First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
A while ago I posted about my intention to start fuelling my recently acquired 525 TD on biodiesel. For those who don't know, I've been using biodiesel in a Seat Leon TDi for a year and in a Renault Clio dci, both with no ill-effects and both from new. Anyway, I had about a third of a tank of derv when I brimmed the BMW with biodiesel for the first time yesterday evening (both fuels are completely miscible), and drove the 50 miles home with another 100 litres in containers in the boot.
So far, so good - the engine seemed to run a little quieter, and the mpg needle seems to be a little less frightening. Actually, the mpg indicator seemed to show no change from normal driving (usually hovers around 40mpg), but with the fuel in the boot as well as a luggage bearing passenger (my brother is visiting) I'll hopefully see a more obvious improvement in consumption once the car is empty again. Power seems to be about the same. As there was a frost last night, I get to find out pretty quickly whether or not there will be any problems starting up, not that I expect any.
I do expect that when I change the oil and filter in roughly 1000 miles of driving, some, most or hopefully all of the sludge which has been building up on the bottom of the fuel tank will have been deposited on the old filter. I'm not really anticipating any other effects other than improved NVH and fuel economy, as well as a much more pleasant smell from the exhaust. I'll post here about any progress.
First fill of biodiesel - RichardP
Where do you get your biodiesel from? I'd like to use biodiesel and I've heard that a company called 'Rix' has forecourts in northern England (not where I live though!) selling a 5% biodiesel blend. Anyone know where you can get biodiesel in the Manchester/Cheshire region?

Regards,

Richard
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
As far as I am aware (and I'm willing to be corrected on this) Rix is selling a blend of 5% biodiesel and 95% ordinary diesel fuel. I buy my (pure) biodiesel in Belfast, so that probably won't suit you! For a list of UK suppliers, check this site:
www.biofuels.fsnet.co.uk/biobiz.htm
Also, check biodiesel.infopop.net and click go to the UK biodiesel section in Biodiesel Connections.
What kind of car do you drive? make/model/year/engine
First fill of biodiesel - AndyT
Where in Belfast can biodiesel be purchased, and at what price per litre?
I run a Clio dci and a '93 Clio diesel. From a biodiesel site, I see that they can be run on a 5% mix. Were you not a little concerned about running your Clio at a 100%(mix??)?
First fill of biodiesel - RichardP
Thanks for your reply, some interesting links! I have a 2000 (W) Vauxhall Vectra saloon DI 16v, fitted with a tuning box, and would like to use biodiesel as I've heard it can increase mpg, reduce engine noise and reduce the impact on the environment. I've read various articles regarding biodiesel in 'Diesel Car' magazine and I believe, for the foreseeable future, that biodiesel has to be one of the most environmentally sound alternative fuels available. From what I have made out, around the Warrington area where I live, there are no sources of biodiesel. Just out of interest, what do the exhaust gases smell like?!

regards,

Richard
First fill of biodiesel - jc
In all the discussion there has been no mention of "lubricity";DPA pumps and their successors rely on the fuel as their lubricant-low sulphur and high-detergent fuels have made pump lubrication borderline-how is this affected by biodiesel?.I realize that with high pressure-direct injection this will probably go away.
First fill of biodiesel - OldOiler
Renault warn against using bio diesel in their latest manuals, presume its due to the lack of "suitable additives"?? I would certainly check it out with BMW - failure could be v e r y expensive!!
K2
First fill of biodiesel - Andrew-T
Richard - I seem to remember news items on BBC Northwest a few months ago about biodiesel, which suggests that there must be a source not too far away. Can't remember where though!
First fill of biodiesel - Dude - {P}
I think Biodiesel is a great idea, but unfortunately totally unavailable in the Westcountry. To deviate slightly, the EEC Common Agricultural Policy pays farmers grants to leave their fields lying fallow, when they could be giving incentives to grow oilseed rape, which is easily converted into biodiesel. That, like many other things within the EEC, is too much like basic logic to ever happen!!!
First fill of biodiesel - Humpy
You can grow oilseed rape on set aside land for the purposes of biodiesel. There is no subsidy payable and I 'm not sure if you can claim set aside payments either. Therefore it seems to be up to the farmer if he can be bothered physically or financially.

Correct me if I'm wrong...
First fill of biodiesel - badmedic
There is a place on kirkby industrial estate that sels it from a pump make it on the premises

BIO-FUEL Ltd,
Newstet Road,
Knowseley Industrial Estate,
Kirkby
L33 7TJ
0151 546 5001

worth a go
First fill of biodiesel - JohnM{P}
IIRC, there are possible problems with seals if pure biodiesel is used in a car not designed for it, hence the 5/95% mix in France. Check your car handbook (I'm pretty sure our Passat manual had a section on it - cannot verify at time of typing!)
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
AndyT, I wasn't concerned about running the Clio on 100% biodiesel - car manufacturers are still a bit blinkered about it, but I knew the fuel I use wouldn't harm the car.

Car companies want to protect themselves from what they perceive to be a higher risk of warranty claims by only providing a minimal warranty for the fuel system in relation to biodiesel use. Basically, it's possible to make biodiesel in your own back yard, but the quality of the fuel would be much more variable in terms of acidity, cloud point/gel point, etc. Only the VW group to date has included a warranty for using 100% biodiesel - the fuel is widely available in Germany and there is a recognised industry standard there for it which governs things like viscosity, cetane rating, etc (an example of legislation actually making a positive difference). The biodiesel I use meets this standard. If I made it myself, it probably wouldn't!

Biodiesel has higher lubricity than derv and so reduces wear and tear on the engine. In France, all diesel sold at the pump contains between 3% and 5% biodiesel as a lubricity additive following the introduction of ULSD, an option which the French government chose because it was simpler, cleaner and most of all beneficial to French farmers growing rape, sunflowers, etc. Hence the more recent warranties for using 5% with French manufacturers. Some other European manufacturers have followed suit so far. They don't really need to be so cautious.
The thing is, all modern diesel cars (since approximately 1994/1995) are manufactured to be impervious to ultra-low-sulphur diesel, which corrodes the natural rubber that fuel lines and seals used to be made of - just as biodiesel does. Modern fuel lines are made of a synthetic rubber (viton) which is impervious to the rotting effect of both ULSD and biodiesel. So the introduction of ULSD has, by happy coincidence, ensured that any problems with the engine that might have been caused by (quality) biodiesel have been eliminated.

I buy my fuel from a small outfit called Biofuels Northern Ireland run by a chap called Terry de Winne who operates out of a site on the Castlereagh Road. As I live 50 miles from Belfast, I fill the car up each time and fill a number of jerrycans as well so that I can top up at home (although it is a fuel, it is so stable that it is classified as "non-flammable" for transportation purposes, and perfectly legal to carry in your car). This way I can go for up to two months without having to make the longer trips. Even if I run out, I haven't modified the engine in any way (there's no need to, but it can be optimised by retarding injection timing by a couple of degrees) so I can revert to derv when necessary.
Richard, having had a look at the biodiesel suppliers site, I guess you may have a similar option in terms of travelling to north Wales.

A most interesting point is that while the price of diesel is on its way to 80p a litre, my supplier is unaffected by Middle-Eastern developments and will continue to supply at 75p a litre.
First fill of biodiesel - BMDUBYA
Andy - Please keep us all informed, I too have a 525 TDS so I await your experiment with interest. Good Luck.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Well, no loss of power is noticeable as yet, which is what I would associate with a clogging filter. The engine is almost inaudible at moderate cruising speeds now - it wasn't that intrusive before, but now I have to pay attention to hear it. In fact, as I like to hear the engine so I can hear anything out of the ordinary, that's almost a disadvantage!
Too early to tell what the fuel consumption is like - some people notice a slight reduction when they change over to biodiesel, while others notice an improvement. I certainly notice a significant difference between fuels in the Seat - it's hard to get it to do better than 54 mpg with fossil fuel, while it's usually around 59 mpg on biodiesel. The BMW has now done 190 miles on biodiesel and is just into the second quarter on the fuel gauge, although it seems to read optimistically for the first half tankful anyway, so going by past experience of brimming and running to the end, I'd guess it'll come in somewhere in the region of 650 to 680 miles per tank. That should work out around 38 mpg, which I suppose isn't too bad for a 2.5 litre 6-cylinder engine. After driving the dci Clio it still sends a shiver down my spine, though!
First fill of biodiesel - jc
Why don't you fill up in Eire?;it's even cheaper there.
First fill of biodiesel - puntoo
i have a renault scenic 1.9 dci. it clearly states in the manual that you should not use rapeseed oil (is that the same as biodiesel?).

