Bio-Diesel FAQ ( work in progress) - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
Bio-Diesel and Alternative Fuels FAQ Frequently asked questions in the Bio-Diesel and Alternative Fuels forum.

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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-27-2006, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Bio-Diesel FAQ ( work in progress)

I see the same questions being asked over and over... and decided to try to author up an FAQ here that we can refer folks to.

This was attempted over at infopop, but the process got bloated and ugly quickly, and (last I saw), the attempt sort of died. (Admittedly, I did use some of the lingo that I saw over there... my thoughts here aren't that original).

I figure that what I can do is start what I have so far, and as other folks want to answer other FAQ's that they see, they can tack on to the end of this thread... and eventually we will have an FAQ thread.

Have the moderator take out the irrelevant banter that occurs, and make it a sticky... and we have a place to corrall new folks into.

Here is what I have so far:

Is there anyone here running Bio/WVO?
Yes. Plenty of us are.

Should I run BioDiesel or WVO through my system? Is one better than the other?
It depends. We are all brothers here. The general rule of thumb is, <font color="red"> "Running BioDiesel means you convert the fuel to run with the vehicle. WVO means you have to convert the vehicle to run with the fuel." </font> Typically, if you have more than one diesel vehicle, running Bio seems to be the common path. If you have a single vehicle and don't want to mess with chemicals and mixing, WVO might be your better choice.

Is Bio/WVO for me? I have an (insert vehicle here).... what kit should I use?
Due to the recent HARD spike in petroleum prices, there are a lot of users that come to this forum (and others like it) seeking the "15 minute answer"... that is, they just want someone to answer a single question, so that they can go about their business. "Tell me what I want to know so I can go back to my life".

The bottom line is, no one can answer this question for you. Any "15 minute" answer won't suffice simply because once you take the dive, you are going solo.

In this forum, we are all independant... together.

While there are some people that have "broken out" and started commerical enterprises, it is important to note that this arena is still in experimental form. BioDiesel may have gotten some recent nods and warm fuzzies in the general world, but for the most part, our homebrew methods and shade-tree tinkering still seems to remain the red-headed bastard step-child to the diesel engine manufactures at large.

Every kit is different. Some are good, some are bad... just like any cross-section of products in any competive marketplace. You need to search, read, search, read, and search and read some more.

After that, take a step back and note that what you are paying at the pump represents the cost of the CONVENIENCE of having a 3rd party collect/filter/process/store/distribute your petroleum product for you... and give you the ability to fill up your tank all over the nation.

BioDiesel and WVO may offer significant cost savings, but the trade-off here is that the "convenience" factor is gone. You are doing your OWN collection... your OWN processing... your OWN storage... etc etc etc.... not to mention the fact that if your engine takes a nose-dive (for ANY reason), not many Ford Dealerships will give you the time of day once they find out you decided to go against the grain.

What kind of mileage/performance differences are there in running BioDiesel or WVO? There are two answers to this question. 1) It's free... who cares?
2) From what I have gathered, if you compare a single drop of WVO to a single drop of #2 Diesel, the petro-fuel contains APPROXIMATLY 5-10% more potential combustible energy than the WVO. While this SEEMS like it should translate to a 5-10% drop-off in mileage and power, most (if not all) folks never seem to notice. So while the scientists in lab coats wag their fingers, the rest of us just shrug and say "whatever".


Can I use "off-road" (red) Diesel in my truck? Can I use heating oil? Will it hurt anything?
The only thing you are hurting is your wallet if you are caught. The risk that you run is getting nabbed by the police/IRS. "Off-road" diesel is intended for use in machinery such as farm equipment that doesn't typically travel on public roads, and therefore is cheaper because of the difference in fuel tax. Off-road diesel is dyed with a red coloring, making it easy to spot if a dip-stick is ever placed in your fuel tank. From what I have read, the fine from the IRS alone is $1000 or $10/gallon... whichever is greater. This penalty doesn't include any fines from your local/state government.

