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Demand for model diesel fuel?

Old 07-30-2020, 07:52 AM
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wheelerdan1324
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Default Demand for model diesel fuel?

I have been entertaining the idea of commercially offering model diesel fuel. To that end I have been talking to people knowledgeable in making model fuels. Even with ridiculous ethyl ether costs, it seems at least possible to produce at a price point near the retail price of glow fuel. I said “produce”. Overhead and profit is a different matter and flex considerably with volume. What I cannot assess is the demand for model diesel fuel. I don’t know if this is a chicken or egg problem? i.e. : Would diesel be used more if fuel were readily available? If so, how much so? In short, how many gallons would you buy, if model diesel fuel were once again easy to source? Assume theoretical price in the $40/gallon range, + shipping. At this point let’s not get into a discussion about formulations, please. While formulas are important, those variables are not enough to make/brake this as a business model. (pun intended) I just sticking my toe into the water, here. I am asking for numbers, please.
Old 07-31-2020, 07:38 AM
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daveopam
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I don't know anybody running diesel. However the main problem IMHO is distribution. Hazmat charged to ship fuel makes the price prohibitive when gas can be had on every corner. All of the sudden buying a new gas engine for a few hundred dollars makes burning $60 dollar a gallon fuel unrealistic.

David
Old 07-31-2020, 12:18 PM
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wheelerdan1324
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Dave,

Thanks for the reply. I run and fly diesels. They are ultra-reliable. Rarely flame out. Use not glow plugs. Start easily, once you know the drill. Provide 4 stroke performance in a smaller package. Don't have an ignition coil/battery, use approximately 1/2 the amount of fuel, just to name a few.

You are right about the HAZMAT situation. It also applies to glow fuel, too. Therefore the purchase case quantities help spread the impact. That is why I by in case quantities. The cost to fly diesels is approximately = to glow, but fuel supply is a thing.

And yes, 10% ethanol petrol is everywhere. The much preferred ethanol free is available, but harder to find.

It is ironic the only reply I got was from somebody who does not fly diesels. Perhaps you just made the case i was asking about demand. No criticism, just ironic.

Old 07-31-2020, 02:03 PM
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I wish you luck if you decide to take this on. I was just trying to be the voice of reason and maybe a skeptic. Thanks for understanding that.

david
Old 07-31-2020, 06:08 PM
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wheelerdan1324
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Oh David,

I never had any issue with your feedback. I simply find it remarkable that the apparent number of people who piddle with diesels would not want to establish a reliable source of fueling them. Perhaps making their own fuel is adequate for the need. Ironically, diesel are in regular use in Europe and Australia. I can tell you they are powerful and fun, if not popular. Dan
Old 08-01-2020, 06:03 AM
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the same can be said about compact cars over there "diesel are in regular use in Europe and Australia".

david
Old 08-01-2020, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by daveopam View Post
the same can be said about compact cars over there "diesel are in regular use in Europe and Australia".

david
Dan,
Those of us that play with the diesels are always looking for a reliable source for fuel rather then resorting to JD starter fluid, kero, oil home brew. One way you could provide the difficult part and save cost is to provide the ether, ignitor and oil in say a pint or quart size then we could just add the kero. This would keep it below the HAZMAT minimum and keep the cost in a more reasonable range. Just some thoughts.

I have been working on finding a fuel mix that doesn't have a lingering aroma. I know some guys say if is don't stink it ain't diesel, my wife has a different opinion. With normal commercial diesel fuel I think the kero is the component that leaves the smell. The problem is that the kero calms down the ether to allow it burn rather then going into detonation. The option is to use 30 - 40 SAE mineral oil in place of the castor (or maybe a blend) and use odorless kero. The mineral oil will control the detonation and since diesel doesn't run at that high a temp will protect the engine just fine.

Best, DennisT

Last edited by Stuntguy13; 08-01-2020 at 09:16 AM.
Old 08-02-2020, 05:46 AM
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You don't say what country you are in/shipping from. I think quarts or litre containers may be the best alternative. Most guys (and one girl) run somewhat smaller motors with the diesels. Hazmat fees are better that way too, maybe, I am guessing you are in the US. As mentioned, the ether and DII is the hardest stuff to get. Amsoil here is hard to find and ether is only in the spray cans, and is diluted in my neighborhood.
Old 08-02-2020, 12:45 PM
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wheelerdan1324
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Yes I am in the US_midwest actually.

I will take the points in kind:

Oil - The debate about the best oil rages. I maintain castor is simply mandatory for model diesels and that any fuel must have some amount of it. The reason is castor will not flash and thus break down and become "fuel." That said, a castor/syn mix might work. I know many disagree. My default is the oil must be at least 1/2 castor.
Kerosene - I have heard mineral spirits are a substitute for kerosene, but I have tried it. There are those who advocate additives to counter the kerosene odor.
, a-Cetane improver - I totally gave up sourcing Hexyl or Amyl nitrate/nitrites. In the US, its just not going to happen. The good news actually is, Power Service, or any of the readily available diesel cetane improvers at a truck stop does work. I agree Amsoil is especially good, but hard to get. Whichever, you must experiment with the correct quantity. I have been using a capful per quart of fuel, or roughly 1.8%. It works for my conversions and pure diesels OK.
- Selling components - This is a possibility I had not considered. I would have to check into the affect on HAZMAT.

However, on one has actually answered the question I posed. So, let me ask again. If model diesel fuel and or components were to become available, how much would you use? I can not purchase raw material, much less justify a business, fuel or components, without some idea of demand.

Thanks again, everyone.
Old 08-03-2020, 06:12 AM
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Sorry to interject again. But why not use Jet-A instead of diesel? It would cure the smell issue.

David
Old 08-03-2020, 08:00 AM
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wheelerdan1324
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Originally Posted by daveopam View Post
Sorry to interject again. But why not use Jet-A instead of diesel? It would cure the smell issue.

David
David,

I have not tried anything but kerosene because the smell actually appeals to me. I don't mind the oil either. It's part of the deal. Guess we can accept I am "unique." If switching to Jet-A, mineral spirits, or anything else which is acceptable solves the smell issue, and providing that change makes people flock to flying diesels (pun intended), then that is the way to go. But I still need some idea of demand before contemplating any business plan. I do appreciate the feedback and may try Jet-A myself. Dan
Old 08-03-2020, 10:15 AM
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When we need a space heater we burn Jet-A. Thankfully in a small town like I am in it's easy to go the airport and buy it. It's actually cheaper than buying a 5 gallon can of kero. Of course we have to supply the can for Jet-A

David

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