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  #1  
Old 03-27-2003, 07:56 PM
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SVO/Biodiesel advantages/disadvantages

Howdy,

I'm sure that the subject of WVO and Biodiesel have been discussed individually, but I was wondering what the advantage of bio over SVO is? Other than, of course, that on SVO, you have to start and stop on Diesel or it will be hard to get the engine started.

Is there a running advantage to biodiesel? Is the cetane of bio higher than SVO? Does the engine idle and run better on one versus the other?

Sholin

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  #2  
Old 03-27-2003, 08:07 PM
MB_SOOT
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I can't help you with all the issues but I will add a few things. The biodiesel is more closely related to what your car was designed to run on. Running a car on straight vegetable oil, while it seems to work okay in many cars, is still pretty much considered an experimental, alternative fuel. At the very least it could void the factory warranty on a car that is young enough to still have one. The SVO still has the glycerine in it and there has been some debate over what that may or may not do to your fuel system. If you're concerned over which is the most viable option long-term then I would say biodiesel. Some do say that diesels will run quieter on SVO and SVO also lubes your injectors so they could potentially have a longer life. Again, this certainly shouldn't serve as the definitive answer but it gives you some things to think about.
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2003, 09:53 PM
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YES but you forget to ad: bio cost you more than wvo to produce involve chemicals like metanol and lye and if you have kids , not good
plus you need more private space ( dangerous chimicals) and a home made procesor, some chemicals knoledge and replace all the hoses whith plastic or else resistant to biodiesel
Considering you get the grease free per galon excluding work it cost you $ .55 comparativ wvo cost max $.20.Biodesel have cetane around 60-65 and wvo the same like winter diesel blend 40-45. The only thing you have to do with wvo to be sure you filtered good before tank and have a source of heat to keep it at 75-90 C
The best cars to convert are mercedes 5 cilinders engines, and in Europe they do that from the 1970 with various cars whit out problems
hope i helped
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  #4  
Old 03-28-2003, 12:39 AM
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As noted above, a big advantage of SVO is cost, since you're typically getting the oil for free and investing labor to clean it. Disadvantage is that you have to buy or build and separate, heated tank, related fuel & coolant lines, solonoid activated fuel selector valve and switch, and another fuel filter. Not a big deal but takes a little time and money.

If you buy biodiesel you just put it in the tank and go (although you'll need to watch rubber hoses, etc., for softening caused by the alcohol. Making your own biodiesel involves building some processing equipment and handling chemicals as noted.

I'm going to do both and swear off petro diesel just because I can.

fmb
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2003, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fredmburgess As noted above, a big advantage of SVO is cost, since you're typically getting the oil for free and investing labor to clean it.
Sorry to be a pain here, but I'm a stickler for details:

SVO = Straight Vegetable Oil, i.e. liquid oil in a container. Found at your local grocery store, and usually not free. Unless it fell off the back of a truck...

WVO = Waste Vegetable Oil, i.e. Chinese restaurant, Krispy Kreme, haul-away-used-oil.

Biodiesel = Diesel-like fuel manufactured from either SVO or WVO. Can be used in newer diesel cars (TDI, CDI, etc.) without voiding the warranty. Works well in older MBs (IDI) with few modifications.


73MB280SEL,

Check out my collection of biodiesel links, and also check out the following:

http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_make.html

http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_svo.html

In my humble opinion, if you drive a MB sedan or coupe, you should be investigating SVO/WVO systems. If you drive a wagon, like myself, it might be worthwhile looking into biodiesel. Unless you don't mind riding around with a plastic fuel tank in your cargo area.
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2003, 09:52 AM
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I can see the advantage of biodiesel of being able to run the car just like on petro diesel. Still, I'm concerned about the home brew bio; It seems like you've got to be real careful to get the lye, glycerine and water out of it.

Also, I wonder what all those homebrew folks do with all the contaminated glycerine, wash water, and leftover methoxide. If you are making your fuel over a period of years, you could be saving the earth and creating a toxic Superfund site all at the same time.

