by wozadummy 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • wozadummy

    In another topic here ETHANOL is being discussed and it made me think about car fuels, enviro stuff etc ,and because there is so little ETHANOL used where I live there is few options to source a cleaner fuel. We have two cars and one runs on liquid petroleum gas (I've had cars on this for the past 20 years as I think of the lower emission levels and cheaper price).The other is my work car and is a 4WD dual cab ute with a 2.5litre diesel engine ,and is 3 years old now. In the city there is a manufacturer of BIODIESEL but there are very few outlets and it is 50kilometres away. I assume they mostly sell to the trucking industry for their plant is in the middle of a heavy truck route. The BIODIESEL they sell at the few outlets is 85/15 mix (or thereabouts ) with petro diesel but some countries manufacture and use pure biodiesel ,say in Europe, and there is enviro benefits ,and mechanical ones too, as pure BIODIESEL is cleaner on the engine and yet here is the twist ,my FORD diesel powered car says in its warranty and vehicle use book that you cannot use BIODIESEL in the engine. This is despite the fact that the original diesel engine was invented to run on BIODIESEL!Has any one else come across this ,I know that if I ring Ford they will give me a bullshit answer and is this another indicator of another American corporation being hand in hand with the fuel companies which are American by nature it seems ? So is the situation that generally the American Govt is not really interested in the pollution fossil fuels cause?

  • SixofNine

    It's certainly not the engine (any diesel engine could run on straight vegetable oil, let alone biodiesel, given the correct delivery system); but it may be the type of fuel lines and filtration system that would need to be changed to run Bio. Biodiesel can make a mess out of fuel lines and filters if they are not spec'd for it.

  • yknot

    http://www.powerstroke.org/forum/general-diesel-discussion/155-biodiesel-fords-respnse-my.html I recently wrote Ford regarding whether or not I could use biodiesel in my rig. I was curious, and wanted an official response, as I can not afford to replace my engine etc. Today, I received a response. I hope you guys find it helpful!!

    Thank you for contacting the Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center regarding the use of biodiesel fuel.

    Fuels containing no more than 5% biodiesel may be used in Ford diesel powered vehicles.
    There are still some unresolved technical concerns with the use of biodiesel at concentration greater than 5%. Some of the concerns are as follows:

    - Special care is required at low temperatures to avoid an excessive rise in viscosity and loss of fluidity
    - Storage is a problem due to higher then normal risk of microbial contamination due to water absorption, as well as a higher rate of oxidation stability which creates insoluble gums and sediment deposits
    - As it is hygroscopic, the fuel tends to have increased water content, which increases the risk of corrosion
    - Biodiesel tends to cause higher engine deposit formations
    - The methyl esters in biodiesel fuel may attack the seals and composite materials used in vehicle fuel systems
    - It may attack certain metals such as zinc, copper based alloys, cast iron, tin, lead, cobalt, and manganese
    - It is an effective solvent, and can act as a paint stripper
    - It tends to loosen deposits in the bottom of fuel tanks of vehicles previously run on mineral diesel.

    Should you require additional information about this matter, please contact the service department at your local Ford dealership. To locate a Ford or Lincoln-Mercury dealership, please visit www.genuineflmservice.com.

    We consider the satisfaction of our customers one of our most important objectives. If you have any other inquiries or concerns, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to address them for you.

    Customer Relationship Center
    Ford Motor Company Ultimately you could look into conversion kits that address the issues above. Also consider the different methods of creating biodiesel.

  • wozadummy

    Thanks for the responses ,it's interesting to see 5% is OK in some places but not allowed here. I've never heard of it being like a paint stripper though!! Better stop frying food at home if that's the case lol. I know what they say about putting it into a car that has already used normal diesel because normal diesel is so filthy that it leaves residue in the tank and lines ,and then when Bio goes thru it cleans this muck into the fuel delivery system ,but thats why one would cleanse the system first before using Bio. There are some good reasons for being very careful when making your own Bio from waste oil but if it is commercially made they have to meet standards. I still think it's a good way to go, for the present for at least, it's a crop growing and using CO2 from the air instead of crude oil being pumped out of the ground and just making a menacing mess of the worlds air etc Whether by growing these crops govts will get it right in controlling the way its done remains to be seen. I don't buy all of what FORD are saying after reviewing the quality of pure Biodiesel for alot of people have modified their delivery systems and had success but Ford don't seem to be too interested in seeing these mods as way to go.

  • Gregor

    woza. Please try making paragraph breaks. your long posts are hard to read.

