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#244494 08/07/07 12:01 PM
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BELTRAIDE is encouraging the production of biodiesel. We are going to try a small batch with some homemade equipment. Anyone out there experienced with biodiesel production? We got tons of fried foods here (as anywhere) and it's hot all the time.

SIN


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But have you ever seen the resturaunts change their fry oil?

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The term Bio-Diesel sounds like an oxymoron to me.


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Back in 2004 my little ski town in western Colorado started experimenting with the use of bio-diesel for the town buses. The fuel was provided by Blue Sun Biodiesel, LLC (http://www.bluesunbiodiesel.com).

Here's an excerpt from a regional newspaper on the subject...

Buses back to regular diesel after bum biodiesel

CRESTED BUTTE - Everyone likes the idea of diluting regular diesel with a 20 percent component of plant-based biodiesel. It produces less pollution, improves gas mileage, and causes less wear on engines.

But the devil is in the details, as operators of bus fleets both in Crested Butte and the Roaring Fork Valley can testify.

For the second straight winter, Mountain Express buses are returning to full-strength petroleum-based diesel because of problems with biodiesel. The cause of the problem is unclear - perhaps the buses, the fuel blend, or even the 30-year-old storage tank being used to hold the biodiesel, Ron Clipala, a director of the bus service, told the Crested Butte News.

In Aspen, the biodiesel problem that plagued three buses was traced to a green, algae-like substance clogging the fuel tank. The problem had already been remedied by the fuel supplier, a firm from the Greeley area. The buses in the Roaring Fork fleet have been using a 5 percent portion of biodiesel for the last 13 months. To prevent this problem from recurring, all fuel will be treated with a "biocide."

Not sure if you'll find any of this helpful, just thought I'd share...Cindy

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That algae problem exists with regular diesel also...especially in boats where the fuel sits for long periods. It's common practice to treat the fuel with biocides.

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I ran a fleet of school buses for 20 some years. Algae is always a problem even on high use vehicles. There is always some moisture in the systems and it spreads from there. High quality fuels already have the proper additives, but if you buy the low grade or no name fuels watch out.

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Cpt. Shark's usually carries biocide for diesel.

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I'm not convinced that you would have to "make" biodiesel in Belize. From what I've read, the one thing that keeps you from using veggie oil straight in you diesel engine is that it is thicker than regular diesel. This becomes a real problem when it is cold out. The possible solutions are to:

1. "make" biodiesel by dewaxing the vegetable oil (a chemical process that removes excess wax and thins the vegetable oil). Some people do this in their back yards.
2. "make" biodiesel by mixing the vegetable with regular diesel
3. "make" biodiesel by doing a combination of the first two
4. modify the vehicle to have two tanks, one for vegetable oil and one for regular diesel, use the regular diesel for starting the engine and then after everything heats up switch to the vegetable oil. Also may have to preheat the vegetable oil tank depending on the climate.

As you said it is hot in Belize, so I think it would be in the realm of possibility that you could just just filter the used vegetable oil and pour it in the tank as is. However, there is some controversy on the long term effects of wax on the engine. Half the people say you will shorten the life of the engine if you don't dewax the oil before using and half the people saying bull-hockey to that...

Also before trying this out on a engine, I would first try to find a success story on the web for that specific engine. As some engines seem to deal with the increased fuel viscosity better than others.

Last edited by ChrisW; 08/09/07 08:48 AM.
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Biodiesel would be attractive the consumer base here as they wouldn't need to convert their vehicles or machinery. The glycerin byproduct (soap) of the biodiesel process could also be used in the handicraft market (pressed/carved into souveniers). Potentially the Town Council could make it mandatory to properly dispose of your waste cooking oil opposed to dumping it into the ground and become a potential health hazard.

SIN


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