Bio-Heat/ Bio-Diesel

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U1100L

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Looking to see what you guys think about the new blend of #2 fuel.? B-100 should be in a class of its own?

Is it the new wonder fuel of the unpaid salesman for National Grid?
 

Ferroequinologist

Resident railroad expert
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I know that here on Shaw AFB, we are using B100 in the tow tugs on the flightline. And their fuel tanks have a 'noleak' bladder in them. Well, the Bio is eating the bladder, and clogging up everything. I routinely went into the vehicle maintenance shop, only to see half a dozed of them in there getting total fuel system rebuilds.

They are still running the train on 100% diesel. I think the cummins 290's would do fine on the bio, however the fuel tanks on the locomotives are very well vented, and I had problems with biological growth in the diesel now- I don't want to think about what would happen with 100% bio in the tank... you'd be changing filters weekly.
 

U1100L

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Never thought an AFB would be using that junk.. call me crazy.. reliability concerns..? to work? Took a load of B-100 this year. Removes paint better than brake fluid, put it in an tank with the sun on it instant fungus..

In new England we've been forced to swallow the Bio-Heat pill.. The filters are one thing. Lately the have carbonization of the burners has been the concern.. Think I'm starting to vent now sorry.. Is there any additive to combat this? #2 has a 5-20% !! blend of B-100 !!
 

Ferroequinologist

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Well, B-100, is 100% biodiesel.

B-5 is #2 diesel with 5% biodiesel, B-20 is 20% biodiesel and 80% #2, etc.

Yes, most bases and NG units are going to some amount of biofuels. They even tested a couple of jets on biofuels at Shaw not too long ago.
 
1,544
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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
To understand how Bio-diesel can affect fuel system you have to learn how it is made. It is not really a complicated process but understanding the different processes used can help you foresee future problems.

lye and methyl alcohol are used to bind to the fats and is separated out two ways, one is by letting it sit and it will form layers and you can drain the fuel from the top or the glycerin from the bottom. The second way or second step, is by washing it with water then letting it sit again and draining the once again separated layers. The water used can actually contribute to a change in PH of the resulting biodiesel because in the end even after letting it sit and separate there is still water emulsified in with the new "diesel" on a molecular level. The way to get the emulsified water out is to either heat it or filter it through water separator. Some say washing your bio diesel leads to problems with bio growth due to left over water still combined with fuel and recommend using settling and straining to remove the fats while other claim that it is far worse to put unwashed bio-diesel through your fuel system. Me personally i would settle, drain, wash, heat, and then filter it to get it as clean, dry, and pure as possible from all possible impurities.
 

U1100L

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littleton ma
The used veggie stuff is nasty.. your right Lye is one then methanol and some assorted scales. Left with some nice glycerine afterwards. Looks like a crystal-meth lab.
 

Ray70

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West greenwich/RI
I used to make boidiesel at home and used it in my backhoe and home heating furnace. I only washed what I was going to use for engine fuel. You have to wash it to remove left over soap and methanol from the reaction process. But even clean biodiesel is an excellent solvent so the problem you run into when running high concentrations (Such as B100) is that it will loosen any sludge built up in you tank or fuel system and it will slowly soften and eat away ar some types of rubber. That's why vehicles with rubber fuel lines need them changed to something that can withstand biodiesel, such as viton or clear vinyl tube. The other problem you run into when using greater than B20 in a furnace is a difference in BTU's per gallon requiring a bigger nozzle and burner adjustment (in additio to the fuel eating seals in your pump if they aren't bio-compatible.)
 
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