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BIO DEISEL

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Todd, May 20, 2006.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Anyone own a deisel truck that runs on this stuff? I've been looking into some kits, but lots of big bucks to get started. Do you have to have any kind of conversion kit to run on bio deisel, or can you run it in any deisel engine? I wish there was more info on this stuff.

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  2. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I'm not real sure if this applies to all diesel engines but I watched "Mythbusters" the other day and they ran a mercedes with no modification.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes, and you can run it in varying concentrations (B2, B20, B50, etc.) B100 (100% biodiesel) will tend to gel below I think 30 degrees, so it's a good idea to run a mix at lower temps. There is only one caveat, biodiesel is a good cleaner too. So in an older vehicle, one should buy a box of fuel filters and be prepared to replace them frequently until the system is cleaned out. Out here the ferry system discovered this but stuck to it and now they're running several boats on a diesel - biodiesel mix. Best case is to start a new vehicle right offon biodiesel, no mods necessary and with a clean system, no gunking up of filters.
  4. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    I invested in the stuff about 5 years ago. my stock is virtually worthless. I still believe it has great potential.....just not enough market yet.
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I wish they sold some around here. I would try it out. I think Minnesota just passed a law stating all deisel must contain a certain amount of Biodeisel. I think it was about 5%. Maybe it will catch on now since the price of gas and deisel is so high.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    While waiting, you might get together with some other diesel owners and brew your own. That's what got our community into biodiesel initially. Now we have it at the pump. Or you can set up your diesel vehicle to run on filtered, used vegetable oil. If you have some restaurants that deep-fry locally, there is possibly fuel waiting to be used there. Try to pick a restaurant that changes the oil frequently. I have a friend in Mass that bought and setup an old Mercedes wagon to do this. It can run it on diesel or veg oil with the flick of a switch. He starts up on diesel and once the engine is warm, switches to veg oil. The car exhaust smells like french fries.
  7. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I read some months ago about Europeans using vegatable oil to fuel their diesels, cheaper than the real stuff. And it was also against the law, because it is not taxed!

    Wish I could find the link.
  8. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Everything is against the law that's not taxed. I figure that my wood supply is gonna get hit soon.

    Maybe something like this. A law that states any pile of wood over 1/4 cord is considered a heating fuel, thus taxed at a rate of 10 dollars per cord. In all seriousness, I'm surprised the govenment hasn't tried this with coal and pellets yet.
  9. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    I've seen this guy briefly on TV (he was entertaining and intelligent) and seen his book (From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank) touted in at least one place as 'The Bible of Biodiesel'. I've never read it myself, but have been meaning to see if my library has a copy.

    http://www.joshuatickell.com/books_films.htm

    http://www.biodieselamerica.org/from_fryer_to_fuel_tank
  10. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    I make my own biodiesel. Have been doing it for about 3 years. It was a rough learning curve at first, but now it takes me about 2 hours of my time to produce a tank full of fuel. All at a cost of about .65 cents a gallon. I use cooking oil that I get for free from local resturaunts. It's not that tough to do. Their are some safety issues that you need to pay close attention to, but, just common sense stuff.

    Some states allow you to produce a certian amount before you are held liable for paying taxes on the fuel. Of course I stay under that amount each year. I use the fuel in a Dodge Cummins and a Passat diesel. They love the stuff. Especially the Dodge (the Passat is already pretty quite). My truck sounds like a whole different vehicle. Less noise, no smoke at all, smother running. Bio is actually better for your engine. It has higher lubrication qualities than regular diesel, and acts like a cleaner to your entire fuel system. In fact, older vehicles may need to change a fuel filter or two the first time they start usiing it, as it cleans the fuel tank, the lines, the injection pump, the injectors, and the combustion chamber.

