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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
mldeets wrote:
I don't say this to belittle any post or poster but it is quite interesting to me how a question about disposing of a few lunch leftovers has ballooned into a discussion of how & why to save the earth from mankind and replacement of entire fuel supplies. mld


Think big.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:45 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:24 pm
Posts: 70
I apologize for the off-topic posts - however I feel it is critical we all get good and correct information. Based on previous info, I was sure that burning straight waste 'crank case' oil in a loco boiler was acceptable. I hate to eat crow and be wrong, but prefer that to spreading info incorrectly. I took the time to revisit the regulations I could find.
The CFR is clear guidance -
Title 40 → Chapter I → Subchapter I → Part 279
http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SI ... 2&rgn=div8

IF I read it correctly, Basically, oil that is to be burned for fuel must meet certain pollutant measures (be processed and measured to be below pollutant levels), or must use a burner/boiler/furnace approved for burning off-spec oil.
The simple version: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materia ... sedoil.htm

It is possible an EPA administrator could classify a locomotive boiler as permissible for off-spec oil - but that's another story.
Farmers and Do-It-yourself folks have allowances.
And Dave, processing the oil brings other parts of CFR 260 and 279 into play with haz waste - grumble grumble.


Last edited by Sully on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2431
Hey, we're doing good.
1) Nobody has called anyone a Nazi / Hitler
2) Nobody has attacked somebody
3) Nobody has dropped the F-bomb
4) Nobody is blaming Obama.

As internet debates go, this one is doing well.

Jeff Lisowski wrote:
mldeets wrote:
I don't say this to belittle any post or poster but it is quite interesting to me how a question about disposing of a few lunch leftovers has ballooned into a discussion of how & why to save the earth from mankind and replacement of entire fuel supplies. mld


That's because the social media platform gives everyone the opportunity to voice their opinion. Including yours and mine.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:03 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:06 am
Posts: 143
What saddens me are those so quick to interpret and impress negative connotation on expressions of interest. I find the breadth and depth of information and research here interesting and educational. If some still find that opinion narrow of mind then more's the loss for them.


Back to the original post:
softwerkslex wrote:
Occasionally I will see guys throw glass bottles, aluminum cans, into the firebox. Aside from the waste of a recyclable resource, is this bad for the engine? Is that molten glass going to jam something in the grates or ashpan?

As others have intimated (Watch Out! Here comes an Opinion!), it is somewhat a matter of scale. If in a normal day you'd use a ton of coal, what difference will the occasional bottle that weighs a few ounces make? As stated elsewhere, a clinker is much like obsidian (volcanic glass) - have you had trouble with a clinker the size & weight of a bottle causing your grates to hang up? An aluminum can will pretty much disappear and get scoured away by the cinders. How much does a Styrofoam cup or sandwich bag weigh compared to the bulk of the other fuel in the firebox?

If you're trying to put your local landfill out of business by burning all the trash or plan to use "experienced" oil then there are obviously other considerations that come into play to use those resources intelligently & responsibly.

I don't discount the loss of recyclable material into a form that can't be easily recovered, I'm just trying to get a grasp on the scope of the question.

(Tongue planted firmly in cheek while the solar powered corn popper with wind powered stirrer comes up to speed & temperature) mld


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:01 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 377
Location: Minneapolis, MN
I got interested in the used motor oil discussion and did some looking around the web for more information.
First, the recommendation for use as boiler fuel is to filter out the sand, bugs and cigarette butts and burn it. Period. No further processing required. Used oil CAN be re-refined back into NEW motor oil and also can be refined into diesel fuel. But as a boiler feedstock it is typically used just as it comes from the crankcase.

