Kit Converts Diesel Tractors To Alcohol

First on the market with a way to burn home-brewed alcohol in diesel tractors is M & W Gear Co., Gibson City, Ill.

"We're taking orders and plan to produce 200 kits for delivery in early 1980," reports John Smith, general sales manager. "They'll be designed to fit 86 series IH tractors and the 50 series Deere tractors. Kits for other makes and models of diesel tractors, and for diesel powered combines, are under development."

The Aquahol kit works only on turbocharged diesel tractors. "Its greatest benefit is that it produces more horsepower for less fuel," explains Smith. "Unlike Gasohol, which requires 200 proof alcohol, the water-alcohol mixture injected by the Aquahol kit requires only 100 to 140 proof alcohol which can be produced in the first stage of distilling. In addition to increasing horsepower and decreasing the amount of diesel fuel consumed, the water-alcohol injection reduces engine temperature 200 to 300 degrees."

The water-alcohol injection system consists of a 30 gal. tank mounted on the front of the tractor. It contains a 50/50 mixture of filtered water and ethanol or methanol alcohol, a pressure line and a feedline. Here's how Smith describes its operation:

"As the load on the tractor increases, turbocharger boost pressure increases. The alcohol tank is pressurized with turbocharger air at 5 lbs. of boost, and the mixture is forced through the feedline to the intake side of the turbocharger. As the boost increases. more of the mixture is injected automatically. An orifice in the feedline meters the mixture. The size of this orifice is determined by engine requirements.

"As the mixture is injected into the airstream, air is cooled, providing a denser charge of air for combustion. The air-water-alcohol mixture combines with diesel fuel in the cylinder to create a cooler, more powerful combustion. The cylinder sleeves, pistons and valves stay cleaner and last longer. Less heat is transferred to the cooling water. Cleaner combustion at a time when blow-by is greatest also helps keep the oil cleaner.

"In testing, the turbocharged 986 International diesel tractor produced 125 hp at rated speed on diesel fuel alone while consuming 8 1/2 gal. of fuel per hour. By introducing water and alcohol, horsepower output increased so the engine was throttled back to 125 hp for comparison. The engine then consumed 6 gal. of diesel fuel, 1 gal. of alcohol and 1 gal. of water per hour. Not only was the total amount of fuel required reduced by 1/2 gal., but the amount of petroleum based fuel was reduced by 2 1/2 gal. No internal modifications were made on the tractor engine."