Biodiesel in America

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy' started by uRabbit, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. uRabbit

    uRabbit Well-Known Member

    I understand the complexities surrounding the introduction of a 'new' fuel. As you know, biodiesel is nowhere near where it should be. One day, maybe, 100% BioD will be an option at the pump... Every pump.

    Until then, what does America need to do in order to get it going?
    Obviously, we need manufacturers to WANT to produce diesel vehicles. In order for that to happen, diesel/BioD has to be appealing enough to consumers to create a need. What is more appealing than BioD? I cannot think of any... The only downside is the lack of power, but we see how well hybrids are doing with their lesser power...

    Also, one web site (sustainable biodiesel alliance) says 100% BioD can be used in diesel engines 1993 and newer, most likely. However, says up to 20%, without modifications. Which is it?
  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

  3. 2RR2NV

    2RR2NV Ultimate Newbie

    Willie Nelson has a chain of gas stations that sell all manner of Bio. but he is based in the southern states since biodiesel so easy.
  4. gdsmit1

    gdsmit1 Well-Known Member

    Personally, I think that the biggest hurdle to bio diesel is getting more people to accept diesel engines as acceptable for the daily driver.

    A huge block to that is the view that many of the American people view diesel engines. Noisy, dirty and not fit for cold weather.

    There's a BMW commercial where they show the old diesels belching black smoke, the cars unable to accelerate and everything black and sooty. I think that's how many people still view diesels.

    Once we get past this view, manufacturers will be able to sell more diesel engines. Selling more diesels will put more demand for diesels and many will push for more available bio diesel.
  5. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    and expensive.. hybrid tech will give similar gains for about the same cost on gasoline.
  6. EVuser

    EVuser Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure if American's in general dislike diesel's, but it frequently appears that CARB and the FED's do.
  7. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    As people have said before, Toyota are helping to keep diesel out by selling a cheap Prius.

    The NOx requirements have made diesel more expensive in the USA. SCR is the cheap solution (that requires a cheap solution, ho ho) and will likely be used on the Cruze diesel.

    If Mazda's SkyActiv-D works out as planned it won't even need an SCR and will be able to use an aluminum engine block.

    Lowering the US diesel premium is the way to compete. I hope they can because they could be enough to force Toyota to avoid the Japan premium and try again to produce the NA Prius in the USA.
  8. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    The newest engines (VW, at least) canNOT use 100% biodiesel ... I think B5 or B10 is the max that VW recommends, though I think I've heard of people going up to B20 without problems. Unfortunately I think this is going to really limit demand for biodiesel in the future. :(

    Pre-2007 VWs can run the pure stuff -- and have successfully been using B99 in our 2000 Golf for 3 1/2 years, and for 3-4 years before that in our '85 Volvo 240D. Locally (in Portland and Eugene) we are able to get B100 that is made from mostly renewed oilstocks: restaurant grease, plus the waste from the huge Kettle Foods plant in Salem. When we go north we are able to get B100 in Tacoma, Seattle and Bellevue, but my understanding is that (as in most states) the stuff is made from mostly virgin oil, usually soy.

    We end up visiting Idaho around once a year, usually in our Golf, but haven't been successful in finding anything more than B5 or B10 (which we HAVE been able to get at some of the Sinclair/Stinky stations IIRC).

    One major concern with high-biodiesel content fuel is gelling in cold temps. We can run B99 in summer, but if the temp drops below about 35 you can forget about starting your car in the morning. The pumps here sell B50 rather than B99 in the wintertime, which is generally good down into the low 20s and is USUALLY sufficient for our climate. But around once a year we'll drop into the teens and it can become iffy. Occasionally we'll splash a little extra petrodiesel in if we think our local pumps haven't been predicting the weather accurately. Really, for most of the country B20 is probably as high as you can go in the winter.
  9. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    For cold-weather biodiesel nuts the solution is to use a separate tank after the engine has warmed up, but of course that's an after-market solution, which adds to the cost.

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