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  #1  
Old 12-05-2011, 03:19 PM
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Typical gel point for home-brewed bio?

I'm running on home brewed B100 and the temps are starting to get down into the mid to low 30's. I'm wondering how low the temps can get before typical home brew made from WVO will start to gell up.

If I add some PowerService with the anti-gel addatives (white bottle I think - or was it the red bottle?), how low can the temps go before gelling is an issue?

We don't get temps below freezing very often or for very long around here, but I don't want to wake up tomorrow morning and find that my ride to work won't start because of gelled fuel.

On the other hand I'd rather not have to buy pump diesel at close to $4 a gallon either....
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:24 PM
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A lot of it depends on what the bio was made from. Soy based bio will gel at a higher temp than Canola based bio. I'm running B-80 right now with temps in the high 20's. If I see that the temps are going to get lower, I switch over to B-50.


Try putting some of your bio in a clear jar with a thermometer in it, and place in your fridge or freezer, then watch and see what temp it starts to cloud up.
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:01 PM
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Mine is made from wvo that is a soy-canola blend.

I'll try the fridge suggestion. Will PowerService anti-gel help much (like take it 20 degrees lower or something) or is it only good for a few degrees?

Any potential drawbacks to adding PowerService to B100?
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:55 PM
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I've added Diesel Kleen to mix, but not to straight bio. Right now running about 25% bio with low temps in the single digits...
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:32 PM
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Here's what I have done in the past. These are outside. It's a bit of overkill being that my blend of B70 is fine into the teens with barely a hint of it beginning to form a haze. As far as DK, I don't know how well it will work as designed in higher biodiesel blends. If I remember correctly, the bottle states it will work in blends of B20 or less. (BTW, that's B100 of the same batch on the far right)

Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by binuya; 12-05-2011 at 05:34 PM. Reason: add comment
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binuya View Post
Here's what I have done in the past. These are outside. It's a bit of overkill being that my blend of B70 is fine into the teens with barely a hint of it beginning to form a haze. As far as DK, I don't know how well it will work as designed in higher biodiesel blends. If I remember correctly, the bottle states it will work in blends of B20 or less. (BTW, that's B100 of the same batch on the far right)

Click the image to open in full size.
Is that thermometer reading 25 degrees? And the B100 clouded up that much more than B70?

You're right about what the PS says on the bottle - good for BD blends up to B20. I figure that is just a CYA on their part - just like the vehicle manufacturers say their vehicles are only good to run on B5 or less. The PS bottle also says it will lower the gel point up to 36 degrees. I figure if it even lowers it 20 degrees, and it isn't gelling now in the low 30's, then adding the PS should keep it from gelling down into the low teens - which is colder than it is likely to get in my neck of the woods...
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by CheaperJeeper View Post
Is that thermometer reading 25 degrees? And the B100 clouded up that much more than B70?

You're right about what the PS says on the bottle - good for BD blends up to B20. I figure that is just a CYA on their part - just like the vehicle manufacturers say their vehicles are only good to run on B5 or less. The PS bottle also says it will lower the gel point up to 36 degrees. I figure if it even lowers it 20 degrees, and it isn't gelling now in the low 30's, then adding the PS should keep it from gelling down into the low teens - which is colder than it is likely to get in my neck of the woods...
Yes, that reads 25F. This picture was taken after a few days of temperatures in the high teens, where it became solid like wax. It takes much longer for B100 to 'break loose' after it gels. But at 25F it looks nearly like that, just not as dense throughout.

Since temperatures here in Seattle infrequently dip much below freezing, I'm fine with cutting it with pump diesel.

I've wondered myself if the DK would work at lowering gel points of higher biodiesel concentrations. Maybe another sample/blend test should be conducted........
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by binuya View Post
Yes, that reads 25F. This picture was taken after a few days of temperatures in the high teens, where it became solid like wax. It takes much longer for B100 to 'break loose' after it gels. But at 25F it looks nearly like that, just not as dense throughout.

Since temperatures here in Seattle infrequently dip much below freezing, I'm fine with cutting it with pump diesel.

I've wondered myself if the DK would work at lowering gel points of higher biodiesel concentrations. Maybe another sample/blend test should be conducted........
Hey COOL! I didn't notice until just now that you are also from the Seattle area! That photo must've been taken two winters ago when we had snow on the ground for a month. That's about the only time in the last 25+ years (as long as I've lived here) that I can remember us having "...a few days of temperatures in the high teens..." I bought some DK in the white bottle last night and have already added 8 ounces to my 20 gallon tank. Just a hair "richer" mix than the instructions call for (8 ounces for 25 gallons fuel). I'm going to tap a couple of jars worth off my storage tank, treat one of them, and toss them in the freezer to see what happens.

My buddy is moving to NH, so now I am looking for a new bio-diesel partner. I have a good steady source of oil, and some equipment, but what I don't have is a place to set up or a lot of time to invest. We were producing our fuel at his house. The deal we had going was I would buy all the methanol for both of us, he bought the lye and other supplies, and he ran the batches.

