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Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/22/2010 1:58 PM

has anyone computed the minimum hydrogen gas amount to run a 2.5 liters diesel engine partially or totally?

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#1

Re: hydrogen gas for 2.5 litrers diesel engine

03/22/2010 2:22 PM
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#2
In reply to #1

Re: hydrogen gas for 2.5 litrers diesel engine

03/22/2010 4:43 PM

WTF? GA for that link?

Hydrogen does not occure naturally on earth? But petroleum does?

18 KWH at 15 cents per KWH = $15 ?

At least half the math and information on that link is flat out wrong or at best misleading. I am not even going to bother with the rest of the incorrect chemistry, physics, or the basic math screw ups they have as well. It would take too long.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: hydrogen gas for 2.5 litres diesel engine

03/22/2010 5:10 PM

I didn't check the financial numbers (I found it too hard to cope with the style); nevertheless, I think the basic conclusions about hydrogen are sound - at least for the time being (and no, I was not responsible for the GA)

Assuming any total system loss over and above what you would get in an efficient thermodynamic engine, hydrogen would need to be produced from an environmentally super-friendly energy source*. None yet identified (SFIK).
*This comment already assumes a relatively efficient hydrogen fuel cell

So far as the original question is concerned, the minimum amount of hydrogen gas to run a diesel engine partially is ... none.
The minimum amount of hydrogen appears to be the hydrogen content of heavy diesel, or around 64% (by atomic content), or 11% by mass...

I don't imagine that pure hydrogen would work too well in a diesel engine, because the combustion rate would be too large. Progressive injection maybe, but is that diesel?

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#47
In reply to #2

Re: hydrogen gas for 2.5 litrers diesel engine

03/30/2010 2:10 AM

The article indeed is difficult to digest. Can you help me with petroleum? What is it supposed to be? I know diesel is also called mazout in Belgium, the Netherlands and France and probably in different countries. When I drove to London (UK) they called it petrol and derv (or darv?). Specific name for petroleum (or petrol in France) is the lamp oil for old lanterns. Land Rovers used to run on at least - gas, diesel,petrol or petroleum, the spark timing (distributor) had different positions for each of them. It looks confusing. Is petroleum considered the crude oil? Thanks for your opinion.

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: hydrogen gas for 2.5 litrers diesel engine

03/30/2010 11:15 AM

Is petroleum considered the crude oil?

Yes, in the US, "petroleum" is a synonym for crude oil.

This definition is pretty good:

  • A thick, flammable, yellow-to-black mixture of gaseous, liquid, and solid hydrocarbons that occurs naturally beneath the earth's surface, can be separated into fractions including natural gas, gasoline, naphtha, kerosene, fuel and lubricating oils, paraffin wax, and asphalt and is used as raw material for a wide variety of derivative products.

"Petrol" is the UK equivalent of "gasoline" in the US. "Gasoline" is often shortened to "gas" even though it is not a gas -- it's a liquid. This is probably confusing for someone outside the US.

Diesel, jet fuel, kerosene, heating oil are all similar oily fuels that are much less volatile that gasoline, but which can be ignited under the high pressure and temperature in a diesel engine cylinder. "Diesel" when used as the name of a fuel, should probably be called "diesel fuel," but rarely is.

Paraffin in the UK often means something close to what is called kerosene in the US, whereas in the US, paraffin usually means "wax," usually a solid at room temperature -- the stuff candles are made of.

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: hydrogen gas for 2.5 litrers diesel engine

03/22/2010 4:51 PM

Your reference is mainly correct - albeit up to a(n irrelevant) factor of two out in places.

On the other hand, it can be really silly. Like its comments on using algae to produce hydrogen. Not because anything it says here is actually wrong - but because it is remains fixated (sic) on hydrogen; algae could be useful - to produce hydrocarbons, convenient to store and as 'green' as anything else if the origin of the carbon is atmospheric.

But perhaps I'm just carping because I couldn't manage to read a whole page expressed in such hyperbolic language?

