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Thread: Winterizing Biodiesel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Melbourne
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    16

    Winterizing Biodiesel

    Hi All

    Does anyone have any tips for winterizing biodiesel? I am going up to Canberra for a while and in the past the frosty mornings have rendered my car unable to be started without putting the blow heater onto it for half an hour.

    I have found a product online called WintronŽ XC30 but can't find out if it is available in Australia. Are there other products available here?

    The other method I have used is blending it with petro-diesel but if I have to do this I would rather use as little as possible and most advice seems to be to use mostly petro diesel with some BD added.

    Any advice anyone has would be gratefully received

    thanks Paul

  2. #2
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    Re: Winterizing Biodiesel

    Can you chill your biodiesel down to the lowest overnight temperatures you will get in Canberra? If so, chill it down slowly and if there is any liquid biodiesel left when at the lowest temp, then use that as your fuel in Canberra. Probably wouldn't get enough liquid biodiesel at those temeratures, if any at all.
    Alternatively, blend with diesel at 50% and see how you go.
    Electric filter heater may be useful too.
    We are lucky in Perth Hills, our coldest night this year so far was around 5 degrees.

    Another option for you is to install a small auxiliary tank and switching valves so you can start and stop on Diesel and then, once the biodiesel has thawed, use bio. Remember to change back to diesel, before shut down, so you can start again next time.
    Last edited by Tony From West Oz; 27th June 2017 at 11:12 PM.
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles on oil based fuels:
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car) [sold]


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    York UK
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    Re: Winterizing Biodiesel

    A series of tests were done on one of the UK forums a few years ago. They concluded that the most efficient additive was petrol in the 5 to 10% range. You could always blend 5% petrol into your bio in a container and run it alongside Tonys idea.

    I always keep my finished bio outside in 20 litre cubies so on a cold winters morning I can easily see what is going on. I water wash agressively and remove any emulsified monoglyceride layer. I believe monoglycerides left in the bio are a source of misting/gelling at higher temperatures, so with these removed my bio will not start to mist until below -9degs C with no additives.
    Last edited by smithy; 28th June 2017 at 08:22 AM.

  4. #4
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    Location
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    Re: Winterizing Biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony From West Oz View Post
    Can you chill your biodiesel down to the lowest overnight temperatures you will get in Canberra? If so, chill it down slowly and if there is any liquid biodiesel left when at the lowest temp, then use that as your fuel in Canberra. Probably wouldn't get enough liquid biodiesel at those temeratures, if any at all.
    Alternatively, blend with diesel at 50% and see how you go.
    Electric filter heater may be useful too.
    We are lucky in Perth Hills, our coldest night this year so far was around 5 degrees.

    Another option for you is to install a small auxiliary tank and switching valves so you can start and stop on Diesel and then, once the biodiesel has thawed, use bio. Remember to change back to diesel, before shut down, so you can start again next time.
    Thanks Tony - yes my fallback position is to blend with petro-diesel. I dont want to go down the road of modifying the car. Separating out fuel that gels from fuel that doesnt is an interesting idea but I'm not sure how I would do this without finding an industrial cooler somewhere big enough to do this in. It gets quite frosty some mornings so I dont think the fridge would get cold enough.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2005
    Location
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    Re: Winterizing Biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by smithy View Post
    A series of tests were done on one of the UK forums a few years ago. They concluded that the most efficient additive was petrol in the 5 to 10% range. You could always blend 5% petrol into your bio in a container and run it alongside Tonys idea.

    I always keep my finished bio outside in 20 litre cubies so on a cold winters morning I can easily see what is going on. I water wash agressively and remove any emulsified monoglyceride layer. I believe monoglycerides left in the bio are a source of misting/gelling at higher temperatures, so with these removed my bio will not start to mist until below -9degs C with no additives.
    I might try that with a small sample and see what temperature it gels at - thanks for the tip.

