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Shtf fuel choice's

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posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 01:33 PM
reply to post by IgnoranceIsntBlisss

We have a friend who makes ethyl alcohol from dandelion roots... he ends up with roughly close to 200 proof.

Living in the country, there are endless fields of the damn weed everywhere you look... no need to "grow your own". The best time to harvest the dandelion is when it's fully grown into a yellow blossom, that's when you get the nice big fat solid root... if you pull them up before they've grown to the flower stage, you'll end up with several small skinny roots which takes forever to clean and separate.

It takes him and my hubby about half a day to collect around 40-50 bushels. With that, he estimates that he gets about 25-30 gallons worth. He runs all of his small engine equipment from it (lawnmower, snow blower, weed wacker, chainsaw, generator, etc). He's also converted an old beater truck now.

The man's a friggin genius when it comes to self sufficiency... the things this guy comes up with never ceases to amaze us. We're getting one hell of an education from this man.

We've now converted our lawn mower, snow blower, and one generator thus far and are now in the market to find an old beater truck (pre 1980's) to convert and use as a spare secondary utility vehicle.

As an added bonus, I get all of the yellow blossoms from their dandelion collecting and make dandelion jelly from them... yummy stuff (tastes almost like honey). I've yet to attempt dandelion wine, but that's on my "to do" list sometime down the road.

There are numerous uses for that wonderful weed.

Edit to add: There are a number of different tools that aid in harvesting dandelions where you can easily pull up the whole plant, root and all. You just center it over the plant, push down with your foot to clamp on under the surface and pull it up. No bending or back breaking involved.
edit on 5-4-2013 by CranialSponge because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 08:40 PM
Depends on what I need the fuel for.

If it's a vehicle, a volatile high-energy-density liquid that can run an engine and be quickly replenished while not too messy is best. Gasoline or alcohol and then diesel. Diesel may be considered better in some ways, but it can gel in cold and some sources like bio-diesel may gum up lines which isn't good if you want reliability.

For heat? Whatever is readily available and doesn't produce noxious fumes. If you can separate the heat source from where heat is used (forced air or boiler & radiator), then almost anything that'll burn might be useful.

For electrical power? Anything that will make a wheel go round and round, and spin magnets past wire coils. That might even be a steam engine, water wheel, pedal power, or wind. Not just limited to internal combustion systems. Options tend to be more limited if you're looking at OTS solutions. Obviously options in this case are also influenced by how reliable and how much power you need. If building from scratch, wind power is likely the easiest if local weather allows for it. Waterwheel would be second easiest. And a steam engine with any improvised heat source would be third. (Although steam power is definitely dangerous if you don't know what you're doing, and still somewhat dangerous even if you do.)

Refrigeration is also a consideration, since it's something most people would want. (That it's normally done with an electric motor is just for convenience.) If you understand the principle behind the cycle, the basic gist is running a glorified pump that (re)circulates a heat-transfer fluid in a closed circuit. Same rules apply as making the wheel spin for electricity. Yes, it's quite possible to make your camp out in the desert nice and cool using a solar powered steam engine if you were so inclined. (Bonus is getting fresh water from the air, since it's also a dehumidifier.)

posted on Apr, 21 2013 @ 05:04 AM
This is a big subject and something I've been looking into for use now, rather than SHTF. As far as I'm concerned in the UK and Europe with diesel being around £1.45 ($3) per litre, the S has already HTF!

Easiest in my mind would be to buy an old diesel car or pickup which is not direct line injection. Older diesels had a chamber before the engine which heated the fuel mix before combustion which prevents problems with alternative fuels waxing up and gumming up the engine. Even still I would install a filter pre-fuel pump that can be bolted on and off quickly and replaced. Not sure what to use as a filter, but its better to lose suction once every few months and have to ponce around unbolting and cleaning the filter out than it is to have to do a complete engine strip down.

Veg oil will work in some older engines, straight (SVO) but waste oil (WVO) will need to be drained and chemically cleaned before use. Both veg oils do not like the cold very much so you could consider an additional preheat valve on the fuel line or simply mix up something with the oil to give it extra oomph and a lower waxing temperature (a gallon of petrol or standard dino in the tank with it.)

Another way around the waxing issue is to install a twin-tank system on your vehicle so that once the engine is running hot, the veg oil will not gum up in the engine and will create a more complete burn.

If you live in a hot climate you will likely not have any problems running an older diesel on veg oil without any kind of contraptions added, but those of us in colder climates will have to take all this into consideration.

There is also another easier way, kerosine. Kerosine is almost identical to diesel except it hasn't got the lubrication qualities that standard diesel has. I know someone who was running a fairly new Ford Ranger on kerosine (quite illegally obviously) and was mixing a part engine oil to the mix to stop it stripping the engine to pieces. I've been meaning to get down there and ask him what the mixture is, next time I'm around the area I will and I'll post the findings. I think it was something like 1:40 oil to kerosine, but this is a complete guess, don't take my word for it just yet.

Sort of cars your looking for include these:


Old defenders

Old Astras

Old Citroen diesels.

Stay away from anything with a more modern engine. Fords are a big no-no, I'm surprised the Ranger ran OK on kerosine but then again its got a Mazda lump in it. I've currently got two diesel fords on the drive and they are no good for experimenting on, lol.

edit on 21/4/13 by CyningSaeward because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 05:58 PM
reply to post by IgnoranceIsntBlisss

you read my mind! I have a fresnel I'm setting up right now.I think that in a shtf setting,all other sources will be too labor intensive.Building a still will need a feed source,yeast and heat.Wood gas needs wood,and everyone and they're brother will be competing for it.Generators need oil and parts.A big lense that can get to 2500 degree's? Now your cookin!!!!

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