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Robert
1st May 2006, 11:18 PM
Today I called Future Fuels in Vic, who I was told are supplying the stations which are rumoured to be popping up all over Sydney with B50, from their new plant in Moama.
I was told that I’d have to speak to their Sydney Depot and after being on hold for a while, a phone number was found for them. After many hours of trying, I eventually got through and I asked the simple question: Where are the stations in Sydney that you are supplying?
This is apparently not such an easy question. Apparently there are 19 stations all over metro Sydney that have been selling B50 for about 6 moths now! :eek: However, obtaining a list of them for me to publish seemed like I was asking a commercial secret! Eventually, someone tried to read me a list of suburbs, but I suggested that perhaps they could email me the proper locations. They had to get all my details, ask why I wanted the information get my website address so they could check me out, ask their boss and then email me (hopefully). :rolleyes:

So, why do we need a section for industry representation? Is it not blindingly obvious from the above?
I’ll keep pursuing this issue with Future Fuels until I can get some proper answers. I must say it does concern me greatly that they should be so secretive about this, what have they to hide? Surely the fuel meets spec? They should be proudly advertising it.

Hopefully I will get an answer soon, but wouldn’t it be nice if members of the industry could do this in here themselves? It is free and open to anyone who wants to post…

joe
2nd May 2006, 12:00 AM
Not that it would bother me but do they have an obligation to announce blends?

Robert
2nd May 2006, 12:08 AM
The question of labelling at the bowser was indeed going to be my next question to them, but honestly, it was so difficult just finding out where the bowsers were! :rolleyes:
I belive that they are required to label the blend, but I've heard of some folk only noticing the label after they fill up. I'd really like to find out more about these guys. I'm very happy that we've got biodiesel (possibly) now widely available in Sydney, it is after all what I've dreamed of, however, I'd like to be sure of what I'm getting and as consumers, we all need to be. I'm really hoping that they'll come through and be a bit more open with us all.

ARKH
3rd May 2006, 05:40 PM
Robert,

if you can give me their distributor number, I can give it a go at getting some info.

Andreas

Robert
3rd May 2006, 09:23 PM
Sure, if you can break open this great secret, we'd all love to hear about it! :rolleyes:

Future Fuels head office can be phoned on (03) 548 07911 and their Sydney Depot can be called on (02) 9724 4907.

I was told today when I chased them up that they have had a look over my websites (sydneybiodiesel and here) and their director wanted to call me before giving me the list. I still don't know why we consumers should be treated with suspicion like this - why not just tell us where they are selling? I really don't understand this :confused:. He was meant to call me today, but did not, so maybe if others of you can hassle them to email me the list, I'll post it up, if they can be nagged into telling us.

You'd think they'd be grateful for the free publicity!

ARKH
4th May 2006, 03:13 PM
Robert,

I rang the distributer for Future Fuel in Sydney through Volume Plus Service Stations.

I rang two stations that are sort of convinient to me

Forestville 702 Warringah Rd 2087 (02) 9451 0133 - they sell B50 but said to ring back later if I want more info.


Lewisham 764 Parramatta Rd 2049 (02) 9569 3311 - they sell B50 but do not know much about it.

Then I rang Future Fuels in Victoria and they told me that they are the manufacture and produce to the Australian Standard and they recommend that I only us B50 in the car.

So I will go to Lewisham or Forrestville on the weekend and check them out and report back.

Andreas

Robert
4th May 2006, 07:42 PM
Thanks for that, so we now know of at least 2 of them! Only 17 to go!

Robert
5th May 2006, 10:46 AM
OK, this morning Future Fuels deemed it OK to tell me that Volume Plus is their retailer on all sites in Sydney and their locations can simply be found on their website! www.volumeplus.com.au (http://www.volumeplus.com.au)
I wish I had known this earlier, as it would have saved everyone loads of hassle. :rolleyes: From my count, there are actually 21 stations listed, not 19 as I was previously told. The locations are below:

BERKELY VALE - Lot 4 Tumbi Creek Road
CHESTER HILL - Cnr. Waldron & Campbell Road 2162
FAIRFIELD - 32 Court Road NSW 2165
FORESTVILLE - 702 Waringah Road 2087
GUILDFORD - 295 Woodville Road 2161
INGLEBURN - 58 Stennett Road 2565
LEWISHAM - Cnr. Parramatta Rd & Carrington St. 2049
LIVERPOOL - Cnr. Terminus & Carey St. 2170
LONG JETTY - 447 The Entrance Road
MASCOT* - 42 Ricketty St.
MILPERRA - 106 Milperra Road Revesby
MINTO - 1 Ben Lomond Road 2566
RUSE - 5 Acacia Ave
SOUTH HURTSVILLE - 822 King Georges Road 2221
SOUTH STRATHFIELD - 600 Hume Highway
ST. ANDREW - 72 Stranraer Road 2566
VINEYARD - Lot 3 Windsor Road 2765
WANDANIAN - D2720 Princess Highway 2540
WARRAWONG - 42-46 King St. 2502
WENTWORTHVILLE - 431 Great Western Highway 2145
WOOLOOWARE - Lot 2 Captain Cook Drive 2230

* Opening Soon.

Now, what remains to be seen is how biodiesel is being sold there, how is it being labeled (on the front sign, just on the bowser etc), is there any education available to the consumer etc. I will try and get myself to one of these stations soon to find out this sort of thing, but if anyone else has any reports as well, that would be nice.

There are also possibly many other stations selling B50 as well, via another distributor called Diamond Fuels. I will try to contact them next and post up any info I can get.

geewizztoo
6th May 2006, 12:43 AM
I called in at the Milperra/Revesby Volumeplus (one of the servo's listed above) on my way home from work tonight. Their diesel bowsers had no signage indicating any biodiesel content (but one of the petrol bowsers said E10 though). I went inside the shop and asked the guy behind the counter if he knew if the diesel had any biodiesel content. He looked totally blank and said he had no idea. He seemed like he may have been the proprietor and was happy to talk about where he got his supplies. He showed me the delivery docket for todays shipment and it was from Caltex, but he said it could come from anywhere and tomorrow it may be Mobil. He had never heard of Future Fuels.

