Synthesizing Liquid Fuels

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Farside
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Synthesizing Liquid Fuels

#1 Post by Farside » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:21 pm

Hi all,

This is an important topic because a lot of machinery is designed to run on liquid fuels, and the energy:weight ratio in liquid fuel is extremely high.

My grandmother grew up in Normandy, France during WWII. It's known as cider country, and during the German occupation there was no fuel for the farm equipment so they would distill the cider to make high proof alcohol and run their machinery on that.

A still is dead simple to make, and even if you live somewhere where owning one is illegal, you can always have the prefabricated parts assembled and stored just in case.

Apples are a cold climate perennial food source. And a tree produces a lot of apples. I have an awesome processing system that I made on the cheap out of 5 gallon pails, some pallet wood, a hydraulic car jack, and a garbage disposal unit mounted into an old coffee table.

Granted, the disposal unit is electric, but the amount of work it does is phenomenal. I can process over 2 gallons of juice per hour on my own, and that includes the setup and cleanup.

Farside
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Re: Synthesizing Liquid Fuels

#2 Post by Farside » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:41 pm

Another liquid fuel can be fractionally distilled from wood. The process involves condensing the smoke out at various stages, and using catalytic materials to produce a range of gasses and liquid fuels that can be used around the homestead.

Here is a youtube vid of a guy making such a system in their backyard. Hi entire channel is worth browsing actually...


Farside
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Re: Synthesizing Liquid Fuels

#3 Post by Farside » Fri May 10, 2019 7:04 pm

If you ever need to condense out vapors then you need some sort of device that dumps heat. After doing some research, I discovered a device called a shotgun condsender.

This thing can suck a lot of heat out of vapour in a very small space.
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This winter I tried building one of these from scraps I found at the building materials reclamation store. I found some copper to PVC couplings, some 1/2 inch copper pipe, and some 1 inch copper pipe. I cut sections of the 1 inch pipe, flattened it into plate, and fabricated the bulkheads using drill bits, files, and a hacksaw.

This was my first experience soldering copper apart from some practice beforehand attaching sweat fittings. That being said I have years of electronic soldering experience. The build was pretty straight forward and I didn't have any issues with sealing it. My construction costs were about $30 and this thing dumps a whole lot of heat.


Farside
Posts: 108
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Re: Synthesizing Liquid Fuels

#4 Post by Farside » Fri May 10, 2019 7:19 pm

Now, cooling liquids requires a different approach because the amount of heat needed to be dumped is much higher.
I very effective method of achieving this is using a counterflow heat exchanger like the one below:
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It is essentially a coiled length of garden hose, with a length of copper pipe that runs up the inside.

Here is a nice video showing how they are made:


An alternative to soldering wire to the outside of the copper pipe, cable ties of an appropriate size do a good job in breaking up the laminar water flow.

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