If you are going to run headed WVO, you wouldn't have to process/dispose of any hazardous chemicals.

So, my question for those who have used headed WVO is how does the engine run on it? I know biodiesel has a much higher cetane than petro, but what about WVO?

Also, are there problems with used WVO (other than filtering requirements)? Is it acidic or have varnish?

Thanks for the info and links,

Sholin

p.s. Warranty---what's that? The youngest car I currently own is an '88 Corolla (hehe).
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  #7  
Old 03-28-2003, 12:12 PM
'82 300TD-T
 
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Sholin,

You're absolutely correct - it's the purity of homebrew bio that is most important. On older cars, a sloppy homebrew will erode the old rubber parts and fuel hoses. And the effort it takes to make a "clean" homebrew results in more waste materials. (Yes, I'm aware of what you can do with the waste materials...)

The upside to owning an older MB is the ability to run SVO/WVO, and not being "locked" into making biodiesel. If you own a brand new VW TDi, it's not really an option.

It sounds like you're leaning towards WVO. There are issues to be aware of (filtering, heating, acid and water content, etc.), but once you have fine tuned your system, you'll be happier.

Oh, and here's one more link: http://www.northwales.org.uk/bio-power/wvo.htm
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2003, 07:41 PM
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Sholin,

My '84 300D turbo runs great on WVO (SVO too, but no sense buying it when you can get it for free). I bought the car with 360k miles on it after driving a VW Golf Diesel on WVO.

I built a heated tank setup similar to the Greasel design (plastic tank with a heat exchanger in it, in the trunk). Now that the weather is staying around 50F min, I don't even bother starting and shutting down on diesel. If it sits all night after WVO shut down, starting is no more difficult than an average winter day..a little rough for a few seconds-that's it.

I'd agree that power is about like running on "winter diesel" but that's good enough for me. The engine definitely idles more quietly and there is little or no smoke, even under hard acceleration (where it would typically produce a nice black cloud on diesel).

As note earlier, I wouldn't run this on a new TDI with a warranty...but I intend to pick up one that's a little older and run that. I don't make any accomodation for acidity of the oil or do anything special to rid the oil of water. The veg oil filter I'm using in the car has a water separator that seems to be sufficient.

So, not for everyone, but works for me, creates less pollution out the pipe, lessens my dependence - at least - on petroleum.

fmb
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2003, 09:17 PM
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From what I understand, there is no alcohol in properly prepared biodiesel. The byproducts of biodiesel are methanol, which should be reclaimed by distillation from the glycerine. Glycerine will biodegrade on its own and is basically non-toxic. Lye is sold and used everyday for clearing drains. What little is left to get washed down the drain isn't gonna hurt anything. The rest of the waste would be food particles, etc. from the filtering of WVO and you have this problem with prepping WVO for straight use anyway. Water that is used to wash biodiesel will have very small amounts of lye and methanol in it provided the biodiesel was made correctly so again, down the drain. Is this a pollution issue? Maybe but likely quite a bit better than burning petro fuel so its a lesser of two evils thing. With WVO my concern is removing the salt, sugar, and water from it prior to use. This would require filtering, washing and drying. I know many people use it straight but I am not comfortable doing that. The other issue is the loss of space in the trunk. The best possible WVO conversion would remove the stock tank and put in a small petro tank of @5gallons for startup/shutdown and another @20gallon tank for WVO use. Obviously this would cost money. I use the trunk of my car regularly enough that installing another tank large enough to be practical, would severely limit my use of the trunk. I know guys like FmB carry around jerry cans of WVO so that they don't have to use petro on long trips but where do you put the luggage? Maybe you don't pack as much stuff as my wife when we travel.... I believe my money would be better spent on a biodiesel production system as I have not one, but 3 vehicles that would benefit and I don't mind using petro if I have to on long trips, travelling, etc. RT
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2003, 11:33 PM
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Yeah, I'm kind of leaning towards a WVO setup.

