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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 448
Location: Byers, Colorado
Yes INDEED, if you overheat your fuel it becomes real volatile and unstable, and gives off flamable fumes, and it REALLY likes to spread fire all around and under the engine !!! At that point, your whole tank of fuel is ready and just rarin' to EX-PLODE YOUR HAPPY ASS all to KINGDOM COME !!!

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
Vaporizing is sort of an ideal we can't reach with "dirty" fuel, Sully....... our British brothers burn clean light oil in vaporizing burners very efficiently. My thinking was to see how clean we could practically make the waste oil in the field, and then see how much finer and more controlled we could fire it for maximum efficiency and completeness of combustion.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:48 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
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Location: S.F. Bay Area
Well, one thing I've mentioned several times is preprocessing your waste oil. This is nothing new to the "waste veggie oil", biodiesel brewer and black-diesel crowds. A search for any of those will turn up effective ways to clean waste oil, not all of which would be applicable to your needs. You may not need water removal or micron filtering. (though, if you centrifuged instead of using a settling tank, it'd mean fewer cleanout intervals. There are several reasons not to use a settling tank, not least its volume counts toward your EPA threshold.)

I don't see a huge problem with a mix of oils, so long as all are appropriate for burning and there isn't too much of something out of band for your burners. Normally biodiesel types don't run into a separation issue, because of slosh and the engine recirculating fuel. That might not be true for a non-recirculating steam loco that moves slowly. Not sure how to solve that.

I just ran into a guy who does biodiesel/WVO for his Mercedes 300D, and he told the amusing tale of when the cops busted in on his fuel cleaning operation. They left, satisfied that centrifuges don't make meth. So make sure to get sunglasses, a pork-pie hat, an RV and a scruffy 20-something assistant who likes to cuss.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:48 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:06 pm
Posts: 122
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 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.

Don't all the big oil burners (844, 4449, 3751) use reclaimed crankcase oil?

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8354
Location: Baltimore, MD
My understanding with the "big steamers" is that they are currently/were last set up to burn the same fuel the diesels use. That way, there's no worries about running out of fuel or being away from a fuel source, as long as they monitor the supply and top off at any railroad fuel racks as needed.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:40 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 448
Location: Byers, Colorado
Bullseye !!!

All of my experience with these different fuels was with engines having the same standard setup that Baldwin & ALCO used since the late 19th century. It's "amazing" to me that you have so much adjustment possible with this simple system, enabling anything from "grade A bona fide locomotive fuel" to "trash in the firebox" to be handled, without making much at all in the way of changes to the how the geniuses designed it a good 130 years or more ago. The only thing is, you gotta lap your fuel valves until they are water tight for diesel.

This thread may be about trash in the firebox, but biodiesel has been brought up, too. I'm no rocket scientiast, but my understanding is that this is refined/brewed/made from corn, and it is produced and intended to be a fuel at every step of the process. I think it sounds like a great idea, but the way I hear it is that lots of fossil fuels end up being consumed to make the stuff.

Ethanol from sugar cane (might need a different burner, that stuff is REAL thin) sounded (to me, of course) like just the thing for Cuba, but had the same drawback. Too bad, I'd love to see some QJs burning ethanol...

On the other hand, the business of "waste oil" (as I understand it) concerns the reuse of something which was produced for a purpose other than locomotive fuel, after it has outlived that original purpose. Completely different animal.

In general, something which was meant to be locomotive fuel in the first place gives a lot better result, all the way around. Just try it.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:31 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:06 pm
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Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
My understanding with the "big steamers" is that they are currently/were last set up to burn the same fuel the diesels use.
Wouldn't that fuel be...diesel?

I very much doubt any big steam engine uses diesel fuel.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:40 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:06 pm
Posts: 122
QJdriver wrote:
On the other hand, the business of "waste oil" (as I understand it) concerns the reuse of something which was produced for a purpose other than locomotive fuel, after it has outlived that original purpose. Completely different animal.

In general, something which was meant to be locomotive fuel in the first place gives a lot better result, all the way around. Just try it.


No fuel ever conceived was ever "meant to be a locomotive fuel." Wood, coal, bunker C, crankcase oil, diesel, or crumpled up newspaper all were never meant to be locomotive fuels. Fireboxes (and/or burners, as the case may be), however, are built to burn particular fuels.

The engine I fire runs very well on used crankcase oil, contrary to your assertion earlier in this thread. Runs on it far better than diesel, that's for sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:11 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
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Location: southeastern USA
Diesel is a bit lighter on the BTUs. You have to burn more of it to generate the same amount of heat in a given time frame. This requires more air flow, of course...... it's a balancing act. Sammy is correct in the broad tolerances in the simplest systems, but they are not clean or efficient compared to a system designed and tuned for a clean and reliable fuel of a small tolerance of variation.

Now, heavy oils like Bunker C and #6....... that's locomotive fuel you can really steam with, but requiring a pretty simple and rough system due to their grit and volatility.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:12 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
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Location: Byers, Colorado
I'm not going to argue with you, but if you check it out, you'll find out that lots of big steam engines burn diesel. Just like the man said, same fuel supply for either form of motive power.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:06 pm
Posts: 122
QJdriver wrote:
I'm not going to argue with you, but if you check it out, you'll find out that lots of big steam engines burn diesel.
Can you name one?

I have it on good authority that for the last 15 years, 4449, 844, and 3985(when it was operational) have all burned reclaimed waste oil. The only time diesel would be used was in an emergency.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 448
Location: Byers, Colorado
Yes.

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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:16 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
Regarding fuel oil, the Saginaw Timber No. 2, a 1912 Baldwin 2-8-2 logging locomotive, was designed to burn No. 6 (Bunker C) fuel oil. Its tender was provided with steam lines to heat the oil so that it would flow out of the tender. Just before the oil went to the burner it was heated again to ensure proper atomization. In latter years, with the difficulty of finding Bunker C oil, the locomotive burned Number 4 fuel oil or waste motor oil as either was cheap, plentiful and worked well. These fuel oils, while they do not require heating to flow out of the tender, still require heating to allow proper atomization. The locomotive will complete its 1472 day inspection and will again be operating on waste oil sometime this summer.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1057
Location: Pacific, MO
No. 2 or diesel fuel is NOT a good fuel for mainline steam locomotives. Not nearly enough BTUs, is harmful to fireboxes and is hard to maintain pressure.
We initally burned No. 6 in 1522 with excellent results. Bunker C was what the Frisco burned, but it's not as readily available and No. six for all practical purposes is the same thing. At times we used No. 5 when on the road and couldn't get 6. We had a local supplier who followed us and delivered when we were on the road. It was always hot in the truck and we kept it heated to about 130-140 degrees in the bunker.
We had two occasions where we took diesel fuel and it was awful. It may work fine in some 10MPH tourist line or amusement parks but isn't suitable for an engine on the main.
Reclaimed waste oil is a much better choice than diesel and is what 4449 has been using.


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 Post subject: Re: Trash in Firebox
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
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Location: Byers, Colorado
Thanks, Don, I'll have to take your word on that.

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