From: Oiled Lamp <email@example.com>
> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Oiled Lamp
> <email@example.com> wrote:
> > In Kurt Saxon's book "The Survivor," Vol. 2, pg. 519-520, there is an
> > article all about methane gas with diagrams on how to produce and use it
> > for an alternative fuel/energy source. You can order the book from
> > http://www.kurtsaxon.com or if you like I will post the text of the
> > article here (although I believe the diagrams would be useful to have).
> > Life's tough, pray hard,
> > Amber Satterwhite
> > a.k.a. Oiled Lamp
> Well if its not too much trouble to post it might tell me enough to make a
> decision about buying the book.
> Thanks either way.
O.K., guilt me into it why don't ya'? ;D
METHAN GAS AS AN ALTERNATE FUEL/ENERGY SOURCE
By T. Fitzgerald
Methane is a renewable fuel/energy source. Manufacture of it is nothing more than speeding up nature's million year manufacturing process. For uncounted eons plants absorbed the sun's energy and, through the process of photosynthesis, stored it in organic carbon-bearing compounds. When the plants died, anaerobic bacteria (those that live out of contact with free oxygen) consumed the decaying vegetable matter, and as part of their metabolic process, combined one atom of carbon with four of hydrogen. The resultant molecule (CH4) is methane. Natural gas, as found in underground reservoirs, or as it come bubbling out of marshes in the form of swamp gas-the process is still going on today-is mainly methane, but also contains 5 to 16 percent ethane (C2H6) and sometimes as much as 8 percent hydrogen.
Natural gas is important because there is a lot of potential heat energy stored in those molecules of carbon and hydrogen. Burn a cubic foot of it and you will get somewhere between 1000 and 1100 BTUs (British Thermal Units - a means of measuring energy). Methane gas produces about 678 BTUs per cubic foot. Methane gas can be used effectively in the place of natural gas or propane by simply drilling the orifices (gas openings) of the stove, lantern, etc., being used, slightly larger as methane is not as "hot" a fuel as natural gas or propane. Caution must be used, just as when using natural gas or propane, as methane gas is explosive when mixed with oxygen in as small a ratio as 14 to 1.
INTERNAL CHEMISTRY OF METHANE GAS PRODUCTION:
- Anaerobic digestion of waste will occur at temperatures from 32 to 156 F. The action decreases below 60 and production is most rapid at 85 to 105 and 120 to 140. A temperature of 90 to 95 id the most nearly ideal for stable methane gas production.
- The proper pH range for anaerobic fermentation is between 6.8 and 8.0. Acidity higher or lower than this will hamper fermentation. The introduction of too much raw material can cause excess acidity (a too-low pH reading) and the gas-producing bacteria will not be able to digest the acids quickly enough. The addition of a little ammonia can raise the pH value very fast. If the pH grows too high (not enough acid), fermentation will slow until the digestive process forms enough acidic carbon dioxide to restore balance.
- Although bacteria responsible for the anaerobic process require both carbon and nitrogen in order to live, they consume carbon about 30-35 times faster than they use nitrogen. Other conditions being favorable, then, anaerobic digestion will proceed most rapidly when raw material fed into a methane digestor contains a cardon-nitrogen ratio of 30:1. If the ration is higher, the nitrogen will be exhausted while there is still a supply of carbon left. This causes some bacteria to die, releasing the nitrogen in their cells and-eventaully-restoring the equilibrium. Digestion proceeds slowly as this occurs. On the other hand, if there is too much nitrogen, fermentation (which will stop when the carbon is exhausted) will be incomplete and the "leftover" nitrogen will not be digested. This lowers the fertilizing value of the slurry.
- Dry vegetable matter has a carbon content ranging from 5,000 to 8,000 BTU per pound; that of green algae, or pond scum, is as high as 11,600 BTU per pound.
- The "solution" must be agitated to keep it in sulation and to preclude the buildup of a hard crust, thus limiting the production of gas.
- Methane gas also does not pose a half-life hazard for thousands of years as does atomic energy.
TWO SIMPLE METHANE GAS DIGESTORS: See illustrations one and two
A THREE STAGE TANK METHANE GAS DIGESTOR: See illustration three.
TWO METHODS OF COLLECTING/STORING METHANE GAS: See illustrations four and five.
THREE METHODS OF USING METHANE GAS TO GENERATE ELECTRICITY" See illustrations six, seven, and eight.
"SCRUBBING" METHANE GAS TO REMOVE IMPURITIES:
- Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is present in mthane gas. It supposedly will "eat" metal in digester tanks and will ruin or impair an engine if it isn't filtered out of the methane before being used as fuel. This is only theory and many people with experience with methane gas dout it is present in quantites large enough to be harmful.
- Methane gas can be "scrubbed" or "cleaned" in various ways by filtering it through:
a. Iron fillings which are supposed to absorb H2S.
b. Limewater to remove carbon dioxide.
c. Calcium chloride to extract water vapor.
d. Wood shavings to extract water vapor.
PRODUCING LIQUID FUEL PROM METHANE GAS:
Methane gas can be compressed and bottled, but it has been agreed by most people who claim knowledge in the field of methane production that this is not too practical in most cases. The most economical and best stroage of methane gas would probably be in collection tanks (see illustrations four and five). Methane gas can be transferred to storage bags or gas bottles carried on a vehicle and used to propel that vehicle, as was done on a limited basis in World War II. This is normally not satifactory and the best possible uses of methane gas are probably in generating electricity (see illustration six, seven, and eight), and/or used as a substitute for natural gas in heating and cooking. Methane gas can be "scrubbed" or "cleaned" to remove harmful impurities. Once producted, methane gas can be converted to liquid form in several combinations that make acceptable motor fuels, either by themselves, or mixed with gasoline. Only the carburetor must be adjusted for handling the different fuel.