Any ideas why ?
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
jc - I don't fill up down south because I want to use biodiesel.

It's cleaner, much better for my engine, contributes less in net CO2 emissions than any other combustible fuel, conserves mineral oil resources, reduces dependency on imports, is no excuse for going to war, is not subject to the whims of global oil corporations, is slightly cheaper, could help regenerate the rural economy, could help to save us all money that would otherwise go into the Common Agricultural Policy to pay farmers for set aside land, etc etc etc ...
And it contributes to recycling - think of all the waste oil that would either go into the waterways or end up in landfills releasing methane.
When I used to drive a petrol car, I was quite happy to take advantage of the significant saving of filling both the car and the boot (jerrycans) with fuel from south of the border. However, I've grown a little wiser since then - about what makes sense for long term sustainability of our luxury lifestyles, and even about carrying several jerrycans of highly flammable fuel about four feet from my back! Hoo, boy, I could almost start to believe in guardian angels ...
Anyway - I'd actually be willing to pay a couple of pence a litre above the normal pump price to get biodiesel - not only am I confident about all of the above, but the amount of illegal fuel sold at the pumps here accounts for something like half of what is sold in the whole province. Between red diesel bleached (badly) with acid which will destroy my engine, and smuggled fuel on which duty has not been paid and the profits on which go into either organised crime or paramilitary coffers (which are usually one and the same), I feel much happier using biodiesel.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
puntoo - The difference between biodiesel and rapeseed oil is that the latter is an unrefined vegetable oil - full of waxes and lacquers, much more viscous than either derv or biodiesel. Renault (and others) probably want to protect themselves from people deciding to pour that, or the oil they just used to cook their chips (or worse - fondue? breadcrumbed fish sticks?) into their fuel tank and then trying to make a warranty claim when the injectors, fuel filter or fuel pump need replacing. Quite right, too. (As it's after midnight, I'll discuss using straight oil for fuel with anyone who wants to another time, OK?) This is why I try to emphasize the importance of using a quality fuel. What I use has had all the crunchy bits taken out and been filtered down to 10 microns, been checked for acidity/alkalinity and water content, had the methanol removed, been "washed", been allowed to settle in cold temperatures (to ensure any tallows small enough to get throught the filter which could hinder cold starting are removed) and so on. Home-produced biodiesel may not have had any of the above done, which is why so many car manufacturers are lairy about providing a warranty. I'd like to see a British/pan-European standard for fuel made from both fresh and recycled oil introduced as quickly as possible, and a proper reduction in fuel duty on all biodiesel to make it economically viable to produce the stuff from fresh oil as well as used so that we don't keep throwing money away on set-aside land.
First fill of biodiesel - mark
Hi Andy

If this link works its worth a look,

cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3107...2

I think trading standards should look at the 85mpg claim

as ever

Mark
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Hmm. I wouldn't encourage anyone to bother with this. As you say, 85 mpg is a pretty wild claim - you'd have to drive a Clio dci pretty carefully to get near that (and you still wouldn't get that high), and I wouldn't consider converting one of those to use veggie oil, which is more suited to indirect injection engines.

But that's just for starters. I also don't like what he implies here:
"Besides the cost of the oil, around 10p per litre, you are supposed to "declare" the amount of oil used and pay duty to the Government, which is at a rate of 25p per litre, but this is under review to bring it closer in line with LPG which is 5p per litre."

New oil at the supermarket would cost around 30-35p a litre, unless it's on an incredibly good special offer. Used oil from a chippie is usually free. I don't know where 10p a litre comes from. Putting the word declare in inverted commas implies that this somehow can be avoided. It can't. Very large fines are payable if you are caught trying to rip off C&E, and you could also lose your vehicle and face jail. Put it like this - the police have to get a warrant to search your house or property. C&E don't. Pay the duty! Additionally, while I support the campaign to bring the rate of duty on biodiesel down to a more appropriate level, I haven't heard of the government doing anything to make this happen as yet, and it took years of campaigning to get it down to 28.8p a litre

Virtually all the information anyone needs to convert their diesel car to vegetable oil is available for free on the web (I have lots of links if anyone's interested), so I don't see what the £3 is going to get you, apart maybe from transcripts out of someone else's work. In fact, feedback on the site says:
"Complaint : Useless information not even worth 5 pounds!
Response by trustuk - Information is a described in advert

Bargepole, I think!
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Just an update - the 80 litre tank finally needed some more fuel today. On the first fill of biodiesel - which went into a tank that was around a third full of derv - I've been able to get 630 miles. This works out to roughly 36mpg. It doesn't seem to be any different to what I was getting on derv, but there may still be a slight difference now that it's about 95% biodiesel. Power has improved noticeably - flooring it actually does something now, where it pretty sluggish before. It's still not a fast car by any stretch of the imagination (although it wasn't bought with performance in mind) and will never be as nimble as the Leon unless I chip it, but at least I can overtake in less than a quarter mile!
I'm still waiting to see if the power starts to slack off (especially at high revs) as a sign of filter blockage, but it hasn't happened yet.
So - fuel economy about the same (or slightly less? - should have paid more attention to mpg when I was using derv), performance is up. No negative outcomes yet - yay!
Will update again when I have something to report.
First fill of biodiesel - Oz
Here's an update as of today, on the official recommendation (not) of BMW GB concerning Biodiesel. I asked also about e.g. City Diesel ex Sainsburys:
"BMW GB do not approve or recommend Bio Diesels as they lack the required lubricant and are high in sulphur. City Diesel however, is low in sulphur but also has an additive that Bio Diesel does not have. This additive offers additional lubrication required to allow the engine/pump to perform correctly."

Oz (as was)
First fill of biodiesel - BMDUBYA

The Biritsh Association for Bio Fuels and Oils seem to contradict BMW's statement about Sulphur.

www.biodiesel.co.uk/ecotec.htm#Life%20Cyc1e%20Emis...l

Quote"
Unlike diesel, RME, otherwise known as FAME -fatty acid methyl ester, except for contaminants does not contain sulphur and should not give rise to SOx emissions. The carton dioxide emissions produced when the fuel is used are a product of photosynthesis occurring in the previous year. Over the whole year there are no net, carbon emissions from the combustion of RME. One would expect net tailgate emissions of carbon dioxide and SOx (aside from contaminants) to be zero.
Carbon dioxide and SOx will however be emitted elsewhere in the life cycle.

Also on www.veggiepower.org.uk/main.htm

4. Biodiesel is 11% oxygen by weight and contains no sulfur.
The use of biodiesel can extend the life of diesel engines because it is more
lubricating than petroleum diesel fuel, while fuel consumption, auto ignition,
power output, and engine torque are relatively unaffected by biodiesel.

I hope for Andy's sake that there is no Sulphur in bio diesel, as I am sure he is aware of the infamous BMW sulphur problem, although I think that BMW's facts may be somewhat suspect
unless they can provide evidence to the contrary. Comments from the more scientific amongst us would be greatly appreciated.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Yep, BMW are talking utter tripe. This is the kind of misinformation that irritates me. Biodiesel contains far less sulphur than even City Diesel. It's a trace amount, in the same way that seawater contains trace amounts of gold or bottled water contains trace amounts of protein. They haven't a leg to stand on here. The two links mentioned above are just two independent sources of information about this. The University of Idaho research will also contradict what BMW have said. Have a look at this link -

www.uidaho.edu/bae/biodiesel/research/past_researc...s

Couple of paragraphs down it says:
"Vegetable oil contains negligible levels of sulfur and reduces emissions of sulfur dioxide responsible for acid rain. Vegetable oils are also more environmentally friendly in the case of a spill. the fuel is biodegradable, and will quickly break down, preventing long term damage to soil or water."

Put simply, biodiesel is made by taking stuff out of vegetable oil, not putting sulphur in. Yah boo sucks to them. ;-P

Oz, I'd love to know who you contacted about this so I can get in touch and basically laugh at them down the phone. Seriously though, I really would like to take this further. Can you post the contact here?
First fill of biodiesel - Dude - {P}
Andy, I wrote to the customer services department of BMW (GB) Ltd, regarding the lubricity of various brand derv fuels on the UK market, with particular regard to fuel pump lubrication under the very high pressures (1600 Bar) experienced in modern common rail diesel injection systems, leading to injection pump failure in some instances. The reply was totally vacuous, and included the following statement:- "Bio-diesel will not offer sufficient lubrication, and therefore the problems you have listed in your letter may be experienced".

