Page 1 of 1

using methane as vehicle fuel

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:04 pm
by jed turtle
i had bought the video a few years back and then discovered that it is now available for viewing for free on the internet.

about Harold Bates (interviewed by Mother Earth News in the early 1970s iirc- i have the copy somewhere) who was making his own methane and driving around with it. he was also making his own conversion kit for autos and selling those too.
then he disappeared from view. would love to find out what happened to him, details of his conversion kit, his compressor, everything.
but anyways, the video is here:

of course there are off-the-shelf conversion kits to run cars off of natural gas, as many vehicles do run on natural gas.

and that is one of the reasons i have stayed interested in home-made biogas for so long. the tech is well known, and if one has a reasonably accessable supply of manure or algae feedstock to produce methane, it is perhaps at least as feasible to run one's vehicle on methane as it is to convert it to electricity. with the added benefit that once one is producing the gas, one can also run many if not most of one's household energy requirements from that same gas.

Re: using methane as vehicle fuel

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:11 pm
by jed turtle
just discovered a reply to one of my older threads on tb2k that related to methane,
which reply discusses compressing methane. the poster, by the way, i consider to be very knowledgeable in a vast variety of scientific subjects. i thought it would be helpful to quote the pertinent part of that thread here:

Q: What changes would need to be made in ,as example, propane lights in order to run them off of methane?

A: You need a different regulator, and the system needs a pump to be able to get it above the needed input pressure and flow to the regulator, but other than that, it should be a fairly easy conversion. I have seen several people use parts from ABC (Aluminum Boron Chrome) piston engines (like the ones RC cars use), to make safe combustible gas compressors, just drive them with a decent RS760 class (Mabuchi motors) through an eighty to one, or even a two hundred to one transmission (90 to 225 RPM compressor speed). You do not need to have the pump run full time, just compress the gas into any good steel tank that can hold any of the flammable gases (propane, MAPP, or the 60CF and larger big tanks). This way you can store a good amount safely for use when you don't want to have to run the compressor.

MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE ONLY COMPRESSING AND/OR STORING THE FLAMMABLE GAS, AND NO OXYGEN. Having any O2 in the line will prove dangerous to your continued lifestyle...

i hope this link works. let me know if it doesn't ... e+digester

Re: using methane as vehicle fuel

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:16 am
by Bob
Here are links to a couple of earlier discussions on this forum about the practicability (and thermodynamics) of compressing gas.


Given the large amount of energy overhead, for myself, I've focused on trying to design a whole system in which demand more or less matches production -- i.e. as much as possible, try to find a way to use the gas as it is generated, avoiding the cost, complexity (and added hazard) of storing large quantities...

Re: using methane as vehicle fuel

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:06 am
by jed turtle
ugh. i just lost a long post by trying to back up before submitting. :(

anyways the first link didn't connect me.

thanks for the second link.

just wanted to say that i have access to fairly substantial quantities of various types of manure.
it has occurred to me for some time that i could produce enough in the warm seasons to power the homestead (and vehicles) here yearlong, especially if i could master compression of the gas. perhaps enough to justify acquiring a 250 gal propane tank (or several) for storage.

as a side benefit to processing large amounts of manure, a signifcant side benefit would be dehydrating and selling the remaining sludge as fertilizer up at the local farm store. probably would pay for the entire project.