A 55 gallon drum of methanol makes around 250 gallons of bio, and we split the production 50/50. So for spending a couple of hundred bucks on a drum of methanol I'd get 125 gallons of bio, and for investing just a few bucks in supplies and electricity, and putting in the time to make 5 batches, he'd also get 125 gallons of bio. So I'd get mine for $1.50 - $1.75 a gallon, and he'd get his for a few cents a gallon and the work involved in processing it. Good deal for both of us.

Know anybody who'd be interested in a partnership like that?
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:33 PM
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similar to what we do. too bad your a thousand miles west on I-90...
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:03 PM
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similar to what we do. too bad your a thousand miles west on I-90...
Yeah, I'll find another partner though. Surely someone around the area will be interested in getting their fuel almost for free, just for making me some.

I also wanted to relate an interesting thing that happened Saturday morning. I was transferring some of my recently collected WVO from cubies (that's how I pick it up) into 55 gallon drums (that's how I store it and transport it down to my buddy's house for brewing bio) and I could see the raw WVO was just starting to gel.

I figure if the raw oil is just barely starting to gel at temps in the low 30's, my bio - especially with a healthy dose of PowerService anti-gel - ought to be good down into the low teens...
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:18 PM
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I just pumped another 15 gallons into the beast. Temp only got to 25 today and it hadn't gelled. Probably wasn't that cold in the shed but still must have been some good oil in that batch...
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:17 AM
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There is currently no additive that I am aware of that lowers the gel point of biodiesel, so any additive is only going to work on the portion of your blend that is petro based.

There is a company called Evonik located near us in SEPA that has products that claim to improve low temp performance of biodiesel.
Biodiesel

We submitted a sample to them in 2009 and they ran some tests which showed no improvement in CFPP and a small improvement in cold storage. What I learned from this was that even though our fuel had a CFPP of 28.7F, if it was kept at higher temps it would start to gel over time. I blend with kerosene and keep a sample in a jar so I know what's going on in my tank. Right now I am at B90 with temps in the lows of 25 and highs of mid 40s for several days and no issues.

here is an email back in 2009 from Evonik:


I've attached a spreadsheet with the low temperature data we've generated so far on your waste vegetable oil methyl ester. We tested various treat rates of our three main Viscoplex biodiesel cold flow improvers, including the samples that you blended, for pour point, cloud point, CFPP, and storage stability. The PP, CP, and CFPP results are located in the first tab of the file. Storage stability w/ pictures is detailed in the second.

For CFPP, we didn't really see any movement with the inclusion of additive. Untreated your B100 measures -3C in the test, and 10-330 can reduce that 2 degrees down to -5C. The other CFIs do not improve (and do not hurt) the result. The -5C value when using 10-330 is right at the test's ~2C variability.

For pour point, we get good improvement using Viscoplex 10-305, brining the pour down from -3C to -27C at 0.5% additive. 10-330 shows activity in pour point too, but does not bring as much improvement.

For cloud point, we see about 1-2C better results when treating with CFI. These results are typical, as our additives do not generally improve cloud point beyond several degrees.

In the storage stability tab, you'll see some pictures and descriptions of samples as we held them at 0C for 7 days. By day 3 the untreated fuel was nearly 50% crystallized, and by day 7 the B100 was essentially solid. The treated samples are cloudy by remain liquid and can readily flow. We're going to drop the temperature down to -5C (23F) and continue monitoring through Friday 11/13.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:08 PM
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There is currently no additive that I am aware of that lowers the gel point of biodiesel, so any additive is only going to work on the portion of your blend that is petro based.

There is a company called Evonik located near us in SEPA that has products that claim to improve low temp performance of biodiesel.
Biodiesel ...
Well I'm running B100, so from what you are saying the Power Serivice isn't going to help me at all...

That is disheartening news....

Guess I'm gonna' have to start blending in some pump diesel (sigh)
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CheaperJeeper View Post
Well I'm running B100, so from what you are saying the Power Serivice isn't going to help me at all...

That is disheartening news....

Guess I'm gonna' have to start blending in some pump diesel (sigh)
Different chemistry, sorry. There was some work in 2009 to produce biodiesel with a depressed cloud point but I haven't heard anything about it lately, probably buried in some oil execs drawer Urea Clathration | Biodiesel Chemistry

If you can get clear kerosene you can use much less than petrodiesel. I've been successful using B80-B90 all last winter in my Benz and Excursion. Plus kerosene is a lot cleaner than petrodiesel
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:05 PM
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I tried using additives back when I first started, howes, DK and PS and mixing 10% petro diesel and the ONLY jar that went lower temp then straight bio was the B90 the others even mixed at way more then double the recommended dose clouded side by side with teh straight B100
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:05 PM
 
 
 
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