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The history of lead in fuel • a Veritasium video


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Very thorough, but he left out the obvious result: the dumbing down of whole generatons across the world, including mine.

Love to see some research on lead levels in Trumpists.

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What about all the lead dust in the roofs of houses in places like Broken hill and Mt ISA? What % of lead mined goes into Petrol? Piston aero engines would be quite useless without it as tetra ethyl lead. I don't like it but just asking.

    In the USA the lead that kills people comes out of firearms.. Religion is what harms their brains.  Nev

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Gami, the people that make fuel injection nozzles for Continental and lycoming have developed and tested a lead free fuel suitable for the entire piston engine GA fleet. Just waiting on government approval so that could take ten years or more. I think most owners will be happy to pay a little more for a cleaner fuel.

 

 

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 Tetraethyllead is extremely toxic and is not sold anywhere on earth for use in motor vehicles. There is only one company still producing it so any alternative should be fast tracked ASAP and TEL banned for all use. According to the UN study its removal has resulted in $US2.4 trillion in benefits annually and 1.2 million fewer deaths. Why people still use Avgas in engines that don't require it like Jabirus I find quite mystifying. Most who are are using it are like sheep. One bloke here was always having plug fouling issues & rang Jabiru who told him to use 95 or 98 petrol. He was a sheep that came in from the poison. I have never used it except when that was all I could get. My engine stays clean. No piston, head or valve deposits, no plug fouling and no toxic waste.

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On 10/05/2022 at 6:23 PM, facthunter said:

What about all the lead dust in the roofs of houses in places like Broken hill and Mt ISA? What % of lead mined goes into Petrol? Piston aero engines would be quite useless without it as tetra ethyl lead. I don't like it but just asking.

    In the USA the lead that kills people comes out of firearms.. Religion is what harms their brains.  Nev

Children in and around Broken Hill are being subject to environmental lead loadings which are likely to lead to mental retardation and behavioral issues.

https://www.phrp.com.au/issues/march-2022-volume-32-issue-1/blood-lead-levels-among-broken-hill-children/

https://theconversation.com/toxic-playgrounds-broken-hill-kids-exposed-to-poisonous-dust-32325

 

The US now places recommends children have below  3.5 μg/dL.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7043a4.htm?s_cid=mm7043a4_w

 

Piston Engines generally work just fine without TEL. An estimated 80-83% of the US GA fleet could run on mogas.

https://generalaviationnews.com/2012/07/12/new-study-shows-autogas-can-power-80-of-piston-aircraft/

 

For the other 17% it might be time to look at proven measures such as  MW 50

 

That's why I think that mogas is actually the GA fuel of the future. In a world looking to phase out fossil fuels the likelihood of creating an entirely new fuel stream to address a decling GA fuel market is pretty unlikely. I wouldn't invest in that business plan.

 

For starters given a choice between $2/L and $3/L to do the same job it's not a difficult choice, most people will follow their wallet.

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10 hours ago, Garfly said:

https://www.avweb.com/aviation-news/avgas-coalition-petitions-dot-and-faa-to-retain-100ll-during-transition-period/

The transition should have been implemented long ago.

I'm actually on the airports side on this one. There's been more than enough time for an orderly transition and the science behind lead toxicity isn't going to get better. In fact is has been growing worse over time.

The bad news is that any plane that can only run on leaded fuel is worth less. So consider whether STC etc

The lead crime hypthesis is an interesting one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead–crime_hypothesis

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I weaned my Jab engine off AvGas and onto Shell 98 a couple of years ago. Maybe it’s my imagination, but fuel burn seems slighly less. On my next trip I need to refuel but finding 98 anywhere near an airport will not be easy.
Why are there so few Mogas outlets at airfields?

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It is probably just a case of the devil you know. World Fuel are falling over themselves to provide an Avgas facility at South Grafton. I don't want it but there are several owners of GA & even Jab engined aircraft that use it. Crown lands have a myriad of conditions and require a bond as do the council. We have told WF they have to fully fund the installation and operation of the facility. Avgas is a declining industry and they seem desperate to keep it going.

 

I always keep an empty Jerrycan in the back of my aircraft and as there is a petrol station just around the corner from our aerodrome I don't have an issue. It would be good to be able to buy 95 or 98 petrol at the airport though when away.

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One advantage of avgas is that it is a predictable product.

I have used mogas a couple of times in my Jab engine, but the quality of supply is so poor that both times I have had so much trouble with fuel problems that I have gone back to avgas.

Good super is better than avgas, it burns cleaner and has the same power, but getting a bad batch is just too much trouble.

