Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fuel Solutions

Fuel Solution

By Tim Ard, Forest Applications Training, Inc.

I was told many years ago that an equipment operator is only as good as the equipment he or she runs. This is true, not only in design, but also in their ability to deal with outside the design circumstance.

Fuels today offer a wide variety of instabilities for two stroke engines. They are formulated, by demand, to cater to the automotive side of engines. Small engines, like your chainsaw, blower and trimmer, are forced to try to burn it and survive.

We recently visited the plant and facilities of B3C Fuel Solutions in Conway, SC. The company has been developing and producing fuel additives for over two years now. They are growing rapidly as their products are impressing and filling distribution channels nationwide. They have the capacity to produce over 40,000 bottles a day of some very amazing fuel additives. I’ve been using, testing and becoming ever more convinced that their products are viable solutions to some present two-stroke fuel problems.

The additives are based on a formulation that is effective in both four cycle and two cycle engines and for both gasoline and diesel combustion. They add special formulations to focus the products to specific needs. Their Fuel Solution products are not a flammable but a combustable additive.

Mechanic in a Bottle for gas and diesel and their flagship Ethanol Shield are their top sellers. More info at www.b3cfuelsolutions.com

Explaining a few things I learned in the visit:

Storage and Fuel

All fuel types begin to degrade, attract moisture and oil mix separates over time. Most manufacturers of two stoke equipment recommend to store fuel in a properly labeled and sealed fuel can or supply tank. Only store for a max of 30 days unless stabilized and always buy 89 or higher octane gas.


Fuels today create or are oxygenated to maintain the light ends, or vapor, that improve its volatility. Ethanol does a good job of meeting this need but in this process however the more vaporizing ability of the fuel the more quickly a given volume can become unstable. Stabilizers are formulated to maintain the mix of petroleum gasoline, the ethanol and the oil additive to the blend.

The oil added for your two cycle will adhere to the petroleum gas but not as well to the ethanol added without some assistance. Some synthetic mix oils do blend better to the ethanol, but additives like B3C’s Ethanol Shield can be a big plus to this process. When the ethanol and gas go through a phase separation (which can happen from just temperature changes), it can leave a portion of your fuel going into your engine without lubrication.

Water and the burn

I heard years ago that all gasoline has some content of water that is contained in its volume. One aspect of water and fuel I didn't understand until recently is what happens when fuel burns in the engines combustion area that has a content of water. Mini explosions take place when the water meets the flame. It spreads the flame like fireworks, sparks and fire going in different directions.

I observed several additives that say they remove water. They did seem to accumulate it in the tests but when burned they popped, sparked, sputtered and almost seemed to explode the water uncontrollably. The B3C products made the water invisible and the mixture burned smoothly with none of the fireworks.


Additives in fuel designed to clean internal parts can have great results in some engines. If they are not compatible with the oil in two cycle fuel however, the situation can be detrimental. Some detergents cause the oil to suspend or not attach itself to the fuel molecule. This attachment is important to your two cycle engine lubrication. Ethanol added to gasoline is a strong detergent. Additives are necessary and important to allow the ethanol to mix and stay blended.

Fuel Volatility

As fuel ages its effective and controlled burn decreases. As the vaporizing ability and octane deteriorates the fuel becomes unstable and is erratic in the engine’s combustion. Fresh volatile fuel offers a controlled, even burn, under the engines compression and fire sequence. As volatility declines the combustion is like mini explosions and causes a hammering on pistons, bearings and other internal parts. This effect is called detonation.

Burn clean, reducing smoke output

In an ideal condition your engine should burn all the combusted fuel and air. Complete combustion properly reduces emissions that you breath and ejected into the atmosphere. Clean combustion also means the interior of your engine is not coated and covered with shellac and or carbon.

I watched several burn illustrations of an assortment of fuels and additives on the market. Most all of them had soot and carbon streaming into the air when the solution was burned. This illustrates what is happening inside the combustion and the exhaust process of your engine. When the B3C products were burned the flame was consistent and long burning with no recognizable smoking.

All in all, I am convince there are products that can help us though the ethanol issues at www.b3cfuelsolutions.com

For more information contact info@forestapps.com or visit our website www.ForestApps.com

© Copyright 2011, Forest Applications Training, Inc.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Professional Call

Professional Call
By Tim Ard, Forest Applications Training, Inc.

The past week I have spent some time looking over comments and video following the recent snow storms on social media sites. You can learn a lot within today's electronic information. Because of the early snow, while leaves were still in place, they caused extensive tree damage across the country from Colorado to Maine. Crews from all over the area have logged many hours and miles traveling to assist with the reconstruction and clean up process.

Many of the comments reminded homeowners of the dangers of storm tree cleanup. To leave most of the tasks to a trained professional. I agree that a call to a professional is a wise choice in these storm situations. Homeowners and do it yourself fans need to be saw savvy enough to know when to put down the saw and pick up the phone.

I am a little disturbed however at what seemed to be "way too often" seen scenarios on the news and in photos. Professionals with a poor Professional Call for themselves. Now, don't get me wrong, the majority of the scenes having municipal workers and other professional's yielding chainsaws were properly equipped with PPE but it seemed to average only about half of the coverage. That means there are many,many professionals and even more homeowners who are unaware of the dangers, regulations, and even less the awareness and need for PPE.

It's a Professional's Call to protect themselves from some of the risks when operating a chainsaw. PPE is not going to keep an accident from taking place but it sure can help to reduce some of the injuries. It doesn't, just because you are paid, make you impervious to injury from tree and chainsaw incidents. Experience doesn't negate the pain. A professional should plan for, buy, and use every advantage they can to reduce those unplanned accident events. Professionals and occasional users alike all draw from the same pool of revenues, insurance and workers comp, to repair such incidents.

Whether a novice or professional the awareness of the operation dangers need to be sought out through written materials such as your operators manual, reputable video, or advanced training to handle the tasks. If one doesn't have properly maintained tools and Personal Protective Equipment they are not prepared for a storm cleanup operation. PPE includes a hardhat, face, eye and ear protectors, gloves, saw chaps and heavy boots. Make sure of these things before beginning work.

In Closing

If you are a homeowner with do it yourself ability, make sure you have invested in your safety planning, knowledge, sufficient training for skills and PPE. If you haven't done this for yourself- Make the Professional Call!

If you are a homeowner, contracting the services of a tree care or landscape crew, insist the crew is equipped with PPE and safely plans the project before you allow them to begin your work. If they are trained and experienced they will be properly equipped.

Make sure their Calling is as a Professional. It's a Professional Call!

The author is president and lead instructor for Forest Applications Training, Inc., PO Box 1048, Hiram, GA 30141. For more information on Chainsaw Safety and Applications Training send your questions and or comments to info@forestapps.com Visit our website at www.forestapps.com

(c) Copyright 2011 Forest Applications Training, Inc.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad