B20 Biodiesel availability at London filling stations?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Screwdriver, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Greetings!

    I've been reading about the benefits of using B20 Biodiesel in Classic Mercedes diesels from the 1960s-90s. Owners have credited the fuel with smoother running, better acceleration and significantly lower smoke in the rear view mirror.

    It would appear the City of London agrees with this view:

    I'd like to switch to this fuel and believe my OM616 and OM617 motors will thrive after doing so. Only one issue - I can't find any reputable pumping station that sells the fuel. Am I missing something obvious here? Anyone using this fuel in the Greater London Area?

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. 91dm

    91dm Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I can't help with finding a station that sells biodiesel, I know a few years ago it was maybe more popular.

    I used to run 50% used veg oil and diesel in our older diesel cars (om605/606) and it definitely quietens them down but not as powerful.
     
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  3. a111r

    a111r Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You could use B100 or straight veg on the 617.
    Been making my own B100 for the last 10 years / 100K miles: used in 616, 605, 606, 613 and other marques.
    2 EHN additive boosts the lower cetane value up.

    Pure Fuels in Edmonton, North London, may still sell it?
     
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  4. OP
    OP
    Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Cheers both!

    Would prefer to start off with just B20 and then take it from there. Surprised that I can't find a single pumping station within 5 miles of the city
     
  5. 91dm

    91dm Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    We had a real noisy om601 which we ran on straight veg oil for awhile, it transformed the sound from the common nailing tickover to a lovely smooth engine whatever crap it cleaned out! I guess it comes down the demand for it, most people probably don't know it exists.
     
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  6. a111r

    a111r Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Both bio and svo contain approx. 10% less energy than diesel does, so improved acceleration won't happen. It is a placebo of the 'smoother running' (longer burn at point of injection)
    Smoke is very much less dense:
    This year's MOT on diesel - fast pass 0.82 (1998 OM605)
    Last year's MOT on B100 - fast pass 0.33
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Screwdriver

    Screwdriver Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Surreal improvements. Does anyone fill up with Biodiesel at a retail pump? Is it the oil industry that is preventing this fuel from becoming mainstream?
     
  8. a111r

    a111r Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    There's many facets to this.
    Mainly, the 20 p/l tax break that finished in 2012 was the nail in the coffin for the smaller scale bio producers using wvo (like Uptown Oil in Southwark).

    I'm alway happy to bore folk senseless over several cups of tea. Om616 and bio plant are also on display.
     
  9. GeeJayW

    GeeJayW Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    All commercial diesel contains some bio-diesel components, B5 is the minimum if I recall correctly. We picked up some fuel in Fort William recently and that was B15. Some vehicle manufacturers specify and upper limit for bio materials, with the main issue being one of compatibility with some of the elastomeric materials used in various seals in the fuel system components. Other issues being compatibility with exhaust after-treatment systems, issues around water bottoms in storage tanks, inclusion of water/oxygen in the fuel and so.

    As for the oil industry preventing biofuels from becoming mainstream, IMHO that has no basis in fact. If they could go over to producing and selling biofuels in a commercially successful way, guess what they'd be doing?

    Truth is, there isn't anywhere near enough land area to grow the plant material needed to make enough biofuel to meet the demand that is currently being satisfied by conventional fuels. Something like 120,000,000 litres of diesel/gasoline are consumed by UK road users every day. Replicating all of this this using bio materials is simply not viable and is especially difficult where growing the plant materials competes with food production. There have been some interesting developments in things like Jatropha, certain species of which can grow in otherwise difficult land areas.
    Jatropha - Wikipedia

    Another issue (especially with recycled vegetable oils) is producing biofuel that actually fully complies with EN:590 (diesel) and EN:228 (gasoline). During a project I was involved with in the past looking into this area, all of the bio material samples we received failed the specifications when inspected in the laboratory. Now, as they were used only in relatively small proportions as blend components, the contamination was considered inconsequential. They would not however have been suitable as B100 fuels.
     
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  10. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    As above biodiesel is now perceived rightly or wrongly as an ecological dead end. While on the surface appearing to fix atmospheric carbon [ a good thing] it did so at the expense of existing carbon fixing systems meaning the advantages were not as great as it might first appear. Couple that to loss of habitat and biodiversity of the intensive farming practices necessary and the argument is further diluted.
    In the end its a reaction rate determined phenomenon.
    We are releasing carbon into the atmosphere in mere hundreds of years that took millions of years to accumulate in the geological strata. Its true both systems fix/ fixed atmospheric Carbon Dioxide in the same process of photosysnthesis but the time scales involved and rates of reaction are many orders of magnitude appart meaning one cannot hope to compensate for the other.
    Scale is important in many situations perhaps illustrated by the biodiesel supply question posed by the OP.
    It would appear you can still buy B20 biodiesel from several sources- 10,000 gallons at a time!:(
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
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  11. GeeJayW

    GeeJayW Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    ^^ It should also be noted than one of the drivers towards bio-ethanol (used in gasoline) was coming from the farming lobby in the US who recognised the potential for a significant market in corn-derived ethanol. In other words, some of the cited environmental credentials for bio ethanol were/are a bit of a smoke screen for financial interests.
     
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