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Alternative burner design for residual oil and coal-water slurry utilizing hot charcoal bed?

cowdog
cowdog Member Posts: 50
edited August 8 in Oil Heating

Coal Water Slurry

Residual Oil

We want to find an affordable way to combust two cheapest fuels -- residual oil and coal-water slurry for an outdoor boiler.

Unfortunately, these two cheap fuels require expensive special burners.

Oil burners usually consists of a pump to pressurize and a nozzle to atomize the oil. This design is expensive and require regular maintenance because of gunk deposit in the line and nozzle.

From grilling, I found grease dripped in the center of a charcoal fire immediately burst into flames, without much smoke or smell of unburnt oil.

Can we use a pot of burning charcoal as oil burner, dripping oil onto charcoal to make it burn?

Is it an efficient way of burning residual oil?

What about coal water slurry? Can we drip slurry onto charcoal?

Where can we buy residual oil and coal water slurry for experiment?

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,322
    I can think of 9000 better ways to utilize my precious time on earth.
    steve
    Robert O'BrienHVACNUTethicalpaul
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,355
    You can get #6 or #4 oil. I know nothing about coal water slurry. Those fuels are not practical for residential use.

    And no, dripping it on to charcoal will make a mess. Oil has to be atomized by high pressure, low pressure mixed with air (air atomizing or steam atomizing) or by a spinning cup in a rotary burner and mixed with air to burn with a minimum of smoke or soot.

    This could only be done in a large industrial job with specialized equipment to filter, heat, atomize and burn the fuel
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 491
    edited August 9
    It doesn't matter how cheap the fuel you are burning is, even if you are getting it for FREE if the clean-up time after the fuel is burnt is excessive. If you have doubts about the validity of the comments expressed on this site, talk to anyone who has worked on coal fired units or #6 oil fired units.

    I have seen boiler plants try to fire boilers using garbage which was FREE. The maintenance costs and clean-up costs were extreme. Using it for "land fill" was the better choice.

    my 2 cents
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 479
    And many will find little time to discuss outdoor boilers.
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 423
    edited August 9
    If you really want to know more about this you need to read the history about the Union Pacific Railroads gas turbine locomotives and the history about how they were developed by the American Locomotive Company and the gas turbine division of General Electric in Schenectady, New York.

    They developed a gas turbine design that used the heavy residual bunker oils left from refining crude oil into lighter oils above 90 weight as it was so cheap to buy at about 4-6 cents a gallon.
    These locomotives required huge oil tank tenders to be towed behind them as the belly tanks under the locomotives were not large enough to provide the amount of fuel needed for the turbines operation. They welded two sets of water tenders from the old steam locomotives together to make one oil tank for each gas turbine locomotive.

    They used these huge gas turbine locomotives to haul freight from California to Chicago for 7+ years.
    and in 1961 or so they could no longer buy the oil cheap as the oil was being used for making plastics and the UPRR retired and scrapped almost every unit they built. The two remaining gas turbines are in railroad museums.
    1
    =================================================================

    Now as far as burning heavy oil in a forest eater is concerned your going to have a lot of work to do to manage it as you cannot burn both at the same time and a heavy oil burner will set you back quite a bit.

    Investing in a waste oil burner and mounting it in the door of the forest eater can be done but your going to need to have a tank large enough to hold a supply of waste oil an keep it heated to allow it to flow properly as waste oil heaters are always inside with the waste oil tanks. You could blond it with K-1 Kerosene to keep it at a lower viscosity to allow it to flow better as long as you add a diesel fuel treatment.

    for the money and time spent on this you would be better off investing in an AHS-500 coal stoker boiler and putting it in an insulated shed with a coal bin. you have not mentioned where your located so that is going to affect the cost per ton of coal you need to buy for it.
    If your in the west you can buy the Sub Bituminous coal in Wyoming and Montana much less expensively than you can for buying the Eastern Anthracite Coal. In either case the pay back for heating and making hot water with sub Bituminous or Anthracite or coal is immediate.
    cowdog
  • cowdog
    cowdog Member Posts: 50
    leonz said:

    If you really want to know more about this you need to read the history about the Union Pacific Railroads gas turbine locomotives and the history about how they were developed by the American Locomotive Company and the gas turbine division of General Electric in Schenectady, New York.

