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does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? #780719 08/06/19 5:05 pm
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kevin roberts Online Confused OP
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i found this in a book

SPEED and how to obtain it

published by The MotorCycle, 1953, in a comparison of the power curves of different fuels, specifically methanol and 80-octane blended gasoline, pages 29, 30, and 31.

Quote
. . . in short, the higher the latent heat of evaporation, the higher the power output. it may be of interest to remark that the addition of 10 percent of water to pure ethyl acohol will give increased horsepower in some engines, again to increased latent heat . . .

. . . while the actual califorific values of the fuel vary widely-- that is th eheat generated in the combustion of a given weight-- it is both interesting and important to realize that we are concerned with the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder, and that th eheat energy per cubic inch of correct mixture is practically the same for all fuels. theus we find that the power obtainable from any fuel is dependent on the cmpression ratio it will stand and the weight of charge, which, in turn, depends on yhe latent heat of evaportation.

this explains why additions of water to alcohol may put up th epower.the calorific value of the fuel itself lowered, but if a greater weight of charge is drawn in, owing to increased latent heat, alterations of jet size will ensure that correct mixture condition are obained, and thus the total heat energy drawn in will be greater.


is ^^^this BS? i don't understand it.


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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780724 08/06/19 5:45 pm
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Sprint cars run Methanol , I think 100% ...Some LSR run alcohol but I don't know about the water added.


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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780731 08/06/19 6:34 pm
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The only thing you’ll do by adding the water is raise the density of the alcohol. If this was a brewing industry then you’d be lowering the strength of the alcohol.

Higher density fuel is a good thing though, you get a better rate of combustion. But I don’t think water is the way to go about it.


beerchug
Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780749 08/06/19 8:33 pm
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I believe the early '60s Oldsmobile F85s had water injection. The engine was the aluminum block 210 V-8 with a supercharger. I think the purpose of the water injection was to stop detonation and/or pinging. They ran on gasoline, however.

Ed from NJ

Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780753 08/06/19 9:15 pm
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P47 had water injection I do believe


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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780754 08/06/19 9:27 pm
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There also used to be add-on water injection kits sold through Popular Mechanics and the like, guaranteed to increase hp and mpg. Knew an old man that had one in his RV, swore it worked.

Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780766 08/07/19 12:06 am
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as i understand water injection, it's the cooling effect of evaporating the water that allows you to go further with spark timing and compression ratio.

Quote
A single cylinder, four stroke, gasoline, spark ignition engine was modified to test the effects of water injection in combination with an increased compression ratio in a engine. Three air/fuel ratios (13.7, 14.7 and 15.7), six water/fuel mass ratios (from 0 to .75) and two different compression ratios (6:1 and 7:1) were tested. It was found that water injection in combination with an increased compression ratio can increase torque output (up to 65%), reduce brake specific fuel consumption (up to 39%), lower exhaust temperature (up to 10%), lower BSNO emissions (by up to 78%) and lower BSCO emissions (by up to78%) but may increase BSHC emissions (up to 45%).


but water by itself just dilutes the charge. this is the weird sentence in the old speed tuning book:

Quote
this explains why additions of water to alcohol may put up th epower.the calorific value of the fuel itself lowered, but if a greater weight of charge is drawn in, owing to increased latent heat, alterations of jet size will ensure that correct mixture condition are obained, and thus the total heat energy drawn in will be greater.


it seems to claim that after you re-jet to account for the diluted fuel, that the water itself adds power because it sucks heat out of the mixture when it evaporates. presumably this means that a denser charge will fill the cylinder because it's cooling as it passes the intake valve.

kevin is skeptical.


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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780775 08/07/19 2:27 am
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Originally Posted by kevin roberts
as i understand water injection, it's the cooling effect of evaporating the water that allows you to go further with spark timing and compression ratio.

it seems to claim that after you re-jet to account for the diluted fuel, that the water itself adds power because it sucks heat out of the mixture when it evaporates. presumably this means that a denser charge will fill the cylinder because it's cooling as it passes the intake valve

But taking into consideration that water expands by 1700 x it's own volume when it turns into steam & things start to make a little more sense , We're only talking small volumes of water vapour here , Ever noticed faster 1/4 mile times down the drag strip on humid nights , or that slight extra bit of 'oomph' from your own car engine on a wet & damp day ? .

