Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Powdered Milk Turbine

Got Milk?
  [vote for,

So I was at a friend's house sitting by an outdoor camp fire the other day when we got bored and ended up lighting random things on fire (not unusual). I remembered reading about grain elevator fires caused by flour particles in the air and wondered if I could replicate the effect by throwing flour on the fire in a certain way. Sure enough, when done right it produced a large flame.

For a while I've been thinking about flour as a radical alternative fuel simply because the fact that it is combustable fascinates me, though I know that it isn't practical because like corn and ethanol it would cut into our food supply. But as I was researching dust fires, I read that powdered milk is actually more flammable than flour (likely due to fat content).

So the idea is simple, a gas turbine that runs off of powdered milk. I figure that the powder could be channeled into the turbine such that the air from the compressor would create a dust cloud that could easily be ignited. I know that this would also tap into our food supply, but theoretically any animals milk could be powdered. And one method of powdering milk (drum drying) could be performed on board using the waste heat from the turbine.

acurafan07, Aug 03 2009

Turbine Engine Powdered Coal Burning System http://www.automobi...ycles/photo_01.html
[steam_cannon, Aug 03 2009]

Coal-burning gas turbine http://www.freepate...ne.com/4089631.html
Coal-burning gas turbine combustion system for reducing turbine erosion [steam_cannon, Aug 03 2009]

Dried algae powder-burning engine http://www.newscien...nning-on-algae.html
[AbsintheWithoutLeave, Aug 03 2009]

Sawdust explosion video http://www.youtube....watch?v=IvPL7KC1DEA
[bungston, Aug 03 2009]

Similar idea of mine Coal_20Powered_20Diesel_20SUV
Not as environmentally friendly as the algae burner... [cowtamer, Aug 04 2009]

I like the idea but...redundant? Silo_20Combustion_20Engine
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Aug 08 2009]


       A totally stupid idea for many reasons... which of course means it earns this morsel of cake +
xenzag, Aug 03 2009

       Coal dust has been burnt in turbine engines, wood has been used in turbines, magnesium in carbon dioxide burning turbines... Powders can certainly be used in turbines.   

       This could be cool, like if you could rig this up on a Delorean... Seriously, put in cardboard into a fine shredder in the back and rig it to inject that into your jet engine. Or someone could make a milk powered jet for a Got Milk ad. This could be cool! :)
steam_cannon, Aug 03 2009

       So, these trucks hauling cows could be self-fueling?
normzone, Aug 03 2009

       If you have cows on hand, it would be more economical to use cow pats as fuel, than milk.
goldbb, Aug 03 2009

       Mythbusters explored this phenomenon and it makes for good video. I linked the youtube video that kick started them.   

       Once the engine design was in place you could experiment with various flammable powders: milk, nondairy creamer, sawdust, charcoal, gunpowder, flash paper powder etc.
bungston, Aug 03 2009

       If you used dried human milk it could be entirely self-powered [+]
pocmloc, Aug 03 2009

       ..... and what's more, you could make your fortune selling the video on the internet.
8th of 7, Aug 03 2009

       // I've stopped drinking goat milk //   

       What do you do with it then?
tatterdemalion, Aug 03 2009

       // outdoor camp fire // - so much better than the indoor type.
English Bob, Aug 06 2009

       ...still shaking head in bewillderment wondering where Ian's goat is...   

       Love the title, and the idea.
blissmiss, Aug 06 2009

       I will give this +1 just because it would be a frickin' awesome milk commercial.
DIYMatt, Aug 06 2009

       How many pounds of flour, corn, et cetera, does it take to make a pound of dried milk? Especially, since they could be used directly as a fuel...   

       [+] Just because of the notion of a 'booby bomb'. "Careful, that ladys' Packing!!".   

       (Oh, and Happy New Year! for those who consider today, August 6th, 64 A.H - After Hiroshima - a holiday)
Speed Razor, Aug 06 2009

       Thanks for the buns everyone   

       [Speed Razor] I believe you have to mix 1/4 cup powdered milk with 1 cup water, but I'm not sure how that translates into pounds.
acurafan07, Aug 08 2009

       I can't find it but there used to be a link here about powdered creamers being banned in prisons because they were being used as cell bombs.   

       I also think that this idea may be redundant with an earlier one by [Laughs Last] but I will leave that for you to decide.   

       Eh I don't think it is. I once posted an idea for a flour turbine and deleted it because I decided that was redundant, but admittedly [Last Laughs] idea for an engine running on corn dust and mine for powdered milk seem to be different concepts.
acurafan07, Aug 09 2009

       You should use rat's milk or dog's milk so it doesn't tap into our food supply.
caspian, Aug 20 2010

       I find it very surprising that this idea doesn't contain a single mention of the word "c*stard".
Wrongfellow, Aug 20 2010

       //If you have cows on hand, it would be more economical to use cow pats as fuel, than milk//   

       Being that there is vastly more cow than cow pat, perhaps powdered cow would produce more output?
saedi, Aug 20 2010

       I find it interesting to consider which of our foods are flammable. We tend to eat the non-flammable parts of most things--we eat wheat and can burn straw, we eat fruit and burn trees. Or maybe it is just a moisture thing.   

       So burning powdered milk gets a bun from me.   

       But this is getting into flavors of fuel, a bit. And, as [Speed Razor] said, burning the cow's food would be more efficient, and drying the milk has gotta cost.   

       But if we ever have a dry milk surplus . . . [+]
baconbrain, Aug 20 2010

       Perhaps dried roadkill and farm animals that have decased due to disease could be convereted into a high-fat powder.
ye_river_xiv, Aug 15 2011


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