Fyz

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#5

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/22/2010 7:12 PM

Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!all of you! Get over it!

I don't particularly care how you feel about the awarding of GA's, since I assume that those who hang around here long enough, discover the true value of the ranking system.

I do hope you don't think I read that, it was just the first "hit".

Thanks Guests, for sending me the critiques. It was a waste of time.

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#10
In reply to #5

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 7:44 AM

The critiques are for the benefit of others whom your unchecked contribution may have misled. So not necessarily a waste of time - at least not compared with reading the link in the first place.

Entering the first hit without endorsing it is a waste of everyone else's time.
Please refrain.
I shall now mark this and any other suspect comment I see from you as "off topic". (For some reason I can do this from here, even though I have a problem posting)

Fyz

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#6

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 12:12 AM

hydrogen is not a good fuel for a diesel.

It may be added through the intake, like propane to aid combustion, but you are limited to about 10% total btu.

To inject H2 into the chamber is complex, and H2 won't ignite under compression.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 12:44 AM

and H2 won't ignite under compression.

Hi

Say, is there a chance that you could supply a bit more information about this statement? If true, this would make all engines running on H2 freak combustion engines. Please explain, Ky.

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#11
In reply to #7

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 7:48 AM

This is about diesel engines. A diesel injects all fuel and gas before the peak compression point. Pure hydrogen in a diesel engine would burn very early in the cycle, maybe even before the gas is fully compressed; loss of heat to the piston would drastically reduce the efficiency.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 7:50 AM

should have read "burn within a very short time - either all very early in the cycle or at some specific point"

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 8:01 AM

Gas in a diesel engine only starts being injected when the diesel is injected.....here is a good YouTube video of how it works. Notice that diesel is still used.....:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKMPjvL_I9U

There is someone on CR4 who used to modify diesel engines in some relatively simple manner (according to him anyway!) and mixed gas with the air in the air intake. Sadly I have forgotten who it was (is)...but that is not the system used generally.

With a bit of luck he will chime in.....

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#16
In reply to #13

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 10:43 AM

The diesel fuel is normally introduced just before maximum compression. That is fine for a hydrogen-diesel mix, but the cycle relies on latent heat of the fuel to control the burn rate. With pure hydrogen combustion would be extremely rapid once the hydrogen has ignited. If ignition is early, heat would be lost to the piston and to the cylinder head; if ignition is late you would lose any benefit of the high compression ratio, and anyone who has used engine braking (especially in the days before cylinders were run empty when not delivering power) will be aware of the downsides.

BTW, provided it is early enough, the timing of the hydrogen injection is not a critical factor in a hydrogen-assisted diesel engine. I imagine that the reason for direct injection with the diesel would be concerns about safety if something untoward happened in the air intake.

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 8:03 AM

Look here:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKMPjvL_I9U

to how its usually done....

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#9
In reply to #6

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 7:23 AM

I agree, as far as I am aware, gas adding to diesel engines is often done where gas is cheaper than Diesel. I believe that some buses in India are so built.

But some diesel is still needed to act as an igniter to the gas, but the engine needs far less than it normally would.....

Now you might want to argue about WHICH gas further, I believe in India its just Propane (from memory!).

Hydrogen would generally be too expensive in most countries as a general rule, though many manufacturers are running test cars (more like petrol engine conversion, eg.with spark plugs....not diesel engines) running on Hydrogen.

If we keep (and improve) Nuclear energy (or find some even cheaper way to produce electricity), and manage to make electricity far cheaper, then hydrogen will get much cheaper too.....

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#8

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 6:53 AM

The energy content may be easily available on the net but I feel the problem of using pure hydrogen may be dangerous due to the fact that it is the thinnest gas around and not easy to seal. If all of it does not burn on injection it will end up in the crankcase creating zeplins on roads.

