thanks trigger thats a good read.
Have you or know of any one with experience with band style fuel filter heaters? Sounds like a great idea but not sure its worth the hassel for our winter?!
I dilute the BD with winter grade diesel fuel [essentially kerosene], settle outside and cold filter to 5µ, thus removing the HMPEs as it goes into the vehicle tank. The vehicle has a FPHE fuel heat exchanger, the vehicle fuel filter is insulated, and the injectors and lines are wind-shielded/insulated with layers of recycled aluminum foil. I extract a ~300mm sample from the fuel-sump/water-separator into a glass jar that sits in the cold porch. With this system I can reliably run to -25°C; at that temp I park the diesel truck and use my petrol-fuel car for lower temperature operation.
Its that time of year again and we poor wimps in Ireland are shivering in -3°C morning conditions, how John Galt copes with -27° I just dont know.
Any way, my wifes car wouldnt start this morning, strong battery, good glow plugs, just no fuel getting past the fuel filter.
I spent 20 minutes with a hot air gun warming up the filter, metal fuel lines and the pump, while trying not to melt the rubber and plastic bits. I disconnected the air filter and squirted a small amount of quick start and then directed the hot air into the air intake. She started first turn of the engine. I think Ill switch to B50 while this "cold " spell lasts.
I set up a separate settling/storage tank a while back which acts as a cold filter set up too and so far its been working great. When my batch is finished after an initial settle over night I pump directly from my IMB processor through a lenght of hose through the lid of the settling tank. After it has settled I pump through a second 1 micron filter from ether the lower or upper outlet depending on how long I have to leave it settle for.
I was surprised at some of the results it gave me. You can see in the following pictures the HMPE's on the sides and in a ring around the bottom of the tank.
when I drained of some the bottom and separated of the bio this is what was left.
It is a soft waxy substance which burns clean and bright like bio and stays like this up to 40c before melting into a cloudy bio. My feedstock is soy oil and beef drippings which i settle out through a cold settling upflow system before hand and the resulting bio normally goes cloudy somewhere below 5c, the bio from the settling tank didnt start to go cloudy until around -2c. I havent had much time to test it in cold conditions yet but so far I've been motoring trouble free with it.
This a collection of ideas put together from various sources mainly on this forum so thanks to all for sharing your knowledge and experiences!
Thank-YOU!!! This winter biodiesel collaboration between Ireland and Northern Canada has been very interesting and informative. Dry BD with the HMPEs separated out is the key to problem-free winter use. Your carbide-manometer made it possible to test the moisture content in BD as well as BD fuel blends containing petrol. That's been a big step in getting good quality BD fuel blends for winter use. Cold settling\filtering made winter fuel blending trouble free.
My '89 Toyota 3.4L TDI truck is into it's 3rd problem-free winter since adopting the cold settling\filtering of the B50 mix before it goes into the vehicle tank. The B50 is diluted with kerosene/stove oil + petrol [gasoline]. The settling tank mix is B50-K35-P15. The dilution in the vehicle tank runs between B20 and B25 in the winter. I picked that test range since most new diesel vehicles are warranted for B20, yet many operators believe that BD won't work in cold climates at that concentration.
My truck gets get clean exhaust and smooth running with cold starts using this winter mix.
The way to cope with -27 is to have a few overnights from -30 to -40 early in late November. After that, the minus 20's are easy. My favorite winter temperature is 'between the zeroes' from 0°F [-18°C] to 0°C [32°F].
Womble, Im really impressed with your setup, the general opinion is that neither soy oil or beef dripping are suitable for cold weather biodiesel and yet here you are successfully using both. As liquid veg oil becomes harder to obtain many of us will want to make use of these "unsuitable" oils and fats.
John, I cant even imagine what -30°C feels like. You are absolutely right about the importance of dryness of winter fuel. My theory about this is that crystals will form much more easily if other seed crystals are present. At 0°C the tiny droplets of water will freeze into microscopic crystals of ice. These form seed crystals that hmpes can form on. I dry my bio to below 100ppm for winter use.
