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Old 09-05-2012, 02:19 PM   #21
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This was written in April of 2010 and at the time, the official position of Northern Lights/Lugger, regarding Bio Diesel as written by Bob Senter:

“While biodiesel is certainly appealing in some ways, in its current
state of refinement it is totally unsuitable for long range cruisers,
sailboats, boats with very large tanks and standby generators. I will
post the chapter and verse technical background and recommendations
from John Deere, which are mostly in lockstep with other engine
builders.

Here's the short version:
1. Biodiesel degrades quickly, like milk. According to Deere, it must
be used within 90 days of manufacture, a near impossibility in marine
applications and standby generators.
2. Biodiesel's strong solvent-like properties do a great job of
cleaning normal accumulations of asphaltenes from tanks and fuel
lines; the freshly loosened debris plugs the filters.
3. Most of the flexible hose components, gaskets, seals, diaphragms
and O-rings will be gradually softened and/or dissolved by biodiesel.
The problem is insidious because the engine will run extremely well
until the problems begin.
4. Once the dissolved materials begin to enter the fuel system, fuel
injection system failures and upper cylinder failures can occur -
these materials were never designed to be burned in the combustion
chamber. External leaks and filter plugging are the least of your
worries. The longer term fuel system and engine component failures are
likely to be much more oppressive and expensive.

Without debating the merits or challenges of biodiesel, I hope that
these challenges are overcome in the not too distant future. The
reality for now is that it really only works well in some highway
vehicles and agriculture/ construction equipment where all the fuel is
consumed in a few days.”

Best regards,
Bob Senter
Northern Lights/Lugger Service Training
cell: 360-531-1444
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:15 PM   #22
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Was it mentioned on what blend? It has been my road experience that in low % blends this is not an issue. Typically it is almost impossible to find blends above B20. Trust me if you start running B99 you will see some if not all of these symptoms.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
This was written in April of 2010 and at the time, the official position of Northern Lights/Lugger, regarding Bio Diesel as written by Bob Senter:

“While biodiesel is certainly appealing in some ways, in its current
state of refinement it is totally unsuitable for long range cruisers,
sailboats, boats with very large tanks and standby generators. I will
post the chapter and verse technical background and recommendations
from John Deere, which are mostly in lockstep with other engine
builders.

Here's the short version:
1. Biodiesel degrades quickly, like milk. According to Deere, it must
be used within 90 days of manufacture, a near impossibility in marine
applications and standby generators.
2. Biodiesel's strong solvent-like properties do a great job of
cleaning normal accumulations of asphaltenes from tanks and fuel
lines; the freshly loosened debris plugs the filters.
3. Most of the flexible hose components, gaskets, seals, diaphragms
and O-rings will be gradually softened and/or dissolved by biodiesel.
The problem is insidious because the engine will run extremely well
until the problems begin.
4. Once the dissolved materials begin to enter the fuel system, fuel
injection system failures and upper cylinder failures can occur -
these materials were never designed to be burned in the combustion
chamber. External leaks and filter plugging are the least of your
worries. The longer term fuel system and engine component failures are
likely to be much more oppressive and expensive.

Without debating the merits or challenges of biodiesel, I hope that
these challenges are overcome in the not too distant future. The
reality for now is that it really only works well in some highway
vehicles and agriculture/ construction equipment where all the fuel is
consumed in a few days.”

Best regards,
Bob Senter
Northern Lights/Lugger Service Training
cell: 360-531-1444
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:07 PM   #23
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Here is what Volvo Penta has to say about it:

Quote:
Biodiesel

Concern for the environment is one of Volvo Penta's core values, and we are constantly developing our products in order to reduce emissions. Volvo Penta naturally takes a positive view of the introduction of renewable fuels ("biofuels") that can help to reduce the impact of diesel engines on the environment in the future.
Furthermore, the use of biofuels in the future may lead to a situation where the production of fuels is more sustainable than today. One of the recently introduced biofuels is RME ("biodiesel"), which is produced from rapeseed oil and methanol. Today, biodiesel is the most common alternative to diesel. According to the EU's EN 590 standard for diesel fuel, it is currently permissible to blend up to 5 % biodiesel into normal diesel. Accordingly, biodiesel might already be present in the diesel used in the marine sector.
Volvo Penta recommends its customers to operate Volvo Penta's diesel engines only on diesel fuel that conforms to EU standard EN590.
Volvo Penta's diesel engines can be operated on diesel fuel with a higher blend of biodiesel than 5 %- in other words, a higher proportion than stipulated in the EU standard EN590. If such a fuel is used, the engine's emission levels may increase slightly. The engine will also need more frequent service intervals to avoid excessive wear and shorter lifetime.


Volvo Penta's guarantees do not cover damage caused by too high blend of biodiesel.
Volvo Penta makes the following recommendations to customers who wish to use fuel with higher biodiesel content than stated in the EU standard EN 590:
  • The biodiesel must be of good quality, which means that it must comply with the EU's EN14214 fuel standard.
  • Biodiesel is an efficient solvent that can, when first used, dissolve constituents in the fuel system. The fuel filter should therefore be changed after a short period of usage.
  • Biodiesel is not a fuel with long-term stability, it can oxidize in the fuel system. The entire fuel system must be emptied and operated on normal diesel before any extended period of still standing, such as during winter storage.
  • Biodiesel has a negative effect on many rubber and plastic materials. Rubber hoses and plastic components in the fuel system must be checked regularly and changed at more frequent intervals than usual to avoid leakage.
  • Biodiesel impairs the lubricating capacity of oil due to its higher boiling point. The intervals for changing lubricating oils and oil filters must be halved compared with normal.
Note; Apparently diesel fuel purchased in Europe may already contain 5% biodiesel without consumers even knowing it. They approve of up to 5% biodiesel without any changes in operation or maintenance.
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:23 PM   #24
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Interesting information. We have a late model diesel car (twin turbo) and the manufactuer only allows up to 2% biodiesel. That is particularly interesting since it appears from Volvo that in Europe they can run 5%, and our car is from Europe. However, our car has a urea system to reduce particulate emissions that is not required in Europe, so that may be part of it. I have heard about improved lubrocity with biodiesel, but can't recall the source. I've also heard it increases the cetane rating, which is woefully low in the US compared to Europe (40 at most stations here, 50 in the EU), but if people are seeing lower efficiency with bio, that would contradict the cetain being higher, as I understand.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:15 AM   #25
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I read Rwidman's post on this subject yesterday and was tempted to post my own Biodiesel experience and opinions but I was at 'lunch' reading not eating and I knew I couldn't compose my thoughts before my 'lunch' was over. Yesterday eve, I decided this was a subject that had more 'experts' that had read stuff that nobody's mind is going to be changed. This has been the case with ethanol blended gasoline since Christ was a pup.

Here it is a day later, and in spite of why get involved attitude, I'll take the plunge.

