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  #1  
Old 03-04-2005, 01:04 PM
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biodiesel and diesel additives

Just a hypothetical question, can you add a diesel additive to biodiesel?
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2005, 01:11 PM
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Not hypothetical at all!

The answer is yes, you can add additives meant for diesel to B100 or any other blend of biodiesel.

In some cases however, the additive is not as effective with biodiesel as it is with petroleum diesel, the main example being anti-gelling additives, some of which work OK on biodiesel, and others of which don't seem to work at all on biodiesel. However, none of them hurt.

I still add a bit of Powerservice to my biodiesel, especially when blending with petroleum in cold weather. It helps prevent the diesel portion from gelling, which in turn helps protect all the fuel, and you still get the cleaning and cetane benefits (though biodiesel doesn't need cetane raising as much as most petro-diesel).

In fact, I've heard that many additives actually use methyl esters (biodiesel) as an additive base! I don't know which ones, unfortunately.

If you are running biodiesel, you might find that you don't need some of the additives you normally use, like cetane enhancers, so give it a try without any additives for a while, but if you want to continue using them, it certainly isn't a problem.

peace,
sam
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2005, 01:20 PM
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Biodiesel is an additive. I use a 15% mix to raise cetane and enhance lubricity with #2. Bio is so much better than #2 that the only reason I can think for using an additive is to lower the cloud point. Is that what you want?
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2005, 01:53 PM
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Not too worried about the cloud point, but wondering about an increase in the cetane levels and get a little extra boost out of the biodiesel.
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  #5  
Old 03-04-2005, 02:00 PM
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OK, so you're looking for a performance boost. Unfortunately, biodiesel has a lower energy content per unit volume than #2 diesel. But cetane is not a measuse of energy content. It's more like a measure of how easy the fuel is to ignite, and biodiesel normally has a cetane number of 50 or better, which is already very good. Compare that to the 42 cetane crap that I get out of the pump here. Anyway, you can try surfing some of the biodiesel sites for a performance enhancer, but nothing safe and cost effective comes to mind.
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  #6  
Old 03-04-2005, 04:32 PM
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Biodiesel does have a lower energy content by weight, but that is because it is an oxygenated fuel, which takes up some mass. In most engines no power loss is detected (and in some, a power increase is detected), because the extra oxygen and cetane improve the combustion characteristics. It isn't that it has more energy, but that its using what it has more efficiently. But that is mostly the case with older engines that have begun to lose their normal combustion efficiency, on a brand new engine you are likely to see a tiny power decrease (something in a 2-3% range for B100), but on an older engine you usually see no change, or a slight increase in power.

Additional cetane only helps over a certain point. 42 is bad, 50 is good, but 60 isn't much better than 50, and 70 definately wouldn't be worth it. Its just a matter of diminishing returns. Enhancing the cetane of biodiesel isn't really something you need to worry about.

Like mentioned, the biggest reason you'd use an additive with biodiesel is to lower the cloud point for cold weather. You are welcome to experiment with others, but they probably aren't worth the money for use with biodiesel.

peace,
sam
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  #7  
Old 03-04-2005, 05:04 PM
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Jason,
still have the 240D?
where are you getting your bio?
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2005, 05:59 PM
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Rob, good to hear from you. Ya, still got that 240D and loveing it. Just started with B20 at everready oil on 1st and mountain. I seem to have lost some power (from an already sluggish engine). Hows your homebrew going?
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2005, 08:45 PM
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Thumbs up Additives for Biodiesel

There are a few decent additives out there, specifically designed for biodiesel however this just moves your dependance from one master to another, as in you are no longer dependant on big oil but you are dependant on the additive supplier, even if just for the colder winter months.
Ok, the work aorund ? How to be near 100% biodiesel 12 months/year and never have to worry about geling without using any additives, even in -25C weather?
The answer is so simple it slaps you in the face; set up a SVO two tank system and run BD in it. I am in the process of doing just this thing. The lines are now strung from the tank to ther passenger cabin and tomorow they go into the engine compartment, and next weekend it is time for the full on conversion with the installation of the 6 port selenoid while my b-in-law makes me a custom tank that will effectively double my volume capacity and hense distance between fill ups.
In the cold I start and stop on dino, but in between I run on hot BD. In the summer I have two tanks of BD to run on. In a very bad pinch I can always double and tripple filter (to 2 microns) some WVO and use it or blend with BD in the cold if I see my stock is running out.
The best of both worlds. My personal preference is Biodiesel, and I make my own and run B100 in the Benz whenever I can, but this gives me an option that I heretofore didn't have.
I figure that I will only be filling at the pump once or maybe twice a year with this set up.
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Last edited by Legal Eagle; 03-04-2005 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Spelling errors
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2005, 07:01 AM
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Jason...

