B2 biodiesel question

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Dec 9, 2003
Minnesota has issued a 23-day suspension of their biodiesel requirement. > Minnesota had mandated that all diesel fuel contain at least 2% biodiesel. > The mandate takes effect again on January 13. > > The reason for the suspension is 62% of the truck fleets have experienced > filter plugging problems in the cold weather. Although it is not fully > understood yet, it appears that excess glycerin falls out of the biodiesel > at sub-zero temperatures, and never goes back in. The deposits in the > plugged filters are described as a black sludge or wax. Why would this be happening
prolly because its cold this time of yr in MN. [Big Grin] Heating oil , low grade #2 fuel oil sold at high prices, starts gelling around 0'f. The gelled fuel clogs the filters. Thats what the 98% dino juice is doing. A precipatate of a little glycerin from the 2% bio sounds moot. Until a chemical guy adds his 2 cents, I'm calling ** on this. What is the 'real story"?
My local biodiesel supplyer warned me about the extreme cleaning effect biodiesel has, and that I should keep a new fuel filter ready when the old one got clogged with dirt loosened by the biodiesel. And he was right, 3-4 tankfulls and the filter lamp started flashing. Changed the filter, had no more problems since. So I believe this is the main problem, not glycerine. (By the way, biodiesel is an ester like ARX, >> good cleaner.)
No, there are 2 seperate issues. Glycerin can precipitate out. Soybean oils CAN oxidize. But yes, for the most part, ideally biodiesels are pure fatty acid esters, which yes, are the cleaning component of Autorx, LC AND ester based motor oils.
Also, biodiesel is an ester, and quite an efficient solvent. So any crud left in the tank or lines is going straight into the filter.
This might be a bit off topic but since it deals with Biodiesel B20, thought it might be of interest. At the last ASTM meeting in December, there was a workshop on Biodiesel Fuel and its applications. During this workshop, there was a presentation "Biodiesel and the Military" which was interesting. Apparently there are quite a few military locations that are and have been using B20 and not B2 or B5. By count, there are 51 Air Force installations, 7 Navy installations, 5 Marine installations, and 4 Army installations as well as 49 federal facilities. Of these, there were the following problems/failures with using B20 during 2004-2005- Gelling: 8 reported problems Blending: 1 reported problem Acid Number: 1 reported problem Filter plugging: 1 reported problem Particulates: 3 reported problems Considering the number of vehicles using B20 and the amount of fuel consumed, that really isn't such a bad report card.
That is great. Well, how many of us have dirty fuel tanks. But I thought we were talking about B2? Of course, if B20 is trouble-free, B2 should be as well. [Wink] [Razz]
Minnesota has increased the length of the suspension at the request of the Biodiesel producers. Reportedly, a fair amount of the biodiesel that has been tested have sustanially high glycerin and the quality control has been lax in order to produce enough to meet the state B2 requirements. The first suspension was also due to bad batches of biodiesel being detected by the blenders. The extension is the third suspension of the program since its kickoff in September. Again, notice the extension of the suspension was requested by the Biodiesel suppliers. Those blaming the problem on the fact it gets cold here and that #2 gels in cold weather miss the point entirely. Do you think fleet operators and fuel jobbers/suppliers up here don't know that? Fact of the matter is that diesel fuel problems due to cold weather are generally not an issue here. The most telling factor in all of this is the fact the biodiesel producers have requested the extension to get their ducks in a row...
Interesting this... Just filled my month-old CRD with B2 today for the first time in a near-by city (not currently available here). Had the option of B2, 5, 10 or 20. B2 & 5 were the same price (significantly below that of mineral diesel). The cost started going up with B10 & even higher with B20 (though still less than mineral). My owner's manual states that up to B5 is acceptable. Any thoughts on that? Should I use B2 or 5? Can I go higher despite the manual? The Jeep worked fine, by the way... John.
John, If you are under warranty, follow the owners manual. If your warranty has expired, then use the highest level of bio-diesel that you can find. In your case B20. I have been running B-100, (homemade) for 2 1/2 months in 2 PSD's with no issues.
Bio-T: Yes, still under warranty. Will not be much of an issue unfortunately as there is just the one retail station where bioiesel is available in the entire province. Next time that I am there I will fill with B5... I wonder why Daimler-Chrysler do not want anything higher than B5 to be used? Perhaps they are worried about cold-weather gelling using a greater percentage of biodiesel...? Checked the fuel economy this morning when I topped it off again and it returned 32 mpg. John.
