AR15.Com Archives
 Anyone have experience with condensate or drip gas?
thebaldtexican  [Member]
12/23/2009 5:30:40 PM EST
I posted about this in another forum (homesteadingtoday) yesterday. A few folks knew people that had used drip gas in the past in their vehicles, but no one had personal knowledge.

I have a natural gas well on my property. I have unlimited free natural gas... my pipeline is over 2K feet long. In the lowest spot, I have a drip tank, to catch any fluids that might get in the line... it's a bugger trying to get drip gas, water, petroleum products, out of your in house gas system.

My drip tank regularly catches the natural gas drip... right now I just use it for burning piles of brush.

The well makes several barrels a day. There's a 500 barrel tank on site that collects the drip gas (condensate/casinghead gas).

I know people 'use' to use this in vehicles and tractors... the octane level is usually below 50. I've heard it can burn modern vehicles up... there's little in the way of lubrication in the drip gas.

On the well site there's compressors and they keep several 500 gallon tanks of oil (as well as 100 gallons of methanol!... post shtf biodiesel projects).

If we got into a "One Second After" scenario, the well would keep producing gas, as well as the drip gas. I need to find a vehicle that'll run off the stuff. If I need to stock cetane boosters or other marvel mystery oil products, fine... If I could just mix in some on site oil, that be even sweeter. Right now, I have a 89 Jeep Comanche, a 91 Toyota pickup, a 89 Suzuki Samurai (converted to carb, no computer controls that I know of) and a diesel one ton. I'd love to run the Sammy on it... I only use it for off road use... and probably the only vehicle that's EMP safe.

Coincidentally, was at survivalblog.com yesterday, and Mr. Rawles mentioned drip gas and how he was incorporating it in his next Patriots book. I 'can't wait. I know I'm blessed having free energy.... but having free fuel!!! now that'd make my day.
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Garand_Shooter  [Dealer]
12/23/2009 5:43:44 PM EST
That low of an octane, look for low compression engines like the old Willys flathead 4cyl engines in the 40's-60's jeeps. The specs for them say minimum 68 octane, but with some teaking you may do better.

A Willys CJ-2A would be a good bet. As a plus find a 1940's/50's military PE-95 generator, they use the exact same engines.
Garand_Shooter  [Dealer]
12/23/2009 5:48:36 PM EST
Forgot to add- the old timers would add mothballs- make sure they are the napthalene ones- to drip gas as it does raise octane.

Blending some methanol would also raise the octane.
HAIRBEAR  [Member]
12/25/2009 5:04:44 PM EST
I don't know much about drip gas but there was an old hermit type guy that used to let us hunt deer on his land in eastern Ohio. The land had a natural gas pipeline running across it that he'd get drip gas from. One year we gave him an old car and when he'd put gas in it he'd add drip gas to it. The car lasted him about two years but I don't know if the drip gas shortened its life or not.
NAK  [Team Member]
12/25/2009 6:02:02 PM EST
"Natural Gasoline" is another name for it. The composition, and the octane rating, will very with season / temperature. We collect and sell about 2,000,000 gallons per month on our gathering system. A number of people in SE New Mexico just went to jail for stealing condensate from one of our competitors. It is worth only slightly less than crude.

Before it became a valuable commodity, old timers talk of running plant vehicles on straight condensate. I have never done it myself, but the best I remember is: You want an engine with a relatively low compression ratio and you will need to be able to manually adjust the timing well outside of the normal range (the timing will need to be changed as the seasons change the average temperature.) Put a low temperature thermostat in the engine, the cooler it runs, the better
1Dog  [Member]
12/25/2009 6:25:19 PM EST
We used to use a lot of it. The stuff varies greatly in quality. The clearer it is the better it is for vehicle fuel. Stick your finger in it and let it evaporate, it needs to evaporate quickly to burn right in the engine. If the drip is brown or oily it make good fuel for your shop heater, we used it in an old 'salamander' type heater. Lighting it could be an adventure. Be careful. We also used it to wash parts, worked better than gasoline. BE AWARE THAT THIS STUFF IS VERY FLAMMABLE. We also used it to kill off a praire dog town. Put in a couple quarts per hole and the close the hole with dirt. Remember- if it will kill those dogs it will kill you too if in a confined space. I can't make this clearer–– be careful with this stuff.
Donith  [Team Member]
12/25/2009 7:20:18 PM EST
If you have free natural gas, why not go to a CNG set up?

palmetto  [Member]
12/26/2009 9:41:35 AM EST
If you don't crowd or "lug" the engine, you can get by with it. You'll hear the ignition knock. Best to mix in a little regular gasoline.

There are tax issues involved if you get caught using this stuff on the road, but...
bclinehand  [Team Member]
12/26/2009 10:36:29 AM EST
Originally Posted By Donith:
If you have free natural gas, why not go to a CNG set up?



