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  #1  
Old 06-11-2004, 04:02 PM
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biodiesel

I'm looking to buy a Turbo 300D or CD to run on biodiesel. Does anybody know where I can get it in the Rochester Michigan area, or how hard is it to manufacture. I'm new to the diesel scene but not to Mercedes, I currently own a 1980 450SL. I would greatly appreciate any feedback.

Adam Lumsden
'80 Mercedes 450SL
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2004, 05:21 PM
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Not sure about where in your area, but you can find a map of co-op locations here:

http://www.boulderbiodiesel.com/index.jsp

And more local info here:

http://forums.biodieselnow.com/default.asp

And info on making it yourself here:

http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=cfrm&s=447609751


And here:

http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel.html

Once you've absorbed what you can there, email me and I'll send more info.
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2004, 05:36 PM
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For even more fun, run that beast on straight veggy oil!
http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=frm&s=447609751&f=159605551

Whereas biodiesel is 20% methanol or ethanol (usually petroleum derived), veggy is pure veggy!

Biodiesel is often $3 a gallon, veggy is free!

Biodiesel will eat your soft rubber in the fuel system, veggy is gentler, but does require significant modification. It is a fun project though.....
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Old 06-11-2004, 06:45 PM
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Here's another source, they include a national map of all retail biodiesel locations:

www.biodiesel.org

As you'll learn, it's a little tricky to make your own biodiesel, but plenty of people are doing it in garages and backyards. But as Jimmy Joe points out, you can run the 123 series cars on straight waste veggy oil gathered from restaurants. This is the raw material you would use to make biodiesel anyway, but running it straight saves you a lot of trouble. The 123 cars are considered among the easiest to convert to straight veggy. In your climate, you'll need some sort of system to heat the veggy oil in the winter, because it may thicken up in cold temps, but that's about it. These sites offer more info on this:

http://www.greasel.com
http://danalinscott.netfirms.com/
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  #5  
Old 06-11-2004, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jimmy Joe
\Whereas biodiesel is 20% methanol or ethanol (usually petroleum derived), veggy is pure veggy!
Biodiesel is not 20% alcohol. Alcohol (usually methanol) is used in the production of biodiesel, but it's not in the final product. Also biodiesel doesn't just "eat" rubber. There's inconclusive evidence about this and in the worst case it's a very gradual process.
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2004, 09:11 PM
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Bu**s**t. It does too eat rubber. No if ands or buts. don't take my word on it:

http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache:1x9Q-cfKjSEJ:www.biodiesel.org/resources/reportsdatabase/reports/tra/19950101_tra-051.pdf+rubber&hl=en

http://www.biodiesel.org/markets/gen/default.asp

http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache:8Fjnauf5USgJ:www.biodiesel.org/resources/reportsdatabase/reports/fle/19981001_fle-015.pdf+rubber&hl=en

Hardly inconclusive. If you are using a 20% mixture you are fairly safe. As you approach 100% forget it with most "rubber" - you should at least consider replacing those lines with the likes of viton.
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  #7  
Old 06-11-2004, 10:35 PM
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It's not that it eats rubber, Biodiesel replaces the bonding agent used in the manufacturing of conventional fuel lines. The fuel will the beging to "sweat" through the line. Just replace the rubber lines with Viton tubing (I buy it from McMaster-Carr, online) and you'll be all set. The first thing I replace is the inter-injector lines, as they usually begin leaking first, and then move to the other lines as the start to soften.
Joe
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2004, 12:19 AM
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Oil_burner, I never said biodiesel didn't degrade rubber and I have read about it before. I was just saying that "eating rubber" might be an exaggeration. The reason I said the evidence was inconclusive is that I know one member on this board who did an experiment where he had a jar of pure biodiesel and a rubber hose in it and even after 6 months he didn't notice any visible deterioration. Also I bet that a lot of the seeping that people have seen from biodiesel involved old hoses that were already somewhat deteriorated. Biodiesel does dissolve rubber over time (over time is the key phrase here) but so does regular diesel, though not as much. I've also read that the newer rubber hoses are a lot more biodiesel resistant.

I would not hesitate to start using 100% biodiesel right away if it were available to me and I'd just replace the hoses one by one if they started to seep.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2004, 01:16 AM
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Properly made BD (post reaction wash) does NOT have ANY alchohol.

