Gas or Diesel?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by C.T.Horner, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    For BOV, Generator, or other equipment.
    Lets explore.

    Non blended Gas has a shelf life of several years, especially if you add a fuel stabilizer, however Blended gas especially Ethanol based blends have a shelf life of months, and if contaminated with water days due to separation.

    Then there’s diesel, it has a shelf life of several years but it can grow contaminants. These can be removed by a technique called polishing. It is simple to do you just run it through a series of filters to remove the algae blooms. And shelf life can be extended by stirring it to keep it from separating. And a water separator to remove water.

    So they both have their pros and cons. So why chose one over the other?

    My reasoning is availability. There are far more commercial uses for diesel than gas. So it goes to reason, many commercial operations will have tanks of it on hand to serve their needs.

    The second consideration is you can supplement diesel with other oils and get a good result. Or blend in some used vegetable oil. No you don’t need fancy equipment to do a small blend like fifteen percent. Just filter it.

    You can use Kerosene, a common heating oil with a bit of motor oil mixed in for lubrication. And if you live by an airport and the SHTF you can always use Jet fuel from abandon airplanes in your diesel engine, if you add back a bit of lubrication.

    What are your thoughts?

    AmericanRedoubt1776 and tdubya like this.
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    We have focused on gas. Our vehicles, generator, motorbikes and tractor all run on gas (plus mowers & garden tools). Diesels are apt to gel and could be a real bother in a cold climate. We figure it would be easier to find gas vs diesel if things got scarce. We watch the gas prices, empty the containers in the car and refresh our storage. It is easy to rotate our stock that way. One thing I have started to consider is that IF S doesn't HTF then you need to be able to use you product. I started to listen to the "experts" and store stuff we don't eat because it was the most nutritious etc... I now focus on what we use weekly and this way I know nothing will go to waste.

    Do you primarily use diesel?
  3. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    “Do you primarily use diesel? “
    No, I have a mix of both. However for my BOV and Generator, they are both diesel. The reason being my unique situation regarding availability of fuel. I would rather not spill the beans on details here, but lets just say I am covered as for diesel for quite a while.
    The intent of this thread is to get people to explore what may work best for them, if they considered fuel availability, over other considerations during SHTF.
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
  4. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    I'd love to go all diesel. I can make my own (well with the right equipment). I can't make my own gasoline so .. diesel would be the better long term strategy.

    That being said. Gasoline is considerably cheaper if you have to buy it retail.

    If you are getting gasoline for storage, check marinas (for upto 93 unblended gas .. no ethanol). Airports carry gasoline but it's usually 100 octane and contains lead.

    check out Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada to see if there are other outlets in your area to get unblended gasoline
  5. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

    Dont forget diesels you can cut with other petrolium prudcts and burn gas you can't. My screaming jimmy at 1200rpms in its box can burn from tranny fluid to Veggie oil and not skipp a beat. Plus you can take steps to prevent geling. the biggest issue is that Natural Gas is starting to steup up and I fear diesel will be done away with as new HD trucks and HD engines are coming in GAS. I still can't figure out how big of a cylinder they will install on a ship or tractor trailer to get the same range capacity but lets see what happens...
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
  6. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    it would be interestiong to see what ships do cause now they are pretty much burning trash {asphalt or bunker c }
    But i am seeing some large tug boats and things of that nature claiming to be green ... whatever that meens
  7. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

    Years back when Caterpillar bought out MAK they were quick to put out the worlds largest natural gas engine. Here I thought why in hell... Damn thing was like the size of a solzer
  8. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    solzer???? please define
  9. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

    Sulzer, damn autocorrect... Google them and look at the size of those engines.
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    The Storage life of Diesel, in any Grade is "Indefinite" if you keep it in Sealed Containers. The issue with any Diesel Products Storage Life is contamination. If thew product was CLEAN when stored in a Sealed Container, it will still be CLEAN, decades later. I have burned Diesel #2 that
    was put up during WWII, in my Gensets 4 decades later, and it makes good power with NO ISSUES. Contaminants are introduced usually in transport, especially if the Transport is done via Barge, or Tanker Vessel, where they use Sea Water as Ballast in the Tanks. Bugs that grown in Diesel, as well as Algae, grow at the Water/Fuel Boundary, so if you have NO WATER, you have No Bugs.

