11 Most Frequently Asked Questions On Converting Your Car To Biodiesel
Firstly, it’s essential to have a diesel engine car. Biodiesel Cannot be used in a gasoline engine. Having said that, any engine that runs on #2 diesel can also be run on biodiesel. This implies, home furnaces, generators, semi-trucks, farm equipment, fishing boats, etc. There is actually nothing you want to do and nothing you need to convert. Just use it the same as any other fuel. Conversion becomes necessary while you wish to run your diesel engine on Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) For some pre-1994 model vehicles it is said that it is advisable to replace your rubber hoses with synthetic ones. But truthfully, unless you have a leak, I wouldn’t bother. 2. How much money will I save It really will depend on you, and how you decide to make your own biodiesel. For example, in case you are using waste vegetable oil from restaurants, (free feedstock) and buying other ingredients in bulk, your savings are going to be substantial. Say, around $2.00 or more per gallon. 3. Is it true that a gradually increasing the quantity of biodiesel in my diesel fuel is one of the simplest ways to start using biodiesel in my vehicle Not necessary. There is no crude oil price today international market such thing as a mechanical reason that I know of to support this. Any blend of biodiesel, from 100% biodiesel (B100) to 100% diesel might be utilized in any diesel engine. 4. Should I replace my fuel filter before using biodiesel Not necessary. Biodiesel is a solvent and as such may also start cleaning your diesel engine and your fuel system. What it goes to wash is the sludge left behind from regular diesel fuel. Over time, this sludge can clog your filters. The reality is, biodiesel will keep your car’s fuel system very, very, clean. The degreaser cleaning properties of biodiesel will clean the system of the accumulated diesel sludge/debris first. It would take weeks, months or years, who knows Engines are funny. After a while, you might have to change your fuel filter, but you will need to vary them anyway as a traditional maintenance procedure. If it clogs up, or you’re having a problem (lack of power, smoking, coughing, trouble starting, etc.) and you suspect it might be related to the fuel filter, then by all means, switch it out, they’re fairly cheap anyway. Simply change out the filter and chances are your problems will go away. It’s not a nasty idea to keep an additional fuel filter on hand anyway.! ..just in case. The good news is, once your engine’s fuel system has been cleaned, it’ll stay incredibly clean from then on. 5. I have heard that biodiesel will eat or degrade the rubber in my fuel system Biodiesel is a solvent and a degreaser (a very good one) and as a solvent, yes, it will eat rubber over time. The reality is, petroleum diesel with a high sulfur content does this too, only slower. Biodiesel acts loads like Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) that’s now fast becoming the diesel standard. Also, since 1993, diesel engines and equipment have been reworked and redesigned, using synthetic rubber with ULSD in mind. The auto makers have been phasing out rubber from the fuel systems themselves. This is resulting in fewer fuel leaks for diesel and biodiesel users alike. When you’ve got a pre-1994 vehicle with rubber fuel hoses and are experiencing leaking problems, then yes, it’s best to replace them with ULSD compatible hoses. 6. If I switch to biodiesel and don’t prefer it, are there any problems with switching back to diesel again No problems at all. You can switch back and forth as much as you want. 7. How are automobile makers, and specifically their warranties, responding to biodiesel usage It is sort of interesting to look at, truthfully. Because the biodiesel industry gets older and wiser, increasingly more OEMs (Original engine Manufactures) are warming up to this idea and making positive statement about 100% biodiesel and that is reflected in their warranties. The reality is, it is sort of tough for them to argue the actual fact. The diesel engine, in any case, was designed for this. Caterpillar, John Deere, and New Holland all accept and explicitly warrant B100 biodiesel of their engines. Others are taking a more “wait and see” attitude. They’re warranting blends like B20, or B5 but stop wanting wholeheartedly endorsing the concept. Other say they “neither oppose nor endorse” the use of bio-fuels. That is where it gets interesting; Mercedes and Volkswagen both sell cars in Europe and the USA with diesel engines and there isn’t a problem with warranty issues in Europe, but here in the great ol USA, they don’t/won’t support the use of biodiesel or the biodiesel industry. So bottom line One, check your warranty. Two, if a OEM wants to crude oil price today international market deny a guaranty based on biodiesel use, they’ll. But legally, they have to indicate a compelling reason that biodiesel hurt the engine. Which can be very hard to do. This is an excellent reason to make use of ASTM (Commercial biodiesel) fuels, especially in newer cars or trucks. 8. What’s biodiesel made from, besides vegetable oil Because modern diesel engines have been modified to fulfill diesel #2 viscosity standards, straight vegetable oil like the kind Rudolf Diesel used in 1912, is way thicker. This is the thing which kept biodiesel out of the energy/fuel playing field for therefore long. What has happened recently is a process called “transesterification.” This process is used to thin the vegetable oil and take away the glycerol molecule from the vegetable oil and replaces it with methyl alcohol , or methanol. In order to do that, the methanol is mixed with sodium or potassium hydroxide (Lye) before being mixed with the vegetable oil. This is the essential process. Commercial production requires more ingredients and more refining processes, but you get the picture. 9. Should I worry about residual methanol, lye, or glycerol For home-brewers, the potential of residual ingredients or by-products within the brewed biodiesel is a compelling reason to “wash” then test the biodiesel. Biodiesel that is commercially sold, is regulated and made to the ASTM standard, does not allow for residuals to be present. Therefore, it is best to have little worry with commercial biodiesel . 10. I am fascinated with converting my car/truck to run on straight vegetable oil (SVO) because it does not involve all of the chemicals, and is cheaper. Why doesn’t everyone just convert to SVO As we’ve said, simply because the first diesel engines were designed to burn vegetable oil, too much has changed in the engine world since 1912. Biodiesel fuel, to work efficiently in a modern diesel, we have to lower the viscosity (thickness) of the vegetable oil. we accomplish this through the biodiesel production process. It can also be accomplished by modifying the engine with a SVO Conversion kit. But additionally, there are other reasons not to use straight vegetable oil. One, it still contains glycerol which doesn’t burn as cleanly as biodiesel and may leave deposits behind in the injection chambers. Two, SVO still needs to be de-watered, filtered and heated prior to introducing it into your tank. Also, filtering SVO will be very tedious to say the least, needing numerous time and energy, not to mention equipment and tools 11. Will biodiesel work in kerosene heaters and/or oil furnaces The short answer is…yes. Biodiesel is 100% compatible with diesel #2. There are not any worries in that regard. One of many compelling reasons to purchase a biodiesel kit in my opinion is to eliminate that financial albatross, called “heating oil” in colder climates. A biodiesel kit pays for itself in a matter of months, one winter definitely. Kerosene, which is also called diesel #1, or heating oil #1, is thinner than diesel #2. This, of course, requires a bit more experimentation, but generally, if a heater is designed for kerosene, then it can work with a biodiesel blend. (meaning a better percentage of kerosene and a lower percentage of biodiesel) In regards to the Author
David Sieg is the Managing Director of global Biotechnology Solutions, an American Company based in Vietnam. He is also the author of the popular http://www.making-biodiesel-at-home.com web site where you will discover all the knowledge you need to start out saving money of sky-rocketing fuel costs.