Following trials aviation fuel Makhonine made in 1920 years.
Wings, weekly journal of air transport, Paris Thursday 6 January 1927
Section: French Propaganda Committee Aeronautics OFFICIAL PARTY
Tests with Makhonine fuel
During a meeting of the CFPAé Steering Committee, held on December 17, was presented the report of the tests carried out by Air-Union and CIDNA companies with Makhonine fuel. This report was made by Mr. Verdurand for the Air Union and by Mr. Lefranc for CIDNA. Commander Frégate Laboureur, Assistant to the Scientific Research Services at the Ministry of Marine, also gave some interesting information on the tests undertaken in the Navy in 1926. We have reproduced Thursday the communications of MM. Verdurand and Lefranc. They were followed by a presentation by Mr. Makhonine, of which we publish below the essential elements.
Makhonine's opinion himself
M. Makhonine asked to give some details on the nature of its fuel, and especially on its possibilities of manufacturing and industrial organization made the following statement:
"My current fuel is derived from the coal tar of heavy debenzolated oils that I can turn about 90%; the price is not much lower than that of gasoline because the manufacture is not made in large; At present I can make 50 tons a day; on one month's notice, my manufacturing would be doubled.
The product obtained, this is its essential merit, is not flammable at ordinary temperature and pressure. The last experiments of Le Bourget, whose story you have just heard, seem to me quite convincing.
Non-flammable outside the engine cylinders, my fuel is also stable and non-volatile.
Its density is much higher than that of gasoline, especially that of the "aviation" type and, nevertheless, the experiments have shown that if the adjustment is well done, the engine gives more power at the same time as it is found a gain of about 30% on consumption.
Once the carburation is well adjusted, the combustion is practically complete, leaving no residue that will foul the candles or deposit on the wall of the cylinders. The pilots who flew with my fuel are unanimous in saying that the lubrication leaves nothing to be desired and that the "engine" times are perfect.
Now let's look at the economic outlook.
France, to say nothing of her Colonies, now imports two million tons of gasoline of various kinds, year in and year out. As this essence is essentially volatile, it would be interesting to be able to appreciate how much is lost during all the manipulations, transfers, pumping, etc ...
Given the economy of 30% that allows the use of my fuel, it seems to me that it would be practically 1 million tons of my fuel to largely replace the 2 million tons of gasoline imported from abroad, bought with the dollar and which do not leave to be a heavy tribute, paid by this country abroad.
There is, then, at first glance a possible double economy; saving on the amount of fuel: one million tonnes instead of 2 million tonnes and savings on overseas purchases. As for the wealth created by the manufacture of fuel, in France itself, it would be distributed internally, throughout the country, and would contribute to the general well-being.
But this million tons "possible" how to get it to the best account?
At the present time the oils of coal are not extracted and sought for themselves. In the gas plants and in the coking plants, they are simply collected as a secondary product, which is probably a very interesting product, since the Bridges and Roads use more and more tar for the maintenance of the road network and that prices rise because even of the request.
If you want to get the tar for itself, it is not in the gas plants, or in the coking plants that must be done, because these industries use precisely 6 coals and 8.000 calories that the we are obliged, for the needs of the cause, to distil at high temperature. To obtain all the necessary tarmac, it is at the very mine that the coal must be distilled. And again, what coal distiller? I only ask for the worst, the highest quality coal, the one that gives only 2.500 3.500 calories and 35% ash, the one that is almost unsalable, the one that, last year, at that time, was offered at 45 francs per ton on departure car with a discount of 4 fr. 50 per tonne for any market of more than 10.000 tons to be delivered per year; this coal, finally, which, if it persists in the prospection, makes abandon the vein to seek elsewhere.
On the spot, how much would this coal be worth? Distilled at low temperatures, 5 tons of this waste coal will give a little more than a ton of tar, so about a ton of fuel. From which it emerges that, in order to ensure the production of the million tons of fuel required for the annual consumption of France, it would only take 5 million tons of this waste coal, ie, in round figures, 416.700 tons per month. and 16.670 tonnes per working day, on average. Is it impossible to achieve?
The coal regions of France are wonderfully distributed in the North, in the Center, in the South and in the East. By treating the coal on the very face of the mine, and immediately converting the tar obtained into fuel, it would minimize handling and transport and the regional distribution appears as quasi-providentially organized in advance even.
In addition to the bad coals, there is still French soil and French colonies, peat, bituminous shale, all easily exploitable materials and immediately convertible into fuel.
All the needs of the country are thus largely assured, which would prevent the export of fuel made in France, by making the best use of all the resources I have just listed and which are indeed national resources.
I have received many requests from foreign countries and then say that we will buy all the fuel that France will sell. France becomes a liquid fuel exporting country, what a reversal it would be and how happy!
And what does it take for that? Just want it! The raw material exists, abundant, as we have seen.
The processes of extraction of tar are known, there is only one industry to create, on the spot, at the mine.
With cheap fuel it is an unknown growth given to the engines of all power and all their applications, industrial, agricultural, tourist.
Third fuel test (in flight)
The first two tests are described on this page.
The Air Union Company gives us the following note: since the meeting of CFPAé, new Makhonine fuel tests have been carried out.
During the first test, a flight of 3 hours was made during which the engine speed varied by 1.840 1.550 laps without the pilot touching the intake.
The December 21, a flight of the same duration was undertaken but gave much less favorable results. The engine speed has gradually decreased to 1.300 laps. On landing, we found the filters partially blocked by solid deposits that are probably due to the action of cold on the fuel. It deposits indeed below 5 ° crystals which appear to be naphthalene.
Below 0 °, the fuel thickens and then becomes jelly. It is possible that the malfunctions noted during the last test are due to this circumstance.
Air-Union Company believes that the discovery of Mr. Makhonine is of the highest interest because it demonstrates the possibility of using in aircraft engines a fuel that is neither volatile nor flammable at ordinary temperatures. it considers that the use of this fuel requires that the details of adaptation of the engines and especially of the carburettors are carried out by the design offices of the manufacturers, and carefully checked by experiments on the test bench, then in flight in all the circumstances of temperature, pressure and power to make the use of this fuel as safe as that of gasoline.
Failure to proceed in this manner would expose one to accidents as serious and frequent as those which one wishes to avoid. Given the dual interest of this from the point of view of air safety, and from the point of view of the manufacture of a national fuel from coal tar, the Air-Union Company wishes, that the official services, invite at the earliest the builders to realize this adaptation.
The use of this fuel will be possible in operation only when the manufacturer can give guarantees of constancy of its composition, as perfect as those currently required for the various grades of gasoline used in aircraft.
Methods of controlling this composition will therefore have to be developed by the technical services, before the use of this fuel can be envisaged (sic) commonly in the airlines.