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Old 07-06-2005, 08:44 AM   #1
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Is Biodiesel possible??

Hi All,

as we don´t have our final TV yet and we still search for it, my maybe stupid question.

Can anyone of you fellows tell me, if it possible to drive the US-SUV diesel engines with Biodiesel??

Why that? Well, it is about $1,- per gallon cheaper then the normal diesel ($3.82 against $4.81)
Gas engines are way out of payable reach, as the gasprice is at $5.60 per gallon at the moment and it won´t go under $5.20 I think.

Hope for many answers.

BTW If you want to mention a good TV for our Airstream, go ahead. Everything upto 6.6 liters is interesting for us, the higher the mpg ( we are towing at 48 mph) the better.

Thanks

Bjoern
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:59 AM   #2
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Question Wow - Biodiesel!

Bjoern,



I watched, with much interest, a show on television (Trucks or Truck TV on TNN) about biodiesel. They had ordered a device that looked like a still manufactured in the USA that recycled restaurant french fryer oil. This device created the biodiesel in fairly short order and appeared very simple to use. The show host then drained all of the diesel from his Dodge pick up truck and filled it up with the biodiesel. He then proceeded to show that the concoction ran as good or better than diesel fuel. He bragged about increased mileage and power. He than added that the biggest benefit was that the exhausts from the truck smelled like French fries.



Perhaps another forum user can be more specific about this television show – they might even have information on where to purchase a taped copy of the show.



That’s my two cents worth.



Interesting topic Bjoern.



Regards,

Henry



PS: Willie Nelson is touring the USA in a diesel motorhome power by, you guessed it, biodiesel.
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:16 AM   #3
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Bjoern,
You might have better resources available to you as in the US, Bio-Deisel is still somewhat of a novetly, home-brew solution. I can tell you one of the larger fuel stop companies just started offering a bio-deisel "blend" in response to growing conumer demand, however, pure bio-deisel has problems once the temperature drops (it requires heaters to keep it from becoming gel). I've also read that some people reported issues with seals and o-rings in the fuel delivery system failing on Straight Vegetable Oils (SVO) and bio-deisel, but like most of these report, as many people have reported no issues with modern deisel engines.

Do a search on bio-deisel and see what you can find out about engine compatibility, storage, etc. Certianly nice to know you can buy it at the pump in your country - no quite the case here yet....but I bet its coming.

After all, with such a large agriculture community, I would imaging a marketable bio-deisel could become the "cash crop" of the US at some point in the future.
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:21 AM   #4
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Henry,

I have heared of a guy in Germany who does the same with the old french fries oil and yes it really works! He is operating a Taxi Cab and gets the old oil from his local fastfood stores - for free!!!

But I think more of the "normal" biodiesel, which shall have a marketshare of 5.7% by 2010 in Germany, thats not to much but a good direction for the future. The coverage with biodiesel station is quite good in Germany, better than the LPG_Gas Net for Cars...

In my opinion we have to get rid of the dependency on Oil and the Oil exporting countries and biodiesel is just one of many ways to do that.

Also just my .02 Cents (as everything here )

Bjoern
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Old 07-06-2005, 09:26 AM   #5
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Steve,

yes I have heard of the problems, but most european (at least the german) Car Manufacturer recommend biodiesel for most of their cars. In the winter the filling stations put an additiv in the biodiesel (the same like in normal winterdiesel) to prefent that it gets gel.

I´ll google Biodiesel to see what comes up! Thanks for the tip!!

Bjoern from the biodiesel country
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Old 07-06-2005, 10:01 AM   #6
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Here are summaries of two articles I have read about biodiesel:

1. In a Wall Street Journal article within the last year there was a report on the efforts of British tax officers to enforce the fuel taxes on home-brew biodiesel made from vegetable oils and restaurant waste. The use of untaxed fuel in motor vehicles is illegal. I don't know if the economics of your project depend on avoiding the tax, or if there is a regulation where you are exempting biodiesel, but it is one consideration in evaluating the concept. From the prices you have quoted for petroleum diesel fuel, I can see that taxes are the large majority of the cost at the pump.

2. A couple of years ago there was an article in Home Power magazine discussing in detail the equipment and materials necessary to make small scale biodiesel fuel. The author frankly admitted that the economics came in under the cost of pump diesel only if the feedstock is free and the labor costs are accounted for at zero. As I recall, the material cost for methanol in drums as part of the chemical modification of restaurant waste nearly equalled the whole-sale untaxed price of petroleum diesel fuel.

You might think I am down on biodiesel, but that really is not true. I do get a little riled when people use the word "free" in connection with it, however.
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:14 AM   #7
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Hi bobechs,

maybe I stated it wrong, I just meant that he gets the old fried oil for free... Sorry...

