Ethanol instead of Petrol ???

Any one tried using Ethanol ( pure alcohol ) instead of petrol, i'm running generators on petrol but paying road tax on it ! I know you can in theory claim it back, but life's short you know.

I once ran a geny on paint thinners, but i don't recomend it.

If any one's running a vintage deisel engine on veg oil, you da man, tell me all about it.

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Regards Scott

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Scott McAfee

Not on this sort of engine. Basically I'd forget it. If I really did want to start fooling with this sort of approach, I'd begin with a diesel engine, not a spark-ignition engine. Then you've got loads of options for "biodiesel" from all manner of oily sources. Everyone and their dog seems to be doing it these days. Or you could just buy red diesel, which is easily available (unlike red petrol, which I believe is extinct).

OTOH, if you have cheap gas as a fuel, then you might want to look at petrol engines as a base. I've done cow-methane into a petrol genset.

CAT in Macyhnnleth (Wales) will have plenty of reading material.

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Andy Dingley


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Paul Evans

Quite a few people around here run generators because its too expensive to get mains electricity put on to their remote properties. Just out of curiosity I rang the customs and exise to see about claiming tax and duty back on petrol........ Basically if it goes in an engine you cant claim the duty back, whether its a vehicle , stationary use , mowing the garden , generator or whatever. Alcahol is generally a fuel with a very low calorific value so you need shed loads of it compared with also has a very high latent heat value , so less cooling is required than with a petrol engine its advantage is that it will stand compression ratios of about 13:1 giving better volumetric efficiency and therefore power at high speeds. Given all these I wouldnt have thought it was a very suitable fuel for a stationary engine running low comp at low speeds. steve the grease

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R L Driver

Hum I looked at their website not so long back and decided that you could get the duty back *but* you had to have a *very* good reason. Mowing the grass isn't good enough... The easy answer, for teletubbies to give out, is you can't. B-)

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Dave Liquorice

a number of people in my group are running used french-fry oil in their engines. i made and used a hundred or so gallons for fun. it worked well but if pure, the oil began to gel around 40 to 45 degrees f. most are using a methanol-lye process to drop the glycerides out. my vehicle started better with the real petro diesel but ran well on the

100% processed veggie oil. i've even tried running on canola oil from the grocer's. a friend with a vw rabbit diesel runs two tanks. one is normal petro diesel. the other is filled with raw, unprocessed, veggie oil. it has a heater coil from the car's cooling system. after everything gets up to temperature, he switches over to the raw stuff. another friend processes a thousand gallons or so for his farm tractors each year. we found feedstocks to be fussy. if you change the source, it can require a change in the processing formula. we also found some stuff that would not seem to work to get the glycerin to gel. this may have had some animal fat in it. we found we could process bio for about $0.50/ us gallon. diesel is running about $2.25/US gallon now. good luck, sam

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On "Costing the Earth" on Radio 4 last night they were talking about use of E85 - 85% ethanol, 15% petrol, which is now produced in the USA. British Sugar are hoping to develop a plant in the UK to produce the stuff. And apparently Asda and Tesco stores in the southeast are adding 5% ethanol to petrol without telling anyone. More at .

David Mack

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If you've done cow-methane YOU DA MAN !

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