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#15

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 9:28 AM

I have read an article about someone running a diesel engine on wood gas. They could not run the engine solely on the wood gas because there was no ignition source, so as they ramped up the volume of wood gas they would throttle back the diesel injectors. It has been a couple of years since I read it but I think I still have it somewhere. I will look for the article and post it if I find it. He gave numbers on how much wood he was burning and what the effect that had on fuel economy. I know that wood gas isn't pure hydrogen but it might give you some working numbers that may help.

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 10:45 AM

I'd sooner use methane than hydrogen...

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#18

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 12:56 PM

Hydrogen has an extremely high octane rating of 130+ making it a less than ideal fuel for a diesel, as someone mentioned before. My question- why would you want to run any engine on H2? It's pie in the sky kinda stuff; it takes much more energy to separate pure H2 than the amount of energy it delivers, making it quite uneconomic. Rayzer

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#21
In reply to #18

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 2:47 PM

My question- why would you want to run any engine on H2?

1. To get government grants. This test shows that it is difficult but not impossible to run a diesel on H2, given a source other than compression for ignition.

2. To make ill-informed customers think your corporation is doing something good for the environment, while in fact you are doing something bad for the environment. BMW has built a small run of hydrogen-fueled spark-ignition engined cars which are environmental disasters. Power out put is low, mileage is poor, range is poor, and all the liquid H2 (itself created at no small environmental cost) in its tank boils off in about 2 weeks if the car sits unused. What a car.

3. You have a process that gives off H2, and rather than sell it as an expensive fuel or chemical, you decide to burn it in an engine, for fun. Few would do this for anything remotely close to a practical reason, because the gas (or liquid) is so hard to handle, store, and meter into an engine. Better to burn it for space heating, where at least the efficiency is high.

4. If you have a cheap, environmentally-sound method of producing H2, and you want to improve power output of a diesel, you can inject hydrogen into the intake air stream, to increase combustion rate. In this respect it works like propane injection, and has the same limitations. The ignition source remains compression heat acting on the diesel fuel. Operating cost would be expected to increase.

5. You are hopelessly deluded, and envision a perpetual motion scheme in which you create H2 from water, using the output of the vehicle's alternator to power an electrolysis unit. If the electrolysis process were 600% efficient, then such a system could run an engine at idle -- but would not produce usable power. Good luck in getting that 600% efficiency.

... making it quite uneconomic

To be sure. The article linked in an earlier post is almost correct in saying that hydrogen does not exist naturally. H2, free hydrogen gas, is not found in significant amounts in nature. Therefore, unlike other fuels, H2 must be created by splitting water via electrolysis (a process which consumes more energy than the energy value of the H2 output) or (most commonly) by reforming methane -- which takes an already very good fuel, and creates another that is harder to handle and use. In contrast, coal is usable straight from the ground, and crude oil at least burns as it comes out of the ground. The energy burden in producing gasoline and diesel fuel is very low in comparison to that for H2.

So, I agree, it's pie in the sky.

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 4:13 PM

If it wasn't for "In contrast, coal is usable straight from the ground, and crude oil at least burns as it comes out of the ground. The energy burden in producing gasoline and diesel fuel is very low in comparison to that for H2." this would have been an incontestably Good Answer.

Unfortunately, although the first italicised sentence is indisputable, the second as stated depends on the assumption that you start from presently-available fossil fuels. This certainly doesn't mean that I think hydrogen is a good option - just that the final comparison is the wrong one.

There are two superficially plausible justifications for hydrogen fuel - combustion in poorly ventilated areas (this could be argued to include some large conurbations, but I know of no justification for this), and provision of a chemical fuel in a manner that does not add net carbon to the Earth's atmosphere.
The natural (and sensible) candidate for the first of these requirements would appear the combination of mains electric power for fixed installations, and battery power for mobile power.
Now, although hydrogen doesn't look sensible (to me) for the second* requirement, neither do coal or artificially-created carbon. If we accept bio-diesel as being a form of diesel, this is a genuine possibility, although it does have a long way to go. But I'm in agreement that methane should be getting the attention...
*If lightweight economic fuel cells with long lifetimes that use hydrogen become available, then hydrogen could become a viable transfer fuel - but initially only for very special purposes. If on the other hand raw non-polluting energy becomes cheap (theoretically plausible, but no realistic prospects in the medium term, unfortunately) hydrogen could indeed become a sensible transfer fuel - but only if none of the other plausible fuel-cell technologies matures.