    This is another common Old Mechanics (Wives) Tale. There are TWO Basic Grades of Diesel Fuel, that Most Distributers will carry
    Diesel #2 (Truck Diesel, Road Diesel, Farm Diesel, etc)
    Jet A50 (Diesel #1, Home Heating Fuel, Kerosene, Stove Oil, Etc)
    Modern Low, or NO, Sulfur Diesel of either Grade will burn in ANY Modern Diesel Engine with NO Issues. There are a very FEW Exceptions.

    1. If your Engine has an Injection Pump, that is NOT Lubricated by Base LubeOil. Very Rare condition in Anything built since 1970.
    2. If your Engine needs to Start in -20F without PreHeating the Fuel Tank, if you are burning Diesel #2. The issue is that the Paraffin in Diesel #2 will
    come out of suspension at about -20F, and this causes the fuel lines, and filters to get Plugged up. It isn't a problem once the engine is warmed up and running as the fuel that is used to cool the Injectors, is returned to the Fuel Tank, via the Return Line, and this warms the Fuel above the Suspension Point of the Paraffin. Diesel #1 has much LESS Paraffin in suspension, and thus has a much lower Gelling Temp.
    The fix for Condition 1, is to add a small amount of lubricant (ATF) to your Fuel.
    The fix for Condition 2. is to buy Winter Mix Diesel from your Distributer, starting in September, and finishing in April. Most distributers do this anyway.
    Winter Mix is just made by adding Diesel #1 to the Diesel #2 to lower it's Gelling Temp below the normal Historic Low Temps for the Region. The farther NORTH you go the more Diesel #1 get mixed in.

    A Diesel Engine can run on dang near ANY LIQUID Petroleum Product, from Lighter Fluid, clear down to Bunker C, (TAR) as long as one can pump it thru the Filters and Injectors. My Gensets run on Straight JetA50 year-round, as I only have One Fuel Tank, and it also fuels the Open flame Pot Burning Cook Stove in the Cabin. I have NO Issues with any Injection Pump Lubrication, in over 140K Operational Hours.

    I have been the Fuel Distributer for my community for over two decades, and do Generate ALL my own power, locally, with Diesel Gensets.
    hank2222, STANGF150, Harbin and 11 others like this.
  11. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I have pondered this very question as most preppers probably have.

    I tend to agree if scavenging for fuel to burn, diesel probably has some advantage but be sure the vehicle is a pre-2013 and preferably a pre-2010 due to the OBD and the EPA's SCR inducement requirements. If the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF - which is an ultra pure urea solution injected into the exhaust ahead of a SCR catalyst which reduce nitrous oxides) runs out and you can't find some, the SCR inducement controls will detect the change in NOx conversion, derate the engine and eventually render the vehicle fairly useless before long and the diagnostics are generally robust enough that they can't be tricked or bypassed easily. Off-highway and industrial diesel engines are not yet subject to OBD or SCR Inducement regulations so they are not compromised by this stuff (yet!!!)

    Gas is going to be scavenged by everybody and their brother. It will take a bit longer for the scavengers and thieves to realize things like heating oil can be used in a diesel.

    Check out some of the stories coming out of Syria where the rebels are refining their own fuel from crude oil with really crude (no pun intended) processes using gas cans, barrels, drums, and open fires - unfrigging believable!!

    Anyway... if the fuel shortages persist for a long time then even the diesel and substitutes will run out. Then what? With gas, one can convert to woodgas, even fuel injected engines have been modified to run on wood gas. Now here is an interesting twist... a diesel engine can be run with woodgas augmenting the diesel fuel reducing the diesel consumption by as much as 80% depending on the system and power demand from the engine.

    I kind of like not being committed 100% either way. I have several other projects in the works but hope to build a couple woodgas systems, one for a genset and then an old pickup project in the not too distant future. I have studied it enough I could cobble together a system in a week with the fuel and tools I have on hand now. The FEMA gasifier doesn't perform quite as well and cleanly as a good Imbert downdraft but they are not too hard to make. Check out YouTube for some of these.

    VW - don't fret diesel going away any time soon. Yes the manufacturers are working on natural gas (I consult/contract to a major engine manufacturer) but the ease of refilling, energy density, and fundamental safety with diesel is going to keep it around for a very long time. The military will certainly stick with it... the idea of shrapnel or AP rounds puncturing a compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquid natural gas (LNG - use a refrigerated pressure tank) is a scenario the Army will eschew.