Robert
6th May 2006, 01:00 AM
Hmm, sinister. This obviously warrants more investigation. I'll try to get to another one of these stations and see if I get the same thing there.
Thanks for your efforts geewizztoo. If anyone else goes past a volume plus servo, could you please do the same?

ARKH
7th May 2006, 11:40 AM
Good Morning

I went to the Volumne Plus Forestville 702 Warringah Rd 2087 (02) 9451 0133 Station yesterday. There is a sign ( laminated A4 size on the bowser that says that the fuel is a BD blend and is manufactured to Standard with reference to the standad, no mention of the %. The staff at the counter advised that it is B50 but that he does not know much more as he only mans the cash register.

So I filled up half a tank and a Jerry can and had a look at home. Colour is same as ABGs BD smells a bit more like canola oil and the consitancy is also very similar to ABGs BD.

The car drives the same with no change in sound or performance.

Price at Forestvill was 138.9 c/L

Then I went this morning to Lewisham 764 Parramatta Rd 2049 (02) 9569 3311 - and found the same deal as in Forestville.

Price at Lewisham was 139.9 c/L

On both stations the pumps were clean and looked well maintained. They did not have the usual diesel mess and smell that one finds at other stations.

I will write to Future Fuels to find out more about their process.

Glenn
13th May 2006, 12:27 AM
I purposely let my tank of fossil diesel run really low knowing that I would be passing through Forestville today, and it was exactly as you all have suggested - Biodiesel Blend at the pump from Volume Plus! I spoke briefly to the guy at the counter. I thought he could have been more excited about the whole thing but all he basically said was "it's a low Sulphur blend" and not much else. He was quite indifferent about the whole thing. On the other hand I was pretty excited as this was the first taste my car has ever had of BD. I told him that he would be sure to get a good demand for it once word gets out. Thanks Robert and everyone for getting the information out there so we can get more people onto the product.
Glenn

Robert
19th May 2006, 01:39 PM
OK people, just an update on the complete lack of progress that is getting made on getting any (formal or informal) answers out of Future Fuels. Additionally, there is another sub-distributor called Diamond Fuels, who is supplying to other servos (not volume plus). I called him 2 weeks ago and he said he could not tell me where he was supplying to at that moment, but would call me back. He never did, so I chased him again today, but he refused to tell me anything. He said that Future Fuels had a strategy and I would have to talk to them, despite the fact that they'd already refused to talk to me before. Despite me mentioning specific servos that I know him to be supplying (like Zoom at Milperra), he was evasive and would only tell me that Volume Plus had it and I’d have to talk to Future Fuels.

Great strategy eh?

Anyway, I sighed and called FF again. Asked the same questions, was told that the boss there “Eddy” would have to speak to me (who to this date has never returned a single one of my calls). I stressed again that I would have to report my complete lack of confidence as a consumer in what they were doing and also stressed that I would be addressing the Alternate Motor Show with information based on their responses, but I’m not sure if that made any impact. I called their plant in Vic as well and explained my frustration to them there. The lady I spoke to at least seemed to understand my frustration and asked me to email her.

The text below is a cut & paste from the email I sent. Let’s see what comes back. I really hate having to air all this “dirty laundry” here on line, but hopefully if the players in the Australian Biodiesel Industry can clean up their act a little, we consumers would not be left in the lurch like this. Let’s hope things improve from here.



Thanks for your time this morning. As I said on the phone, I've been seeking for some time now to know where people can buy biodiesel in Sydney. I don't see how this should be such a secret, but unfortunately, I don't seem to be getting any answers. If you could please pass this on, I'd appreciate it.

From the private research that my users have done, it has been discovered that some of the Volume Plus stations did not sell biodiesel, or if they did, they only sold it sometimes and could give no real information on it. I've been told by your Sydney office that there are 19 stations, yet there are 21 listed. So which ones are they? Do they always stock biodiesel, is it clearly marked, is there any consumer information about it? I have also had some good reports about some of the stations having B50 and there being a small label on the pump, although there was little or no information available about it at the point of sale.

While I am very happy that Future Fuels are making it available retail, I am very unsure about the way they seem to be going about it. Additionally, I have tried to contact Diamond Fuels, who will not tell me either! I know of at least 2, possibly 3 (not volume plus) service stations that my users have "uncovered", but still they will not tell me.

Why is this a commercial secret?

When I give my talk tomorrow at the motor show, if I can get no better answers, I will have to tell the people of Sydney that the Volume Plus retail outlets are an unknown quantity, the distributor who is supplying them is secretive and shady and I can get no information from them about the availability, let alone any of the other critical questions, such as consumer info, quality etc. As Future Fuels are not honest and transparent to the consumers about what they are doing, I can only recommend that consumers beware of them. I would not like to do this, but I am not being left many other options.

Lastly, it does concern me greatly that the potentially good name of biodiesel might be damaged through the clandestine strategy that Future Fuels and Diamond Fuels seem to be taking. I often speak with some of Sydney's bigger players in the media (who are also unaware of Volume Plus's biodiesel). I have not yet mentioned this to them, as I was waiting for something more positive, but if no one will return my calls, or give me real info, then I will have to start down this path. I am sure that the media (not to mention Fair Trading etc) would not be happy to discover biodiesel being slyly slipped into the market in this manner. I would hate to see another ethanol debacle happen, so please help me prevent this happening by talking to me and actually being honest about what you are doing! I am trying to help you here, so I don't understand why you would ignore me!


I wonder if I will get a response (hey Eddie, if you read it here, please feel free to join up and answer - it's free you know)

Robert
19th May 2006, 09:30 PM
Slightly more positive news:

Eddy phoned me this afternoon and explained some things to me. Firstly, they are not producing sufficient volumes to satisfy a consistent blend at all stations. What this means is that some stations might stock B50, others B30 and others even less, or no bioidiesel. To complicate matters more, even if we could have a list of which stations have which blends, they would change all the time, as the blend levels are not consistently maintained, as the distribution is spread around "as it goes".
They understood the need for a list, or to better inform the consumer and promised to work on this. I will be following up with them and reporting as I can.

biofuelbaby
26th May 2006, 04:25 PM
Filled up at Volume Plus at Wentworthville. Attendant had no idea of percentage biodiesel in fuel. Visible golden colour so could have been somewhere between B30 and B50. Seems very much pot luck. No signage. Attendant not very talkative as the (diesel) customer behind me yelled out "Where do you get your f*****g fuel?". I didn't hang around to find out how they resolved their differences.