I live in the midwest. Ethanol or 'gasohol' has been commonplace since the late 70's. here in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The doomsayers have been vocal since its inception. Due to tax incentives, it has been cheaper than regular gas since the gitgo. I like cheap, I have used it everytime it is available since in my vehicles and inboard boats. I tried to avoid it for use in my outboard motors, snowmobiles and 2 stroke tools, chainsaw, weed whacker, etc. but alas, I used it there too, due to poor product labeling or no other choice. The only problem I ever experienced from it was a chainsaw whose in tank fuel hose swelled up and fell off. and an old Chevy pickup whose plastic carburetor floats absorbed gas and sunk. Those problems were before 1980. I have had no more problems since. Does gasohol produce the same gas mileage? Informed sources say no, but in my experience the difference is less than the margin of error of the measurement.
My experience with Biodiesel is more limited. My boat came with roughly 300 gallons of biodiesel when I bought it, in January 2011. The PO said it was cheaper in Nashville at the time. He inquired about using it and was told to beware of rubber fuel hose. He said he changed out everything that was subject to degradation. ????? I obviously used all the fuel the boat came with. I haven't made an effort to find biodiesel since but have no doubt as to its availablity. I cannot tell any difference between the biodiese and the #2 offroad I have used since, without the use of lab grade instrumentation. My only subjective observation is that the biodiesel is supposed to smell like french fries, it doesn't to me. It smelled more like I remember as gas powered RC airplane fuel. In my mind I would rather smell petro diesel exhaust. The Biodiesel did fine in temps just above freezing when I bought the boat though.
I am an engineer working for John Deere. Deere makes money selling construction, forestry equipment, engines including marine, but needless to say the biggest part of the enterprise is agriculture. Anything that is good for Agribusiness is good for John Deere. My end of the business is crop harvesting. Ethanol can be produced with many other commodities than corn. Biodiesel can be produced with other things than soy beans. The economics are evolving. It doesn't take 5 gallons of diesel to produce 4 gallons of ethanol as the the critics would have you believe. The future probably centers around biomass. Deere is actively working on Biomass harvesting.
The following is Deere web information about biodeisel.
Biodiesel from John*Deere
This is interesting reading for anybody who doesn't already know more than they need to on the subject,

Read the Biodiesel Brochure hyperlinked on the right side of the page. As well as the marine engine links on the left.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:47 AM   #26
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To be clear, my only interest in biodiesel is the possibility that a small amount may be the best additive to conventional diesel fuel. No politics, no environmental concerns although if it works as well, costs the same, and is better for the environment, that would be a plus.

Obviously, biodiesel hasn't caught on in a big way or it would be available at the corner gas station. Checking the link a few posts up, it looks like I would have to drive about 70 miles to the closest biodoesel source. And that's 20% biodiesel so I would have to haul a large quantity to end up with 2% in my boat.

I will keep an open mind,
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:25 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
it looks like I would have to drive about 70 miles to the closest biodoesel source.

Try this guy on Montague St. - Charles Fox 843.303.3334.

He has a biodiesel station and blends biodiesel that he gets from a local source (that won't sell retail unfortunately) but he is reported to sell "neat" biodiesel so you can blend what you want for lubricity enhancement. Price is reported to be about the same as petro-diesel.

Let us know how it works out.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:03 AM   #28
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Try this guy on Montague St. - Charles Fox 843.303.3334.

He has a biodiesel station and blends biodiesel that he gets from a local source (that won't sell retail unfortunately) but he is reported to sell "neat" biodiesel so you can blend what you want for lubricity enhancement. Price is reported to be about the same as petro-diesel.

Let us know how it works out.
Thanks for the info. I have full tanks right now and the fuel has been treated but I'll keep this in mind. There may be a trip soon that will use some fuel up.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:56 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Carolena View Post
I've also heard it increases the cetane rating, which is woefully low in the US compared to Europe (40 at most stations here, 50 in the EU), but if people are seeing lower efficiency with bio, that would contradict the cetain being higher, as I understand.
The cetane rating (for all practical purposes) only effects engine starting characteristics and some emissions in some circumstances. It is a measure of how quickly the fuel will ignite at a certain compression ratio on a single cylinder test engine.

Calculation of the cetane index can vary considerably among testing labs. The standard method of calculation means that 95 percent of labs will rate the same fuel sample between 44 and 52. American diesel is required to meet a minimum cetane rating of 40, that doesn't mean that is as high as it gets. So called "premium diesel" has a higher rating of 47.

I think you will find that as long as the cetane number meets minimum specifications, any difference in engine efficiency will be so small that measuring it outside the lab would be difficult.

Europeans have higher standards for pollution control than we do and require a higher minimum cetane rating because they use far more diesel vehicles than we do and a higher rating means less pollution when starting a cold engine.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:42 PM   #30
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I ran from Norway to Africa on B100

An old diesel engine will run on B100.

Diesel engines was made in the late 1800`s by Rudolf Diesel. They originally ran on peanut oil, but since that was hard to come by in Northern Europe at the time, a waste product of petrol production (now called diesel because of the engine) was superb to use in a slow going engine. The diesel engine was priarily used for tractors and tanks. Things that at the time was ment to go slow with a relatively slow RPM who did not need the explosive power of gas.

