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  #1  
Old 03-08-2006, 01:32 PM
mschultz mschultz is offline
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Bio Diesel consumes more oil than it saves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Rooster
I run 100% homebrew BD and 100% synthetic fluids in my trucks. NO arab oil in my vehicles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That is a nice sentiment but... 1) What do you think synthetic oil is make out of, bunnies and flowers? 2) Where do you think the diesel fuel, engine oil, petroleum-based fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides all required to raise that base crop all come from?

It takes diesel to plant that crop; it takes oil to fertilize that crop, oil to keep the weeds and pests out of that crop, diesel to harvest that crop, and diesel to transport that crop.

I know I am going to get lot angry responses from people who think Bio Diesel is the answer to all the world's problems right now- but it isn't. I like Bio Diesel, but it is not the answer to any large-scale energy supply problem. Only a tiny tiny tiny amount of our energy supply can be derived from waste product- the rest must come from a primary crop grown for the purpose of making Bio Diesel.

The problem is that in order to produce an energy source to replace oil, we use a lot of oil to produce that alternate source. Perhaps even more than we save by not putting it directly into our fuel tanks. And I am not sure about the wisdom of using a lot of oil to produce something that isn't oil to put into your tank. (I am not taking about coal-derived BD here because I know nothing about it).

So while it is well and good to think of Bio Diesel as a way to make use of waste product- that is only a minor fraction of our nation's fleet demand for energy. The rest of our energy demands must come from a new source. And the ratio of energy input (to create the Bio Diesel base product) to the energy output of the Bio Diesel is so low that we may well end up buying more oil to produce the Bio Diesel than we save by not simply putting the oil directly into our fuel tanks. Remember, the only input in Bio Diesel that is not petroleum based is the solar energy trapped by the plant.

Some will point to the dawn of larger ethanol production as evidence of the success of new fuels. But the problem with that analysis is that ethanol would not launch without government price supports for both grain and the plants. That means that every gallon of ethanol you buy is subsidized by US taxpayers. And I am not saying that this bad or good- I am just saying that these fuels may not be the silver bullet we want to believe they are.

Last- I have nothing but respect for those who can brew their own. On a small scale there are great advantages to Bio Diesel. I consider those people who have the ability to brew their own to be nothing short of genius.

But be careful about relying upon legal information posted on the web. Regardless of what you do or do not pay for, you may still find yourself in trouble if someone else has problems. I recommend that you spend $200-$500 at the office of your local attorney if you wish to supply your friends with Bio Diesel and you are concerned about future problems. An attorney might draft an "agreement to hold harmless" or some other document intended to diminish your liability.

I know this sounds unpleasant to those of you who are so talented that you are literally making your own fuel, but think of the costs and legal nightmare this small step may save you in the future. Have you priced a set of injectors for a PSD lately? What about the costs of legal defense when someone has a truck stall due to a clogged fuel filter (for example)? That stall results in an accident (As when crossing an intersection) where medical bills are incurred. Suddenly, that small investment in legal advice early on seems like a bargain. In the best-case scenario, you might then be able to charge a small fee to recoup your investment.

-Just a thought

-Mike
  #2  
Old 03-08-2006, 02:38 PM
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Mike,

Not gonna start a large argument here as I am really happy with brewing my own. No I do not sell it to friends etc. as I have also thought about the reprocussions of a possible failure, malfunction etc. As well as the taxes iI would be responsible to pay on any amount of fuel over 400 gallons a quarter. Plus the fact my neighbors do not want trucks in and out of the area all day blah blah blah.

But to answer your thought on farmers using petroleum etc. Maybe you need to dig a little deeper before you speak. Not all but most farmers have been running on BD for many many years (talking about midwest crop farmers) They began to research this long before most others thought about it. Hence growing their own fuel. Also look into algae produced oils, The future of BD is there. Basically I can grow enough algae in a bath tub to supply both of my PSD's. So I feel you need to look a little deeper and research before you can say such a bold statement. I am not some hobbiest here. I have and continue to study and research better ways and more ways of making BD etc. Fab man is doing the same. Also research the palm tree. It alone produces 48 usable products to replace petroleum. Not just fuel but fertilizers, plastics, clothing, and many more. So do some homework and then come back
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2006, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Rooster
Mike,

So do some homework and then come back
Ahhhh, condescension. Always a good tactic when one feels threatened or uncertain about the merits of the argument.