John, Stick with the B5 until your warranty is over. Better to be on the safe side at the Dealer for any warranty. All the major auto mfgs. have a strict limit on bio-diesel. Usually B-5. This is because they haven't really tested the use of bio-diesel. (Or will admit on paper that they have) It is just another tool for them to void a warranty on injector or fuel pump problems. JMO [Big Grin]
BioT, Wondering as to your thoughts on the following: Have run the Jeep with a tank of 50-50 mix of B2 and #2 as well as an approximate 50-50 mix of B5 and #2. There's around 14,000 Kms on the Jeep thus far. The Jeep has run fine on the latest mix and I added 5 gallons (Imp.) of #2 to that mix. Basically, there wasn't much biodiesel in the tank. The Jeep started running rough. I noticed an imbalance on start-up that soon went away. Seeemd like a cylinder was 'missing'. This went away. Following day my wife started the Jeep and it was from her description running very roughly. This went away. She went to get the mail, shut off the engine and it would not re-start. Vehicle was towed to dealer. Following day the Service Manager calls me on the phone. I can tell that he's ****** at something. He asks me where I fuelled last. Told him about the five gallons of #2 was the last fuel that was added. He asked about the fuel before that. I told him that I added a half of a tank of B5 to a half tank of #2. He said that he already knew that as he had drained off some of the fuel. Obviosly he was trying to play "Gotcha!" games. I had no intention of lying to the man. He then said that Chrysler forbids the use of biodiesel and that two other trucks have had $12,000.00 & $6,000.00 repair bills declined by Chrysler. I told the man that I was only following my Owner's Manual. He said that he doubted that very much in a very snarky voice. I was starting to sweat at this stage. I told him very calmly (wasn't feeling calm) that it specifically delineated in my manual that B5 is perfectly acceptable for use in my engine and that they are shipped with B5 from the Toledo plant. He said that IF that was the case then I would have 'an argument'. I got up and drove straight there. Asked him if he had checked the manual. He said that it wan't in the vehicle. Please bear in mind that this vehicle was this guy's demo for ten thousand fricking kilometres & he did not know that the manula has it's own little shelf in the glove box... Anyway, I shakily found the fuel section that I had read when I brought the jeep home and showed it to him. His eyes actually bulged. I then asked him what he was going to do now. He didn't really say much except that they had to investigate further, drain the tank & fill it with "proper" fuel and then consult with Chrysler. He also said that I hadn't lied about using biodiesel. I asked him why he thought that I would lie to him about anything. No answer to that one. He then tried to change the d_mned subject by asking me what sort of fuel economy I was seeing with it. I asked him what he thought was damaged. He said that it could be nothing or possibly the fuel lifter which is a "$6,000.00 part". His tune had completely changed by the time that I had left and he inquired as to my need of another vehicle. Told him I was fine and to call me as soon as he knew anything. I was very respectful both on the phone and in person even though I am of the opinion that this man does not know his products very well. He may be a fine mechanic but he made too many assumptions here. Your thoughts? John.
John, I am really glad that you stayed with the B5. You are dealing with a typical dealer. They will try anything to get out of the repair. I am really happy that you were level headed. I think you threw him off base. I hope this all works out for you.
Oh yeah, I finally won this one. The owner of the dealership gave me my money back and the service manager's rear is in a sling... All's good with the world. John.
Here is what the local edu is doing
What's Up with Michigan Tech's Power Backup Submitted by Dave Taivalkoski, energy manager With Wednesday's six-hour electrical outage fresh on our minds, it seems like a good time to bring the campus up to speed about the installation of our generators near the Central Heating Plant. Hopefully you can use this information in your planning for future backup power requirements. Currently four 2,250-kilowatt biodiesel generators are being installed in a new building adjacent to the Central Heating Plant. The 9,000 kilowatts will be adequate to handle the entire campus, which is currently peaking at about 7,000 kilowatts. The plant is scheduled to become operational on Jan. 1. The generators will allow Michigan Tech to buy power at UPPCO's interruptible contract rates, which should reduce our electrical costs by about $450,000 to $500,000 per year. When we are notified by UPPCO, the units will step in for the utility and reduce the university's demand on the electrical system to zero. These operations will be seamless for the campus. These generators will also be useful during power outages such as the one we experienced last week. Under normal conditions, the generators can provide power to the campus within three to 10 minutes. Once we become operational in January, we will have a better handle on how long this process will take. We have not settled on how long to delay starting up the generators. Typically such systems use a two-to-five minute delay to avoid frequent starts from short-term power outages. We are considering a one-minute delay for planning purposes. We may also wish to prepare when conditions have the potential to affect the grid or power supply. For example, if a strong electrical storm is moving through the area, it may be prudent to start the units ahead of time and then isolate ourselves from UPPCO. In any event, once the generators are started and supplying power to the campus, the transition back to utility power will be uninterrupted. In summary, you could incorporate the following into your planning: * Campus backup power is scheduled to be available starting Jan. 1. * Campus power will be restored within three to 10 minutes after an outage. * The transition back to utility power will be seamless. If you have any thoughts about operational protocols or factors that are relevant to your operation that we should keep in mind, please contact me at [email protected][/quote
I'm running commercially available B99 in my PSD's, 7.3's. It has been in the low 30's (*F) for the past few days, and is colder now (snowing). I haven't added any additives yet, just fuel straight from the pump. Normally I always have the trucks plugged in, however I normally don't drive the newest truck as it is a toy really and I forgot the plug it in when I put it away after the last trip. At any rate, I plugged it in for about an hour which really isn't enough to do much, block was still cool to the touch. Truck started fine, bit of a lope idle which is common to HEUI engines in cold start situations. It did smoke for about 1-2 minuets and then cleared right up. I'm impressed, I figured without any PPD added it would be difficult to get it started. I also have a 5 gallon fuel can of B99 in the garage I've been using in the heaters, also no problem with it either. I did notice a few "floaters" on the surface of the fuel when I opened the lid, however not nearly enough to cause a filter to plug. As a side note, I still haven't had a chance to finish tested the Lubrizol additives for biodiesel. I have the fresh fuel samples and I've got the freezer setup, just need time to mix and watch. I'll get there.
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