Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-05-2012, 11:21   #31
Registered User
 
Exile's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Land of Disenchantment
Boat: Bristol 47.7
Posts: 2,961
Re: Biodiesel - Coming To A Fuel Dock Near You??

Not exactly confidence-building, huh?! In the process of chasing down the cite you found about less than 5% bio already at the pumps, I came upon a constellation of federal regs providing all sorts of credits, mandates, & incentives on states, distributors & retailers to get the stuff into our tanks. If it's so wonderful, why not let the end users decide rather than foist it upon us? I'm sure most will go for it, assuming it's competitively priced. At that point then those of us with compatibility issues can make the necessary changes preemptively rather than waking up to find diesel leaching out of the tank or lines.
__________________

__________________
Exile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2012, 22:51   #32
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Boat: Gulf 32-Aeolus
Posts: 48
Re: Biodiesel - Coming To A Fuel Dock Near You??

Not here to argue anything in a very old and discussed topic, but would like to mention that I have been successfully burning high % blends of biodiesel in my Universal M40 for six years and 600 hours and love it for the improved smell and quieter engine operation. Yes, hoses should be changed and checked (as they should anyway) and the solvent nature of it will clean out tanks and plug neglected filters. But now my tank is clean as it should be and the better lubricating qualities of biodiesel help with the reduced sulfur problems of new diesel.

We use to be able to get 20% biodiesel here at the dock in Friday Harbor, WA but no more. They didn't sell enough to justify the tankage. So now I buy it in town and use Jerry cans.


What a bummer for your fuel tank. I feel your pain. Perhaps my greatest fear is having to replace my 70 gallon aluminum tank. Epic boat surgery on a Gulf 32. As absurd as it sounds, I would pull it out and replace, as you will otherwise worry about it for the next 20 years..


Good luck with whatever you choose.
__________________

__________________
bwindrope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 07:34   #33
Marine Service Provider
 
Aloha_float's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Lake Huron
Boat: Tartan 33, 33'6"
Posts: 193
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to Aloha_float
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker
Biodiesel has many beneficial properties and is definetly worth investigating however, it may have some significant drawbacks. Since most information on the product has been presented by organizations promoting it, one has to take a look at the other side of the coin.

(1) The principal issue is that biodiesel is a very aggressive solvent. Even USCG Type-A fuel hose is not completely immune. Some metals are also not recommended including copper alloys, common brass valves and fittings. Any spilled fuel will rapidly attack paint on engines, bilges, etc. Rubber engine mounts will be affected. On deck it will attack paint and bedding compounds, gelcoat, acrylic hatches and boat shoe soles. It appears that it may also affect fiberglass tanks if they are not specially coated. It certainly will dissolve and mobilize old scum and deposits in the fuel system.

(2) Newer engines with all Viton seals and gaskets can probably use it. Older engines are probably questionable. If the fuel causes any problem, the engine manufacturer may not consider it a warranty issue - it is your problem.

(3) Biodiesel is hygroscopic (absorbs water) and perhaps more subject to bacterial action. Biodegradability in the environment is one of its strong points but not good if it happens in your tank. There is not much information on long term storage in a typical pleasure boat environment, i.e. fuel sitting in a hot, humid tank for months and sometimes years. Commercial users and probably most automobiles do not have this problem.

What The engine Manufacturers have to Say

Detroit Diesel "Lubricating Oil, Fuel and Filters"

5.1.4 BIODIESEL FUELS Biodiesel fuels are alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from renewable resources. Biodiesel fuels must meet ASTM Specification D 6751. Biodiesel meeting the D 6751 specifications can be blended up to 20% maximum by volume in diesel fuel. The resulting mixture must meet the fuel properties listed in Table 5-1. Failures attributed to the use of biodiesel will not be covered by Detroit Diesel product warranty. The following quotation is extracted from World-Wide Fuel Charter - Draft for comments - June 2002, page 46 for reference and guidance:" Based on the technical effects of FAME [Fatty Acid Methyl Esters], it is strongly advised that FAME content be restricted to less than 5%. As a pure fuel, or at higher levels in diesel fuel, the vehicles need to be adapted to the fuel, and particular care is needed to avoid problems."

Cummins: "Biodiesel: Frequently Asked Questions"

Cummins test data on the operating effects of biodiesel fuels indicates that typically smoke, power, and fuel economy are all reduced. However, as there are no firm industry standards on the content and properties for bio fuels, consistency and predictability of biodiesel operation is not well documented. Biodiesel provides approximately 5-7% less energy per gallon of fuel when compared to distillate fuels. To avoid engine problems when the engine is converted back to 100% distillate diesel fuel, do not change the engine rating to compensate for the power loss when operated with biodiesel fuels. Elastomer compatibility with bio diesel is still being monitored. The condition of seals, hoses, gaskets, and wire coatings should be monitored regularly. Cummins certifies its engines using the prescribed EPA and European Certification Fuels. Cummins does not certify engines on any other fuel. It is the user's responsibility to use the correct fuel as recommended by the manufacturer and allowed by EPA or other local regulatory agencies. In the United States, the EPA allows use of only registered fuels for on-highway applications. The EPA has additional alternative fuel information at Alternative Fuel Conversion | Cars and Light Trucks | US EPA

Ford Motor Company says

Fuels containing no more than 5% biodiesel may be used in Ford diesel powered vehicles. Consistent with WWFC (World-Wide Fuel Charter) category 1-3, "Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) used in commercial fuel must meet both the EN 14214 and ASTM D 6751 specifications". There are still some unresolved technical concerns with the use of biodiesel at concentration greater than 5%. Some of the concerns are: Requires special care at low temperatures to avoid excessive rise in viscosity and loss of fluidity Storage is a problem due to higher then normal risk of microbial contamination due to water absorption as well as a higher rate of oxidation stability which creates insoluble gums and sediment deposits, Being hygroscopic, the fuel tends to have increased water content, which increases the risk of corrosion. Biodiesel tends to cause higher engine deposit formations The methyl esters in biodiesel fuel may attack the seals and composite materials used in vehicle fuel systems and it may attack certain metals such as zinc, copper based alloys, cast iron, tin, lead, cobalt, and manganese It is an effective solvent, and can act as a paint stripper, whilst it will tend to loosen deposits in the bottom of fuel tanks of vehicles previously run on mineral diesel. Ford believes that it is unlikely that the emission benefits of biodiesel will be sufficient to achieve Tier 2 emission standards with out catalysts and particulate filters.

From - Caterpillar

CAT neither " approves nor prohibits" the use of biodiesel however, any failures that result from the use of any fuel are not covered by any warranty.

And more from a company who sells Biodiesel......

CytoCulture Environmental Biotechnology

(This company sells biodiesel for marine outlets in California

The oxygenated methyl esters of vegetable oil cause Biodiesel to have surprisingly strong solvent properties with respect to natural rubber and several soft plastics. As a result, old rubber fuel lines and some seals or gaskets on fuel tanks may slowly deteriorate in the presence of higher concentrations of Biodiesel. Fortunately, few of these solvent effects are noticed at a B-20 blend, and most of the problems associated with the solvent effects occurred with boats using 100% neat Biodiesel. [ Do "few" and "most" imply that there are some problems ?]

When fuel lines or gaskets are affected, they usually get sticky over time and soften or swell, causing fuel to drip from connections. In one case, the rubber fuel line between the primary filter and the fuel pump on a Yanmar sailboat engine became tacky, but did not leak, after 4 years of operating on 100% Biodiesel. The best solution is to replace affected lines and gaskets with modern synthetic hoses and seals.

In bench top studies conducted at CytoCulture, the Trident hose proved to be resistant to neat Biodiesel over a period of months, although the hose did absorb Biodiesel and swell slightly (tightens under hose clamps). With 20% blends, there have been no reports of any problems with these new fuel hoses.

Studies conducted for the National Biodiesel Board on the materials compatibility of Biodiesel concluded that the only hose and gasket material that was truly resistant to the solvent effects of methyl esters was Viton. Viton fuel hoses (Goodyear) can be special ordered for boats (usually expensive at over $5.00/ft for 5/16" line)

In a survey, 5% of the boaters reported minor problems with the Biodiesel if they spilled it on decks, on their engine or into their bilges. The solvent properties of the esters in Biodiesel can loosen old paint on engines or on painted surfaces in the bilge. Besides staining raw wood surfaces, Biodiesel is particularly harmful to teak decks with polysulfide seams (use extra caution when filling tanks via deck ports). Biodiesel could also harm rubber engine mounts if it were spilled and not cleaned up immediately.