    If you buy a biodiesel processor, it will be very pricey, and probably not any better than a homemade unit (sometimes the homemade unit is better). If you can make a few simple wiring connections, and can connect plumbing pipes together, then you have it licked. A simple and very effective processor is made from a new or used electric hot water heater. If you do a search on google regarding "appleseed processor", you have a months worth of reading material. Their are simple instructions out there, and it is not tough to do.

    The big issue is a reliable source of good used cooking oil. That is the key to low cost fuel. Here is some simple math for you. It costs me $100 bucks to fill my truck (35 gal tank) with diesel. $22.00 for home brew biodiesel. My truck runs better on it, and if anyone cares about the environment, CO emissions are reduced by 75% (I don't care about that, I do it to save $$). Plus it is pretty much carbon nuetral.

    No modifications are needed to vehicles that are made form about 1992 on. However, some of the newer diesels will be limited to about 50% bio because of the higher pressures in the newer common rail fuel systems. They tend to polymerize the bio, and can lead to filter clogging when running it in higher concentrations. I run 100% all summer long. No issues with my vehicles what so ever. I do take care to produce good clean fuel, and my process is a little longer than usual, but it gives a higher quality fuel, with very little added costs.

    There are allot of good forums out there that are dedicated to biodiesel home brewers. Hope this helps, KD.
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Have you tried bio fuel in an oil burner yet? I see some oil companies offering it. I guess it is time for me to do research.
  12. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Post what you find Please!!!
  13. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Wanted 2000 VW TDI in good shape. Preferrably a wagon!

    Some of those sites that show how to make biodiesel look pretty cool. Big thing I see there is that if you get serious about it, you end up with a lot of glicerine. Looks like some of the folks use it mixed with sawdust (which I produce fairly large quantities, but not that much) to make small balls they burn in their wood stoves....with great care I understand.

    Looks like it requires a fair amount of time, not only to make but to gather the used McWendykings FF oil.
  14. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

  15. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    The only 4 cylinder "truck" I know of is the upcoming Jeep Liberty. Of course it's not available in NY. That would make too much sense...but then look at who we hired for a senator.
  16. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Hey, I've got 175,000 miles on my TDI Bug, but it's not for sale!

    I think there might be some issues with B100 (not including the winter gelling thing), but I'm not too up on this.
  17. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Yes bio will burn just fine in an oil burner. About 80% bio seems to be the magic number to eliminate any ignition troubles.

    As a matter of fact, yahoo groups has an excellent site for "alternative fuels heating" discussion group or something like that. Allot of guys convert an oil burning bioler system to run off of straight used veg oil (not converted to biodiesel). I think just filtrattion and dewatering is all that is involved. I give my excess oil to a gentlemen who heats his 30x40 pole barn with a system like this. It works well for me becouse I usually have an excess of oil in the winter, so he takes my excess.

    As far as time, I get oil from two places. One is 5 minutes from my house and It takes me 20 minutes to gather 60 gallons. The other place is on my way home from work and he puts the oil in the jugs it came in. It takes less than 5 minutes to get 20 gallons.

    The bio diesel process takes about 3 days at the most, from start to finish. 24 hours if I rush it. My time involved is about 2 hours at the most total. That is 20 minutes here, 15 minutes there, that sort of thing.

    My bio set up cost me about $250 bucks and was all salvaged items except for some plumbing fitting and a $25 dollar harbor frieght pump. Otherwise, I use an old propane tank for the processor (lots of those around for scrap metal price), and two plastic 55 gallon drums. Not to expensive for those items.

