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anyone using biodiesel in their vehicle ?
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gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18395

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 06 10:07 am    Post subject: anyone using biodiesel in their vehicle ? Reply with quote
    

Anyone on here been using biodiesel in their vehicle and have any comments about their experience ? How did the transition go, and did you phase it ?

My mate's just filled up for the first time - with the 5% mix - from these people in Manchester :

www.greengoldbiodiesel.co.uk

Kitchenwitch



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 25
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 06 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Hi,

Yes - my husband is using bio-diesel as we speak. We managed to find a garage that sells it through a pump as normal; so far, so good. It was about the same price as ordinary diesel, and it's actually had a positive effect on our Mondeo 1.8 turbo: quieter, more responsive, starts more easily. We're definitely going to look into making it ourselves...

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18395

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 06 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Hi Kitchenwitch
What mix are you using ? And did you change over gradually, or in a oner ?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44634
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 06 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Are there are any other co-ops like that?

Kitchenwitch



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 25
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 06 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I think that as we bought it on a forecourt, it's probably the 5% mix that is commercially mixed.

As for switching over, we just filled the car up with it when it was running quite low; the tank can't have been anything like empty, but the difference was noticeable immediately. So, no phasing, really.

We're hoping to find out more about making our own though, so making it even better than the commercial products. I know that at least one company offers large quantities for sale, for example Plymouth Bio-Fuels. (That's local to us, obviously.) But they also have suggestions on how to get started making it too... *rolls sleeves up*

Lozzie



Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 2595

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 06 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Our very own dougal has reviewed a book called "How To Make Bio-Diesel" here on Downsizer:

https://www.downsizer.net/Projects/A_sustainable_world/Review%3A_How_To_Make_Biodiesel_by_Low_Impact_Living/


There's an interesting chapter on manufacturing bio-fuels in an essentially domestic setting in the new book "It's Not Easy Being Green" by Dick Strawbridge (goes with the TV series). Explained the process in terms that even I could understand - no mean feat

The only thing he didn't mention was how he disposed of the very nasty-sounding sludge that is created as a byproduct of the refining process.

Will



Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 571
Location: Grenoside, Sheffield
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 06 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

tahir wrote:
Are there are any other co-ops like that?


A few I know of:

Goldenfuels in Oxfordshire www.goldenfuels.com
Magpie recycling (based at Shabitat in Brighton) - www.magpie.coop
Sundance Renewables (also do solar water heating and other exciting things - www.sundancerenewables.org.uk in Carmarthen
Blandford Biodiesel in Dorset (now trading as Bulldog Biodiesel - minimum order 2000l, commercial not co-op) - www.blandfordbiodiesel.co.uk
There is another commercial outfit called Ebony based in Northwich, https://www.ebony-solutions.co.uk and I think there is a firm near Cheltenham which runs a filling station.www.purebiodiesel.co.uk

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44634
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 06 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Excellent, any others anyone can think of? Maybe we could put together a list and post it as an article?

Windymiller



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 550
Location: West Wales
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 06 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

According to the handbook for the Zafira 2 litre, the use of biodiesel invalidates the warranty.

Brandon



Joined: 11 Apr 2006
Posts: 114
Location: mid wales
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 06 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

that's yet another reason no tot buy a new car then!!

If you interested in making your own bio-diesel, then I suggest you read " from the fryer to the fuel tank" by joshua tickell......

nora



Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Posts: 1539
Location: West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 06 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

There is a place just opened down the road from me selling biodiesel. I've just been and joined-its 1 and then you get a card to show you have payed tax on it in case anyone questions you(not sure why they would but thats what they said). I'm going to go and get some next week. It costs 86p a litre so I am going to try it out. Its not at a petrol station, just an industrial unit with a pump fitted inside the doors. They have big tanks in there and lots of vegetable oil drums - they are trying to use local chip/takeaway oils. My car is a 1995 renault 19 so think it will be ok. Does anyone know if it would be alright in an X reg 2 litre mondeo as my friend has one and isn't sure if they should try it or not?

Mary-Jane



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 18397
Location: The Fishing Strumpet is from Ceredigion in West Wales
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 06 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

We're just about to in our Land Rover - when Gervase has converted it of course! He's brought home a book from a chap at work who has converted his vehicle with great success, so Mr. Boffin is keen to do the same.

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 06 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Err, it's not biodiesel I'm after running the truck on, it's bog standrd veg oil.
Biodiesel requires 20 per cent by volume methanol or ethanol to make, plus large amounts of sodium or potassium hydroxide, and I can't be bothered to fanny around with that, so I'm intending to make a preheater and thermostatic switch to run the Land Rover on sunflower oil (or what I can blag from the local chippy).

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 06 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

idiots guide please! All this talk of chip oil and NaOH has me thinking soap not fuel!

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 06 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

sally_in_wales wrote:
idiots guide please! All this talk of chip oil and NaOH has me thinking soap not fuel!


What was there in the article that you didn't follow?

Since writing it, the position on Veg Oil has changed somewhat.
"Unprocessed" (if used, it needs to be filtered and de-watered, but that doesn't count) Veg Oil has been deemed by Customs and Excise *not* to be 'biodiesel' (even if it does meet all their specifications for biodiesel), and therefore is subject to tax at the higher (standard) rate.

All fluids used as fuel for road vehicles is subject to tax. And woe betide you if they find you've been evading their tax... (Its in the 'review'... )


Biodiesel and car warranties. Some manufacturers (eg VW/Audi) are perfectly happy that you use Biodiesel meeting the relevant DIN standards. They may not be too keen on you putting in homebrew.
In Europe, much (all?) Ultra Low Sulphur ("City") diesel fuel may contain 5% bio without even mentioning the fact - so if Vauxhall are against that (are they really?) - then you better not venture beyond Dover...

Soaps and residues. Most of the Methanol can, in principle, be recovered and reused. But this means extra processing.
Glycerene is produced as a by-product, and absent a local soap-maker, another use has to be found for it. It can be burned or even composted, if all else fails! Apart from diluting out the alkali (sodium or potassium hydroxide) with water and sending it down the drain, I've not seen good suggestions for re-using or dealing with it.

Have a look at the article, and if you want to know more, read the LILI book!
Tickell's book is good on Biodiesel, but being american, it is (or was) completely silent on all UK-specific aspects, like tax, and waste transportation licenses.

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