MOGAS Transportation, Handling, and Storage

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by HomeBuilt101, May 29, 2018.

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  1. May 29, 2018 #1

    HomeBuilt101

    HomeBuilt101

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    Hi All,

    My home airport does not have fuel so I need to convert my airplane to MOGAS and I need to find a safe way to transport, handle, and store MOGAS so I wanted to reach out to the brain trust for advice.

    I have a large car transport trailer so I can certainly get one of these refueling tanks and strap it down in the trailer:

    https://www.transferflow.com/fuel-tanks/refueling-tanks

    Does anyone have a recommendation for such a unit specifically designed for gasoline/ aviation use because practically all of the commercially available units are geared up for diesel fuel for agriculture use however with gasoline there are more concerns such as:

    -There should certainly be some kind of filter/ gascolator installed

    -Grounding strap (tank to trailer to airplane)

    -Is the electric fuel pump used on the unit a concern?


    Airplane wise here are my questions:

    -My Bendix was rebuilt by Airflow Performance so all the seals, gaskets, diaphragms are impervious to ethanol. My fuel lines are PTFE so they are OK.

    -The engine is a turbocharged IO-540 with 7.3:1 compression pistons so I will need to manually limit the MAP to 42 inches of mercury because that equals an Effective Compression Ratio of 11.2:1 Effective Compression Ratio (I will post separately about that)

    Anything else you would recommend?

    THANKS!!!
     
  2. May 29, 2018 #2

    pictsidhe

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    Mogas absorbs water from the air, so you won't want to be leaving gas in it or the plane for too long. Simple solution: Use leftovers to fill the truck. You can usually find ethanol free if you look.
    I'm somewhat dubious about your effective compression ratio theory, does your engine not have operating conditions for mogas specified?
     
  3. May 29, 2018 #3

    Hot Wings

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    The mechanics of transporting fuel are pretty straight forward. The problems seem to be the DOT and individual state regulations regarding fuel transport. Kit planes had a good article, think it was a 2 part'er, but I can't find it with their search function right now. IIRC basically if it was legal as an auxiliary tank in a truck you had no problems - unless it was mounted on a trailer. If trailer mounted it got more complicated depending on the state and if you traveled on an interstate highway.

    https://www.attatank.com/what-is-legal/

    Also at one time one of the HBA members was building and selling systems just for this purpose and had a link in his signature line - but I don't remember who it was/is?
     
  4. May 29, 2018 #4

    pictsidhe

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    5 gallon cans may be worth thinking about. The newer ones seal. I have tried a few and the "Ameri-can" made by Scepter has by far the best spout. Think i've seen them in lowes and walmart. UK cans have come with a sealing cap and normal spout for longer than I've been around. It seems you can get those caps and spouts on Amazon.
     
  5. May 29, 2018 #5

    mcrae0104

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    How will you know that you have enough detonation margin with pump gas? (i.e. how did you arrive at 42"--is that a SWAG or is there somebody else with experience doing this that you are following?)

    I presume you have a charge cooler?

    What does Lycoming have to say? Is there a mogas STC for your TIO-540? And is it an "off-the-shelf" TIO-540, or an IO-540 with an STC'd turbo or homebrewed turbo?

    My risk meter jumped to life when I read what you intend to do, but I would be interested to learn that my initial reaction is unjustified.
     
  6. May 29, 2018 #6

    rv6ejguy

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    I think you posted the question about max MAP using mogas on your engine a while back. No way I'd chance 42 inches running fixed mag timing.

    45 gallon drums of 100LL may be a better bet if the airport will allow storage.
     
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  7. May 29, 2018 #7

    pictsidhe

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    What do the other pilots there do?
     
  8. May 29, 2018 #8

    bmcj

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    I won’t get into the viability of running Mogas, but from what I know and read, a couple of the issues you’ll need to deal with once you get it to your destination is testing for alcohol (unless you trust the supplier), water absorption (not as much an issue if your tank is full to the top, but becomes more likely as you use the fuel and ambient air is introduced above it. A bladder would help solve this problem), and you also have to be concerned with it losing its octane rating over time.
     
  9. May 29, 2018 #9

    BJC

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    101:

    I really would want to run 100LL in a turbocharged IO-540. (Or even a normally aspirated one.)

    A friend saves a few cents per gallon on 100LL that is delivered to our individual hangars by towing his home made tank trailer 25 miles to a county airport that has self service.


    BJC
     
  10. May 29, 2018 #10

    Dana

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    An electric fuel pump designed for diesel will not be suitable for gasoline, and vice versa. Different seal materials, and gasoline lacks the lubricity of diesel fuel.
     
  11. May 30, 2018 #11

    fmartin_gila

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    Back in the mid 80s thru early 90s I used MOGAS in my planes at airports where fuel was severely limited. Simple setup - a 20 ft length of 10 gauge wire with good clips on the ends to ensure grounding, 35 gallon drums in the back of my pickup, and used an electric pump available from an auto parts store utilizing the pickup battery for power to the pump. This was in Arizona and I notice you show Hollister so I presume Calif so there may be more restrictions on your location, also the timeframe was long ago and things do change.

    Fred
     
  12. May 30, 2018 #12

    TFF

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    Car gas with ethanol goes bad in 6 months. 100LL is supposed to be good for 5 years. There are plenty of fuel tanks in the 300-500 gal size. If you have to bring in fuel might as well bring in 100LL A local would buy 55 gal drums of non ethanol auto gas from the distributer. I have seen ethanol fuel wash junk out of the fuel tanks and put a plane in a field.
     
