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Algernon Offline
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Biodiesel/FlexFuel? What Is it? - March 6th 2010, 06:42 PM

A little while ago they put a biodiesel/flexfuel pump at a nearby gas station. I'm just wonderfing if any of you have used it, what kind of car It's for. I just want to know what this is all about.


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Re: Biodiesel/FlexFuel? What Is it? - March 6th 2010, 06:58 PM

I think it's fuel that's made from the oil of plants (like corn or soybeans) instead of the "dirty" oil normal fuel is made from.
It's made for a bunch of different cars, but I'm pretty sure you can't put it in a normal car (not sure though). I remember seeing a bunch of commercials like a year ago for cars that were biofuel compatible in the states but I haven't seen any lately.


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Re: Biodiesel/FlexFuel? What Is it? - March 6th 2010, 06:59 PM

Do you happen to know If I can be put into a 97 camry? I don't think It works in trucks though.


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Re: Biodiesel/FlexFuel? What Is it? - March 6th 2010, 07:10 PM

This is bad. I came into this thread "oh I can totally answer this question, I had to learn so much about it for an exam in January". But nope. Nada. It's all fallen out of my brain.

But basically biodiesel is a ethyl or methyl ester of a fatty acid. The fatty acid oils are made from plants such as rape seed, soya, etc. Originally it was said to be 'carbon neutrol' as in the amount of CO2 released when it is combusted in engines is the same amount of CO2 as it absorbs when the plant is being grown, so is much better than energy sourced from crude oil. But this is pretty much disregarded now, energy is used in the sowing and harvesting of the crop and the transportation of the material, not even talking about extracting the oil and the transesterifcation process. I believe it's been show to be worse in terms of net CO2 production than crude oil (ie your normal fuel)?

The by product of the transesterifcation process, glycerol, can be resold which improves the atom economy of the reaction, though.

There has also been lots of controversy because these plants are typically grown in third world countries, with the product of the crop being transported to developed countries. In growing these crops for biofuels less land is avalible to grow food in areas of the world where malnutrition is already a massive problem.

Basically, although there are a number of positives, there are more negatives, and the positives are one by one being disproven. So don't just assume that because it has the word 'bio' in it's name its a better fuel alternative, this is not true and people seem to be niavely taking this to be fact.

There is more but that's all I remember. Don't know anything about biofuel cars though.

Articles:
http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2005...n-fossil-fuel/
http://www.ecoworld.com/energy-fuels...n-neutral.html
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bloom/actions/biofuels.shtml
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle3500954.ece

It's a shame really. At first everyone thought it would be a fantastic new fuel source, and the media published it as such. Hence everyones belief that it's so green etc. Eventually the science will get there, but for now ... might just be doing more harm than good, as well as paying more.


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Re: Biodiesel/FlexFuel? What Is it? - March 6th 2010, 10:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xHolyValorx View Post
Do you happen to know If I can be put into a 97 camry? I don't think It works in trucks though.

unless ur camry is a diesel or has been set up for flex fuels i wouuldnt suggest using it. in diesel trucks and cars biodiesel gets about the same mpg as normal low sulfer diesel fuel. however it is slightly more acidic and will over time corrode o-rings and other rubber parts in the engine slightly faster than regular diesel would. but seeing as how pasrt like that r supose to be replaced regulartly anyways its not really a big deal, my brother and me set up an old f250 diesel for biofuel, it was just a matter of putting in some new valves and 0-rings that would last longer. we also added a propane fuel system for added power overall the truck runs perfectly and its nice that the fue isnt pumping so much CO into the air its also very clean burning so no real problems with residue buildup in the gas line


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