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  #1  
Old 08-05-2012, 07:19 PM
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real world time and money Bio diesel / WVO ??

We spend about $4500 per year on gas. Right now I don't have a diesel car but i'm looking hard at a 95 E300

I'd love to hear from people who are running exclusively on bio D or WVO.

How much time and money is going in to this?

I have the space and the means, but for my lifestyle it would need to replace all my fuel and, after the learning curve, not take any more time than i spend mowing my lawn (close to an acre)

If i could reduce that to $1-2 / gallon It would drive my car decisions- Like maybe a diesel suburban and his & hers Mercedes.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2012, 12:44 AM
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Depends how much you value your time at.Figure,maybe 1 to 1 1/2 hours actual hands on time for a 50 gallon batch of Bio.If you distill the methanol back out of the glycerine then you recoup some of the cost of the batch.I do this and figure my actual cost out of pocket is about 50 cents per gallon not including my time which if I wasn't doing this then I would just waste it watching TV so labor cost is minimal.
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2012, 10:56 PM
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Location: Ft Lauderdale FL
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WVO

I find making biodiesel not worth my time. I still spend time gathering and filtering WVO. I spend about 4 cents per gallon to filter the grease that is really rounding up. Most of that is in electricity for my Centrifuge and heating. TheCF is on a timer and I usually spend less than 10 minutes for each 30 gallon batch. I walk away and it filters itself. I took me years to get to this point. But also spend ten minutes at work collecting the grease(I work at a restaurant). But I spend a lot less time going to the fuel station to get fuel.

I have two WVO powered vehicles that get about 125 miles per gallon of diesel purchased give or take 25. When I take long trips it goes up to 500 miles per gallon (last weekend). I have a 2005 E320 CDI and a 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD.

Last edited by grease lightnig; 08-13-2012 at 09:19 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-14-2012, 09:00 AM
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Are you talking about making BioD at home or using commercially produced BioD??

It's going to depend heavily on your access to WVO source. If you have a plentiful source on deck i say Go For It!

IMO... Either route you choose( home brewed Bio or SVO) Filtration of the oil feedstock is going to be crucial. Centrifugal is the only way to go.

There are pro's and con's of either way to go. It just depends on wether you want to spend your time "cooking up" Bio messing with all the chemicals, measurements, tanks and all that OR you want to spend your time getting the dual tank heated fuel system set up and the bugs tweaked out.
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  #5  
Old 08-14-2012, 10:52 AM
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centrifuge

What is your centrifuge setup?
Something off the shelf or homemade?

Jeff
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2012, 11:25 AM
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this is not me but... I'd say that this is an effective and inexpensive set up (~$500). Sure some minor improvements and/or personalization could be done but this is pretty much all there.

http://youtu.be/WuPKZauGXUE
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  #7  
Old 08-14-2012, 04:00 PM
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I've made over 10,000 gallons of homemade BD since 2006.

My cost is $0.90 or so per gallon.

My time is 1.5 hours per week, to make 50gals. This is not all at once, however, the 1.5 hours is spread over about 12 hours.

Equipment costs are about $700...hot water heater, wash tank, pump, hoses, valves.

Utilities needed are 120v, fresh water, and ideally...compressed air, but not absolutely necessary.
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  #8  
Old 08-14-2012, 09:02 PM
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CF

I use an Absolute CF which is a single pass bowl type. I have two water heaters mounted on a shelf above the CF. With a pump mounted next to the water heaters. I fill the water heater and heat it over night. Then the CF gets turned on and the oil slowly runs into it and out of it into a 30 gallon bucket. The pump is on a timer and after 4 hours it pump the oil back into the water heater and the process starts over again, then again and again the four time I flip a ball valve and it goes into a transfer bucket (30 gal). Every other batch or as time permits I clean the bowl before the 4th pass to see if it leaves anything in the bowl.
The secondwater heater is heating the oil while the first one is cleaning it and the process starts over again I try not to let the CF run for than 16 hours a day.
I used a kil-o-watt meter to measure how much it cost to filter and it worked out to $.03is per gallon I round up to 4 cents. My Jeep cost me $1100 to convert and my Mercedes was about $1000 I used a lot of parts I already had. Of course I purchased two fuel pumps because the first one blew out the seals after 50 gallons. I was thinking of rebuilding it and using it in the biodiesel processor I build but have never used because I needed the pump for my fuel transfer station. I started burning grese and making bio in 2000. Bio did not last very long it just required to much time and work. And that was the early days before upsidedown water heaters and methonal recovery.