Cheers

Phil

Robert
26th May 2006, 09:54 PM
Hey, that's good info - thanks. It's great that the fuel was a golden colour - obviously a bio blend, but it is really becoming quite clear to us all that they urgently need to clean up their act with being able to inform their consumers. Let's hope they work something out soon.

mattD110td5x
27th May 2006, 10:41 AM
Hi All,

I did a fill at Forrestville a week ago and so far, apart from the constant
craving for chips :D ... all is good.

I tried to start up a conversation with the attendant,
English was not his first language so a lengthy chat was
difficult but he did say;
"everyone using very happy,
you know it is Australian Standard
it's better and cheaper"

I asked if he was going to put up a big biodiesel sign and he
replied "will sell out too quickly, not enough"

I don't have any experience with biodiesel and blending but I would
guess from the colour and the exhaust aroma that the blend would
be at least 50% or possibly higher.

If the aroma is stronger for B100 then I may have a problem with
my waistline :eek:

ttfn
Matthew

Jacka
28th May 2006, 09:14 PM
OK I might be able to add some more to this.

The VP in Ingleburn has signs up on the bowsers to inform customers that they are using a blended biodiesel fuel and it was up to standard.

I drive as a courier so since Jan this year I have been using the same VP to fuel up at and have over the time been talking to the 4 different operaters there.

They get their Biodiesel from Future Fuels but they have told me that some times they can not get fuel from future fuels when they require it. Because of the location being in an industrial area they are getting a Diesel delivery every day most weeks of a full tanker load. They can go a week or several with getting 100% of their fuel from Future Fuels but then they can go a month or more with one day from future fuels and the next from whoever they can get diesel from. In 5 months they have only run out of diesel once which was of course when I wanted some :(

They have said that the owners would love to supply B50 100% of the time but the supply issues seem to be the biggest problem.

At this point I have asked if they could get me something from Future Fuels but they seem to be having the same problem.

From early conversations I had with one of the guys there he said that it was Palm Oil biodiesel but as to if that is true and correct I have no idea.

When I am next in there I will pump him for more info :) Being a courier we are currently going through between our 2 diesel's about 250L per week of fuel I would love to be able to buy it wholesale or even cook it myself but that is yet to come.

ARKH
31st May 2006, 04:44 PM
Mobil Biodiesel??

I went to Volumne Plus in Forestville and found that the pump was 'Out of Order' so I drove further up the Hill at Warringah Road and stopped at Metro Petroleum.

Diesel was 139.9 c/L and smelled of BD and looked like BD but there was no signage on the bowser indicating that it is a blend.

I asked the attendent who cheerfully advised that it is a B20 Blend and is supplied by Mobil.

He said he had been selling it for approximatly 1 year now and most people were happy with it.

There is no mention of this on Mobils Web site and judging by the prices they charge at their Brand station it is unlikly that they sell BD blends there.

The mystery tour continous.:cool:

ARKH
31st May 2006, 09:34 PM
Late Update on the post above.

I rang Metro Petroleum this afternoon after visiting their web site

http://www.dibgroup.com.au/metro.htm

They told me that they sell B20 at most sites, source it from ABG.

So there.

Robert
31st May 2006, 11:03 PM
This is good news. I've contacted them directly and I'll see if they can give us any definative answer (which outlets, which blends, are they constant etc). Hopefully we can get some better info than we've got so far from FF and I can post up a new thread.
Mobil have been mixing biodiesel from Rutherford for quite some time and are quite interested/supportive of biodiesel. I will have to try and get hold of them too.

russell
1st June 2006, 08:56 AM
Isn't it a bit dodgy to sell it unlabelled? Aren't they risking a media expose with subsequent bad press not just for their brand but also for biodiesel in general? Would have thought they'd be using it as a selling point, not sneaking around with it.

Robert
1st June 2006, 10:01 AM
There are labeling requirements and standards, but I was told that they have not yet been made law. Not sure how true this is. Nonetheless, they are still risking some bad media - I agree. It's always seemed absurd to me that they are not shouting this from the treetops and instead seem to be doing by subterfuge. :confused:

Marc1
29th June 2006, 09:54 PM
On the topic of Volume Plus and their B50, when I am also happy about the chance of pumping biodiesel from the station around the corner, my enthusiasm is hampered by the other half of the equation. Is there a remote chance to know what sort of diesel is used for the blend? The answer is simple: No.
Most "no brand" petrol station when asked say they sell only Caltex fuel. However such is in fact not Caltex Australia at Kurnell but Caltex Singapore, imported and with a very very low standard and a lot of contaminants.
I suppose that it boils down to another very simple question. Do you usually buy the cheapest fuel you can find at any no brand petrol station? if the answer is yes than you wouldn't have a problem buying VP biodiesel blend. If you are like me, and you avoid dodgy take away just like dodgy fuel supplies, because you appreciate your health and want to keep your car roadworthy for a reasonable long time, then such mixture of unknown components is a risk not worth taking in my view.

smokey2
30th June 2006, 09:37 AM
Go back to an earlier post - Volume plus use Canola and operate a plant at Moama. They claim they only supply less than a 50% blend ie no more than 49%. Quality checks are made as per Aust standards to get the government rebate. Last weekend I called at Holbrook and they were out of diesel waiting for a tanker load blamed on production problems at Moama. My 1984 Rocky loves the stuff and I have not had filter problems.
I like to always fill at the same places however commuting between Melbourne to Canberra this is not possible. The reality is that no fuel station attendants are able to give accurate details of the composition of their diesel fuel.

Marc1
30th June 2006, 09:51 AM
OK 50% biodiesel, say it is the best ever. What is the other half made of? Cheap unknown source diesel you would never buy on its own.

moonan
30th June 2006, 06:55 PM
I agree Marc, there are more likely to be problems with dodgy D2 than good bio, but they will blame the bio if your car has problems...
Shell & BP are both now guaranteed low sulphur, and I think that Caltex Sydney have caught up - but if its imported you wouldn't know (and there is a lot of imported diesel in oz)....