  12. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

    Only thing i have being seen with the US military is the new trucks gensets etc are being sold at a rapid pace. Hummer will be a hybrid electric form what i have seen and all the dueces and bigger are being sold in gov liquidation like brass ammo casing... saw on cspan that the DOD needed to cut there fuel consumption and hence need to get rid of these fuel sucking equipment...
  13. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I am not close enough to the military business with the engine manufacturer to speak with confidence about much, but I do spend a fair amount of time at a nearby Army post to suggest you consider:
    - Many transport trucks are being replaced with armored trucks. Transportation units took a beating casualty wise the first few years in the sandbox wars.
    - The newer electronic high pressure common rail engines are far more efficient and quieter. We have several models going into military applications. One program I do work on had a version that was targeted for the HMMV but TACOM decided 2 years ago to stay with the current diesel engine.
  14. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

    Yeah but common rail has its issues, IE computers, coolers and more complex fuel deliver system over all... hence the efficence aspect but in war times may not be the best... not dogging it just beieve that for our SHTF issues you need to keep it simple and know that with basic tools it can be fixed... thats all..
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just remember.... All the Scream'en Jimmys are common rail Injection..... and they have NO electronics....
  16. janjak

    janjak Monkey

    Gas or Diesel ? I guess it depends on what you are doing with it, for generating electricity neither one would be my first choice. Both gas and diesel fuels have long term storage problems that are difficult or impossible to avoid. In my situation I
    have a generator in an under ground bunker that runs on propane that is stored under ground as well. Propane can be stored indefinitely with out any of the problems gas or diesel fuels have. It will be as good to run anytime down the road when you
    need it. For this reason alone propane comes out way ahead. I have a 4.5 hp Honda generator hooked up to a 500 gallon
    underground propane tank that will run at least 9-12 months. That gives me a long time to find additional sources of propane
    to run my generator on.
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
  17. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

    I was referencing the electronic duramax high pressure diesel engines that are being placed in modern vehicles. Screaming Jimmy's fuel rail are in the heads and heat up and thin out fuel nicely...
    BTPost likes this.
  18. AmericanRedoubt1776

    AmericanRedoubt1776 American Redoubt: Idaho-Montana-Wyoming Site Supporter+

    There is a company in West Virginia that makes the whole kit to convert just about any generator to propane, even tractors, with a phone call:

    "Why use propane to power your generator? If you have propane available you know you can store propane for years because it does not gum up, go bad, or pollute the air like gasoline does. You can use the 100# (24 gallon) cylinders, little bar-b-q grill type 20# cylinders, which is equivalent to 5 gallons of gasoline, or big tanks like 250, 500 and 1000 gallon ASME tanks."

    "Here are many more of the benefits:

    Propane and natural gas powered engines provide the same power as gasoline. Longer, uninterrupted run times! Connect to big tanks or to your natural gas pipe line. Your generator will last longer because of larger fuel supply and less running out under load. Clean burning Alternate fuel will help extend the life of your engine life. Eliminate the "Dirty Port" that gasoline carburetors have that shortens the life of an engine."

    Fair use source:
    Generator Conversion Kits to Propane and Natural Gas..


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  19. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    For gensets I prefer multi-fuel ones. I converted my generator to tri-fuel - NG, LP, & Gas. So far I have only used LP & Gas to run it. I used the site posted above to get the kit and it took me about 30 min to add it to the generator.

    So far I have nothing else that is diesel so I use and store and only gas.
    BTPost and kellory like this.
  20. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    No, not even close.... Propane is a 10% Derate compared to Gasoline, and NG is another 10% DeRate from there..... Typically engines designed for NG have High Compression Pistons, installed to help make up the difference. The basic reason that MANY Owners of converted Gensets do NOT see a difference, is due to the two following Reasons.
    1. The engines have adequate Horsepower Overhead to accomodate the loses while maintaining Voltage and Current.
    2. Most Users do NOT run their Gensets within 10-20% of Rated Load, for any great length of time, and therefor do not see the effects of the loss
    of HorsePower, due to Less BTU's in the fuels.

    hank2222, fmhuff and C.T.Horner like this.
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