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Propel HPR. Does it make fore a better fuel?

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Propel HPR. Does it make fore a better fuel?

Old 11-14-2022, 11:48 AM
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richrun
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Default Propel HPR. Does it make for a better fuel?

Fellow Oily Rag Brigade,

I don't post often... but this time I must share my experience.

In light of the loss of my favorite diesel fuel sources, Redmax and Aerodyne, I started making my own fuel with JD, Maxima Castor927, K1 kerosene, and Amsoil,

I tested a well run in PAW 29 DS R/C (plain bearing) on the Aerodyne fuel (stored for over 5 yrs) and compared it to two mixes of my own.

Let me know if anyone has had the same results with the Propel HPR base fuel; the lower compression setting, lower odor, and softer sounding running really make me think that the Propel HPR will be my go-to, replacing the K1 Kleen Kerosene in the mix.

In comparison to the well proven Aerodyne fuel, the following are my observations on the two home-brew mixes... please note that the engine was run at a settings where max speed was held constant for over 2 minutes with stabilized temps and exhaust oil color (amber colored).

Both fuel mixes contained the same proportion of components; the only difference between the two being the power component (K1 Kerosene vs. Propel HPR):
Ether: 32%
Oil Castor927: 21%
K1/HPR: 45.5%
Amsoil: 1.5%.

K1 Mix:
  • Running Compression Setting: Nearly identical compression settings as the Aerodyne fuel
  • Starting Compression Setting: 1/2 turn higher than running compression (identical to when run on the Aerodyne fuel)
  • Needle Valve Setting:
    • Nearly identical needle valve setting to Aerodyne fuel
    • Needle seemed to have a more narrow range of acceptable operation
  • Idle: Less stable idle than Aerodyne fuel
  • Odor: a bit more pungentsmell than the Aerodyne fuel
  • Temperature: Ran a little hotter than the Aerodyne fuel (this was not a measured read... it was measured by my ability to hold the cylinder head for a few moments)
  • Smoke: Similar to the Aerodyne fuel
  • Sound: similar sounding as the Aerodyne (common)

Propel HPR Mix: "Diesel HPR has a cetane rating up to 75+, 40% higher than regular diesel"
  • Running Compression Setting: ~ 1/2 to 3/4 turns lower than the Aerodyne mix
  • Starting Compression Setting: 1 turn higher than running compression setting (all 3 fuels hand started at about the same compression setting... within 1/8th of a turn)
  • Needle Valve Setting:
    • Nearly identical needle valve setting to Aerodyne fuel
    • Needle seemed to have a wider range of acceptable operation
  • Idle: lower and more consistentthan with Aerodyne fuel
  • Odor: Much less diesel smell than the Aerodyne fuel (smell more like an overheated frying pan)
  • Temperature: Seemed cooler (checked via touch)
  • Smoke: More smoke
  • Sound: softer, less abrasive sounding than either the Aerodyne mix or the the K1 mix


Keep it Oily,

Richrun

Last edited by richrun; 11-14-2022 at 05:08 PM. Reason: typo
Old 11-24-2022, 07:09 AM
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wheelerdan1324
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This is interesting. I have lots of model diesel. Fuel made with K1 seems to require higher compression and leaves more carbon. I live in Illinois. Do you know where I can by Propel HPR?
Old 11-24-2022, 07:47 AM
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wheelerdan,,

I did not think about availability until you asked the question. When I did a search, it seems the fuel is only available in California... probably because of the stringent environmental requirements. This may explain the low response rate to the post.

richrun
Old 11-24-2022, 08:00 AM
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If this compound was good for model diesel fuel, all commercial fuels would contain it. If it’s only sold in California, then I would bet it’s a cleaner burning alternative which usually means less power.
Old 11-24-2022, 08:32 AM
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Default Diesel

Please may I ask, what is hpr please ?

I am UK based.
Old 11-24-2022, 08:35 AM
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Also what is amsoil please ?
Old 11-24-2022, 08:46 AM
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Amsoil makes a Cetane booster which is similar to isopropyl nitrate (IPN) which is used as an ignition improver.
Old 11-24-2022, 12:40 PM
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I have exchanged with Tony at PAW quite a bit about fueling our model diesel. I sent him an engine which had developed noise. The conrod was going. During that discourse Tony mentioned that our K1 kerosene is no where near what is available in Europe. When I read the above, I saw an opportunity to get my hands on "better K1." To that end I wrote the the Propel HPR customer service asking if I could buy some. I think we all know the answer since it appears to only be offered in California. But you don't get if you do not try.

