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Old 26-10-2015, 13:32   #1
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Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

Hi,

I've been scratching my head on this one, maybe somebody knows the answer to this.

We were cruising in the Canadian Maritimes this summer, and when I got into some fuel we'd taken in Halifax, then again with some from St. Johns, NL (diesel 2 in both cases, I checked), We started to see quite a bit of exhaust smoke, grey/black in color. Once we got back into fuel purchased in the USA, poof! It was no longer smoking. I found this to be quite curious, as many of you might imagine. I mean, we see what I consider to be a normal wisp of smoke at higher revs now as we always have, but there was substantially more when burning the Canadian fuel.

Here are some particulars on the engine.

2500 hours, naturally aspirated 70hp
Injectors replaced at 2200 hours.
Good filtration.
Air filter clean and unobstructed.
Smoke was worse at higher loads.
No coolant loss.
No oil loss.

So, does anybody know if Canada uses a different formulation that might cause this? Less/more sulfur? I was really scratching my head on this one with the new injectors and all, so it was a relief to see it straighten out, but it's something I'd like to figure out.

Any fuel gurus out there?

Thanks, TJ
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Old 26-10-2015, 14:17   #2
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

Hhhmm that is very strange..

I know we use #2 most of the year as its just easier than switching and having gelling issues. I also know we have ULSD(ultra low sulphur diesel), but I pretty sure the US has this as well.

The only other thought I had was bio. Depending on where you buy it, it could contain as much as %10 bio-diesel.
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Old 26-10-2015, 14:23   #3
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

WAG but I'd say the smoke you're observing is mixed with more steam than usual, making it look smokier. Was air temp cooler in Canada?

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Old 26-10-2015, 14:28   #4
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

Hi,

We actually went from Rhode Island to midcoast Maine in April, which was REALLY cold, and didn't see the smoking issue then. So, I don't think that's it.

The mystery continues! I was guessing that it was a sulfur difference, because I don't really know any better, but maybe there's something with the cetane rating of their fuel causing just a little bit of incomplete combustion?

Anyway, it's no biggie, all seems well with the engine now, but still a head scratcher.




Biodiesel? Now that's a possibility, but I don't know if that was present or not. I've always avoided it in the past, so I don't have a frame of reference for that.

Thanks for the input. TJ
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Old 26-10-2015, 14:39   #5
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

Not a Volkswagen engine, by any chance?
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Old 26-10-2015, 14:41   #6
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

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Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
Hi,

We actually went from Rhode Island to midcoast Maine in April, which was REALLY cold, and didn't see the smoking issue then. So, I don't think that's it.

The mystery continues! I was guessing that it was a sulfur difference, because I don't really know any better, but maybe there's something with the cetane rating of their fuel causing just a little bit of incomplete combustion?

Anyway, it's no biggie, all seems well with the engine now, but still a head scratcher.




Biodiesel? Now that's a possibility, but I don't know if that was present or not. I've always avoided it in the past, so I don't have a frame of reference for that.

Thanks for the input. TJ
Pretty sure we have at least %5 in all our diesel.
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Old 26-10-2015, 15:46   #7
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

Well, maybe it was an addition of biodiesel. I wouldn't think that would create much smoke, but I have no answers.

Thinking back, it seems like the issue was more after we left St. Johns than prior to that. Maybe the friendly fuel truck guy had home heating oil in his rig and thought it was diesel 2?

Or, as a wise man once said, 'There are some things which we are not meant to know'- perhaps this is one of those cases. Interesting just the same.

TJ
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Old 27-10-2015, 09:06   #8
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

Hi from Grand Manan Isl,N.B. I know for a fact that the "diesel" we get here on GMI comes from the Irving Oil Ltd refinery in Saint John,N.B. & it is what is sold locally as furnace oil also. There are 2 grades-summer(heavy) & winter(lighter). You would be getting summer grade at the time you were up here.
The SJ,NB Irving refinery is the largest in Canada & supplies most of the Can. Atl. provinces,as well as much of Maine & clear south to Fla. by tanker.
Halifax,N.S. has a small Esso refinery & I'm not sure abt. NFLD. I do know NFLD has at least one large refinery to process it's Grand Banks offshore crude.
There are 4-6 super tankers per week passing GMI on their way to Irving in SJ,NB. The crude comes from all over the world including Venezuela which I believe is hi sulphur. Also one or two 100 tank trains/day deliver crude from Bakken field in ?Dakota.
The "clean" sulphur reduced refined fuel would be exported to USA,etc.to meet regulations & the "dirty" stuff is sold to us Canucks because we have no other source & our regulators appear to look the other way.

