proper crop and equipment, you can manufacture fuel quality alcohol, but I bet it isn't easy. Also more likely to go boom.

I know some gas engines can also be converted to run on propane, which is good because it burns very clean, 110 octance or so, reducing maintinence costs.
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Post by Horatio_Tyllis » Tue May 03, 2005 10:29 pm

On a side not related to this, does anyone know somewhere to obtain cheap methanol, or how to make it? I'm currently working on a business plan that involves beginning production of biodiesel and hyrdogen for fuel.
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Post by broken » Wed May 04, 2005 1:59 am

Rus wrote:Interesting... I've heard much about biodiesel ( all good ).

One question... is there an alternative fuel for gasoline ( not diesel ) engines?
Ethanol will work http://journeytoforever.org/ethanol.html
Horatio_Tyllis wrote:On a side not related to this, does anyone know somewhere to obtain cheap methanol, or how to make it?
Ethanol will work as well and is easy ot make. http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_m ... ethylester

A great site on distillation.
http://homedistiller.org/
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Post by Rus » Wed May 04, 2005 1:14 pm

Thanks for the links Broken... great reading :D

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Post by DevastatorIIC » Wed May 04, 2005 1:17 pm

Rus wrote:Thanks for the links Broken... great reading :D
Why are you thanking him for broken links? Oh... uh... well, SOMEONE's having a slight case of the dumbasses today :oops:

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Post by Raven Dog » Mon May 09, 2005 8:50 pm

On the horizon, but probably still a pipe dream are all manner of fuel cells. Two types that would come in really handy to power your base would be a solid waste fuel cell (energy from feces), and a green fuel cell (pond scum to make energy). There is also talk of electronics powered by built in alcohol fuel cells. Some time in 2007, accordin to Popular Science, a refilible alcohol chargin fuel cell is supposedt to come on the market.
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Post by paul » Tue May 10, 2005 1:46 pm

I'm glad to see genuine interest in alternative fuels. Damn! Why am I always the one to present the flip side and ruin the vibe? I feel so negative. Anyway, while alternatives to fossil fuels are definitely going to help, they will only get us half way there. Overshadowing any ideas regarding alternative fuels is our consumption. While alternative fuels seem to be the answer to our current oil situation, they will probably spawn other problems we haven't thought of yet. We need to quit taking aspirin and try to cure the headache.
Biodeisel is great, but the used veggie oil so plentiful now will dissappear under our current rate of consumption. Ethanol is promising, but how much corn will have to be grown to supply us with enough fuel? I realize these are difficult questions/points. Growing corn on a large scale is dependant on large machinery, which runs on fuel! It takes fuel to grow corn to make fuel.
There are many things that need to happen for alnternative fuel sources to be economically feasible. The infrastructure necessary will be costly and quite an undertaking. The companies responsible for importing our oil have already researched all of this, and they probably won't be investing in any large scale infrastructure until they forced to. They're thought is "Why start growing oranges when you've still got several bushels of apples left to sell?". The simplicity of that statement make their position seem valid. Regardless, consumption may be a bigger issue than anything else, but you don't hear that too often in the media. There are things we can do! Not just carpooling, mass-transit, etc.
Here in Missouri for example, there are thousands of acres of prime farmland devoted to growing corn and soybeans, a certain % of it subsidized by the government. Think about how much fuel is used to truck food from California that could be grown here on that same farmland. Do you ever hear about ideas like this? I don't. Maybe gas should be expensive. $3/gallon? $5? How high does it have to get for people to change? How much longer do we really expect to live like kings?
Until we make some serious changes in the way we live, we won't be able to demand better from the powers that be. Unplug yourself from the Matrix! Let your mind wander. Start searching. People are reactive by nature. I'm sure there are great minds out there just waiting for people to show interest in a better, more meaningful life.
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On the other hand, I could be full of shit.
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Post by Creaux » Tue May 10, 2005 2:52 pm

Those are important things to consider, and we NEED people thinking about potential problems with technology we might want to impliment in the future.
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Re: Alternative fuels