Biodiesel can be stored for long periods of time in closed containers with little air space. The containers should be protected from weather, direct sunlight and low temperatures. Avoid long term storage in partly filled containers, particularly in damp locations like dock boxes (or boats ?). Condensation in the container can contribute to the long term deterioration of petroleum diesel or biodiesel.

As mentioned earlier, the addition of Biodiesel to a dirty fuel tank can accelerate the release of accumulated slime. When the boat is then used after sitting idle for a long period of time, the newly suspended sediment can accumulate and potentially clog the fuel filters.
I find this interesting as there is legislation in place in the US that puts the responsibility on to the OEM to prove that the use of biodiesel caused the warranty failure. They can not refuse warranty with these claims without proof. I will say that our research has shown that biodiesel issues vary according to their make up. Animal fats are worse than soya based and fish oil derivatives are producing salts. We have seen instability and the precipitation of a black tar like substance in samples that we have had sitting in the lab over 12 months or more. This tar is extremely difficult to dissolve and remove from our lab equipment.

Biodiesel has been legislated in Canada and the US and is being used in the EU. We are working with fuel companies there to help resolve storage issues. In the marine market with the presence of water, we expect that this is going to make the rec marine and commercial vessel owners struggle with fuel management and unscheduled shut downs.
__________________
Aloha_float is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 08:32   #34
Registered User
 
Exile's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Land of Disenchantment
Boat: Bristol 47.7
Posts: 2,961
Re: Biodiesel - Coming To A Fuel Dock Near You??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aloha_float View Post
I find this interesting as there is legislation in place in the US that puts the responsibility on to the OEM to prove that the use of biodiesel caused the warranty failure. They can not refuse warranty with these claims without proof. I will say that our research has shown that biodiesel issues vary according to their make up. Animal fats are worse than soya based and fish oil derivatives are producing salts. We have seen instability and the precipitation of a black tar like substance in samples that we have had sitting in the lab over 12 months or more. This tar is extremely difficult to dissolve and remove from our lab equipment.

Biodiesel has been legislated in Canada and the US and is being used in the EU. We are working with fuel companies there to help resolve storage issues. In the marine market with the presence of water, we expect that this is going to make the rec marine and commercial vessel owners struggle with fuel management and unscheduled shut downs.

Hi, we're from the gov't and we're here to "help."
__________________
Exile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 11:43   #35
Registered User
 
dandrews's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Shirley, MA
Boat: Bristol 34
Posts: 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exile

OK, good lead -- thanks. I'll try and chase down what Federal law they're referring to and report any results. It sounds like I'm looking at a tank redo.
Redo.....money. Long term peace-of-mind....."priceless"

Don
__________________
dandrews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 10:08   #36
Registered User
 
Exile's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Land of Disenchantment
Boat: Bristol 47.7
Posts: 2,961
Re: Biodiesel - Coming To A Fuel Dock Near You??

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandrews View Post
Redo.....money. Long term peace-of-mind....."priceless"

Don
Yup, I hear ya -- has justified many a refit in the past few years. This is just one of those stupid boat screw-ups where I'll need to stay peeved for a little while longer before I get on with it. Your advice is analogous to someone's byline I read awhile back in this thread that seems uniquely appropriate to boats: "If it ain't broke, just wait!"
__________________
Exile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 11:01   #37
cruiser

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Key West FL - Burlington VT
Boat: O'day 32 CC Ketch
Posts: 493
Re: Biodiesel - Coming To A Fuel Dock Near You??

I've never been really into biodiesel but have set up many grease systems in cars and trucks. Recently I've though of doing the same on my boat diesel. The issues I have with biodiesel as a alt fuel is it still needs to be made using methanol, refined, and mainly the greedy oil tycoons are getting richer. Grease systems just switch to burning veg oil once a diesel engine is warmed up. So 15 minutes warm up, and 15 minutes shut down on diesel and you can run days inbetween on veg oil. I sell french fries and used oil is abundant. Once set up to do this and you filter your own used veg oil. It can be very cost effective.
__________________

__________________
RabidRabbit is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fuel

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:18.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.