If you read my post more carefully, you will find that I do not question that farmers are producing the product themselves or anything about your bathtub-based global energy supply- but points for you nonetheless.

Instead, I am questioning 2 things.

First, your statement that seems to indicate that you believe that because you use synthetic oil, you do not consume any imported crude. Synthetic does not mean that it is not distilled petroleum. Many are partial synthetics marketed under the perception of full synthetics. Even hydrocracked oils such as Castrol Syntec, for example, which is a hydroisomerized petroleum oil marketed under the disguise of a synthetic. But you are smarter than me, and I have not done enough research and so you probably already know all of this.

Second, I raise no question that farmers are making the fuel themselves. I question only the net return on energy investment by taking a high-energy product, converting to a low energy material to then be converted for use in place of the same high-energy product.

I am not saying that anyone who can do this is not smart as hell. (By commanding me to do some research before posting you have already offered irrefutable proof of your superior intelligence.) What I am saying in my own garbled syntax and with weakly reasoned and poorly informed logic is that bio diesel does not appear to be the answer to our national energy demands (large scale - not home brewers and waste oil/grease burners) not only because of the inefficiencies described above but also because of the land that would be taken out of food supply chain.

Because bio diesel is your baby and because I have not done any research, let us use another magic alternative fuel an example. Many believe that hydrogen is the next great fuel source. Supporters cite the apparent lack of pollution among hydrogen's merits. But energy does not come nothing. In order to make hydrogen on a scale to power a significant portion of the US fleet, we need huge amounts of electricity to manufacture that hydrogen. That electricity must come from either coal or natural gas fired plants (substitution multiple point sources for fewer point sources) or from hydro (see "pacific salmon") or nuclear power (which has political issues all of its own). My point is that hydrogen, like bio diesel, requires energy inputs to manufacture (an no, I am not talking about volumes the size of your bathtub facility- I am talking enough to power the US fleet). And in the case of bio diesel, I think we need to better understand the ratio of energy produced by the plant from solar conversion relative that produced from the petroleum-based plant inputs. But I am sure you already know all of these ratios. I am merely demonstrating my ignorance in the hope that you will enlighten poor challenged folk like me.

I think what is needed is a demonstration that the solar energy converted by the plant is significant enough to offset the fossil fuel energy input required to grow, harvest and convert the fuel to fleet use.

That requires a physicist and someone smart like you- not dumb like me.

Gotta go, ma just caught another rat with a fork and I shor 'm hungry.

What's that 'm ta do? "Research"? Is that like book 'learnin? Is there somethin' with pictures I cun look at 'cause I just started the phonics tapes last week.

-Mike
  #4  
Old 03-08-2006, 06:09 PM
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legacylawns
Dude, a little angry? do you work for Exxon?

"I've been making bio for 2 years now and have only bought 200 gal of dino-diesel. I'ts made a huge differance in the profit for my farm..." - FABMANDELUX
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/sh...07#post3454007

"...the target cost for a finished, semi-portable plant that will produce 75-100,000 gal per year.........$25,000. That looks like alot but really isn't, 300 gal/day X 5 day/wk X 50wk/yr.

Where I live it will take 262 irrigated acres to produce 75,000 gal of canola oil. Most farms in my area are 6,000 - 15,000 acres and use approx 10,000-15,000 gal of diesel per year. When you combine that with 10,000 farms thats a huge amount of biodiesel production in one year! AND one hell of alot of farm $$$$$$$$$$..." - FABMANDELUX
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/sh...0&page=1&pp=12

"Just planted 20 acres of irrigated cannola last week, that will make aprox 5,000 gal for next year. The seed cost was $2.85 per acre !!" - FABMANDELUX
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/sh...41#post3425841

FABMAN is actually doing what you're talking about, and he seems pretty happy.

-matt
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Old 03-08-2006, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woogs
Dude, a little angry? do you work for Exxon?

-matt
Matt:
Iím not angry at all. I am sure people like Fabman are doing great things with bio diesel and I admire their technical capability. But when someone suggests that I need to do "more research" rather than responding to the issues raised, I feel inclined to point out that their condescending reply fails to address the issues raised.

