The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: What are the rules regarding the use of biodiesel?  (Read 15387 times)

Offline cuso4

  • Angel Delight
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 422
    • View Profile
I saw an article on a science magazine about 'biodiesel'. Basically, it's to do with using sunflower oil in engine rather than diesel. I think a lot of people probably have heard this before.:)

Apparently, engines can be modified to run on sunflower oil. Isn't it a great news? Don't know about Australia or Canada but the petrol in UK is really expensive (at least I think so). Also sunflower oil has low CO2 emmission and no harmful combustion products. Even better, it's renewable![^]

The ridiculously, a man was caught and fined for using sunflower oil to run his car![:0]

Angel
« Last Edit: 25/12/2011 11:11:17 by chris »


 

Offline Exodus

  • Phileas Fogg
  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1471
  • Geology
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #1 on: 04/06/2003 16:52:50 »
You might be interested to hear angel, that they use alcohol distilled from Sugar Cane in Brazil in their petrol in order to reduce emissions. Also not sure if you have noticed but more cars in the UK are now being run on Natural Gas which causes less emissions.

Resident Tour Operator - The Naked Scientists
 

Offline Quantumcat

  • The Kitty Down Under
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 894
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #2 on: 04/06/2003 22:55:09 »
We use LPG, it costs half as much as petrol does ^_^ Maybe in a few years they'll start making electrolytic cell fueled cars :) There was an article in NS recently about a breakthrough with hydrogen-holding containers for cars that don't weight 50 times as much as their fuel as current ones do.

Am I dead? Am I alive? I'm both!
 

Offline cuso4

  • Angel Delight
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 422
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #3 on: 05/06/2003 10:56:45 »
There are cars run on natural gas in the UK? Mmmm...I didn't know that.

Quantum, I saw that article as well, fascinated by what science and technology can do. And excuse my limited knowledge, what is LPG?

We better discover a sustainable source of fuel quickly or in 20 years time cycling might suddenly become a very popular form of transport.;)

Come to think of the word "fuel" I remember on the chemistry paper I did yesterday asked: Describe what is a 'fuel'. And I put, "A fuel is a chemical substance which can be burnt to give out energy." Don't know what you lot think about my answer.

Angel
 

Offline Exodus

  • Phileas Fogg
  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1471
  • Geology
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #4 on: 05/06/2003 16:09:48 »
We have a little longer than 20 years on some fuels. With current reserves oil will run out first and perhaps yes in 20/30 years time we may be looking at oil shortages, however, geologists are constantly searching the planet for new reserces so we don't really know. We do have plenty of Gas left so don't panic too much, and coal reserves will see us for the more than 200 years if we need it...

Fuels are an issue that companies such as BP are concerned with, hence they are now investing in wind farm projects along our coasts. All their new petrol stations have electricity subsidised by large wind turbines positioned on their roofs, look out for them.

BTW angel --> LPG stands for "Liquefied petroleum gas"

Resident Tour Operator - The Naked Scientists
 

Offline cuso4

  • Angel Delight
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 422
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #5 on: 05/06/2003 17:03:14 »
Glad to know there's lots of energy resource left.

Now, looking at another problem, if we keep using these resources to run cars, generating electricity and etc. CO2 level will still increase over the years (although Rich said natural gas have low emission) and this leads to the issue of global warming. Surely a better way to tackle this problem is to find an alternative fuel, hydrogen for instance.

Angel
 

Offline Exodus

  • Phileas Fogg
  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1471
  • Geology
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #6 on: 05/06/2003 18:49:28 »
Hydrogen is used on space rockets and reacts to form just water so yes, it is very economically friendly, However, as a fuel it is expensive and it is also VERY explosive, i wouldn't want to be sitting in a car with a tank of liquid hydrogen below me in case i crashed... quite a nice big bang would ensue. I personally think electric cars will replace fuel cars for a period until something more appropriate comes to light.

Resident Tour Operator - The Naked Scientists
 

Offline Quantumcat

  • The Kitty Down Under
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 894
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #7 on: 05/06/2003 23:06:20 »
LPG = liquid petroleum gas .... it's the stuff that is on top of oil reserves or something, like the vapour but I really don't know.

Am I dead? Am I alive? I'm both!
 

Offline roberth

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 246
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #8 on: 06/06/2003 02:53:06 »
In Australia we also use a product made from sugar cane called ethanol. (We probably make a lot more sugar than the UK.)The car manufacturers don't recommend that any more than 10% by volume is added to normal unleaded fuel, but claim in this small quantity, it will not affect your engine performance. Modifications to the motor will enable greater levels of ethanol to be used as fuel but at this point, car manufacturers are not willing to make the changes. Also, fuel companies are making a lot of claims of how much damage ethanol will do to your motor, but they have a large vested interest to ensure ethanol does not become the fuel of choice. Personally, I think that the products made from sugar cane should only be made into rum...hahahaha
 

Offline PG

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #9 on: 06/06/2003 18:00:30 »
There are two problems with "bio-fuel".