I am not a mechanic, nor an engineer, but I wanted to make my 1999 Land rover defender run on B100 on the TD5 engine. All but a few told me they "knew a guy" who tried it and broke his engine, but none could name him.

I decided to try, and a local company named bio 8 (Bio8) funded the project. A friend of me who are going to live aboard an old landrover ambulance helped me do the project. We fitted a 300 liter truck fuel tank in the back of my car with a metal coil in it. We ran the coolant water from the engine through it and warmed up the biofuel that way to about 70 degrees. After the fuel was warm enough, I switched from regular diesel to bio fuel on my engine.

Norway is a cold country and B100 tend to get like wax when it is cold. The solution is to have two tanks. A small regular diesel tank to start the engine and warm up the biomass (and to "flush" out remaining bio fuel 5 minutes before i stop the engine). I start and stop my engine on regular fossile diesel, so there is a need for a two tank system for this to work in colder climate.
A friend of mine drives on b50 during the winter months (unmodified engine and fuel system) and b100 during summer months. I had a bio-fuelpump dedicated to my b100, so I turned off the normal diesel pump and used my biopump when using bio. I had a switch for that in the front seat of my car, and it would change seamless and actually reducing RPM when I changed to bio. Engine ran smoother on it.

To get FREE bio fuel, you just go to the local burger joint and get their old used frying oil for free. You prefilter it down to 10 microns (who is what most diesel filters filter). You can get washable filters on ebay for 10$.

We ran 10.000 km + on this. All across Europe, from Norway to Morocco in Africa.

There is no need to buy biofuel. The used vegetable oil is better than new oil, cause used oil contains less water as it has been boiled out. The fumes will smell exactly like the things cooked in the oil. If it was made chips in the oil, your car/boat will smell like chips while driving it, but hey... is the guy behind you that is going to smell that, not you

To make biofuel get it in cans, let them sit for a couple of weeks to let the gunk sink to the bottom, and then prefilter it. Thats it. Free fuel.

Downsides:

1. Hoses will crack after a while
Solution: Replace hoses with acid proof ones when they crack.

2. Filters will probably clog
Solution: Repace filters. Problem will only sustain while the biofuel (solvent) cleans out old carbon chunks of the engine. After 1 or 2 filter changes, your engine should be fine. Anyway, the price of a couple of filters are cheaper than diesel and a bit of acid proof fuel line when your fuel is free.
Another option is to have a dedicated bio pump and put a t-piece right where the engine block intake is and have diesel in one and bio on the other side of the inlet.

3. You loose about 10% power.
Solution: You can use additives to get more power. Recipes at youtube.
If power-loss is acceptable, you still get free fuel.

I want to eventually run my trawler on b100 that I make my self.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:48 PM   #31
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It is doable: BBC NEWS | Programmes | Working Lunch | UK's first vegetable oil trawler
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:18 PM   #32
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Lostviking Why are you using these elixirs and blends in a boat which can't get close to a Burger King fryer? For fun or ---- ?
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:33 PM   #33
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Lostviking Why are you using these elixirs and blends in a boat which can't get close to a Burger King fryer? For fun or ---- ?

In time I will get a home port near burger shops, hehe!
If i get a pick-up too, I can have free fuel who is much more enviromentally friendly than to rape the oceans and suck out the blood of the earth. Double win.

Also, my future fuel will help clean the air until it is used as a fuel. And it can be re-grown.

Ideally an engine should make the air cleaner, but this is the best option for me in the near future.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:35 PM   #34
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And also.... a 300 gallon tank mate. Do not need to make that run so often, and 300 gallons at 4-5 USD$ ... VS free fuel?
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:42 PM   #35
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Biodiesel has many beneficial properties and is definetly worth investigating however, it may have some significant drawbacks. Since most information on the product has been presented by organizations promoting it, one has to take a look at the other side of the coin.

