Forums » Ask a Question

Use this forum to post your questions to our experts – you need to be logged on to do it (you can register here ), then scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the blue Post Thread words

If you can help answer the question, feel free to post a reply – you need to be logged on to do it (you can register here ), then hit the reply button on the thread.

 

To go back to the experts page click here>>

AuthorMessage
towpath100
towpath100

Posted: Sat May 15, 2010 5:22pm

Post Subject: Using biodiesel

Is there any boat owners using biodiesel, with all the green advantages I would assume a greater number of us to have tried it especially as it's slightly cheaper than red in some places. What are people thoughts/experiences of using biodiesel and if it was more widely available would you choose it? Would carbon reduction and environmental reasons encourage you to switch from fossil diesel? Like to hear your thoughts, Dan.

Using biodiesel
Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Sat May 15, 2010 7:23pm

Post Subject: Using biodiesel

This is my personal opinion and is in no way representative of the magazine. Dear Steve/Dan, I am not sure you can substantiate the "environmental" piece. From what I can gather now we have a mandatory bio content in road fuel much of it is not "environmental" because of the destruction of natural habitat for palm oil plantations. I see you have a commercial interest so perhaps you need to consider explaining exactly where your product comes form. IF you are using old cooking oil and IF you can guarantee strict compliance with the EN14214 or later then I certainly would be willing to use it at the START of the season. However its propensity to absorb water and strip gums from the tank and pipes would not allow me to have any significant quantity in the tank over the winter. Then there is the question over how the "rubber" components in the system will cope with bio. You may be interested to learn we published an article on bio in October 2007 (probably the Nov or Dec issue). Further to that things are so unclear in the Transport Industry in general, with major manufacturers saying no to bio, the IRTE will shortly be running a seminar day on the subject. In fact it seems that we will all be using a proportion of bio when the new EU regs over bio in gas oil come into force. I would be interested to hear your opinion as to the vendors responsibility to ensure the purchasers systems are suitable for bio and who should rectify the problems if they are not. Are you aware that probably the majority of inland boats have many gallons of water sitting under the diesel in their tanks. This causes enough problems with bug without exacerbating them by forming a water - bio emulsion there by increasing the surface interface between the diesel and water and thus facilitation the breeding of bug. Beta in association with another supplier carried out long term tests with bio on a new boat and on the test bed and found no problems apart from the recommendation to use an electric lift pump, but that was a new boat rather than a water contaminated and gummy old boat. I must take this opportunity to warn readers with older boast not to run with high concentrations of bio fuel unless they have spare filters AND can change them and also use a biocide additive. Once you have done a season on bio the gums should all be gone so it will only be a question of fighting the bug. Tony Brooks

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Sat May 15, 2010 7:56pm

Post Subject: Using biodiesel

I hope the editor will not mind but I have just put a slightly updated copy of the original of the article described above on my website under Articles. www.TB-Training.co.uk Tony B

towpath100
towpath100

Posted: Sat May 15, 2010 8:07pm

Post Subject: Using biodiesel

Thanks Tony for your appraisal. The simplest answer is I only produce fuel from 100% (UVO, we are a local (Somerset/SW) initiative. The fuel accords fully with EN14214, except colour, mine is like a single malt. I also use and inedpendent test service for quality. I would like to know more of the technical issues you raise, and I would like to contribute to any tests for it's use. I hope to learn more from this forum. Steve.

towpath100
towpath100

Posted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:47am

Post Subject: Using biodiesel

Tony, thanks for the link to your website and the article on biodiesel, which I thought to be very positive. If Geoff Clannell is carrying out tests and is looking for suppliers I would like the opportunity to become a supplier of quality biofuel, I am currently looking at supplying to leisure operators for bulk sales, I would be prepared to consider selling retail to craft owners. Can I contact Geoff through these pages? Steve.

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Sun May 16, 2010 9:19am

Post Subject: Using biodiesel

I am afriad I have no contact details for Geoff and he seemd to go very quiet when the 60-40 duty split was accepted by HMCR and the "spash & dash" trade got underway. The technical issues seem to be well known and probasbly the major one is that none of the major injection equipment manufacturers (including the Japaneese)seem willing to countence running on 100% bio in the UK (I have a joint document to this effect from when I researched the article). This means that only Beta who were carrying out tests woudl allow its use in "under warentee" engines and if they did have opne fail theyt would have ahd to bear the cost. Unless this has changed, and I have seen nothing to that effect in the transport press I think any bio-supplier needs either a strongley worded advice document/invoice and better still a very good insurance company. Inland boats have engines built from the early 1900s right up to modern common rail type units so I must urge you to be carefull. The (say) pre 1950 designs should burn bio with littel trouble but how their seels will react is open to question. The latest units shoudl be OK as far as seaals are concerned but I would be very hesitant in using bio in one of the high pressure systems until its use had been well proven by others. I am far from sure about its lubricating properties and have been unable to dig out any independant tests. Unfortunatly I am now retired from full time work so would find it very hard to justify the cost of attending the IRTE conference but I expect more will flow from that. I found the propensity to absorb water and the attendant bug problems plus its ability to strip gums and varnishes from old fuel system to be well known. Hence the advice to ramp up the concentration of bio in the fuel over a period of time so theer have been severl filter changes, as routine, before you get to 100 bio.