One was pointed out by a friend of ours who is working on fermentation technologies to make ethanol from corn. He said that the problem is that compared costs of planting, growing, harvesting, processing, and delivering bio-fuel, there are places in the world where they can get you a 55 gallon barrel of oil for $25 (USD). That's a lot of oil for very little, and most of the price is artificially added on. If you imagine the amount of farming you would have to do to produce a 55 gallon barrel of sunflower oil, you probably could not be able to do it for $25 (USD). The big problem is that oil is just too cheap. (The complication is that if it wasn't, the economies of the developed world would crash).

The other problem is that many people have come up with seemingly "green" diesel fuel. There was an article in the paper here a couple of years ago about a pair of college kids who drove a VW minibus across the US powered entirely by scrap kitchen grease (which they picked up from free from fast food and other resturaunts along the way). It sounds good, except for the fact that diesels (espesially when running on oils) produce a great deal of soot that is a serious polution and health issue. If everyone drove vegetable oil cars the air would be full of soot and most people would have lung problems. Here in California, they actually found that rual areas had worse air quality than urban areas due to the soot from the diesel engines on farm equipment.



« Last Edit: 06/06/2003 18:01:47 by PG »
 

Offline Exodus

  • Phileas Fogg
  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1471
  • Geology
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #10 on: 06/06/2003 18:17:24 »
Hey PG thats really interesting. I had heard that deisel soot particles are really fine and get deeper into the lungs doing damage.

Resident Tour Operator - The Naked Scientists
 

Offline Donnah

  • Ma-Donnah
  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1756
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #11 on: 07/06/2003 02:02:37 »
In Canada we make ethanol from grain.  Used in fuel, it does not harm the engine (info from an experienced electro-mechanic), BUT it will eat through the rubber hoses in the engine somewhat faster.

We've had alternative energy for ages, but I predict it won't take over until the fossil fuel market has been milked for every dime.
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5339
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #12 on: 08/06/2003 16:04:13 »
Dear PG

what you said about bio-fuels was extremely interesting. In particular I'm keen to hear more about the particulates produced by RME-diesel mixes as I'd not heard that they pollution profile was any worse than native diesel (which, I agree, is well known to produce fine particulates).

Chris

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
 - Groucho Marx
 

Offline cuso4

  • Angel Delight
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 422
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #13 on: 08/06/2003 20:24:22 »
I cycle to school regularly and always find vehicle (especially buses) exhaust fumes harmful and they disturb my breathing. Should I start wearing a mask? Breathing in fine particulates doesn't seem like a healthy idea to me. And is it true that exhaust fumes from petrol engines are worst than that of diesel engines?

Angel
 

Offline Exodus

  • Phileas Fogg
  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1471
  • Geology
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #14 on: 08/06/2003 20:33:45 »
the other way round, diesel fumes are more harmful than petrol due to the particulates.

Resident Tour Operator - The Naked Scientists
 

Offline cuso4

  • Angel Delight
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 422
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #15 on: 09/06/2003 07:39:08 »
Right, thanks Richard. Screw that cycling book I was reading![:(!]

Angel
 

Offline widereader

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #16 on: 21/12/2011 13:51:56 »
In the Philippines, LPG is being used by some cars.  This greatly affects cost reduction and helps in reduction of pollution as well.
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #17 on: 21/12/2011 20:15:56 »
LPG, LNG, and CNG are likely the cleanest alternatives for internal combustion engines, although the majority of them are still fossil fuel derived.

New Diesel engines now have Diesel Particulate Filters that should help, although there is some question on whether it is just putting out more smaller particulates.  However, there is a problem with the DPF implementation and biofuels in that if the the cleanout cycle involves a late in-cylinder injection of fuel, it can cause oil dilution.  Post-cylinder injection fixes the problem.

My Electric Vehicle is clean and quiet.  We'll have to see how the technology progresses over the next decade or so.  And, of course, there is the question whether the EV just displaces fuel burning to another location.
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8670
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #18 on: 22/12/2011 00:59:26 »
In the Philippines, LPG is being used by some cars.  This greatly affects cost reduction and helps in reduction of pollution as well.

Do you realise how old the post that you are replying to is?
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8134
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #19 on: 24/12/2011 22:48:13 »
In the Philippines, LPG is being used by some cars.  This greatly affects cost reduction and helps in reduction of pollution as well.

Do you realise how old the post that you are replying to is?


After the recent forum make-over maybe they didn't notice the date on the post ...



« Last Edit: 24/12/2011 22:54:34 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #20 on: 25/12/2011 04:03:17 »
Personally I'd rather see an old topic brought back to life with a pertinent discussion, than see the same topic rehashed over and over again.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: The use of Biodiesel
« Reply #20 on: 25/12/2011 04:03:17 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums