Bio Diesel

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Sep 27, 2006
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Boise, Idaho
One of the stations in the area (Idaho) advertises that their diesel now has 20% bio diesel.  They say it works on any diesel younger than 1995 or something like that. 

Is it safe to use this diesel fuel in my '05 Cummins?
 

Will

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Jul 30, 2006
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202
Location
Mississippi
Yes, it is safe in a Cummins.  For the record, Dodge ships all Cummins Rams with B5 in the tank from the factory.

HOWEVER - Your vehicle is most likely under warranty.  While, and I am 99.9% sure of this, B20 will not cause and problems or adverse affects on your engine - the official warranty papers do not allow more than B5 in the tank.  Many a diesel owner has taken their newish diesel into the dealership to have maintainance done on their vehicle, proudly stated their use of biodiesel, and had warranties canceled on them.

If you run B20 you will enjoy it, but you are your own warranty.  My suggestion (if you want to retain the warranty) is dilute the B20 down with a 3:1 ratio of Petrodiesel.  3 gallons petrodiesel for every gallon of B20 will give you B5 and keep you in the good graces of your mechanic until the warrany expires.
 

Grumpy

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Jul 15, 2006
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Urbana, IL
MotherShip Captain said:
Is it safe to use this diesel fuel in my '05 Cummins?

I have a 04 1/2 Dodge diesel, and about all I have been running it in for the last two or three months is bio diesel. 

I add about 6 oz of Howes in the tank, about every 3 or 4th fill up. 

 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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25,216
Location
Davison Michigan
I have heard some interesting things about Bio Diesel. including that many Diesels can switch to 100 percent bio with little or no mods.

Fact is:  I drive a gasser

There is a marine program here in Michigan that is a projuct of, I think the US Parks (It's an underwater park) but they have 3 ships, all bio, all bio.

That's about all I can tell you about it at this time save it's name "Thunder bay project"

Let's see what my friend can find....

Well, here is a link to the project, nothing there about the ships that I found in a quick search but this gets you in the park, virtually that is

Thunder Bay

And Google was indeed my friend
 

Will

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Location
Mississippi
Grumpy said:
I have a 04 1/2 Dodge diesel, and about all I have been running it in for the last two or three months is bio diesel. 

I add about 6 oz of Howes in the tank, about every 3 or 4th fill up. 

What percentage are you running?  Home-made or from the pump?

What is the point of the Howes?

John In Detroit said:
I have heard some interesting things about Bio Diesel. including that many Diesels can switch to 100 percent bio with little or no mods.

Yes, all diesels since 1995 can run biodiesel without modification.  Diesels before 1995 running higher blends of bio will have to get the natural rubber portion of their fuel lines replaced eventually as the biodiesel will slowly dry out the rubber.  B20 should not pose a problem in any diesel.

A fuel filter may clog if you have a dirty fuel tank - but a 2005 Cummins shouldn't have that problem.
 

Grumpy

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Location
Urbana, IL
Will said:
What percentage are you running?? Home-made or from the pump?

What is the point of the Howes?

I have no idea what percentage the local bio diesel is.  It is from the Farm Service Station. 

The point of the Howes is as a lubricator, and anti-gel. 
 

blueblood

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Mar 16, 2005
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MotherShip Captain said:
One of the stations in the area (Idaho) advertises that their diesel now has 20% bio diesel.? They say it works on any diesel younger than 1995 or something like that.?

Is it safe to use this diesel fuel in my '05 Cummins?

Yes, if B5.

Here is Cummins position spelled in detail.  Read carefully especially the last paragraph on warranty.

http://www.biodiesel.org/pdf_files/OEM%20Statements/2004_OEM_cummins.pdf
 

BernieD

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Mar 1, 2005
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Goodyear, AZ
Will

I can't speak for Dodge/CUmmins set ups, but for motorhomes Cummins has used and has no problem with B5. They've worked with B20 and see no significant problem but have not tested it enough to say go for it. Cummins, or it's dealers, cannot void your warranty for using B-20. If you have an engine waaranty claim and they can show that it was due to the use of B20, they can deny the claim, but your warranty is still in effect.
 

AlGriefer

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Mar 24, 2005
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Location
Las Vegas, NV (when not traveling)
The bottom line I got from Cummins at a Monaco rally was that here are still some unknowns with biodiesel and, while they've done testing with B20 and B%, they really don't have enough standardized data for them to be comfortable saying that it's totally safe and, if you have problems because of the fuel, it's your nickle (or $5000!)  They don't void the warranty, but they don't cover failures due to biodiesel of any concentration.

This is from memory so don't take it as gospel.

Al
 

blueblood

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There are at least two major issues out there with Bio-deisel. The first is quality of supply. To read a sobering report of the problems experieinced in MN with there mandatory B2 read this article.

http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/article.jsp?article_id=1180

then in same issue read the unknowns of using bio-diesel with ULSD.

I'm running ULSD as are probably most of you. I don't want to take on the bio-diesel at same time and then have a problem and have to look at two possible culprits. Like most big changes in any endevour - one at a time is enough to manage.



