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Old 03-16-2013, 08:24 PM
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Hello everyone!

Figured I would post this in the alternative fuels forum since it seemed like the right place, rather than a general discussion forum. This could be interesting...

I've been doing research on running RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) in my 2003 6.0L CC/LB since I bought the truck. It's pretty difficult to find much information on this particular topic besides talking to the engineers where I work, who know every little detail of this propellant. That said, I've read other posts here on the forums of others running Jet A and the likes. I'd like to see what you all think about actually running this fuel as either a mixture of xx% RP-1/xx% #2 Diesel or as a complete alternative, in theory since it is technically illegal because it's not taxed for road use, obviously. It's rocket propellant.

By now, I'm sure most of you who read this post will be asking, "Why would you want to put rocket propellant in your truck?" The answer to that would be because during rocket testing at work, I need to bleed in fuel up to the engine's main fuel valve. In doing this, approx. 1.5 gallons of clean RP-1 is bled into a bucket each test, producing "waste" fuel that cannot be reused. On actual "hot-fire" engine testing days, we can produce up to 10 gallons of unusable fuel. That adds up quickly and we'd rather put it to use in our generator or someone's diesel vehicle. I'm the only one on our team with a diesel powered vehicle, so my supervisor and manager asked if I could put it to use. They've told me that a bunch of guys at their last employer have run it in various diesel trucks and cars with no problems as long as they mixed a high quality additive in with it.

From what I've learned from the engineers at work who've designed rocket engines that have actually made it to space, and what I've read about kerosene use in road-going diesels has led me to believe this: No. 2 Diesel at the pump has practically no lubrication qualities with all the washing and such to bring the sulfur content down to 15PPM. Using an additive is an absolute must if my research has been done correctly. RP-1 has a sulfur content of approx. 0.1PPM and is essentially pure kerosene with no lubrication qualities or aromatics.

Sources say that the average BTU output of RP-1 is ~135,000. Same as kerosene, while diesel has an output of ~139,000 BTUs. Will I notice a loss in power? Probably not on the butt dyno. Will the RP burn cleaner? It should, due to the extremely low sulfur content. Can it damage seals within the fuel system? So far, the answer is yes, without use of proper additives. Would it wreak havoc on emissions equipment? I've got no clue.

Digging through the internet, I came across this. If the OP is right, using something like Opti-Lube XPD should be just fine *if* I wanted to run RP-1 entirely. Maybe add a little extra for good measure! Obviously, I'd run straight bio-diesel or a mixture of Bio-D/RP if I could source it or find the time to produce my own. So that's out of the question for now.

If it means anything or helps at all, here are the molecular formulas with quick and dirty source references:
RP-1 - C12H24 (internet source: Liquid Fuels)
Kerosene/Jet A - C12H26 (internet source: Kerosene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Diesel #2 - C12H23 but can range from C10H20 to C15H28 (internet source: Diesel fuel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

So with that, I'd like some of your thoughts and opinions on kerosene use based on the extremely low sulfur content of RP-1. Thoughts on running it mixed or straight, anti-gel properties, additive brands and formulas, performance degradation, engine wear etc...

Thanks for reading!
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:43 AM
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I have absolutely NO scientific insight to add, however, my gut tells me it would make a fine fuel to blend with B100. Again I have no scientific data to back up this statement, but if its characteristics are similar to K1, then it would be an outstanding fuel to blend with B100.

I agree, if running is straight may cause some issues, as sulfer is the lubricity in D2. I think something should be added to it if blended with D2 ULSD, and my recomendation would be synthetic ashess lubricant.

I would blend up a 50/50 D2 blend in a small batch and see how it runs. In addition, add a synthetic ashless 2 cycle lube to it and I think it would be fine


I forgot about reading of this item used in Jet Fuel, as the manufacturer actually mentions it in the marketing POS.....


Last edited by vegginpsd; 03-17-2013 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:39 AM
Stay Metal \m/

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Thanks for the insight, veggin. I'll definitely try a 50/50 blend of D2/RP, maybe just a few gallons total, with Opti-Lube XPD or Stanadyne before I go with a higher concentration of RP and track the results as I increase the ratio before a test on 100% RP-1.

I have used Stanadyne in jet and turboprop aircraft before. Not sure it's FAA approved, but whatever. It works great with Jet A in combination with PRIST (anti-icing). Stanadyne ranked somewhat low on that guys tests in the link I posted though, which would be my reason for going with Opti-Lube. I might have this backwards, but Stanadyne looks like it's only compatible with B5 (for road vehicle use). Am I wrong? Is it okay to run in, say, B20, B50, even B100? On paper at least.

I've read many, many times that using 2-stroke oil is not a good idea. My research, and those who have said that could be wrong, though. I'm open to any suggestions that won't destroy my 6.0L because I'd really like to put this fuel to use.

Say I was running B100... What kind of blend would you start with? 5% RP? 10% RP?

All the stickies on DIY Bio-D setups have really got me going though. Now I'm seriously considering building my own. While my landlord is really cool and easy going, she might not like it if I built what is essentially a fuel processing station in the garage. Not to mention, the neighbors might think I've got a meth lab going, haha! I'd really like to get into it though and start making my own blends of Bio/RP at some point. It could prove to be some interesting research.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:21 PM
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I would suggest that if you are serious about making bio you first should see if you can get any waste vegetable oil. Alot of people have found it extremely difficult to get WVO where they live.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:14 PM
Stay Metal \m/

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Yeah, I hear you on that. That will definitely be the most difficult part of making Bio-D. It's currently in work to see if it will even be possible.
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