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Thread: After 15 years decided to start washing my biodiesel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    After 15 years decided to start washing my biodiesel

    Hi folks, I have been making biodiesel since 2003 (I think!), done about 500,000 km's on a series of Nissan Urvans (great vans but run out of spares/wrecks), and finally on Toyota Estima (110,000 before the motor died). Bought another Estima for $800, but found out later it had cracked head and K-seal in it. These early estimas are famous for cracked heads.

    Unwashed biodiesel seemed ok , but I pushed my luck too far I think when I used methanol that had an unknown amount of water in it, after lid left off.

    Anyhow now injector pump seems gone on new Estima (after fixing head).

    Can't find a spare IP at wreckers and don't want to spend $2000 on recon. (Anyone know where I can get an IP for Toyota 3cte motor????) My fun with Estimas may end quicker than the Urvans! (After writing this I found SmithW's thread about flushing IP on his Estima - Sadly I already took mine off but will have a look into this!)

    Back to the wash thing....

    Here is my plan:

    I make 120lt at a time
    Plan is to Transfer it to cube (6 lots?)

    Wash with shower rose 4 times (150lt a time) (I only have tank gravity feed)

    Then the drying thing.

    I guess if I use a cube, most of the top needs to be removed to allow evaporation??
    Pump it around hitting the top wall of the cube til dry.
    Did I read you need to do this for hours?????
    One of the reasons I never washed is because I am very stingy on electricity and water.
    I probably have enough water now, but sounds like a long time to run a pump.

    Anyhow, how's my plan sound???

    Advice much appreciated.

    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    York UK
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    Re: After 15 years decided to start washing my biodiesel

    Hi penangke, when you say a cube do you mean what in the UK we would call an IBC (1000 litres) If so they don't drain very well ie you can't get accurate separation between the water and bio because of the flat bottom.

    Your statement re the wet methanol suggests you think you produced more soap/glycerol which was not totally removed before using your fuel. Don't you test for soap or do a 50/50 shake up.

    I too run an estima (I bought it because it already had the head replaced with new) I usually water wash but sometimes use fuel in the estima which is not totally converted and just bubbled and settled, then passed through woodchips. The soap level is <50ppm and I have never has trouble using it.

    Although water washing IMO produces far better fuel, with the estima being IDI they arn't too sensitive re conversion. Just make sure you bubble/settle for long enough and check your fuel with a 50/50.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Re: After 15 years decided to start washing my biodiesel

    Did you say 3CTE ? is that the electronic pump? Mine is a 3CT which is just mechanical and its done about 360,000 kms . The only time i had a problem is when the fuel filter broke, and also the front IP seal let go. It may be possible to put the 3CT pump on the engine they are more common and are pretty bullet proof apart for the front seal. heres one wrecking.
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2002-02-...AAAOSwbopZXdjL
    It looks like the pump will bolt on as the water pump is the the same, which is what the the IP bolts onto. The best thing is they are easy to remove and replace from the engine.
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Toyota-3CT...0AAOSwImRYNxh8

  4. #4
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    Re: After 15 years decided to start washing my biodiesel

    Yes I was thinking of 1000 litre plastic cube

    I also have a 1200ltr metal , farm type, fuel tank on a stand, which has a cone bottom to collect water etc, below the fuel outlet.

    I first thought of washing in this, but then i read about the final drying: aerating with a pump and with a fan up top to evaporate moisture. I realised I could not do this part as the metal tank is sealed apart form a 200x 200mm section I can remove.

    How important is this last drying bit? If you just leave it for a month or two will all the water settle out?

    Re 50/50 test: I tried it once on two batches unwashed and failed. I thought, oh well, it will always fail on unwashed and never tried again.

    Re 3ct or 3cte pump. I have two 3ct pumps. Looks like they will bolt on fine, but they look so different, heaps more electrical plugs on 3cte. The throttle cable system is different, which I could work around, but looks all too difficult to work out. Also Ecu is probably different. Read something on TEOC forum about it, but did not help much.

    "I usually water wash but sometimes use fuel in the estima which is not totally converted and just bubbled and settled, then passed through woodchips." Sorry you lost me there. Can you explain this a bit more.

    Thanks for your help.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    York UK
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    Re: After 15 years decided to start washing my biodiesel

    Hi penangke, with the estima being indirect injection it is not important that the fuel is fully converted, something around 90% is fine. Regardless of how long it is settled there will be excess methanol present. This methanol will hold some soap and glycerol in the bio, it acts as a co-solvent. So the bio needs to be bubbled with an aquarium bubbler or similar to evaporate the methanol. It depends on various factors how long this bubbling takes place but several days certainly. Once the methanol is driven off the heavier contaminants like glyc and soap will fall to the bottom. Sometimes, especially if using potassium it is difficult just using the above to reduce tha soap level to max specs (66ppm) so passing the bio through hardwood chips will usually reduce the soap to near zero.

