Molecular Velcro for Fuel

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Kittamaru, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    http://gizmodo.com/this-new-kind-of-molecule-stops-jet-fuel-from-exploding-1734144490

    This is pretty cool - seems like it'd have practical applications in any sort of liquid-fuel powered vehicle to be honest!
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting - thanks for this. The idea of adding polymers to fluids to cut down on misting is not a new one. I recall we had rock drill lubricants at Shell that contained long polymers for precisely this reason. The novelty here seems to be to find a polymer that reconnects after being sheared by passage through pumps and filters. This seems to be what the "molecular velcro" description is all about. With rock drill oil I seem to recall shearing of the polymer was not an issue, as it was I think) a once-through application.

    I don't think this idea would be much use for petrol (gasoline), as the explosions due to that are caused by vapour clouds rather than a particulate mist. But for gasoil (diesel) and avtur (kerosene), sure.
     
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  5. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    Oh? Wouldn't this reduce the amount of vaporization that occurs normally with petrol?
     
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  7. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    The word polymer bothers me , unless if the material is flourinated , There are some compounds which are spark suppression used in transformers , and there are a lot of inorganic compounds which release water. such as release of Water and/or Carbon Dioxide--Hydrated salts (such as magnesium sulfate pentahydrate, aluminum trihydrate, magnesium hydroxide, hydrated magnesium carbonate and so forth) decompose at high temperatures, and release water and or carbon dioxide in an endothermic reaction to quench a fire.
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Well, the mode of action is all to do with suppressing the formation of fine droplets of liquid, which does not alter the vapour pressure. But I suppose, on reflection, that doing so might also reduce the rate at which gasoline spilled in a crash might evaporate, by reducing the surface area. In which case it would be beneficial, I suppose. But I think too that one would have to be careful about the effect of leaving sticky deposits in the carburettor, or in the cylinders - evaporation of the gasoline would concentrate the involatile polymer. In a diesel this would be less of a risk, as the fuel does not evaporate in the process anyway.
     
  9. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    Hmm true... and I guess they can't make the polymer something that can burn off at standard combustion temperatures as that would invalidate the entire idea
     
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Oh I'm sure it must burn off cleanly during combustion, or it would not be proposed for aviation fuel, as it would foul the engines, which is a risk nobody in aviation would dream of taking under any circumstance. But in a carburettor you have low temperatures. Anyway an interesting idea - suppose all these niggles will get dealt with during commercialisation. Now that I'm not involved in this sort of thing any more I can point out the potential issues from the side lines and let younger people sweat over checking them out!
     

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