Post by jor-el » Tue May 10, 2005 3:26 pm

The original poster may not be aware that gasoline and diesel engines are very different combustion technologies and cannot be practically converted to each other. All versions of diesel contain a higher caloric value than any gasoline, just due to higher density. Strategies for energy administration favor higher density energy sources. Straight gases like methane or propane are convenient for heating or use in engines so long as the mechanical base is available. What happens when you can't pressurize tanks?
Liquid alcohols can be adapted to existing gasoline engines and can be derived from sugar yielding crops through fermentation. This allows the bulk of the motor vehicle fleet to operate, but denies heavy transport our or any economy needs to function because they run on DIESEL.
All trailer trucks, construction vehicles and most heavy duty generators use diesel fuel. It has the highest practical fuel efficiency, simplest handling and storage protocols, and relatively simplest manufacture method. The only thing that would be easier would be straight veggie oil. That, however requires some modification to vehicle storage.
No one seems to realize the BIGGER picture. "We" are not the reason for higher fuel prices, even figuring in the Iraq war(which I support). There is another nation, growing by millions DAILY, whose industrial and technological prowess were enhanced by Mr. Bill and will soon outstrip our own, whose desire for energy resources will very soon place them at odds with us, and are buying every spare drop of crude.
I speak of the Chinese, of course. You perceive a future of idyllic, pastoral, agrarian utopia? It has already failed. They have voted with their feet. They are abandoned the farms for the cities and factories. They know of the internet. They have satellite dishes and dream of automated futures. Back in the eighties they had dirt roads connecting cities and travelled by communal bicycles around town. They built in a decade eight lane superhighways across the country. Motorized scooters flood the streets and every family dreams of having a two car garage and detached homes. Large, happy families with both sons and daughters. This will not occur without some cost. Energy is required to transport the building materials, fuel the cars, light up the house, run the computers.
You think you can convince them to give that dream up? Sure you can, it's called war. Good luck, they'll be two billion by the next Olympics.[/i]
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Post by jamoni » Tue May 10, 2005 4:41 pm

The problem with limiting fuel consumption is that doing so limits your access to the things you want and need. In short, it makes you a non-competitor. Like it or not, people with cars have greater access to jobs, schools, social life, and most other resources. Is it right? I dunno. Is it a fact? yup.
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Post by Creaux » Tue May 10, 2005 7:54 pm

What are the fuel requirements to heat alcohol of about 10% concentration, which is near when yeast starts to die, to high enough concentrations to be useful as a fuel?

I'm more worried about the practicality of heating the distilleries than in them exploding, as that won't happen if you're careful.

As far as China competing for rescources, well, it will happen. There's an article in the current Atlantic Monthly about the potential for a war with China, how the war might pan out, et cetera.
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Post by SMERSH » Tue May 10, 2005 9:02 pm

syphoning gas from gas stations: when your average gas station is "out" of gas, that just means there is not enough to be pumped out. wich is usually around 200-1000 gallons of gas per basin. so all you need to do (in the PAW of course) is to pop open one of the port holes in the pavement (ther are usually three of them, regular, premium and diesle), put a length of hose (20-30 ft) down in it, and pump it out. it will take a LONG time to do if you dont use a bilge pump, but you have gas
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Resource Competition

Post by jor-el » Tue May 10, 2005 9:42 pm

As I said, it's driving the current AND future price increases on fuel. Conservation will help, but it's not a solution. New resources will be needed. The Chinese are already aware of biodiesel and plan to incorporate it into their long-term energy stategy. However, in order to raise the standard of living of over a billion and a half people to western levels, all possibilities must be considered, including importation. It's not just for fuel. Lubricants, plastics, electronics involve oil and its derivatives.
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Post by paul » Tue May 10, 2005 11:08 pm

SMERSH wrote:syphoning gas from gas stations: when your average gas station is "out" of gas, that just means there is not enough to be pumped out. wich is usually around 200-1000 gallons of gas per basin. so all you need to do (in the PAW of course) is to pop open one of the port holes in the pavement (ther are usually three of them, regular, premium and diesle), put a length of hose (20-30 ft) down in it, and pump it out. it will take a LONG time to do if you dont use a bilge pump, but you have gas
1,000 gallons might be half the tank. How big do you think those tanks are? I doubt there would be very much.
Wouldn't it be a better idea to keep a couple of 5 gallon cans full of gas and stored at your home? This will only work if your home when the SHTF of course, but it would give you a safer head-start than wasting valuable time with a hose in a hole.
Stealing gas is illegal and could get you in a lot of trouble. Also, others have probably thought of this and that precious fuel you will have waited for will be gone very quickly. Point is, there's gotta be a better way.
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Post by kyle » Tue May 10, 2005 11:28 pm

Just keep in mind that gasoline doesn't store well so if it's been sitting around for a while it won't do you a lot of good.

