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Old 19-03-2008, 15:47   #16
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I didn't know I would cause such a stir, but that is our goal on the trip. So lets answer a few questions:

The whole goal is to raise awareness and answer some of the questions on here. I think that Charlie has the right way of thinking. We are going to try t create as much of a stir as possible. We of course have a website that we are working on getting right as we speak. We will utilize it for press releases, and for people to continue to follow us once we have left their port.

The reason for the high price of biodiesel is the producers want to make a profit $$$. They see thier product as a premium fuel. It was true that biodiesel did reduce the horse power of a diesel engine but modern engines, especially those of Volkswagon, actually run more efficient and have better gas milage with biodiesel. Biodiesel has better lubrication properties so many of the old diesel engines that are running it now have lasted well into the 200,000 mile range and are going strong.
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Old 19-03-2008, 15:49   #17
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Why don't they let the price float freely, independent of fossil diesel?

Because they don't have to!
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Old 19-03-2008, 15:50   #18
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good luck with your trip



please read on the unintended consequences of bio fuels.
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Old 19-03-2008, 15:56   #19
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Because they don't have to!
I would imagine they kind of *should* have to, if they wanted to sell a lot of it.

Why?

*It has all those cold weather gel problems (like Del talked about).
*It voids warranties in many on-road vehicles.
*It requries engine mods to run in many on-road vehicles.
*It's hard to find (you have to drive far to get it).

If I was running a bio-diesel refinery, I'd undercut the fossil guys by a few cents and get rich. Not sure why the producers don't do that.

BTW: I'm not against bio fuels, except in the case that they inflate crop and food prices, causing starvation and malnutrition, or financial hardship for people who worry about where their next food $ will come from. Or possibly in the case that some crop is grown specifically for the fuel, wasting fresh water, erroding soil and spreading toxic pesticides across the land. Otherwise, it's good stuff.
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Old 19-03-2008, 16:24   #20
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Slightly off topic:

Does anyone know why biodiesel producers peg their prices to that of the fossil fuel producers?

Looking at the economics of it all, I was thinking about home brewing biodiesel for heat this past winter when I had that Dickenson diesel heater. Seemed even buying all the hardware and chemicals I'd come up with less than half the cost the biodiesel producers were charging and they have the advantage of mass production.

Why don't they let the price float freely, independent of fossil diesel?

Because they can? Why sell something cheaper than what people will pay for it? That is a strictly economic point of view.
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Old 19-03-2008, 16:56   #21
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Because they can? Why sell something cheaper than what people will pay for it? That is a strictly economic point of view.
Yes, I understand, but they have almost no volume. People *don't* pay the same amount - or rather - a few people do, but the vast majority (myself included) don't buy it because it represents no savings at all over fossil diesel. In fact, it's more expensive if you factor in engine mods, voided warranties and cold weather gelling issues.

I guess I'm wondering why they don't just ramp up volume to make more $$ by dropping the price to be competitive with fossil diesel, rather than just being an "also ran" fuel source. The margin would certainly still be there, but the volume could go through the roof if they decided to be competitive on price, even if that meant just a nickel less than current diesel prices.
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Old 19-03-2008, 16:56   #22
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What about Palm oil or Coconut oil diesel

Anyone heard much about these?

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Old 19-03-2008, 17:20   #23
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My understanding is that with biodiesel you do not have to make any mods to your engine. Del knows more about the cold weather problems. In terms of voiding your warranty I won't run biodiesel thru any of my vehicles that are under warranty. OTOH if you want to run waste vegetable oil thru your engine what you need to do is have a seperate tank and filter system where you put the waste vegetable oil. You start the cehicle and end the run with dino diesel and then when the engine is warm you switch to waste vegie oil. As far as I know a diesel engine can run on palm or coconut oil. I think it just a matter of your engine getting high cholesterol.
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Old 19-03-2008, 17:24   #24
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There are issuse running B100 in a marine environment. I'm not saying can't be done, there are just a ton of things to change. Then there is the issue of if the changes are USCG approved mods and insurable changes.
I dare not wade any deeper into this topic.


good luck with the trip
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Old 19-03-2008, 18:11   #25
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I dare not wade any deeper into this topic.