..Neil

johnno
2nd July 2006, 03:02 PM
Hi everyone,
I filled up @ strathfield last friday(first time in the datto)and it took close to half an hour to put 70L in:confused: . The label on the bowser read biodiesel.:D
I nearly slipped over twice:( ,so have to be careful next time.I asked at the counter for a brochure, blend etc and the young guy had no idea:confused:




Hmm, sinister. This obviously warrants more investigation. I'll try to get to another one of these stations and see if I get the same thing there.
Thanks for your efforts geewizztoo. If anyone else goes past a volume plus servo, could you please do the same?
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russell
3rd July 2006, 09:52 AM
Just a further piece of info, I fuelled up at the VP Guildford store (listed in the white pages as Granville!) yesterday. It was bright yellow and no hint of petrodiesel smell (to my untrained nose--second ever tank of diesel, and first of bio). I did not bother asking the console operator anything as she looked like she probably wouldn't know :cool: . The standard sign others have mentioned was stuck inside the bowser display.

darren leonadas
3rd July 2006, 02:41 PM
Hi Guys, Re this issue of percentage of blends.
I have it from Andy fischer of SAFF, all blends of BD and fossil diesel must meet an Australian standard, otherwise the fuel supplier is liable for penalties.
The blend percentage of BD and fossil diesel is relevant to a table that takes into account --
The latitude of the area where the fuel will be sold.
The time of year within a quarter anum when the fuel is likely to be consumed.
ie, diesel blends sold in winter in Melbourne, are a different blend to diesel blends sold in Darwin at equinox.
If a consumer in Sydney buys a diesel blend in Summer, then doesn't consume it 'till mid winter on a drive to the snowy mountains, they should be sure to top up in the mountains before shutting down the engine , otherwise the fuel may reach a gel point.
Furthermore according to Andy fischer, there is simply not enough feedstock or biodiesel manufacture to attain the blends we could be selling in the more northern states.

TheFuzz
27th July 2006, 01:18 AM
Hi Robert i will hit the inner west tomorrow. There are at least 5 servos that i can detour past so i hope i can give you some info. On this B50 and other stuff. What is the difference, what should i be looking for my car.

cheers

Robert
27th July 2006, 01:10 PM
The trouble is it is really hard to tell whether it is B50, B20 or B80 without the proper chemical testing facilities (and even then, it is not a simple matter I believe). Just by asking the attendant, you're not going to find out, as thus far they have demonstrated an almost deliberate ignorance which comes right from the top. You're not going to know for sure by getting a sample in a jar, but you may get a rough feel for it.

I've had a message from Future Fuels today and I have given them my mobile number to call me back on. Perhaps they are ready to start being honest with their consumers? If I do get any news from them that is valuable to us all, I'll certainly pass it on in here. Of course, they are welcome at any time to log in here and reply to us directly, as some of our other better known and trusted suppliers already do. If they helped their community, they'd get much better loyalty and respect from us.

As for the question "is it safe for my car" - the answer is probably yes, but seeing as Volume Plus seems like an unknown quantity at the moment in terms of pre-sales service or even information, I can only guess at the after sales service side of things. You will have to weigh up whether you believe that the fuel they dispense to you is clean and uncontaminated, (whether it is biodiesel or distillate). You also have to think about whether they would be there to support you if there was a problem (I did see a user saying that she once got some dodgy biodiesel blend from SAFF and they did support/reimburse her mechanical costs of cleanup and were pretty good about it, as any fuel retailer should be). You just have to ask yourself if you believe that Volume Plus would do the same. Of course, I have tried asking them this before, but did not get very far - we are all welcome to try asking again and it would be really nice, if they could give us some sort of "official" re-assurance in here so we can all see it and stop having to ask questions about it.

There is a slight risk that that any sort of biodiesel will clean out the crap in your tank left by old distillate and cause your filters to clog. It makes good sense to have spares handy, change them regularly for the first few tanks etc. Apart from this, I could see no reasons why you should have any problem with any blend of biodiesel in your car.

Sauman
28th July 2006, 09:55 PM
G Day Folks
I think we should derive a mechanism that will keep the guys in the browsers honest.I mean with mixing the stuff (ratio's).The govt has kinda cleaned there hands of by saying that it must be tested to a specification.Then who blends it.How is the blending done and where and what are the procedures to be followed.How does a ordinary Joe Blog actually know that he has filled in B20,B50,B100 or just snake oil mix???.
Or he has B50 but is getting B20...U KNOW WHAT I MEAN???
Something that is traceable to the manufacturer and blenders.Cos i see a lot of areas where a lot of fly by night can use this as a scam.
I don't know wether the consumers protection has thought it through.Lets share our thoughts on this.
Anda lot of people could be taken for a ride.Think about it.

We can only do it together
Cheers
Sauman

Tony From West Oz
29th July 2006, 02:46 AM
Sauman,
So, what you are suggesting is that we need an easy test to tell us the % biodiesel and the quality of the biodiesel and the water content and the suspended solids too?
Now that would be useful.
Sell the kits for $5.00 and you would have a market. Even at $20 each you would have a lot of buyers.

Tony

Sauman
29th July 2006, 05:39 PM
G Day Tony
I was mulling with the idea of getting the Govt involved.Something like the HAACP thing that they have in the food industry.A sticker in every pump.Which has to be validated every month by an inspector,who ideally should be a nuetral person.Not on the payroll of oil co's or the govt.Who is trained by the govt.'s money(after all they get the revune+the oil distribution lobby).This creates employment too.
In fact if you look at the number of pumps in Oz.
This persons duty being say inspecting 30 pumps a month .He/she is equiped and trained with all the gear and files independent reports and validates the Sticker every month.This takes away the cummbersome job of every individual to do the tests personally and having to learn besides buying fuel.Most wants to fill up and drive.
We dont want them to have a fear in the back of their minds as to wether they are using the right stuff.That way we could drive them away from using and proporgation of Bio Fuels.
We want the consumer to get a peace of mind that they are actually buying the stuff they paid for and that has been authenticated by a qualified and trained person dedicated to the job.In fact if we can get an registered organisation of sort that robert and everyone else is trying then we can start this as an initiative,get govt funding and generate micro employment from within the forum itself.
This is where probably media could help us out.
Cos I know how the wheeling and dealing is done in the Servo's.Most will fall out of the chairs if they know about the rot in the system.
This way the mechanics can also be well informed .Like the Inspectors job could be multi leveled.Giving seminars,checking stuff,knowledge propogation.And Yes Off Course with Johny Boys money.
Think about it.I think if we pull the right strings and do the right projections we can get this thing going.They could even use it as an election campaign.Instead of the fear theory that every party structures there backbone.
I thought of cheap kits.But then it defeats the purpose of keeping the bastards honest.A single person does his test.Finds the servo is pulling a fast one.They then go to another.Cos as an individual the person has no say.But if the whole thing is done using the "strong arm of the law".The servos will be vigil,customer will get peace of mind and the inspectors who are actually value add to not only being a quality check but valuee add to the whole bio fuel revolution.
What do you think???