Apparently (but don't quote me on it) plain water has minute empty spaces between it's molecular make up making it easier to dissolve the likes of alcohol - methanol - methylated spirit into the injected water mix without increasing it's volume , That just makes for extra bang for your buck with "flammable water" now who'd have thought that crazy .. so basically it's all about the expansion of the water where the extra boost comes from.

Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: Bodie] #780838 08/07/19 6:19 pm
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Why would throwing water on a fire be better ?
It wouldnt ... except under those circumstances where the fire is too hot or happenings to soon .
Adding water to an overheated combustion , under load and on the edge of pre detonation makes sense.
When the octane level of the normal fuel has hit a wall ... residual Heat increasingly risks predetonation .
How can you cool it down ?
The water is cooling ,
But the
"making power" part is from a limited amount of waste heat already available from previous combustions .
... or the limited amount of waste heat available from each new combustion .
.

Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780845 08/07/19 7:49 pm
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The diesel engines used in tractor pulling inject about as much water as fuel, it increases the effective compression ratio and helps with cooling. These engines use multi stage turbocharging with boost pressure over 100psi


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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780850 08/07/19 9:17 pm
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You could inject water with these.... just don’t attach them to the float bowl.

Power jet


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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780870 08/08/19 12:38 am
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The first section covers water cooling of air cooled cylinders.
The injection of water into the combustion chamber starts at the highlight Fahrenheit 4500.
https://www.tested.com/tech/572851-how-water-injection-cooling-enables-race-planes/

Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780872 08/08/19 1:12 am
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I'll bet all these drivers wished they'd had something similar installed facepalm laughing
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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780896 08/08/19 8:34 am
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Ricardo's book on the internal combustion engine mentions this as well. Its not BS.
When R experimented with water injection on a fleet of London buses they got more MPGs and power, however the exhaust valves burned out early, this was before the use of high Nickel content valves,

I have the same " Speed and how to obtain it" great book.


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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780905 08/08/19 10:48 am
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This from actual experience, I had a water injection system on a hot rod 37 Chevy PU truck about 15 years ago...I built the engine,a much modified 1950 GMC 302 cubic inch inline 6, with too much cylinder pressure for available 93 US octane fuel. I installed a variable flow high pressure water injection system...It was not aded to increase power by itself, but to control detonation so I could tune it for more power. It did work spraying a 50/50 water denatured alcohol blend at about 10% of the gas flow.A controller measured intake vacuum or more correctly called intake manifold pressure, and only sprayed when the intake pressure was flow during high load with the throttle open wide. It did work...
More usually, water injection is used on supercharged engines, turbo or mechanical, to lower the tmeperatures of the compressed air to limit detonation.This is done in addition to or in lieu of radiator type after coolers...
During WW2 all combatants experimented with water injection to control detonation of highly supercharged piston aircraft engines. Allison in the USA was a leader in the devolopment of what was called "anti detonation fluid". It did work to allow higher boost pressures. Allison found that plain water was most effective but added alcohol for anti freeze...The main problem was the weight of the water needed for about 5 minutes use at "war emergency power" which was a supercharger over boost condition...
As I mentioned, Land speed racers at Bonneville in alcohol fuel classes would be the best source of information on the actual addition of water to alcohol as a fuel. But I suspect it would be water/alcohol used to control detonation in gas fuel engines..
Keep in mind that some info written 80 years ago on engine performace is now disreguarded due to the current state of the art with cylinder heads and fuel/air delivery..Current sport bikes make 3hp per cubic inch with stock mufflers and emissions equipment.. This was not possible 50 years ago even with supercharging.


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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780906 08/08/19 11:13 am
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It's along the same lines as adding acetone to petrol. Some blokes swear by it.
I tend to agree with Tony, good fuel injection and fuel metering along with combustion
chamber design have nulled some of the advantages of some of these old brews.
Not to say it doesn't work on the primitive old crates we ride though........

Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #780946 08/08/19 8:43 pm
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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #781481 08/14/19 10:41 pm
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I guess I should try this one out. Thanks chaterlea25 for the link.


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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #783479 09/05/19 1:03 am
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I stand with Bodie on the additional power fuel dragsters developed on cool, humid nights.
I crewed for a C-Fuel 300 cubic-inch dragster in the 1960s and in the right conditions it was faster and quicker than cars with engines 25 percent larger.

But there is a secret to adding water to alcohol: What is called a "blender" is necessary.
A blender is a third substance that has an affinity for BOTH alcohol, AND water, that enables the two to mix.
A chemical called AMAL acetate is one such blender. It doesn't take much to get the job done.

This was especially critical when running nitromethane in the alcohol, because that bit of water also helped cool the piston crowns.

That is about all I remember after fifty years, but I hope it is helpful.

Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #783512 09/05/19 12:52 pm
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I used to own a T150V. It was 855cc with 30mm Amals and big bore 3into1 it went very well. It had bellmouths on the carbs and I drilled a little hole in each, fitted a little bottle, ran plastic piping from it to the holes and filled the bottle with water. My water injection. I rode it around like that for a week or more and the water level stayed the same, so I surmised it didn't work. Then one day I thought I'd do a plug chop. So held it wide open through the gears then killed the motor, coasted to a stop and pulled a plug. It was bright white, which was a shock. Then I remembered my water injection and the bottle was almost empty. It didn't seem to have any noticeable change in power. And looking how much water it had sucked in in such a short distance I took it off thinking it might hydraulic, which I now doubt was possible.


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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #783520 09/05/19 3:16 pm
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This is from a sprint car tuner...In the US, sprint cars run on methanol fuel, the 410 class make 900 plus HP , non supercharged.

Quote
NormS » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:07 am
For N/A engines, I have found that even a small percent of water in methanol, usually there because alcohols will absorb moisture right out of humid air, causes a decrease in power. When Methanol's specific gravity gets to .800, it is about 4% water,and there are noticable power losses with oval track
engines even before getting to 4% water.


From a guy who tunes and sells alcohol and gas injection systems for racing

Quote
by Dave Koehler » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:56 am
Yup, water in the methanol does nothing but making tuning a head scratcher.
Injected separately seems to have some merit.


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Re: does adding water to alcohol make better fuel? [Re: kevin roberts] #783826 09/09/19 2:39 am
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I have a Nissan Skyline with a bigger than standard turbo that generates way too much boost for the motor [even with heaps of supporting mods like FMIC, cams, extrude honed HKS manifold, bigger injectors, etc etc]. I get severe detonation with knock readings of over 150 when I accelerate hard and the turbo spools up - this is engine destroying territory. To counter this I installed a Snow Performance Stage III water meth injection kit with a 370 size jet injecting just before the throttle body. The kit works off both or either boost pressure or injector duty cycle. I use a 50/50 water and methanol mix. My knock levels drop to less than 30 [which is not knock but just background noise picked up by the sensors].

An added benefit is - because the combustion chamber is also much cooler - I can run even higher boost. So my rwkw power went from 270 to over 300 [on the dyno], so I know for a fact that wmi works very well. Straight water would likely work just as good, but I'd probably not get as much extra power [unproven by me but has been shown by other guys on the SAU forum], the benefit of the meth is to increase the octane as well as cool.

So the biggest advantage is its ability to cool the chamber, allowing for more aggressive tuning.

The best benefit for me is my car is just a 2.5 litre straight 6 getting over 30mpg...…….until I boost. So on a trip, except for some overtaking etc I get really good mileage given the power I have available.

There are quite a few companies selling these kits BTW, Aquamist, Snow Performance, AEM etc

The last thing I'd mention is that when you are running with a high performance motor, we found that the iridium plugs could not provide the spark needed. The boost would blow out the spark before it could be used. Everyone running boost or hi comp reverts to the standard copper plugs, they are the only thing we can rely on. So IMO, iridium plugs may be great for mums family wagon, but they are useless for anything more than that.


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