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Thread: Problems using Tallow Fat in Cold Climates

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    hobart
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    problems using tallow fat

    I have a supply of good quality tallow/animal fat.
    This appears to make clean bio diesel which i am going to run in my disco.
    I blend this with cotton seed, as without mixing them i will not get enough fuel for my requirements.
    The problem is that the cloud point is at least 15c, i am worried that this fuel will make my car unreliable due to filter blockage gelled fuel in lines, tank etc.
    As i live in southern tasmania the samples of biodiesl i have made tend to be cloudy more than clear.
    Put a bit of heat in them and they are crystal clear.
    Has any one had this same problem, i know one the car is running the fuel filter heats up through the heat from engine bay, but what about over night.
    I really dont want to mix heaps of dino in it and i will not use kero.
    Has any one come across a good tank,line filter heater.
    There are a few on ebay but am reluctant to fit anything unless i know it is going to work and be reliable (Wife uses car for shift work so you can see my predicament.
    P.s i placed this on the melbourne site as there are not many of us down here in tas willing to help each other with bio.
    Probably due to lack of good wvo supplies.
    Please only reply to this if you have first hand experience as i know what the books and u.s sites are on about but i am not there, it is a bit cooler down here. Wouldnt be a climate problem in i was still living in adelaide but i cant stand the heat.
    Thanks
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Sydney
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    Re: problems using tallow fat

    Hi Reg,

    I think I'll move this to the "making biodiesel" forum as although your questions are specific to your region regarding the temperature, you might get more people viewing it in there.

    Does anyone have any advice to offer Reg on this?
    Robert.
    Site Admin.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    524

    Re: Problems using Tallow Fat in Cold Climates

    Reg, In my experience the easiest thing to do is to add some petrol diesel, but it appears you don't want to do that. Kerosine is just number 1 diesel without the lubricant, so kero will work even better than #2 diesel. You already have heaps of lubricity in the biodiesel (only 2% biodiesel returns enough lubricity to the fuel).

    You could also try adding used engine oil to the biodiesel to reduce the gel point.

    If you add a vegetable biodiesel (such as canola) to the tallow biodiesel it will reduce the gel point. However, the reduction isn't linear. In other words, if the canola bio has a gel point of -9 and the tallow bio a gel point of 15C, the mid-point would be half of the 24 degrees between them - or 3C, but the effective gel point would more likely be around 5C.

    As far as heating the oil, it looks like maybe one of those WVO conversion kits could be the go.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Central West NSW
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    Re: Problems using Tallow Fat in Cold Climates

    Where is the vehicle overnight? In an enclosed garage? Under a carport? In the open in a driveway or on the street?
    Depending where the vehicle is and it's exposure to the elements might have a bearing on how the engine/fuel cools overnight. Diesel engines are great big lumps of Iron and will retain heat long after alloy petrol engines have cooled. If you park the car in an enclosed garage, the engine heat will dissipate much slower than on the open street and it's possible that the fuel will retain enough heat to remain clear to start. It's certainly an excuse to extend the central heating to the garage.
    I live in Lithgow (1000m alt), and below zero temps are commonplace from late Autumn to early Spring. I often see the Cruiser covered in frost except for the bonnet hours after driving it, and need to check the cat hasn't curled up in the warm engine bay for an overnight snooze!

  5. #5
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    Dec 2005
    Location
    hobart
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    Re: Problems using Tallow Fat in Cold Climates

    Hi guys/gals
    Do any of you actually know if the biodiesel you are running goes cloudy in the tank,if so does it just hit the filter and warm up then turning clear?
    As i said i have not tried the bio yet but made up my first 20 litre batch yesterday.
    Looks nice and clean and a final ph of 8.5.
    I have picked up my 2 44 gal processors and i think i over ordered by 1 iwas going to wash the bio and make everything technical, then i woke up and thought why?
    I figure i will mix the oil/methoxide in this allow to settle for about eight hours,
    Drain into 20 litre plastic containers and allow to settle more.
    The plastic containers allow me to see if there is any more reaction or glycerin seperating.
    Just a point, doing my test .5 litre batches i heated oil to 50c added methoxide at 3.5g +3.5g titration per litre, 3.5g total.
    Poured in the methoxide to oil stirred vigorously for about 20 seconds, did this about 4 times over 15 min then left the mix to do its stuff.
    No extra heat no stirring, nothing.
    It looks fine to me only 2 layers evident.
    Can it really be this simple?
    I then did the same for the 20 litres but 4lt methanol 140 g caustic soda.
    Another note, i find a simple way to mix the methoxide is to get a 20 litre Plastic container with small screw on lid, not the big clip on mayonnaise drums
    Shake swirl liquid every couple minutes and it mixes within about ten minutes.
    There seem to be an awful lot of people on the various sites trying to make this process of biodiesel difficult.
    I do not intend to wash the product as i do not see the point or the proof that it needs it.
    My problem that i find it hard to get my head around is how do we know if it is right or wrong.
    The people who have been making this stuff for a long time and thousands of litres ago just seem to keep it simple.
    Apart from the scrubbing of the fuel lines resulting in blockages until it is nice and clean, does any one have any first hand evidence against the use of home made biodiesel that we should be looking for.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2005
    Location
    hobart
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    Re: Problems using Tallow Fat in Cold Climates