Commercial Biodiesel where I live is more than regualar diesel, why would anybuddy that was not a city spending someone elses money pay more for diesel.?
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  #9  
Old 08-16-2012, 10:45 AM
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I run on biodiesel produced from a biopro 190 automated processor. I do a titration, add oil and chemicals, come back 24 hours later and drain the glycerine and start the wash cycle. 24 hours later and I have finished fuel. I have about 15 minutes hands on time per 50 gallon batch. As for filtering and dewatering it all depends on your source of oil. My oil is water free and good quality. As for filtering, time is better than any filter or centrifuge. By letting your oil settle for at least 2 weeks, the majority of the crud will drop to the bottom. However, you must still filter your oil, your filters won't fill up as quickly though.

I started to go the WVO route, but biodiesel is the better choice for me. No modifications aside from a few fuel filter changes in the beginning and keeping an eye on fuel hoses which should be done anyway. Essentially you don't want to pay for your oil. There are enough small independent restaurants out there that are willing to work with you. I have never paid for oil and don't have any intention of doing so. All in all my costs are $0.77 per gallon of biodiesel.
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  #10  
Old 08-16-2012, 01:08 PM
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I kept detailed records over the 5 years I was running WVO in my 240, and D2 or Biodiesel from the pump in my 300TD. I kept track of all the fuel reciepts from the pump for both cars and the money I spent on the veggie oil. It cost me 11cents/mile to drive the 300TD on pump fuel, and 4cents/mile to drive the 240 on WVO. This accounted for the extra money spent on fuel system maintainance as well. It took me 2 years to pay off the money I spent on the system with the money saved with running WVO. After that I saved $2-3k over the next 2 or 3 years.

I spent $1600 on my veg oil system, and probably another $300-400 on my filtering setup.
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  #11  
Old 08-16-2012, 10:13 PM
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Location: Ft Lauderdale FL
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bio pro

How much does a bio pro cost? The last one I saw for sale used was $5000!

How much of your biodiesel that you make do you sell?

I stopped keeping formal records 10 years ago. I said to myself am I spending time to save records so that I could brag about it. The closest I get now is I reset the trip when I fill up with diesel to see how many miles per gallon of diesel purchased I get. My wife gets about 125 mpgodp. I do not know yet on my Mercedes because it has only been 600 miles. It takes atleast 2000 miles to get near 1/4 tank of diesel (when I refill).

I would love to have a bio pro processor but that I can not reationalize the price of.
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  #12  
Old 08-22-2012, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grease lightnig View Post
How much does a bio pro cost? The last one I saw for sale used was $5000!

How much of your biodiesel that you make do you sell?

I stopped keeping formal records 10 years ago. I said to myself am I spending time to save records so that I could brag about it. The closest I get now is I reset the trip when I fill up with diesel to see how many miles per gallon of diesel purchased I get. My wife gets about 125 mpgodp. I do not know yet on my Mercedes because it has only been 600 miles. It takes atleast 2000 miles to get near 1/4 tank of diesel (when I refill).

I would love to have a bio pro processor but that I can not reationalize the price of.
You can find used ones from $4500-$5000. Pump diesel is currently selling for right around $4 here. I don't sell any bio but I do trade with those that have wvo that want bio.
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2012, 08:35 AM
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Location: Leavittsburg, Ohio
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Hi all,

I'm going to pick up a used BioD processor that I bought on Ebay this Weekend. The guy told me that it has no manuals for the titration & running the system. Does anyone have any charts or info to get me pointed in the right direction? I do not know the name of the system, It has 2 tanks one 65 gal & the other 25 gal I believe. I'll get a pic up of the unit once I get it home.

Thanks,
Dave
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  #14  
Old 08-28-2012, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB300Dave View Post
Hi all,

I'm going to pick up a used BioD processor that I bought on Ebay this Weekend. The guy told me that it has no manuals for the titration & running the system. Does anyone have any charts or info to get me pointed in the right direction? I do not know the name of the system, It has 2 tanks one 65 gal & the other 25 gal I believe. I'll get a pic up of the unit once I get it home.

Thanks,
Dave
If it uses plastic for the reactor tank be very careful. The lye and methanol create a good deal of heat when mixed together. For titration check out utah biodiesel supply or journey to forever.org. Titrations are simple once you learn them and can save you a lot of wasted time and energy.
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  #15  
Old 09-01-2012, 11:51 AM
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BioD/WVO is so popular here that it's hard to find a reliable source of WVO. I investigated BioD production but concluded that it wasn't worth it for my low amount of driving. Commercial biodiesel is readily available here; a 20% BioD blend is about 10 cents (2% at current prices) more per gallon but better for the engine, IMO.

Jeremy
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