Running Trucks on Biodiesel

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Johnson LCO, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. Johnson LCO

    Johnson LCO LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    Many posts raise questions about biodiesel (most about the rising cost of fuel) and I have yet to find a thread on just biodiesel, so i thougt I would start one. Also I have some questions for those of you currently running it.
    1.It is established that B100 (pure biodiesel) begins gelling around 40 F.

    2.It cleans the tank and hoses so fuel filter must be changed often when switching (so also say to change the oil more often as well)

    3.Pure bio can eat through tubes,gaskets and seals on trucks older than mid 90's.

    I am wondering if anyone has had any negative experiences with biodiesels besides the known pitfalls. What prices do you get your b100 at, I have heard it is more expensive than regular diesel unless you produce it yourself.

    I have read that producing biodiesel is inexpensive per gallon but requires an initial investment of a few grand. There are also many ways to make it along with many different ingredients. If anyone out there produces their own I would like to know which ingredients (SVO vs WVO, lye vs other) you use and why. Also I would like to know how producing your own b100 is working out for you overall. Thanks

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    good thread i have also read about the many problems with it gelling in the cold so that is a problem i have some links that have some good info ill have to find them for u
  3. jimmyburg

    jimmyburg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 701

    You are correct i have been runnig B-100 through mine for years, when the weather starts to get cold I switch to B-20 or 80/20 or 50/50. I start planning to make my own in the spring. I'll let ya'll know how it works.
  4. Johnson LCO

    Johnson LCO LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    A lot of people online show they have built their own rigs but I dont think I have the time and patience to do that. I am honestly considering getting a kit to make a converter of WVO to biodiesel. I am currently looking at this one place that seems pretty reputable. But really I dont want to just go out and buy a 3 thousand dollar peice of equipment unless I have heard something about it from real people unassociated with the company. Here is what I am looking at now....

    It seems pretty simplistic and from what I can tell it achieves all of the chemical process needed to convert WVO to biodiesel.
  5. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,594

    There are several companies that make setups like the one you show. All of them are in the same price ranges. All of them do the job about the same. Spike TV's Trucks program did a couple programs on BioDiesel as did Sundance. Discovery/Science Channel both have programs running on it. has a good article on making your own.
  6. JoshC

    JoshC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    I'm not sure if this is accurate or not, but doesn't REAL Biodiesel have basically the same properties as regular diesel? I thought it was only WVO that had issues with gelling at colder temperatures? I know a lot of guys run regular diesel at start up so that the WVO can get warmed up, and then again at shut down to remove any of the WVO from the lines.
  7. Johnson LCO

    Johnson LCO LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    Well biodiesel is essentially processed WVO, so they tend to gel at the same temps.
  8. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    I have been told it cost more per gallon and not as good on mpg?????:confused::confused: Don't really know for sure because you can't get it close by.
  9. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,445

    Not quite. It is in the middle for gelling tendency. Wvo needs to be in the 150 degree range to flow properly.

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    I don't know a whole lot about this. you can probally find a lot more information on I have heard though that it doesn't get as good of milage, there is a fairly expensive initial investment then you have to go around getting the used cooking oil from resturants, plus it is not as good for your motor. From what i have read, it is better for the environment, but not necessarily for your wallet or your truck. But this is coming from the lazy guy who likes the idea of pulling his Duramax right up to a pump and saying "filler up Goober."

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