Cheers
Sauman
If required I can do a SWOT analysis and documentation bit.

Chris
30th July 2006, 07:11 PM
Hi All
Here is how it goes, AUS standards apply for 100% biodiesel as well as 100% dino NO standard axists for any other blends
I am told that anything up to 10% of any blend in dino does not have to be disclosed
That is so long as the cetane no, does not fall below that of which is in the specification
So I dare say that any blend offered will be somewhere in that vicinity
Going from the above, on the assumption that the retailer come blender or blender wholesaler who does not want to get into strife with the law would stay within the boundaries
No biodiesel manufacturer to my knowledge blends fuel
They all seem to sell it in bulk loads, so it seems that any blends will be carried out by the wholesaler who then delivers to retail outlets wherever
including outlets that they may own
So if that is the case a 10% of buiodiesel would be the upper limit so they can stay within the law
Cheers
Chris

Marc1
31st July 2006, 08:36 PM
So if that is the case a 10% of buiodiesel would be the upper limit so they can stay within the law


Hum...I can say that VP sells a blend well above 10%. Between 50 and 100%.

Robert
31st August 2006, 12:14 AM
I've just got some info from someone who has had a sample of some fuel from volume plus analysed by one of the labs that do biodiesel tests. I'm being deliberately vague here as I'm probably not meant to have this info and I would not want to reveal who the lab was. Suffice it to say that I would trust them.

Anyway, I'm not really sure what to make of these results and I was hoping that some cleverer folk out there might comment.

These were taken some months ago. As we now know that Volume Plus will sell biodiesel in as high a blend as possible for economic reasons, back then, they were using much lower blends.

The comments from the lab were as follows (paraphrased):

The curve is along the lines of what is expected for a typical diesel distillation. The sample is around 50-60% biodiesel (the constant boiling area). About 15% of the product boils above the temperature for both biodiesel and petroleum distillate, suggesting a base oil.

I'm hoping that some of you out there can make something of this, but I would suggest that there is an additive, possibly for winterising, possibly for excise reasons? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Sauman
31st August 2006, 05:59 PM
G Day Robert
Can we find out a bit more.The pharaphrased comment from the lab indicates that the BD was mixed with another Oil,Mentioned as Base Oil...depends on wether the Base oil was Normal Diesel or Something Else????.I take it from as normal reporting practise in the Scientific world that if it were Diesel they would spell it out.Also if we go to the work book called diesel based on which the graphs were plotted ,then we see a cooment initial boiling to long.....????
Mate I smell a big rat...Volume plus was probably pulling a big one then too.By having 50~60% BD and maybe furnace oil,snake oil...whatever oil that was cheap and maximised profit .....
Yes they are on it BiG time....lets investigate a bit more Cybor Legend.Lets blow the lid (sky High)......They are robbing in the name of Aletrnate Fuels and the whole concept.They should be locked in for life if true.
Lets investigate a bit more.
We can only do it together.
Cheers
Sauman

mattD110td5x
3rd September 2006, 10:00 AM
Hi All,

I have been using the local VP before the present experiment in BD blends.

On the old petro diesel, in the winter months I had noticed a distinct smell of kero in the exhaust gas.

I am told that;
- jet fuel is the "usual" winterisation additive to diesel and that this is covered in the diesel standard, upto a quite high ratio ~30%??? :confused:
- although a diesel will run on straight jet fuel, you can't go over ~50% as the lack of lubricant kills injector pumps - particularly Toyota.
The common rail direct injection motors are better in this respect? :rolleyes:

I would guess that - if BD has better lubricant properties then you may be able to blend to even higher ratios with the [cheaper] jet fuels? :eek:
The "aroma" of chips would certainly hide it.

ttfn
Matthew

Chris
3rd September 2006, 12:28 PM
Hi all
This is all quite interesting however all here need to keep in mind that if there is more than 10% of any additive into any diesel fuel blend it has to be disclosed
As I said prior there are no defined standards apart from B100
Any blend of diesel with any more than 10% of anything whatever that is has to be disclosed
So I would have thought that one can demand a specification sheet for the fuel purchased
Sydneysiders surely remember the Toluene scandal on ULP a few years back?
It seems that they are at it again with Biodiesel as well as "Winterising" blends in fuels
Of course do not be surprised if nothing is done, so long as excise is paid the system will not respond to our concerns
Cheers
Chris

Jacka
3rd September 2006, 03:50 PM
Hi all
This is all quite interesting however all here need to keep in mind that if there is more than 10% of any additive into any diesel fuel blend it has to be disclosed

They do disclose it by putting on the pump a little laminated sign that says that it is a blend of Biodiesel that meets australia standard.


So I would have thought that one can demand a specification sheet for the fuel purchased

If you have ever tried to get information let alone a Spec's sheet from either Future Fuels or VP you would understand that they are really hard pressed at even telling you exactly what the blended ratio is :( They appear not to care about the consumer just profits at this point.



Sydneysiders surely remember the Toluene scandal on ULP a few years back?
It seems that they are at it again with Biodiesel as well as "Winterising" blends in fuels
Of course do not be surprised if nothing is done, so long as excise is paid the system will not respond to our concerns
Cheers
Chris

Yepp and that is the problem even with the excise payed at rutherford the gate price is 115c/L and the cheapest that it is in Sydney that I have seen is around 133c/L so either transport is VERY expensive or someone is making a huge dollar. And I am nearly sure that the stuff that is being pumped at the moment does not only include BD and dinodiesel, I could lay odds on that there is something else in it cause it is shocking to start in the highlands on cold mornings and at this point I have stopped pumping it and have at the moment gone to dinodiesel :( straight cause I won't pump carp into my Rodeo :( till I can get sorted with a B100 supply from a repuitable source.

smokey2
4th September 2006, 08:27 AM
David - if you have trouble cold starting and dino fuel doesn't fix it then try a new set of glow plugs. That usually fixes my old rocky.

