THIS paper represents an attempt to appraise the general automotive-fuel situation from the viewpoint of its relation to farm-tractor fuels. In particular, the probable effects of demands for fuels other than gasoline upon costs of production and distribution have been tied-in with engine operation and maintenance costs for the purpose of indicating the most logical course for fuel and engine development.
In general, the farm-tractor fuel-problem is a very important one from the viewpoint of the tractor user, due to the fact that, as farm tractors are generally used, fuel is a major cost-item amounting to more than one-third of the total cost of operation of the tractor.
In spite of the fact that many other considerations logically outweigh fuel costs in importance-particularly availability of the equipment and its capacity during the seasons of peak demand-this item continues to be one which is scutinized most carefully by the user and emphasized in tractor sales.
The best solution represents, of course, the selection of not only the fuels which represent the cheapest source of usable energy, but also that which permits the best compromise with manufacturing costs, maintenance, and operating difficulties.
Within the last year or so several new fuels for industrial automotive engines have come into prominence. Liquefied commercial butane gas appears to be one of the most interesting of these at this time. In this analysis butane and a number of other fuels, not at present considered of industrial importance, are considered for the purpose of presenting as complete a picture as possible.
It seems apparent from the work which has been carried out thus far that the use of butane and other non-orthodox fuels in such small units as the farm tractor does not appear to be economically attractive.