SailNet Community banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,507 Posts
It's going to smell like french fries all the time. Can you live with that?.....:laughter :laughter ;) ....i2f
This is very true, I have a friend who makes his own bio diesel and uses it to power the Yanmar diesel on his boat. You are hungry all the time from the constant smell of french fries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
There are other concerns too. I don't think it lubricates as well as diesel. Even now it costs more. It might get thick in the cold. It's more likely to grow stuff that will clog filters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,830 Posts
I met a guy in Calif 4 years ago while retrieving my belongings. He was driving an old MBZ diesel for over a year, and a half with no problems. He got his oil from Chinese restaraunts in San Jose. He said he found himself always hungry for Chinese.

Latitude 38 years ago did an article on fuel made from corn. The owners of the boat always had a craving for popcorn........i2f
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
725 Posts
I am sure it can be done, but is it cost effective on a small scale? I used to own a restaurant and with all the water and chemicals we mixed with it while cleaning fryers I would NEVER us it on my boat. What an emulsified mess! It is never just vegtable oil in that can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Veggy oil is a viable fuel provided precautions are taken. Firstly, do not think one can do without fuel oil as it is needed to start and stop the engine. The veggy oil MUST be heated before even filtering, both before adding to your boat and during service. I heat mine with a hose from my exhaust manifold into a stainless coil in the veggy oil tank, and thence to the wet exhaust. My Mermaid runs excellently, but filter life is much shorter with bio than petro. Figured my bio costs to be about $2 per imp gal, not including cost of pick up. Hope this helps,
Dumah, Halifax, NS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,942 Posts
Dumah there is a difference with veggie oil and biodiesel, yes veg oil needs to be heated and you dont start up on it. biodiesel does not need to be heated, and its is a better solvent than normal diesel so yes it can cause a few filters as it cleans the system out.

wandering star biodiesel lubes just fine in new equipment, its the old stuff that is getting near the end of its life that has problems
 

·
Old as Dirt!
Joined
·
3,486 Posts
The interesting thing about Diesel Engines is to remember that Rudolph Diesel originally designed his engine to run on peanut oil. The old rock crushers, as they were known, ran slowly but powerfully but weighed a ton (in some cases literally). Refined diesel fuel replaced peanut oil as it was a plentiful by-product of making kerosene--and later gasoline--and it had rather more energy per unit measure.

One of our more environemtally active friends insisted on using bio-diesel in his engine--which smelled pleasent enough--until his seals began giving out. After a rather enpensive rebuild he became far less of an environmentalist, particulalrly so after he learned that the process of manufacturing bio-diesel, and its subsequent use, produced more pollution than did the "real" diesel it replaced.

In our case, we use so little fuel a year, the effort would far out weigh the benefit. Still it would be an interesting experiment--on someone else's engine--no?

FWIW...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
....After a rather enpensive rebuild he became far less of an environmentalist, particulalrly so after he learned that the process of manufacturing bio-diesel, and its subsequent use, produced more pollution than did the "real" diesel it replaced....

So true. Those environmentalists that are knowledgeable about energy systems and environmental impacts do not support significant use of Bio-Fuels. Then again such concerns are not important factors for people who use or support bio-fuels.

Which can be safely used in our Diesel engines, all it requires, as pointed out, is a proper installation of some equipment and deep pockets.
 

·
Old as Dirt!
Joined
·
3,486 Posts
Shortly after my ealier post, above, I recovered our weekend mail which included the latest edition of Good Old Boat. Coincidentally, there is a short piece written by a devoted environmentalist wherein he foreswears the use of bio-diesel in his Yanmar 3GM30 as a consequence of the damage it proved to be doing--in his case to the seals in the lift pump. It seems bio-diesel is a more effective solvent than refined diesel and was desolving the sealants in the engine.

I have found Good Old Boat an excellant reference source for many commonly encountered issues and well worth a subscription in my view.