Can I just use any type of oil?
Most (if not all) vegetable-based cooking oil will work for BioDiesel and WVO... in general folks like to find quantities of non-hydrogenated oil, as it has the lowest gel/cloud point... making it much easier to manipulate/filter/use in lower temperatures. Most folks also (with a few exceptions) tend to stay away from the hydrogenated oil used at fast food restaurants, as it has the consistency of Lard/Crisco at room temperature and is very hard to work with.

Can I just throw a few gallons of WVO into my stock tank without modifying anything?
"Cutting" your #2 diesel fuel with WVO is a common practice, particularly in the warmer climates. Typically, you will see this as something like "10/90", representing a combination of 10% WVO and 90% #2 Diesel. The short answer is "Yes", but again... this is a process that goes well beyond the "15 minute answer". In short, you want to pay CLOSE ATTENTION to how you are changing the viscosity of your fuel. The additional X-factor here is the ambient temperature of your area. Hotter temperatures in the summer mean you can typically mix higher percentages of WVO with your fuel. Lower ambient temperatures mean (obviously) that a lesser ratio should be used.

Can I burn WMO? (Waste Motor Oil?)
There has been a lot of discussion on this topic..... and the brotherhood here seems to be divided evenly into the "YES" camp, and the "NO" camp. While the general consensus is that you CAN (everything has a flashpoint)... the answer might just be that you SHOULDN'T. (I am trying to stay impartial here, and avoid any flaming). WMO contains the very stuff that your engine is trying to get RID of... and turning it right around and stuffing it into the other end of your piston chamber makes some people uneasy. That being said, there are a number of folks who surface here from time to time talking about their successful blends of WMO to #2 Diesel whenever this question arises.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-27-2006, 11:55 AM
 
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

very good points!

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-27-2006, 11:19 PM
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

I think its good,&amp; should be a help. Cant hurt. If someone wants more, let them read-on or ask. You got my two thumbs up!

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 07:46 AM
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

Plenty of "blending" questions out there too.
Sticky including blenders seems to be needed.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

Ok... I added some more stuff.

Admittedly, my knowledge is lacking on the BioDiesel side. Anyone on that side wanna contribute some FAQ's?

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 11:25 AM
 
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

could you possibly call blending 'solvent thinning' instead? I think newbies get confused about things like B11 or B20 and what you're describing. I was going to start a Thinning forum at the infopop biodiesel forum and am on a big campaign to get people to stop calling it blending for htis reason

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 12:30 PM
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

Anyway you slice it, I wouldn't put xylene and other highly reactive solvents through my fuel system.

About the same as putting mothballs in your gastank to get more power at the dragstrip.


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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

How about we keep the term "blending" for the Bio, and "cutting" for the WVO/WMO/RUG/Hydraulic side?

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-28-2006, 01:10 PM
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

"Cutting" would be a perfect term for it as you are modifying the viscosity of the primary fluid by solvent addition.


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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

[ QUOTE ]

Can I just use any type of oil?
Most (if not all) vegetable-based cooking oil will work for BioDiesel and WVO... in general folks like to find quantities of non-hydrogenated oil, as it has the lowest gel/cloud point... making it much easier to manipulate/filter/use in lower temperatures. Most folks also (with a few exceptions) tend to stay away from the hydrogenated oil used at fast food restaurants, as it has the consistency of Lard/Crisco at room temperature and is very hard to work with.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hal
I am a little lost, isnt most of the oil at fast food restraunts the vegetable based cooking oil?
If we dont use the stuff from fast food restraurants where or where does most of the oil come from. Honestly I cant think of a more ready supply of WVO.
Getting ready to set up a system for filtering/heating/settling in my basement but need to find out where to get the WVO
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

[ QUOTE ]
Most folks also (with a few exceptions) tend to stay away from the hydrogenated oil used at fast food restaurants, as it has the consistency of Lard/Crisco at room temperature and is very hard to work with.