Ha ha ha... I think I might not dare either...
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Old 19-03-2008, 21:27   #26
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Yes, I understand, but they have almost no volume. People *don't* pay the same amount - or rather - a few people do, but the vast majority (myself included) don't buy it because it represents no savings at all over fossil diesel. In fact, it's more expensive if you factor in engine mods, voided warranties and cold weather gelling issues.

I guess I'm wondering why they don't just ramp up volume to make more $$ by dropping the price to be competitive with fossil diesel, rather than just being an "also ran" fuel source. The margin would certainly still be there, but the volume could go through the roof if they decided to be competitive on price, even if that meant just a nickel less than current diesel prices.

OK...........I know this guy....................he is up in a company that has a virtual monopoly on the bio diesel in Florida,OK.....(it can be made from fat trimmings from Winn Dixie, chicken skin, french fry oil, whatever)......if you start up a factory you will be bought out before long.........They will buy you out and close the doors and padlock them...........unless they can use it.........then they bring in my friend and he streamlines all the stuff or whatever, and they make tons more money.

So................he says most of the diesel is shipped out of the country and sold for quite a tidy sum.

This com pay is privately held and run (a family) and they have a lot of diversity and so much money...............OH So Much Money............they are smarter than you or I...........Me for sure.............
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Old 21-03-2008, 02:13   #27
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Is he purchasing "commercial" biodiesel, or doing a "home brew"?
Sorry to take so long to reply to you Gord. I am sorry, I don't know. I will ask him when I next see him. Is there a reason you have asked such question??
Commercially produced Biodiesel is not the same thing as raw vegetable oil or unaltered (used) frying grease.
It is precisely produced by a chemical process which removes the glycerin from the oil. In the USA, an accepted standard of biodiesel has been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as a fuel (and fuel additive) and is approved for blending (up to20%) by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). This standard of ASTM D 6751 is what should be produced and used in blends.
Other ‘bio-derived’ materials that do not meet D 6751 may cause engine and fuel system problems, and void engine warranties.

Two studies published in Science magazine add to the mounting evidence that most biofuels are actually increasing carbon emissions, rather than reducing them.
The authors conclude that the only biofuels that could have a beneficial carbon balance are those derived from waste: agricultural waste, food industry waste, or even human waste.

Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land Use Change:
Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land Use Change -- Searchinger et al., 10.1126/science.1151861 -- Science


Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt
Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt -- Fargione et al., 10.1126/science.1152747 -- Science
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Old 24-03-2008, 13:18   #28
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Aloha and Welcome aboard!
Looks like you've gotten quite a few comments already. I've had a couple friends use biodiesel in their Mercedes cars. Seemed to work just fine. I wasn't curious so didn't ask what they had to do to make it work.
I never heard of an incompatability with epoxy tanks. Have you?
Good luck on your journey.
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Old 24-03-2008, 20:36   #29
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I am not sure about the epoxy tanks. I know that there is some compatibility issues with other synthetic tanks over time.

Obviously steel or aluminum work great but with the properties of biodiesel it tends to clean them out so there is an issue with particulates in the fuel during the first few uses.
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Old 25-03-2008, 04:54   #30
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I am not sure about the epoxy tanks. I know that there is some compatibility issues with other synthetic tanks over time
Gasoline when ethanol has been added causes the tanks to break down for a lot of older power boats especially Bertram boats with fiberglass tanks. A friend has one for sale because in VA we don't add it to marine fuel but do for autos. based on tank capacity he can't motor out of the state beyond states that do add it to marine gasoline. He is essentially unable to leave.
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