I might be wrong but I think the compressors for CNG would be cost prohibitive
Tight-group  [Team Member]
12/26/2009 10:51:03 AM EST
You mentioned a diesel, If you can get a supply of veg oil you can thin it with your "drip" and once you get the same

viscosity as regulsr diesel you can pour it right in your tank. If you have an older vehicle you could put on a double set of head gaskets

with a set of dished pistons, and get the compression way down, maybe dump a little used motor oil in it with some octane

boster, relativly low cost gas since the drip is free and experiment till you have a real low cost fuel.

If your as crazy as I am you could build a low temp still and see how violate the stuff off the top is
trwoprod  [Member]
12/26/2009 4:02:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By Tight-group:
You mentioned a diesel, If you can get a supply of veg oil you can thin it with your "drip" and once you get the same

viscosity as regulsr diesel you can pour it right in your tank
If you have an older vehicle you could put on a double set of head gaskets

with a set of dished pistons, and get the compression way down, maybe dump a little used motor oil in it with some octane

boster, relativly low cost gas since the drip is free and experiment till you have a real low cost fuel.

If your as crazy as I am you could build a low temp still and see how violate the stuff off the top is


I guess that would be a good reason to stock up on diesel additives with a lubricity supplement.
thebaldtexican  [Member]
12/26/2009 8:03:08 PM EST
I'd love to be able to do CNG here on the farm... I could do that now, legally. The drip gas would be intermittent, and only full scale, after the shtf.

From what I've researched, compressing natural gas isn't a home brew operation... if I'm wrong, it'd be great to know how.
Jacketch  [Team Member]
12/27/2009 3:39:24 AM EST
My father used to use drip in his Farmall tractor. It worked best if he filtered it but he never really had a problem even running straight condensate.
Jacketch  [Team Member]
12/27/2009 3:40:55 AM EST
Double
NAK  [Team Member]
1/1/2010 4:07:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By bclinehand:
Originally Posted By Donith:
If you have free natural gas, why not go to a CNG set up?



I might be wrong but I think the compressors for CNG would be cost prohibitive


There are a lot of things I would try given the time and/or desperation. DIY CNG and LNG are real close to top of the list of things I would NOT.
When you start to compress Raw or Wellhead gas to 1000+ psi, liquids are going to drop out (everything larger than methane and part of the ethane). These liquids can cause you big problems to separate at the pressures you are talking about.
161Infantry  [Team Member]
1/1/2010 5:42:30 PM EST
My dad used to talk about using drip back in the 60s in TX....
EXPY37  [Member]
1/1/2010 6:03:55 PM EST
Originally Posted By NAK:
Originally Posted By bclinehand:
Originally Posted By Donith:
If you have free natural gas, why not go to a CNG set up?



I might be wrong but I think the compressors for CNG would be cost prohibitive


There are a lot of things I would try given the time and/or desperation. DIY CNG and LNG are real close to top of the list of things I would NOT.
When you start to compress Raw or Wellhead gas to 1000+ psi, liquids are going to drop out (everything larger than methane and part of the ethane). These liquids can cause you big problems to separate at the pressures you are talking about.



Couldn't you let them collect at the bottom of the accumulator tank and just blow them out from time to time?

Maybe even collect them in a lower pressure rated tank, and use for fuel?
SHADI  [Member]
1/1/2010 8:57:05 PM EST
Have old Johnson outboard that thinks there is no gas but drip gas. For autos, I would look for something with no computers. I know for a fact that an old F100 ford pick up will run on clean drip with out a hic-cup. Quality does vari with the season (outside temp) you may have a bit of clatter here and there.
THe stuff also makes outstanding coleman lantern fuel. I have even used some of the oilier stuff straight in a 2 stroke weed eater all this past summer with no ill effects. It was about the color of green tea. It was a bit underpowered, and smoked like hell, so I mixed a bit of clean clear drip to it and that seemed to work well.
You have the right thought on the marvel mystery oil. Just a touch helps lubricate things a bit when running drip. I would not add methanol to it however. I would worry about the alcohol damaging seals and rubber goods in the fuel system. That is why we have "flex fuel" vehicles now, because the ethanol in the E85 was causing problems with standard fuel systems. I don't know if methanol and ethanol would act the same in fuel, but I wouldn't risk it.
You can often draw clean drip right off the separator, ask the pumper to fill a can for you, in the spirit of good land owner relations he'll do it for you.
Rifleman55  [Member]
1/2/2010 5:48:08 AM EST
Originally Posted By Jacketch:
My father used to use drip in his Farmall tractor. It worked best if he filtered it but he never really had a problem even running straight condensate.


Some of those old tractors had different pistons, just for that I believe that they were low compression. some were se up to run on kerosene but they had to be started on gasoline and after the warmed up they were swtched to kerosene
Garand_Shooter  [Dealer]
1/2/2010 6:05:54 AM EST
I was working on some of my military surplus gas gensets last evening and this thread came to mind- if you have access to a large amount of this stuff, the older military gasoline generators would be a good purchase. They were made with a very low 6.0:1 compression ratio so they could be run on poor quality low octane gas.

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