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#26
In reply to #21

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 5:33 PM

Amen, Blink. This H2 love affair is the product of uninformed (or more likely well-informed and unethical) politicians. The ULTIMATE misinformaton campaign. Remember the guy who pegged our energy future on the "hydrogen economy"? Gee, I haven't heard that term in a while. Then Shell comes out and puts in one or two H2 gas stations in CA, and BMW makes a few hundred H2 cars, what amount to publicity stunts, and most Americans get buffaloed into thinking that H2 is a "real" option. H2 is actually the ultimate urban legend! I agree with all your points, with the caveat that you would have better luck winning the lottery than finding the guy with the cheap, green H2 production method. If he existed, this guy would be easy to find; he would be on the cover of Fortune magazine instead of Carlos Slim and Bill Gates. As I like to say: "H2 is the fuel of the future, and always will be!" Rayzer

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#19

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 1:25 PM

thanks for all the responses. though some are kinda very technical. anyway, maybe i should have been more specific in the quest for info. i am currently experimenting with some home-made hydrogen cells using hydroxy to produce hydrogen gas. this goes directly into the air intake hose hoping that the hydrogen gas will somehow aid in better fuel combustion. however, mileage per liter of diesel has not changed. is there some way of doing this in the proper way or is the main idea of putting in hydrogen gas mixed with diesel is just a wasted idea? thanks.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 2:07 PM

I imagine that the engine and the diesel injection were optimised for air and diesel. The better the optimisation (including the mixing method in the engine), the more that adding hydrogen will upset the balance.

So adding hydrogen (if indeed you are) will degrade the existing optimisation, at the same time as contributing some additional energy and possibly increasing the combustion rate. Given the correct timing and the correct air circulation, increasing the combustion rate can theoretically slightly improve engine efficiency. But as already stated, you are starting from an already relatively high engine efficiency, and you are not re-optimising - so you shouldn't expect much.

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#22
In reply to #19

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 3:39 PM

Good for you for doing some good science! Many people are so convinced that the idea will work, that they drive with a lighter foot, slow down, etc, and fall pray to the placebo effect. They sometimes do short tests, and only one test, and because of the difficulties in getting a really accurate fill-up, can have very large errors: "Wow, a 40% improvement!" They are so thrilled that they never bother to check again. Your experience is exactly what the science would predict, and is in line with the tests done at very expensive professional dyno labs.

HHO has become big business in the scam world, and the FTC is at work at putting the biggest promoters out of business. (See this thread for some of the lies used by promoters of the scheme.) The last post, which pretty well ended the thread, had to do with Dennis Lee, the most famous HHO promoter, being put out of business by the FTC.

The scam artists weave a grain of truth into their promotions. Hydrogen injection (if it is supplied from a bottle) can improve combustion. However, the amounts required to see a measurable effect are many times larger than an on-board unit produces, and (and this is a key point) the energy required to produce the H2 must come from elsewhere, not from the engine (via the alternator connected to the engine under test). Because of this last fact, if you imagine just making the electrolysis unit bigger, you consume even more energy, for a net loss.

The saving grace, for the scammers, is that the units produce next to nothing (a liter per minute or even less), and therefore consume little energy in extra alternator load. If the units were large, then customers would not just be saying "No change"; they'd be saying "My mileage is worse!".

In general, the fuel used to create H2 by electrolysis has an energy value of about 5-6 times the energy value of the H2 produced, at the very, very best*. (Your engine, a diesel, may be 30% efficient at cruise, and your alternator is probably 65-70% efficient.) So for one unit of energy into the engine you get 1 x .3 x .67 out: .20 unit out. (One fifth as much H2 energy out as the fuel energy in.) The only reason this does not show up as a measurable loss is that the energy used is so slight -- these units draw about as much power as headlights.