When lead was removed from gasoline for health reason back in the day, the refiners found substitutes, such as alcohols and other compounds (methyl tertiary butyl ether or MTBE, for one). But each new additive has its own problems. The alcohols sop up water from the atmosphere over time and I'm sure you know what will happen to your engine with water in it.

I'm no expert but I don't think modern gasoline will store well for more than a few months in most containers if you plan on using it for fuel in most cars.
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Re: Alternative fuels

Post by paul » Tue May 10, 2005 11:31 pm

jor-el wrote: No one seems to realize the BIGGER picture. "We" are not the reason for higher fuel prices, even figuring in the Iraq war(which I support). There is another nation, growing by millions DAILY, whose industrial and technological prowess were enhanced by Mr. Bill and will soon outstrip our own, whose desire for energy resources will very soon place them at odds with us, and are buying every spare drop of crude.
I speak of the Chinese, of course. You perceive a future of idyllic, pastoral, agrarian utopia? It has already failed. They have voted with their feet. They are abandoned the farms for the cities and factories. They know of the internet. They have satellite dishes and dream of automated futures. Back in the eighties they had dirt roads connecting cities and travelled by communal bicycles around town. They built in a decade eight lane superhighways across the country. Motorized scooters flood the streets and every family dreams of having a two car garage and detached homes. Large, happy families with both sons and daughters. This will not occur without some cost. Energy is required to transport the building materials, fuel the cars, light up the house, run the computers.
You think you can convince them to give that dream up? Sure you can, it's called war. Good luck, they'll be two billion by the next Olympics.[/i]
Definitely something to think about. With large countries compeating for a declining world oil supply, things will get dicey.
Your right. Most people are in total denial. I believe we will see major changes fairly soon. I just hope I get my land paid off before the SHTF.
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Post by SMERSH » Tue May 10, 2005 11:41 pm

farmerpaul wrote:
SMERSH wrote:syphoning gas from gas stations: when your average gas station is "out" of gas, that just means there is not enough to be pumped out. wich is usually around 200-1000 gallons of gas per basin. so all you need to do (in the PAW of course) is to pop open one of the port holes in the pavement (ther are usually three of them, regular, premium and diesle), put a length of hose (20-30 ft) down in it, and pump it out. it will take a LONG time to do if you dont use a bilge pump, but you have gas
1,000 gallons might be half the tank. How big do you think those tanks are? I doubt there would be very much.
Wouldn't it be a better idea to keep a couple of 5 gallon cans full of gas and stored at your home? This will only work if your home when the SHTF of course, but it would give you a safer head-start than wasting valuable time with a hose in a hole.
Stealing gas is illegal and could get you in a lot of trouble. Also, others have probably thought of this and that precious fuel you will have waited for will be gone very quickly. Point is, there's gotta be a better way.
i remember checking the computer in the back of the station where i used to work, and when it was full (right after the truck filled it up) it was usually around 30-35k gallons per basin. when it was "empty" (i.e. no one was able to get anthing out of the nozzle) it was around 1k-500 gallons. wich sounds odd, so i asked the manager and he said that most stations are like that.

you are right there should be a better way of getting fuel in the PAW, but its worth a shot
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Post by paul » Tue May 10, 2005 11:50 pm

Holy shit! 30-35,000 gallons. I had no idea tanks were that big. Is this in the US?
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Post by SMERSH » Tue May 10, 2005 11:56 pm

farmerpaul wrote:Holy shit! 30-35,000 gallons. I had no idea tanks were that big. Is this in the US?
30-35k gallons per tank, per fuel type (diesle might have more) for an average 8 pump station in north america. so thats around 100k gallons of fuel.

just remember that the next time you smoke while pumping gas :wink:
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Post by paul » Wed May 11, 2005 12:08 am

I stand corrected.
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Post by Creaux » Wed May 11, 2005 1:48 pm

Does anyone have any idea how well diesel ages, compared to normal unleaded?
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