(1) The principal issue is that biodiesel is a very aggressive solvent. Even USCG Type-A fuel hose is not completely immune. Some metals are also not recommended including copper alloys, common brass valves and fittings. Any spilled fuel will rapidly attack paint on engines, bilges, etc. Rubber engine mounts will be affected. On deck it will attack paint and bedding compounds, gelcoat, acrylic hatches and boat shoe soles. It appears that it may also affect fiberglass tanks if they are not specially coated. It certainly will dissolve and mobilize old scum and deposits in the fuel system.

(2) Newer engines with all Viton seals and gaskets can probably use it. Older engines are probably questionable. If the fuel causes any problem, the engine manufacturer may not consider it a warranty issue - it is your problem.

(3) Biodiesel is hygroscopic (absorbs water) and perhaps more subject to bacterial action. Biodegradability in the environment is one of its strong points but not good if it happens in your tank. There is not much information on long term storage in a typical pleasure boat environment, i.e. fuel sitting in a hot, humid tank for months and sometimes years. Commercial users and probably most automobiles do not have this problem.

What The engine Manufacturers have to Say


Detroit Diesel "Lubricating Oil, Fuel and Filters"

5.1.4 BIODIESEL FUELS Biodiesel fuels are alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from renewable resources. Biodiesel fuels must meet ASTM Specification D 6751. Biodiesel meeting the D 6751 specifications can be blended up to 20% maximum by volume in diesel fuel. The resulting mixture must meet the fuel properties listed in Table 5-1. Failures attributed to the use of biodiesel will not be covered by Detroit Diesel product warranty. The following quotation is extracted from World-Wide Fuel Charter - Draft for comments - June 2002, page 46 for reference and guidance:" Based on the technical effects of FAME [Fatty Acid Methyl Esters], it is strongly advised that FAME content be restricted to less than 5%. As a pure fuel, or at higher levels in diesel fuel, the vehicles need to be adapted to the fuel, and particular care is needed to avoid problems."

Cummins: "Biodiesel: Frequently Asked Questions"

Cummins test data on the operating effects of biodiesel fuels indicates that typically smoke, power, and fuel economy are all reduced. However, as there are no firm industry standards on the content and properties for bio fuels, consistency and predictability of biodiesel operation is not well documented. Biodiesel provides approximately 5-7% less energy per gallon of fuel when compared to distillate fuels. To avoid engine problems when the engine is converted back to 100% distillate diesel fuel, do not change the engine rating to compensate for the power loss when operated with biodiesel fuels. Elastomer compatibility with bio diesel is still being monitored. The condition of seals, hoses, gaskets, and wire coatings should be monitored regularly. Cummins certifies its engines using the prescribed EPA and European Certification Fuels. Cummins does not certify engines on any other fuel. It is the user's responsibility to use the correct fuel as recommended by the manufacturer and allowed by EPA or other local regulatory agencies. In the United States, the EPA allows use of only registered fuels for on-highway applications. The EPA has additional alternative fuel information at Alternative Fuel Conversion | Cars and Light Trucks | US EPA


Ford Motor Company says

Fuels containing no more than 5% biodiesel may be used in Ford diesel powered vehicles. Consistent with WWFC (World-Wide Fuel Charter) category 1-3, "Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) used in commercial fuel must meet both the EN 14214 and ASTM D 6751 specifications". There are still some unresolved technical concerns with the use of biodiesel at concentration greater than 5%. Some of the concerns are: Requires special care at low temperatures to avoid excessive rise in viscosity and loss of fluidity Storage is a problem due to higher then normal risk of microbial contamination due to water absorption as well as a higher rate of oxidation stability which creates insoluble gums and sediment deposits, Being hygroscopic, the fuel tends to have increased water content, which increases the risk of corrosion. Biodiesel tends to cause higher engine deposit formations The methyl esters in biodiesel fuel may attack the seals and composite materials used in vehicle fuel systems and it may attack certain metals such as zinc, copper based alloys, cast iron, tin, lead, cobalt, and manganese It is an effective solvent, and can act as a paint stripper, whilst it will tend to loosen deposits in the bottom of fuel tanks of vehicles previously run on mineral diesel. Ford believes that it is unlikely that the emission benefits of biodiesel will be sufficient to achieve Tier 2 emission standards with out catalysts and particulate filters.