*I.e., assuming the electrolysis unit itself to be 100% efficient -- which no unit is or can be. Most are actually far less efficient than this, with the most efficient lab grade units being about 60%, perhaps 70%, efficient.

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 4:34 PM

Now this is a fully-fledged GA. Relevant, and accurate.

The only bit missing is numbers on potential efficiency improvements for the Diesel cycle. Such efficiency improvements are in principle real, because Diesel engines do not achieve optimum efficiency over the full power range. However, the hydrogen would need to be injected in the appropriate quantities, and the engine management algorithms would need to be modified.

And what do you get for all this trouble - improved (raw) engine efficiency, certainly.
But if you generate the hydrogen on-board the efficiency of generating hydrogen chemical energy from diesel chemical energy is at best 21%*. And SFIK this loss of energy will still outweigh any fuel reduction due to efficiency improvements. This is before considering the power needed to carry around the equipment that would be needed to generate the required amounts of hydrogen - massive. External generation may be marginally more efficient, but the weight issues are still significant.

*40% for Diesel-to electric x 90% (alternator) x60% (hydrogen energy-in-to-energy out)

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#31
In reply to #22

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 7:08 PM

From the suggested link:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The sponsors of the One Million Dollar HHO Challenge have chosen to postpone the competition.

This decision is based on the effects of the global economic recession and the massive crash in the price of oil.

Like many people right now, they've chosen to keep their hands in their pockets and cut spending until the world's economies improve. I've been asked to make it very clear that this is not in any way a suggestion that they believe the HHO technology is viable but simply a reflection of the global economy and decline in oil prices.

When the challenge is dusted off and reinstated, this site will be updated with another announcement.

Hi Blink

Something tells me that the "cousin approach" I have been working on could become an honored member of the club, even with out a withdrawn carrot. There are more ways than one to skin a cat.

Blink, you have no idea how much your comments (now and in the past) have helped my project and your excellent wording skills have made it a pleasure to be tutored by you. I expect to have final results of my "cousin approach" in the coming year and only confidentiality is slowing progress.

I know this sounds just like the HHO guys but bear with me. If it is of any help to understand/evaluate my position, I have teamed up with some very reputable members of CR4 and had offered you the chance to participate in a PM a few months back. (Andy Germany was approaches as well) I was not replied to or was brushed off and I was not surprised. That thread back then was getting a bit messy at the time. It looks like I have been confirmed in that my approach is so different it will blow all HHOers out of the water.

A pity the 1 million is not on the table anymore but the people would have not paid up anyway because they would have claimed that mine is not a HHO technology. They would have been right, in some way, but hydrogen is still, although not the most contributing fuel in my system.

I am responding here in the open to encourage people to keep their ideas realistic but never give in to something that is not possible. There is no such thing as impossible. I am looking forward to the day were I can publish but that will be a long way down the line and will not be a decision I will be able to make on my own.

Thank you for the support/advice you have (unknowingly) given to me and others over the years. Your willingness to scrutinize in a constructive way is to be admired. I thank you for that.

With great respect, Ky.

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#35
In reply to #31

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/24/2010 10:02 AM

Thanks for the kind words, Ky.

I apologize for failing to reply to you back in May of last year. It was not my intention to ignore you. Too ofter, email replies get put on a back burner... and before I know it, they have fallen off the back of the stove. Feel free to email me when any questions come up, and I'll try to be more responsive.

Regards,

Blink

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#37
In reply to #35

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/24/2010 6:50 PM

Thanks

No need to apologize, although it confirms your clean style of communication. You should see the "back of the stove" at my workstation. I'll be in touch with the others and would love to keep you informed about what we are up to. It is a bit late in the piece but there can never be too much scrutiny applied.

