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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > Alternative Diesel Fuels (Biodiesel, WVO, SVO, BTL, GTL etc)

Alternative Diesel Fuels (Biodiesel, WVO, SVO, BTL, GTL etc) Discussions about alternative fuels for use in our TDI's. This includes biodiesel WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil), SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil), BTL (Biomass to Liquid), GTL (Gas to Liquids) etc. Please note the Fuel Disclaimer.

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Old February 26th, 2006, 00:53   #1
saitoh
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Richmond, VA
TDI(s): NB 2002 5spd
Fuel Economy: 40 / 48 - avg 44
Default New TDI Purchase opinion (related to P.D and SVO options)

Hi, I've done a fair amount of research online concerning running SVO in a single tank VW TDI (using the elsbett modifications), and have come down to two choices that I think are viable for me personally:

I can either get a more modern (and still probably used) TDI thats a P.D system and skip the elsbett mod since they arn't compatable with the new P.D systems, or I can get a 2003 or older TDI and get the elsbett system. If I did get the elsbett system, I'd be feeding it SVO if at all possible, and not filtered WVO. I'm still looking into suppliers at the moment, so this may be moot anyway. What is your opinion?

While I'm not going to base my decision on this alone, I'm interested in what the TDI (which contains a select few who run the elsbett system, and a few more who run non-dino) community thinks. I'm posting this in the bio section as I think it has more application there then the 101 section but please move it if it doesnt. Thank you.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 02:03   #2
bioTDInBENZ
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: So.San.Fran. Califaz
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you dont have to run on straight virgin oil you can run it on wvo if youd like but hey your choice. As for the pd vs non id suggest if you want to run on svo/wvo a PD is out they are just to delicate. If you want a PD make biodiesel , biodiesel is just a safer choice for a PD.

But for non PD's the elsbett kit is the way to go, and elsbett warrants all the parts 100%, they are so confident that nothing with happen to your car with their kit that if anything breaks youll get it replaced. And elsbett has been around longer then we have had VW diesels in the US so they know what they are doing.

hope that helps!
__________________
05 Passat TDI 40kmiles 50mpg!(when on D2)B100!!
87 Mercedes 300D OM603 engine..fast mofo!! beat your TDI
83 Mercedes 300SD 300Kmiles wvo powered
78 Mercedes 300D 437Kmiles wvo powered
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Old February 26th, 2006, 10:23   #3
saitoh
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Richmond, VA
TDI(s): NB 2002 5spd
Fuel Economy: 40 / 48 - avg 44
Red face More info/questions.

Heh, I realized after I hit post last night that I had left out some information in my haste to post before going to sleep. Thanks for taking the time to reply to a rather vauge request.


In June I'm moving (dont know where at the moment), so its kinda tough to plan ahead as to who will do it. I'd thought about asking Burke from CT what his waiting list is like if I'm still on the eastern seaboard.

Background: I'd consider running WVO, but not to start out. Change/introduce only one variable at a time, so get it modded, then SVO, and then WVO kinda thing. Second, I'd only have someone who's done this before do it. Getting it right is more important to me then saving money (which is my other goal) as if something goes wrong, it becomes prohibitivly expensive (such as new engine parts, etc). So I'm willing to pay someone who's done it to make sure it gets done correctly the first time. Same with oil. I'm willing to pay for SVO to see how the car reacts and if I can find a good supplier, just run that. I wish I could remember which bookmark I have, but someone discussed how they could get SVO for around $2 a gallon in large barrels. I've had trouble locating canola oil in bulk (which is supposedly better for the engine as it doesn't polymerize?), so wvo may become an option rather quickly if it is truly cost prohibitive. However, the one thing that I wont compromise on is the elsbett system. Since I probably will continue to live in a cold(er) climate (currently northern maine), or at least one at higher elevation and be forced to park outside at work, I'd considered getting heating mods for the car to keep the oil in a relative liquid state. Havn't done quite as much research as I'd like to since I dont know if it will be needed, and what ill effects that would have on the engine/component parts during summer or longer runs. This of course also costs money.

That brings up the third consideration, and that is keeping the car running for a veeery long time. Preferably, I'd like to get +150k miles out of the car before retiring it, and that may be 10 years, that may be 30, I dont know. However, I want to maintain the car in its best shape and avoid modifications that trade longevity for performance. While not as big of a concern as if I use wvo, or cheap svo then chances are I've paid off the elsbett mod, and if the engine dies, then oh well, I've saved enough cash to rebuild it, or buy another used car. I'd still rather not run it into the ground. I havn't seen enough evidence as to what wear this puts on what components, and what driving styles do the most damage, so thats one area that I would like advice on. Do short trips (2-5 miles one way, 5-10?) do more damage or does it matter with veggie oil and the elsbett system? Is this something that is unfounded and I should even care about it? What damage (over time) is being done by adding kerosene or other additives to combat gelling? The answers are probably out there, but I havn't been able to find them (yet).