To Coxfledgling, our sources of model diesel fuel in the US have dried up to the extent that the only reasonable choice is to make our own. This is problematic because the only source of ether is to drain off the contents of John Deere starting fluid cans. It works but it is not pure diethyl ether and the process is not handy. Any of the traditional nitrates used for ignition improvers are impossible to purchase, neat. Amsoil is a company which makes oil products. One of which is a commercial cetane booster for vehicles and which presumably contains a helpful amount of ignition improver? Regardless it is not 100% pure amyl/hexyl nitrate..

Ergo those of us who enjoy diesels in the USA search for fuel options.

Hope this explanation helps.
Old 11-24-2022, 12:48 PM
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I don't know. What I am saying is "I don't know."

Q: If Propel HPR enjoys a higher cetane would it not reduce compression? Tony at PAW has told me US kerosene is pretty anemic compared to what is available in Europe. He put a new conrod in my 40 TBR. He said he ad seen premature wear on his own motors when using US parafin. Resulted in heavy carbon and rod wear.

What I do know is DDD, Eric Clutton, Aerodyne , & Redmax are all out of the diesel fuel business. Reasons vary of course, but government HAZMAT regs make sourcing the necessary components increasingly difficult.
Old 11-24-2022, 02:22 PM
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I have engines that ran on DDD fuel and turned identical rpm and handled identically on my homebrew fuel using K1 Kerosene from the local farm and fleet shop (intended for home heating). Incidentally, my engines run identical using Jet A as well. Only difference is slightly less soot. To think Kerosene is different in the US versus anywhere else is kinda silly as kerosene is refined off of the same stocks which mostly come from the same part of the world. The bigger difference is the crap synthetic oils everyone is obsessed with in the USA. I do not use any synthetic oil in my model diesel fuel - only virgin castor. (Benol is not suitable IMO either).

I consider: Amsoil Cetane Boost to be about 90% as effective as IPN. JD Ether as pure when decanted from the can. K1 Kerosene works as well as Jet A which which works dead equal if not better than DDD fuel. I’ve gotten almost 11,000rpm from an ST .45 converted to diesel turning a 13x6 prop on my homebrew fuel. Single flip starts, good throttling, etc. I don’t buy the generalizations from the last couple posts because my experience has shown all of that to be false.
Old 11-24-2022, 03:27 PM
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Thanks for the reply and the info.
I totally agree with the comment about castor. To break in I normally use the 1/1/1 mix. I may not be as energetic but it is safe on new motors. The jury is out for me on how much castor should be used in run in engines. I think all of mine are ball bearing engines, so 20% is about where I stay. But the point is castor is the way to go. nothing else.

Glad to hear about the testing with the different "kerosenes" Save me the bother of getting some jet fuel.

I have not used Amsoil cetane-stuff. Have instead been using commercial Power Service. I have no idea how much actual improver is within. Q: if Amsoil is 90 % effective, do you simply add a bit more to get the same affect?

A year ago I met the person who supplied DDD. I was able to buy his remaining reserve of fuel. Think it amounted to 6 gallons. It is stored in metal can inside double baggies, so believe it is safe. If it goes "off" I can always add ether from the JD cans.

Some time ago I started a thread asking about interest in people supporting [someone] as a new supplier of model diesel fuel. Interest was low. Most people sited cost. Truth be known I wonder how many people actually fly their diesels. I do. But I suspect most are flown on the bench. So home brew is ideal.

Thanks.
Old 11-24-2022, 03:49 PM
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2-3% Amsoil Cetane Boost is all that’s needed. For the sake of correct information, treat it like IPN and just use 2-3%. I usually use 2% in my fuel. 30% ether, 22% castor, 2% Amsoil, balance Kerosene. No dyes, other additives, etc. I treat JD Ether as pure when decanted - a little over 8oz to a quart is perfect.
Old 11-24-2022, 04:18 PM
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very useful info. Thanks much
Old 11-26-2022, 12:46 AM
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Hello,

Propel HPR is a diesel fuel "Refined from recycled fats and oils, Diesel HPR outperforms both petroleum diesel and biodiesel in performance, emissions and value."

It is a substitute for Diesel #2 the results in reduced emissions. I don't know why they don't call it bio-diesel.

See their website for further details:

propelfuels.com/our_fuels
Old 11-26-2022, 12:50 AM
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I too typically use Sig Castor only... but I just ran out and only had the Castor927 on hand. Sig Castor on order.

On another note, I would be great if someone started making fuel again. I would much rather buy it than make it.
Old 11-26-2022, 02:45 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

Model diesel fuel is expensive here in the UK. Model technics d1000 is what I use.