If you wish to contact their Regional Customer Service Manager, he is called Bramwell Waring at their Bracknell Head Office. Tel 01344 426565
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Thanks Dude (are you and Oz the same person?!) My supplier is a founding member and spokesman for a national consortium of biodiesel producers whose lobbying resulted in the 20p per litre reduction in fuel duty on biodiesel. He's looking forward to chatting with Mr Waring.
First fill of biodiesel - Dude - {P}
Andy, Oz and I are not the same person, although we both share one thing in common by running BMW 320d SE Tourings
First fill of biodiesel - Glumfrog
Hi Andy

I've been following your most interesting correspondance concerning the above and you have convinced me of the environmental sense behind using biodiesel. Where is this Biofuels on the Castlereagh Road? How can you be sure that Mr de Winnie is not paying the usual "protection" money required in this part of the World?

Regards

Scundered
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Thanks for the reply Dude - it was just that I asked Oz for the name of his contact and it was you who replied, so I started to wonder. Too easily confused, that's my problem.

Hi Scundered (excellent username by the way!)

Terry de Winne operates from a business unit at no 174 on the Castlereagh Road - as I don't really know the landmarks, my directions would be a bit vague. You might be better sending an e-mail to him on terry@biofuels.fsnet.co.uk

I am absolutely positive that his business plan doesn't contain an entry in the "expenditure" column labelled "protection" (I have actually come across this in the past) - at this stage it wouldn't be worth their while!

What do you drive yourself?

First fill of biodiesel - Glumfrog
Sorry its been so long getting back but it has been one of those weeks.
I used to grive an old petrol drinking Renault but could not hold out to the £50+ per week running back and forwards to Lisburn eight times a week plus a little pleasure driving at weekends so now I drive an old 106 1527cc and am getting 62mpg on petrodesiel pushing it hard.

Hi Andy

I emailed Terry de Winne as you suggested, called up with him yesterday afternoon and purchased 70Litres of Biodiesel. I can see why you were so convinced about the expenditure side not including a protection col. I saw around the infant plant and spent an extreemly educational half hour chatting.

It was interesting hearing the Biodiesel kicking in for the first time and while its still early days i'm getting an enormous buzz out of realising that I'm using a 'waste product' to drive around with, that I'm creating less pollution and that I have escaped the clutches of the petro-giants after so many years of dependancy.

I was amused this morning when driving off from the local Leisure Centre with my 7 year old following swimming. He said that he could smell hot dogs and could we buy one. I don't think that he quite believed my explaination of the smell.

Thanks for all the valuable info in your Email string.

Regards

Scundered
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Hey, we must have just missed each other! I was down there around 2pm filling up.
I get the same buzz - it was a bit of a thrill for me to know that I was Terry's first customer, and the only one in NI to be using the stuff for a while! I'll be even more pleased when the price of derv goes up and I'm still paying the same for biodiesel.
Funny about the hot dog smell - I find that to be much more noticeable in the BMW than in the Seat. I wonder is it because the Seat is just a lot more fuel efficient than the BMW?
Let me know how you get on. How old is your 106, and how many miles are on it? I wonder if you'll notice a slight power boost as I have. Now that I've done about 1200 miles on biodiesel in the BMW, I'm waiting for the final service light to go out any time so that I can have a look at the old filter. I've been trying a bit of pedal to metal to see if there are any hiccups at higher revs, which would indicate some sludge starting to clog the filter up. I'm not sure if it's starting to happen or if I'm imagining it! Be interesting to see if and when it happens in your motor.
I've just moved offices at work and the guy I sub-let from drives an old shape M5, same colour as mine. It amuses me that two almost identical-looking cars are so completely different!
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Update - from about yesterday afternoon, I definitely started to notice a slight reduction in power. Today, I felt an even more marked difference in the way the car responds - overtaking in third with foot to floor was only just adequate. No hiccups or judders from the engine, just breathlessness. I reckon that as I anticipated, the crud at the bottom of the fuel tank is getting deposited on the fuel filter and starting to restrict fuel flow, now that I have done around 1600 miles on biodiesel. Still waiting for the last service indicator light to go out! I hope that this will be a fairly short-lived process, and that when I change the filter at service time the new one doesn't get clogged up as well. I'm glad I was expecting it - if I didn't know it was a minor side-effect, I might have started to panic a bit. The engine is even quieter, although that may be related to the restricted fuel flow. Hopefully another two or three hundred miles should do it - any more and I would start to worry about the fuel pump.
First fill of biodiesel - Shigg
Andy,

Keep the reports coming! It's good to get the info almost as it happens.

Steve.
First fill of biodiesel - Soupytwist
Andy

Little something for you from today's Guardian :

www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,892410,00....l

No the person you get yours from, but you're spoilt for choice in NI - wish it was the same here in the South East of England.


Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
First fill of biodiesel - David Lacey
Surely, aslong as the (Bio)Diesel fuel attains the BS EN590(??) rating, it should have no effect upon vehicle warranty etc?

MG-Rover Problems? forums.mg-rover.org
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Hello again folks, this would have been updated sooner only I've had a very busy time recently. One of the reasons for this (apart from work) is that I was on my way to sell my Clio, which I bought the BMW to replace, and running low on fuel I stopped at a roadside filling station and put a couple of gallons in. Not long afterwards, my engine died and to cut a long story short, it turns out that the fuel I bought had a lot of water in it and destroyed the fuel pump & injectors. What with towing, repairs, fuel analysis, etc, the total cost to me is about £1400. I now have the Clio back but have to go through the process of claiming the costs back from the retailer. The irony is that this wouldn't have happened if I hadn't run out of biodiesel. >-(

Anyway .....

Matt, I heard about these guys. They're a bit far from me, but it's good that it's becoming more widely available.
Dave, I haven't been paying attention to developments in industry standards recently so my knowledge is very likely to be out of date. I know that there have been developments in plans to introduce a pan-European standard for biodiesel, but I don't know yet whether or not this has been agreed. As well as viscosity, cetane rating etc, there has been debate about whether or not to include biodiesel made from waste cooking oil (as opposed to fresh vegoil) in this standard. I will post here if I come across any up-to-date information.

Back on topic - the BMW was serviced a couple of weeks ago, and has been running sweetly ever since. Apparently the fuel filter wasn't particularly dirty, but unfortunately I didn't get to see it as the other guy at the service shop didn't know I wanted it back, and burned it. However, just having new oil, fuel and air filters seems to have made most of the difference in making the engine run smoother, so perhaps there wasn't that much crud in there after all. It certainly has regained its performance (such as it is), and in the 1000 miles I've done since, I've been able to stretch it a few times, including on a trip to Co. Wicklow. Thing is, I may now have to sell this car before the Clio, which I really didn't plan for. It's just that if the process of getting my money back is prolonged I may have to relieve my cashflow situation, and the BMW will sell more quickly than the Clio.
First fill of biodiesel - Backo
Bio diesel is made from 95% diesel and 5% animal fats, the garage which I work sells it. Rix the company have been testing it for a few years now.
First fill of biodiesel - mark123
Hi i am looking for biodiesel around the sheffield area, do you have any good biodiesel site to check the nearest supplyer?
Many thanks
Mark
First fill of biodiesel - Group B
Hi i am looking for biodiesel around the sheffield area do you have any good
biodiesel site to check the nearest supplyer?