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner
    Where is the vehicle overnight? In an enclosed garage? Under a carport? In the open in a driveway or on the street?
    Depending where the vehicle is and it's exposure to the elements might have a bearing on how the engine/fuel cools overnight. Diesel engines are great big lumps of Iron and will retain heat long after alloy petrol engines have cooled. If you park the car in an enclosed garage, the engine heat will dissipate much slower than on the open street and it's possible that the fuel will retain enough heat to remain clear to start. It's certainly an excuse to extend the central heating to the garage.
    I live in Lithgow (1000m alt), and below zero temps are commonplace from late Autumn to early Spring. I often see the Cruiser covered in frost except for the bonnet hours after driving it, and need to check the cat hasn't curled up in the warm engine bay for an overnight snooze!
    Hi gunner are you actually running tallow and if so do you find you have any problems with it?
    what have you done to remedy them.
    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    hobart
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    Re: Problems using Tallow Fat in Cold Climates

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Syd
    Reg, In my experience the easiest thing to do is to add some petrol diesel, but it appears you don't want to do that. Kerosine is just number 1 diesel without the lubricant, so kero will work even better than #2 diesel. You already have heaps of lubricity in the biodiesel (only 2% biodiesel returns enough lubricity to the fuel).

    You could also try adding used engine oil to the biodiesel to reduce the gel point.

    If you add a vegetable biodiesel (such as canola) to the tallow biodiesel it will reduce the gel point. However, the reduction isn't linear. In other words, if the canola bio has a gel point of -9 and the tallow bio a gel point of 15C, the mid-point would be half of the 24 degrees between them - or 3C, but the effective gel point would more likely be around 5C.

    As far as heating the oil, it looks like maybe one of those WVO conversion kits could be the go.
    Thanks Terry i probably will mix the tallow with cotton seed 50/50 i then added 25% dino diesel this has given me a cloud point of about 10 degrees,
    do you think this would be a problem running on this at cold temperatures
    Does the filter block when the bio is cloudy or gelled or both, Thanks.
    Like i said before it is my wifes car and i dont fancy it breaking down on her at night.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2005
    Location
    hobart
    Posts
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    Re: Problems using Tallow Fat in Cold Climates

    Quote Originally Posted by reg
    Thanks Terry i probably will mix the tallow with cotton seed 50/50 i then added 25% dino diesel this has given me a cloud point of about 10 degrees,
    do you think this would be a problem running on this at cold temperatures
    Does the filter block when the bio is cloudy or gelled or both, Thanks.
    Like i said before it is my wifes car and i dont fancy it breaking down on her at night.
    P.s
    You mention adding used engine oil to bio diesel what do you have to do to the old oil before putting it in and will it cause smoke or damage to engine with prolonged use?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    524

    Re: Problems using Tallow Fat in Cold Climates

    Reg, yeah biodiesel is fairly easy to make - once you get your first batch made. It all seems like some sort of secret alchemical science and then when you see the first batch seperate its this kinda "wow, no big deal".

    Allowing the unwashed to sit for another week is a good idea. A mate of mine is allegedly using a 'Mr. Funnel' to catch the last drops of glycerin that have dropped out. I haven't seen it being used, but if it works then this is another great idea for the homebrewer. A 'Mr. Funnel' has a teflon coated screen to catch the droplets. I know they work for water, but have no experience with biodiesel glycerin.

    The used engine oil addition can be used in those engines that can take a bit more viscosity. On the infopop forum there was a thread where people were trying different techniques to clear the used oil of contaminants. Mixing up a batch of methoxide and WVO - and then adding, say another 20% of used engine oil - would result in some cases of the resulting biodiesel being clear and all the contaminants left in the glycerin. Others (such as me) could only get the particulates in the oil like grit and metal flakes to settle out, the remaining carbon stayed in the biodiesel. I expect it had to do with the type of motor oil being used. Some oil is extra long life and may have extra dispersants in the oil that somehow effected the biodiesel's ability to hold the carbon.

    The used engine oil will reduce the gel point. It will also recycle the used oil into fuel. There is little to no extra exhaust smoke. The addition of the used engine oil in the biodiesel is probably assisted in burning by the extra oxygen in the biodiesel and the higher cetane. In the future of Peak Oil, this technique of creating a bit more fuel for your vehicle will likely become commonplace.

    Regarding the gel point - the easiest way to see what your fuel is going to do is to set out a series of jars of the fuel. Take a jar of B100, then B90, B80...etc. Set the jars out in an area (like just outside the kitchen window?) in a line and watch what happens. If the B100 and B90 jar are gelled and the B80 is just cloudy - then you should add some buffer and perhaps use B50 until things warm up.

    Using a garage to store the vehicle is a good idea. It keeps the vehicle a lot warmer. If you can get the engine running for the first 5 minutes, you will usually be alright for the day. Another technique is to keep the tank fairly full. When the engine is running, hot fuel is sent back to the tank from the
    injector overflow. The more warm fuel in the tank, the more it will retain its heat overnight.

    The fuel filter is usually where your first problems occur. The cold filter plug point is determined by the bits of gelled matter that is floating in the fuel. Once the filter is warm, then those bits will melt. However, if you have a cold enough night that the fuel gels in the line, be prepared to sit there for a while.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Central West NSW
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    Re: Problems using Tallow Fat in Cold Climates

    Our local council uses a Kroll Heater to heat their workshop. They use waste engine and gearbox oil from the vehicles in the workshop to heat the large building it's located in, and the emissions are clean. They also collect used engine and gear oils from businesses and the public, resulting in a saving of heating costs of around $20,000 per year.
    Where am I going with this? Well, Kroll don't make anything ideally suited to a small house garage or workshop (smallest unit heats up to 300sq m, 30 would be sufficient), but could a similar unit be built for home use? I know that the Glycerine by product is flammable, so could a small heating unit be possible that also uses our waste leftovers? Occaisional topping up with your oil change waste or a bit of BD could see you having a snug warm garage through the winter months and no problems starting up with gelled BD.

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