Let's take your logic for a new example of obfuscation. You ask if I work for Exxon. Why would you suggest that I work for Exxon when one of the two points of my post is that it may take more energy to produce bio diesel than it will save? That is not exactly a pro-Enron concern, now is it? If I am correct about the conservation of energy and the inefficient conversation from fossil fuel to biomass to fossil fuel substitute, then the petroleum producers should support bio fuels.

I am sure your links all point out great things. And I am not saying that bio diesel is not a good thing. What I am saying it that it is not a solution to the energy supply problem facing the US fleet. Yes, as one deeply involved with agriculture, I do not deny that that bio fuels present a nice value added component to ag commodities.

But that is not my point- my point is that is it not energy efficient to consume fossil fuels to create bio-fuels to replace fossil fuels. Yes, ethanol is economically efficient for grain producers at the moment- but only with massive subsidies for both cereal grain production and for the construction of these facilities.

-Mike
  #6  
Old 03-08-2006, 06:46 PM
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I'm not crazy about where this thread is going, but I think the topic is worthy of debate. So...clean it up, make your points and counterpoints without the cheap shots, and I will allow the thread to continue to exist.

Fair enough?
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2006, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschultz
Matt:
Iím not angry at all. I am sure people like Fabman are doing great things with bio diesel and I admire their technical capability. But when someone suggests that I need to do "more research" rather than responding to the issues raised, I feel inclined to point out that their condescending reply fails to address the issues raised.

Let's take your logic for a new example of obfuscation. You ask if I work for Exxon. Why would you suggest that I work for Exxon when one of the two points of my post is that it may take more energy to produce bio diesel than it will save? That is not exactly a pro-Enron concern, now is it? If I am correct about the conservation of energy and the inefficient conversation from fossil fuel to biomass to fossil fuel substitute, then the petroleum producers should support bio fuels.

I am sure your links all point out great things. And I am not saying that bio diesel is not a good thing. What I am saying it that it is not a solution to the energy supply problem facing the US fleet. Yes, as one deeply involved with agriculture, I do not deny that that bio fuels present a nice value added component to ag commodities.

But that is not my point- my point is that is it not energy efficient to consume fossil fuels to create bio-fuels to replace fossil fuels. Yes, ethanol is economically efficient for grain producers at the moment- but only with massive subsidies for both cereal grain production and for the construction of these facilities.

-Mike
You called them out and received a response, now it is your turn. What research have you done? You must have done extensive research to state what you have, right? Well, what article did you read or book did you write, Seriously?? I don't promote bio-diesel, but I think it is a step in the right direction even if it might be the wrong one. I sure won't kick the guy doing his own thing with it as it is saving him a bundle of money for his time he puts into it. I do think though that any petroleum product that you don't have to buy is a step in the right direction, right? Really I am curious as it seems you are set in your ways and I would like to know how you came to this conclusion as you can't just think this up and run with it. You have had to do some good research and I'm curious as to what was looked into.
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  #8  
Old 03-08-2006, 07:17 PM
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legacylawns
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschultz
Why would you suggest that I work for Exxon when one of the two points of my post is that it may take more energy to produce bio diesel than it will save?
That' had nothing to do with your post. sorry cookie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschultz
I am sure your links all point out great things.
-Mike
Did you read them?

-matt
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Last edited by woogs; 03-08-2006 at 07:19 PM.
  #9  
Old 03-08-2006, 08:10 PM
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Ok everyone go to http://www.biodiesel.org/pdf_files/fuelfactsheets/Enviro_Benefits.PDF

for a statement from the national biodiesel board. Read the energy balance part. Thanks

For more teck info go to www.biodiesel.org and just start looking it is a very good site. And yes i grow soys and use B5 soydiesel
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:26 PM
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Here is the chemical formula http://www.biodiesel.org/pdf_files/f...ht&Formula.PDF

This is the B100 specs.http://www.biodiesel.org/pdf_files/fuelfactsheets/BDSpec.PDF
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:44 PM
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Mike,

You started this topic, now you are seeming to get pretty defensive and very sarcastic. My point is you obviously have challenged BD and those of us who study,produce and encourage its use. So take a little heat when you ask for it. But I will give you a title to a well known book. Granted it is an outdated book. But it has so good facts and easy to read. It is called From the Frier to the Fuel Tank. It is written by Josh Tickell. Has a lot of useful info including the cost of production for petroleum diesel and BD. Also has the environmental effects of both too, not just by burning it but also the manufacturing effects too. So once again go do some homework and then come back.
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:45 PM
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cookie88:
Point taken. Thanks.

