I have two farm tractors which I use biodiesel most of the year without issues. I know from experience that the cloud point of my fuel is around freezing (32 F or 0 C) because I keep a sample on my porch rail and whenever the temperature falls into that range reaches the cloud point.
I have a two tank system on my combine which works just great even in the dead of winter. Lasst year I havested corn in Jan. when the temp was 0 F or lower.
It is inconvienent to convert the fuel systems to dual tank setups with heated pickups for a couple of reasons. One of my tractors has two polyethylene saddle tanks which would necessitate two complete heating systems. For the other tractor removing the tank and adding a heated pickup is major undertaking. Then there is still the question of where to install the auxillary tanks that won't be in the way and are still secure. What I would like is simply to extend the time with which I can biodiesel without too much fuss.
My question is: If I install heaters on the fuel filters and maybe some simple fuel line heaters can I avoid this fuel cloud point problem and get a couple more months biodiesel time?
Wrap on 12 V 200 watt silicone heaters are available for a reasonable price. Does anyone have experience using these heaters on fuel filters with biodiesel and how did that work. If I installed simple electric fuel line heaters on the fuels coming from the tanks will that warm the biodiesel enough to keep me going?
Do I have to be overly concerned about a little cloudy fuel in the injector pump and injector lines, especially at startup? As soon as the warm fuel from the filters reaches the pump that problem should be far less.
There is the possibility of installing a flat plat heat exchanger between the tank and filters using engine coolant and possibly cycling some of that heated fuel back into the tank but there is always some delay before the engine warms enough.
Comments and suggestions will be appreciated.
If your farm equipment has older style diesel engines ie indirect injection the easiest way is to blend in some petrol.
From testing someone has done on the UK forum using 5% petrol achieves a lower cloud point and is cheaper than using a commercial coldflow additive.
Because of the greater lubricity of biodiesel the petrol % can be increased from the 5%
What you are recommending is called BLENDING on this forum. Blending has been experimented with and discussed for many years here on the BLENDING/MIXING FUELS discussion section.
Lots of excellent excellent information there about blending to reduce the cloud point of your biodiesel.
If I am not mistaken, the forums resident Septuagenarian living in Coldest North America claims that he is using BIODIESEL BLENDS down to -20C (minus 20C)!!
Other BLENDING agents include Kerosene (all flavors), #2 Diesel and even Jet B/ Widecut.
Most blended fuels have been successfully used in both DI and IDI diesel engines.
I see john actually claims to use biodiesel blends down to -30C!!!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Tilly,
dgs is correct, blend petrol [pure w/ no ethanol] and/or kerosene with the BD to lower the cloud pt temperature. I store winter B50 mix in translucent HDPE barrels at ambient temperature and pump from the clear layer through a 5µ filter into the vehicle tank.
The only modifications I made to the fuel system on my '89 Toyota truck was to add a FPHE after the fuel feed pump to heat the fuel mix and removed the inlet screen in the tank. The engine also has plug-in preheating and a heat pad on the FPHE. The fuel filter in the engine compartment is insulated but not heated since it's after the FPHE. The alt/fuel system has more than paid for itself with a minimum of modifications to the reliable and rugged Toyota diesel.
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