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  #1  
Old 01-15-2007, 05:07 PM
Hamberger Hamberger is offline
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More Biodiesel Lessons Learned

After all the trouble I ran into during the last 10 year arctic outflow freeze we had in December I was hoping everything would go back to normal once we returned to our usual westcoast rain weather.

Long behold last week another on in 10 year artic freeze moved thru BC and with it I though I was prepared by having my B40 diesel in my tanks diluted down to B5 or less.

Unfortunately there was still enough of an outfalling of solids even with B5 that completely plugged my new filter I just installed less than a month ago. Running a 2 Micron filter does not help as it plugs up ever so much faster.

Additional lessons learned are:
  • Always carry a spare filter when running any Biodiesel blends, even if you just changed your filter.
  • Running Biodiesel below 30 F is dicy due to the risk of filter plugging.
  • Filter plugging can occur quickly. I only got about 1/2 mile from the time my Fuel Filter light indicated low fuel pressure and the engine started stalling.
Seb.....
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2007, 05:36 PM
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Is this homemade BD or purchased from a comercial source.
Solids falling out sounds like contaminants especially when it happens at temps as high as 30 degrees F. It could also indicate a high animal fat content feed stock.

Try B20 during the winter months.
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2007, 06:49 PM
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My commercial fuel supplier who is promoting biodiesel is saying during winter months to run only B5. Spring, summer,fall to use B20 if desired. Their web site is http://www.crystalflash.com/ look under handling
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2007, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phydeaux88
Is this homemade BD or purchased from a comercial source.
Solids falling out sounds like contaminants especially when it happens at temps as high as 30 degrees F. It could also indicate a high animal fat content feed stock.

Try B20 during the winter months.
I am running commercial grade biodiesel.

My problem is that when temperatures drop below 30 F my filter starts to plug with some kind of "fatty" margerine like substance. I cut apart the filter I installed a month ago and at first glance it looked perfectly fine; however when I started peeling back the paper wafers you could see the thin margerine like coating. As the entire filter gets coated with this stuff it completely plugs up. I got an electric assist pump on my 91' F350 and it would not push as much as a drop of fuel thru at 7 psig pressure.

As soon as the temperature drops below 30 the see-thru bowl on my Racor filter goes cloudy and it is the cloudy part that plugs up the filter. Above 30F the Biodiesel has a nice clear golden colour.

I think a small shell and tube heat exchanger using engine coolant for heating should get the fuel hot enought to keep it from clouding. Probably will mount it on the drivers side fender next to my electric fuel pump. I am hoping there should be enough time for the truck to start and warm up before the filter starts to plug. I will have to see what I can rig up. At $CDN 35 for a 2 micron filter a small HX installation should pay for itself quickly.


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  #5  
Old 01-16-2007, 08:51 AM
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Sounds like Soy based bio. I'm using canola based bio, and at 28 deg my B-100 is just starting to "cloud" My B-80 does not even start to cloud until 0 deg.All the commercial biodiesel I've seen has been water-washed, and even the B-20 clouds up about 30 deg. I don't think they're removing ALL the water, which can cause the gelling you are getting.
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2007, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabmandelux
Sounds like Soy based bio. I'm using canola based bio, and at 28 deg my B-100 is just starting to "cloud" My B-80 does not even start to cloud until 0 deg.All the commercial biodiesel I've seen has been water-washed, and even the B-20 clouds up about 30 deg. I don't think they're removing ALL the water, which can cause the gelling you are getting.
Well it is definetely soy based Bio and probably has some heavily dispersed water from the water wash amoung it also. When I removed my Racor filter on my 93' it was heavyly corroded on the inlet flange which is only carbon steel while the rest of the internals are stainless steel. I had not changed this filter in 3 years as I had significantly oversized it on purpose as the larger cartridge (R60S) is only $2 more the smaller cartridge (R45S) and give you more than double the flow.

What bugs me is that I had diluted my tanks down to less than B5 and thought I would be save during the recent artic freeze repeat. My pump and filter did not literally freeze like they did in December; however the CFFP of the mix is still to high causing my filter to plug.

I think the commercial Bio diesel sellers in north western canada have their work cut out for them for improving the CFFP properties for next year or the biodiesel business may become seasonal only in this part of the world. In order to re-attract customers they will have to do some more serious discounting than what is presently done.



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  #7  
Old 01-16-2007, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabmandelux
Sounds like Soy based bio. I'm using canola based bio, and at 28 deg my B-100 is just starting to "cloud" My B-80 does not even start to cloud until 0 deg.All the commercial biodiesel I've seen has been water-washed, and even the B-20 clouds up about 30 deg. I don't think they're removing ALL the water, which can cause the gelling you are getting.
Fab is the BD Guru so if he says soy I would bet on it.

What I said about contaminants, water + FFA = contimanants = soap = plugged filter



The big problem with BD is that there really isn't any standard at this time.
The standard used for B5 is the same as the standard for #2 because at 5% BD doesnt alter the fuels properties enough to throw it outside that existing ASTM standard. However, when you increase the percentage of BD past 5% blends will no longer conform and you don't know what you are getting.

Since Hamberger lives in Canada he might check to see if Canadian guidelines exist for other blends.
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2007, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phydeaux88
Fab is the BD Guru so if he says soy I would bet on it.

What I said about contaminants, water + FFA = contimanants = soap = plugged filter



The big problem with BD is that there really isn't any standard at this time.
The standard used for B5 is the same as the standard for #2 because at 5% BD doesnt alter the fuels properties enough to throw it outside that existing ASTM standard. However, when you increase the percentage of BD past 5% blends will no longer conform and you don't know what you are getting.