Second, there was some discussion about hazardous metals in motor oil being released into the environment. So, I looked for a typical metals assay for used motor oil. There are virtually NO hazardous metals or hazardous metal compounds in used motor oil. That's not to say that there aren't metal compounds present, just none that present any significant hazard. And most of the metals that ARE in motor oil are put there on purpose. Note the absence of the leading environmental bad guys: cadmium, mercury and the very low level of lead. Here's the link to a typical used oil assay.
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/engine-oil-analysis/

Comparison of these values to typical metals content of anthracite coal shows that motor oil contains far less metals contamination than coal. The metals in coal vary by the location it is mined and are probably different for every ton of coal produced. Note the levels of cadmium, mercury and lead, the most hazardous from an environmental standpoint. Here's a link to an exhaustive report on the composition of anthracite coal.
http://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/1528/report.pdf

Used motor oil is plentiful and it is relatively cheap. Good for steam locomotives.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:44 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
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Location: Floyd, AR
If there is significant levels of metal in an oil, there is a significant chance that particular engine has little life left. So the vast majority of oil changes produce oil that is fairly low in such metals. However, note that used oil also includes most petroleum based lubes, so that could be transmission, gear, hydraulic, or even industrial process lubes. Just make sure you know where your oil is coming from. Make sure it doesn't contain a flame retardant, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:07 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Baltimore, MD
hamster wrote:
Comparison of these values to typical metals content of anthracite coal shows that motor oil contains far less metals contamination than coal. The metals in coal vary by the location it is mined and are probably different for every ton of coal produced. Note the levels of cadmium, mercury and lead, the most hazardous from an environmental standpoint.

I can count one "year-round" operation (Pioneer Tunnel in Ashland, Pa.) and one occasional operation (Jersey Central 113) that use anthracite--or at least tried, in the latter case. Get back to us with the numbers for bituminous.

And please remember that, in the eyes of the "activists" in question, the fact that coal has (in theory) more "contaminants" than used motor oil is NOT a defense of using waste oil, but rather yet another reason why the (ab)use of coal as a BTU source MUST cease as soon as possible. When we have scaremongering "wack jobs" like "The Food Babe" being taken seriously by far too many people, even the relatively infinitesimal trace amounts we're talking about are too much. (Meanwhile, I'd like to see these folks test the dust one will find along the shoulders of any major highway--a combination of tire dust, engine soot, and asphalt/concrete dust that will test positive for a hair-raising number of things, and which gets washed down the sewers and into our waterways and reservoirs after every rainfall.)


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:34 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 448
Location: Byers, Colorado
Anybody who has fired oil burning locomotives with these different fuels knows that waste oil, no matter how it may be treated before youi dump it in the tender, is hardly "good fuel for locomotives". It may be legal, it may be cheap, you may be able to get by with it, but it is the last choice any fireman would make, if he had a choice of what fuel to use.

A previous post mentioned making sure there was no flame retardent mixed in it. I'd be more concerned about what happens if there's an extra gallon of gas, turpentine, naptha, paint thinner, etc floating around in there... I've heard several different stories along this line that ended with "it blew the firedoor off the studs". Yea you can stir this stuff up and blow bubbles through it, but it still has a tendency to seperate when it stands in the tank for awhile. Better follow that safety rule about not standing in front of the firedoor.

IMHO burning waste oil IS "trash in the firebox".

Off road diesel works pretty good, but it's real thin and takes a lot of firing adjustments, also a little too much fuel feed can make a big gnarly fire under the engine in an instant. It also ain't cheap.

STEAMSHIP FUEL. Locomotives practicaly fire themselves on that stuff. Nobody I've ever met who has tried it disagrees with me.

A little litter in the firebox, no problem. If the firepan was full of old brake shoes or busted up cinder blocks, then it might be a problem.