Jacka
4th September 2006, 09:38 PM
Umm smokey only problem with that is I have tried a known source of B100 and all works fine. The issue is only with the VP fuel not the DB or dino or glowplugs on a 12 month old rodeo it is doddgy fuel :(

I have just stopped using dino and gone to dino till I can get BD supply sorted. ;)

Vivid Adventures
10th September 2006, 03:54 PM
Here is a post on the Exploroz 4WD forum:

ExplorOz thread (http://www.exploroz.com/Forum/View.asp?ForumQID=37590&Page=%2FForum%2FDefault%2Easp%3Fs%3D0%26PN%3D1)

It sounds like the Revesby station about 1 month ago sold someone some Biodiesel which has caused bad effects in a 25,000 k's TD Prado.

I am incensed that they would sell Biodiesel without being clear that it is Biodiesel, for one thing.

Secondly, are they using the Biodiesel to clean out their tanks and pumps of years of crud and delivering it up to consumers? Or are they adding Jet Fuel or something else which is making the fuel a poor performer?

Does anyone have any specific experience that might be of help to this guy?

Ciao for now
Andrew.

Jacka
10th September 2006, 04:23 PM
Hmm nasty but he answered his own question.

"The diesel I had brought smelt like paint varnish and was dark yellow to brown in colour"

Unfortunatly BD gets the blame for all things when there is not enough info out there in the market place.

If I smelt I was pumping paint varnish I would STOP pumping. BD NEVER smells like that. Canola oil or Vegie oil but never harsh like paint varnish.

I know the servo he went to fill up. Have used them a couple of times only to realise that something is going a miss!

At this point in time stations are blending in BD and ???????? with dino and some of it smells really bad. Once we started to pump and it smelt as he siad like paint varnish so we stopped and spoke with the attendant and he said it was BD I told him in no uncertain terms that it did not smell like BD at as I know Excatly what that smells like. I said to him your fuel is contaminated with something and he point blankly refused to do anything about it! I said fine then that is the last you will see of me!

Wish I would have been able to do some more to stop him but this was a sunday and that afternoon he got another load of fuel delivered so complaining would have been a waste as he just diluted what ever was in the tank.

Personally I think this is what we need to have a national Users Group for to become part of a process of informing the public through links with 4wd clubs and car clubs and making sure the general punters KNOW about fuel and BD and don't pump into their tank stuff that smells like it would strip the paint from the Harbour Bridge. :(

Information is going to be the key and correct and accurate information is what we need to push to a user base and then the many voices can be heard and either those doddgying up their fuel to save $$$$$$ will go broke cause people won't use them cause they know or the Gov will hear the many voices and do something + about the situation.

I am going to sit on some of these servo's doorstep speaking to truckies pumping BD. ( already started at VP ingleburn ) and give them some basic info about what could happen in some case's :)

Had a Prime mover umm Wednesday I think it was at the VP ingleburn with Fuel problems, Spoke with him for 5 mins and found out that he has started to pump from the VP about a week ago and was on his 4th tank of BD fuel from there. He was having serious problems getting going. I asked him had he change his fuel filter lately to which the answer was no. I suggested that he might change the filter now and all his problems would go away. He did and the truck started straight away. He was pi33ed at the thought of doddgy fuel till I explained that it was not the fuel that was a problem but the tank and fuel lines on his truck were being cleaned and all the scum was building up in the filter and clogging it. He was Happy with the knowladge and he said he would carry a filter with him now and would not stop pumping it, he now knows what the problem will be and how to combat it when it happens again which it will likely do.

Just information is all that is needed but the sooner rather than latter hopefully :)

Vivid Adventures
11th September 2006, 12:33 PM
Hi Jakka and all,

I discussed the situation with the guys from SAFF here who I have a lot of respect for - particularly their quality approach and consumer information. Here is what he said:


SAFF has a unique quality control programme in place with its biodiesel suppliers. We do not accept any biodiesel unless it is accompanied with a full product analysis against the Australian Biodiesel Standard; we keep sealed samples of each delivery for a minimum of 3 months (duplicate samples retained by manufacturer), we provide full warranty for the biodiesel and premium diesel and we give customers practical information regarding the fuel and full product support. [my note - I happen to have knowledge of one occasion where there was a failure in the process some years ago, that was fixed with a full recompense to the customer]

To clarify the issue regarding blends:

1) only a licenced manufacturer is allowed to blend biodiesel with petroleum diesel and this must happen only at ATO licensed premises
2) the only product that is allowed to be blended with biodiesel is ultra low sulphur diesel meeting the Australian diesel standard
3) there is no official limit for biodiesel content in diesel fuel (so the 10% limit mentioned is nonsense) HOWEVER the resulting blend must meet all parameters in the Australian standard.


So, if what FF or VP is blending is not ULSD they may be open to investigation by ATO.

Ciao for now
Andrew.

Jacka
11th September 2006, 02:37 PM
So, if what FF or VP is blending is not ULSD they may be open to investigation by ATO.


Worst still than that!

You have stated that only a licenced manufacturer at licenced premises can blend.

I would say to you that at this point I don't think that is happening.

From all reports we have is that FF is tanker blending and that would be at filling point or even worse at some yard somewere doing tanker shifting :( swapping loads between tankers.

I would have to say from what you have said that this is againts the law.

Personally I think as a users group we should hold SAFF who ever they are up to the light as a BRIGHT light in the industry for all to see (THIS IS HOW IS DONE) and take people like FF and VP out of business if truly they are doing something that is againts the law.

I would love to be able to find the legislation that clearly states that and I would be happy to front up to some of the nasty stations and take them to task over their fuel. I am not backwards in comming forwards.

What ever is being done that is doddgy MUST STOP and the sooner rather than later. We should SHAME them as long as we can prove what is being said.

To bad we couldn't find a testing lab somewere that would test fuel for us at a realistic price so we could get the proof and take it to places like ACA or Today Tonight and stop it from happen. Prove to the world that BD is not the cause of all their problems but SHONKY practices are.

