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Anyone run Bioidiesel in NO.2 oil burners?....Boilerpro

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Jamie Hall
Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,324
Ethanol is only in gasoline, not biodiesel. Sorry about that.

Talking with some friends in the rail industry, so far the only problems they've had are cost (it's usually more expensive) and algae growth in the filters.
Br. Jamie, osb
Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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  • Boilerpro_5
    Boilerpro_5 Member Posts: 407
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    Possibilities....

    Being here in the Rural midwest, Biodiesel (5% and 11%?)and regular diesel are about 15 to 20% less expensive than heating oil and I was wondering if there would be any problems burning diesel in regular burners. Just about everything I see has indoor tanks. I understand it is best to stir the Biosdiesel tank as things tend to seperate some.

    Boilerpro

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  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
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    Hmmm...

    I've been told that heating oil providers up here in Boston use Diesel and heating oil interchangebly (the latter has a dye for tax purposes.) I use B5 w/o adjustments or issues.
  • Mitch_4
    Mitch_4 Member Posts: 955
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    depending onthe burner you are using

    > Being here in the Rural midwest, Biodiesel (5%

    > and 11%?)and regular diesel are about 15 to 20%

    > less expensive than heating oil and I was

    > wondering if there would be any problems burning

    > diesel in regular burners. Just about everything

    > I see has indoor tanks. I understand it is best

    > to stir the Biosdiesel tank as things tend to

    > seperate some.

    >

    > Boilerpro

    >

    > _A

    > HREF="http://www.heatinghelp.com/getListed.cfm?id=

    > 393&Step=30"_To Learn More About This

    > Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in

    > "Find A Professional"_/A_



    Sutec pumps has a space ont their website http://www.suntecpumps.com/

    Click on biofuels. They are ok with up to B5, but are concerned with anything higher affecting seals.

    Mitch
  • Dave_4
    Dave_4 Member Posts: 1,405
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    I believe No. 2 and off-road (ie for tractors, machinery, etc)diesel are the same. The off-road diesel is dyed (purple, I believe).

    On-road diesel has less sulfur and is for use with vehicles.

    At leas, that is my understanding here in NY. I know you don't want to get pulled over by the NYSDOT with a tank full of purple fuel.

    Tim
  • Mitch_4
    Mitch_4 Member Posts: 955
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    depending onthe burner you are using

    Sutec pumps has a space ont their website http://www.suntecpumps.com/

    Click on biofuels. They are ok with up to B5, but are concerned with anything higher affecting seals.

    Mitch
  • Steamhead (in transit)
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    Dave, as I understand it

    oil burners are only UL approved for fuels that meet their commercial standards. As far as I know, no commercial standard has been approved for Bio. Therefore, using Bio would void UL approval and would probably mean if we install or service a burner running Bio we'd be working outside our licenses.

    Now, I'm not against Bio, but if something should go wrong....

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  • Joe@buderus_2
    Joe@buderus_2 Member Posts: 302
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    Biofuel

    At this time the use of bio-fuel in a Buderus boiler would void the warranty. With very little regulation here in the U.S. regarding bio-fuel testing is nearly impossible. Also burner manufactures have also expressed concerns with effects bio-fuel will have on their equipment. It is best to check with the equipment manufacture for their position.
  • JimH
    JimH Member Posts: 89
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    bio standard

    Biodiesel is covered by ASTM standard D-6751. A lot of it
    gets burned in 18 wheelers here in the upper midwest. Testing is pretty rigorous, since tens of millions of dollars worth of diesel engines are exposed to it daily.

    While commercial bio is a high quality, consistent product,
    if Billy Bob picks up waste oil from the local chinese
    restaurant and cooks up the bio in his garage the results
    can be problematic.

    I would hope that if a homeowner were to burn bio, and had
    a paper trail to prove it was delivered to the address where the boiler resides (to prove that it is commercial
    quality) that the manufacturer would honor the warrantee.

    Ironically, the biggest problem with bio is that it cleans
    all the gunk from the petro product out of the system. This
    causes filter clogging problems for a while.

    -JimH
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
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    plus...

    I would argue that the most critical component in a burner design remains the pump and the attendant seals. If Suntec gives the OK to run B5 with all of their A+B pump seals and B20 for pumps manufacturerd as of this year (IIRC), then I continue to sleep well at night.

    Ms. Vitola has had nary a hiccup with the B5 we've been feeding her for two years, so while I understand why manufacturers want to cover their rears by voiding warranties for biodiesel use, I thought the 2006 NAOHSM presentation should have been the kick-start for some rigorous testing.
  • [Deleted User]
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    The standards lab

    that tests biodiesel reported 50% of what they tested was out of spec on at least 1 parameter last year.

