$4.00/gal Diesel is in the future, time for cheaper PROVEN methods of fueling. - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:05 AM
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$4.00/gal Diesel is in the future, time for cheaper PROVEN methods of fueling.

Well I figured I'd start this massive thread (trust me... it will be) on the alternative fueling options for Diesel trucks, in particular our beloved Powerstrokes. With the large amount of "uneducated" ways of fueling it is time to lay out some cost analysis and see what ones options are for beating the "absurd" fuel prices. To my knowledge the only PROVEN ways are Biodiesel, SVO systems and we will throw heating oil in there as well. So I'll throw in my .02 on Biodiesel and some cost analysis plus a little extra on heating oil.

Your basic Biodiesel system would be most cost efficient if you buy plans and use what is know as the Appleseed system. Basically this is a water heater and assorted 55 gallons drums to carry out all of the basic process required when making Biodiesel. Your water heater is 50 gallons (or more) and when you add in all of the chemical (methanol and NaOH or KOH) you total processing volume is reduced to 35 gallons of usable fuel) To get down to the nitty gritty of it, you actually can come up with your own system, once you do research, and build the whole thing for anywhere from 500-1500 dollars. If you all look at my system, I built that for about 1400 bucks. It really is worth it to research what you’re doing because you will have a better understanding of what is happening overall and have a better trouble shooting approach when problems arise. Now that is as basic as basic can get, there are much more advanced methods to create the fuel and if you look at the other machine I have, you can see it and its massive price tag. The good side to buying plans is that you can always call the person up and ask for help and perhaps processing tips.


Basic Cost Break Down.
Appleseed system $2000(we will assume you had to buy everything new and plans)
Methanol $5.00/gal... Its ridicolous right now, I paid closer to 3.75/gal during ths summer.

NaOH/KOH You need to find a place to sell you some in bulk quanity. I bought a bunch when I was on a sustainable research grant and I still have ties to the company. As pure as you can find(NaOH 97.5%-100% and KOH is around 90%)
Storage Totes$200

So for about $2,200 in up front cash you can make a quality biodiesel system. Chemical prices can vary so your looking at anywhere from about .90/gal to 1.50/gallon is you had to have your chemicals(NaOH, KOH) shipped to you.

Cons Of Biodiesel System
The major drawbacks are that you pretty much are on a bit of a guess game until you get the results you’re looking for. Everyone that makes Biodiesel has a different recipe as to how to do it. There are allot of common threads but each one is tailored to each system. That’s why doing your homework and research is important. You can remove all of this by buying a system and they have typically a cookie cutter way to making the fuel. Personally I think your better off just doing it yourself so you can have an understanding of what is going on.

The Other major draw backs are the chemicals. NaOH and KOH are caustics and need to be treated with care. They will absorb moister in the air, so you got to store them in air tight containers. They are hard to come by unless you have chemical supply places in your city. Biodiesel quickly becomes not feasible if you must have your chemicals shipped in from outside places. In the production of Biodiesel you get Glycerin. Its biodegradable, but it actually is a very good solvent and cleaner. Some people turn it into soap or make there own digressers/cleaners out of them.


The fuel gells...at higher temps. Can be anywhere from 25F-40F. It all depends on the feedstocks used.

Biodiesel is an excellent solvent is cleans the crap out of your fuel system.. IE plugged filters. Not to mention some rubbers and seals can bet eatin away from biodiesel in order trucks.

Biodiesel is more susceptable to bacterica growth(long term storage) and retains more suspended water than regular diesel. It would be wise to invest into a FASS like system or Rancor Aqua block. Stratapore filters are good to have.

Pro's
With the negatives out of the way we can focus on the good. The main point is that all of the modifying... is done to the fuel, not the truck (like SVO systems). You can have many vehicles running off of one machine and part of your Biodiesel setup can be uses with SVO (SVO needs to be filtered and dewatered). Biodiesel needs the same treatment but to a lesser degree.

That’s about all I can ramble on with right now, I left about a bunch of stuff because I wish to stimulate questions from people reading... and my fingers hurt.

SVO
I know alitte about this topic, but Clay knows way more about it then I do...Not to mention he runs a good system, I'll allow him to cramp his hands...


Heating Oil
Ah yes its our old friend heating oil. Everyone has run it at some point... it feels good not paying road taxes. Downside is that it stains the crap out of your tanks and there is a massive fine if you’re tagged. Personally I have run it and I can vouch that it does in-fact stain your tanks... good and long. That leaves us with how to correct that. Perhaps a secondary system would be good. Have something in the tank and then have a solenoid valve switch the fuel lines over. I have never been dipped so I'm not sure if they get under and look at your fuel lines or what the deal is.


Just to keep things clear, I'm not trying to have a debate, but rahter an organized discussion on alternative fuels. I'm NOT trying to permote a "mines better than yours" discussion. That being said I will have an active role and more than likely respond to various questions/comments asked. Please do not take offense to this, as I was once in perspective people’s shoes and overwhelmed with questions, so I will ask for clarification or perhaps an expansion upon something posted.

Last edited by Sciulli; 02-25-2008 at 02:13 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2008, 11:14 AM
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dang if its 4.00 bucks a gallon then im goin to park the truck and drive my honda again!
Biodiesel works on injection pump engines well but for elec... injection sucks. we have 18 macks running biodiesel on the new ones and we run into so many problems with them missing,stalling,and various othere problems. we have 8 old macks with injection pumps running it and no problems with them yet. all our test trucks have been trying to run biodiesel for a year and the elecs are just not liking it. but who knows yall might figure it out.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06Blackmamba View Post
dang if its 4.00 bucks a gallon then im goin to park the truck and drive my honda again!
Biodiesel works on injection pump engines well but for elec... injection sucks. we have 18 macks running biodiesel on the new ones and we run into so many problems with them missing,stalling,and various othere problems. we have 8 old macks with injection pumps running it and no problems with them yet. all our test trucks have been trying to run biodiesel for a year and the elecs are just not liking it. but who knows yall might figure it out.
Alright good point, the newer(define newer) macks do not like it. What are engines are in them?


Also I should add that I personally have ran about 500 gallons through my 2003 6.0L without any Issues. I just had a check engine light come on and the ICP sensor went bad.. but that was not bio-D related. I typically only run it during the warmer months, but I guess i'm gonna need to start runnign B20 year round at these fuel prices.

Last edited by Sciulli; 02-25-2008 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:26 AM
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SVO 2 tank system is the way to go, my
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.0 paul View Post
SVO 2 tank system is the way to go, my
Fair enough, could you please perhaps explain why you opted to take the SVO route and opposed to any of the other potential routes?

Just to give any would be people your perspective on it.
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  #6  
Old 02-25-2008, 11:33 AM
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the new macks are MP7 MP8, coming soon but it out is MP10 which is volvo engines. also asets on them and there having promblems not as much but there unit pumps are getting clogged but i think me and marty at mack have that one figured. but for the MPs there injectors are not likeing it at all. Cat is having the same problem with the aserts and there having problems anyway with the emission systems. i know that one for a fact halliburton returned when i was there 15 engines and went to cummins!
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:40 AM
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I am "brewing" fuel now, it is just time consuming. I'm lazy, I want the easiest way. I am switching to the second tank system. I have friends that do this and it is easier, they just have to strain / filter then pump in and run the vehicle. again just my
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:42 AM
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Oh I forgot to mention we are $3.74/gal here
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 6.0 paul View Post
Oh I forgot to mention we are $3.74/gal here
I feel the hurt
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:31 PM
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3.94 is the highest in glenwood springs colorado right now. Most of it is priced at 3.75
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