    but we are only burning the heavy oil right? Not for driving an engine, simply combust it is much easier right?
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 423
    edited August 9
    If you expect to burn a Bunker C petroleum distillate you will need to contact a local petroleum distributor about obtaining Bunker C oil and you will most likely end up buying it in 8,000 gallon trailer loads in order to buy any amount and also purchase 2000 gallons of K-1 Kerosene to blend it to make it easier to burn in a large oil burning nozzle burner.
    A burner of this size would cause a lot of metal damage in your forest eater due to the flame size as well.
    A coal stoker boiler in place of the forest eater will be much less work and money.
    I would look at the AHS S260 or the Axeman Anderson 260S coal stokers and go from there.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,132
    So far the comments seem to be dancing around the elephant. Yes, it is possible to design a burner to fire residual oil -- if by residual you mean "Bunker c". No, it isn't simple, and I doubt very much that getting even remotely controlled combustion on a charcoal --or other heated bed -- would be simple.

    Then there are trivial problems such as keeping the oil warm enough to be pumpable...

    But...

    The elephant is the air emissions. I mentioned above controlled combustion. You will need some means to ensure that the combustion is really complete, and that your fine particulates are removed or burned. Can it be done? Yes. Is it worth the effort and money? Probably not. Can it be done on a small scale, such as a few million BTUh and lower? Unlikely.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • BDR529
    BDR529 Member Posts: 197
    First step is to find the flash point. Then can it be controlled?

    How much excess fuel is needed to have a stable flame,clean flame.

    Size of flame, impindgement

    In short trying to heat with a tire fire. and have it turn on and off.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,132
    You need excess air -- secondary air. Not excess fuel. I would hesitate to say absolutely that you can't get a clean burn with it turning on and off, but I've never seen it done yet, unless the off interval is sufficiently short that the walls of the combustion changer never have a chance to cool down.

    A cool combustion chamber will give high emissions, particularly particulates, and any impingement at all is really bad.

    I'll grant that the applications with which I am familiar are either rail (very very rarely -- the load varies too much, too fast) or large oil fired boilers either for marine or power stations. And the former worked very poorly from the emissions standpoint (Union Pacific didn't scrap it's gas turbines because they didn't work). In the latter, they always switch from Bunker C to diesel or at the very least a lighter fuel oil for changing loads or in the case of ships, maneuvering, as well as to light the boilers off.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Kickstand55
    Kickstand55 Member Posts: 32
    Naah! Just because it's cheap it ain't gonna be cheap. Systems that would burn coal slurry need certifications just like any other combustion equipment. If something you designed, engineered and operated goes boom, harms anyone, the dog, or worse, your life will change.
    The current equipment on the market for the most part is efficient, reliable and rather silent. Just set the thermostat, turn on the boob tube and relax.
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 491
    There are existing units that can burn waste oil that you can buy. I worked on a few different types. They are not without their problems. For information on these units you can find them listed under waste oil heaters.

    Now, if you are looking for a cheaper way to burn waste oil, I would recommend that you do not waste your time. contrary to what you might believe the burning of any kind oil can be dangerous for the uneducated. Your ideas of dripping it onto charcoal or using a wick type burner are probably just a waste of time.

    Like myself, there are a lot of guys on this site, that have a lot of experience burning all types of oils and other fuels and I have not seen one good recommendation to answer your query. It is probably a waste of time.

    my 2 cents.
  • BDR529
    BDR529 Member Posts: 197
    When I mention excess fuel it is finding that sweet spot since it will be air atomized. Can't really down fire it. Can't really fire anything smaller than a -3 that has heat value and it it is a boiler it has to stay hot. Let's say a L6006 set at 180 15 degree diff.

    Remember the potato guns? 1 squirt of WD-40 was perfect, 2 was rich no boom.

    Such a P.I.A. to say the least. To many variables.

    I agree with turning T-stat and forget it

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,132
    As I recall the original question involved residual -- not waste -- oil. There is a world of difference. That said, there are waste oil burners which do work. However, I at least would be really cautious about them. Waste motor oil, as from an engine, is a hazardous waste due to heavy metals. Do you really want to get into the hazardous waste storage and management game? Some waste cooking oils, if clean, aren't too bad.

    Residual oil -- often called Bunker C -- has a very high heating value, but is a real pain to manage.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England