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1981 300D with a funny tranny
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning alternative fuel made from vegetable oil. Its for use in diesel engines only and requires no vehicle modifications or conversions to use. It ia more lubricating to both your engine and fuel injection than regular petrodiesel, so may prolong your engine life.

How is it made?

To make biodiesel, vegetable oil is put through a chemical reaction to break off the thick part of the molecule, so that the result is thinner and works like petrodiesel to your engine. Recycled biodiesel is made out of used cooking oil and requires no cropland for its production!

Cleaner Emissions!
Has 80-90% less carcinogens and 50% fewer particulates in its emissions than petrodiesel! The production and usage of biodiesel results in a 80% reduction of CO2 emissions, the major contributor to unnatural climate change/global warming.

Closed carbon cycle:

The CO2 emissions from the tailpipe equals the CO2 consumed from the plans its made off.

Non- Toxic
The EPA has concluded that is non-toxic and biodegradable. Less toxic than table salt and biodegrades faster than sugar.

Non- flammable
if you drop a match in a biodiesel bucket it will go off. ignition point is 350F, gas is -43F.

Renewable
Petroleum will run out, we can always grow more plants.

Peaceful.
Can be produced domestically, it lessens the dependence in foreign and domestic oil drilling, reducing also the risk of the common oil spills. It contributes to local economy and the good use of used oil that otherwise needs to be dumped.

Want to learn more? read this awesome book, short, easy, interesting and cheap! $9.99!
Biodiesel, growing a new energy economy by Greg Pahl


Click to see some Oil spills



PLEASE VOTE ON THE THREAD.
 

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It's great for cleaning out the fuel system from what I've heard. I'd like to try it if it wasn't so expensive.

The Chevron station by my house currently has diesel #2 listed at $3.32/gal
The local biodiesel station (Biofuel Oasis in Berkeley) has it at $4.09/gal
 

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Today, I bought 11 gallons of B100 at $2.89/gal at Extreme Biodiesel in Corona, CA. The gas station down the street had #2 for $3.55/gal.
 

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1984 300D
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So I'm a little puzzled. In your first post, you seem to be extolling the virtues of bio diesel, but in your signature line you confess that the making of biodiesel takes more resources than fossil fuel diesel and consumes food that might be better used to feed the starving masses. In my somewhat informed opinion, biodiesel has a useful purpose if made from waste oil in your back yard. Biodiesel made from new oil in refineries built for that purpose is not economically feasible nor sustainable. We can't burn our food supply.
 

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1984 300TD
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When I'm flush w/$ I splurge on biodiesel. I notice my car runs quite a bit "smoother" on the biodiesel - not so much clackity-clack.
B100 for $2 a gal. in Corona? It's almost worth making the trip out there at that price! I buy mine at Manning Fuel in Sun Valley-it's upwards of $4 a gallon right now. :eek:
 

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1981 300D with a funny tranny
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
So I'm a little puzzled. In your first post, you seem to be extolling the virtues of bio diesel, but in your signature line you confess that the making of biodiesel takes more resources than fossil fuel diesel and consumes food that might be better used to feed the starving masses. In my somewhat informed opinion, biodiesel has a useful purpose if made from waste oil in your back yard. Biodiesel made from new oil in refineries built for that purpose is not economically feasible nor sustainable. We can't burn our food supply.
I didn't say it takes more resources. Yes, I'm not agree with using B100 made out of new vegetable oil.It defeats the purpose of using an alternative fuel. Specially if its made with GMO crops that do not have high oil content like soy or corn. Hemp could be better but still have to be planted in huge fields.

The environmentally friendly side of new veggie oil/new biodiesel is that the way to get it produces oxigen and consumes CO2, photosynthesis is wonderful. What refineries to make biodiesel are you talking about? I have only seen very small scale stuff that makes a lot of gallons a day. It would be interesting to see those Biodiesel refineries, I had no Idea they existed.

Here in Berkeley there is a pump, Biofuel Oasis, that only uses recycled veggie oil to make biodiesel, and I feel very grateful for their business so we have the choice of using it. Is 4.09 a gallon but there is a lot of effort in the prodiction for us to have a choice over the oil drilling.

And about the starving masses, I really think we are to many humans in the world. And there is social and political reasons why that is a reality. It could be solved if decisions were taken without greed. The humankind is not just, that is why in the US there is an immense amount of people sick or dying of consequences from obesity. I don't think the world will starve because of biodiesel or if we do not do biodiesel then people will not starve.
 

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1981 300D with a funny tranny
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Discussion Starter #7
It's great for cleaning out the fuel system from what I've heard. I'd like to try it if it wasn't so expensive.

The Chevron station by my house currently has diesel #2 listed at $3.32/gal
The local biodiesel station (Biofuel Oasis in Berkeley) has it at $4.09/gal
I pump in that station, I know is more expensive, but is that really out of your budget? The fact that petrodiesel is cheaper and it will probably always be should not stop you from enjoying the privilege to pump recycled biodiesel made out of waste veg. oil. They are making that choice possible for us! And supporting their bussines will bring the price down eventually... I hope. I made my maths and it only makes me spend like $40 more a month. Not bad for what it is, that is important if you care for the planet and the change we need more than a few bucks that can be spent in whatever else. I would say try it for a month and see if it really makes you go bankrupt.:p
 

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1998 E300, 2006 R350
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In my somewhat informed opinion, biodiesel has a useful purpose if made from waste oil in your back yard. Biodiesel made from new oil in refineries built for that purpose is not economically feasible nor sustainable. We can't burn our food supply.
I agree. And therein lies the beauty of it for us hobbyist/homebrewers. We are taking what is essentially a waste product and making great fuel out of it for about $.70/gallon. Knowing what it takes to make biodiesel makes me wonder how some of these commercial biodiesel producers can remain sustainable even with the government subsidies. And what's going to happen when these subsidies are phased out? When pump#2 goes back up over $4/gal., I really don't think most people will pay $1-$2/gal. over that. Until there are advancements in other potential oil crops like algae, jatropha, etc., I truly believe that the source of waste fryer oil will see long term sustainable useage primarily from hobbyist/homebrewers.

So many reasons why I make/use biodiesel. I like being less reliant on the 'grid', being able to fill up my tanks in my driveway with fuel that's good for my engines, and knowing less of my money is ending up in 'questionable' countries. I'm burning cleaner, and it's a pretty cool hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I know, there is more oil in azolla and duckweed than in soy or corn. Both aquatic plants can be grown in water treatment plants to clean used water.
But the 'fuel' of human decision is profit and greed. So big investors are not going to do it. And PetroGangsters have already gone to war. So, who's gonna wanna try to mess with their profit?

I would be more worried of 'questionable' companies like BP. check their oil spills.
 

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1984 300D
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The engine was designed to run on it.
I'm not sure what engine you have that was designed to run on WVO, but the engine in my Mercedes was designed to run on petro diesel. Yes, it has been proved that a diesel engine can be made to run on vegetable oil, but Mercedes did not design the engines in our vehicles to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Diesel is a refined product from oil, such as gas or kerosene or plastics. The source of oil can be petroleum (which is a big business) or vegetable oil, or even lard. The source is not as important as the refined product chemical proprieties.
The downside for engines that were designed to use diesel, is that when designed they were assuming that petroleum was going to be the only source for diesel, so they used natural rubber in all hoses and rubber parts as is compatible with petroleum. Biodiesel, has more solvent/lubricating proprieties than petrodiesel therefore it slowly melts natural rubber, that is why we need to change those fuel lines when they are old. But it takes years for the new rubber to be damaged by biodiesel. I needed new fuel lines in for injectors in my 30 year old mercedes but none for my 12 yr old VW.
As is known for engines like OM616/617, injection quality is a problem. Once you do a diesel purge to clean the sediments from petrodiesel, and from there use only biodiesel you will not experience such clogging. If there is more sediments to be released from the tank or other fuel lines, maybe. But that is petrodiesel sediment been cleand out by biodiesel.
Biodiesel, need to be well done. Any bad fuel will not be good for any engine. That is why I'm so happy and grateful with Biofuel Oasis around the corner.
=D

P.S. Biodiesel is not the same as running an engine with straight vegetable oil. Unfortunately, I have not seen a successful experiment with that yet. Biodiesel and petrodiesel are the same diesel made out of different sources. Raw or Straight vegetable oil is what it is, there is no refining in to diesel. I wouldn't do that yet, until I understand it better.
 

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Biodiesel does not equal Veggie Oil or WVO

I think that there are some confused readers who equate biodiesel with either vegetable oil or waste vegetable oil. It is extremely important to emphasize that biodiesel is processed from an oil source which might be veggie or might be dino. It is NOT just shoving veggie oil in your tank and running with it.
 

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1984 300D
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Why to not use bio-diesel!

The OP posed a question: Why should I use bio-diesel? I think there have certainly been adequate responses that list a number of reasons--real or imagined--as to why burning bio-diesel is a good idea. Don't get me wrong, I think burning bio-diesel is good as long as it is made from waste oils. I think it is awesome that an individual can cook up his own fuel. Running some bio-diesel through your engine on a regular basis may obviate the need for diesel purges since the bio-diesel will dissolve much of the crud left behind by the petro-diesel.

However, there are also reasons not to burn bio-diesel.

1. Winter is just around the corner in my part of the world. As the temperature drops, bio-diesel starts to gel long before petro-diesel. Maximum bio-diesel should be B50 if it gets chilly where you live, or you may wind up with a gelatinous mass in your fuel tank.

2. In spite of Mr. Scrooge suggesting that the poor masses should "die and decrease the surplus population." the poor have and always will be with us. Converting edible crops to bio fuels has driven up the world wide price of grains. The poor nations that live way below the poverty level cannot afford even a minor rise in the price of food. It is not socially responsible for the developed nations of the world to convert massive portions of the worlds food supply to bio fuels. No one thinks it is possible to supplant petro-fuels with bio-fuels. We couldn't grow enough crops to do so. Bio-fuels are just a minor player on the energy stage, are only affordable by those with enough disposable income to splurge, and do not have enough of an impact on so called green house gasses to make any real difference.