    Heck, you can make a sample of biodiesel right now using some Heet brand gas line antifreeze, red devil lye (drain opener), and some cooking oil. Once mixed properly, a 1/2 hour later you have biodiesel. If interested see this link:

    http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/719605551/m/857600061

    That link is just to make a sample batch, however, that website is one of the best for information on making biodiesel. They have high quality info. KD
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I've seen older Isuzu and Toyota diesels. Not too common, but they're out there. There's a low miles 82 Toyota from GA on eBay today and a cheap Isuzu in RI.
  19. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    I heard that the Red Devil Lye company went out of business. Is that true? If so, what will you do after the existing inventory is consumed? I'm unaware of anybody else making lye for retail sales, these days.
  20. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Well I guess if I can brew my own beer I can brew Biodeisel. What about winter? Does bio gell up at low temps? Can you add #1 deisel to it to prevent gelling?
  21. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, the company that makes red devil lye has tapered production. Supposedly it is due to the illicit use of the product for meth amphetamine production (speed)). I used the term red devil lye because it was easier on the ear. If I said sodium hydroxide (which is what the product is), I might scare some people off. Lowes sells a product made by a company called "Roebic" and it is labelled "Crystal Drain Opener". There are other similiar products out there. The key is to find as high of a sodium hydroxide content as possible. It lists this ingredient on the label somewhere. It must be in crystal or flake form. Stay away from products like "Draino Beads" or stuff like that. You need just plain old sodium hydroxide in at least 90% concentrations. It is also called lye or caustic soda. The other product you can use, but is less common (which is what I use) is called potassium hydroxide. It is still a caustic, but does the same thing as the sodium hydroxide. I happen to use this and buy it in 50 lb bags for about $40.00 dollars. That bag will last me about a year, and it is a much better price when buying it in bulk. I get it at a chemical supply store. There are certian advantages with using the potassium, as it makes the glycerine byproduct easier to deal with.

    Since I mentioned glycerine (the left over byproduct from making bio), I will mention that disposal is not a big deal. You get about 20% glycerine left over from producing the bio. It contains the glycerine, the free fatty acids that you removed from the cooking oil, some methanol, and some left over lye. Once the methanol is removed (some will distill the methanol out and reuse it for bio production, or others just let it evaporate out), it is pretty inert. Some say it is not toxic, but I have a problem with saying that a product that contains lye is not toxic. It can be composted, made into soap, or used for things like weed killer, engine degreaser, floor cleaner, etc. I use some of my glycerine along the fence line to stop the grass/weeds from growing, I do the same at the legion hall I am a member of, and I sell some to the local auto repair shop. They clean the shop floors with it, and love it for engine degreasing. It is a soap type product. It lathers up, cuts grease, etc. Some bio brewers have a side business where they sell fancy yuppie soaps made out of it. They add some fragrance to it, and even have to add a little more lye to it to make it lather up more. It is really not a big deal to deal with. Does a nice job on my garage floor and my motorcycles. My truck engine is one of the cleanest in town. I just read a recent article where a gent has developed a cheap process of turning glycerine into radiator fluid, so another use. Yes I have read about making it into logs or balls for burning, but have not done to much homework on that yet.

    Lastly, as far as winter use, I live in michigan. In the coldest of weather, I reduce my concentrations of bio down to 30% (called b-30) added to number 2 diesel. No need to use number 1 diesel. I question the lubrication qualities of number 1, but if your adding bio, then that is greatly enhanced. I usually run about 50% (called b-50) in winter except for the really cold months where I go down to 30%. I just listen to the weather forecasts, and if a cold snap is coming, I either don't add as much bio, or just go top off the tank with number 2. I do use a antigel in the winter, but that is no different than if I was just running plain old number 2. I may toss in an extra dose every now and then.

    I have played with different concentrations, adding certian amounts of bio to number 2 and then chilling in a freezer. I am good to about 0 degrees F when running 30%. It does vary some depending upon what type of cooking you oil you get as the different types gel at different temps. Not a big issue for me to do this.

    Couple little bits of info: Just 2% of biodiesel added to your fuel will far exceed the auto manufaturers requirements for lubrication of the fuel system. Something to seriously think about with the new ultra low sulpher diesel fuel being mandated in about 3 monhs. This new fuel has decreased lubrication qualities, and older vehicles may have problems with the new fuel.