GRRRRRRRR I get so uptight when I find out things like this! I would be greatfull Andrew if you could ask SAFF what legislation states what you have said in your above post! Printed law is always better than comments and is easier to prove your case :)

Now I will slide down from my soap box and move on!

Vivid Adventures
11th September 2006, 06:27 PM
Firstly here's someone we can take them to task with - if you can get a sample from the servos:

Contact Michael Ward, assistant director, clean fuels and vehicles, DEH email Michael.Ward@deh.gov.au

Hopefully DEH will be prepared to do the testing of a sample on the basis of the smell alone.


You have stated that only a licenced manufacturer at licenced premises can blend.

This has to do with the Licensed Manufacturer of Biodiesel - it is illegal to sell it if you are not a Licensed Manufacturer. The Licensed Manufacturer must test the Biodiesel to Australian Standards. This must all be done to qualify for the rebate - it is largely a tax-driven policy from what I can see. All the same, at least DEH have a policeman.


From all reports we have is that FF is tanker blending and that would be at filling point or even worse at some yard somewere doing tanker shifting :( swapping loads between tankers.

Has someone seen this happening? How do we know that?
[QUOTE=Jacka]
I would have to say from what you have said that this is againts the law.

Well sort of. I think it is against the law to sell that stuff if you aren't a licensed manufacturer and have tested it.

Personally I think as a users group we should hold SAFF who ever they are up to the light as a BRIGHT light in the industry for all to see (THIS IS HOW IS DONE) and take people like FF and VP out of business if truly they are doing something that is againts the law.

Yes- but it probably needs a 4corners type revelation and this may have unpredictable results. Ideally FF and VP would be coerced to do it properly before we have an Ethanol style debacle.

I would love to be able to find the legislation that clearly states that and I would be happy to front up to some of the nasty stations and take them to task over their fuel. I am not backwards in comming forwards.

Some ATO information on the subject (http://www.ato.gov.au/print.asp?doc=/content/38338.htm)
Some More ATO information on the subject (http://www.ato.gov.au/businesses/content.asp?doc=/content/38324.htm)
More gumpf if you want to be a licensed excise contributor to the gov coffers (http://ato.gov.au/content/downloads/nat9885-04-2004.pdf)
An overview of the Bill (http://www.aph.gov.au/LIBRARY/pubs/bd/2003-04/04bd033.htm)

What ever is being done that is doddgy MUST STOP and the sooner rather than later. We should SHAME them as long as we can prove what is being said.
Whilst I totally agree, I also think that negative publicity will hurt the legitimate industry given the low level of understanding of Biodiesel in consumer-land. Getting FF and VP to chang seems to be the best first objective.

To bad we couldn't find a testing lab somewere that would test fuel for us at a realistic price so we could get the proof and take it to places like ACA or Today Tonight and stop it from happen. Prove to the world that BD is not the cause of all their problems but SHONKY practices are.

GRRRRRRRR I get so uptight when I find out things like this! I would be greatfull Andrew if you could ask SAFF what legislation states what you have said in your above post! Printed law is always better than comments and is easier to prove your case :)

Now I will slide down from my soap box and move on!

Don't hurt yourself sliding down though - if someone can find out more information about FF and VP company structure and management, we can start faxing them with our concerns and demanding answers.

I'm more than keen to help - obviously I can't speak for SAFF and they will not want to upset their suppliers elsewhere in Oz.

I know they have plans (ie. leases on premises etc.) for a presence across Australia, so hopefully their presence in the market might make a difference too.

Ciao for now
Andrew.

Robert
11th September 2006, 09:59 PM
1. Yes, the only reason that I have not called for more drastic and public measures are that they would make biodiesel look bad.

2. Consumer education is the key. I have made this point to them before, even offered to help with point of sale information, but they have not been interested at all.

3. The paint varnish smell is not BD, as you rightly point out. As you may have seen from the recent test results, there was 15% of product from their sample that was not biodiesel and not petroleum distillate. I have heard (though I have not checked this out myself - so don't quote me on it), that these are the same people who were busted for mixing tolulene in their unleaded, which didn't help the ethanol debacle. I would not be surprised if they are at it again, but would be happy to stand corrected by some good information coming out of them.

4. They have admitted to me that they had no way of knowing what blend strength was at each station (as I've said in here in the past) as the biodiesel tanker just turns up and pumps whenever it can, but their is also petro diesel on other days. This in itself (although it was probably a lie to throw off the scent) does show that they are not following any rules for blending, if indeed such rules do exist.

Vivid Adventures
12th September 2006, 12:46 PM
Here's some good info:


Our experience tells us that biodiesel that smells like paint thinners is essentially biodiesel that has decomposed (oxidative decay). Good biodiesel contains antioxidants, which prevents this from happening within 3-6 months of purchase. Oxidative stability is controlled in the Australian biodiesel standard, so it is likely that the biodiesel in question never met the Standard in the first place.

Regarding lodging a formal complaint, in South Australia fuel sampling and official complaints are done by Trade Measurement, Department of Consumer Affairs (SA Govt) on behalf of the Department of Environment and Heritage (Commonwealth Govt). I am pretty sure that this is the case in other states. I would suggest that an official written complaint is made to Trade Measurement (State Government), carbon copy Michael Ward (Commonwealth Govt). Then followed up 7 days later.

If you want to do your own sample analysis, there are labs that test biodiesel far cheaper than what Intertek charges, and who have more experience with biodiesel than Intertek does. T&S Laboratories in Western Sydney (tslab@bigpond.com) would be my recommendation, who would do the full round of tests (except cetane) for around $1k. More importantly, in most cases it is not necessary to test against the whole spec: To save money I would recommend testing the fuel just for:
- Total Glycerol content (tells you if the fuel was fully converted - note this is a meaningless test if the fuel has had diesel blended with it)
- Viscosity
- Total Acid Number
(actually the fuel lab should be able to specify what tests should be done).

So, if it didn't meet the standards it is not allowed to be sold as Biodiesel - bottom line.

I hope that helps,
Andrew.

Marc1
13th September 2006, 07:04 PM
Look at what came out of my fuel tank and filter after a few tanks of VP "fuel"....(Liverpool).
That's the last they see of me. If this keep on going unpunished this is going to be the worst publicity for BioDiesel

Vivid Adventures
13th September 2006, 08:06 PM
Marc,

That is absolutely gross.