3. Bio fuel production is not without environmental impact. It takes energy to heat the oil, it takes a chemical reaction to produce the biodiesel from the oil. Methanol and lye are both hazardous chemicals. There is waste water produced and chemicals vented to the atmosphere. The process is also not without risk as shown in this article about an explosion at a biodiesel refinery in Washington.

Forceful explosion rocks Imperium biodiesel refinery - Biomass - Renewable energy news - Recharge - wind, solar, biomass, wave/tidal/hydro and geothermal

4. Again, I emphasize that I think it is a good idea to convert waste oils to bio-fuels. I intend to brew my own in the future. But anybody that looks to bio-fuels to save the planet from green house gasses will be disappointed. Even if everybody in responsible developed nations converted to bio-fuels for all energy consumption, there would be a very small change in green house gasses world wide. The amount of green house gasses produced by the developed nations pales in comparison to that pumped into the atmosphere by developing nations such as China, India, Indonesia, Brazil. Besides, the amount of green house gasses produced by nature itself dwarfs that produced by people. Nature has proved time and again to be more robust than some give it credit for. Look at the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the crude that spilled into the ocean was consumed by hordes of microbes that live in the ocean and feed off of crude oil that naturally leaks into the ocean. We shouldn't be spooked into allowing draconian carbon regulation laws to be enacted. In the 1960s and 70s, the doom prophets were also predicting the end of the world through environmental catastrophe. We were supposed to live in fear of the "coming ice age." Well, that didn't happen. Now the tune is changing again from "global warming" to "climate change." That way, no matter if the earth is warming or cooling, they will be right. Pretty clever, no? Never mind the Earth has gone through cooling and warming cycles forever, and long before man began to burn fossil fuels.

So use bio-diesel if you wish. Support the local bio-diesel fuel stop when it makes sense for you. But realize the big picture before preaching bio-fuels as a new religion. I once lived in rural Arizona. My best friend was responsible for milking the family cow. When his cousins visited from Chicago, he invited them out to the barn to help him milk the cow. They would not drink milk after that. Funny they didn't know where milk came from.
 

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1981 240D
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If I wanted to homebrew BioDiesel, what would the initial investment be? I have seen it made on discovery channel and it seems like you need special equipment and chemicals. I think sometimes people confuse BioDiesel with SVO/WVO
 

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If I wanted to homebrew BioDiesel, what would the initial investment be? I have seen it made on discovery channel and it seems like you need special equipment and chemicals. I think sometimes people confuse BioDiesel with SVO/WVO
You are absolutely correct in that there is often confusion between the terms. Lately, here on the boards, there have been a few posts further blurring the differences.

Just to reiterate:

SVO/WVO (straight veg oil/waste veg oil) are the same thing when referenced to running directly into a diesel engine.

Biodiesel is virgin or waste veg oil converted on a molecular level called transesterification. It uses heat, methanol, and pottasium or sodium hydroxide to process. It changes the oil to a viscosity closer to that of pump diesel.

Here is another great place to get started:make-biodiesel.org
 

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1984 300D
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Mercedes didn't invent the diesel, Dr. Diesel designed them to use vegetable oil.
Yes, Dr. Diesel invented the diesel engine like the Wright Brothers invented the airplane. However, Mercedes designed and built the engines in our cars and Boeing designs and builds airplanes. The modern product has roots in the original invention, but has been developed far beyond the original genesis. And Mercedes designed our engines to run on petro-diesel.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
slcturbo:

The fact that most of the population is poor and less than 1% holds the most resources is not going to be solved or worsen by changing the source of diesel. I agree that soy or corn shouldn't be use to make oil. There is other plants that are a lot better for the purpose and while growing they can clean water. Like duckweed or azolla. Overall we should be recycling oil, which is what I do and I try to preach, instead of new oil.

Nothing we do has no environmental impact, but is a lot less impact than drilling oil offshore and spilling it. Going to war for it, burning it, making gas and plastics, etc.

The bacteria that can digest crude cannot exist in anaerobic conditions which were created by 'corexit' the dispersant used to hide the spill under the surface. The livestock that died because of the spill and because of the dispersant (from microbes, fish, birds,reptiles to mammals) added ammonia to the disaster. So BP made it worse.

Refining oil, will never be totally eco-friendly. I hope one day, the gangsters will allow us to use hidrogen fuel cell technology, or solar, or human power. But unless they find no profit in it is not going to happen.
For now we can do soap with the byproduct of refining biodiesel or fertilizer as I understand. (not agreed to fertilize with chemicals, I only use worm compost which eat my food scraps)

Biodiesel, will gel up with cold. You can use additives to avoid it or mix with petrodiesel as you recommend. Not needed here in the bay area, it doesn't get that cold.

As I understand the engines are designed to run in diesel, the rubber parts get worn quicker with biodiesel and the injection gets clogged quicker with petrodiesel. And as I wrote in the first post, there is a HUGE difference in what comes out of the exhaust.

Thanks for sharing info and keeping the discussion interesting,
looking forward to learn more! :)

-c
 
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