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combustion of kerosene vapor is not apt to be as complete as gasoline gas, with some forms of carburetor, a minute stream of water is sprayed into the mixture before it reaches the combustion chamber. The water is decomposed by the heat and liberates oxygen which facilitates combustion and which tends to minimize carbon deposit.
Fig. 58A.—Showing Method of Carrying Fuel Tank at Rear of Chassis
on Lozier Cars. Q. What is benzol?
A. Benzol is a by-product incidental to the manufacture of illuminating gas and coke. The crude product is a foul smelling liquid which has about the same color as ale, but when subjected to a refining process, the liquid is changed to one of about the same color of gasoline. Coke was formerly produced by a process of destructive distillation and the gases evolved were permitted to escape. At the present time these gases are retained and passed through a condensing coil to form benzol. About three gallons of benzol are obtained for each ton of coal converted into coke or gas.
Q. How is it used?
A. Benzol is not as volatile as gasoline but much more so than kerosene. A motor supplied with a carburetor of ordinary water or exhaust gas jacketed construction may be started without difficulty with this fuel. It has received considerable application in England.
Q. What is alcohol?
A. Alcohol is a product obtained from vegetable sources that offers some advantages as a fuel. It differs materially from gasoline, as it has from seven to ten per cent of water in its composition and as it is much less volatile it requires more heat to vaporize it.
Q. From what is it obtained?
A. Alcohol may be derived from any substance that contains either starch or sugar, and it can be produced from various fruits, grains and vegetables. Such materials as beets, potatoes, wheat, rye, corn, sugar-cane, barley, rice, and even decaying fruit or other refuse which could not be utilized otherwise may be distilled and alcohol derived therefrom.
Q. Can it be used as fuel?
A. While alcohol has been used for ten years or more abroad in engines designed especially for its use, it cannot be utilized economically in motors intended for gasoline. Alcohol vapor can be compressed much more than gasoline gas, and as the heat units liberated from a burning fuel vary with the amount of compression prior to ignition, even though alcohol gives out less heat when burned under the same conditions as gasoline, equal or higher engine efficiency may be obtained by compressing the alcohol vapor more. Alcohol is used in some form of carburetor adapted to heat the mixture before it is supplied to the cylinders. An engine designed for gasoline will use nearly twice as much alcohol as it does the other liquid to develop the same amount of energy. One of the disadvantages of alcohol that is shared in common with kerosene is that it is difficult to start a cold engine, and the motor must be heated up before alcohol can be used. Owing to the presence of oxygen in the alcohol, which is not a part of gasoline, only about one third as much air is needed with alcohol vapor and twice the amount of compression before ignition can be used with alcohol gas. It is claimed that the range of explosive mixture proportions of air and alcohol is much greater than that possible with gasoline and air.
Q. Describe the alcohol-acetylene process.
A. This is a recently devised process developed with the object of enabling one to use alcohol with engines of present design with no change except a special form of vaporizer. The alcohol vapor is passed through calcium carbide before it enters the cylinder and the water present in commercial alcohol, which normally lowers its efficiency as a fuel, is absorbed by the carbide and as a chemical action results, acetylene gas is liberated and this very inflammable gas increases the thermal value of the alcohol vapor. When this com. bination gas is employed, it is necessary to add water to the alcohol to obtain the same thermal efficiency as procured with gasoline gas. The solution used as fuel contains 17 per cent water and 83 per cent alcohol; as water costs nothing to speak of, the increase in the bulk of fuel nearly pays for the carbide. It is estimated that one pound of carbide is used per gallon of liquid. This combination of alcohol and acetylene has proved efficient on motors employing compression as low as 60 pounds to the square inch and running as high as 2,000 revolutions per minute. If used alone, alcohol vapor burns
slowly and it is more efficient on slow speed, high compression motors than on engines of the present form.
Q. What are the advantages of alcohol?
A. Alcohol has the great advantage that the fire risk is less than with gasoline. A gasoline fire or any burning petroleum product is only spread by water, but burning alcohol is extinguished by it. It is claimed that the exhaust gases from alcohol are cooler and cleaner than those from gasoline vapor and they will deposit less carbon in the combustion chamber. As alcohol is obtained from vegetable substances there is no likelihood of fuel famine because the raw materials are not only found in all parts of the earth, but are reproduced each cycle of seasons and in fact, in tropical countries, there is no cessation to the growth of the vegetation. There has been no serious attempt to date to produce alcohol in large quantities and even the removal of the government tax on the denatured product has not stimulated the production of the liquid.
Q. Is alcohol dangerous?
A. Alcohol is much less dangerous than either kerosene, benzol or gasoline under ordinary conditions. Alcohol used for fuel purposes must be rendered unfit for drinking by substances such as benzine or other distillates of crude petroleum in order to make it unpalatable. As denatured alcohol is poisonous to a degree, it is very dangerous if the chauffeur takes it internally.
Q. How are fuels carried in automobiles?
A. Liquid fuels are carried in tanks conveniently disposed at various parts of the automobile, depending upon the type of fuel supply system used. In many cars it is carried in a tank under the front seat when a chassis is fitted with a touring body or in a large container back of the seat (Fig. 58) and at the rear end if the car is a roadster or two passenger type. On some very powerful machines where it would be difficult to store enough gasoline in a tank under the seat, a large container is carried at the rear end of frame back of the rear axle.
Q. What is the best system of fuel storage?
A. The safest method of handling gasoline and other liquids of like nature when stored in large quantities is to use underground tank outfits as outlined at Figs. 59 and 60. This is a very economical method, because the danger from fire is reduced to a minimum and there is no loss of fuel by evaporation. The liquid may be pumped up from the tank by any simple form of hand pump, some of which are so designed that they will pump only measured quantities of the l quid.