Biodiesel

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Pam

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Joined
Sep 29, 2005
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8
Location
Damariscotta, Maine
Hi again, not sure if this is the appropriate topic, but search showed no threads on this.

So, one of the reasons I bought the truck I did (diesel) is becuase I can run it on biodiesel, a refined form of vegetable oil, what Mr. Diesel originally ran his tractors on.  Using it on road reduces particulates (soot), and reduces the diesel exhaust odor.  Mileage is almost identical, and it has superior engine lubricating qualities, unlike the higher sulfur fuels we are all buring right now. 

I am surprised that this is not a common practice in the RV world.  Do folks not know about it?  Too hard to find?  Scared about using it?  Love to hear your thoughts. 

I have run 80% bioD in my boat (Yanmar engine) for 2 years now.  I run my truck on 50% bioD whenever I can, though as winter approached I will have to back down to 20% due to gelling issues.  Next summer I think I will try running at 80 or 100 %.

I have to say, my truck is way beyond warranty, and although GM and Ford approve the use of bioD it is only at about 5%.  I think Caterpillar etc. have followed that lead. 
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
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48,067
Pam, I haven't seen/heard folks talk about using biodiesel. I'm looking forward to reading some replies.
 

Ned

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Feb 1, 2005
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USA
Warranty issues are certainly a consideration, but supply is probably the biggest reason we don't use biodiesel. ?I can't recall seeing one biodiesel station in our travels. ?I have seen a few that have premixed biodiesel, 5-10% typically.
 

Tom

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48,067
Ned said:
I can't recall seeing one biodiesel station in our travels.

That would be a very good reason not to use it.
 

Wendy

Site Team
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May 14, 2005
Posts
12,535
Location
Colorado
Exxon/Mobil in Durango, Colorado, has biodiesel. Only one I've ever noticed but then, I don't use diesel so don't actively look for it. I'll probably notice more now, since it's come up. We're leaving for California on Thursday so will have a chance to look in 5 states. Wouldn't it be nice if they could develop a renewable fuel so we could thumb our noses at the oil industry?
 

BernieD

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Joined
Mar 1, 2005
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5,859
Location
Goodyear, AZ
Ned said:
Warranty issues are certainly a consideration, but supply is probably the biggest reason we don't use biodiesel.  I can't recall seeing one biodiesel station in our travels.  I have seen a few that have premixed biodiesel, 5-10% typically.

Cummins has indicated that 5-10% bio fuel is acceptable in it's engines. But as you said, you don't see the stations selling it.
 

quasi

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Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Posts
49
Location
Northern Kentucky
What is the cost for biodiesel compared to petroleum based? 

I wonder if we all start using it will there be a soybean or millet cartel controlling supply? Will a terrorist bombing in Lebanon send the price of Crisco to the moon? ;D
Q
 

blueblood

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Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Posts
1,082
Pam said:
Hi again, not sure if this is the appropriate topic, but search showed no threads on this.

So, one of the reasons I bought the truck I did (diesel) is becuase I can run it on biodiesel, a refined form of vegetable oil, what Mr. Diesel originally ran his tractors on.? Using it on road reduces particulates (soot), and reduces the diesel exhaust odor.? Mileage is almost identical, and it has superior engine lubricating qualities, unlike the higher sulfur fuels we are all buring right now.?

I am surprised that this is not a common practice in the RV world.? Do folks not know about it?? Too hard to find?? Scared about using it?? Love to hear your thoughts.?

I have run 80% bioD in my boat (Yanmar engine) for 2 years now.? I run my truck on 50% bioD whenever I can, though as winter approached I will have to back down to 20% due to gelling issues.? Next summer I think I will try running at 80 or 100 %.

I have to say, my truck is way beyond warranty, and although GM and Ford approve the use of bioD it is only at about 5%.? I think Caterpillar etc. have followed that lead.?

The fundamental issue holding back bio-diesel use is the lack of any definition i.e. standards to define it. It's as if one could run something called gasoline without the 30 plus standards that make it possible for any engine by any manufacturer to work and meet environmental and performance requirements.
 

Ron from Big D

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Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Posts
1,777
Location
Dallas, Texas
Willy Nelson has joined a partnership promoting bio diesel.  They have a station south of Dallas near Hillsboro selling it.  Unfortunately, until there are more noticeable stations available, their not going to get much use.  I also believe the cost of bio diesel has been higher than regular diesel.  May not be so right now!