Use this site to search: www.biodieselfillingstations.co.uk/

I gave up trying to find a local supplier ages ago but checked last week and this place has been added to the list:

www.bioukfuels.co.uk/

If you try them out can you post back your findings? It will probably be a while before I get chance to go down there.
Has anyone else tried this supplier?
First fill of biodiesel - austin
hi all , just to say i also live in the north of ireland and have just started using 100% biodiesel in my citroen berlingo multispace 1.9d. it is priced at 58p per litre at coalisland in county tyrone and so far i have had no problems. I do remain coccerned about invalidating my warrenty using biodiesel but there is so much dodgy diesel available here biodiesel is probably the safer option. i also wonder if i am destroying my engine but everything appears fine. also i checked the 4car site and citroen apparently advice you not to use biodiesel yet puegeot say that its ok and both use exactly the same engine. i shall continue to use biodiesel cheers , austin
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Don't worry about destroying your engine - so long as you're using properly produced biodiesel (ie to a standard) you'll be fine. All diesel sold in France contains biodiesel, it's just obstinacy on the part of some vehicle manufacturers. As you point out, the same engine is used by both cars, so why doesn't Citroen introduce the same conditions? Sooner or later they'll all have to take it on board properly as VW and some others have done. As far as your warranty is concerned, I'd say just don't tell the dealer about it - save yourself an argument.
Now that I'm on the pure stuff again, I think I may have underestimated the mpg in the BMW - the fuel gauge doesn't seem to be very accurate so I'm doing a proper brim-to-brim fill. My last tankful only got me as far as 565 miles before the red light came on, at which point I assumed there was only a couple of litres remaining & which I thought was down to me booting it hard all the way to Wicklow & back. However, when I thought I'd get 79 litres in I struggled to squeeze in 74 to the brim, so there was at least an extra gallon left. Means I'd probably still have made it well past the 600 mile mark even with the heavy right foot.
How's life down in th'island? My sister-in-law is from there.
First fill of biodiesel - MalcN
Hi, I'm working up to trying Bio 95/5 in My Nissan Tino 2.2 Turbo Diesel. Currently waiting for Nissan UK to answer my question about warranties.

Anyone tried it in a 2001 Nissan 2.2 Turbo engine?


First fill of biodiesel - MalcN
Hi, I'm working up to trying Bio 95/5 in My Nissan Tino 2.2 Turbo Diesel. Currently waiting for Nissan UK to answer my question about warranties.

Anyone tried it in a 2001 Nissan 2.2 Turbo engine?


First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
The Austrian Biofuels Institute tested a number of engines for compatibility and posted the results on their site, which seems to be experiencing some difficulties at the moment. Still, if you go to www.biodieselfillingstations.co.uk/approvals.htm. and scroll down you'll see a number of vehicles listed. The Nissan Primera was one of the vehicles whose listing comes from the Austrian Biofuels Institute. I don't know whether or not exactly the same engine(s) from the Primera are also used in the Tino. Either way, if you use biodiesel from a reliable source it shouldn't cause any difficulty. Where are you planning to get your biodiesel from?
First fill of biodiesel - MalcN
Andy,

There's a small filling station in Brailsford, near Derby, that sells Rix 95/5 blend. Was thinking of trying that if the price is comparable. Trouble with small rural stations is they tend to be expensive.

Checked my manual an there's no detailed spec for fuel - just a minimum cetane rating.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
MalcN, I think that Rix sell a mix of 5% bio and 95% derv, rather than the other way round - I'd be glad to be corrected if I'm wrong on this. All diesel sold in France contains around 5% biodiesel and has done for several years, so it can't harm any cars available in that market. The Austrian Biofuels Institute was testing to 100% biodiesel, so anything less than that will be safe as well. As I've said above, if your car can take ULSD then it can take biodiesel so long as the biodiesel meets the standard for viscosity, cetane, etc.
First fill of biodiesel - MalcN
Andy, you are right. 95% mineral, 5% bio. Shame, hardly seems worth the effort.

But will give it a go if the price is good.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Still worth the effort! Much cleaner emissions, better for your engine due to high lubricity. The good news is that it shouldn't be more expensive than derv at that small percentage.
First fill of biodiesel - MalcN
Hi Andy,

from what I've read here and the reply I got from Rix, I decided to give it a go this evening.

Had 30l of Derv in already so topped up with 30l of the blend.

Here's the problem...I have to tavel five miles out of my way to get it and they charge 86.9p/l !!!!!! >:o(#

So it cost me 11.5% more. This is not going to be a regular occurance!

BTW, Nissan UK still don't seem to be able to offer an answer on Biodiesel nor does my local dealer.

Thanks for the advice.....

First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
86.9 pence per litre? Ouch! They must be making the biodiesel from fresh vegetable oil rather than waste oil from deep-fat frying. It's cheaper that way - I'm paying 75p a litre for 100% biodiesel made from waste vegoil, and I know the guys in Coalisland in Co. Tyrone are charging just 58p a litre, although that's to customers who bring in their own waste cooking oil.

It's possible that Nissan UK will be unable to give you an answer. Don't let that discourage you. Can't remember if it was on this thread or another one, but we had a quote from BMW UK to another member of the forum maintaining that they didn't recommend biodiesel because of high sulphur content and (I think) lubrication problems. My supplier contacted them directly to point out that biodiesel actually contains NO sulphur and is more lubricating than mineral fuel. There's a lot of ignorance out there.
First fill of biodiesel - MalcN
Hi,

seems that while I was at work Nissan rang. Seems I'm OK with Bio but they didn't state whether it was blended or pure.

The 86.9p is probably down to the fact the filling station was a two pump rural effort.

Anyway, lets see how it goes. I guess the more demand that's created the cheaper it will get.

Cheers
First fill of biodiesel - oldtoffee
>The 86.9p is probably down to the fact the filling station was a two pump rural effort.

Anyway, lets see how it goes. I guess the more demand that's created the cheaper it will get.

Hi,

At 86.9p per litre we're only 5p off the four pound gallon. Ouch!

I filled up with bio diesel (Greenergy - 95/5)for the first time yesterday in Bisley, rural Gloucestershire (a bit of a diversion to find it on the way home from a business meeting) and it was 84.9p which I thought was pricey but there seems to have been a general price rise this week of around 3p a litre. I suppose with other things happening in the news, I missed it!

Greenergy only have a handful of retail outlets including superstores (Sainsburys and Tesco) so I dropped an email to both of them expressing my interest in giving them my valuable business and urging them to roll it out. I got fairly positive responses from both suggesting that if they received enough demand then they will increase their coverage.







First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
I guess that's the advantage of using the pure stuff - my supplier has been keeping an eye on the oil market for the past couple of years and said in November that he knew a price rise was going to come into effect at the pumps as it had been "in the pipeline" for quite some time. However, not relying on OPEC or the will-they-won't-they Gulf situation means that he's able to peg the price of biodiesel at 75p a litre, even if derv went to £1. It costs him a bit in profit, as he could just keep his price at 3p a litre lower than the prevailing pump price, but he's trying to make a point - producing biodiesel in our own country can help to control fuel price rises.

There just needs to be a bit more tax incentive for biodiesel along the lines of what's already available for LPG.
First fill of biodiesel - daughters_with_cars
A friend of mine (in Aberdeen) made his own biodiesel in his garage by picking up local fast food waste oil (their usual collector had left them in the lurch) , and heating it up and mixing the ingredients himself.

He said it cost about 20p per litre (the cost of the methanol/ethanol (?) ) , and the only waste by-product was the heavy wax.

Said the car went really smoothly on it - very quiet. He doesn't do it any more since he is working abroad. ...
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Everything can be cheaper if you do it yourself, from growing your own food to building your own kit car! It is certainly relatively cheaper to make your own biodiesel, but unfortunately there are much higher costs involved in being a commercial producer. I don't know what the current price of methanol is - it varies with the price of oil, and even varies from supplier to supplier. But there are a lot more factors involved as well as the cost of methanol - your friend may not have included (or hasn't needed to include) the costs of heat, light, premises, NIC, staff costs, public liability insurance, employer liability insurance, etc, and doesn't need to worry about adding on enough to a sale price to make a commercial venture viable and make a living and a profit. As a commercial producer, you also have to allow for the cost of the oil in the first place - in order to make biodiesel with used oil you have to either buy the stuff from a waste oil collector (at a profit to them), or become a licenced waste oil collector yourself. Technically, even collecting one drum of used oil from your local chippie is illegal unless you have a licence! Obviously bulk producers can't get away with sidestepping this. Even from a health & safety perspective, if an individual decides to use chemicals like methanol and NaOH in a non-ventilated area without running water to hand (which is what tends to be the norm in a private garage) it's at their own risk, but again a commercial producer cannot ignore this factor from a public and employer liability perspective. Then VAT is charged on top of the basic cost price, then fuel duty. This is why it costs more to buy than to make for yourself, and why a more realistic tax regime is needed for commercial producers.

I should be running some in my Passat by tomorrow - I expect it to run nice & smoothly as well!
First fill of biodiesel - MalcN
Good news, the garage in Brailsford, Derbyshire is now selling Rix Bio Blend at 79.9/litre rather than the killer 85.9p it was a few weeks ago.

It's now cheaper than the DERV at most of the major garages round here!
First fill of biodiesel - MalcN
Been running my Nissan Tino 2.2 Turbo on Rix Bioblend for some weeks now and got through several tanks full.