Since Hamberger lives in Canada he might check to see if Canadian guidelines exist for other blends.
I am afraid that Canadian standards are no better than American standards when it comes to Biodiesel at this time. Canada with it's vast farming area should become a leader in developing these standards.

The Biodiesel I buy is made from soybeans as they are probably easier and more profitable to grow here in Canada than Canola. It would not suprise me if there were a small portion of animal renderings in it also.

There is lot of plans in place for building several large biodiesel plants in Canada and from what I hear Canada may actually follow California for mandating ethanol in gasoline in a few years.

Looking back all I can say is the my experience with Biodiesel this Winter has been less than stellar; the two factors that probably contributed to this are the un-usually abnormal cold winter and the fact that I tried to push B40 where B5 is probably all I should have been using all along.

I wonder, there have got to be some European standards for Biodiesel that we could adapt. I know Germany has been a huge Biodiesel user and most roaddiesel sold contains a certain percentage of Bio Diesel.

But then again, if every liter of Diesel sold would contain only 5% Bio (B5) this would be a huge amount of Biofuel being used. Made running anything higher than B5 is not the answer anyways.


Well, continue to live and learn I say,


Seb....
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Last edited by Hamberger; 01-16-2007 at 11:12 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2007, 11:50 AM
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Hamberger check out this link for fuel quality it gives a ASTM D-6751 reference http://www.biodiesel.org/resources/fuelqualityguide/
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:55 AM
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Most of the problems I hear about biodiesel are with the commercial stuff. I think most hombrewers are doing a better job with quality control than any of the commericial plants. They are profit driven, those of us that make it at home are quality driven.


When it leaves the commericial plants, they have no control over how it is transported, blended, or stored. When I pump it into my "use" tank, I KNOW it is the best quality I can make.

As an example: I filter ALL my biodiesel BELOW 1 micron. The fuel dealers in my area only filter down to 15 microns [ I know, I asked!]. I tried filtering the local D-1 that I use for winter blending through my 1 micron final filter.......And PLUGGED IT UP SOLID! Now I filter it through a 5 micron, then a 1 micron before I use it for blending................
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  #11  
Old 01-16-2007, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabmandelux
Most of the problems I hear about biodiesel are with the commercial stuff. I think most hombrewers are doing a better job with quality control than any of the commericial plants. They are profit driven, those of us that make it at home are quality driven.


When it leaves the commericial plants, they have no control over how it is transported, blended, or stored. When I pump it into my "use" tank, I KNOW it is the best quality I can make.

As an example: I filter ALL my biodiesel BELOW 1 micron. The fuel dealers in my area only filter down to 15 microns [ I know, I asked!]. I tried filtering the local D-1 that I use for winter blending through my 1 micron final filter.......And PLUGGED IT UP SOLID! Now I filter it through a 5 micron, then a 1 micron before I use it for blending................


Agree, If you want the job done right you got to do it yourself. Unfortunately you don't get a lot done that way.

I checked the spec sheet from my Biodiesel supplier and there spec sheet is blank when it comes to the cloud point or CFFP point for their various blends. Probably not a good sign, unfortunately they are the only comercial provider in my area at this time.



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Old 01-16-2007, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamberger

Well, continue to live and learn I say,


Seb....

Amen Bro

So shall we all. Hopefully.
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Old 01-16-2007, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigredtruckmi
Hamberger check out this link for fuel quality it gives a ASTM D-6751 reference
Just remember that ASTM D-6751 is for BD to be used for blending so the contaminant tolerances take that into account.
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Old 01-16-2007, 01:57 PM
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100,000-Mile Evaluation of Transit Buses Biodiesel Blends

In examining the delivery load samples for biodiesel content, blend levels were found to range from less than 1% to over 80% (Figure 11). After the discovery of erratic blend levels from the first group of samples tested in May 2005, the blender reported changing its blending procedure to include recirculation of fuel within the delivery truck tank prior to delivery. Later samples seemed consistently B20 for a short period then again became erratic. Delivery Sample Biodiesel Content (Volume %)0102030405060708090Aug-04Nov-04Feb-05May-05Sep-05Dec-05Mar-06Jul-06
Figure 11. B100 Content of Delivery Load Samples
Inconsistent blend levels for B20 fuel are not uncommon. A survey of 50 B20 samples taken across the United States indicated varying blend levels and noted problems with splash blending [9]. In the RTD study however,


Link to full study. http://www.biodiesel.org/resources/r...001_tra-55.pdf


Is the problem with getting Inconsistent blends and what you bought is B80 not B20?

Bryan
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Old 01-16-2007, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phydeaux88
Just remember that ASTM D-6751 is for BD to be used for blending so the contaminant tolerances take that into account.
The Bio Diesel I am buying is clean as a whistle.

Other than the margerine like coating my filter is as clean as can be and as long as I keep about 30 F everything is fine. The problem is the change in the fuel structure when it goes thru a cooling cycle. The solid residue left behind after the fuel is cooled and warmed up again, that is causing all my filter problems.

I don't think D-6721 addresses this and since my supplier isn't guaranteeing any CFFP or cloud point temperature data I am on my own on this one.

I might try installing a small fuel-to-glycol Heat Exchanger ahead of my filter. If I get the fuel hot enough it should just melt anything that is trying to plug the filter. The stuff readily melts between my fingers at body temperature and turns back to a liquid. As long as I get enough fuel thru the filter to warm up the engine I should be set. I might even check into getting a fuel heater for my Racor Filter Unit if starting still remains an issue.
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Old 01-16-2007, 01:58 PM
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