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  #1  
Old 12-13-2003, 12:34 PM
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78fordman 78fordman is offline
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Soy Biodiesel

Can a powerstroke run off of 100 percent soy biodiesel?
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2003, 05:40 PM
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Yes. And run quite well, too.

The problem is that B-100 biodiesel clouds around 30 degrees, so if you live in a colder part of the country you'll need to use an anti-gel additive or mix it with maybe 50% regular pump diesel.

I ran a B-50 mix last week down to 5 degreeđM ňJó???sŽs€đ?s”´SB riment and my truck never ran smoother and quieter. But because of cost I generally run B-20 year-round.
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2003, 10:11 PM
Gypsy Gypsy is offline
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Soy Diesel

Where do you get soy fuel?
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Old 12-14-2003, 09:57 AM
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The only negative I think would be the cost. Around here, 100% BioDiesel is pretty darned expensive. I'll bet that once more outlets carry it that will change.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2003, 11:46 AM
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Re: Soy Diesel

Quote:
Originally posted by Gypsy
Where do you get soy fuel?
Look here:

http://www.biodiesel.org
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Old 12-14-2003, 08:45 PM
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Do you have to modify the PSD in any way to run bio, or is it just pump and go?
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Old 12-14-2003, 09:01 PM
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pump and go
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Old 12-14-2003, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by oppy
The only negative I think would be the cost. Around here, 100% BioDiesel is pretty darned expensive. I'll bet that once more outlets carry it that will change.
The energy bill that Congress recently failed to agree on had a provision in it that reduced the tax on diesel fuel, 1 cent for each percent of biodiesel in the blend. So the common B-20 mix would have gotten the maximum 20 cent a gallon tax break. Would have made biodiesel cost-competitive.

Maybe next year...Groan.

What did someone once say? To avoid watching laws being written or sausage being made?
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Old 12-19-2003, 12:35 AM
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I'd like to know what the fuel cost is to produce biodiesel. It takes a lot of fuel to grow the crop, plus petrochemical-based fertilizers and pesticides. Then it must be transported and refined. I'd be surprised if there is a net gain. If anyone has data, please share. I've done a lot of Web searching without finding anything.
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Old 12-19-2003, 06:59 AM
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I have not seen any information that would suggest that there is not an energy gain with biodiesel. This is in contrast to ethanol, for which there is a significant amount of discussion out there which suggests just the distillation alone creates a negative energy balance.

But remember, it takes energy to refine and blend petroleum fuels too. There's also potentially a lot more transportation involved in getting it to the end user.
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Old 12-19-2003, 09:10 AM
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There are hidden costs of petroleum that we don't see.

from... http://www.iags.org/n1030034.htm

NDCF report: the hidden cost of imported oil

The National Defense Council Foundation (NDCF), an Alexandria, Virginia-based research and educational institution has completed its year-long analysis of the “hidden cost” of imported oil. The NDCF project represents the most comprehensive investigation of the military and economic penalty our undue dependence on imported oil exacts from the U.S. economy. Included in this economic toll are:

Almost $49.1 billion in annual defense outlays to maintain the capability to defend the flow of Persian Gulf Oil – the equivalent of adding $1.17 to the price of a gallon of gasoline;
The loss of 828,400 jobs in the U.S. economy;
The loss of $159.9 billion in GNP annually;
The loss of $13.4 billion in federal and state revenues annually;
Total economic penalties of from $297.2 to $304.9 billion annually. If reflected at the gasoline pump, these “hidden costs” would raise the price of a gallon of gasoline to over $5.28, a fill-up would be over $105.

If biodiesel got the same subsidies the petroleum industry got, or if we actually payed the real price of oil at the pump, biodiesel would be competetive. But since the gov't is more concerned with big $$ special interest groups than the planet, or the regular peons that live on it, neither will happen.

-Shawn
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Old 12-19-2003, 10:57 AM
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Shawn -

Thanks for posting the information and links. I think this is good reading. I also feel, however, that the owners of those websites are not without an unwritten agenda and not necessarily completely objective.

The government gives tax breaks (which is not the same as a subsidy) to all businesses. Heck, I get tax breaks for things like owning a house, and spending money related to my job. This isn't a subsidy. I'm sure if you added up all of the tax credits individuals get, you could come up with an astronomical dollar figure and claim that rich homeowners are receiving billions in subsidies too. We all know that simply isn't the case - I pay enough in taxes, thank you.

While I'm sure some of the costs detailed in the various studies out there are valid, some of the claims are simply ridiculous. For example, one of the "subsidies" supposedly given to the oil industry is:

"The largest portion of this total is federal, state, and local governments' $36 to $112 billion worth of spending on the transportation infrastructure, such as the construction, maintenance, and repair of roads and bridges." (from an "International Center for Technology Assessment" study which is one of the data sources for the cost figures cited in the NDCF information).

What the heck does that have to do with the oil industry? We're gonna need roads and bridges no matter what we use for fuel!

One of the things that has become apparent to me is that data can be manipulated in a lot of different ways in order to justify a position. I always look at this kind of stuff, which makes seemingly wild claims, with not a little skepticism.

The bottom line is we buy oil from the Middle East because it's the most cost-effective way to do it. To think that we, as a nation, are going to do anything different for the foreseeable future is simply fantasy.