The local service station near Derby has got his prices down to Derv levels - guess he's selling more!

Results? The car is quieter and seems to pull slightly better. The past two tanks full acheived over 40 per gallon - that's over 5% better than the last time I checked a year ago. I guess the engine could have loosened up as it's only 18 months old. Who knows?

Anyway, it's worth it for the quietness and pull - not to mention less fossil fuels being burned.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Excellent - congratulations!
Wow, it's while since I've seen this thread. I've been running the Passat on biodiesel for the past 5000 miles, so the clock just passed the 97k mark, and the difference is noticeable in terms of better acceleration and fuel economy. On a long run recently where I did a substantial amount of 90mph driving (outside the UK), I still managed to get the trip computer to read 59 mpg over 450 miles - I reckon that's probably around 55 or so in reality, which is fantastic. As for the Leon, it's now close to 25k miles, of which around 22-23k have been on biodiesel.
I will probably move the Passat on towards the end of the year, so that I can try to get hold of a BMW 320d. A guy who lives near me imported one three years ago directly from Germany - actually went over there to drive it home. He put every conceivable extra on it for £19k total, and we've discussed me having first refusal when he comes to sell. So I'm hoping that by the end of this year/early next, I should be able to take it off his hands for less than £10k. Now that'll be some car to run on biodiesel!
First fill of biodiesel - Soupytwist
Anyone in East Anglia (or beyond) may be interested to learn that Broadland Fuels is now selling biodiesel made by Global Commodities of Dereham by mail order. Details on their website www.broadlandfuels.co.uk/bio.htm

When I move to a new house with more secure storage facilities I'll be giving it a try.



Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
That's a reasonable price, just over 79p a litre including VAT for the pure blend. Good idea of theirs to deliver.

BTW Matt, you mention needing more secure storage facilities. If you mean fire-proof rather than theft-proof, you don't need to worry about that as biodiesel is just as explosive as vegetable oil. You can actually carry a drum of it in your boot without worrying about the consequences of being rear-ended.

I ran out of biodiesel at the end of last week and have been running on derv since, and won't be able to get any more bio till Wednesday :( . The car feels more sluggish and the fuel economy seems to be slightly down.
andymc
First fill of biodiesel - Soupytwist
I mean something other than my rather ramshackle and full shed !

As I don't have off street parking & live on a busy road I just want somewhere I can put the car that's right outside the house so I can fill up etc. without worrying about pedestrians, other cars and the like.

This may seem like a daft question but do you reckon that the drums would come with some sort of tap on to make it easy to get the stuff out ? I envisage decanting some into a jerry can and then filling up the car from there. I suppose you'd also need something to stand the drums on that's off the ground to make it easy to pour it out. Looks like I'll have to get involved in some amateur carpentry !

It is 79p a litre, which isn't bad but you have to pay delivery (unspecified cost) and there's a deposit on the drums too.


Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Probably worth asking Broadlands what they provide & pushing for something that's convenient for you, the customer. If the drums don't come with a tap, it should be easy enough to stick a hand-pump with a long suction pipe into them. I got one from a camping store for under a tenner - the pipe was about 4 feet long, but I cut it to fit the depth of the containers I use.

At 25 litres the drums aren't going to be that much bigger than a jerrycan holding 18. 25 litres is only 5 and a half gallons, more or less. My (plastic) drums hold about 25 litres to the brim - they're just about light enough to lift on your own. I usually get 4 in the boot of the Leon, plus 2 jerrycans and some in the tank. That lasts me over a month, and between myself and the wife we cover over 2k miles in that time. Maybe delivery wouldn't be necessary for you after all, if you could pick up your own occasionally.
andymc
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Re-reading this, the last sentence looks a bit waspish - wasn't intended to be!
andymc
First fill of biodiesel - Soupytwist
No problem with the waspishness Andy, my entire posting was an example of something I find irritating in others i.e. asking someone a load of questions about the practices of a company that they have never dealt with or probably even heard of !

I hadn?t thought of a pump but it?s the logical solution of course.

Broadland are based in Norfolk and while I?m an occasional visitor, it?s generally at the weekend and not when they?re open. It?s a bit far to go for a specific journey there and back in a day. Perhaps if I?m allowed to get a season for Ipswich Town FC again I could make a day of it ! Delivery on a Saturday morning would be ideal for me. It?s not beyond the realms of possibilty that I?ll end up buying a house with oil fired central heating so I could kill two birds with one stone on some occasions.

I currently run a Skoda Octavia with the same engine as your Leon and an Ibiza with the new PD unit. Ideally, I?d like to get it into the Ibiza before the warranty runs out so that any ill effects (not that I?m expecting any) can be sorted out by Seat, assuming of course that Broadland?s biodiesel meets the specification requried, I haven?t fully checked yet but I'd be surprised if it doesn't.

Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
First fill of biodiesel - Soupytwist
I checked the handbook for my Ibiza to see what it said about the use of biodiesel (referred to as RME). It specifies a certain cetane rating, which appears to be the general European standard for diesel fuel, whatever its provenance.

It also says that biodiesel users may experience a drop in performance and a rise in consumption, which goes against your experience. I?m more inclined to believe actual figures from someone who uses the stuff than vague indications of what may happen.

Interestingly, the service schedule book says that biodiesel users should change their fuel filters every 20,000 miles not every 40,000 miles, which is the usual interval. From what I?ve read about biodiesel, it?s use is likely to dredge up any accumulated rubbish in your fuel tank from regular diesel but once that?s done it?s cleaner, which should mean less frequent fuel filter changes not more frequent ones.

Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Yes, that can often be the case, although it hasn't happened with my Passat after 92k miles on dino, while it seems it did happen with the BMW after 97k miles on dino (scratches chin).

Sorry for the delay in replying, btw, I'm trying to dredge up some information for you about standards (including cetane ratings) and it's proving a little more difficult than I thought. Watch this space ...
andymc
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Right, got some of what I was looking for. Still not everything, but enough for the time being!

For now Matt, unless you trust your dealer (hah!), I don't think it's worth the potential hassle of explaining biodiesel to him - you'd win through in the end, but it could be a pain getting there. I'd just be wary of you having a genuine warranty claim on the fuel system, only for them to try and use biodiesel as an excuse not to honour it, even when the biodiesel has nothing to do with it. Also, as far as the terms of the warranty (which as you're aware lasts for a maximum of 60000 miles) are concerned, there are minor technicalities to be aware of ...

The biodiesel that Broadlands produce for a 5% blend meets the European EN 14214 standard, according to their site. That's good, but this standard is not due for implementation until October of this year. Until then, the VAG warranty will only cover the use of pure biodiesel that meets the DIN 51606 standard, which is marginally different in some respects - nothing significant as far as the engine is concerned, but it does have a different legal status in terms of your warranty.

Strictly speaking, biodiesel that meets this extremely high DIN standard can only be made from fresh (ie not recycled) vegetable oil, although in practice there is very little difference between them - in fact, it seems that the fuel made from recycled oil has a little more oomph than that made from fresh oil. Maybe that's why I notice the improvement! The new EN 14214 standard (which will replace DIN 51606) will include biodiesel made from both fresh and recycled oil.

I should point out that although the fuel I use is technically outside of warranty, it has no real distinction from the stuff that would be within the terms, apart from being made from recycled oil and therefore being cheaper. Physically/chemically it's virtually identical. I haven't had any problems in nearly 25k miles from new in the Leon, 11k miles from new in the Clio, 7k miles from 97k in the BMW or 5k miles from 92k in the Passat.
andymc
First fill of biodiesel - Soupytwist
I had no intention of notifying my dealer of the type of fuel I was using, for just the reason you mention, it was just that if there were to be any problems I?d still be able to get them sorted out under warranty. If they were to ask a direct question, then I?d have to consider my answer carefully and probably say something on the lines of ?Fuel that meets the specification set out in the handbook?.

By the way I did put a tankful of Broadland biodiesel blend in on Saturday while in Norfolk; at a ratio of only 5% biodiesel it?s a small step but at least I?m trying!

I know that my aunt, who lives in Norfolk, had intended to run her Clio diesel on Broadland biodiesel so I?ll have to speak to her and find out how she?s getting on.

Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Well the fact that your aunt's only using 5% means she shouldn't have any warranty issues at all.
Just picked up another boot full of biodiesel today, after filling the car last week. Including the 19 litres I managed to squeeze into the tank, I bought 156 litres. That should do me for a while ;). Had to be careful driving home though - all that extra weight in the boot made the suspension of the Leon feel a bit more like that of the Passat!
andymc
First fill of biodiesel - brambob
If anyone in the York area wants to buy Biodiesel a company called ID Oils is supplying it. They are on the A64 Scarborough Road about a mile East of the Hopgrove roundabout, opposite the Highwayman Cafe.

They produce a factsheet of information about the fuel and supply it at a very attractive 65.9 pence per litre.

On the factsheet they describe themselves as a supplier of Quality Cooking Oils and Registered Collectors of Waste Oils and Fats. It is apparently 95% recycled cooking oil and 5% additives.

I am on my second fill in a Mercedes C220CDI and everything seems fine so far although, perhaps imagination, but I am not sure whether I am quite getting the sudden turbo boost I had before when accelerating hard. I cannot decide whether the boost is missing or whether the acceleration is just smoother.

Previous postings on this thread have raised the issue of fuel filters requiring changing (or at least inspecting) more frequently and they do recommend this on the handout. They also suggest that "Rubber Hoses and seals should be chnaged every 100k miles to Flurelstomer Synthetic Hoses and Seals."

All further information welcomed particularly from longer term users, and drivers of Merecedes diesels.
First fill of biodiesel - JenSwallow
hi all just to say i also live in the north of ireland and have
just started using 100% biodiesel in my citroen berlingo multispace 1.9d.


In reply to Austin:- How did your Berlingo do on 100% biodiesel over time?

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 04/08/2009 at 01:38

First fill of biodiesel - Dynamic Dave
In reply to Austin


Unfortunately Austin last visited the forum on Thu 13 Mar 2003

First fill of biodiesel - 325TDS
hello i got my first fill off bio diesel today . i drive a 325tds . 59.9 pence a litre . its on the road to larne coming out off ballymena . just go over the first crossroads on that road and he is on the left TULLY CAR SALES you cannot miss it he has a yellow sign on the side off teh road . i see no difference in performance my beemer still flies . how much do pay for the bio diesel up in belfast . and whats closer to you b mena or belfast.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
I know the place. Drive past it nearly every day. I still buy mine in Belfast, in spite of the inconvenience. Unfortunately, biodiesel could not be sold at that price unless (a) the fuel was not of good quality (b) the duty wasn't properly paid, or (c) the vegetable oil was supplied free of charge. The latter is the least likely possibility.

For comparison, my supplier's retail price at the depot is 76 pence per litre, while the forecourt price at the filling station he supplies is 77.9 pence per litre. Having personally put 26000 miles on one car, 11000 on another, 8000 on another and 7000 (so far) on yet another, all using his fuel alone, I am sure that it is of a high standard, even if I doubted his claims to that effect - which I never did.

There was another fuel supplier who I will not name - not the one you mention, but not a million miles away - who sold "biodiesel" which was analysed and found to contain kerosene, as well as biodiesel. This is illegal because it meant that fuel duty had been evaded. This really irritates me, but then I have to remind myself of the statistic that something like half (or was it two-thirds?) of all fuel sold in NI is illegal in one way or another - smuggled/bleached/duty evaded, etc.

If your car was dipped with this fuel in it, it could be impounded and you would face a fine of around £700 for a first offence, plus the real possibility of a bill for "duty owed" based on the miles displayed on your odometer. I always get a receipt stamped with the name of my supplier's firm which says "duty paid" together with the amount of fuel sold and the price paid. As the C&E tend to be a lot more active here in NI, I just like to have the precaution. If you like, you can ask anyone selling biodiesel what standard it meets. If they can't even quote you the relevant European standards (DIN 51606 or EN 14214), then I think you should walk away.
andymc
First fill of biodiesel - 325tds
hello andy i asked the man where he gets his bio diesel . he said coalisland . do you reckon it could be dodgy stuff . at 59.9 pence a litre . it is used oil he has it in 2 big 1000 litres containers . and the customs check on him . as they never leave the ballymena area.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
325tds - unfortunately I can't be specific, but all I can add to the first paragraph of my post from Monday 4th August is that I will continue to buy my fuel from my usual supplier. Make of that what you will.
andymc
First fill of biodiesel - 325tds
hello andy can i ask what year is your bmw . that you run on the bio diesel . mine is a 1994 325 tds . when changing the fuel filter i noticed a lot off dirt . even black particles could this be rubber seals in the cars fuel delivery system being ate away by the bio diesel. the things which are in the bio diesel..
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
hello mate, sorry it took a while to get back to you. I'm not on my own machine right now or for another few days, & as I'm expecting an email about your previous query I'll pass on that for now.

I don't have the BMW any more, only had it for about 5 months, then sold it for a profit (which was nice). It was a 525 TD with only 115 bhp - just not powerful enough for a car that size. Lovely car for cruising down across the border & back up again, but not enough fun on the daily commute though. Also, while 37 mpg is good for a car that size, my annual mileage is well in excess of 20k, so it wasn't a good enough economic prospect over the longer term.

As far as your fuel filter is concerned, it shouldn't be a problem. Over time, a certain amount of sludge accumulates in the bottom of the fuel tank, and this gets cleaned out when first using biodiesel. All well & good, except that it ends up on your fuel filter, and can clog it if the car has done a lot of miles or has used a lot of low-quality fuel. Mine had 97k miles on it when I bought it, and as far as I remember it did seem to be affected by this after about 1500 miles or so on biodiesel, but the filter change at the first service sorted it out & I ran it on biodiesel for about another 6500 miles before selling it on.

As for rubber seals and lines, I think car manufacturers stopped using these by about 1993, but considering the year of your own car you should probably double-check that. The reason for changing over to synthetic rubber for seals and fuel lines was the advent of ultra-low-sulphur diesel in the early nineties, which could rot the natural rubber. As biodiesel can have the same effect, the outcome was that cars made from around 1993 on should not be affected. If your lines & seals are made from natural rubber and you're serious about using biodiesel, then it's a pretty inexpensive exercise to replace the appropriate bits with synthetic parts at your next service. However, I should also point out that by now, any natural rubber is likely to be so vulcanised as to be virtually impervious to the effect. Also, it's just as likely to happen with today's low-sulphur derv as with biodiesel, so it could be worth changing the bits anyway.

Not quite sure what your last sentence meant, btw. If you need any more information it may already have been mentioned above, but I'm happy to help out with any other questions you have.
andymc
First fill of biodiesel - Sooty Tailpipes
In a BMW 2.5 TDS, I've completed nearly 20,000 miles using straight vegetable oil, mixed with white spirit.

I use 6 litres of Wilko's white spirit as a surface tension and viscosity reducer, then top off with Supermarket Rapeseed oil (highly refined and degummed food grade with no additives)

I sometimes put some diesel in with it, (always in winter)

No problems, saved over £700

Car runs quietr and smoother, starts fine etc...

I change the oil and oil filter more often and the fuel filter every 10,000 miles as a precaution.

Passengers are amazed at the flower power.
First fill of biodiesel - Hugo {P}
I Saw an article on Top gear some months ago and they suggested a tea spoon of white spirit with a litre of veg oil.

Are the proportions the right way round?

H
First fill of biodiesel - Sooty Tailpipes
1 tsp = 5ml
1 ltr = 1000ml

Well, that's only 0.5% white spirit, I don't see what that can do, it won't reduce the viscosity much.
Maybe it is enough to reduce the gloopiness/surface tension of the oil so that it sprays/disperses better?

I use 10% ish, as this reduces the viscosity and the properties of the fuel seem much more like diesel.

Try pouring out most of the oil in a 3ltr bottle, and pour in about 10% white spirit, swill it round until it mixes and notice how diesel-like it becomes.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
See the "Top Gear and cooking oil" thread for a discussion on the pros, cons and legalities involved in doing this. Sorry, can't remember where to go to post short URLs.

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?f=4&t=81...8
andymc
Belfast biodiesel - Leon on Derv
Andy,

I called into the place on the Castlereagh Road evey day this week that bloke is never there. Has his business gone down the pan or do I need to make an appointment.

My other concern is the colour of this stuff. Is it yellow (as vegetable Oil is) because I have been told Rebated fuel in Europe is Golden Diesel. Having been nabbed by HMC&E once for having Tampered with fuel in my motor I dont wish to land another fine.

I like the notion of my motor running smoother, quieter and possibly with better MPG, but I won't be convinced until I have tried it.

