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race car on methanol (mixing fuels)

race car on methanol (mixing fuels)

race car on methanol (mixing fuels)


I have a question, my late crew chief was a smart guy when it comes to fuel. unfortunately he is no longer around for me to learn from, and I certainly do not have a chemistry degree.

With the race car we run there are rules in certain races or in different series, and in some there are no rules at all when it comes to fuel. No matter where we race though we always run Methanol.

VP m1 is what we use, and we use additives from there. here is the spec sheet of the fuel. https://vpracingfuels.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/...

The engine is a 4 stroke, 4 cylinder dual overhead camshaft, 2.5 liter displacement, 13.8:1 compression ratio, electronic fuel injection, direct drive, 380hp at the wheels and 220tq

A little story, so for the longest time I had issues with the performance of the engine and getting the tune to be consistent, I know that where we race and altitude and barometric pressure are all factors but the ecu that we tune with adjusts for all of that. I discovered that methanol absorbs moisture like a sponge, and I never used any instruments to measure the content of water in the methanol, other then i could take a piece of aluminum and dip it into the methanol, allow the methanol to evaporate, and see the water bead up on the aluminum.

my late crew chief showed me this, and this is where he had us adding 4oz. of acetone to the methanol per gallon. he said that the acetone acted as a (blending agent) and ever since we started adding the acetone to our fuel our tunes have been much more consistent from race to race.

There have always been talk about adding a mixture of Nitro methane to our methanol, no more then 5-10%, and my late crew chief said that benzine is the best blending agent for doing so. He also said that you cannot buy this anymore, he also told me that he knew how to synthesize it himself.

my question is does anyone know this process? does anyone object to what we have done so far with the acetone? can anyone explain how this process works?

I want to learn all that I can about this specific topic without having to go to school to get a degree where 90% of what I learn will never be used for anything.

RE: race car on methanol (mixing fuels)

Where are you located?
There is a whole class oc chemicals that will keep the water in solution and allow for more uniform performance.
Yes, benzene and its derivatives are very good at it. Many of these can be purchased commercially.
Acetone can be very hard on your fuel system, it is a great solvent.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: race car on methanol (mixing fuels)

Water is completely soluble methanol and acetone so there is no point in adding acetone to methanol. Problems occur when water separates, not when it is dissolved.

Benzine is an ill-defined material. In the US it is the old name for petroleum naphtha. It is also the word used for gasoline in some European countries. Benzene is a common chemical that is a component of gasoline but is carcinogenic.

Both benzine and benzene are non-polar solvents and I do not see how it would help nitromethane (slightly polar) dissolve into methanol (polar). There may be other considerations like octane rating.

RE: race car on methanol (mixing fuels)

Acetone is often added to methanol (up to 5%) to assist cold starting and reduce pre-ignition.

je suis charlie

RE: race car on methanol (mixing fuels)

As a new forum member your aim was pretty good posting to this sub-forum, but you might also try posting a more general question on the miscibility of water with methanol and other organic compounds on a suitable Chemical engineering sub-forum.
As for blending methanol and nitromethane, I suspect great expertise on this topic can be found in forums outside of Eng-tips that are dedicated to:
  1. pro- and semi-pro drag racing (classes where nitromethane is permitted)
  2. internal combustion engine powered model airplanes and other internal combustion engine powered scale models (e.g. cars, hydroplanes)

"Schiefgehen wird, was schiefgehen kann" - das Murphygesetz

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