"Sweat" is a good word to explain what it will do to rubber hoses (Buna-N, Nistrile, etc.) Just replaced the hi-press returns on a powerstroke that has run B100 for two years. Gummy and sweatty.

Also, the finer point of BD, since it does not have Glycerine, buring it does not produce Acrolein (mean and toxic s**t!), UNLIKE SVO or WVO. This is a serious environmental impact reason NOT to use SVO or WVO. BD can be run in most vehicles with no mods and can be run at reduced concentrations all-year.

If you make it yourself, costs are reduced to ~$1/gallon or less (many quote $0.60/gallon, but that's not what I come up with.)
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1984 300D Turbo - 4-speed manual conversion, mid-level resto

1983 300D - parts car

1979 300TD Auto - Parts car.

1985 300D Auto - Wrecked/Parts.


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  #10  
Old 06-12-2004, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TomJ

Also, the finer point of BD, since it does not have Glycerine, buring it does not produce Acrolein (mean and toxic s**t!), UNLIKE SVO or WVO. This is a serious environmental impact reason NOT to use SVO or WVO.
What is acrolein? Can you point me to specific emissions studies or reports on this subject? Never heard about this before.
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2004, 05:26 PM
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It is produced when you burn glycerine/glycerol. It is produced in lesser amounts when burning vegetable oils, but it is highly toxic when inhaled. Biodiesel exhaust fumes are relatively safe in comparison to vegetable oil exhuast fumes.
Joe
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  #12  
Old 06-12-2004, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TomJ
....
Also, the finer point of BD, since it does not have Glycerine, buring it does not produce Acrolein (mean and toxic s**t!), UNLIKE SVO or WVO. This is a serious environmental impact reason NOT to use SVO or WVO. BD can be run in most vehicles with no mods and can be run at reduced concentrations all-year....
Im still learning here but isn't glycerin a byproduct of the Triesterfication process (sp?) (how biodiesel is made). I thought there was very little glycerin in WVO?

Also Ive read alot of the WVO emmsion studies that can be found on the net and dont recall much; if any, mention of Acrolein.

Ive started a topic on Acrolein over at the General SVO Forum (IPOP).
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Last edited by coachgeo; 06-12-2004 at 05:55 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-12-2004, 07:46 PM
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Hmmm,
Seems to be a little disagreement and rufled feathers over this one.
While I wasn't trying to step on either toes nor egos here,
I must speak from my experience.

From personal observation of the production of some big batches of biodiesel, I can say that 20% methanol or ethanol is used, at least by some people,
Whether or not any is left in the final product is a matter of speculation unless it is made in a controlled industrial setting, or, say, washed. I have dealt mainly with the backyard boys and girls.
There were remains in their final product.

But that wasn't even my point.
If you are going to produce a fuel that begins with 80% veggy oil, and 20% methanol, you are using petroleum products. Period. You are creating a demand for more petroleum. Sure, it's only 1/5, but it remains dino-derived.
Something I'm trying to get away from as much as possible.

As far as the certainty of "no glycerin" in the final product, well, I've seen it sitting in the bottom of goldenrod filters, post production. Sometimes, lots of it.

These absolutes seem not only malinformed, they seem somewhat dangerous. "Biodiesel", it seems, comes in many flavors and qualities. To deny imperfection is to be ideal, rather than real. People making it themselves probably have less than perfect fuel.

And any conversation regaling the "make it yourself" vibe ought to have an insight about what will happen if you get a splash of that meth-lye mixture in your eyes.

I stand by my statement that biodiesel "eats rubber." Degrades rubber is a fine substitution for that statement. Whatever. You must replace old soft rubber if you choose to use BD, period. That is also something of a "modification" for one to consider.
I disagree with the recommendation of letting fuel lines deteriorate to the point of leaking before replacement. If so, how much of that deteriorated crud had gone into your IP? Your injectors? The air? We filter for a reason.

Last but not least, I love bio-diesel. I buy it all the time professionally made for $3 a gallon, to suppliment a two-tank conversion. But I think SVO is better, funner, safer, and produces superior smelling exhaust!
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2004, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jimmy Joe
Hmmm,
Seems to be a little disagreement and rufled feathers over this one.
While I wasn't trying to step on either toes nor egos here,
I must speak from my experience.