 

Will

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Mississippi
BernieD said:
Will

I can't speak for Dodge/CUmmins set ups, but for motorhomes Cummins has used and has no problem with B5. They've worked with B20 and see no significant problem but have not tested it enough to say go for it. Cummins, or it's dealers, cannot void your warranty for using B-20. If you have an engine waaranty claim and they can show that it was due to the use of B20, they can deny the claim, but your warranty is still in effect.

I am well aware that almost all diesel manufacturers allow B5, and that even B20 is safe <IF> it meets ASTM.  However, as a diesel VW owner and biodiesel enthusiast, I can specifically cite several examples of cases where biodiesel was not even close to the cause of an engine failure but the service manager of the deaership denied the warranty as a result of the owner admitting to the use of B20.

In addition, a recent national study by the National Biodiesel Board, a group on the side of commercial biodiesel, found that just over 1/3 of the B20 they tested didn't meet ASTM standards.

The Minnesota problems were caused by imcompletely reacted biodiesel mixed with Diesel fuel had glycerides drop out of the fuel, clump up at the bottom of the tank, and clogged fuel filters when they were sucked through the fuel line.  It is absolutely important that your biodiesel meet ASTM certification.

I have yet to hear of any difference in the way that biodiesel reacts with the varying sulfer levels in the new fuel.  All indication that I have seen seems to say that biodiesel mixes the same with ULSD.
 

blueblood

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Will said:
I have yet to hear of any difference in the way that biodiesel reacts with the varying sulfur levels in the new fuel.  All indication that I have seen seems to say that biodiesel mixes the same with ULSD.

Bio-diesel increases NOx. Therefore, it seems likely that the higher concentrations may cause a violation of NOx levels i.e. B5 and B20 may be okay but not more. No testing has been done that I am aware of yet. The CARB has simply warned that the use of bio-diesel will not exempt operators from meeting the NOx, et al standards.

For a little insight into the concerns that engines manufacturers have with blends above B-5 this is good reading.

http://www.naftc.wvu.edu/NAFTC%20eNews/August%2005/cleartheair.html
 

Will

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Mississippi
Actually, if you look at the results of the tests conducted by the people who did them, you will see that they were not done for statistical accuracy, or for any kind of consistency.  Additionally, the NOx increase was within one standard deviation, leading to beleave that it could easily be an anomaly.

There have been numerous reports that say that biodiesel does NOT increase NOx emissions versus ULSD

Also a good read:
http://www.nwventurevoice.com/archives/2005/05/nrel_says_biodi.html

We should also not that, in every other type of emissions test, Biodiesel resulted in a great decrease of every other contaminate tested by CARB states.

I gladly run biodiesel in my TDI, and feel good for it.
 

blueblood

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3.0 Emission Characteristics


Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel to have a complete evaluation of emission results and potential health effects submitted to the U.S.EPA under the Clean Air Act Section 211(b). These programs include the most stringent emissions testing protocols ever required by EPA for certification of fuels in the U.S. Emission results for pure biodiesel (B100) and mixed biodiesel (B20-20% biodiesel and 80% petrodiesel) compared to conventional diesel are given in Table-3.


Table-3: Biodiesel Emissions Compared to Conventional Diesel

Emissions
B100
B20

Regulated Emissions

Total Unburned Hydrocarbons
-93%
-30%

Carbon Monoxide
-50%
-20%

Particulate Matter
-30%
-22%

NOx
+13%
+2%

Non-Regulated Emissions

Sulphates
-100%
-20%*

Polyciclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH)**
-80%
-13%

NPAH (Nitrated PAHs)**
-90%
-50%***

Ozone Potential of Speciated HC
-50%
-10%

Life-Cycle Emissions

Carbon Dioxide (LCA)
-80%

Sulphur Dioxide (LCA)
-100%


*Estimated from B100 results. **Average reduction across all compounds measured. ***2-nitroflourine results were within test method variability.


The use of biodiesel in a conventional diesel engine results in substantial reduction of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. Emissions of nitrogen dioxides are either slightly reduced or slightly increased depending on the duty cycle or testing methods. Biodiesel decreases the solid carbon fraction of particulate matter (since the oxygen in the fuel enables more complete combustion to CO2), eliminates the sulphur fraction (as there is no sulphur in the fuel), while the soluble or hydrogen fraction stays the same or is increased.


The life-cycle production and use of biodiesel produces approximately 80% less carbon dioxide and almost 100% less sulphur dioxide compared to conventional diesel. From Table-3 it is clear that biodiesel gives a distinct emission benefit almost for all regulated and non-regulated pollutants when compared to conventional diesel fuel but emissions of Nox appear to increase from biodiesel. Nox increases with the increase in concentration of biodiesel in the mixture of biodiesel and petrodiesel. This increase in Nox may be due to the high temperature generated in the fairly complete combustion process on account of adequate presence of oxygen in the fuel. This increase in Nox emissions may be neutralized by the efficient use of Nox control technologies, which fits better with almost nil sulphur biodiesel then conventional diesel containing sulphur. A comparative emission scenario with petrodiesel, biodiesel and biodiesel blends evolved from a real-life fleet study is presented in Figure-2.

 

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