 

fredethomas

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Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Posts
420
Location
SIERRA VISTA, AZ or on the road.
If you type in  "biodiesel" into google - there is a link to a list of stations throughout the USA.  Quite a few.  But beware - if you have had your rig long enough for lacquers to build up - the bio will break it loose and clog the filters.  One bio chat site has quite a bit of chatter on the number of times the filters must be changed before the clogging stops.  I think the price right now is about 5 cents higher than diesel.

Suggest people thinking about using it do lots of research.  It is on the web.
 

BruceinFL

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Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Posts
3,205
For one thing, my Ford owners manual prohibits use of biodiesel. Therefore if I used it, my warranty would be voided.

For another, in all my travels I have never seen biodiesel anywhere.
 

Pam

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2005
Posts
8
Location
Damariscotta, Maine
I will also add that if you have any sludge build up in your tanks it might also shake that loose. 

I *think* you will begin to see it more and more on the roadside.  The price is comparable right now, and IF some of the new refineries that are suggested are actually bio fuels plants, you will probably see the cost some down. 

I also think the engine manufacturers are going to get onboard with it (c'mon Ford!).  A couple of studies in big rig fleets indicate it will extend the average time between rebuilds by 25-30% due to the higher lubricity. 

Anyway, I am filling up with 50% before I leave for GA and will take some spare 100% with me to mix on the way.  I just love not smelling like petroleum when I get done fueling!
 

Tuney

New member
Joined
Jan 7, 2006
Posts
4
I'm running a Winnebago Journey with a C7 CAT.  Several of my friends and I had a discussion about biodiesel recently, and I thought it was interesting. So I did some reading on the Web, and had a chat with tech support at Catapillar.  They don't recommend using biodiesel in their engines because:
1. They haven't fully tested and verified the operation of their engines with Bio Diesel.
2.  It increases Fuel consumption.
3.  It results in a reduction in power output.

If you do decide to use it they recommend no more than a 30% mix.

SO, being pretty conservative, and planning to run the coach a lot further than the 13,000 miles it has on it now, I think I'll stick to the traditional stuff for now.
 

King

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Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Posts
354
Location
MA
he last time i c hecked, pure bio  (all you have to do is press soybeans) was about 4 bucks a gallon retail (no transportation taxes) but it acts as a detergent and will loosen all the sludge left by the mineral diesel.  It is being sold as ten or twenty percent to limit possible problems.  Here in MA there is a heating oil dealer selling 20% at the same price as plain.
 

blueblood

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Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Posts
1,082
While most diesel owners are focused on bio-diesel, another fuel is coming on board and will be mandatory for 2007 engines and in state of California - it's called ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD). California (CARB) will not permit bio-diesel if it doesn't meet the ULSD limits. They have advised that fines will be imposed. In addition, CARB makes no distinction between petroleum diesel and bio-diesel because bio-diesel raises smog producing NOx by 10%.

Further quality of bio-diesel is causing some problems. Most bio-diesel comes from small local mixing facilities. For example, Berkeley CA an early adopter of B100 in 2001 retreated to B20 a year ago because of concern about lack of clean fuel from its local supplier, which was causing maintenance problems.  Local supplier denied problem existed.

I believe nearly all trucking fleets that have adopted bio-diesel are advising to change filters more frequently. The reason has to do with the cleaning effect of bio-diesel but also with microbe activity causing plugging. Bio-diesel B100 is a vegetable oil and microbes thrive there. I wonder about the impact on RVers who fill infrequently and store vs trucks that are renewing supply of fuel all most daily. It would seem RVers are at more risk of plugging. A number of problems have been discussed in using bio-diesel ranging from the filter plugging to fuel line (rubber) deterioration. Arguments exist as to whether these are generic problems or user specific. MN has adopted a mandatory 2% bio-diesel and some truck companies have instructed drivers to not fill up in MN due to maintenance issues.

So, it goes something like this.

2007 engines will require ULSD fuel and have particulate filters as well. USLD will reduce particulates but it still appears that particulate filters will need to be changed/dumped frequently and be expensive. USLD will lower fuel economy about 4%. ULSD fuel will cost more. In CA it appears you will have to run with ULSD regardless of engine year of manufacture. The balance of the country you may have multiple pumps i.e. both regular diesel and ULSD.

Bio-diesel B100 will reduce fuel economy about 10% and require more frequent changes of fuel filters. Quality will be problematic.
 
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