  13. May 30, 2018 #13

    HomeBuilt101

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    Thanks for the advice.

    The engine has 7.3:1 compression pistons so at 30 inches MAP the compression ratio is 7.3:1. My dad's 1949 Packard has that compression ratio and it can run on practically anything.

    With a turbocharger, the "Effective" compression ratio is a function of how much the turbocharger increases the pressure of the intake system because that will force air into the cylinder when the intake valve opens making the pistons think that the compression ratio is higher...if the turbo compresses the air so that the MAP indicates 49 inches then that is like 9PSI of boost and the compression ratio felt by the pistons is "effectively" 12.5:1 and that is often utilized by air cooled aircraft engines running 100 LL. If the MAP is limited to only 42 inches MAP then that is only 6.0 PSI of boost and then the compression ratio felt by the pistons is much lower in the 10.3:1 range and that is very livable for pump gas. http://www.gtsparkplugs.com/EffectiveCompressionCalc.html

    I just moved to Arizona and I can drive to a local airport and buy 100LL but I still need a method to transport it and store it safely.

    So if anyone has a recommendation for a tank and hose system with electric pump I would be most grateful for the advice.
    Lycoming engines are STC's to run on MOGAS.
     
  14. May 30, 2018 #14

    Derswede

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    Lots of good advice here...Ground straps are mandatory. Most pump fires start from someone sliding out of a car on a cold day, grabbing the nozzle (Most plastic covered) and then touching the nozzle to the metal body of the car or plane. Quite a static charge can build, and will easily start a fire. We would blow up our pumps on occasion to show detonation chances....radio did not do much, unless a resonant length to the RF, Cell phones only if the battery was shorted, and static almost 100 % det rate.

    For pumps, you may try a gas pump repair/rebuild company. A Gilbarco rotary pump is a blade style pump, does not care if it is leaded, unleaded, diesel or a mix product. Tokheim are rotary displacement pumps, strong as well. I have seen guys use everything from an old bicycle to a starter off of a car to pump fuel when 110/380V not available. Stroke pumps (often called drum or tank pumps) are also usable. Often called "farm pumps". There used to be several companies that made small pumps. One was Fill-rite. Northern Tool has one called the RoughNeck which is 12V for $120 or so. It shows it using a couple of alligator type clips to connect to a battery....this is a REALLY BAD idea unless the leads are 10-12 ft long. As mentioned, all it takes is one spark....

    Derswede
     
  15. May 30, 2018 #15

    HomeBuilt101

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    This is very good advice...THANKS!!!

    Yes in Arizona static electricity is very common. Back growing up it was fun to rub your shoes on shag carpet and then sneak up on your brother and zap his ear when he was not looking...I guess that is why they do not install shag carpet at fueling pumps.
     
  16. May 30, 2018 #16

    Hot Wings

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    Still haven't been able to locate the Kitplanes article but I did dig up some info to refresh my memory.

    Mogas transport seems to be regulated similar to Part 103 aircraft. It may not be 100% legal but if you don't cause problems no one really cares. It appears that anything over 8 gallons and up to 119 gallons (the magic DOT numbers) actually requires specification tanks, placarding and a CDL with Hazmat endorsement - per federal DOT regulations? There seem to be exemptions for some manufactured trailers up to the 119 gallon limit. Vehicle mounted tanks up to the 119 gallon limit are pretty much a "buy and install" deal.

    I personally have transported 2 55 gallon barrels of fuel in the back of my PU, placarded as such, along the permanently installed 110 gallon auxiliary tank on a fairly regular basis in years past with zero interest from "The Man". Probably not the most prudent thing I've ever done..........
     
  17. May 30, 2018 #17

    rv6ejguy

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    Pretty sure there isn't an auto gas STC for your engine. If there is, there will be a much lower manifold pressure limit.

    As I said before, you can't compare HUCR (highest usable compression ratio) of liquid cooled automotive engines to air cooled aircraft engines with their dated chamber designs and higher chamber temps.

    From Shell Global: "However, for those aeroplanes with supercharged or turbocharged engines the use of low octane unleaded fuels would not be suitable. The only way to operate these turbo engines on current unleaded technology fuels would be to significantly reduce the boost pressure of the supercharging and massively de-rate the engines. This de-rating would be so severe that many of the engines would no longer be powerful enough for the aeroplane in question."

    Hope it works out for you but that engine is very expensive to tear down and repair if it doesn't work out. Is that worth the risk?
     
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  18. May 30, 2018 #18

    pictsidhe

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    Large cylinders also need a lower CR than smaller ones.
     
  19. May 30, 2018 #19

    mcrae0104

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    Yes, the low compression pistons are working in your favor. But I don't think the effective CR isn't the whole story on detonation potential. It would probably be worthwhile to calculate the temperature of your intake charge based on the pressure ratio of your turbo at several operating regimes (esp. operating since you're in AZ). I'm no expert--just a thought.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  20. May 30, 2018 #20

    TFF

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    Detonation is not just compression ratio. Diameter of piston, number of plugs, swirl, carb or injected all play. You can have a little corner detonating and the rest normal. Ferrari V12s of the late 50s early 60s and the Honda I6 F1 bike engines played on that. Small piston diameters meant they did not have detonation problems like the fewer cylinder engines on the junk gas they had to run. A 5" bore Lycoming has a lot of surface area. Today in F1 racing there is 3 tanks on the cars. Fuel, dry sump oil, and combustion oil. They inject this high octane anti detonation "oil" in the combustion chamber. Run out, and they can only drive around the track off pace. The "oil" is fuel.
     

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