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post #36 of (permalink) Old 17th May 2008
Technical Supremo

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It is impossible to convert a diesel to run on LPG purely because the compression ratios are too high and the fuel would ignite before the piston reached TDC and the pistons are also different. It would self destruct within minutes if not sooner. There are stationary diesel engines which can be assisted to run by supplementing the air intake with wood smoke. I have actually seen one in operation but it is the size of a large box van and is primarliy used for producing electricity. It is started on pure diesel and the heat from the exhaust roasts wood chippings - the smoke from the wood chippings is drawn into the intake and a small amount of diesel is injected to aid combustion. When running at the correct temp it uses approx., 80% wood smoke and 20% diesel. The remains of wood chips can be compressed to make charcoal suitable for barbeques, etc.

Some of the motoring organisations are now concerned that the overall costs of running a diesel may not be what they seem. As most diesel cars cost more you need to work out when the overall cost will break even. The same applies to gas conversions. I have seen figures where the break even point for a VW golf diesel is in the region of 60K miles and as the cost of diesel increases no doubt this figure will increase
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