Biodiesel and New Energy

Focusing on kinetic and electrical energy, particularly biodiesel, ethanol, and new hydrogen economy.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Canada

Please, America, join the Kyoto Treaty and reduce emissions. You can do it if you use biodiesel fuels.

Cheap Conversion?

i am planning on installing good fuel tank, fuel link, and piston heaters on the vehicle. i'd also like to add a splash tank of about a gallon that is closer to the piston which can be heated seperately and more quickly instead of heating the whole tank. by the time the splash tank completely cycles, the engine will be warm, and the fuel that enters the piston will be hotter universally than the same amperage through a larger amount of fuel.

but with the right fuel and this single conversion costing an estimated >$200, i am ready to roll on biodiesel in any environment. it'd be nice to get stronger glow plugs.

could heat alone prevent sprayer coking? if there was an element right up on the sprayer or piston, it might just melt the fatty acids off of the sprayer even under 100*C, leaving them to be combusted or go out the exhaust.


When Making BioDiesel...

This is a resource on the internet. Use with caution and other research.

When you are making biodiesel, you should take some of the best oil you can haul away for free, or use coconut oil because of it's high quality and litres per hectare of production.[*1] If you're hauling, titrate it to find the amount of free fatty acids, using this chopstick method i've heard so much about.[*2] If the Ph is too high or the free fatty acid count is too high [above perhaps 10 drops of lye required] then the biodiesel is not going to be so excellent ad will be difficult to make and could damage your engine.


So water and oil do not mix. Biodiesel is oil. However, there are mono- and diglycerides in the oil if it is poor due to impartial reaction. These are emulsifiers and, like cinco de mayonnaise, cause the oil to hold water. The water is not good for your engine and the mono-s and di-s will clog your injector, i am told. I say fry em off, but that's a hassle and tastes terrible.

I have been told that to remove the water from biodiesel you can add epsom salt. The epsom salt may actually absorb the water and then settle out or be filtered. That would be a fine method to remove the junk from your BD mix.

*1 - plus, coconuts rock
*2 - link found below for 'titration'

Biodiesel vs Vegetable Oil

Many of the possible pitfalls that an engine experiences from using biodiesel come from improper production. Biodiesel process is basically taking vegetable oil and replacing an ethyl- chemical group with methyl, using methanol and lye to get it to react. This makes soap and introduces slow-burning methanol to the fuel, both of which can be very bad for engines, and also allow for the possibility of water in the fuel which is also bad.

If your biodiesel comes out the other side with no soap methanol or water in it, and fully reacted by using the correct amount of lye, it will be a good deal for your diesel. Commercial producers can control and guarantee this status.

But you might not always be able to. Can you just run straight vegetable oil? If it is appropriately filtered to remove cooking particles and is of a favorablly neutral pH, and if you have installed a tank and fuel line heater, it should perform suitably. Should is the word, though.

It could be linseed oil, which is more corrosive. It could be very fatty oil, in which case it'd contain more bits and junk and contribute to clogging. You may still need to dewater the vegetable oil, which could be done with epsom salt, which would then have to be filtered out, or just boil it off, which takes a lot of energy.

It would also be a good idea to have the fuel entering your pistons be at around 160-170*F [~75*C] because that is about the viscosity of #2 diesel fuel, which your diesel's injectors were tuned for.

this can be achieved with a good fuel tank heater. it seems that most of the common problems of biodiesel and svo can be addressed with a fuel tank, fuel line, and piston heater, and properly prepared fuels.

i bet it's a lot easier and cheaper to prepare biodiesel than it is to make 93 octane, and that a fair deal less pollution is created in the process.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

You can convert your diesel engine to run on treated vegetable oil selling at about 80 cents a gallon.

That is the long and short of this page and a positive achievable goal for most drivers.

-The Links-
& - these are the best and easiest resources on biodiesel. - forums about biodiesel fuels - make your own biodiesel for even cheaper -wow we've got a magazine! & change
-- this is the best link and method i've found for testing vegetable oil ph to see how suitable it is for making into biodiesel. i also believe that if you check the ph of vegetable oil you can improve your selection of oils. -or buy biodiesel at any of these distributors.

The Facts
Rudolf Diesel built the first diesel engines in ~1896, running them on vegetable oil. The diesel engines displayed at the 1904 World's Fair in Paris ran on peanut oil. Vegetable oil provides as much power and torque as petrodiesel. Modern Indirect Injection [IDI] diesel engines work best with biodiesel.

A diesel engine can run on regular vegetable oil or biodiesel, which is a treated form of vegetable oil.

Since vegetable oil and biodiesel are gummier than petrodiesel, it will get syrupy at temperatures below about 50*F/12*C. This is easily remedied by using an electric fuel tank, line, and piston heaters. It is a good idea to let any car idle up when it is cold out to give the engine oil time to circulate.

Biodiesel is also more viscous [wetter, or more soapy] than petrodiesel. Using biodiesel will loosen any old fuel residues in your engine, so it is recommended that the fuel filter be changed after the first 800 miles using biodiesel. After this the fuel filter should function normally. This cleans your engine.

If you use waste vegetable oil [WVO] you will want to filter it before runing it, as it will probably contain particles. Putting it through a 1-micron filter before putting it in your engine will circumvent this problem. You should also test the vegetable oil's ph to ensure it is not too acidic. This can be done with emery strips. Acidic oil will eventually wear out your engine. Also examine the links about about titration, to test oil for free fatty acids [FFA] content. Lower FFAs mean better oil.

Makes. Models. -a bit on conversion

Vehicles built after 1993 to conform with ultra-low-sulfur-diesel all use treated rubber. Diesel engines commonly run longer than 500,000 to 1 million miles, but older cars use natural rubber, which will slowly corrode in the presence of biodiesel. If you do get a diesel older than 1993, be sure to replace the fuel line with one using treated rubber.

Since biodiesel has different properties than petrodiesel any vehicle you get will benefit from some conversion, but they are not so different that the conversion is mandatory. You can get good conversion kits from Diesel engines use pressure from glow plugs to combust the fuel. A biodiesel engine can benefit from stronger glow plugs. You may also want to 'retard the injection timing by 2-3 degrees'. The atomizer sprays fuel into the piston, and biodiesel atomizes slightly differently than petrodiesel. This will reduce power slightly but it will burn cooler and quieter, making less NOx emissions.

The Volkswagen Rabbit is the most common choice I have encountered. It's small and a manual 1.8L 4cyl gets about 35mpg. Good performance and reliability, large enough for tall people but less than comfy. Price: around $2000. Models are all from the late 1970's to mid 1980's.

I'd replace the bumpers with 6X6" hard rubber blocks boned with steel, and I might pack a turbocharger on top. Yes, biodiesel will run with a turbocharger.

Other diesel models are all VW TDIs [jetta, golf, new beetle, passat] and the 310hp Touareg [despite weighing 5700#!] Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500, Ford F-250 and F-350 have diesels, and the infamous Hummers have diesel versions.

And any gasoline car can be made to run on ethanol. This is project #2, for another site.