It's a good review of the advantages of diesel, as well as some of the pitfalls. I hadn't considered some ideas before, such as the use of diesels to improve the fuel efficiency ratings for SUVs and trucks (makes sense, especially when using these vehicles for towing and such, as diesels seem to excel at low rpm torque).
I've done a bit of software work for electronic controllers for diesel engines, which introduced me to some of the complexity of injectors and fuel control. I also did some work partnering with another company, Clean Air Partners, to develop "dual fuel" engines. Basically, dual fuel engines run on natural gas, but use a tiny injection of diesel as the source of ignition. It's not much more complicated than a spark-ignition natural gas engine, but has the option of running completely on diesel if the natural gas system fails. It burns very clean, relative to a diesel, and some of the engines qualified as Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles. With the price of natural gas on the rise, I'm guessing that these dual fuel engines are becoming a tough sell.
All in all, it's nice to see alternatives like biodiesel, dual fuel, electric vehicles, etc, as an option. And then there's the lucky folks like myself, who are able to make bicycle commuting work for them! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
Basically it provides a tax break equal to 1 cent for each percentage of diesel fuel blended with biodiesel up to a B20 blend or 20 cents/gallon. Adding biodiesel usually adds about a penny per percentage to the retail price so in effect this tax break would mean that B20 would cost no more than regular diesel.
Be interesting if this provision is still in the final bill...if we ever HAVE a final bill.
The same dual-fuel engine you talk about can also sport a wood (or biomass/car tyres etc) gasifier, with 5-25% minimum diesel injection to ignite it. In fact you can add a gasifier to any diesel or gasoline engine, I think. In a gasoline engine pure woodgas can be used. They were used a lot during the war here in Norway, but many designs requires too much attention and is considered dangerous because of CO gas. They also use much rom in the vehicle.
They are not cleaner than fossil fuel, but they can run on waste and renewable wood, which contains CO2 that were in the atmosfere some decades ago anyway.
Cool! The Navy is starting to look at making its own biodiesel from waste oils on base (and other sources). The article says that our military consumes about 400 million gallons of diesel fuel (which could be biodiesel) per year. Every year, the U.S. wastes 3 Billion gallons of fryer oil...so I guess there is more than enough waste fryer oil to power our entire military needs?
I love the idea of bio-diesel. I want to get a diesel just so I can use the stuff. Completely renewable, easily available, and little pollution. I read an article in the local paper about a month ago that said a lot of boaters preferred bio-diesel since it didn't stink, and didn't leave black soot on their white boats like regular diesel did.
Unicorn said: I want to get a diesel just so I can use the stuff.
That's basically how I got started. The really neat thing is, when you buy a diesel vehicle, even if you would *ever* decide not to use biodiesel...you will still have a powerful, long lasting vehicle that will retain its value better and still be able to run on commonly available diesel fuel that will get you great mileage vs. any comparable vehicle (my Golf TDI gets 58% better mileage than the gas Golf). I read an article somewhere that on average a VW Golf diesel resells for $1450 more than a gas Golf (even though the diesel added only $1200 to the cost of the car).
Unicorn said: ...boaters preferred bio-diesel since it didn't stink, and didn't leave black soot on their white boats like regular diesel did.
An environmentalist I met was really happy to learn about biodiesel for marine applications 'cause the biodiesel won't leave an ugly oil slick on the water from spills, leaks, etc. (its biodegradable). From the various times I've refueled my Golf with biodiesel it has spilled a little here and there. It totally cleans up naturally without leaving a permanent stain on the concrete! I've just wiped up the spill with a paper towel and whatever is left over...just goes away (not my experience with any petroleum based fuel).
And in the marine industry, you never worry about bio jelling, that is unless your iceboating [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
I used my first full straight tank of bio last week in our VW TDI diesel. I didn't notice a loss of power or the quieter engine that everyone talks about. I did notice the exhaust smelled more like a grease fire rather then normal diesel [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I will switch back to normal diesel for winter (it takes about 3 weeks to run my tank out or 900 miles). But next summer it's bio all summer long. I might even cut my winter diesel with 1:15 of bio; it shouldn’t jell in that low of a concentration and 1 less gallon of imported oil per tank, every little bit helps.
I had the same experience when I switched from petro to biodiesel...didn't notice the quiet. BUT! Later, when it got cold for a week and I put in a few gallons of petro into a basically empty tank... I definitely noticed it being louder! Apparently I got used to the quieter operation over the summer, THEN I noticed when I switched back to petro.
As far as winter goes...I've decided to run as high a concentration of BD as I feel will work. I'm still on B100 (100% Biodiesel) as of now...but this weekend it is supposed to get down to 30 degrees. So, I'll start running a B50 blend. As it gets even colder, I'll go to B20 with anti-gel additives. Hopefully, I can run with at least B20 all winter long (buses in Cedar Rapids, Iowa do that all winter).
Well, the one thing that I love about diesels is the running costs, or lack therof. Got my current car a few months back ('88 Nissan Sunny 1.7DLX) for $30, replaced two rear wishbones, got it back on the road, and now get about 50-70mpg economy wise depending how I drive. Okay, she takes her time accelerating, but once on the move, will sit at 70mph on the motorway all day quite happily.
Now, biodiesel...there's an idea, wish there was someplace to get it around here.
There is a big thread on this very subject over on Fred's. To sum it up, the car has to have more then 15k? on it to register it in CA or you have to be moving from another state to CA. Best bet is to buy a lightly used one, or get a friend to buy one and buy it from them.
I have a diesel van Ford Transit 2.5 for work and a Opel Corsa 1.7D (diesel also)from my wife, I spend the half of the money to make the same distance in miles and the lifespan is twice in a diesel engine than petrol, is just the maintenance you give to the engine (oil change in time, warm it up before move in winter..)no electric problems at all, and are not turbocharged.I think Im not going to buy a petrol car anymore, TDI's are the best invention in the last 50 years..
[ QUOTE ] simbad said:
I have a diesel van Ford Transit 2.5 for work
[/ QUOTE ]
I'm looking for a diesel 15 passenger van. Any suggestions?
I started a thread on the Dodge Sprinter it looks like it could be made into a 15 passenger. Does anyone make a stock 15 passenger diesel, with a good engine?
I also would prefer a used vehicle and the Sprinter is only 1 year in the States.
Hey! I just saw actress Darell Hannah on tv (Ryan Seacrest's "On The Air") - she was actively plugging her 35 mpg, fryer oil burning, diesel 70's El Camino along with the re-release of "Splash". Good for her!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]