That being said, I think we do need to look for alternative fuels as long as they actually work. I think biodiesel is a great example of this. I buy it whenever I can.
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Old 12-19-2003, 05:38 PM
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Diesel-lady asks a good question that many respondents have missed. For each gallon of bio diesel, how many gallons of petroleum do we consume to manufacture that gallon? For each bushel of grain, how many gallons of petroleum are consumed? What would be a more efficient use of the petroleum resource; refining it into herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and fuel so I can plant, grow and harvest and deliver soybeans to be then converted into "bio diesel" for my truck, OR to simply refine the petroleum into diesel in the first place. The assumption that we are decreasing our dependence on foreign oil by burning bio diesel only works if we are talking about burning the waste bio product from another application- something that works on the current small scale (fryer grease) but on a macro scale, bio diesel may well be more energy intensive than petrol-based diesel. The same questions apply to hydrogen. Hydrogen is a clean fuel to CONSUME, but it takes a lot of energy to PRODUCE. So if we shift away from gas to hydrogen, we have to find an energy source (electricity) to produce the hydrogen. This may be a good trade in terms of reducing point-source pollution- but it does not necessarily reduce total energy consumption. I think a more immediate solution would be increasing the size of the diesel fleet- by increasing the fleet mileage by 20-30% we would be decreasing our dependence on foreign oil. And to whatever extent surplus bio fuels can be added into the supply with out requiring an increase in biofuel crop production, we are further ahead.

The answer to her question would involve determining how much energy is required to produce one gallon of bio diesel, how much of that energy input is petroleum-based, and how much is solar or other sources. My hunch is that if you suspend the input of agricultural crop subsidies it is grossly inefficient to convert petroleum to soybeans to be used in place of petroleum someplace else. – Both economically inefficient and energy inefficient.

-Mike
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Old 12-19-2003, 09:32 PM
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There is a large energy gain with biodiesel, it's not a net loss as is being speculated. You have to account for the solar energy that is absorbed by the crop and converted into oil

It takes a lot of energy to create conventional diesel fuel. Not a small part of it is the large amount of energy used in the refining process. Not so much an issue with domestic produced oil but it also takes a lot of energy to transport crude imported from overseas in tankers.

There is no question that there is net positive energy gain with biodiesel, that's the energy used to grow, fertilizer, process the oil crop including the energy needed to convert the crop oil to biodiesel. The energy out of biodiesel is around 3x the energy put into producing it.

According to the U. of Arkansas Pat Manning, 3.24 times as much energy is in biodiesel as the fuel, fertilizer and etc. used to raise the oilseed crop.

According to the US Department of Energy, the ratio is 3 to 1. (huge PDF file)
http://www.osti.gov/fcvt/deer2002/mccormick.pdf

Iowa State University claims a 3.8 to 1 net energy gain.
http://www.agmrc.org/energy/profiles...selprofile.pdf

I could post other references, but there's no question that using soy biodiesel is a net energy *gain* of around three. To directly refine the petroleum into diesel and burn it on the road would only produce 1/3 the energy as using it to produce biodiesel, and then using the biodiesel that's produced.

These energy calculations are for soy biodiesel. The ratio goes up is other types of oilseeds are used. The ratio is more than 4 to 1 if canola seed is used.

There are plants of the mustard seed family that produce a lot more oil per acre than soybeans, and these crops need hardly any irrigation water in dry regions of the country. A number of farmers in my area are looking into this new cash crop.

And not to sound too much like an enviro-nut (or my waste-not-want-not grandma) but we dump and otherwise dispose of hundreds of millions of gallons of used vegetable oil every year. Recycling that oil into biodiesel instead of dumping it would be a national net energy gain.

Along with a number of other PSD owners around here, I've been using biodiesel in my own truck and farm tractor for about a year and a half, since it became available at local pumps and I love the stuff. Truck runs smoother, quieter and strong. It's higher cetane makes my truck start fast like a gasser. Even though bio theoretically has an energy content halfway between #1 and #2 fuel, I've seen no difference in mileage or power vs. running straight #2. My guess is that the higher cetane of biodiesel offsets its slightly less btus per gallon. Smoother burning, easier to ignite = power and mileage.

I've added biodiesel to a half tank of regular diesel in the summer and within a minute, the notorious PSD engine cackle is trememdously reduced or completely gone. Like putting earplugs in- That much of a difference.

IMO, biodiesel blend isn't a substitute for regular #2, it's a *better* fuel than straight #2.

The only downside to my biodiesel experience has been its higher cost, around $30 a month in my case. But I'm willing to spend that on bio just like a lot of people pay a little more to buy premium, high cetane diesel fuel. And that's exactly what B-20 is. I'm one of those **** PSD owners that only puts the best into my truck and if biodiesel didn't measure up, I wouldn't be using it, I'd be complaining about it instead.

I really suggest buying a couple jugs of B-100 and dump a few gallons in to get at least a 20% blend and tell me that everything I've said ain't the gospel truth. Listen to the engine, put it on the dyno, whatever.
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2003, 04:38 AM
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If you can find a restraunt that will give you their used fryer grease, you can make your own biodiesel for about $0.50 a gallon.
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Old 12-20-2003, 04:38 AM
 
 
 
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