I also have a theory about the suitability of oils and fats for winter use. The farther North ( in the Northern hemisphere) a crop can be grown, the more suitable it is for winter biodiesel. A plant would die if the oils contained in its seeds froze because frozen oil expands and ruptures the cell walls. So European rapeseed and Canadian canola are better than soy and cottonseed grown in warm climates. Oils Grown in the tropics like palm oil are useless for cold weather use. Animal fats are different because animals, like us, produce internal heat so they can prevent their fats from freezing. I imagine fish oils from the northern oceans would be good although Ive never tried them.This message has been edited. Last edited by: imakebiodiesel,
I agree with your theory on northern oils. I've had the best results with canola, and poor results with the others like soy for winter fuel.
and here we go again, first few cold spells and there might be trouble ahead! I have a settling tank lying flat that i continually fill my car from. In summer and up until last week there was all sorts in there, pure solid fat(palm oil and beef dripping) good quality veg oil and a few batches with 100L oil to 50L fat. It was all processed the same with the same end result, < 150 ppm water and what seems to be <60-80 ppm soap. tonight i was trying to fill my car but the valve was covered in wax and HMPE. i cleared it with a screw driver and away i was filling my car. the car was practically empty put in €20 Diesel and topped it right up with biodiesel. am i asking for trouble here or the liquid BD that came out can withstand colder temperatures since it wasn't set?
Yes, I have a cold filtering tank that does just this. All the hmpes crystallize and fall out then what's left is much more cold tolerant. The addition of dino diesel will definitely help too. Best bet is to keep a jar of your blend outside to keep an eye on and 20l or so of dino in case you have a hard start in the morning.
I almost got caught out over Christmas. Its been very mild here in Waterford We went to visit relatives in Derry in the chilly North and parked the car outside with overnight temperatures of -4°C. The tank was full of B100. When I tried to start next morning it wouldnt fire and the battery was fading fast. As a last resort I sprayed a very small amount of di-ethyl ether (quickstart) into the air inlet and gave it one last try. It caught at the last moment just before the battery died.
As a rule I dont like using quickstart because of the danger of it pre igniting in the cylinder head and back fireing the engine. But as a last resort it got me out of trouble. Ill use 5% petrol in my future trips to the Northern frozen tundra.
I recall the night. It was the night of the 27th and 28th December. We had -4c that night.
I checked my test jars of biodiesel on the morning of the 28th. My B100 jar, that was liquid, without drop out, all winter, up to that morning, was frozen to the window sill and its content was solid. The jar was 2/3rds full of B100. I inverted the jar and the B100 didn't move. Seemingly solid. It was cold that morning, and I was going to work, so I didn't hang around to see if the B100 had any level of liquidity.
The temperature rose to 7c that afternoon. So when I came home from work, that eventing, the B100 jar was liquid again.
Since taking to alternative fuels, I'm a daily follower of the BBC weather website, during the Winter. They do a good pictorial image of the weather forecast for the north of the island, with termperature forecast change in 3 hour segments.
I also follow the BBC website and find it next to useless.
With having a large polytunnel full of palms and bananas it's important to keep a track of overnight temps. 2 of the last few nights the BBC has forecasted temps of @ -4degs for us. On these nights I recorded min temps of -10 and -11. Tonight looks similar.
Back to bio.
I find that processing only liquid oil (at the temp it is going to be used at) keeps me safe. Once it has to be warmed to just get it into the processor could mean trouble.
(I realise for some this is easier said than done as some don't have liquid oil at minus temperatures)
If you want accurate temperature predictions use this site:
adjust location as required
Thats seems to be a great site, thanks John, Ill track it for a few days to see how accurate it is.
Dgs, you are right, the cold weather properties of the oil determines the properties of the bio. I have half a dozen cubies of oil that I think is soya oil. During the day its is clear liquid just like the rest of my oil but after a moderately cold night it is thick and creamy. Ill leave that till spring time to process. Zamo has asked an interesting question over on Biodiesel in Ireland that is more your field of expertise than mine. Would you have a look and help him out?
Thanks IMB, done it.
If there is anyone using this page any more and in the Carlow/Wicklow area that wants an oil supply from 2 chinese takeaways let me know.
One of them gives me 120-150L a month and the other 60-80L a month.
Let me know if you want their details.
I am not making any fuel at the moment and have a few hundred litres there so no room for any more.
i can pick up the carlow oil
where about in carlow?
pm me if you want
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