towpath100
towpath100

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 9:31am

Post Subject: Using biodiesel

Tony, some of the problmes raised about diesel can be solved with additives, a very effective biocide(diesel bug) can be added to my fuel for boating use, as for gumming there are several proprietary products available which prevent the gumming up of hoses etc. Is biodiesel easily available for boat owners, should they choose to use it?


Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 10:08am

Post Subject: Using biodiesel

Steve, I think you need to do more research both into the possible/likely effects of ordinary (poorly informed) boaters turning to bio in a big way and your position if you sell bio into a market with known potential problems and do not ensure the purchaser is fully informed about the possible problems they may face and the precautions they can/should take. If you are intent on selling into the inland marine market I could make a very cogent case for you adding the biocide (which I know about) to your product at source, but that will still not address the water-fuel emulsion issues that are likely to occour in older boats. The varnishes and gums I am talking about, plus other debris that bio seems capable of shifting occour throughout the system from tank to injector and a "single shot" additive will not solve bio's propensity to shift it. The customer should prepare by starting with (say) a 10% bio mix, the 20% and so on. In that way the mess is only gradually passed into the filter so the filter is more likely to be changed as routine before it blocks and causes a breakdown. In fact your suggestion that an additive could solve this question gives me the impression that you have research to do. May I suggest that you lay out £95 and attend the IRTE conference (Institute of Road Transport Engineers). As of yet I have not even started to discuss potential problems of oxidation and degradation in long term storage - like in a boat's tanks over winter. A few inland boats of the (Dutch) barge type have a tank capacity measured in thousands of litres and only fill up every few years. Bio-diesel is not readily available but an enthusiast will be able to get a supply in jerycans and take it to their boat. However, if anyone does decide to supply bio at the waterside without displaying the relevant EN/DIN standard on the pump would meet with my determined opposition because that would leave the way open for all sorts of garbage to be sold - including unprocessed vegetable oil with its attendant waxing problems in winter (plus a few others related to its cold viscosity). As I said I would use it until about mid July, then I would switch back to 100% petro-diesel, but then I know my injector pump will be happy, I know how to change fuel filter and bleed the system and I have been using a water removing fuel additive for about 10 years. WE have enough problems with fuel bug on the inland system without changing the fuel for one that seems to be potentially even more prone to it. On a positive note the potential for damaging pollution from a fuel spill is almost completely removed with bio-diesel. Before you go ahead with any plans to introduce bank-side supply PLEASE think through the consequences of a series of breakdowns and the attendant "towpath telegraph" would have on your business and the willingness of boaters to accept bio in a major way. As I said only Beta have accepted bio as a fuel and they demand their lift pump is bypassed, the rest refused to even discuss it. Any suppler needs to be able to give potential customers a list of system modifications they need to carry out before using bio. One other point. Can you substantiate your claims for carbon reduction? Do you know how much carbon goes into the growing of the crops, its transport and production? I am sure there is a reduction but I doubt it is anything like as much as many people suggest. Tony Brooks

towpath100
towpath100

Posted: Wed May 19, 2010 9:15am

Post Subject: Using biodiesel

Hi Tony, thanks again for your detailed and comprehensive reply. I was not trying to flippant or too simplistic in dealing with fuel problems, I was merely trying to show willingness to offer what solutions I can, hence the offer to provide fuel, and wanting to follow up on previous posts. With our colder climate it is advisable to use a blend, as for long term storage on board, not such a good idea. We know that biodiesel will be included in all future supplies, as for carbon, I make fuel using only waste vegetable oil (see earlier post) and therefore it is regarded as highly sustainable, because of the recycling and second use. My fuel is independently tested to EN14214 to ensure quality and you will find most commercial producers will be able to offer the same standard. I want to keep it simple. Biodiesel made in the UK from UVO is a low carbon alternative for many who wish to make a switch from fossil fuels. I joined the forum for a range of views and opinions and see how many had considered bio and it's impact on the local environment.

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Wed May 19, 2010 10:11am

Post Subject: Using biodiesel

Steve, you will probably get far more relies if you join the Canal World Forum which is far more active than this one and ask there. http://www.canalworld.net/

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Canal Boat monthly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Like us on Facebook



Follow us on Twitter

Cache: Disabled for this object  Total Queries: 43.  Total Objects: 163.  Total Unserialized: 3. Total Runtime: 0.61 seconds.