Bio-diesel, my impressions so far

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 11:17
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OK i have now used 2 tanks of bio-diesel, one from Marrickville and one from Milperra, didn't tow with the first tank, but i felt no differance when i filled up and the economy was a little better, the second tank from Milperra i towed our camper and even going from the servo to home to hook up the camper i noticed the car a bit sluggish, more so than my first tank.

After hooking up the camper for our trip to Yalwal we set off, from the driveway to the corner of our street it was bloody hopeless, for the first time ever i had to go back to first when turning out of our street into the road that takes us to the main drag.

The whole trip was bloody frustrating as i was going up hills in a gear lower than normal, on the way home i filled up with old diesel and once it mixed with the bio-diesel the differance was amazing, more grunt, i had my torque back and she was climbing hills like she used too.

I'll give it one more go, but not from Milperra this time from Marrickville.

So one more go and if it effects my towing i will have to not use Bio-diesel.

Baz.
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Reply By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 11:42

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 11:42
Baz, that's disappointing. Quite interested in bio-diesel (especially if it's efficient tho) - wonder if others are having the same conclusions. Did you end up having a nice camp? Did you have a Long Weekend down there?
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Follow Up By: Redback - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:17

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:17
Yep a good weekend and celabrated Nessies birthday, really dissapointed with the bio-diesel, as we tow all the time we go away.
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Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 15:43

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 15:43
Nessie must have been Sweet 16???
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Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:43

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:43
Baz, I can't find Yawal - figure it's NSW - please make clues easier than the Competition.
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Follow Up By: Redback - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 09:11

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 09:11
Aaaahh no 25, and it's 30min west of Nowra on Yalwal Rd
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Reply By: Footloose - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 11:53

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 11:53
Did you keep a check on your fuel filter ?
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Follow Up By: Redback - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:18

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:18
Yep, changed it after the first tank, looked pretty clean i thought.
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew W (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 00:27

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 00:27
Hi redback,

THe Biodiesel is a solvent, so it cleans the residues and sediment that have built up in you fuel system after years of use.

Like you, when I first moved to Biodiesel, I had one filter change and everything looked pretty fine.

But one trip of 1500 ks in 45 degree weather was enough to heat up the biodiesel, increase it's solvent capabiltiies considerably, and release the rest of the sediment - meaning I needed to do another filter change.

As Tim said further down, however, if the power returns when you change back to dino diesel, that is not your problem.

I hope that helps
Andrew.
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Reply By: Member - bushfix - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 11:59

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 11:59
G'day Baz,

interesting report. i have an old cocky mate back in WA who is using canola oil on the farm. He has been using someone else's plant to process it but is currenlty obtaining his own from overseas. For a demonstration, he got my uncle to take the HJ75 farm ute for a spin and it went like the clappers, very impressed. Is playing his cards very close to his chest though if you know what i mean.

Jeremy.
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Follow Up By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 12:47

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 12:47
Jeremy,

Not sure why your ol' mate is playing cards close to chest. Whether it's second hand vege oil, or brand new, Canola works fine in a diesel.

Mixes below 25% vege oil to diesel can be run without any mod, blends above that need a heat exchanger to heat the mix prior to the injection pump and injectors to ensure the viscosity is lower and the spray pattern of the injectors is correct. It is a real aid to the lubricosity of dino diesel and the engines run quieter, smell less, and use the same fuel volume. Canola has slightly less calorific value than dino, not a noticable difference.

Sorry to hear Baz having power problems. Bio should work the same as fossil Diesel, I'd be changing filters as suggested in the other post. Although adding more dinodiesel and getting your power back doesn't sound like filters, but you never know.

Tim
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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 13:19

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 13:19
G'day Tim,

well, let's just say that whenever anyone near the govt or industry has heard about it they want to inspect the gig etc. etc. As it statnds he can just run the operation without people wanting a piece of him. Good extra info thanks mate. Would be interested to find out the acreage he needs to make it sustainable wrt the primary purpose of the farm.

Jeremy.
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Follow Up By: Redback - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:25

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:25
Yeah know what you mean!!

Have been told now that the TD5 runs better on 50/50 and if chipped not to run Bio at all, something to do with how the ECU operates, which conflicts with all the reports i've been hearing from Europe, as all diesels in Europe are of a similar type (ie) modern diesel to the TD5, so who knows and whom do you believe.

Baz.
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:31

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:31
We had the chance to be a world leader in the bio field.
We could have had most diesel engines in Australia running on alt fuel.
We had the chance for individuals to make their own , thus saving oil and pollution.
So what did we do ? Put a bl$$dy tax on it ! Makes me sick. Diesel now more expensive than petrol, how stupid and short sighted.
WHEN will an Australian Govt do anything constructive towards the future of this country and planet? Their one reaction to ANYTHING is TAX.
Anyone making their own deserves a medal, not a tax !

