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Thread: Biodiesel?

  1. #1
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    Question

    So what do think of biodiesel and has anyone else out there tried it? I run a little 81 VW NA diesel and have made some for it and tried it out. Works preety good and doesn't gel like SVO.

  2. #2
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    what is "biodiesel"?

  3. #3
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    Biodiesel is the methyl or ethyl ester of a vegetable oil. It is used as an enviromental alternative to petro diesel. You make it by mixing an alcohol (methanol or ethanol) with lye and then reacting that with vegetable oil. The trigylceride is denatured and the glycerin is allowed to settle. The supernatant liquid (top layer) is then put right into you diesel tank. Great stuff really. No CO2 build up in the atmosphere. Any other questions?

  4. #4
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    Can't you just put veg. oil right in the tank?

  5. #5
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    Nope. It will gel when it gets cool and the viscosity is too high for the fule pump to inject it correctly. Needs to be about 120F or so. That is for straight veg oil. Mix it 50/50 with kerosene and you are ok. but that defeats the purpose.

  6. #6
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    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&i...=Google+Search
    http://www.crrh.org/hemptv/misc_Hempsters.html

    [This message has been edited by Daisy (edited June 29, 2004).]

  7. #7
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    Hemp is fast growing and very prolific. I am all for the use of industrial hemp, personal use of the skunk is up to the individual. I don't partake but find nothing wrong with those that do. Just like alcohol, regulate it and make some tax money off of it.

  8. #8
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    >The government already steals SIXTY PERCENT OF OUR MONEY!

    Fourty percent is pretty easy to substantiate. Sixty may be accurate if you take into account the taxes we pay on taxes. When the food in the grocery store already has the price higher to cover the tax on the fuel the truck used to haul it there and you pay sales tax on that amount, it starts compounding.

    Where did you find the 60% figure?

  9. #9
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    Yes MB, you're precisely right.

    When you take into account the taxes, on top of taxes, they never stop bleeding us.
    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/yearoftheslave.html

    We are indentured slaves....

    http://www.libertocracy.com/Webessay...Tax_Burden.htm

    [This message has been edited by Daisy (edited July 01, 2004).]

  10. #10
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    Big Grin

    Ummm.... Biodiesel????

  11. #11
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    Sep 2003
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    Chemist, you might find his interesting.
    Besides keeping bees, and trying to make lots of dough to pay my taxes, I am setting up a small cogeneration plant. have done all the preliminary testing, and it all works, now am in the last assembly stage. I am using 2 Lister clone engines (do a google on Listeroid), 10hp and 12hp each, to turn large induction motors faster than their normal spped so as to generate power. I will make about 60 amps continuous at 240V three phase. This is where the "co" in cogeneration comes in, diesels are tpically in the range of 27% to 35% efficient, and that 73% to 65% difference, which largely goes to heat in the exhaust and cooling air, will be largely recovered to heat my house and other buildings. Free heat. I will burn waste vegetable oil, not biodiesel, it burns just fine when it warmed up and filtered. That of course is the trick, you must keep it warm. They do this for vehicles by the way too, but it seems like a hassle to me to have to switch tanks to keep normal easy starting diesel in the injectors for the next startup, but I digress.
    I can, and have, burned filtered waste engine oil. Much less smoke than you woiuld think, too. Both of these oils make the engines slightly harder to start (both are currently hand cranked - I told you these were old style diesels )
    But once started they run with every bit as much power as straight diesel and posssibly better. I got a continuous 10.3 kW electric output from the 12hp rated engine generator setup, and 12hp is only 8.8kW rating! So minus the generator and friction losses that's a large output for that engine in any case.
    If you would like to discuss more, you can email me at billkichman (at)comcast (dot) net. I will supply my tel number if you wish to call too.

    But I agree about the taxes too! I am self employed, and likely must work till July till I can keep my money each year. It's a crime in itself what taxes we are paying.

