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Old 10-02-2008, 09:56   #46
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From NY Times

Here is an interesting article on the global effects of Biofuels. As a proponent of renewable energy is seems we will have to rethink some of our biofuel policies if this research holds up:

Biofuels Deemed a Greenhouse Threat - New York Times
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Old 11-02-2008, 04:12   #47
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But you might have to lose that Mohican and dress like Ronald Mcdonald :D.
Actually, about age 19, and recently graduated from Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, I was approached by McDonald's Corp to be Ronald McDonald for the state of Alaska (and potentially more states). So I *almost* did have the job of dressing as Ronald. =:)

The deal fell through the day before I was to fly to their HQ and do training - but before that happened I spent several days with the main traveling Ronald. I learned lots of secret stuff, including that on one bun cheek he had a tattoo of the golden arches, and on the other he had "100% USDA Grade A."

That has nothing to do with biodiesel, I just wanted to let you know that what you put forth as a joke was actually almost part of my biography. =;)

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Old 11-02-2008, 08:34   #48
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You can put BioDiesel in your engine if you want to, but I can't see how it is worth the risk. And, what do you think you are accomplishing? Is there any real net savings to the environment? I think you might be surprised by the answer.

Find an engine with 6000 or 7000 hours that runs biodiesel first.
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Old 11-02-2008, 14:11   #49
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I love the boards on bio-diesel, we here is what I know, I am a Marine dealer for many brands such as Yanmar, Cummins, John Deere, Westerbeke, Universal, Steyrmotors, Onan, Lugger, Northern Lights and Kohler, I dont know of any brand yet that lets more then a 20% blend usage or it voids warranty. Experience wise what we see in our truck shop is the anything rubber will turn to jello. So you have to change out you fuel lines. It will clean out your fuel tank, so carry some spare filters. If you have a older motor then good luck unless the injection pump was rebuilt with vicon seals, remember bio does not like rubber such as o-rings. We work hand and hand with pump shops and they say bio tears up older injection pumps, every pump shop has been supper busy from bio and the new low sulfur diesel. Many of my truck customers use bio and many ask if its ok, the bigest problem is where and how its made. You might have great luck from one place but you buy it from another and it might be a nightmare. There is only basic standards to production so the door is wide open to what the bio is being made from. So the plugging of the filters in cold weather is true, bio has a higher temp gel point then normal diesel. Common rail system seem to work the best with bio, if you use more then a 20% blend the its only a matter of time when you will need a injection pump bebuild.
So lets look at the future, here in the pacific NW the is a bio plant in Aberdeen, one or more in eastern WA, I hear of plans in Seattle and in Portland. Thats means competition which means lower fuel costs and getting rid of our dependency of oil. Bio has a way to go but it will be worth it in the long run.
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Old 11-02-2008, 19:24   #50
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And..I think we have to define what the goal is for alternative fuels.. Is it to get off of foreign oil? Green house gases? We may not be able to achieve all the goals at once, but can you imagine a day when our foreign policy wasn't based on the Middle East oil reserves?

And... if can make coal "clean" I am sure with different farming and production techniques that biodiesel can be better for the environment than fossil fuels...

But hey.. just an opinion.....
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:27   #51
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And, what do you think you are accomplishing? Is there any real net savings to the environment?
I was looking for a net savings to my wallet, that's all.

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Old 12-02-2008, 11:22   #52
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And, what do you think you are accomplishing? Is there any real net savings to the environment?
It depends on the source of the base product that the Biofuel is made from. I would say that if it was used cooking oils, then it would have to be a real plus to the environment.
If it is specificaly grown for the purpose crops to be made into fuel, then it also has to be weighed against how it is produced. That article is assuming that all biofuel is coming from land cleared from rain forest and so on. That is not the case in all cases of biofuel production. And once again, simply puts these articles in a classification of scarmongering by publishing only partial facts.
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Old 12-02-2008, 13:41   #53
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All biofuel is processed from crops grown on arable land.
When fuel use competes with food use;
Food production may suffer (as land use switches to fuel crops)
Food costs may rise (to compete with fuel costs)
It's a very complicated situation, to which I not only don't have the answers, but don't even have most of the questions.
On principle, I will mistrust anyone who claims to understand all (or most of) the many consequences (intended and otherwise) of switching to biofuels.

Re-using waste food products, as Alan indicates, may be a much less hazardous proposition, than growing fuel crops.
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Old 12-02-2008, 13:47   #54
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All biofuel is processed from crops grown on arable land.
When fuel use competes with food use;
Food production may suffer (as land use switches to fuel crops)
Food costs may rise (to compete with fuel costs)
It's a very complicated situation, to which I not only don't have the answers, but don't even have most of the questions.
On principle, I will mistrust anyone who claims to understand all (or most of) the many consequences (intended and otherwise) of switching to biofuels.

