Running on Biodiesel

Discussion in 'Engine' started by olikea, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. olikea

    olikea Member

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    I noticed that in Oxford a small outlet has started selling 100% biodiesel that apparently conforms to the new German standard. (I forget the number). To my mind bio-fuels are a no-brainer:-

    -almost no carbon dioxide emmissions
    -no dependency on foreign oil
    -provides agriculture a much needed boost
    -technology is here now

    While Volkswagen have very usefully stated all their cars with diesel engines sold since 2002 (including all brands, Audi, Skoda etc.) will run on the German standard for 100% blend, Mercedes have been rather more difficult.

    When I got my car serviced (C220 CDI) I enquired about running on biodiesel. Apparently no one had ever asked. Are people really this indifferent about environmental issues? Anyway they got back to me later with an e-mail saying Mercedes do not recommend running on biodiesel unless the car was specifically ordered to do so when being built.

    This seems like something of a cop out. My car is over three years old so I have no warranty to loose. But from my understanding biodiesel can be corrosive to rubber seals. This means if the car has any such seals in the fuel system, after enough time running on biodiesel they will fail, possibly causing a fuel leak. Not something even worth contemplating in my opinion, even though it may well be the case that there are, in fact, no seals in the C220 CDI (2002) that are prone to corrosion from biofuels. Anyone any information on this? The Mercedes dealer was frankly useless on this, and referred me to the general statement from head office.

    Anyway I had heard of conversions to change all the seals in the fuel system to ones that aren't corroded by biofuels. I hear this may cost around £600 which seems fine, but again the official Mercedes dealership I was at seemed to know nothing of the procedure. Does anyone know who carries out such conversions?

    I find it remarkable that I could now run my car on almost completely renewable resources with hardly any sacrifice on my part, yet I am held back by the ignorance of Mercedes-Benz!
     
  2. glojo

    glojo MB Club Veteran

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    I am not going to go into the rights and wrongs of using bio-diesel, but how sure are you that you car is never going to be effected by the dreaded RUST??? If you have already broken the servicing chain then fine, but don't think that mobilio seperates bodywork issues away from mechanical problems.

    If the liquid that goes down the pipe complies with the terms and conditions of the warranty then fine, go for it. If your not interested in the terms and conditions, then go for it.

    There has been a very informative post written by a very highly qualified expert explaining all about these fuels and what effects they have.

    Good luck with the decision,
    John
     
  3. GregE240

    GregE240 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Almost no CO2 emissions?

    How do you work that one out then?

    I guess the net effect might be zero (plants using CO2 vs your car then emitting it), but its still going to emit CO2 mate.
     
  4. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Agreed, and I doubt the net could be zero - think of the fuels used in growing/harvesting/producing/distributing.
     
  5. 230K

    230K Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hi

    Guys i think that bio fuels vegetable oil etc are the fuels of the future, the oil companies are very strong and influential and tend to stump the growth of alternatives me thinks.

    230K
     
  6. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Your car should already be fitted with Viton fuel pipe seals and pipes. All european manufacturers except Ford have used these for about 15 years.

    The issue is more likely to be that the fuel pump may break and the injectors may coke up if the viscosity and flash point of the fuel is too high.

    The methanol and caustic soda used in the production of bio diesel can also corrode steel components.

    VW use EUIs instead of a common rail system so pump strength isn't an issue.

    With properly specified bio-diesel I'm sure there wouldn't be a problem but MB are covering themselves.

    There is still an issue relating to bio-diesel in that it takes in the region of 30% more energy to produce it than can be extracted in the burning of it.
     
  7. Dieter

    Dieter Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hi,

    In my handbook for (ML) 320 CDi it categorically states that:

    "! Biodiesel is not suitable for use in your vehicle. If you use biodiesel, it can lead to increased wear or engine damage.

    The use of biodiesel or diesel mixed with biodiesel will limit your warranty entitlement."

    However it also states that "Commercially-available diesel may contain up to 5% biodiesel. This proportion will not have any effect on performance and wear".