    Until UL passes on bio use in oil heating equipment (& gets their tribute), the risk is yours. Caveat Emptor.
  • Maine Ken
    Maine Ken Member Posts: 531
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    If a customer tells me they are running bio I walk away immediately. Not approved, not legal, not happening!!!

    Even though our Governor is pushing it...

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  • JimH
    JimH Member Posts: 89
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    > that tests biodiesel reported 50% of what they

    > tested was out of spec on at least 1 parameter

    > last year.

    >

    > Until UL passes on bio use in oil

    > heating equipment (& gets their tribute), the

    > risk is yours. Caveat Emptor.



  • JimH
    JimH Member Posts: 89
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    > that tests biodiesel reported 50% of what they

    > tested was out of spec on at least 1 parameter

    > last year.

    >

    > Until UL passes on bio use in oil

    > heating equipment (& gets their tribute), the

    > risk is yours. Caveat Emptor.



  • lee_7
    lee_7 Member Posts: 458
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    heating oil and diesel fuel are the exact same with the exception of heating oil is dyed red for tax reasons. If you have a diesel are are found to have the red stuff in your fuel filter, look out for the fine, around $10000.
  • doug_14
    doug_14 Member Posts: 15
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    BIOHEAT

    I HAVE BEEN USEING 50/50 SINCE NOV OF 2006. I JUS REFILLED MY TWO 275 BASEMENT TANKS SAT WITH 50/50 .I TOOK A QUICK PEAK IN MY BOILER AFTER THE FIRST 475 GALLONS AND WAS VERY PLEASED WITH HOW CLEAN IT IS (I UNDERSTAND THE PUMP ISSUE AND HAVE A SPARE ON THE SHELF NEXT TO THE FURNACE ) THIS IS MY OWN LITTLE TEST THAT DOING. I'AM USING ASTM 6751 APPROVED B99.9
  • maine rick
    maine rick Member Posts: 107
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    maine ken, check with the state i beleive we can service the unit,

    ricky maine
  • Maine Ken
    Maine Ken Member Posts: 531
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    Rick, Under what authority???

    Check your license Rick. 1&2 fuels up to 15gph. Nothing about Bio.

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  • kevin coppinger_4
    kevin coppinger_4 Member Posts: 2,124
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    very cool....

    anything to reduce our depenence on foreign oil.....kpc

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,324
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    watch out for...

    your seals: some seals (particularly o-rings) are destroyed by ethanol. Up to 10 percent, maybe; beyond that, I'd sure want to know that the seal was designed for it.
    your corrosion: ethanol -- in any quantity -- enhances corrosion; pipes, tanks, everything.
    water: ethanol containing fuels soak up a lot of water. This can cause freeze-up problems; it can also cause light-off and combustion problems.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Boilerpro_5
    Boilerpro_5 Member Posts: 407
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    I'm curious....

    i wonder what percentage of regular diesel fuel or No.2 was also out of spec on at least one perameter?

    Boilerpro

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  • maine rick
    maine rick Member Posts: 107
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    for maine ken

    maine ken ,sorry for the delay. been busy
    i went to a codes update class june of 06 there was 3 state inspectors giving the updates. the class was told that we can service units that burns bio.
  • [Deleted User]
    Options
    Mind if I

    jump in? Did the Inspectors say they have the authority to back you, & tell the insurance company to take a hike, if you service a UL approved unit, burning a non UL approved fuel in that piece, & it soots up a home, or is the source of a fire?

    Don't break anything looking @ your 6 waiting for them to show. They won't be there. Nor will the Governor.
    Until Lord & Master UL rules, "discretion" should be the watch word around bio burning oily burners. You might want to check the fine print in your insurance policy. Lawyers rule.
  • maine rick
    maine rick Member Posts: 107
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    ron i was only stating what was said. you would have to check with them to see if they will back you. i work for an oil and service company and they only service there oil accounts so i do not have to go that route.
  • Glen
    Glen Member Posts: 855
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    good site with many links

    http://www.agri-greenbiodiesel.com/
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
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    What are you firing?

    I thought ethanol was only used in Otto engines, not diesel. The seal issues (I thought) are due to SBR or whatever they traditionally used not being particularly tolerant of vegetable oils. Changing the seal material to Viton solves that problem, IIRC.

    According to the NAOHSM powerpoint presentation I saw, Suntec was able to upgrade it's latest series of A+B pumps to accept up to B20 with just seal material changes.
  • Mitch_4
    Mitch_4 Member Posts: 955
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    Its not on the website

    Constantine..I heard that as well, but the Suntec website still only says B5. Until its there I would not use B20.

    Mitch
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
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    I agree...