Re-using waste food products, as Alan indicates, may be a much less hazardous proposition, than growing fuel crops.
Yeah, re using waste products can be a fun hobbie, but as an answer to our energy situation there isn't enough McDonald's cooking oil out there to make any real difference.
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Old 12-02-2008, 15:28   #55
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If you can clean and burn WVO without using Methanol to convert it, I believe you have something worthwhile. However, the second you introduce MeOH to your fuel system, it will begin destroying hoses, seals, rings...everything! Methanol is the most aggressive solvent that I've ever worked with and it is the only solvent that I know that will destroy Epoxy-based materials and high grade stainless steel, copper and aluminum. The only metal we found that was compatible with MeOH was gold!
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Old 12-02-2008, 15:33   #56
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Demand also makes more jobs growing crops, many farmers went under in the 70's and 80's. Bio-fuel will maybe put thousands back to work instead of importing.
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Old 12-02-2008, 23:06   #57
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Yes yoy can. As long as the oil is well filterd. The adding of methanol is part of the cleaning process, not the means of making the oil go bang in the cylinder.
The chemical cleaning process is using Sodium Hydroxide and Methanol at different stages of the process. But you can also run the engine on pure cooking oil and waste cooking oil if it has been filtered well enough.
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Old 13-02-2008, 03:28   #58
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Methanol is used as catylist with costic to seperate th glycerene out which leaves you a very lite thin oil that then needs to washed to remove the methanol/costic and return to a good ph level,this where most backyarders os to speak go wrong.We use bio in our truck runs quiter,smoother and more power.Greg
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Old 13-02-2008, 05:45   #59
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We use bio in our truck runs quiter,smoother and more power.Greg
Greg,
I think your right on part of this. Bio does run quieter and smother. There is a quantitative result that prohibits increased power production. Bio-Diesel has approx 18,000 less BTU's per gallon than Dio-Diesel. Less BTU's = less power. Can't get around the physics on that. Some people running old mechaniclly injected engines have advanced the timing to return the feeling of power to the truck. This just masks the BTU equation.
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Old 22-02-2008, 13:07   #60
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Reading some of the posts above makes me want to write a recap as I see it. I'm not saying I am right, just that this is how I see it from my limited knowledge. It is also a quick sketch and not meant to be comprehensive. But I'd be interested in seeing the replies.

Points discussed:
  • Economically feasable?
  • Reduce polition?
  • Reduce dependency on oil?
Bio-fuel made directly from crops (mainly ethanol) is currently not economical. The subsidies paid to the farmers are not included in the prices you pay at the pump, so the cost is even higher than it looks. It is not as polution saving as some claims say. I wish I could find the place where I read the amount of diesel burned in the tractors and farm equipment and how it compared to the amount of fuel produced. It was not very good numbers. It causes major problems running in equipment not designed for it (Like fiberglass tanks, etc.) As pointed out, it uses land that could be better used for producing food. It might be feasable in the future, but given the land situation, I doubt it. There might be a way to use refuse from crops, but in any crop I am familiar with, the refuse would produce such a very low yield that the amount of fuel derived would be even worse economically and the supply would not signifcantly have any effect on oil coonsumption. As an aside, my impression is that the ethanol movement, while masked in ecology terminology, is mainly as a subsidy to the agriculture industry. I'm not saying that's bad, we owe a lot to our farmers. Myself, if we are going to subsidize our farmers, I'd rather see the surplus food go to starving countries for free rather than go into our tanks where it seems to cause more trouble than it's worth. (Sorry, I went off a little, there...)

Bio-fuel made from waste products (like fry oil) is economically feasable and ecologically better than oil. But the raw material supply is not there in enough quantities to have any decernable impact on polution or oil usage. I think it is useful for those few who make it themselves. There seems to be many people who use it successfully, and many who say their equipment has major problems with it. In other words, it's fine for tinkerers (me included), but is not really part of any long-term wide-range solution.

Conclusions:
I don't see any bio-fuel as having much, if any, impact on our oil usage or the polution it produces. But I DO think that that individuals can successfully save money using recycled waste oil. That is, if your equipment can run on it without damage to fuel lines, etc.

I started to say where I DO think we should be concentrating our efforts, but I already went off once, I think I'll shut up, now. This is a thread on bio-fuels. :::zip:::

Comments? :::duck&cover:::
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