[/ QUOTE ]

I just finished a load of oil from a fast food place that titrated at 18 KOH. Two stage process with 1.5ml per liter acid and an 8 hour mix got the titration down to 3. 38 gallons of WVO yielded 34 gallons of BD. The oil was very clean and smelled good, just high FFA. I will continue to use this supplier since he also offered free lunch once a week as payment for services.

I have looked into lots and lots of oil dumpsters, barrels and vaults and have never seen crisco at room temps. AS far as hard to work with, I do not understand at all. You need to heat the oil to 130 degrees to process it, so heat it and process it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shrug.gif[/img]

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 08:41 AM
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

OK you got my attention.

I've changed the title to reflect the FAQ

You should be able to edit this over the next few days until the time limit kicks in.

From then on, any changes or additions will need to be submitted to me ( pm preferred) so that I may add to the post.

Let me know if thsi sounds like a good idea
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]

Can I just use any type of oil?
Most (if not all) vegetable-based cooking oil will work for BioDiesel and WVO... in general folks like to find quantities of non-hydrogenated oil, as it has the lowest gel/cloud point... making it much easier to manipulate/filter/use in lower temperatures. Most folks also (with a few exceptions) tend to stay away from the hydrogenated oil used at fast food restaurants, as it has the consistency of Lard/Crisco at room temperature and is very hard to work with.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hal
I am a little lost, isnt most of the oil at fast food restraunts the vegetable based cooking oil?
If we dont use the stuff from fast food restraurants where or where does most of the oil come from. Honestly I cant think of a more ready supply of WVO.
Getting ready to set up a system for filtering/heating/settling in my basement but need to find out where to get the WVO
Cheers [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]

Hmm... maybe I should have worded that a little better. I know that there are some folks here that get their oil (in DROVES) from potato chip factories, or nacho-chip factories... and I know that there was some banter tossed around for using unprocessed peanut oil.

Halitosis

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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-29-2006, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

[ QUOTE ]

I have looked into lots and lots of oil dumpsters, barrels and vaults and have never seen crisco at room temps. AS far as hard to work with, I do not understand at all. You need to heat the oil to 130 degrees to process it, so heat it and process it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shrug.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]

I too have looked in a lot of dumpsters, and I have found that the fast food restaurants (in this area at least) just don't have good looking oil. I also know from reading tons of posts that people tend to see out the higher quality oil/non-hydro oil.

I wrote that thinking about the WVO process... hydrogenated oil is harder to work with because it turns to damned near solid when you are trying to pump it into your tank. Temperature cools down a bit, and you have to find a way to heat it up just to move it into your vehicle. Royal pain.

I am sorry... I wasn't thinking about the BioDiesel apsect when I wrote that part. If you want to write up a quick diddy, I'll amend that paragraph to include the BioDiesel stuff.

To that end, as I stated previously, I am LIGHT in BioDiesel knowledge, as I chose the WVO route. Anyone who wants to write up a few FAQ blurbs on the BioD side... that would be great!

Halitosis

'02 Ford Excursion Limited
7.3L PSD -- 170,000 Miles
Hellwig Sway Bar
Firestone Ride-Rite Air-Helper Springs
203* Thermostat
Teconsha Prodigy Brake Controller
Sirius Satellite Radio

1995 BMW (Euro-spec!) M3
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2002 Human Son

"7/5 children suffer from ADHD... won't you help?"

(Running Vegistroke WVO system (HIH)--> 75,000 MILES AND COUNTING!)
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-12-2006, 07:34 PM
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Re: Jockeying for a sticky note post

OK... All the talk about making your own BD, but what about the stuff I've seen at the pumps across NE? At one station all but one pump were BIO. I'm assuming it's OK to use but WOW the price doesn't seem as if you'd want to. No cheaper than #2, not that that's the only reason you'd want to.
(Owned mine less than a year and my first Diesel so be gentle.)

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