FWIW....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Seals can be upgraded but with marine engines you are likely going to have to do your own research on replacement parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
I made bio for years and one of my good friends has converted several things to run on WVO so here is my take on it. If you aren't buying the stuff, it is a messy, nasty process. Any vegetable oil that you spill will stink horribly after a year or so.

Biodiesel runs quite well in diesel engines and has a positive energy return (it is better than most ways of producing ethanol). There are two common issues with biodiesel, problems with rubber and cold weather. Natural rubbers get eaten by biodiesel so you need hose that is resistant. Newer engines are fine but older engines will have some problems with rubber parts such as hoses and fuel pumps. The other problem is that it will gel at much higher temperatures than regular diesel. For most people who sail, this isn't an issue but for people who do use it in cold weather, mixing with #1 or using one of the compatible additives will do the trick. I have actually found that engines run much better on bio even though the energy density is less. Engines will usually get their best fuel economy on something like B20 since it burns so much more efficiently. An unexpected benefit of running bio is that in the right percentage, people don't get seasick as often. This is only my observation but working on a passenger vessel that experimented with lots of different blends, I saw plenty of data points. Making your own bio is a whole different debate, I used to do it.

SVO is for the real tinkerers in my opinion. There are some good controllers out there now but it takes a lot more human input and your fuel system is much more complex. It would be difficult to setup one of these systems on a raw water cooled engine because of needing the coolant to heat the fuel and I suspect that it would be difficult to install a system on any engine due to space issues. There are many horror stories out there about SVO/WVO but they all are related to a poorly designed system or operator error. In all cases that I know of, the fuel is not the correct temperature or is not properly filtered.

From someone who has used these fuels a lot, they do work. The question is whether they have a place on boats. For me, I don't burn enough fuel in my boat to justify it but the schooner that I worked on burned it and found that people were much happier.
 

·
Red
Joined
·
166 Posts
re fuel

I am all for green and all things I have personally been recycling for over 30 years, I am a carpenter and always try to build responsibly, with techniques and materials. However you will have to shoot me before you pour any of that sh*t in my boat fuel tank. I have enough trouble with clean diesel. Just my own twisted view. Take my house and car, get away from the boat.....ha ha......Red
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,169 Posts
Which can be safely used in our Diesel engines, all it requires, as pointed out, is a proper installation of some equipment and deep pockets.
There is an article in the new Jan 2009 issue of Good Old Boat where the author relates his experience with his Yanmar and the seals on his engine being affected by B-20. Given all the negative reports about the use of biofuel, I wouldn't go near it. The facts about the energy required for its production makes it even worse. I originally thought it would be a great idea, not so now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
The author clearly shouldn't have gone near it either. The problem with seals and rubber bits is very well known. A couple hours with google would have told him he couldn't just pour it into the tank and motor out into a busy seaway.

A little more time thinking of energy exchanges would not have anyone wanting large scale bio-fuel at this time. There are bio-fuels in the lab that hold some promise but they too have energy use issues so should also be limited in their application.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
I truly believe that the people who have problems with biofuels have not done their homework. Running biofuels is not easy in all engines and requires work. A lot of people try biodiesel without bothering to take preventative measures and then have problems which are widely publicized. If you look at a forum like frybrid, there are tons of people who have run these fuels for thousands of engine hours without problems because they did their homework and did the preventative measures.

Regarding the energy required to produce biodiesel, it is very dependent on the fuel source. If you use waste vegetable oil, the energy return is extremely good but the supply of this is very low so it doesn't make sense for large scale production. There are plenty of oil producing crops that can be used which have very poor energy returns but there are also some with very good energy returns. In my mind, the most promising one is algae which has extremely good energy density and return. To say that biodiesel does not have a great energy return is a major simplification, there are ways of producing it with very good energy returns and even at reasonable cost.

I would suspect that it would not make sense for a large portion of the people on this forum to use biodiesel simply due to the age of their engines (older ones use natural rubber) and how little fuel they burn. However, that does not mean that biodiesel is a bad fuel, you just have to use it where it makes sense.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top