In my favorite online Newspaper they published an article a few minutes ago, just about the Biodiesel and Bioethanol production out of biomass like Sojabeans, Rape Seed, Corn and others.

It was a study published in the USA, which stated that it is not enviromentally friendly to produce biodiesel and bioethanol, as the seeding, growing and harvesting the biomass consumes more (fossile) energy than is gained from the endproduct. e.g it takes 27% more fossile energy to change Sojabeans into Biodiesel than is gained afterwards...
The original study was published in the "Natural Resources Research", if anyone wants to google it.

Interesting though...

Bjoern
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:51 AM   #8
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Bjoern;

I am not aggravated at you at all. And I am glad you have raised this topic. I am interested and a bit excited at the idea that renewable or recycled energy resources can be used economically. I happen to work in the oil business and while high prices are good for me in the short run, in the longer run I have to live here too, and wastefulness just runs against my upbringing.

But, as you point out the economics of alternative fuels can be complicated. Government subsidies, tax rebates and other policy decisions can steer consumers off in odd, unsustainable directions. I do think there are good reasons for political factors to be taken into account, but I am much more comfortable when they are fully disclosed during the discussion.
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Old 07-06-2005, 12:21 PM   #9
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Bjoern,

The guy who wrote that paper was working a little outside his field of insect entomology.

He is also using old data. There is a lot of good work being done in new methods for converting starch to ethanol.

Big improvements are being made. Each new enzyme or separation membrane invented makes ethanol more efficient. And there ARE strategic policy reasons to invest in alternative fuels.

Here's an 'alternative' view. http://www.acfnewsource.org/science/ethanol_woes.html

This issue is so political, you won't be able to find an analysis that doesn't have a lobbyist in the background.
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:13 PM   #10
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Yes ,from what I read up on "Biodiesel" will work on any diesel motor with no problems. As for any more info they are tons of web site out there . Also if my memory works well I think Chevy is laying out a guide line for biodiesel and the Dodge diesel has a whole thing on biodiesel as well. If you need some web site to check thing out just reply. Jim
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Old 07-06-2005, 03:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jim8860
Yes ,from what I read up on "Biodiesel" will work on any diesel motor with no problems. As for any more info they are tons of web site out there . ...Jim
To get back to the original question, I just purchased a 2005 Ford F-250 with the Powerstroke diesel and per the supplimental owners manual for the diesel engine, no more than 5% biodiesel should be used. Anything more, I believe, will void the warranty.

I'm not sure what the mixture in Europe or Germany specifically is but as long as it is less than 5% it should be ok. If your SUV is an earlier model, you might contact a manufacturer's rep in the US or one in Germany and ask them.
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Old 07-06-2005, 03:19 PM   #12
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Don,

thanks for the 'alternative' view. I think still a lot of research has do be done, but they are on the right way. AND the fossile resurces they speak of can probably be one day also ethanol or biodiesel, at least a part of it...

Jim,

I will check the Chevy, Ford and Dodge Sites for Informations on Biodiesels, if you have other links, they are very welcome!!

BTW does anyone of you want to recommend a good TV?? Anything in the SUV or Shortbed Truck Range?? Fueleconomy with our 29' is the most important point for us... We are a little spoilt in this point over here, as even the SUV over here reach 15mpg or much much better!! And if possible not more than the 6.9 liters...
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Old 07-06-2005, 05:43 PM   #13
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bjoern,
heres my 2 cents worth....the problem with french fry oil is that it has a high glycerin content that tends to f**k up injectors, and as such has to be cut with diesel fuel...i personally would not risk it..
archer daniels midland( large international agriculture company) is gearing up to produce a soy-diesel blend.
how much does "dave" weigh? the tv question will be easier to answer that way.
norby
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Old 07-06-2005, 06:25 PM   #14
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We have biodiesel available on a limited basis in NC right now. It is currently available in a B20, B50, and B100. Most of what is available around here is soy based. Once the soy oil, or any vegetable oil virgin or used for that matter has been converted to BioDiesel it is an almost perfect equivalent and is many ways better than Dino diesel, especially when it comes to pollutants and lubrication. Here is a Link to a NC local website with at least some info on it. I have been checking into the feasiblity of producing biodiesel for personal use on our farm. A small scale production plant is going to run me about $2000 to build, and I would need about 15 acres of soybeans on an average to provide me with what we would typically consume in diesel if we made the full conversion from gasoline. One reason biodiesel is so expensive in the states right now is lack of government subsidies and the lack of large scale processors. Also if I comprehend the politics of it the government will only subsidize a certain amount of alternate fuels in a year and currently the corn based ethanol is taking the lion's share of the subsidy.

Aaron
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