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Quicksilver 05-16-2008 05:13 PM

Bio-Diesel in Diesel boats?
I know some guys using bio-diesel in their trucks and run great, and just thought with the rising cost of boating and take it up the a-hole pricing of diesel fuel, has anybody run bio in their boat engines?

I was thinking with the much lower cost, and popularity gaining of diesel swaps into performance boats if anybody tried or enticed the idea?

BOBCATMATHEWS 05-16-2008 06:08 PM

Miss Geico is running bio diesel in the bimini race.

HabanaJoe 05-16-2008 07:57 PM

Diesels - I run biodiesel everyday in our gen sets. Don't be fooled most biodiesel products are a blend of only 5%-20% bio nothing more. If your looking to save money biodiesel is not cheaper by any great amount, pennys.

If you try to run 100% you'll have seal & head problems (ask Caterpillar they have test projects all over the world trying to run 100% Bio), over time, again generator time is measured in thousands of hours like 10,000 plus!!!

Unless you have Teir 3 engines you can not burn 100% bio, there are many documented cases of trouble.

When you run 20% bio blend your HP is down about 5%, when you go to a 100% Bio expect a 15%-20% loss in power. We tested 5% & 20% Bio in the engines before we put it out there and that is how much they lost. We run 275 gals through the engine for each test and then refilled with reg diesel and the power came back. This was using Biodiesel from TriState Bio in NY which is made from 100% used cooking oil not virgin soy or corn.

Plus it's not so simple to convert waste cooking oil into usable fuel.

I do alot with Biodiesel, I just spoke yesterday in front of the Producers Guilde about Biodiesels - just Google "Joe Gere" you'll see me pop up plus my sons own the logo for "Biodiesel".

I hope some of the regular diesel heads chime in about this!!!

Joe Gere

29Firefox 05-16-2008 11:08 PM

OK Joe my turn!
100% bio is do able but there is a lot of extra bubu junk you have to add on to make it work. Its ok for industrial applications but I can't see it working in a go fast applications. I've worked with it in good old fashioned mechanical injection pumps. To get the viscosity and combustion parameters right you have to preheat the cooking oil. Most systems have dual tanks and lift pumps one for the cooking oil one for some regular diesel. You start the engine with regular diesel fuel and run it up to operating temp. Coolant is circulated through a coil in the cooking oil tank to heat the fuel. Also the cooking is run through a preheater heated by the engine coolant just like an oil cooler but doing the opposite. The lift pump for the cooking oil just circulates till the temp at the output of the heat exchanger is hot enough the you switch over and run on the cooking oil. When it comes time to shut down you switch back to regular diesel and run it long enough to purge any cooking oil left in the injection pump and injectors. Then you shut down. Two tanks, extra pumps, extra filters, solenoid valves, preheaters and other miscellaneous junk. All good for a stationary genset but it would turn your "go fast boat" into a "go slow boat". As for the math when I was messing with it for a friend #2 diesel was $3.25 and used cooking oil was $1.25 from the potato chip factory. Besides all of the junk on the engine you need a "hot still" (red neck modified electric water heater) to prepare the cooking oil for use. And in the case of the gen set the still eats up a big chunk of the gen set's output. Not to mention more real estate. In the end we used the still to preheat the fuel and it worked better than having a second tank and preheating circuits Ed:p

HabanaJoe 05-17-2008 08:01 AM


That sounds like one pain in the A**!!!!

Njawb 05-17-2008 09:24 AM

Well, there's biodiesel and there's biodiesel. There is a world of difference between "grease car" fuel that is little more than used and filtered fryer oil and 5% bio blends. We really shouldn't lump them all together indiscriminately.

Joe, the problems with running 100% biodiesel, are they lubricity related? Can such problems be addressed effectively with lubricity additives.

Quicksilver 05-17-2008 09:51 AM

Be nice to bring more bio-fuel production.......but people keep disappearing :party-smiley-004: :D

HabanaJoe 05-17-2008 10:10 AM

Good morning!

Caterpillar was at the event on Thursday as well so they had really current data. The problems stemmed from what the Biodiesel (100%) was made from as certain sources are more corrosive. They have a gen plant running in Brazil using somekind of native plant oils for Bio and they have had to change seal materials and the nature of the fuel is killing the valves. They had injector problems early on but simply going to Teir 3 spec injector has cured that.

You know Biodiesel in general and copper or copper alloys don't do well together the Bio is corrosive to them and it appears to be hard on certain rubber as well? What said was not all Biodiesel is created equall be careful!!!!

They referenced one other gen plant over in Asia also that had similar problems, but the ones here in the US running Soy based Bio do very well.

Biodiesel as you know is getting a bad rap here in the US because of it's impact on the food industry with farmers wanting to raise more Bio crop than food crop (as least that's how the story reads). It was really interesting to see the differnce between corn, soy and palm oils with respect to energy output. Corn is not well suited for Biodiesel at all and they say it is used mainly for Ethanol and thus the food price increases are based more of Ethanol than Biodiesel - who really knows the truth?

Joe Gere

HabanaJoe 05-17-2008 10:12 AM

Quicksilver - you must be a Charlton Heston fan!

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