Ever the cynic,
David

"never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly....."
Turbo? - ChrisSD
Hello. I have just bought a 1983 turbo-charged 1600cc diesel VW transporter van. I have heard that you cannot run biodiesel through a turbo system, is this true? The other drivers on this site seem to have turbo engines, I would be interested in your experience on this.

Chris
Turbo? - andymc {P}
David - Terry is usually only there from about lunchtime onwards. He was also hoping to move across to a larger unit in the same place, so this may have now happened. Do you have a contact number/email for him? It will be handier for you to arrange a time when he's there. If you visit www.biofuels.fsnet.co.uk/biobiz.htm , you will be able to email him by clicking on "Northern Ireland". Alternatively, there's a filling station in Crawfordsburn selling his fuel from the forecourt, although obviously it's a little more expensive than the price at the depot in order for the retailer to get his cut (77.9p, IIRC).

The colour of the fuel can vary, as it can be produced from a variety of vegetable oils - think of the difference in colour between olive oil and sunflower oil, for example. Generally, the fuel I use is a sort of golden honey colour - quite nice to look at! Depending on what car it's run in, the smell from the exhaust can be almost imperceptible, or can smell the way the air is when your neighbours are having a barbecue - quite nice, but unfortunately mouth-watering!

Chris - it's perfectly acceptable to run biodiesel in a turbo system - all the cars I've used it in have had turbos. With the age of your vehicle, it will have fuel lines and seals made of natural rubber - both biodiesel and ULSD can (note - not necessarily *will*) corrode these, so it may be advisable to change these for synthetic ones whichever fuel you use. As I've mentioned before, the fact that this is an older vehicle may well mean that the natural rubber parts are vulcanised and impervious to any corrosive effects.
andymc
common rail with biodiesel - michaelw
has anyone had any experience of running a common rail diesel on biodiesel, the injectors on my land rover discovery needed replacing after several thouand miles on biodiesel
common rail with biodiesel - andymc {P}
I used it for around 11-12k miles in a Clio dci, which is common-rail, without any problems. However, I sold the Clio in March of last year and I've been running the biodiesel in a couple of TDi's since, which aren't common rail.

This might sound silly, but are you sure that what you've been using is biodiesel? I'm not saying it isn't, but I am aware that there are some outfits around who will sell a variety of substances under the label "biodiesel", even though it could just be straight vegetable oil mixed with a solvent such as white spirit, or vegoil mixed with bleached (acid) red diesel, kerosene, petrol, etc. Using straight vegetable oil can coke up injectors, and the acid used to bleach red diesel is obviously less than kind to engines. I've become a strong advocate of not advertising a product as biodiesel unless it meets the industry standard, which is EN14214. If it's not an ester of the vegetable oil, I don't think it should be sold as biodiesel.

If you scroll through the thread above, there should be a link in there somewhere to the biodiesel discussion forum which has a UK section. It could be worth doing a search about your car there as well.

Have you replaced the injectors already? It might be that they just need a good dose of cleaner.
--
andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
common rail with biodiesel - michaelw
I make the biodeisel myself, have done about 40,000 miles in a citroen xantia using it and about 20,000 miles in a toyota hi lux, both with no problems, the injectors were replaced, and i still have the old ones.

I tried the biodiesel in a Clio dci but had problems starting, it appeared that the engine management system would not allow the engine to build up speed and it would die within a few seconds.
common rail with biodiesel - andymc {P}
Well, before I say anything else, more power to you for making your own - I haven't got the time (or more importantly, the dedication!) to make my own, I buy it from a commercial supplier.

As you've been making it yourself for so long, then these are probably teach-granny-to-suck-eggs questions, but I'll ask anyway to try and add my two cents:
What sort of washing method do you use, or do you choose not to wash the fuel?
Do you filter below 10 micron?
Do you bother with methanol recovery?
What sort of oil is your feedstock?

I guess you know what the first two are about. Methanol recovery is (partly) about preventing an explosive combustion process. The last is based on something my own supplier told me about some of his feedstock of waste cooking oil. Apparently a number of school canteens in one area (or maybe within one education board, I can't remember) started buying their frozen chips from a different supplier, whose chips were part-fried prior to freezing - in palm oil. This meant that even though the chips might be cooked in sunflower oil, there were traces of palm oil in what my supplier got as a feedstock.

Although the reaction went to completion, and his fuel was both washed and filtered, traces of what he called "palmitics" still managed to get through into the finished product. The thing about these is that even though they will get through a 10 micron filter at the production stage, in cooler temperatures they apparently "clump" together, (palm oil is solid at much higher temperatures than rape or sunflower oil). This can lead to, for example, clogging of a fuel filter. I wonder whether high palmitic content in the fuel could also lead to coked/clogged injectors.

The solution to the issue we arrived at was to either allow the fuel to settle a bit longer (in cold winter temperatures, I ended up with less than 1 cm sediment in a 25 litre drum after after 5 or 6 weeks), or add a small amount of derv to the mix (no need for more than 10%) to act as a solvent, and agitate before putting in the fuel tank. It shouldn't be an issue in summertime, though.

I think the fuel filter in the Clio was as fine as 10 micron or less, but I can't remember more specifically than that now. As I said before, I used the same fuel in the Clio without any problems - at cold temperatures (near or below freezing) I thought I noticed slightly rougher starting in both cars before we worked out about the palm oil issue, but there was never any actual engine running problem.

Hope any of this might be useful. Did you find anything useful on the Biodiesel Discussion Forum?
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andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
common rail with biodiesel - Passat TDI Man
Hi,

Can I use bio diesal in my 1999 Passat 110TDI ?? as my Local Tesco's now stocks it at the pumps

Thanks
common rail with biodiesel - Sooty Tailpipes
Yes, what Tescos sell, is this companies Bioblend.
It's just normal ULSD diesel with an insignificant 5% of biodiesel added for marketting purposes.
common rail with biodiesel - andymc {P}
I wouldn't call it insignificant - I can't dig out the source right now, but even B5 gives greater lubricity and a slight reduction in emissions of particulate, CO2, hydrocarbons, etc. Plus regular use means 5% less consumption of fossil fuels.
Any VAG TDi (including the engine in the Passat) is warranted for using 100% biodiesel that meets the industry standard. I've been using biodiesel in my own 1999 Passat TDi for about 17k miles, and it runs as sweetly as ever.
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andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
Veg oil and Isuzu Bighorn - Dan T
Hi, I recently bought an Isuzu Bighorn(trooper). Does anyone know whether I can add a percentage of pure veg oil to the tank and it still run ok.? Many thanks Dan
common rail with biodiesel - michaelw
fuel is water washed and allowed to settle for about a week, then filtered to 10 mictron. No methanol recovery is used, I think it is probably un-economic, methanol is only about 40p/ litre to buy.

Common rail sysem in Discovery TD5 is different to most others, including the Clio. In the Discovery the fuel is fed to the injectors at a pressure of about 4 bar. Within the injector there is a plunger that is operated by the camshaft via a rocker, this steps up the pressure (500 bar I think), for injection, which is controlled by a soleniod in the injector.

Because these type of injectors are slightly more complicated than other common rail injectors they are considerably more expensive(over £350 each from Land Rover) and they require very specialist equipment, which nobody appears to have, to service.

I haven't looked at the biodiesel discussion forum yet.

Thanks for your advice.
common rail with biodiesel - andymc {P}
Hmm - not sure if I can give you a definitive answer. Because the fuel is water washed, that should remove all methanol (took someone else to point that out, it slipped right past me!)

One thought I had was that the price you quote for methanol seems quite cheap - do you bulk buy? If not, are you sure that your methanol is pure? I checked with my supplier about this, and he told me that some commercial strippers contain acetone, which would cause polymerisation and thickening of the biodiesel, leading to higher viscosity. He also wrote the following:
"we have half a dozen verified cases of injectors being cleaned out by biodiesel, but never destroyed - the system as described is no big deal, though more complex".

Did your dealer give you a reason for the injector failure?

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andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
common rail with biodiesel - michaelw
Methanol is pure, I bought quite a large ammount some time ago, I understand that the price does fluctuate.

The reason for the change of injectors was a significant drop in power which was rectified by fitting some reconditioned injectors from a parts dealer in Sheffield.
common rail with biodiesel - cidersurfer
I have heard of people running old diesels on chip oil bought from local takeaways in big cans. (The chippies normally pay to get it disposed of) you run it through a coffee filter and away you go. When winter comes mix it with parafin or regular derv.