    How do you wash your fuel? Do you spray mist over it or bubble or some other method? I have tried setting up washing but just ended up with a cloudy emulsion. thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    York UK
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    Re: Winterizing Biodiesel

    Hi paultyndale, I water wash agressively with a compressor using 8 litres of water in 200 litres of bio for each wash. As long as the starting soap level is no more than around the 400ppm region there will be no tendency for the mix to emulsify. de-mething after the reaction via bubbling for 12 to 24 hours then settling will ensure the soap level is low enough to water wash by an agressive method. my wash times start at 2 mins, then 10 mins, then 20mins until i get clear wash water.

    The cloudy emulsified layer of mono's will usually form between the water and bio layers after each/some washes after resting for at least 30 mins. The volume varies from batch to batch, but I usually remove about 4 litres in total (every batch is different) which when split gives a ratio of roughly 1 to 4 mono's/water. This can either be ditched or the mono's added to the oil to be re-processed so there is no waste.
    Last edited by smithy; 28th June 2017 at 08:28 PM.

  7. #7
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    WA
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    Re: Winterizing Biodiesel

    I spray wash, using 3 washes of 20L for a 100L batch (I have plenty of water in our 130KL rainwater tank), draining the water after each wash, after the first wash I pump the water / bio with a venturi sucking in air to further agitate the batch. I leave to settle 24 hours, then drain off the water.
    The bio is a bit like orange juice in colour. I put 10-15L into 20L containers in the sun. On a warm day the water drops out during the day, leaving a pale coloured bio which is crystal clear on top of the water. I decant off most of the biodiesel and pour the remaining water / bio into another container for further settling. When I have around 5L left, I syphon the water our, leaving the bio and a little water. I decant off the bio when settled more then pour the rest into a glass jug , settle and pour off the bio. The dregs are then used as weedkiller.
    I have now got my first emulsion, which I plan to break with pool salt. I will re-wash twice more without the pump.
    See how I go.
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles on oil based fuels:
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car) [sold]


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  8. #8
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    Re: Winterizing Biodiesel

    I did some work in the ACT a couple of years ago, and fitted one of theses

    http://www.4x4outdoortuning.com.au/d...-vegetable-oil.

    Heats the fuel to about 35 deg in winter. I have a 2 tank system so on really cold days I shut down and restarted on dino. I guess adding 5 litres of dino per tank in winter won't break the bank :-) Canberra is a country town compared to Sydney or Melbourne. You won't need much fuel to get around town :-)

    Have fun scraping your windscreen every morning :-)
    1990 Toyota Hilux LN106 with ATG 2 tank system (sold after running 150.000 ks on mainly WVO)
    1993 Toyota 75 Series with 1 HZ engine both 75l factory tanks and a custom 170l under tray tank.
    200.000km 80% on bio 10% on WVO 10% on dino,

    "him who never made a mistake, made no discovery either"


  9. #9
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    Nov 2005
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    16

    Re: Winterizing Biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bueff View Post
    I did some work in the ACT a couple of years ago, and fitted one of theses

    http://www.4x4outdoortuning.com.au/d...-vegetable-oil.

    Heats the fuel to about 35 deg in winter. I have a 2 tank system so on really cold days I shut down and restarted on dino. I guess adding 5 litres of dino per tank in winter won't break the bank :-) Canberra is a country town compared to Sydney or Melbourne. You won't need much fuel to get around town :-)

    Have fun scraping your windscreen every morning :-)
    Thanks Bueff - is that heater all you needed to get the fuel flowing on a cold morning? Or did you need the extra tank as well? I would have thought heating the fuel in the fuel filter wont help if the fuel in the tank or the fuel line from the tank to the filter has solidified.

    Do you reckon 5 litres of diesel in a tank of BD is enough to stop the waxing?

  10. #10
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    Sep 2005
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    WA
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    Re: Winterizing Biodiesel

    You will need to experiment with blends and your freezer to determine the blend that works best for the anticipated minimum temperatures.
    Make up blends of 5%, 10%, 25% and see what happens when thy get cold. It would be prudent to include a fuel heater, to prevent solidified oil blocking your prefilter/ main filter.
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles on oil based fuels:
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car) [sold]


    Searching the Biofuels Forum using Google

    Adding images and/or documents to your posts


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