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paultyndale
27th June 2017, 04:14 PM
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

Tony From West Oz
27th June 2017, 10:05 PM
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.

smithy
28th June 2017, 02:28 AM
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.

paultyndale
28th June 2017, 10:16 AM
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.

paultyndale
28th June 2017, 10:18 AM
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

smithy
28th June 2017, 08:20 PM
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.

Tony From West Oz
28th June 2017, 09:59 PM
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.

Bueff
29th June 2017, 06:56 AM
I did some work in the ACT a couple of years ago, and fitted one of theses

http://www.4x4outdoortuning.com.au/diesel-to-vegetable-oil-conversion/heater-diesel-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 :-)

paultyndale
29th June 2017, 10:49 AM
I did some work in the ACT a couple of years ago, and fitted one of theses

http://www.4x4outdoortuning.com.au/diesel-to-vegetable-oil-conversion/heater-diesel-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?

Tony From West Oz
29th June 2017, 02:28 PM
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.

Bueff
30th June 2017, 06:48 AM
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?

Well, if you fuel is solid, the only option in my opinion is a two tanks system with a heated secondary tank.
The heater will prevent waxing in the filter, depending on your feedstock for your bio it may not get solid, bu as tony said, have a play around with blends and stick them in the freezer.

smithw
30th June 2017, 10:29 AM
I used to have problems in the winter with bio gelling but not since I changed the way I process my bio. I regularly have temperatures below zero and have not had any issues.
First I always pre-wash with the glycerine from the last batch, and then caustic strip the WVO before processing with KOH. I have the bio in jars from years ago before I did this and they are all solid at the moment. My Bio I use now has not shown any signs of clouding, or gelling. The WVO I use has a high amount of fats in it can be difficult to get out of the drums this time of year.

3DB
3rd July 2017, 10:37 PM
I went to visit a mate in the Snowy Mountains a couple of years ago and was concerned about biodiesel solidification, so I added 5% ULP to the tank when I hit Cooma. When I got up in the morning, my cubies in the back all had solidified fuel in them to some degree, but by mid-morning they had all 'thawed'. I then robbed my mate's motorbike jerry cans to dose up the cubies to approximately 5% and had no trouble all trip. I think there was frost on the ground each morning, but it wouldn't have been too far below 0.

As others have said, keeping a transparent container of the fuel you are using outside gives a good indication of what is going on in the fuel system.