Not sure what the long term effects would be but if the car is old/on its last legs what's the harm (appart from the Tax man) and making everyone you drive past feel hungry!
common rail with biodiesel - andymc {P}
I have a few more questions, to try and give me a better understanding of what may have happened. You may have already discounted all of these, or feel you have provided the information, but bear with me!

Did the dealer provide a specific reason as to the cause of injector failure, and was he aware you were making your own fuel? I'm thinking about the possibility that the biodiesel has been blamed when there was another underlying problem. Also, how many miles had the engine run for before using biodiesel? It can clean out a lot of crud from the fuel tank and deposit it on the fuel filter, leading to the symptoms you experienced. I encountered this with the 525 TD, but a service (including a new filter) sorted it out. Did you have a service done at the same time the injectors were replaced, and are you absolutely certain the injectors are faulty/damaged - any inspection done?

Back to the fuel itself, you say you bought the methanol some time ago - are you confident you took all precautions to keep it dry over that time? I ask because of the tendency of pure methanol to absorb water from the surrounding atmosphere. Having said that, too much water in the methanol would make your biodiesel look like chicken soup, so it's unlikely that you'd put it into the fuel tank.

What's your feedstock oil - any tallows (animal fats) or palm oil in it?

That's all for now!
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andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
common rail with biodiesel - michaelw
The Land Rover suffered power loss, the fiter was changed, the biodiesel was changed for mineral diesel, the pump pressure was checked, all had no effect, when the injectors were changed the power returned. I still have the old injectors and am hopefully going to get them re-conditioned.

The methanol is in sealed 205 litre drums.

The feedstock may well contain animal fat.

The biodiesel that I make has always been used in other vehicle that have suffered no adverse effects.
common rail with biodiesel - andymc {P}
Hi Michael,
Just back from a heavy day (long drive, funeral, long drive back) so my brain isn't in top gear right now. With what you've said, at the moment I can only think of two possibilities:

1. the biodiesel may contain tallows which increase viscosity, especially at lower temperatures, leading to excessive strain on the injectors. However, I would have expected fuel pump damage if this were the case, and also that the fuel filter would have become clogged before any damage happened.

2. the injectors were faulty for some other reason not connected to the biodiesel, as the same fuel was used in other cars with no ill effects.

One other question, had you tried running a dose of injector cleaner (Miller's?) through the system before changing the injectors? I know that the effect of biodiesel is normally to clean injectors, not clog them, but I'm just trying to consider all possibilities.
I'll have a think about this tomorrow and see if anything else suggests itself - too knackered to come up with any more right now!
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andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
common rail with biodiesel - michaelw
Thanks for your thoughts,

I didn't try any injector cleaner,however when I changed the filter (prior to changing the injectors) there was a small ammount of water in the sediment bowl.
common rail with biodiesel - andymc {P}
All diesel is permitted to have a small amount of water content, but the standard for biodiesel allows for more water content than derv. As far as I remember, the recommendation by VAG if using 100 biodiesel all/most of the time is to drain off the fuel filter once in between services (but don't quote me on that!).
Did you drive the Disco at all after changing the filter but before changing the injectors?
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andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
common rail with biodiesel - michaelw
I drove it after the filter was changed there was no change, ie. still reducuced power
First fill of biodiesel - badmedic
just bought a 2002 laguna 1.9dci put half a tank of 100% biodiesel in it, it cut out within 4 miles showing an injector fault. recovered to a renault dealer. now looking at about a £1500 bill if the injectors show faulty, they have gone to be tested.
If they show ok then the renault mechanics get their white sticks out I suppose
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Couple of questions:
Are you sure it was biodiesel, not vegetable oil or vegetable oil mixed with "thinner"?
Are you sure it was properly produced?
It's a new car to you - are you sure there wasn't a pre-existing fault with the injectors?

I have substantial doubts that biodiesel would cause injectors to seize within 4 miles - I'm aware of people who've been using it in PD and common rail engines for thousands of miles without a single problem. I have too, but both my cars are TDi, not PD/common rail - however I did use it in a 2001 common-rail Renault Clio dci without any problems for nearly 12000 miles from new.

What I'd be afraid of is that main dealer mechanics will jump on the first thing they can to hit you with the big bill, even if there might have been a fault there all along that the vendor (if a trader) should be responsible for rectifying. Hope it turns out ok.
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andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
First fill of biodiesel - badmedic
I am sure it was biodiesel, had a look round where they make it.
Saw all manner of cars and trucks filling up from their pump so I know it works.
I spoke to the dealer I bought it from he just said "biofuel mate renault say its no good for their cars, down to you". As I thought no help but understandable from his point of veiw.

Was there a pre existing fault.. well I will never know now..

As fro the renault dealer.... well when asked they said if its now the injectors then the mystery begins. it appears they dont think anymore they just plug it into a computer and it tells them whats wrong looks like if it isnt the injectors we are in for hours of chargeable labour boy am I not looking forward to that.
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Hmm. First off if you aren't under some sort of extended warranty provided by Renault, you might be better off going to an independent. Secondly, if it turns out the problem was caused by the fuel, it would do no harm to ask the supplier what standard the fuel is made to - it should meet fuel standard EN14214 (although they may quote DIN51606, the German standard which used to be the accepted one for all Europe until EN14214 was brought in).

If it's not the injectors, it could be electronic, it could be the fuel pump, it could be nothing to do with fuelling at all.

NB don't just assume/accept it's because of the fuel - I once advised someone to challenge their dealer's assertion that injectors developed a fault due to biodiesel use, after I found out that injector failure was a known fault with that particular engine. Dealer subsequently admitted biodiesel use wasn't the issue after all and that it was exactly the same fault they had seen in other vehicles, and refunded the hundreds that had been spent on new injectors.
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andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
First fill of biodiesel - badmedic
Update
Its not the injectors
which leads me down the path that it wasnt the fuel, which on one hand makes me happy Injectors at £235 each was not going to make me happy.

On the other hand I know they are now scratching their heads....

its showing an injector fault, I know fuel is being delivered to the injectors, I now know the injectors are ok car turns over but the fuel is not igniting (I know thats the wrong term for diesel).
All bio diesel has been drained and approx 2 gallons of dinodiesel put back in.. still no luck..

So for me its not fuel feed its electronic.....
First fill of biodiesel - Camchain
Hi, Hope you find a solution to this.

There are some main dealer techs on the *Car Mechanics* forum who may be able to comment.
www.carmechanicsmag.co.uk/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl

First fill of biodiesel - curiousgirl
Hi Andy was searching for more info on bio diesel online and came across this thread. I drive a 1999 Rover 220 Td and am interested, where is your supplier, still east belfast? I live in North Belfast but my parents are in east belfast, don't mind travelling. I assume you still use biodiesel.
Thanks Curiousgirl
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Curiousgirl,
Hi there, sorry I didn't see this before. He has relocated to Carryduff, it's a little further out.. Much bigger facility which has taken some months to install and set up right - he had to stop production for a while. Should be restarting any day now though. I'll be talking to him this week so will be able to let you know what the story is.
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andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
First fill of biodiesel - badmedic
Now driving a 220 cdi merc w plate will this run on biodiesel I saw brambob had his on it but reported cold start problems which to me sugested pump of glow plugs is use feasable in this car?
First fill of biodiesel - andymc {P}
Should be usable without any problem if the fuel is produced to the European industry standard. With the advent of second generation common rail/PD injectors, 100% biodiesel may not be appropriate, however a blend of up to 30% in these newer technology engines should be feasible. As most of the fuel advertised as "biodiesel" is a blend of only 5% bio to 95% mineral, I can't see you having a problem as long as you're sure the fuel meets the standard. A 5% biodiesel blend must meet exactly the same standard as any "normal" diesel fuel.
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andymc
Vroom, vroom - mmm, doughnuts ...
First fill of biodiesel - badmedic
Was planning to run on 100% but could run on 20 litres bio to 40 dino which is about 30%

more bio the better for me rather run on SVO if I could

biodiesel - BMW 330D SPORT 2002 - allyuk
Hi mate,

I see you have used biodiesel in your BMW - can you advise regarding my 330?

Would I have any problems with using 100%?

What happened with yours when it cost you alot in repairs?

Many thanks,
Ally
First fill of biodiesel - johnwasson

hi andy i run my mercedes vito on bio and looking a supplier can i ask do you have a number for your supplier and how much per litre is it thanks

 

Value my car