I know of john Deere easy start but not found any yet. Castor oil is available from Amazon but not the high street chemist shops.

Ether still hunting for, maybe that's available from Amazon as well.

Ipn, no chance.

I saw a redex car diesel additive , power booster, cetane....bit expensive but will get a pack.

Very interesting thread...

Old 11-26-2022, 05:40 AM
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And to note; biodiesel and pump diesel fuel are going to burn much dirtier than kerosene in a model Diesel engine. There is a reason kerosene has always been used - it’s much more refined and clean than regular diesel #2. Diesel #1 is similar to Kerosene, but still a little less refined than kerosene. This isn’t to say it won’t work in our engines, it’s just not going to work as well. If it did, everyone would be using it.

I’ve tried some other hydrocarbons in my diesels to see if similar power and handling can be had with a little less smell, but so far, kerosene and Jet A have proved to be superior in every way except for the strong smell. Anything that gives less odor doesn’t run near as well and compression settings often have to be much higher or ether content has to be raised significantly.

An alternative to the grossly overpriced SIG castor is virgin first pressing castor oil for cosmetics and soap making. I get mine from BulkApothecary.com. Been using this oil for several years now. When SIG raised their price from $22 a gallon to $39 a gallon for castor, I went to S&W fuels for Castor oil. Theirs was $25 a gallon (after some finagling); it indeed worked just as well, but shipping was more prohibitive though. Bulk apothecary was cheaper per gallon, and the freight was cheaper too. It only costs a few dollars more to ship 2 gallons at a time instead of 1, so it just makes sense to buy a little more in bulk.

For ignition improver - read the MSDS for Amsoil Cetane Boost and compare to the MSDS for any other Cetane boost additives you’re considering. 2-ethylhexyl nitrate is very very similar to isopropyl nitrate (traditional ignition improver long used in model diesel fuel) and is the sole compound in Amsoil Cetane Boost (80-100% per the SDS). The Redex Cetane boost additive only has 1-5% 2-ethylhexyl nitrate. It will not work.

Last edited by 1QwkSport2.5r; 11-26-2022 at 05:48 AM.
Old 11-26-2022, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 1QwkSport2.5r View Post
I’ve tried some other hydrocarbons in my diesels to see if similar power and handling can be had with a little less smell, but so far, kerosene and Jet A have proved to be superior in every way except for the strong smell. Anything that gives less odor doesn’t run near as well and compression settings often have to be much higher or ether content has to be raised significantly.

You say that other fuels that had less odor required higher compression... I have heard this before.

But, Propel HPR resulted in similar performance withe LESS compression (~1/2 to 3/4 turn less). This was the big surprise to me and the reason for posting my results.
Old 11-26-2022, 08:02 AM
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A side by side comparison with a commercial fuel of known quality with rpm readings would give data to quantify the results. Biodiesel blends scientifically have less energy content than mineral fuels do. Perhaps lower compression is true, but that doesn’t really matter to me. What does matter is tractability, starting quality, and power output. If it starts easy, transitions well, and makes equal power (at minimum) to a known proven fuel, then there’s creedance to the method. However I do not buy into a biodiesel blend being capable of bettering kerosene. Being compared to diesel #2 tells me it’s got a lot of fatty acids and waxes in it which is NOT something you want in model engines.

Like I said - if it was that great to use, more would use it.
Old 11-26-2022, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 1QwkSport2.5r View Post
A side by side comparison with a commercial fuel of known quality with rpm readings would give data to quantify the results. Biodiesel blends scientifically have less energy content than mineral fuels do. Perhaps lower compression is true, but that doesnít really matter to me. What does matter is tractability, starting quality, and power output. If it starts easy, transitions well, and makes equal power (at minimum) to a known proven fuel, then thereís creedance to the method. However I do not buy into a biodiesel blend being capable of bettering kerosene. Being compared to diesel #2 tells me itís got a lot of fatty acids and waxes in it which is NOT something you want in model engines.

Like I said - if it was that great to use, more would use it.
One thing I will do when I next compare the two fuels (Aerodyne vs the HPR mix) is I will take RPM measurements.

I was running an 11x5... some grey reinforced plastic Australian prop... cant thing of the name now.
Old Yesterday, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by richrun View Post
One thing I will do when I next compare the two fuels (Aerodyne vs the HPR mix) is I will take RPM measurements.

I was running an 11x5... some grey reinforced plastic Australian prop... cant thing of the name now.
Iíd guess itís a Taipan prop maybe?

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