    Re water washing;

    Some of the water will not settle out after w/washing as a small amount of water is left in the bio in a dissolved /suspended state, depending on temps this is around the 1000ppm plus level. So some level of drying will need to take place. With your estima I would certainly go for the bubble/settle option. (if you don't wet it you don't have to dry it)

    Even though the max spec for water is 500ppm as many have found the old yardstick of 'clear and bright' is as good as anything for making a judgement on your bio. This of course means that the water content could be much higher than the 500ppm (probably up to 900ppm) but in my 10 years of making bio I have never known this be a disadvantage to the fuel. I took note of people when I started to make fuel and bought various water testing equipment.
    I was horrified to note my bio was all 8 to 900 ppm water. Over the years I haven't bothered as much, I test lots of peoples bio for water and usually the results are high, nothing to my knowledge has adversley happened with their vehicles.


    Hope this helps, Dave.
    Last edited by smithy; 3rd March 2018 at 01:49 AM. Reason: extra info for Jim

  6. #6
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    Re: After 15 years decided to start washing my biodiesel

    Hi smithy,

    Quote Originally Posted by smithy View Post
    Hi penangke, with the estima being indirect injection it is not important that the fuel is fully converted, something around 90% is fine.
    That is interesting.
    I think you are the first person I have read that advises people that full conversion biodiesel is not necessary for indirect injection diesel engines and that only 90% conversion is fine.

    Please tell us where you found this information.
    Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 3rd March 2018 at 10:18 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: After 15 years decided to start washing my biodiesel

    Re 3ct or 3cte pump. I have two 3ct pumps. Looks like they will bolt on fine, but they look so different, heaps more electrical plugs on 3cte. The throttle cable system is different, which I could work around, but looks all too difficult to work out. Also Ecu is probably different. Read something on TEOC forum about it, but did not help much.



    Jim[/QUOTE]

    Hi Again, If you already have the pump why not try and fit it. First there is only one wire you need to worry about, the fuel solenoid if that has 12 volts your good to go. There are 5 more wires on the 3ct pump and they are just for the rev counter and the throttle position sensor which you wont need to hook up . The TPS is just to operate the EGR valve which your better off without anyway. There is also a couple of vacuum lines to hook up. one it on the top of the pump for the boost control which goes on the intake manifold. The other is the idle up for the aircon. There maybe a 3rd for the EGR vaule but you can leave that off. You will not need to worry about the ECU the 3ct pump doesn't need it. Of course you have to connect your fuel lines and throttle cable too.
    The only other thing that might trip you up is the injector lines. I can take a photo of mine with the firing order if you like. Just check the shaft on the front of the pump is the same also. There is also a cold start mechanism that requires coolant to run through it on the pump, but that wont stop the engine from running, it may just idle a bit high if it is not hooked up.
    I couldn't find any decent photos on the internet but have a look at this video of a 3ct running on a stand no ecu in sight.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Qr8iqI8u2Y

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
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    4,176

    Re: After 15 years decided to start washing my biodiesel

    While your IP is most likely a Rotary IP, with the injector pipes coming from the back of the IP, it should be happy with straight veggie or a veggie / petrol blend.
    Why not just run it on used cooking oil with a smidgeon (5-10%) of unleaded petrol in it? In winter you may need to add a little more petrol (up to 20%) in winter.
    Less mucking around, less chance of a stuff-up and cheaper too.
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab. Running on used cooking oil with 5% to 10% misfuel.
    '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP)


    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup. Died when supercharger stuck at max boost for weeks. Stretched head bolts.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Donor for current Fatmobile coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
    Parts Car C220 1993 SOLD.
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel single tank using 95% used cooking oil and 5% to 10% misfuel (where someone had filled diesel vehicle with petrol).


    Searching the Biofuels Forum using Google
    Adding images and/or documents to your posts


  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Re: After 15 years decided to start washing my biodiesel

    wow. serious Tony???

    I started on SVO back in 2002 before making bio and made sure oil was heated to car operating temp before switching solenoid to SVO (from diesel). Also put heater around second fuel filter.

    If i did not purge IP for 5-10 mins before stopping for the day, the next morning the car (Nisssan urvan) would not start til I poured boiling water over IP for along time

    Now you reckon I just need 5% to 10% petrol??? No stress about keeping oil hot or anything, or worrying about oil goign too thick in IP

    Do you know anyone who done this for large kms on a vehicle?

  10. #10
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    dayboro
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    Re: After 15 years decided to start washing my biodiesel

    Ok sounds easy, Dave.
    Thanks again.
    What sort of bubbler do you use personally and in what quantity of bio?

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