Biodiesel - My answer to my fuel cost problems! - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:52 PM
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Biodiesel - My answer to my fuel cost problems!

Thinking of making my own biodiesel for my 2005 F-350 6.0, anyone tried? Any known concerns I should have. I'm still studying all that I can, before I jump in.
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLewis581 View Post
Thinking of making my own biodiesel for my 2005 F-350 6.0, anyone tried? Any known concerns I should have. I'm still studying all that I can, before I jump in.
Go to the Bio-Diesel Forum. You will find everything you need there.

Good Luck Bio-Diesel/Alternative Fuels and Supplements

Last edited by BryanH; 05-21-2008 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:25 PM
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You can read about it in the biod forum, but here's my analysis:

Relatively high startup costs, especially if you buy a kit. Once you factor in labor, it's not nearly as attractive of a proposition in terms of cost effectiveness. There is competition for the Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO), so expect to pay for it (and if you don't now, expect to in the future). All in all I wouldn't want to spend my weekends finding used oil to covert, especially if I lived in the north (biod gels far earlier than diesel, so you can only use it 6 mo/yr)
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:27 PM
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biodiesel does gel at roughly 40 degrees but from what I understand if you run bio with 50 percent with #2 you shouldnt have any problems or you can buy an anti gel agent.
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:32 PM
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There is also this option, I'm going to this as in The People Republic of California fuel is 4.99 a gal
Greasecar Vegetable Fuel Systems
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:08 AM
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Think total cost of ownership. We've all been stung by prices, but before you spend a lot of money to save a little, add it up. I'd say the same to people looking to trade a big vehicle for a small one - you're going to get torched on the trade in. Will you save enough on fuel costs to make up for that?

The people who have been successful with biodiesel are those that have ready and cheap access to the base vegetable oil. I know one, and he's a regional McDonald's manager. Makes sense for him, he can get all the vegetable oil he needs, for nothing. Used vegetable oil is now being sold, and yes the price is also going up. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, just add it up and figure out how long it will be before you recoup your initial costs. There are other ways to save on fuel usage - drive slower, plan your trips carefully, get a little beater as a second car. I virtually gave away an Escort wagon about a year ago, still had plenty of life in it. Do I ever regret doing that...

Best way to beat high fuel prices is just wait. China and India didn't suddenly start buying tankers full of crude oil last fall, in fact China's fuel usage has dropped in the last six months. It's all speculator driven, and it is unquestionably a bubble market, just like real estate and subprime mortgages. All it will take is one slip in demand, and those $130/barrel delivery contracts will be worthless. The commodities traders that are driving prices up will bail out of the market at any price to unload those now overpriced contracts, just like they did last year with mortgages. When will that happen? Don't know, probably late this summer. The commodities market is like betting on a horse race or even buying a classic collector car, it's all driven by opinion, not fact. When a few investors get burned, the rest get scared, the whole thing comes crashing down. Some of you probably know horror stories about classic cars that soared in price, and then came right back down a couple of years later.

Just breaks my f'ing heart, thinking about all those suits seeing their life investments going up in a cloud of opportunistic smoke. Serves them right, the maggots.
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Old 05-29-2008, 06:18 AM
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Generally speaking, JohnO is correct. How cost effective making BioDiesel is depends on a lot of factors. Assuming you buy a rig rather than cobble one together, 1t will run $1300 to $5000 depending on brand and capacity. Lye is cheap and can be ordered over the internet or sometimes found at a local hardware store. Methanol is a little more difficult to get but as a last resort it can also be ordered over the internet. The methanol is the most expensive ingrediant at between $4.50 and $11.00 per gal (depending on quantity purchased and where you get it). Then there is the labor and electric bill.

I'm still debating trying this at the moment. I am fortunate enough to have installed solar pannels and no longer pay for electricity. The Cafeteria at work agreed to save their used fryer oil for me, but I still need at least one other source to make this worth while. I figure the chemicals will cost me about 1.50 per gal of fuel produced. Assuming I don't mind blowing a saturday to supervise the process, that would save a minimum of $3.00 per gal. Assuming I buy the least expensive rig I've seen, that would require production of 433 gal to break even or 10 batches. If I run 50% Bio, That is 20 fillups or less than 6 months payback.

There are also other issues. Ford will honor the warranty at only 5% Bio, but judging from the varios threads in this forum and others, it is unlikely that Bio will cause an engine problem. The main issue is finding and collecting the oil. So far I talked to exactly 2 sources. One agreed , the other all ready gives it away . Right now it is still free, but if the price of crude doesn't come down, that could change.
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