From personal observation of the production of some big batches of biodiesel, I can say that 20% methanol or ethanol is used, at least by some people,
Whether or not any is left in the final product is a matter of speculation unless it is made in a controlled industrial setting, or, say, washed. I have dealt mainly with the backyard boys and girls.
There were remains in their final product.

But that wasn't even my point.
If you are going to produce a fuel that begins with 80% veggy oil, and 20% methanol, you are using petroleum products. Period. You are creating a demand for more petroleum. Sure, it's only 1/5, but it remains dino-derived.
Something I'm trying to get away from as much as possible.

As far as the certainty of "no glycerin" in the final product, well, I've seen it sitting in the bottom of goldenrod filters, post production. Sometimes, lots of it.

These absolutes seem not only malinformed, they seem somewhat dangerous. "Biodiesel", it seems, comes in many flavors and qualities. To deny imperfection is to be ideal, rather than real. People making it themselves probably have less than perfect fuel.

And any conversation regaling the "make it yourself" vibe ought to have an insight about what will happen if you get a splash of that meth-lye mixture in your eyes.

I stand by my statement that biodiesel "eats rubber." Degrades rubber is a fine substitution for that statement. Whatever. You must replace old soft rubber if you choose to use BD, period. That is also something of a "modification" for one to consider.
I disagree with the recommendation of letting fuel lines deteriorate to the point of leaking before replacement. If so, how much of that deteriorated crud had gone into your IP? Your injectors? The air? We filter for a reason.

Last but not least, I love bio-diesel. I buy it all the time professionally made for $3 a gallon, to suppliment a two-tank conversion. But I think SVO is better, funner, safer, and produces superior smelling exhaust!

I agree with you wholeheartedly. Backyard biodiesel while interesting isn't perfect. Especially if you are dealing with waste oil. Unless you are very carefull in testing the PH of your oil and then very carefull in titrating to determine how much lye you need to use in the reaction there is typically quite a bit of glycerin and methanol still in the fuel at the end.

I've been considering suplimenting my 2tank system with biodiesel as well. As far as the Acrolein, I've been reading up on it a little today and for the most part from what I've read it is also a byproduct of burning biodiesel, albiet in smaller quantities.
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  #15  
Old 06-13-2004, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jimmy Joe
..........
If you are going to produce a fuel that begins with 80% veggy oil, and 20% methanol, you are using petroleum products. Period. ........
Huh??? Where on earth do you get petroleum from Sodium Hydroxide (Lye), Methanol (wood alchohol) and Vegetable oil (principally soy bean, but also various of the seed oils, palm, etc.)???

No petroleum products in ANY of the BD I've ever made. Methoxide (methanol+sodium hydroxide) and WVO/SVO do not contain ANY petroleum products of any kind or sort?

As far as the crud and crap in the backyard batches, that's normal for a botched or incomplete reaction or wash, but it's NOT normal for ASTM BD. The glycerin is replaced with the methoxide making a "thinner" or less viscous oil (methyl esters) than can be pumped as-is by any diesel IP (within the temp parameters of BD) and does not have glycerin (this is the very nature of BD.) If your fuel has "lots of it", then it isn't BD, it is partially reacted, unwashed WVO/SVO.

As far as being able to run BD as-is, I agree that this is somewhat a false assumption. You can run a tank of B100 without ill effect. You can run a few tanks without problems. You can run B20. But you WILL be replacing fuel lines if you run B100 all the time. And I also agree that replacing them NOW and not "waiting for them to leak" is the course of action to take. From fuel line tests, the latest MB fuel line (and some of the latest Gates Rubber fuel line) is impervious to BD and would be a good thing to change to before running BD continuously.

As far as SVO/WVO, we do the conversions, but many take shortcuts and you WILL ruin your IP if you do not heat the oil to a point that it is comparably viscous to diesel. Also, no matter what, it will coke injectors after some amount of time, just no getting around that as WVO and SVO have high concentrations of glycerin (that's what is being removed in the transesterification process of BD) and that's what glycerin does to pistons, combustion chambers, injectors and pre-chambers. Also, the enviro concerns are enough for me to just run BD, but I'm not totally against SVO/WVO either, as I said, I do the conversions for others.
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1983 300D - parts car

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"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there". Lewis Carrol

Last edited by TomJ; 06-13-2004 at 11:53 AM.
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