I am trying to find more information on this. I have heard you can run a diesel engine on it, but I can't find any information on how to do it, or if it really even works. If anyone knows where I can find more information on this I would appreciate it.
David ill is this is even older technology than you might think ! Check out the wikipedia article Coal-Water Slurry Fuel !
The slight miscommunication is in part to the fact that Charcoal means coal coal, and specifically coal comes to us as a
word to describe a glowing (wood) ember ! Think like Fire, glow like a brite ember ! For the good of the Craft ! Big Al !
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
Thanks for the link. However it does not really explain everything. Can I really just crush up some coal (how about charcoal), mix it with water and put it in my engine? I am sure this would plug injectors in fuel injected engines, but how about carbonated ones? Would you need to remove the fuel filter? Will it destroy the engine soon....?
It seems too easy to be true, so I am sure there is more to it than that. Usually if something like this worked I wold see all kinds of you tube videos on it, but I don't see much at all.
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
David Willis : I have to believe that somewhere, someone is playing with a charcoal slurry.This is a fine topic for Permies and hopefully will get expanded on as
other members find this post, in the mean time I leave further research to you !
My understudying is that hoping that a coal slurry could somehow be used as is, lead to test trials. Direct Injection of this coal slurry being successful there are
C.W.S.F. Operations here in some of the driest states in America with it's own problems! and similar operations in 'the country formally known as': U.S.S.R.
While it has proved to be efficient, with notable reductions of emissions It does not lend itself to green wash-ing, so it gets little press as per orders from
the Koch Bros.
For the Good of the Craft ! Be safe, keep warm ! As always, comments/questions are solicited and Welcome ! Think like Fire, Flow like - - PYRO ! Big AL !
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
(char)coal slurry is a viable fuel but it needs an engine designed to use it.
"normal diesel engine" these days means common rail injection and usually there will be a turbo, a diesel particulate filter and a catalytic converter.
Here's what will happen if you run your normal diesel engine on (char)coal slurry. Your engine will stop at the first bulletpoint but let's imagine each problem is somehow solved as it is met.
- Your fuel pumps, fuel filter and injectors will become blocked, likely destroyed.
- The oil introduced thru the pressure relief will mix with soot and ash from the EGR system to create a sludge in your intake manifold, increasing the burn temp in the cylinders.
- Your piston rings will wear quickly, causing you to lose compression and allowing burnt & unburnt fuel to mix with the engine oil.
- Incomplete burn & engine oil in the cylinders will further increase combustion temperatures.
- Unburnt fuel and engine oil will now also be getting into your intake via the EGR system
- The contaminated oil and the increased combustion temperatures will destroy your turbo sending metal pieces and more oil (and water if you have water cooled turbo) into the intake manifold and then into the engine
- The increased combustion temperatures will blow your head gasket and/or crack the head, allowing coolant water to mix with engine oil, your cooling system will stop working and the engine will seize and be destroyed.
- The soot and ash in the exhaust will block your DPF and your catalytic converter, requiring a new exhaust system
Thanks for the article and yes the concept is good with suitable preparation of the fuel and suitable choice of engine, but I am having trouble seeing how it can be used in a "normal diesel engine". The OP was asking if he could just crush some charcoal up but the grinding process in the doc is fairly involved and beyond the scope of even a fairly technical hobbyist tinkerer. I don't know what your torrefied wood process involves but if you could link to more info would be great if that is producing a byproduct that is a more suitable fuel. A typical fuel filter in a diesel engine (automotive) will trap particles about 10um so the up to 50μm with an average 10μm described in the doc is going to clog quickly, and if any 10-50μm make it to the injectors (a 10μm filter with 95% efficiency will allow 5% of 10μm articles to pass) then your injection pump and injectors are toast quickly. When we filter used engine oil for reuse as a diesel substitute we filter it down to 1μm. I'm also pretty sure the engine described in the doc is not a "normal diesel engine" and has no EGR system, and I think charcoal slurry even if max particle size was less than 10μm would wreak havoc on the engine once it had gone thru the EGR system that is present on the vast majority of today's diesel engines. I'm happy using 50% filtered settled used engine oil as fuel in my 1977 indirect injection Mercedes but I wouldn't dream of putting it thru my turbo equipped or common rail injected vehicles. People using recycled engine oil as fuel do have to change their injector nozzles more often but the cost of maintenance is outweighed by the fuel savings.
I'd be willing to give charcoal slurry a go in an old non EGR equipped NA diesel engine but first I would filter the slurry down to at least 10μm and preferably even more as long as the filtering remained practical and gave a decent yield.
Sorry Steve when I said normal diesel engine I meant Mr Lister non of this eco warrior EGR needing ECU's. Thats just for the corporates to screw more out of you on increased maintenance costs.
Getting back to basics a lot of the problems associated with coal slurries are due to the impurities found in the coal. Wood on the other hand is a clean product which when torrefied produces a pure charcoal product. Due to its pure nature its easy to grind down in a ball mill to a consistent less than 20 micron size. Its then a simple mixing process if you can make peanut butter you can make charcoal slurry.
Sure charcoal is way better than the coal dust that was powering the very early sparkless engines. Worthy off some experimentation with adequate preparation. EGR is actually an environmental thing to get a more complete burn, so reducing the nastiness that comes out during idling. Fortunately EGR systems are easy to troubleshoot and even remove if you really don't like them. With good fuel and simple maintenance they are not a problem.