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Bio Diesel for heating

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Catskill, Sep 24, 2008.

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  1. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Right. If I had access to product, I would also use it in a vehicle first. A diesel can be run on nonconverted veg oil, with alterations to the vehicle fuel system. The important difference between diesel and veg is the temperature of vaporization and the viscosity. The minimum temp. of vaporization of veg is 145F and idealy higher, pref. 180F . Because a cold diesel will not start on veg, it is necasry to install an aditional diesel tank with valving A start /stop procedure would involve starting the engine on diesel, switching to veg upon warmup, then switching back to diesel before shut down to replace the veg oil in the engines fuel system with diesel.. A heat exchanger to preheat the veg may be nessary depending upon engine design, and fuel line routing. All this can be avoided if one wants to take the time and cost to convert the veg, and considering the very small fuel consumption of the vehicle you mentioned, it may be a better option. However if one were to use larger amounts of fuel, unprocessed may be more profitable.

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  2. Catskill

    Catskill New Member

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    Thanks for the recap of WVO cars, I'm fairly well studied up on those myself. You mentioned working on a generator earlier. If you'd care to share your experience I'd appreciate it.
  3. bayshorecs

    bayshorecs New Member

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    Seen too many trashed SVO engines myself. While some have good luck, high milage SVO cars are rare due to the strict disipline one needs to make sure they switch back and forth the fuel timely. Making a batch of BD100 takes me 2-3 hours at processor time for a 45 gallon batch. Cost is $.89 a gallon. After running 100k miles on my homebrew, I am pretty certain I am doing something right in my process.

    - No car conversions
    - No risk to motor (pre common rail or PD VW cars IMO)
    - Minor amount of effort
    - A whole lot more peace of mind

    I would love to get a small diesel generator myself to try out.
  4. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I am sure I don't know much you can't find online. If you can convert a car engine you can certainly do the same to a genset. As I said in my private post to you, I am posting here to try to help with the global warming scenario. If you need help designing a custom heat exchanger I may be able to offer some pointers, or answer specific questions. As I have no idea of your skills or knowledge, generalities are somewhat of a waist of time, as my last post illustrated. My main point was simply that the conversion process is not the only way to go, which may or may not be general knowledge depending upon who you are.
  5. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    A good source for small used diesel gensets here on the coast is marina/boatyards. Those with water cooled exhaust manifolds are particulaly well suited, as the ability to utilize waist exhaust heat is greatly simplified. Not sure if that helps, due to your location.
  6. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

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    Lube can also be a big problem. Waste vegetable oil can be many things - and some fats and oils have high lube, and some low. Not all diesel engines are worth messing with. Most automotive diesels in the USA have rotary-distributor injection pumps and they are the worse possible candidates for running on WVO. They cannot take much abuse, and just about always have much shortened lifes when used on homemade fuel. Most people that use them sucessfully (in a cost-effective sense) do so because they do their own repair work, and shop around for spare pumps - cheap. A spare pump might cost $50, where-as a pump sent to a registered shop for repair might cost $1000.
    Using a diesel with an in-line pumps is a much better choice as they are incredibly more rugged.
    That's what the very first sucessful diesel in the world used (NOT invented by Rudolph Diesel). Very common in the rest of the world - but not much here on autos and small trucks. Much more common on big-rigs, farm and industrial tractors. Only ones that come to mind are - a few Mercedes and Peugot cars and 1993 and up a few years on Dodge trucks with Cummins 5.9s.
    Volkswagen, Isuzu, General Motors, Ford-IH, etc. all use rotary-distributor pumps. Either the original invented by Vernon Roosa in the USA (Stanadyne/Roosmaster), or the licensed copies made by CAV, Lucas, Diesel Kiki, and Bosch.


    There are variations depending on the content of the homemade fuel. Some engines get by with only one tank and have the ability to make cold-starts on pure homemade fuel if it's hot real cold out (plus 30F). These variations use specific engines and specialized glow plugs made to help in starting with home-brew fuel. But yeah, for the most part - the two tank system is safer and better - especially with USA built diesels. Not much different than the 1930s - 1940s all-fuel farm tractors that ran on gas, alcohol, or diesel oil with spart ignition. They used dual tanks and a switch over valve. Always had to be started on gas, and then switched over when hot.
  7. Catskill

    Catskill New Member

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    Can I ask you where you get your methanol supply and a quick and dirty discription of your processor?
  8. bayshorecs

    bayshorecs New Member

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    I get my methanol from the local race track. Out of season, I get it from one of the propane distributors local here (pay a premium and sales tax though). In cold climates, propane companies use methanol to add a splash to the tanks. It absorbes the water vapor in the tank to keep the valve from freezing. The lye (KOH) is mail order or pickup from Boyer chemical in La Grange Illinois.

    My processor is a standard appleseed design for the most part (check out the infopop forums).

    - move the 45 gallons of raw soy WVO to the 55 gallon water heater tank
    - heat to 130F
    - titrate the oil to know how much lye to add
    - add 20% meth (around 9 gallons) + lye mix (most times about 1550 grams of lye)
    - process for 2-3 hours
    - settle and drain off glycerin
    - reheat to 180F and recover 1 gallon of excess meth from the 45 gallons of bio
    - move to settling tank and bubble air through the bio to remove trace amount of meth
    - move to centrifuge for polishing the final small amounts of soap left in the bio (stop when I get under 100ppm of soap)
    - move to storage tank
    - pump into the car
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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