I realize that many of these questions could be answered by emailing Burke, but I figured that posting here (and if I do email him, also his replay) would allow others considering this to see this information, so please bare with me. Thank you.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 15:19   #4
bioTDInBENZ
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: So.San.Fran. Califaz
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Your not doing any damage when using kerosene with the svo. "winterized" diesel is basically diesel #2 and diesel #1 (kerosene) mixed. I know someone that has a passat pd tdi and had used a elsbett kit with a wvo/gas mix for 90k miles and still going. He is in the SF bay area somewere, on my mercedes i run a wvo/gas mix i mix 1-2 gals of gas with 20gallons of wvo and that keeps it liquid down to freezing temps. I had done a test in a jar and a recent test as well old test was a mix of wvo/kerosene and stuck it in the freezer under a bag of ice left it in there overnight. Later in the afternoon took it out and it was still full liquid, did a recent test of wvo/gas in a jar and again stuck it in the freezer overnight under a bag of ice and it was still full liquid.

And like i said elsbett will cover any engine part because they are confident nothing will go wrong with the car. So you shouldnt have any real problems running on wvo/svo. As for causing damage or wear ive read that city driving will do more damage to the injectors but elsbett modifys the injectors so they wont wear as fast and again elsbett warrants all the parts.

Ive been running wvo/rug mixes in my mercedes 300SD for about 7 months now and the only problems i had was clogged filters from the wvo/gas mix cleaning up 20+yr old sludge left over from diesel. But yesterday had done a diesel purge and cleared up my rough idling.
I would suggest doing a diesel purge when running on wvo/svo/biodiesel right along with every oil change. Diesel purge will break apart any carbon build up in the injectors and injector pump as well as fix all kinds of other problems like rough idle, hard starts, etc.
__________________
05 Passat TDI 40kmiles 50mpg!(when on D2)B100!!
87 Mercedes 300D OM603 engine..fast mofo!! beat your TDI
83 Mercedes 300SD 300Kmiles wvo powered
78 Mercedes 300D 437Kmiles wvo powered
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Old February 26th, 2006, 20:43   #5
saitoh
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Richmond, VA
TDI(s): NB 2002 5spd
Fuel Economy: 40 / 48 - avg 44
Default

ah, thank you! I guess when I put in my request, I'll request a 2003 or older TDI if at all possible.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 10:03   #6
BioDiesel
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: CT
TDI(s): '98 Jetta
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You have summerised your options correctly.
I have, and would chose the pre-P.D with Elsbett single-tank.
No stinky spills in my trunk. No problems with the s-t kit in 2 1/2 years and 34k miles. It does set a false CEL code occaisionally.

I've been running it on 66/33 wvo/kerosene and cold starting at temps of 20-30*F w/o a problem. Of course, only for the last couple months.
I think I'll average 90% VO usage over the year this way.

If you go SVO, get food grade canola.


Jim Burke
Fryer Truck's
Elsbett Dealer
www.elsbett.com
http://ctbiodzl.freeshell.org/votdi.html
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Old March 7th, 2006, 12:10   #7
kwong7
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Southern Caifornia
Fuel Economy: 48/42/45 MPG
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BiotdinBenz: Do you have experience with Elsbett? I bought their kit for my 2001 Golf, but was in Boston when they came to the west coast. I'd really love to have this kit installed ASAP, do you know of a good installer that is experience with Elsbett in California?
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Old March 12th, 2006, 09:59   #8
BioDiesel
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: CT
TDI(s): '98 Jetta
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"so thats one area that I would like advice on. Do short trips (2-5 miles one way, 5-10?) do more damage or does it matter with veggie oil and the elsbett system? "

With a single tank, Elsbett says to avoid short trips. But hey don't define what is short. IMO, anything less than 6 miles is short. If you do primarily short trips, you might not get the WVO hot enough to burn completely, and risk carbon buildup in the cylinders. However thinning with 10-20 dzl or kerosene should ameliorate this problem.


" What damage (over time) is being done by adding kerosene or other additives to combat gelling? "

That test is already being done with petrodiesel in cold climates.
Most D2 is blended with some percentage of D1 / kerosene.
One poster to this forum was a commercial blender in upstate N.Y. many years ago. He posted that he shipped blends of 50% D1/kerosene. If there were any problems, wev'r had heard about them by now.
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Old November 4th, 2018, 21:22   #9
shanate
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Mexico
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The elsbett kit uses heaters to heat the vegetable oil. Can the need to heat the vegetable oil to reach the needed viscosity be overcome by blending with 15% petrol gasoline? I tried this a few days ago on my stock 2001 VW 1.9 TDI and it runs fine, but don't know if it's viable long term.
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