Keep that and the receipts from VP and get onto your State Government Trade Measurement people and copy the DEH contact mentioned above.

These people need serious work on their attitude - they can't be dishing that up without knowing.

Cheers
Andrew.

TheFuzz
13th September 2006, 11:21 PM
Hi, I dont have much experience but i bet that there is a lot of water in that Jar, I made my first test batch of fuel in a blender. Ir seperated beautifully. When i went to wash it that is exactly what happened. The top of the solution was creamy in colour and the bottom was a more solid matter. But Yuck is what came to mind. This may be the same thing. Out of curiosity if you took a cup full and boiled the water out ( obviously be careful as i have never done this, only read about it) i wonder if it would revealsome BD.

Any one with more experience please comment. Like i said i am by no means an expert, i am just keen on the good stuff, where ever it may be.

good Luck

Robert
14th September 2006, 10:05 AM
Wow. Marc are you serious about that? Did that really come from the bowser?:eek:
I've stopped filling there since about 3 weeks back after the results of that test showing 15% "something else". That stuff looks BAD! If that is being pumped from there, I'm glad I stopped getting fuel from there.
I'd really hate for the public to get the idea that biodiesel = that stuff. If something is not done about this quick smart, we'll have an other debacle on our hands like the silly ethanol scare from a few years back.

Matt
14th September 2006, 10:55 AM
The water will sit in the bottom of your tank, you are lucky you drained it out before it lifted into the fuel system, or did it?

This is criminal in more ways than one.

I for one would not like my engine / fuel system ruined by this, so please lets do the right thing and report these people and put them out of business! The agencies responsible for this have been posted here, so its not difficult to do.

That way only the good stuff will be in the market and all the misinformation, fear and problems will be history rather than with us. One good person will need to stand up and be counted. This evil cannot be allowed to continue to give the industry a bad name, give consumers real problems and steal money from those that buy it.

Off my soapbox,
Matt

Vivid Adventures
14th September 2006, 11:29 AM
Here is what I got from DEH:

Fuel quality information or complaints may be reported on telephone 1800 803 772 or via our website at http://www.deh.gov.au/atmosphere/fuelquality/consumers/index.html#complaints

Marc1
14th September 2006, 06:33 PM
The picture is not very good, taken with a phone camera in a poorly lit mechanic shop.

I stopped filling at VP last week when I started smelling linseed oil. Now I know that the smell of linseed oil is in fact the smell of oxidation of an organic oil, or in other words rancid vegetable oil. That needs to be so for vegetable oil to dry hard and that is why VP "biodiesel" is dark in colour.

So I started pumping BP or Mobile as before. I had already gone through the cleaning of my fuel filter when starting with so called Bio so this is a new occurence.
On my second tank of "normal" fuel I started to wonder when would my quick start come back. I had been having slow start and smoke at the start since my stupid idea of filling at VP.

So, gone to my trusty diesel expert who promptly pulled this out of my fuel filter and tank.

It is in fact GREEN in colour. There is no water whatsoever, it is oxidised vegetable oil, or perhaps some form of soap and glycerine (?) you should know better than me. My mechanic has never seen anything like it.
What is floating on top is pure Mobile diesel. I had water in the fuel before and my water detector alerted me in time to clean it out, this is not water.

I should have know better than going to disreputable petrol stations with a history of deceiving their customers and selling adulterated fuel who get deliveries between dusk and dawn and who's employees communicate in an unintelligible dialect .

Matt
15th September 2006, 11:11 AM
Marc, as a matter of interest can you put that jar of crap out in the sun on a real hot day (if you have such a thing where you live) I am wondering if what you have is a gelled product or something like the slop get at the bottom of my washing. I have a theory it may be stearates or more likely a mixture of the mono and diglycerides.

Heating it will show up a few things possibly? As the stuff on top is mineral diesel I would not be doing this on a stove! Sun heat will do the trick.

Matt

Vivid Adventures
15th September 2006, 03:31 PM
It is surprising it doesn't settle out in their tanks - I guess the leve must have been getting low, or they just had a delivery of more crud to stir it up.

I can't believe that they do not see this forum, and that they haven't made a comment.

This is the 21st century. A proactive response and full analysis and disclosure, then solving the customer's other problems is not optional - it is mandatory and good business.

If you're reading this VP and FF, I hope you're off your butts resolving the issue and will report back here soon.

Ciao for now
Andrew.

Sauman
15th September 2006, 04:49 PM
If you're reading this VP and FF, I hope you're off your butts resolving the issue and will report back here soon.

Ciao for now
Andrew.

Rightly said Andrew.Hope they reading and react.
We can only do it together.
Cheers
Sauman

russell
16th September 2006, 04:28 PM
Here's a thought.

Decide what kind of disclosure etc we think they should provide.

Write to them and give them 14 days to provide it. Tell them that if they do not provide satisfactory disclosure after 14 days, "we" will issue a media release expressing our concern at how little we know and how bad the things we do know are. Where "we" is either a collection of individuals, or one of the biodiesel user's groups, or one of the industry groups.

Jacka
16th September 2006, 09:48 PM
russell that is a good idea but at this point does provide a WHOLE load of land mines which could cause us problems.

We need to organise then promote what standards fuel is and when ASKED do XYZ Fuel station provide standards fuel we would have to say We have NO IDEA as they will not inform us of the general public BUT ABC Fuel Station does provide standards based fuel and they even tell the consumer were they get it from and all the info.

Drive the buying public away from petrol stations that are dodgy by giving them an alternative that is exactly what the consumer wants!

Bad publicity might work on one had but it might damage BD use :( Good publicity of stations that will play and supply standards based fuel will cause the general public who care ( a lot don't till they have a problem I know :( ) to buy from a place that does supply good quality fuel and stop them from buying from a dodgy place.

That is the BEST leverage we could have on people like VP and Future fuels is Sales drops.

Vivid Adventures
16th September 2006, 10:34 PM
In the spirit of what David has said, I would suggest for the moment you directly enquire of VP - at their head office, through their www.volumeplus.com.au website, fax, telephone ... doesn't matter.

Get the message through that you need to know what you are being dished up and that they stand behind their product if you have any problems.

There is activity to form a representative body - watch out for announcements over coming weeks, and join up and give it your support.

Cheers,
Andrew.