A novel gasoline substitute

Kinda scary and interesting at the same time.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/library/1980_March_April/I_Run_My_Car_on_Acetylene
I wonder how many miles per pound he gets.
Best Regards Tom.
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There is the minor matter of what to do with the approximately 207 lb of calcium hydroxide left from making each 100 lb of acetylene. 100 lbs of gasoline is about 15 gallons, one fill at the pump. At one fill per week, you'd have about 5 tons of white alkaline goo after a year of operation. Perhaps one could treat the goo with HCL to make calcium chloride and sell it to the highway departments in snow states to rust out people's cars......thus getting support from the automakers!
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I used to live in St. Paul Mn. which at one time was a great railroad town. There were several railroad repair shops in town. Every so often I'd hear somebody say that they were going down to the railroad shop to get some carbide slag to paint their concrete wall or floor with. The railroads used a lot of acetylene and made their own. After the calcium hydroxide absorbed CO 2 from the air it helped seal the concrete, probably not as well as preparations made for that purpose but the price was right. It didn't take most people long to learn to wear rubber gloves working with the stuff to keep the skin from being eaten off their hands. Engineman
<From: Don Foreman - There is the minor matter of what to do with the approximately 207 lb of calcium hydroxide left from making each 100 lb of acetylene. 100 lbs of gasoline is about 15 gallons, one fill at the pump. At one fill per week, you'd have about 5 tons of white alkaline goo after a year of operation. Perhaps one could treat the goo with HCL to make calcium chloride and sell it to the highway departments in snow states to rust out people's cars......thus getting support from the automakers! >
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wrote:

It appears there are plenty of uses for calcium hydroxide although I am thinking there is also no shortage of the stuff either. Did the stationary acetylene generators have a poor safety record or did they fall from use due to more convenient acetylene in a cylinder? Steve
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_hydroxide
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On Fri, 5 May 2006 12:29:34 -0500, "Steve Peterson"

About a year ago I curious about acetylene manufacture. It turns out that a whole lot of places still use acetylene generators. especially large users. And of course the folks who bottle it. Surprisingly to me it turns out that comercially sold acetylene is still produced with calcium carbide even though other methods are used. ERS
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http://www.motherearthnews.com/library/1980_March_April/I_Run_My_Car_on_Acetylene
I like the sentence "In short-although I don't have all the answers yet-I've come a long way in a few months". Since the article was written 26 years ago I guess he got his answers about the practicality of this.
Steve.
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The Germans used this system when fuel-starved during WWII. It gave rise to all sorts of 'run your car on water` rumors back then. As to its being 'green`, the CO2 and energy costs of Calcium Carbide production negates any overall benefit. Aside from the fun of tinkering, whats the point? MadDog
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azotic wrote:

Oh, this has to be the WORST alternative energy idea I've heard! And, I've heard plenty. What does he do about parking his car in the middle of a shopping center lot on a hot day in August? Can you say "Boom?" At least he isn't carrying a bunch of Acetylene gas bottles in the trunk! Some welder did this here about 15 years ago, and blew his black Camaro to BITS! They found little pieces of it in people's rain gutters for a half mile radius. It blew several houses off their foundations.
For a really promising alternative energy soulution, check out Butanol. Just look it up on Google, and a bunch of new web sites have popped up. A guy ran a late 1980's Buick across the country on the stuff, and he has an economical process to make the stuff from not only corn, but corn stalks and other ag. waste! It can be piped through the petroleum pipelines, and delivers 98% of the energy content of gasoline per gallon, but burns cleanly like the alcohol it is. Looks very promising. The only remaining hurdle is to scale up the process to a level that could fuel millions of cars a day. That will take a LOT of ag. waste, so there would need to be a whole infrastructure to collect that stuff, too.
I'm keeping an eye on this one!
Jon
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azotic writes:

Hydrocarbons are a near ideal fuel. The energy density and "hazard density" are extremely low. Calcium carbide, like ethanol, carries a lot of dead weight. Hydrocarbon fuel-air mixes are explosive, but not anything like acetylene. Heard those tales of garbage bags inflated from a welding torch?
Consider boron metal instead of carbide. Zero emissions: you capture the exhaust and regenerate it at home with electricity. The fuel is dense and not too hazardous to store, so unlike gasoline, you could stockpile large quantities at home to improve distribution efficiency. The big problem is a practical engine.
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

Some friends of mine did this about 40 years ago. They blew out windows for blocks!

Actually, if you don't run fuel cells, then a Stirling engine makes a good way to convert heat to mechanical power. It isn't very responsive in terms of rapid acceleration, so a hybrid would be the way to go.
Jon
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Jon Elson wrote:

Based on what I've seen, it's hard to imagine a Stirling that could fit into an automobile and produce meaningful amounts of power.
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Jim Stewart wrote:

The Philips company has made Stirling cycle engines to run city busses. Getting that kind of power out has many complications, and usually uses helium at very high pressures as the working gas. Non trivial sealing issues as a result.
Making a Stirling that runs is trivial, comapratively, to getting one to run at or near the peak of efficiency.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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azotic wrote:

http://www.americanspeedster.com/baja.htm
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Since calcium carbide is produced by an electric furnace, it takes a LOT of energy to produce. It would be a lot more efficient just to take that electricity and run it into a battery to run an electric motor than to take the efficiency hit of a thermal engine. An old book I got from gutenburg.org on acetylene gives costs back then. It would take a pretty inefficient motor to stay below the 1 bar limit on compressing acetylene, too. Then there's the whole idea of hauling around compressed flammable(and explosive) gasses in vehicles. Energy density just isn't there, same problem exists with hydrogen-fueled vehicles.
Stan
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