  • Jim_TX

    I used to make and use bio-diesel. I used it in a 1982 VW Rabbit Pickup. Some of Ford's concerns may be valid - but much of their letter is just old-wives' tales and hype to scare the general public. (Gotta keep 'em buying petro-based fuels...)

    You may have issues with fuel lines and gaskets - as bio-diesel (or at least home-made bio-diesel) tends to have slight amounts of alcohol in it that may 'eat' the rubber. VW has been manufacturing bio-diesel-compliant vehicles since the early 90's.

    Bio-diesel - or 100% bio-diesel tends to have a higher gel-point than regular petro-diesel, and in the winter - or cooler months here, it tended to turn to a semi-solid around 45-degrees (F) or so. But once it warmed up, it returned to its' original liquid-state. Of course, they won't tell you this, but so does petro-diesel - that's why they have different 'blends' of it for winter, and the northern states, where it gets colder.

    What I would do if I were you is to fill up your tank with 1/2 bio-diesel and 1/2 petro-diesel. See if it makes a difference, or if you notice any degredation. Chances are, you won't.

    Making bio-diesel is a lot of fun, and if you can do that - you should try. When I was making it, I was making it for about 1/3-rd the price of the petro-diesel at the pumps. I talked to a fella this weekend that says he is making it for about 20-cents a gallon (which I find hard to believe), and the current price of petro-diesel here is about $4.00 a gallon. He is running it in his truck... but I don't know what type of truck he has (I didn't ask).

    Good Luck. It's great that people are beginning to think outside the box.


    Jim TX

  • Gadget

    There are a few UK based forums where people have done a lot of research into biodiesel and vegtable oil. I used to have an old diesel 106 that I was going to convert to run on standard vegtable oil but the engine blew before I got to do it.

    From what I remember, the main concern is the diesel pump. In the UK there is a mix of Lucas and Bosch injector pumps fitted, sometimes even mixed on otherwise identical models (The puegoet 106 uses both depending on the supply available to the factory when the car was made). The Bosch pump is fine on biodiesel or even straight vegetable oil (svo), but the Lucas pump suffers terminal failure after only a few minutes of biodiesel. The Uk forums can help you identify what type you have fitted. You have to be careful about the fuel seals and lines too, but thats much easier to check if they are biodiesel compliant.

    I've heard a lot of the things that Ford said in their reply, but most of them are easy to get around. I believe the paint stripping is due to the chemicals used in the transformation from waste vegetable oil to biodiesel. The viscosity of biodiesel can be a problem, but I was going to get around this by installing a twin tank system similar to that used by lpg systems. You start the car on mineral diesel, and have a second tank containing ordinary vegetable oil. You need to install a heater in the vegetable oil tank to make it flow nicely, and once its up to temperature switch over to the oil. Before you stop the engine you switch back to mineral diesel for a few minutes to clear the fuel lines of oil so they don't clog up when it gets cold.

    Have a look at:


  • Jim_TX

    Just to clarify a bit (or muddle things a bit more...)

    Gadget is talking about running on SVO - or 'Straight Vegetable Oil' - which is not bio-diesel.

    Bio-diesel is the vegetable that is put through a process (methanol & lye = methoxide) of transesterification that reconstitutes the vegetable oil into two-part result. The lighter top layer is the bio-diesel, and the lower settled layer is glycerin (which can be used for soap).

    Bio-diesel can be poured straight into the current fuel tank of the vehicle and runs the engine, whereas SVO is a bit thicker and requires a pre-heat stage to get it viscous enough to pump into the engine.

    Two very different processes - but they both use vegetable oil.

    I hope this helps clarify. I believe the original poster was inquiring after bio-diesel, not SVO.


    Jim TX

  • Gadget

    The website I listed shows info on running cars on bio-diesel, straight vegetable oil, and waste vegetable oil. I initially was going to buy bio-diesel for my car, but like the first poster found my nearest supplier was too far away to be economically viable. I could have bought my own bio-diesel plant for £300, or made my own for a fraction of that. But after looking at the processes involved I thought it would be much easier to convert my car than to run a bio-diesel plant. Sorry if I muddied the waters a bit, but I thought I thought I would give the solution I found to a similar problem to the first poster. And sorry for the formatting, for some reason Googlechrome comes out with no paragraphs!

  • wozadummy

    Sorry about the formatting ,I'm using Firefox and don't know how to overcome this .Thanks for the info I've studied up a bit on making my own biodiesel ,and yes there is some pretty hard core chemicals like caustic soda and ethanol to "wash" the fuel. It just would be nice to have true commercial grade Bio and be able to use it . It's just out of warranty now so maybe it's time to make my own as it's up to $1.90 a litre here for diesel

Share this