I keep telling my wife of over 40 years "not long now" and to convince her of something impossible is harder than convincing the academy. The pressure she can exert can not be measured by any diagnostic tool but only by my progress. Stubborn old bastard that I am.

Talk to you soon, Ky.

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#36
In reply to #31

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/24/2010 10:10 AM

There is no such thing as impossible

Never been married, then?

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#38
In reply to #36

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/24/2010 6:55 PM

Why not sign in? I don't even know what gender you are. Only then could I reply with a diplomatic response.

I appreciate the humor though, Ky.

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/24/2010 7:03 PM

I don't even know what gender you are.

Chained mail.

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/24/2010 7:32 PM

Could be worse, you could be a misogynist.

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#41
In reply to #22

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/26/2010 1:54 AM

While producing H2 by electrolysis powered by increased load on an alternator is indeed a hopeless path, there is a method of on board hydrogen production which may leverage the advantages of hydrogen injection (more complete combustion....lower emissions ...greater power) without incurring a penalty greater than any gain....

One area in which this possibility may come to fruition is in steam reformation of hydrocarbon fuel to produce hydrogen, utilizing the exhaust heat. If waste heat can be utilized to convert lower grade fuel into fuel that burns more completely then energy that would otherwise be wasted could be utilized for increased power and decreased emissions.

There are numerous DOE studies on utilizing steam reformation of hydro carbon fuels as a source of hydrogen for improved combustion in diesel and gasoline IC engines. Of course, since there are no production models employing this, the economics are thus far insufficiently compelling.... but the studies continue.

B.B.B. (too much of an outlaw on CR4 to even type my screen name and have the post survive)

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/26/2010 5:44 AM

If you write as above I can't see why there should be a problem.

A reference or five would be much appreciated.

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#43
In reply to #41

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/26/2010 6:59 AM

I'm not afraid of Outlaws, but my "In-Laws" give me sleepless nights!!!!

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#46
In reply to #41

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/30/2010 12:52 AM

Good point, you evil one of mentionless name.

MIT and Arvin Meritor have worked on a plasmatron reformer, which was thought to have potential for being on the market by now. The early study by NASA (which is often referenced by HHO types who don't read the study) does show that producing H2 by reforming methanol (using exhaust heat) can do a little better than break even on an overall energy balance, given very lean burning conditions.

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#25
In reply to #19

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 4:52 PM

Although people have done basically this with different gases, the method has a problem, the gas in the intake is displacing air (oxygen) for burning.

I would guess for lower power levels that its ok, but once you start needing higher power from your engine, you will start to get incomplete burning of both the gas and the diesel. Very uneconomical....

This is why when properly done, the gas is also injected just after the diesel as the youtube film I posted clearly shows.....this allows a full charge of air to be ingested each and every time....

This could be why you could not see a difference in diesel usage maybe.....but you are probably expelling some unburnt gas and diesel from the exhaust....

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#27
In reply to #25

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 5:55 PM

I tried putting some numbers to your reasoning: Oxygen is 20% of the atmosphere. As hydrogen burns to H2O, the maximum burnable hydrogen you could add would reduce the oxygen to about 71% of its original value. As you already stated, the hydrogen is not intended as the main fuel - its role here mainly to improve the timing of the combustion, so the maximum you might use would be in the region of a very few percent.

The reason for post-injection is rather different: the objective of the gas additive is to allow the fuel to burn near the optimum point in the cycle. The diesel will have started to burn as the compression is greatest, but this is not a good time for major combustion because of thermal conduction loss - the gases would be at their hottest at the time when the distance through the gas to the cooling metal is at a minimum (in addition, the piston isn't moving very fast).
A bit later and we have somewhat reduced compression, but less conduction loss. Too much later and too much heat is left in the gas after adiabatic expansion. Compromise between these two effects is what determines the optimum timing for the burn.

Appropriate injection of a combustion accelerator allows the fuel to burn closer to the optimum time.

