I started following this blog in 2006. Its about Kevin from Los Angeles who ran his 2005 VW Passat on veg oil via a twin tank setup. The last post was August 2010, I wonder why he stopped posting? What happened? The most likely outcome was he wrote off another engine and gave up.
The Volkswagon Groups position on biodiesel is a resounding "none at all", especially not with a pd engine like mine. That's odd because the last time I was in Germany, all the forecourts sold bio. I could smell it in the air. Germany is or was one of the biggest producers of RME.
I believe VAG changed its position on whether bio was suitable for their cars, probably when the DPF models came out - and bio can stuff those up. Well, here I am with 30,000 miles on 100% biodiesel with no problems apart from having to fork out for a new clutch and reconditioning the gearbox. But that's not the bio's fault....is it? ;-)
Found an interesting company called Aquafuel who specialise in modifying engines to burn Glycerine. In 2008 world demand for glycerine was 0.9m tons but supply was 3.2m tons. Glycerol can be harvested from an Agae, Dunaliella salina, which lives in saline pools and produces glycerol to protect itself from osmosis. The more saline, the more glycerol up to a max of 85%. Clean burning and abundant, sounds good to me.
I get some very interesting people that get in touch through my contact page, not just legitimate peeps wanting oil recycled into lovely green fuel.
My favourites include: China trying to sell me waste oil by the container ship load, somebody wanted tonnes of Jatropha oil, an offer of telemarketing to boost my "business" and whether I could export 500 tonnes of oil to the EU.....But my all time favourite, the number one...........Sticky Vicky and her massage oil!
Glycerine is used in thousands of applications from cosmetics to explosives. You can even eat it...Yum! Unfortunately, glycerine from biodiesel is very crude and needs refining. Commercially it is steam distilled or fished out with resins, the problem is you need a huge amount of energy to purify it. Glycerine boils at about 280c but also decomposes at around this temp too....
However, it's possible to get a ~ 90% purity by cracking with acid (separating the FFA's/NaOH/Glycerol). So the aim is to make some high content glycerine soap....Watch this space.
Can you make bio from any old fat...? Well, yes it seems you can, although the properties from the feedstock often translate into the finished fuel. The bacon fat makes normal bio but smelt of strange over cooked bacon.....Animal fats are believed to make a superior fuel but the cold pour point is drastically reduced, no good for winter which is almost here.