*gets off soapbox*
Whew, the pills are working at last.
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Follow Up By: Max - Sydney - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:38

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:38
Footloose - you have got me puzzled. I thought the bio-diesel was lots cheaper because the tax is either less or non existent. I know at Mumdrabilla on the Nullabor I paid 25 cents a litre less for, I think 10% or maybe 20% blend. Even tho the fuel economy was a bit worse, it did not offset the cost saving by a long shot.

So what's about the tax - is it on the pills?

lol
Max
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Follow Up By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:43

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:43
Footloose,

There is a way around paying excise and still use bio fuel.

If you make fuel you need to pay the excise. Whether you are BP or just me. heh that rhymes. So our government decreed that they will not differentiate between BP and me if I make biodiesel. However, I'm not sure there is a Q of back yard bioD makers at the door of the ATO fessing up and laying their money on the table, but in theory they should be.

Blending Fuel.
It is illegal to blend an excisable fuel and a non excisable fuel or product. This is no doubt to stop servos blending with kerosene for example. Diesel is excisable, vege oil whether new or used is non excisable. So blending vege oil and diesel breaks tax laws.

However - this is the good bit; the optimal setup for a vege oil conversion is a two tank system where you start up and shut down on dino diesel, and switch over to heated vege oil when the engine reaches operating temperature.
This works the best for the engine, and it is also quite legal, as the fuels are kept separate and you are not blending them - which would be naughtly.

BTW, don't forget to keep breathing when on soapbox - it's important. :-)

There are heaps of links around the place for this stuff. A few good places to start are:
http://www.coolideas.ca/install.htm
http://www.ravenfamily.org/andyg/vegoil.htm
http://www.journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_svo.html

A good place to start is to keep an eye out for specials at the supermarket. If you find new vege oil at less than diesel price, buy 20 litres and pour it in on top of your diesel. My local Action supermarket has dumped Belgium vege oil on special at $1 at the moment. It'll all mix in nicely and you're likely to knock off the black smoke, smell nicer, and be saving money. You'll be breaking tax laws in the meantime, and as always, caveat emptor. Do your own research first.

Tim
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:48

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:48
Ok Max you got me. I didn't know that it was availiable there at a cheaper price. Was it availiable anywhere else across the Nulli bore ? :) From what I'm told it's around the same price as normal diesel ...if you can get it.
AFAIK, Early on there was no tax and people were making it for around 20c a litre from recycled cooking oil. Then the Govt slapped a tax on one of its components (ethanol ?), and the taxing structure is such that if you make your own and open your cake hole, you are up for the tax etc. So people now make their own stuff using heavens knows what and don't shout about it.
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:55

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:55
Tim, thanks for a great post. I'm now going to pop some vege oil in the old girl and run around town and see how I go. I guess 20% vege should be OK....maybe. Anyway with the price of diesel I'll give it a go...got another fuel filter here so I won't get caught out...I hope :))
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Follow Up By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 17:01

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 17:01
Footloose,

The methanol component, I think, of Biodiesel is what gives it the cleansing properties so loved by filter manufacturers.

As long as you put clean, either supermarket new or 5 micron filtered used, oil, then there are no cleansing properties in straight vege oil.

Remember - biodiesel and straight (or blended) vege oil are different beasts - and I have committed a sin by hijacking the original thread. Please forgive me Redback Baz.

Tim
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Follow Up By: Max - Sydney - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 19:03

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 19:03
Footloose

There was another one or two even on the SA side - Mundrabilla was the only WA one. Same deal - heaps cheaper for the blend.

The servos are SAFF and my Adelaide resident brother tells me they are pushing it pretty hard to develop a market for wheat.

Its only blend, but I think they sell 100% in Adelaide.

Max
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew W (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 00:24

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 00:24
There's no methanol in Biodiesel.

The original fatty acids are transesterified in the reactor used to make Biodiesel (one way or another) using a methanol-based solution (generally) of a salt like KOH or NaOH (otherwise known as caustic soda).

Any methanol remaining from the reaction is generally recovered for the next batch.

(just to OT Tim's OT thread).

Ciao for now
Andrew travelling fine on 100% biodiesel (from SAFF) whenever he can.
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Reply By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 12:00

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 12:00
Baz

It'll be interesting to see just what happens if you empty the current tank and fill up on Marrickville B100 again - and repeat the tow test. Have you spoken with the outlet in Milperra about your lack of power?
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Follow Up By: Redback - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:28

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:28
Yes mate, it will be and i will tow with the next tank.

I haven't spoke to them, it seems that the guy in the know there only works certain hours and the boofhead there couldn't tell us for certain when he'd be there.