Even then, I doubt the existence of any overall (net) advantage - and anyway I wouldn't choose Hydrogen if there was a remotely sensible alternative - methane, perhaps?

On the other hand, timed gasoline injection into a high-compression engine could be attractive - if/when it becomes practical (cost, reliability, etc)

Fyz

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#28
In reply to #19

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 6:17 PM

Berto, You have a lot of good technical answers here, and I want to add my 2 cents worth so as to directly answer your technical question (above, I addressed the economic fact that by substituting H2 for diesel, you were substituting a very expensive fuel for a comparatively cheap one.) H2 will not "aid in better fuel combustion" because it is not an oxidizer, like the oxygen in air is. H2 is a fuel, and to the extent that you use H2 in place of diesel, you will see more mileage per liter of diesel. The reason why you're not seeing this result experimentally is that your fuel-air mixture is not being metered precisely enough to reduce the diesel when the H2 is being introduced. As someone metioned, it would take a computer-controlled injection system and the proper algorythm to accomplish this. As an aside, I would also note that your H2 generator is probably not producing enough H2, but without the computer injection, this is not an isue. Your diesel engine is set up with an injection system that aims to approximate the optimum fuel-air mixture for diesel. When you introduce H2 without metering it, your diesel doesn't "give you credit for it," so to speak. What happens is that upon introduction of the H2, the optimum fuel-air ratio is upset; this is commonly described as the engine "running fat." So, you produce stuff like carbon monoxide, soot, and the like, instead of more power or less diesel use. Make sense? Rayzer

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 6:48 PM

"Make sense?"

Actually, no. Neither catalysts nor temperature-enhancers are oxidisers, but either will aid combustion.

Diesel is a slow burning fuel, and most diesel engines rely on this to avoid the temperature rising too early. Unfortunately, the slow burn means that it can't burn quite early enough for optimum efficiency - particularly when the engine revs are high. The objective is to improve the combustion timing. Andy G's link illustrates this correctly in principle - albeit the length of the burn time is grossly exaggerated - and implied benefits suffer the same fate.

The question is not whether there might be a benefit in principle, but whether the benefit outweighs the cost. I say not - but it could do so one day if appropriate accelerators and technologies are developed. But one thing is clear - Hydrogen is not a prime candidate because either you import it subject to high production cost and difficulty of storage in the vehicle, or you generate it as you go with ridiculously low efficiency.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 7:03 PM

I see your point about combustion enhancers / accelerators. Interesting; learned something today. I also agree that the economics makes no sense at all. However, you misstate Berto's initial question; he's wondering why he doesn't see an improvement in his experimental results. How would you answer him? Rayzer

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#33
In reply to #30

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/24/2010 12:32 AM

How would you answer him?

The simplest and most basic answer has to do with scale. The amount of HHO produced in these "boosters" is too tiny to have any measurable effect at all.

Berto can be excused for thinking that H2 produced by an on board electrolyzer might have a beneficial effect on combustion, because the Internet is chock full of promoters of the concept. Something helping the sales of such devices is the occasional grain of truth -- H2 injection (with the H2 from an external source) in very large quantities (compared to those output by on board electrolyzers) can improve combustion in both diesel and spark ignition engines. (It doesn't do it economically or without a lot of complexity... but it can improve combustion.) The scammers go with that idea, but ignore the scale. They will even quote studies, knowing that people will not read them.

Most HHO booster promoters speak proudly of one liter per minute output. (We actually had an HHO promoter here who claimed that all the other HHO devices do not work because they inject too much -- his produced about .25 lpm.)

1 liter of H2 has a mass of .000089 kg (or 89 milligrams). 1 liter of H2 has an energy value of about .01 MJ. In one minute, a diesel engine running at 15 kW output will consume (with a typical consumption of 225 g/kWh) 56.25 grams (5625 milligrams) of diesel fuel. 56.25 grams of diesel fuel has an energy value of 2.6 MJ. The energy value of the main fuel, then, is (2.6/.01), or 260 times the value of the H2. Or viewed the other way around, the energy value of the H2 is less than half a percent of the energy value of the diesel fuel.