    Whew:eek: , else I would have been up in the creek in 2010 when 5% biofuels become mandatory. Does this also mean that the more modern diesel engines are less bio-compatible?

    Anything that ekes out our dwindling fuel supplies and which is also (relatively) eco-neutral gets my support as long as my engine can 'take it'.

    Cheers,
     
  8. BenzedUP

    BenzedUP Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    What the hell is boi diesel lol ive never seen it!

    I use Ultimate Diesel for more performance but ive noticed when i use normal diesel my mpg goes up but i think its better for the engine to use Ultimate...
     
  9. NW_Merc

    NW_Merc Banned

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    Biodiesel isnt using the cheap used oil or fat from a deep fat fryer. The process involves basically making a soap like emulsion and then extracting the useful 'esters' which in turn is the biodiesel. The reason they can keep the costs down is because the additives present in unleaded petrol and regular diesel which are meant to be there to counteract the corrosive stuff in both of these fuels are not added to biodiesel. It's a cleaner burning fuel than regular diesel, however from what I've read of the process, its consistency is not as thick as diesel.

    Trust me I have a PhD in Chemistry :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2006
  10. glojo

    glojo MB Club Veteran

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    :D :D Ouch... It only hurts when I laugh (It truthfully really HURTS) I respect you and your knowledge.

    It is the "Trust me.... I'm a doctor!!!" that made me laugh. (Reminds me of my sordid yuff :eek:

    "Course you won't get pregnant, trust me, I'm a doctor"

    Regards
    John the naughty
     
  11. NW_Merc

    NW_Merc Banned

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    My diagnosis is dont laugh then :D ;)
     
  12. glojo

    glojo MB Club Veteran

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    :D That would be the end of 'Jolly' John :eek:

    Trust me I'm a doctor ;) I can think of similar one liners..... :eek: :eek:

    Regards
    John the Jovial
     
  13. NW_Merc

    NW_Merc Banned

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    Ok ok :bannana:
     
  14. Bazzle

    Bazzle Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Bio can also slowly remove the deposits inside your fuel tank (all around he shell), in your fuel lines etc. This may be a good thing but...
    You very may well be changing your fuel filters every couple of days for the next few months :mad:
    Went back to normal diesel.

    Been there (On a Nissan patrol not an MB)

    Bazzle
     
  15. Benzowner

    Benzowner Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    An interesting thread.....considering the diesel engine was invented running on peanut oil. I don't think the problem is making the engine go, it is the now, very sophisticated bit before it gets to the engine, fuel lines pumps, injectors etc.
     
  16. glojo

    glojo MB Club Veteran

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    :D The Russians in particularly have developed engines that will opeate on any number of liquids! :eek:

    As you say it is the ancillary stuff that makes these modern things rev to such high numbers. How I would have loved a pair of CDI engines on my boat :cool: :cool: Mega cheesey grin

    John
     
  17. jdrrco

    jdrrco Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    What is your opinion on this site, please. I know nothing about diesel history, alternatives etc, but if I can save £3-4 per gallon, I won't complain!

    http://www.dieselsecret.com/index.html
     
  18. tamrsoft

    tamrsoft Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I've seen this before, this is a carefully worded advert to sell diesel additives plus a document on publicly available information on the methods of home bio fuel manufacture using veggie oil products. Just type 'bio-fuels' in Google and you will be swamped with similar articles.

    Trust me, I'me an anti-con enthusiast.
     
  19. NW_Merc

    NW_Merc Banned

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    Ok checked it out. First of all there is just a price comparison chart. There is no data on how good or bad biodiesel is for ANY engine let alone specific models. It is purely an advertising page with lots of money saving stuff on it, all well and good but if it veritably buggers up your engine you're up sh*t creek without a paddle. As good as they state biodiesel is, until actual motor manufacturers make an effort to test if it works with their engines and make appropriate modifications for them to take it. I wouldnt put it in your car. Use at your own risk :)
     

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