  12. #12
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    Fascinating... You will certainly be getting an email after I have some time to do a little research.

    On a side note the original diesel engine was designed to run on peanut oil at the same time a motor was designed to run on coal dust. But then big oil got their grubby paws in on it and well that was the end of all that was good about diesels. If only someone would produce a pump capable of atoming cold VO then we could get back to what it is about. Oh well.

  13. #13
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    Interesting arguement. I think I posted this somewhere else too.
    http://argument.independent.co.uk/co...p?story=524230

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    You bet, Chemist, the diesel was designed for peanut oil by Mr. Diesel himself. Most diesels will still burn it straight just fine, but as I am sure you are aware, it needs filtered, and it clogs filters at a nasty pace, but if it is heated, just like honey, it moves through a filter, and the injectors much better. In my test run with veggie oil, I set up a second tank filled with veggie oil on a warm 70 deg day, and while the engine was running (unloaded) switched over the valves. I noticed nothing different except that the exhaust had a "back of the restaurant" type of smell and was more whitish in color. When I burned motor oil, it ran pretty much identically to diesel. Ran well under load too, as I espoused previously. No more smoke really than with diesel. But like I said, harder to start, just a bit.

    Many people are now running their cars on straight filtered veggie oil, and I am considering doing the same, but one thing at a time. I have 4500 gallons storage capacity so it shouldn't be a problem to feed a car or truck. I see that Europe is coming out with ever nicer cars in diesel configuration, even sports cars.

    I found that biodiesel message board (that coyote put up a link to a couple messages ago) about 6 months ago. Mostly biodiesel converts. I think biodiesel is just too much hassle, cost and danger. I have 3 big tanks, 1100 gallons and 1600 gal sizes plus some 275 gallon types. Fill one, let it settle a couple months before using it. Settling is the best filter. Then tap only the top 70 percent and drain off the bottom once in a while to waste. Some are mixing the crud off the bottom with sawdust in oj containers to use as "firewood". Haven't tried that yet. I do wonder if the oil melts and makes a mess. Another link I located related to filtering mentioned using several tanks in series, the more the better, for series filtration. This is what I will be doing. I will manually valve the output of the selected 1 of the 3 big tanks, which will feed into a series of 15 gallon poly tanks I happen to have. Will feed into the top of the first tank, and it has a bottom drain that is piped to the top of the next tank. And so on for 3 or 4 tanks. Add some drain valves to drain off the scum that accumulates, and run it properly so the crud isn't stirred up, and the increasingly settled material should be nearly clean at the other end even before it gets heated and filtered.

    Racor makes a nice turbine separator filter that is used on big engines and boats. FG500 or some such model I believe is popular. Even better though is the old bypass oil filters that use toilet tissue rolls. Frantz oil filters. They have been making them since DeSotos were on the road, kind of a cult following, I don't know why, they do a super fantastic job of cleaning the engine's oil. Heat the veggie oil, run it slowly through that filter, and when the filter needs changed, it costs less than a buck, and the element will burn really well in the old wood stove to boot. I picked up a couple of these setups on Ebay used, as they are not cheap.

    I guess that's enough for now, probably I put half of you to sleep.
    Cheers

  16. #16
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    You certainly didn't put me to sleep. I found the lister motors interesting. We have an antique engine club here in Hookstown and several of the men have listers. Never knew they were oil burners though. Wouldn't have guessed as they don't clack like a throttled diesel does. I have found that for a car biodiesel is the way to go but you are correct that for a stationary SVO is the good bet. Being a chemist turned computer geek I always find myself tinkering in the basement with my first love, chemistry. I sort of gave up on the SVO/Biodiesel but I think I may start tinkering again.

  17. #17
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    Do a Google searce on "Stirling engines" or "Stirling cycle" for an interesting alternative engine.

  18. #18
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    I haven't read this whole thread yet, but all of our larger vehicles here at Mammoth Cave National Park operate on biodiesel and the other vehicles use propane.
    Wayacoyote

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