I'd like to make biodiesel at sometime, but I've bought the book "from fryer to fuel tank" and I've learned a bit. I think that one thing that is a negative to biodiesel that is overlooked is that when using WVO, you are burning all of the fuel, but when using biodiesel, the glycerine and FFA are not burned but have to be disposed of. IMHO, you need to clean out the WVO before you make biodiesel anyway, so why not burn it and recover energy from the glycerine in the triglyerides.


Haven't decided yet though.

Sholin
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  #11  
Old 05-25-2003, 12:31 AM
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Run straight vegetable oil (SVO)...

Why bother with making biodiesel? OM617 engines will tolerate anything up to and including 100% SVO.

Follow these simple instructions:

1. Collect fry oil
2. Filter meticuloulsy to 5 microns
3. Pour into your MBZ fuel tank to mix with existing diesel in any ratio
4. Enjoy motoring with less saturated fat!

And don't forget to sniff your exhaust for a whiff of "Corn Oil Goodness."

I ran all of my errands today on 3 qts of "Hill Country" brand corn oil...HONEST. No diesel was used. Period.

Marlene loves the stuff.
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Last edited by R Leo; 05-25-2003 at 09:54 AM.
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2003, 01:17 AM
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"I think that one thing that is a negative to biodiesel that is overlooked is that when using WVO, you are burning all of the fuel, but when using biodiesel, the glycerine and FFA are not burned but have to be disposed of"
If you were making 20gallons of biodiesel a week some of the more sophisticated recipes produce very high yields, 95%+ is claimed with the 2-stage acid process. So I pour a gallon of waste glycerine into a empty milk jug and it goes with the trash. Or if you have the space, spread it out in the sun on a part of your property and it decomposes naturally. Not a big deal. I do like the R Leo method but it won't work here year round. I don't want to lose trunk space and I just can't bring myself to cut holes in my pristine, rust-free trunk to run fuel lines. I'm too anal retentive I guess.... RT
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  #13  
Old 05-27-2003, 04:37 PM
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Stella!
 
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Marlene just slides along on SVO...

....and I love it. They really do idle smoother on veggie, too.

I'm in the process of engineering and constructing my WFO filtering system.

R
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  #14  
Old 06-10-2003, 07:03 PM
Ted J
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Thumbs up SVO/Mercedes fan

R Leo, I emailed you "off line" but decided to jump in here as well. I too have been pouring the cheapest Wal-Mart veggie oil in the tank of my '83 300D with good results. The other day I was washing it and got VERY concerned when I did not hear the engine any more. It had just gotten VERY quiet. The car LOVES the blend of diesel and Sam's Choice brand oil...This is just too cool. So, I am wanting to take the next step and move toward FREE oil. I am researching everything I can find about filtering. I like the sound of you engeneering and constructing. How's that going? What are your plans? I am toying with the idea of 5 gallon water jugs (they're clear or blue, allowing one to peek inside, plus you could drill holes in it to add taps for filtering and removing sludge/water). Also, has anyone used a cheap oil filter? It seems Wal-Mart and every other McParts place has fairly cheap filters that could be used, no? Also, are you planning on washing your wvo? Are you concerned about ph balance?
As I said before, this is just too cool...
I am going to do a demonstration soon for a doubting friend. Take a jug of oil and dump it in as he watches...

Thanks!

Ted
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  #15  
Old 06-10-2003, 09:45 PM
A2RicedGTI
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SVO and WVO

Can you run SVO in a unmodified car without problems or not? Stuff is pretty thin, but I would think starting would be difficult...

(This is in central california, so temps below 70 degrees arent really a problem)


WVO conversion vendors, for those who dont know. If anybody knows of other methods (cheaper...I think Greasel raised prices) LMK.
www.greasel.com (lots of cool products in addition to complete kits)
www.greasecar.com (mostly just the kits)

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