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I have never had a single issue with either 95 or 98 automotive petrol in 7 years and thousands of litres purchased. Get fuel from a busy Servo with storage tanks that are not old rusting steel & there should not be a problem. I now use 98 exclusively as 95 is hard to get now. Many servos now only sell 94 which is 91 with ethanol added. Even so I strain it through Mr Funnel & have not found any contaminants at all. The 3300 Jab purrs on 98. The only disadvantage is it does not last as long in the tank and the aromatics make it stink much more than Avgas. 

 

The aromatics will permeate through my Vinyl ester fuselage tank but after opening the canopy that dissipates rapidly. If like now I can't get the plane out to go flying because the aerodrome is a bog I just need to add a bit of fresh fuel & any possible problem solved. But even after 2 months it will still start on the old fuel & once running there is no problem.

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9 minutes ago, kgwilson said:

The aromatics will permeate through my Vinyl ester fuselage tank but after opening the canopy that dissipates rapidly…

Interesting. I built my tanks from the same stuff, after the supplier’s chemical engineer assured me that vinyl ester could cope with all fuels.
I can barely smell it when I sniff the fuel sampler; had a port and polish on my honker a few months ago and sense of smell is very slowly recovering.

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11 hours ago, Old Koreelah said:

I weaned my Jab engine off AvGas and onto Shell 98 a couple of years ago. Maybe it’s my imagination, but fuel burn seems slighly less. On my next trip I need to refuel but finding 98 anywhere near an airport will not be easy.

It's not your imagination, 91 octane E0 Mogas has 3%-5% more BTUs/gallon than 100LL. Lead deposits from 100LL can reduce power, though.

https://generalaviationnews.com/2011/03/16/10-mogas-myths/

 

So when you're flying into the unexpected headwind on a long water crossing you might wish that you had a tank full of mogas rather than avgas.

 

One hypothetical that I've thought about was if you had to buy some low octane fuel when avgas wasn't available could you just retard the throttle until you were at altitude as you're effectively lowering the compression.

 

Wouldn't it be nice to have a fully instrumented engine which could run on cheap fuel, detect knock, inject MW-50 and retard ignition as required. 

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14 minutes ago, Ian said:

One hypothetical that I've thought about was if you had to buy some low octane fuel when avgas wasn't available could you just retard the throttle until you were at altitude as you're effectively lowering the compression.

 

About 15 years ago I asked Don Richter about installing a Jab 2.2 and shimming the base gaskets to lower the compression ration so that I could safely use lower grade fuels. (At the time I had a 42hp engine and couldn’t imagine needing the Jab’s 80+) 

He convinced me it was dumb idea. Now I can’t imagine flying with less power.

14 minutes ago, Ian said:

Wouldn't it be nice to have a fully instrumented engine which could run on cheap fuel, detect knock, inject MW-50 and retard ignition as required. 

That would be ideal, but costly for such a small run of engines. The big car makers build more engines per day than Jabiru has in a decade.


I’m quite happy to have some hands-on management. For over a year I kept my RH tank full of AvGas and used it for TO and climb, then switched to the 98 car fuel in the LH tank. Never a problem with the car fuel, so it won out.

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I think that it is the collective brainwashing we have all been subjected to that has so many people continue to use Avgas for no reason and less benefit than using automotive petrol, and why it has taken many who are now converts so long to make the switch.

 

This has probably initially come from Avgas manufacturers and fuelled by engine manufacturers and in turn by aircraft manufacturers in the POH with the fear factor of engine damage and litigation from pilots blaming the fuel for an engine failure.

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I suspect that there has been a combination of causes.

  • AVGas is a significantly higher margin product that mogas so of course even through the market it comparatively small it's worth fighting for.
  • The engine makers didn't want to do more design and testing. The most profitable route was to keep pushing existing designs.
  • Existing infrastructure, legally once you put leaded fuel into a system it's difficult to change. Lead poisons a range of sensors and catalysts which modern engines rely upon. This has made it easy to justify keeping two systems.
  • Individual bias, change is hard and there is always the desire to keep doing what you've been doing.
  • About 1 in 5 planes requires some form of modification to run mogas. The lucky owners have been vocal about ensuring that others subsidize their design choices.
9 hours ago, Old Koreelah said:

I’m quite happy to have some hands-on management. For over a year I kept my RH tank full of AvGas and used it for TO and climb, then switched to the 98 car fuel in the LH tank. Never a problem with the car fuel, so it won out.

The hands on management appeals to me too. But I'd also like to have decent sensors to tell me when things aren't right.

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I would like to use some 98 in my two Lycoming powered aircraft however there is no STC available. Yes for the engines but not the airframe. Not worth the risk of legal ramifications so will be sticking with avgas until there is an alternative.   

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