Baz.
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Reply By: revhead307 - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 12:22

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 12:22
From what I have read after the first tank or two of biodiesel it pays to replace your fuel filter.

As the biodiesel has much better solvent properties than regular diesel it cleans out the crap buildup in your lines and sides of your fuel tank which can block the filter.

Havent used the stuff myself, but its just what they say on every other thread on the issue.

Regards

Rev
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Follow Up By: Redback - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:29

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:29
Yep did that after the first tank.
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Reply By: Laura B - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:42

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 14:42
not good dude!!

i notice in our 80 - lpg - if i use different gases......try a diff servo......ill see if there is any info at work about it or ya - work for caltex...

Laura B
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Reply By: Bilbo - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 15:03

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 15:03
As some of you would know, I've worked in the Oil Refinery game for 30 odd years and I've had a bit to do with bio-d.

There are alot of advantages for your engine when using bio-d, but power isn't one of 'em.

There is slightly less thermal energy in bio-d than there is "fosso diesel". As internal combutsion engines are built around thermal content of the fuel - bigger bang equals more power - then using bio-d will reduce power SLIGHTLY.

One of the reasons that a bio-d fueld engine seems to run quieter than a fossfuel engine is that "The bang in each cylinder" is slightly less. Plus bio-d has a bertter flame front propagation and cleaner burn than fossfuel -better comustion of the fuel available.

It's a bit like using LPG on a dual fuel petrol engine. When you're just cruising it's not a problem, but when asked to pull really hard then LPG's energy loss vs petrol fuel starts to make itself felt - slightly.

The best way to run bio-d is with a percentage of fossfuel That way you get all the advantages of bio-d with the power of fossfuel as bio-d helps fossfuel to burn better when it's ignited. Remember, all this thermodynamic stuff takes place in a nanosecond in an engine. It doesn't take much to change things.

Bilbo
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew W (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 00:33

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 00:33
The cetane rating on Biodiesel is generally higher than Dino diesel.

This, together with the more complete burn, results in more power unless something else is happening.

I don't know whether it's the best way for power, but yes - a blend like the "Premium Diesel" (20% Biodiesel) that SAFF sell everywhere is much better than just dino diesel.

100% biodiesel, however, is a totally renewable energy source with potentially zero net carbon dioxide emissions.

Ciao for now
Andrew.
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Follow Up By: Bilbo - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 01:57

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 01:57
Andrew,

I've viewed ASTM test data on a batch of well made bio-d and it's cetane number was slightly less than fossfuel. Perhaps it was that batch, as quality does vary as a result of which "fat" you started out with when making it.

But all good stuff anyway.

Thanks,

Bilbo

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Reply By: Wisey (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:32

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 16:32
Redback
Thanks for the info
I have the same story of Milpy', left my number for the "knowgledable one ohh veddygood" to ring me tell me what their fuel is but after days of nothing, I will wipe them. They didn't have a clue, not a single thing, apart from he only works/here until 1pm. They don't wish to have mine and others business.
I will factor in the trip to Mar'vlle.
I'll ZOOM straight past ZOOM @ Milperra, ohh veddy veddygood :-p
Andy
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Reply By: Peter 2 - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 18:24

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 18:24
I've had good results with the Marrickville B100, unfortunately there is aproblem between the retailer of the bio and the owner of the servo so supplies have stopped for the moment.
where is the servo at Milperra that is selling bio?
Peter
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome

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AnswerID: 160478

Follow Up By: Redback - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 09:16

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 09:16
Peter it's at the Zoom servo at River Rd and Milperra Rd next to the BP, near ARB southern.

Baz.
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Follow Up By: Peter 2 - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 20:27

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 20:27
thanks
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome

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Reply By: cokeaddict - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 18:53

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006 at 18:53
Hi Baz..forget marrickville mate...its not selling bio anymore for now..some serious despute between 2 parties has put a stop to that. I went down there yesterday arvo to fill up and only to be told the pumps have been locked. ALso noticed a price hike. So i went home and got my 4 cent voucher and filled up at woolies with the toxic stuff. If im gonna pay more for bio..its not worth it to me. Cost is critical over time. Weather its bio or toxic diesel..the cheapest fill is the way i decide.

Sounds like ur gilr didnt like it too much, Quite the oposite for mine though....she ran fantastic. But it was short lived.
Ange
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Reply By: Member - Bware (Tweed Valley) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 00:38

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 00:38
Another possibility is that the problem is something entirely and that it is just coincidence that it happened at the same time as fuel changes?
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Follow Up By: Member - Bware (Tweed Valley) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 09:18

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 09:18
Ooops, that's supposed to read 'something else entirely'
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