The diesel we burn locally smokes!
I once added a bit of kerosene to my boat tank & got another 100 revs & clean exhaust!!

Sorry for the rant & your smokey experience.
If you would like to complain further-Please Do! I will provide some addresses,etc.
I do suggest you e-mail Arthur Irving,Pres.,Irving Oil Ltd in Saint John,N.B. (not St. Johns,NFLD) & report your experience. The response should be interesting.

Cheers/ Leonard Ingalls
Grand Manan
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Old 27-10-2015, 09:31   #9
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

ULSD really isn't #2 Diesel as in the old days, then it was simple, #2 for other than winter and #1 was very close to Kerosene which is very close to Jet A, but it has gotten more complicated since then, here are a few of the fuels you will find out there.
Fuels
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Old 27-10-2015, 09:57   #10
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

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ULSD really isn't #2 Diesel as in the old days, then it was simple, #2 for other than winter and #1 was very close to Kerosene which is very close to Jet A, but it has gotten more complicated since then, here are a few of the fuels you will find out there.
Fuels
We used to make our own Jet A. In remote locations you could not get Jet A for the helicopter. We would use stove oil and a splash of car gas in the winter. If I recall I would put about 50 gal of gas in about 750 gal of Kerosene. Probably not FAA approved.
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Old 27-10-2015, 10:32   #11
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

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We used to make our own Jet A. In remote locations you could not get Jet A for the helicopter. We would use stove oil and a splash of car gas in the winter. If I recall I would put about 50 gal of gas in about 750 gal of Kerosene. Probably not FAA approved.
Sounds like he got bunker fuel, or operating at lower temperatures which will result in a lot of unburnt fuel going out exhaust. Gas will help thin out heavy crude but definitely not advised. There are solvents that will help if your stuck with heavy crude. Or simply run the engine at the top of its temperature range.
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Old 27-10-2015, 10:39   #12
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

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We used to make our own Jet A. In remote locations you could not get Jet A for the helicopter. We would use stove oil and a splash of car gas in the winter. If I recall I would put about 50 gal of gas in about 750 gal of Kerosene. Probably not FAA approved.
JP4 was made that way for years. Actually JP4 had WAY more gasoline than you were using and it was used all the way up to 1995.

wikipedia quote
"JP-4
was a 50-50 kerosene-gasoline blend. It had lower flash point than JP-1, but was preferred because of its greater availability. It was the primary United States Air Force (USAF) jet fuel between 1951 and 1995. Its NATO code is F-40. It is also known as avtag."

Of course, turbine engines are much more tolerant to fuels than diesels. Pretty sure JP4 would cause a diesel to fail.
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Old 27-10-2015, 10:46   #13
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

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JP4 was made that way for years. Actually JP4 had WAY more gasoline than you were using and it was used all the way up to 1995.

wikipedia quote
"JP-4
was a 50-50 kerosene-gasoline blend. It had lower flash point than JP-1, but was preferred because of its greater availability. It was the primary United States Air Force (USAF) jet fuel between 1951 and 1995. Its NATO code is F-40. It is also known as avtag."

Of course, turbine engines are much more tolerant to fuels than diesels. Pretty sure JP4 would cause a diesel to fail.
Like "Duh", turbines are not very fussy as compared to diesels. The gas mixture likely will preignite. Plus the image of a boat owner pouring gasoline into their diesel tanks brings to mind an Elmer Fudd cartoon.
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Old 27-10-2015, 10:51   #14
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

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Like "Duh", turbines are not very fussy as compared to diesels. The gas mixture likely will preignite. Plus the image of a boat owner pouring gasoline into their diesel tanks brings to mind an Elmer Fudd cartoon.
I'm not sure the "Duh" was required..

Many owners DON'T know that. Its not like its common knowledge. In fact, for many boat owners the only diesel they have ever operated is on their boat. I wanted to make sure I clarified so someone didn't have an Elmer Fudd moment.
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Old 27-10-2015, 10:53   #15
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Re: Smoky exhaust, only in Canada

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post

Of course, turbine engines are much more tolerant to fuels than diesels. Pretty sure JP4 would cause a diesel to fail.
Many turbines can run on straight av gas. You need to adjust the overhaul schedule because the gas leaves deposits on the inside of the engine and they put out less power also because of the fewer BTU's in gas.
I used to run the diesel fuel truck for the helicopter on Jet A all the time. Had a heck of a range with that truck, it held about 900 gal. No idea what it did to the engine, a Cat 3208, which by the way they use in boats also.
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