Perhaps I need to be clearer about what it is that I am trying to say. I am not saying the bio diesel is not a great thing. I am not saying that those who are brewing their own fuel are not doing the right thing. In fact, I have demonstrated nothing but respect for anyone who has the capacity to make his or her own bio diesel.

My concern (other than the minor point that "synthetic" does not mean petroleum free) is that bio fuel may not be a solution to our large-scale energy needs. As I have said before, in order to figure out if the conversion of petroleum (and sunlight) into bio fuel and back to a petroleum substitute is more energy efficient (i.e. consumes less petroleum per caloric output of the end product) than simply pouring the petroleum into your fuel tank in the first place, we need to analyze the energy inputs required.

THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO PEOPLE BREWING THEIR OWN BIO FUELS!!!!!!

This is a question for a national fuel supply strategy. Some continue to miss my question so I will restate it.

With bio fuels we have two options.

Option 1: Dump petroleum based fuel into our cars and trucks and drive.
Option 2: A. Dump petroleum based fuel into trucks and tractors, into fertilizers, herbicides & pesticides a grow bio matter. B) Convert that bio matter back into a fuel source for cars and trucks.

No, there is no viable organic alternative to producing the record yields modern agricultural practices currently produce. Yes, under option "B" we could use bio fuels to power those tractors and trucks- but to suggest that the loop will develop more energy than it will consume in creating that fuel means that the energy trapped by the bio mass plant is made up of a substantial ration of solar energy or, you have created energy from nothing.

The question then is how much energy is required to create the biomass necessary to yield a gallon of bio fuel (not the stuff from a bath tub- I mean a commercial quantities)?

I don't think that anyone knows the answer to that question yet. We can guess- We know how many gallons of oil it takes to produce a pound of meat by calculating the bushes of corn required to raise that meat and the gallons/bushel required to grow the corn. In that calculation, it turns out that it would be more energy efficient to feed the corn directly to people than convert that corn to beef and back. Each time you convert energy, you lose something in the conversion. Bio Diesel has similar losses- the question is to what extent the incorporation of solar energy by the plant makes up for those losses.

Anyone know the answer to how much solar energy a plant traps?

-Mike
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:51 PM
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read my post which is #9 and go to the first link for your concern on energy use
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  #14  
Old 03-08-2006, 08:54 PM
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Read the book. It will answer all your questions and also give you the break down of what each plants energy yield is. Since you cannot make or destroy matter(energy) then the plant can only produce the amount of energy in consumes in its growth cycle ( hence sunlight and nutrients) now it also breaks down how much energy is produced by each plant and by each acre. Just read the book for the answers
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Old 03-08-2006, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Rooster
Mike,

My point is you obviously have challenged BD and those of us who study, produce and encourage its use.
Wrong again. In no way do I challenge those who produce and encourage the use of bio diesel. I'll make the my point short and clear for you...

I think bio diesel is good.

My concern, aside from the fact that you were wrong about synthetic oils, is that for a national energy solution, bio diesel may not be an energy efficient fuel source.

I am not talking about fryer fuel or statistics put out by special interest groups. I am talking about the conversion of energy from petrol/solar into a petrol substitute. In order to figure out if that conversion traps more solar energy during production than it loses during conversion, we need to know how much solar energy is trapped by the plant producing the bio mass, how much energy is lost in conversion to bio fuel(s) and how much petroleum is used in the production of that bio mass.

Stop manipulating my position into one ďagainstĒ bio fuels just because I have concerns about the efficiency of the energy conversion on an unsubsidized macro scale.

Considering that you have elected to perpetuate your earlier condescension, I will assume that you lack the answer as well.

-Mike
Old 03-08-2006, 09:02 PM
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