    ... and B5 it has been for 2 years with nary an issue. We did have an oil leak early on in the life of the Suntec on top, but it was still running 100% dino fuel at that point.
  • doug_14
    doug_14 Member Posts: 15
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    HOW LONG

    HOW LONG DID YOU RUN 100% & WHY DID YOU DROP TO 5%
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
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    100% dino fuel, not bio fuel

    See message above. We started with regular #2 heating oil (i.e. up to 1,700PPM Sulfur and all that) and later in 2005 switched to a ultra-low sulfur and biodiesel blend. IIRC the low-sulfur fuel was spec'd at up to 50PPM sulfur.

    The results have been dramatic. Where the heat exchanger inside Ms. Vitola used to be covered with a crust of yellow sulfur (along with a thin layer of black soot), she now has little to no soot (which is brown), and no sulfur in sight. Makes cleaning her much easier and less unpleasant. Plus, a clean HX = better heat transfer.

    I have no plans to run higher bio-blends as availability and my current set of pump seals are an issue. IIRC, a local fuel co-op (Mass Energy) is using consumers' homes as test sites, running B10 with a grant from some organization. I seem to recall promises to repair any equipment damage that results from these higher B-blends, but that might just be wishful thinking.

    Fundamentally, the most important thing is probably to actually maintain your equipment, look it over, and detect issues before they turn into problems. For example, pulling/inspecting the Vitoflame burner is so easy on Ms. Vitola, I'm not sure why I don't do it monthly. Maybe it's that newborn in the house.
  • [Deleted User]
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    I would venture

    a fair amount. Those fuels have been around long enough so the solutions are known. Not so bio. The effects on diesel engines & injectors, over the long haul, are still unknown. And that is w/ the correct brew. What other possible problems could bad batches cause? The same can be asked of oil burning equipment.

    Last winter in the upper mid-west, large numbers of trucks were out of commission for long periods due to bio gelling. The cause? Probable bad batches of bio.

    Was on Power Service's (www.powerservice.com) site last evening. They sell lots of diesel treatment. Their bio-diesel anti-gelling product (up to 20% bio) calls for doses 3 times higher than for straight diesel. Somewhere the higher $$$ cost of bio, treatment, down time, & potential down-the-road problems, should get some consideration.

    Shouldn't we assemble more pieces before we frame the puzzle & hang it on the wall?
  • Eric Johnson
    Eric Johnson Member Posts: 174
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    Not anymore

    Onroad diesel is now limited to 15 ppm sulfur. Off-road diesel is at 500 ppm. Heating oil can be up to 1,500 ppm sulfur content. They used to all be 1,500 ppm, but not no more.
  • chapchap70_2
    chapchap70_2 Member Posts: 147
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    Cost?

    From what I understand, it takes 2.8 bushels of soybeans to make 1 gallon of biodiesel which has a slightly less btu content than fuel oil. Soybeans last traded for $7.89 on the commodities exchanges which would mean the cost per gallon of biodiesel is over 22 dollars. I am guessing this price excludes the cost of getting the soybeans converted into biodiesel. I know glycerine is a valuable by-product used to make soap but I don't know how much this would offset the costs.

    Are the subsidies from top to bottom to make the biofuels cost competitive with distillate fuels worth it?
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
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    Smile and wave

    You all keep telling yourselves that you have found the answer. You haven't. Smoke as much reefer as you want, your pipe dream is just that, a pipe dream. Biodiesel eh? Sorry.....not gonna happen and a good thing too. More pollution than what we have now. Google it. Wanna save the earth?? You can't. You can't destroy it so you can't save it. But you all know better than me eh?
    Alex
  • sg_4
    sg_4 Member Posts: 10
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    your numbers are faulty. I can find gallons of vegetable oil online for between 4-8 dollars.

    It is interesting how misinformation happens. this is not directed at any posters here. A quote from a cnet article

    >>>
    The popularity of biodiesel--made from vegetable matter intead of fossil fuels--"will tighten the supply of vegetable oils," William Camp, executive vice president of Archer Daniels Midland, said during a presentation at the ThinkEquity Partners Growth Conference in San Francisco.

    Because agricultural prices typically fluctuate with supply levels, the vegetable oil shortage could cause food prices to rise.
    <<snip>>

    According to Camp, part of the problem is the amount of oil required. It takes 7.5 pounds of oil to make one gallon of biodiesel.