In the legitimate tests (of bottled H2 injection), measurable benefits start to show up at about 5% (energy equivalent) additions. So the "boosters" are off by an order of magnitude on the amount required to show any measurable gain, let alone the huge gains often quoted by the scammers. (Dennis Lee quoted up to 300% increases.)

How about increasing the electrolysis output? Go from 100 watt electrical input to the electrolysis unit to 1 kW, with a larger alternator and a much larger electrolysis unit. Now, the inefficiency of the engine/alternator/electrolysis unit overcomes the slight accelerator effect of the H2, and the whole system is measurably less efficient than the standard diesel. (1 kW of engine alternator output requires 5kW or 6kW of additional fuel energy.)

Take the up-sizing strategy far enough (replacing the diesel fuel completely) and you have a failed perpetual motion attempt, with the H2 output being 1/5 or 1/6 that required to just to get the engine to run itself, let alone do useful work.

But the first and most obvious problem is scale: far too little H2 to have any effect.

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#34
In reply to #30

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/24/2010 6:14 AM

At least four problems.
Summarising, he should be looking for a degradation, not an improvement, but the degradation is below the level that can be measured - unless you are running a very well controlled experiment (e.g. two identical cars, tested in identical synthetic conditions, or running the car fully monitored so you can directly detect all input variables and the power out)

1) Injecting the Hydrogen with the air means the burn is accelerated from the moment that combustion starts. This increases the losses due to conduction to the cylinder head and the piston. (I've no idea whether the reduction in thermodynamic loss would in theory be sufficient to compensate for this)
2) Everything else in the system is matched to the burn characteristics of standard Diesel
3) There are large losses in the generation of the hydrogen - so even if the efficiency of the engine itself is increased, the additional external power it is driving to generate the hydrogen means that the system efficiency will almost certainly be reduced.

So why can't Berto measure the degradation in fuel consumption?

4) Blink is right - the size of any effect will simply be too small. Any change in conditions would be sufficient to mask it. This includes pump-to-pump variability, weather, tire pressure, what Berto had for breakfast, road repairs...

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#44
In reply to #19

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/28/2010 9:42 PM

Try to "inject" pure water with the diesel direct in the engine. But 2 separate circuits.

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#45
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Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/29/2010 7:27 AM

We must be careful here, please read on the web as to the reason why water injection can be benificial in many high performance engines......

Basically, it allows an engine to be "over-Tuned", by cooling the gas down in the cylinder as well as increasing pressures due to steam formation.....

In a normal running engine, normally tuned, i don't think you will see any real benefits.

Here is a really great weblink that tells all the pros and cons in an easily understood manner:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_injection_%28engines%29

Best of luck.

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#32

Re: Hydrogen Gas for 2.5-L Diesel Engine

03/23/2010 7:55 PM

The theory I have came up with on the HHO concept is that if someone was smart enough to figure out a way to honestly run an engine off of water in the theoretical HHO system concept they are also likely going to be smart enough to realize that just by keeping their discovery secret they would then have a lifetime of free electricity, heat and cooling for their home, and no fuel cost for any type of vehicle they ever own as well. Also in that sense then if they chose to they could then co generate and sell electricity back to the utilities for profit to cover the rest of their life expenses.

If I had a real working HHO fueled gen set do you honestly think that I would want to make it public? For me having no electricity bills, heat bills, and never having to buy fuel for any size of vehicle or machine I will ever own for the rest of my life plus having a never ending steady income without ever having to work if I did not want to would be far more valuable to me than any of the fame, or headaches of public recognition that I could get otherwise.

Think about it. The three greatest living expenses in life are gone and what you make off the sale of electrical power covers the rest of your realistic needs and wants. Would you really want to mess that up in order to get more money you dont actually need plus the fame and loads of stress, work, threats, and headaches that would come with making it public?

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