A very quick biodiesel question.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Terminator, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. The Terminator

    The Terminator Active Member

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    I have got a 97 E 300 td am i right in thinking that if i have got half a tank of normal diesel and fill it up with bio diesel from a garage, the car will be ok ?
    Cheers
    Paul
     
  2. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Yes. You can go all the way to 100% if you want to.
     
  3. OP
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    The Terminator

    The Terminator Active Member

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    Thanks m8
    What actually is it i would be buying from the garage ?
    is it a mixture ? diesel/veg ?
     
  4. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    It should have a rating such as B10, B20, B50, B100. The numbers are the percentage.
    I would expect it to be B100.
     
  5. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    I think all normal diesel contains some biodiesel now?

    Just to be clear, biodiesel isn't the same thing as veg. oil. It's made from veg. oil.
     
  6. jadefox

    jadefox Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Who actually sells biodiesel then?
     
  7. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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  8. jadefox

    jadefox Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    SO what are the benefits of biodiesel? Apart from the obvious, is it cheaper?
     
  9. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    I don't buy it, so I'm answering 'in theory' only.

    It's more expensive to make than ordinary diesel, but of course the pump price depends largely on the level of taxation. So it may be 'subsidised' (like LPG) to make it more attractive.

    The main perceived benefit is being more environmentally friendly in terms of total carbon emissions. But in fact it's often not significantly better than mineral diesel (depending on where the veg. oil stock came from). It's also touted as being "sustainable" ... which it is ... however land used to grow crops for biodiesel can't grow food, so there's a bit of an issue there. And in some countries they are clearing and BURNING rainforest to grow crops they can sell for biodiesel production, which is a disaster ecologically speaking!

    There are meant to be "phase 2" biodiesels on the way which will be manufactured from waste products instead, and these will be significantly better for the environment.
     
  10. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Yep, 20p per litre reduction of duty.
    I'm confused by this comment. Nearly all Biodiesel is a result of using waste veg oil after it's primary use.
    Are you confusing Bio-diesel with Bio-ethanol for petrol.? The cutting of forest is to grow the sugar cane for ethanol, not veg oil.
     
  11. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    As I understand it, commercial biodiesel is typically manufactured directly from rape, soy, or palm oil (or blends, depending on spec. and time of year).

    It's possible to use waste oil, but I don't believe this is done on a large scale (globally speaking).
     
  12. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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  13. jrggino

    jrggino Active Member

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    Bio -Veg Oil

    I have been advised that Bio Diesel was cheap but now becomming more exspensive. As everyone gets on the band wagon the price goes up. I have run 2 cars on 50-50 veg oil witout any issues ad its very clean. but the price is going up as well, but much cheaper than Bio.
    I will run my e300 td on a 40% mix soon as the cost here in Italy for diesel is catching up with the UK
     
  14. OP
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    The Terminator

    The Terminator Active Member

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    How much is pump biodiesel at the moment ?
     
  15. geoffd

    geoffd Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Biodiesel - some facts

    There is more to this discussion than the enviro/recycling/deforestation arguments.

    I know there are those who claim to run their diesel cars on untreated chip shop oil after nothing more than filtration to take the bits out, but the facts are that all biodiesel is made by chemically treating the oil - be it chip shop, palm oil, rapeseed or whatever - usually with a mixture of methanol (highly toxic) and caustic soda (highly corrosive). Google 'manufacture of biodiesel' and read a few of the process reports !

    While this process does give usable diesel, it must also result in a (probably hazardous) waste stream which needs further treatment and/or disposal. So, not only this, but we use otherwise uncultivated land which is cleared by 'slash and burn', to grow the plant that yields the oil, then transport it halfway round the world, then subject it to a chemical process with similar pollution potential to the average refinery. And when we use it, it still emits carbon dioxide and microscopic carbon particles just like mineral diesel.

    So yes, we do grow this stuff, just like the sugar for bioethanol. And all told, it doesn't seem very environmentally friendly when all the factors are taken into account.

    And finally - although I don't have the numbers - I recall hearing recently that to make a reasonable dent in current mineral fuel use, more land than is currently used for food production would need to be turned over to biofuel crops.

    And our government want to increase the fraction of biofuels in the stuff we put in our tanks. Envirolunacy or what ?

    Geoff
     
  16. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Thanks Bill.
    It begs a question though. If rainforest is cut down to plant fuel crops is the carbon balance actually upset?
    What I mean is that the palms absorb carbon as they grow, they are then cut and burned but new ones are planted and grow.

    Another article that gives info but begs questions is.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiesel
     
  17. st4

    st4 Banned

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    You mean absorb CO2 :D
     
  18. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    True...and you knew that...
    But as we were discussing carbon balance it made sense to use the word carbon.

    But thanks anyway..:p :D
     
  19. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    I think the burning of the original forest in the first place is the main issue - releasing huge amounts of CO2 straight into the atmosphere. The CO2 absorbed by the oil crop only offsets what is emitted when the fuel is used later on. The other factor is where the biodiesel is produced and used - close to where the crop is grown is good ... halfway round the world isn't.

    I understand that biodiesel is pretty big in Germany, where they grow large amounts of rape.

    BTW the main by-product of biodiesel production is glycerine, which is in short supply at the moment. So it gets a good price, which helps to subsidise production.

    Other random biodiesel facts ... it has a short 'shelf life' ... has to be used quite quickly or it degrades. And being vegetable-based, bugs etc. can grow in it (particularly if there's water contamination). So more frequent filter changes may be required.
     
  20. Shude

    Shude MB Club Veteran

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    What with all the cutting down of trees it makes sense to me to ditch the clunky old internal combustion engine and get an efficient external combustion engine instead!

    That'll make motoring much more fun and I'm sure it'll run on the charcoal brickettes that I see on the filling station forecourt when we run out of wood! :)
     

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