    Next, add the expansion plans. Archer Daniels Midland has already

    >>>>

    Hmmm, it made me wonder, what veg oil weighs........you guessed it, 7. 5pounds per gallon........eeeediots


  • chapchap70_2
    chapchap70_2 Member Posts: 147
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    Is vegetable oil the same as biodiesel?
  • sg_4
    sg_4 Member Posts: 10
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    re

    There needs to be some soap making between the two. You can run a car on veg oil, but it needs to be preheated. One would assume a similar deal with a boiler.
  • chapchap70_2
    chapchap70_2 Member Posts: 147
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    My source

    My understanding was incorrect because I failed to digest the quote below properly. If my math is correct, this group figured about 1.2 gallons of biodiesel per bushel of soybeans before processing (gross). Another source I located has the gross yield at 1.4 gallons per bushel. If I digested the quote properly, I would NOT have guessed that it took 2.8 bushels of soybeans to produce 1 gallons BEFORE processing/converting. It should have been obvious but I missed it while trying to convert kWh's to BTU's.



    "Theoretically, a bushel of soybeans could produce approximately 128 kWh of electricity. If processing were not considered the cost per kWh would be an unremarkable $0.04. However, processing requires about 2.8 bushels of soybeans to produce a gallon of soyoil and a gallon of soyoil yields only 38 kWh of electricity. The inefficiencies involved in processing reduce the potential kWh from 358 (128 x 2.8) to 38, a ratio of 9.4:1. Doing the arithmetic, 2.8 bushels priced at $5 per bushel indicates a commodity cost of $14 to produce 38 kWh of electricity, a commodity cost of $0.36 per kWh. The gasoline price equivalent is $13.18 per gallon, or approximately 10 times the price of gasoline. (36.62 kWh/gal of gasoline x $0.36 per kWh = $13.18). Moreover, the cost per kWh ratchets upward with increasing prices at the farm level, $0.44 at $6 soybeans, $0.51 at $7, and $0.59/kWh at $8. With a commodity cost of $4.50 the kWh cost would be $0.33. Under Senator Dayton's subsidy legislation, there would an additional $0.06 or more per kWh increase, to more than $0.39 per kWh gasoline equivalent."

    That was taken from the following website:

    http://www.mnforsustain.org/erickson_dell_minnesotas_energy_future_part_IIIB.htm#Biodiesel &amp; Soybeans
    Sorry, I don't know how to (hyperlink?).

    edited
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 420
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    Hey chap chap

    I suppose this brings up a good question: what is the true price of oil? Many industries in the US are subsidized or protected from foreign competition. It's why our drinks and foods are sweetend with corn syrup instead of sugar, for example. Many US crops are exported worldwide with subsidies that make them cheaper than the local produce in many countries... without such subsidies, the trade would greatly diminish.

    Similarly, the oil industry is currently benefitting from years of sweetheart deals re: oil revenue sharing with the government. Profits have never been higher... yet by your logic should we not charge the oil industry a tax that reflects how many military assets the US deploys to ensure that oil reaches its ports? For example, the cost of keeping the straits of Hormuz open with multiple carrier groups is not trivial.

    I favor market-based solutions more than anything. However, you have to start with a level playing field. Until the government stops meddling in the market by subsidizing, price-fixing, and creating barriers to trade there is no way to accurately assess what a commodity is really worth. Even in the absence of such meddling, you need to benefit from a market that is liquid, very large, and with lots of buyers and sellers. Given the consolidation on the buy side in the US, there are fewer and fewer goods for whom markets still meet that measure.

    This is not bust on the US. Most governments on the planet suffer from trying to pick winners and losers, making subsidies, and other nonsense that interfere with the efficient functioning of markets. That's not to say that government oversight is not needed (consider safety, legal oversight, collusion-busting, etc.) but in many instances its role could be reduced to the benefit of all.

    Thus, properly acounting for the "true price" of a commodity in a market that has been manipulated in multiple manners is something I'll leave to other people.
    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • kg
    kg Member Posts: 1
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    re




    Soybean oil [mazola] 8.50 per gallon, at the local Shaws
    corn oil[generic] 7.50
  • chapchap70_2
    chapchap70_2 Member Posts: 147
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    Constantin

    I know there are subsidies given to "big oil" which doesn't make sense. I don't think they amount to anywhere near what alternative fuels get. Transparency would be nice at all levels because the harder it is to understand the money, the easier it is for masses of people to get duped. As it is now, it is hard to make sense of all this mumbo jumbo.

    All many consumers understand is what the price per gallon is and that the fuel is good for the environment and reduces our dependency of foreign oil. Is it good if that is the result of a marketing campaign of the ones receiving the subsidies paid for with subsidy dollars?

    Stanford University came out with a study stating in short that Ethanol could be more harmful for the environment. Now there is more stuff to digest. I think the question in most peoples' minds will not be whether the findings are true. It will be "who paid for the study?".

    http://www.biofuelsjournal.com/articles/Stanford_University_E85_Pollution_Study_Author_Disputes_Claim_of_Big_Oil_Influence-43804.html

    If the price per gallon at the pump reflected actual costs, how many people would overlook all the concerns and be hog wild for it?


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