It also pleases me greatly that nobody has seen fit to call anybody else a commie or other insulting name in this forum for quite awhile now. It just shows that everybody knows how to play nice if they want to, they haven't locked any threads lately or anything. It might even be a small indication that the world isn't going straight down the flusher, difficult as that may be to believe, and nice as it would be if it were true.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:24 pm
Posts: 70
I'm encouraged by the info posted by hamster - still a little nervous about the letter of the law as I read it.
Having fired thousands of gallons of oil on a small loco, I can attest to some of the interesting problems QJ driver mentions. Don't take oil with junk in it - you should know who you can trust. There are places that don't mix everything in when they drain or store it - and you can buy it from SafetyKleen or similar processors.
Never fired #6 or bunker - have read/heard good things. I don't like firing straight #2 on our setup - I'm sure N. Day could fix that with the right burner.
I prefer 'used oil' or #4 for the higher BTU/gal. and when the fuel is consistent - it fires well and allows for good fuel/air adjustments via stack smoke color.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:34 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:05 am
Posts: 399
QJdriver wrote:
Anybody who has fired oil burning locomotives with these different fuels knows that waste oil, no matter how it may be treated before you dump it in the tender, is hardly "good fuel for locomotives".


What I have noticed with motor oil burners is that nobody bothers to heat it. A standard loco drooling burner/atomizer is looking for fuel the viscosity of water. Motor oil/french fry oil needs to be the about 120F to be that fluid. Mix in some 90W gear oil and the required temp goes up.
High viscosity oil fed to a loco burner may not necessarily create a smoke situation but full droplets of oil will go through the flame front unburned and out the stack.
Fundamentally, the atomizer can't do its job if the oil is too thick.

The attached chart shows a 15 year smoke problem resolved. The boiler was looking for 180F #6 oil AT THE BURNER. The oil heater was set to 180F about 300 feet away. This was a 300psi/50Klb/hr B&W water tube boiler.

Attachment:
CHSmoke.jpg
CHSmoke.jpg [ 152.33 KiB | Viewed 969 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 448
Location: Byers, Colorado
Ain't nothin like the real thing.

BUT, even if you are lucky enough to work where it is available, and lucky enough to work for an outfit that will buy it for you (in Guatemala they wanted all the used crankcase oil for freight car journals, so we got the good stuff), you still better make very sure that nobody dumps anything bogus in the tender. You know, antifreeze, paint thinner, hydraulic fluid, all the usual offenders that a functioning railroad facility might need to dispose of.

Most folks who don't fire the engine themselves don't think that they're causing trouble for you. And most of it settles, so you should get most of the crap out of the fuel when you drain the condensate from the lines and fuel tank before lighting off. BUT, the worst of it does NOT settle.

How about you're perched on your seatbox in all your glory, with your fire fixed real nice for the fuel (or trash in the firebox) that you're burning, when suddenly a couple gallons of stale gasoline from the groundskeeper's shop gets sucked into the fuel line and instantly sprayed onto that roasty toasty hot brick... Lovely thought, isn't it ??? Now, what if that happened during a cab tour, or while loading passengers ???

Even though lots of folks don't listen to me, I don't make this stuff up.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 448
Location: Byers, Colorado
In my experience, any kind of fuel oil has to be heated except diesel. But, in my experience, I've never worked where freezing appliances was a problem in winter, either. You most likely would have to heat diesel in really nasty winter climates, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:05 am
Posts: 399
QJdriver wrote:
Even though lots of folks don't listen to me, I don't make this stuff up.


Agreed. I have been burped on a few times also.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5250
Location: southeastern USA
M Austin wrote:
QJdriver wrote:
Even though lots of folks don't listen to me, I don't make this stuff up.


Agreed. I have been burped on a few times also.


Just an other part of what makes steam railroading exciting and interesting......

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:24 pm
Posts: 70
I guess I have been fortunate not to have too bad of 'light' volatiles that separate and cause a problem -like gasoline. I have fired blends of veggie oil, diesel, and seen bits of hydraulic oil and gear oil added. They all seemed to mix or blend and not noticeable in firing if the majority was motor oil. I have had plenty of water, burps, and bugers in the line. As Dave said, it's part of the duty, (like clinker?).
My experience is motor oil fires best warm. Too hot, hard to describe but fuel seems vaporized not like droplets coming off the atomizer and burns brightly and quickly but without as much energy. Almost like you are just burning a gas byproduct.


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