From - Caterpillar

CAT neither " approves nor prohibits" the use of biodiesel however, any failures that result from the use of any fuel are not covered by any warranty.

And more from a company who sells Biodiesel......

CytoCulture Environmental Biotechnology

(This company sells biodiesel for marine outlets in California

The oxygenated methyl esters of vegetable oil cause Biodiesel to have surprisingly strong solvent properties with respect to natural rubber and several soft plastics. As a result, old rubber fuel lines and some seals or gaskets on fuel tanks may slowly deteriorate in the presence of higher concentrations of Biodiesel. Fortunately, few of these solvent effects are noticed at a B-20 blend, and most of the problems associated with the solvent effects occurred with boats using 100% neat Biodiesel. Do "few" and "most" imply that there are some problems ?

When fuel lines or gaskets are affected, they usually get sticky over time and soften or swell, causing fuel to drip from connections. In one case, the rubber fuel line between the primary filter and the fuel pump on a Yanmar sailboat engine became tacky, but did not leak, after 4 years of operating on 100% Biodiesel. The best solution is to replace affected lines and gaskets with modern synthetic hoses and seals.


In bench top studies conducted at CytoCulture, the Trident hose proved to be resistant to neat Biodiesel over a period of months, although the hose did absorb Biodiesel and swell slightly (tightens under hose clamps). With 20% blends, there have been no reports of any problems with these new fuel hoses.

Studies conducted for the National Biodiesel Board on the materials compatibility of Biodiesel concluded that the only hose and gasket material that was truly resistant to the solvent effects of methyl esters was Viton. Viton fuel hoses (Goodyear) can be special ordered for boats (usually expensive at over $5.00/ft for 5/16" line)

In a survey, 5% of the boaters reported minor problems with the Biodiesel if they spilled it on decks, on their engine or into their bilges. The solvent properties of the esters in Biodiesel can loosen old paint on engines or on painted surfaces in the bilge. Besides staining raw wood surfaces, Biodiesel is particularly harmful to teak decks with polysulfide seams (use extra caution when filling tanks via deck ports). Biodiesel could also harm rubber engine mounts if it were spilled and not cleaned up immediately.

Biodiesel can be stored for long periods of time in closed containers with little air space. The containers should be protected from weather, direct sunlight and low temperatures. Avoid long term storage in partly filled containers, particularly in damp locations like dock boxes (or boats ?). Condensation in the container can contribute to the long term deterioration of petroleum diesel or biodiesel.

As mentioned earlier, the addition of Biodiesel to a dirty fuel tank can accelerate the release of accumulated slime. When the boat is then used after sitting idle for a long period of time, the newly suspended sediment can accumulate and potentially clog the fuel filters.

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Old 09-16-2012, 11:34 PM   #36
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All this talk about Burger King and french fries made me hungry. So I got the fryer out and cooked up some chicken tenders and fries. And let me say. . they . . . . was . . . good

Now that I've done my part for the environment. . . I feel much better and I'm back to the football game.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:48 PM   #37
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Good man! Good man! Remember to prefilter that oil and get it on your diesel tank
Saving the world can be so... tasty!

You are a true every day hero Edelweiss!
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:44 AM   #38
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The fumes will smell exactly like the things cooked in the oil. If it was made chips in the oil, your car/boat will smell like chips while driving it.
Which explains why some boats have a following flock of seagulls which here have learnt to enjoy a hot chip. BruceK
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:57 AM   #39
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As mentioned earlier, the addition of Biodiesel to a dirty fuel tank can accelerate the release of accumulated slime.

Sounds like one might clean an aged tank by filling with old french fry oil , waiting a week while pumping in air to agitate the crud off the tank walls.

When pumped out it might leave a clean fuel box.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:49 AM   #40
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Crud Kutter for fuel tanks.
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