have PM'd you but didn't get an answer. was wondering how your 240 was running. just about ready to make my first batch of BD. how much is the B20 at ERO? i haven't bought any there in a while. DinoDiesel in Belen is $2.19; $2.13 in Lost Lunas. My son said it's $2.20 in Socorro.
Back on subject, I used to use Power Service when i was a truck driver (another life; glad i survived) and it worked good to keep the fuel from jelling. had to use unleaded gas once in Colorado when it was -25F. Some guys said Power Service was just automatic tranny fluid. don't know myself. a lot of guys would put a quart of tranny fluid in a tank (ie 150 gal) at fill up. my friend that is still in the business uses some kind of red stuff. we couldn't find it a couple weeks ago at Love's or Flyin J. he insisted i put it in my car due to the rough idle. i tried Marvel Mystery Oil with no change in idle. think i have a timing problem and need to check it.
anyway, if you just want to lower the cloud point use a gallon or so of kerosene. that's probably what i will due with the biodiesel when it's cold. i can get it for $1.28 (well, last month) . guess you got all you need to know about cetane rating.
later,
roberto
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91 Jetta Diesel 250k miles (80miles/day)
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All on BelenBioDiesel
Past diesels:
01 Golf TDI
81 Isuzu P/U
85 Jetta
89 KW 425 cat
85 Pete 400 cat (currently still running the west coast with over 1.5 million miles)
81 KW 400 Cummins
77 Freightliner CO ???? Cummins (Buttercup)
57 180D lots of miles(gone but not forgotten)
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  #11  
Old 03-07-2005, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxscar
have PM'd you but didn't get an answer. was wondering how your 240 was running. just about ready to make my first batch of BD. how much is the B20 at ERO? i haven't bought any there in a while. DinoDiesel in Belen is $2.19; $2.13 in Lost Lunas. My son said it's $2.20 in Socorro.
Back on subject, I used to use Power Service when i was a truck driver (another life; glad i survived) and it worked good to keep the fuel from jelling. had to use unleaded gas once in Colorado when it was -25F. Some guys said Power Service was just automatic tranny fluid. don't know myself. a lot of guys would put a quart of tranny fluid in a tank (ie 150 gal) at fill up. my friend that is still in the business uses some kind of red stuff. we couldn't find it a couple weeks ago at Love's or Flyin J. he insisted i put it in my car due to the rough idle. i tried Marvel Mystery Oil with no change in idle. think i have a timing problem and need to check it.
anyway, if you just want to lower the cloud point use a gallon or so of kerosene. that's probably what i will due with the biodiesel when it's cold. i can get it for $1.28 (well, last month) . guess you got all you need to know about cetane rating.
later,
roberto
Rob,
Last take at ERO was $2.49 Diesel prices all over Albuquerque went up this past week it seems, so this is only about 30cent more than what I was paying. The 240d is running great. Other than the glow plugs, I havent had to do anything. (cept changing the oil filter is a pain in the ass) There is, however, some water leaks in the door seals. And this past rainstorm it seemed as if the rear windshield had a small leak. I have no idea how to replace that one.. Your messages probobly went into my junkmail folder. I'll have to put you on my safelist on hotmail. Hope to hear about ur homebrew.

Jason
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  #12  
Old 03-07-2005, 11:15 AM
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My son just finished a school science experiment where he tested performance of common anti-gel diesel additives with biodiesel. The additives didn't help at all. I helped him measure carefully, calibrated thermometers, etc, and we did FLOW tests, not static ones. Mixing evenly with kerosene (BK50) was effective down to about -12C, but that was it (using 52 cetane B100 from soy)
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2005, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Burton
My son just finished a school science experiment where he tested performance of common anti-gel diesel additives with biodiesel. The additives didn't help at all. I helped him measure carefully, calibrated thermometers, etc, and we did FLOW tests, not static ones. Mixing evenly with kerosene (BK50) was effective down to about -12C, but that was it (using 52 cetane B100 from soy)
That's about 10 deg F for BK50? Isn't that kinda bad for our cars to be running kerosene? What was B100 good for, temp wise?
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2005, 11:50 AM
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No. MB recommends a kerosene blend for cold temperatures.
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  #15  
Old 03-07-2005, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Miley
No. MB recommends a kerosene blend for cold temperatures.
I thought someone said it was bad because it is very dry and doesn't lubricate stuff?
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