    Windshield washer fluid has methanol in it, and most heavy duty degreasers and household cleaners like fantasttick, 4-09, purple power, and products like that have sodium hydroxide in them. So the chemicals are not all that scary or "exotic". You still need to use common sense and heed all saftey warnings.

    Hope this helps, hope I answered all the questions. Good luck, KD
  22. Chopper

    Chopper Member

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    Very interesting....one more silly question. Is there by product that is highly flamable or maybe even explosive? I had a freind of mine had a "close shave" with some byproduct.But he still swears by bio.
  23. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, only if the guy did not let the methanol evaporate out first. Their is residual methanol in the glycerine. If the storage container of glycerine is kept closed, the methanol will remain. Some guys distill it out and reuse it. Others just take the container outside and leave the top off for awhile, and let the methanol evaporate.

    Making sure the meth is out of there is imprtant. If the glycerine has not been de-methed, and then used for say cleaning a shop floor, then their is a high chance of going up in smoke. Electric motors, sparks, cigarrettes, all can be a source of ignition.

    Sounds like your buddy was not being carefull, had to much to drink, or maybe both. This is kind of the reason I am not to keen on making glycerine logs. I can only imagine what would happen if this stuff was put into a fire still containing meth. A little heat would make it all vapor off, and just the slightest spark or open flame would really give someone something to thing about for awhile.

    Another issue with burning it is it can produce a toxin called acreolin (sp?) if not burned at a high enough temperature. I think some of the more experienced wood burners in this forum are familiar with this term. KD
  24. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Can BIO diesel be used in portable Kerosene heaters?
  25. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Warren, yes you can, but I have no experience with it. I would be concerned about the fumes, but once again, it will burn if your talking about the wick type kerosene heaters. I use some in my "Tiki" torches around the deck. I think the smell is less offensive than citronella, but not sure if it chases the bugs away any better or worse.

    If your talking about a torpedo heater, I have heard of ignition troubles with straight bio. I do not have any personal experiences with it. The biodiesel website I frequent will have the information and then some:

    http://tinyurl.com/nn7u3

    All the terms and such seem intimidating at first (when reading about making bio). I heard mention of bio about 3 -4 years ago when I bought my first diesel. I started reading up on it. I found it interesting. I made a mini batch, thought it was cool. Got a few gallons of cooking oil from the VFW, made a larger batch in a 5 gallon bucket. From that point on, I was hooked. Did the 5 gallon bucket thing for awhile, then moved up to a 10 gallon tank with a pump. Further improved my technique, started to do some more advanced steps like further cleaning and purifying the finished product, then moved up to a larger processor and have not looked back. Had trouble at first getting a reliable source of oil, but I made up some fliers and dropped them off to resterants near my home or on my way home from work. That finally paid off to the point where one place gives me a supply of oil that fits my usual consumption of bio. The other place says "take what you want when you want it". So, I am sitting pretty with oil supply. I had to reject some offers, as the oil quality was poor or it was lard (veg oil is the stuff to use) In the winter, when I go down to b-30, I can't use it all, but that is where I give it to a guy who uses it for heating in the winter. Works well for both of us. I would hate to tell my supplier I can't take his oil, as I feel responsible for taking all of it once I/we committed. It does the rest. owner no good for me to take the oil in the summer only, and then he has to deal with it in the winter. They usually have to pay to have it removed. I don't charge anything to take it away. Win win for both of us.

    Anyways, there is a learning curve in order to make bio, but once again, it is not hard. I am not a rocket scientist, just an average Joe who can read instructions and follow them. Thats pretty much what it biols down to. That and being safe. The fumes are flammable (thanks Chopper), but 99% of the process can be accomplished with closed containers, and the other 1% can be done outside, the fumes are also toxic untill the process is complete, thus the other reason for keeping the process "closed". Once again, common sense should prevail. I have heard of mishaps with bio production, so I feel responsible to mention the precautions.

    0.65 cent a gallon is pretty cool to me! Good luck, gotta go for a joy ride! KD
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