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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 6th, 2009, 09:01   #391
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manny - the problem is that it's illegal because it's "tampering with an emissions system". It would be nice if there were a way to certify that you are using B100 and therefore your emissions are lower than what they are trying to accomplish with the DPF and D2. That is something I would like to see from a test lab - to test D2 with DPF, then remove the DPF, purge all diesel, then run B100 without it and test the emissions again.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 15:51   #392
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Great Idea neurot!
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Old February 15th, 2009, 22:03   #393
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I went to San Francisco last weekend for the 2009 Sustainable Biodiesel Summit.
I gave a presentation on my experiences with B100 in my 2009 Jetta TDI (which were also summarized in biodieselSMARTER magazine).
We also invited Gary Parsons from Chevron to present about the Diesel Particulate Filter technology, which seems to be the problem in 2007.5 and later diesel vehicles. He gave a very deep technical presentation which was very eye opening and very sobering.
The problem with the DPF system is not the DPF itself, but the technology used to implement the regen cycle to clean out the crud. Ironically, the crud builds up only half as fast with B100, but that doesn't solve our problem.
The system employed by Volkswagen, and almost every other OEM today, is called "Late Post-Injection". During the exhaust stroke, some fuel is squirted into the cylinder, which is then vaporized and sent down the exhaust stream. The theory is that it will combust, burning off the crud in the DPF.
The problem is, some of the fuel (ANY fuel) gets down into the crankcase and mixes with the oil. When using regular diesel, this not a big problem because it has a relatively low evaporative point. That means it evaporates out and exits through the positive crankcase ventilation system. It is a known issue that this happens even with diesel, but is not considered a major issue as long as normal oil change intervals are observed.
Furthermore, Gary described in great detail the level of interaction between fuel system, lubrication system, and emissions system that modern vehicles have. He showed charts of permissible emissions and how that "ever-shrinking box" of allowed emissions has increased the level of coordination between the various companies. For example, engine oil manufacturers designing oil for 2007+ vehicles must make their oil withstand the various types of acid that build up in engine oil now that all the sulfur is gone (sulfuric acid used to be the big problem with regular and LSD).
Here comes the problem: with biodiesel having a much higher evaporative point, the amount that gets in the engine oil STAYS there. This has a side effect of making the blend of biodiesel in the engine oil much higher over time - they showed a test where someone fueling with B5 was shown to have B40 in the engine oil. And because biodiesel is even more "polar" than some of the lubricating agents in engine oil, it displaces them, increasing wear over time as the oil breaks down. There has been no long term studies done on this, but if you're expecting the engine to last 500k miles and it only last 300k, that's still a problem.
So, the conclusion: VW has built a system that is simply not compatible with high-blend biodiesel. The engine has no trouble with it, but the emissions system is highly dependent on having the properties of D2 as the DPF regen catalyst.
Where does this leave us? As a group of people wanting to use the highest possible blend of biodiesel - very disappointed. Further testing of real world oil samples may find an optimal blend level, or an acceptable oil change interval. Working around this issue is possible with the effort of many over a long period of time. SOLVING this problem is possible with the OEMs redesigning their systems to not use this technology (which is really no technology at all, but a cheap way out of redesigning the system by just reprogramming the injector system). Caterpillar is already using a different system, which has been shown to work great with biodiesel. The problem is it's prohibitively expensive ($7000 per big truck). It's possible that the engineers at VW can work on a solution that is affordable for smaller passenger vehicles.
Although I'm extremely disappointed in the results, I'm glad to report a lot of lessons learned and other positive outcomes:
I discovered that TDIClub is NOT the place to discuss alternative fuels. I'll be discussing things like this on the Infopop forum in the future, and perhaps posting a link here to there if it's warranted. That may reduce the troll-to-signal ratio.
I learned that the new 2009 engine works just fine with B100, just like all the other VW's out there. Once they re-engineer the emissions system, VW will be back on my radar.
Kumar Plocher, of Yokayo Biofuels, started a letter-writing campaign to the major OEM's urging them to work on an emissions system that is fuel-neutral, or as close as possible.
Shared the stage with a major oil company to discuss the issue in front of my peers and hundreds of interested parties. By raising this issue to a national level, I was able to get people thinking about something that hardly anyone knew about just a few months ago.
Learned a LOT about modern emissions systems and what may be coming down the road in years to come.
Became even more sure that the B100 market will eventually begin to shrink. Companies like mine will have to adapt to this new reality and work to get biodiesel mandates and to integrate low blends into the mainstream. High blends will always be there for the educated and dedicated crowd, but unlikely in the numbers that so many of us had hoped for. I thought we'd have an Accord diesel, Toyota Tundra diesel, Nissan Titan diesel, and a bunch of 1/2 ton diesel pickups in 2009. With none of those materializing yet, we can only hope that their development cycles will be long enough to allow for this emission-system incompatibility issue to be acknowledged and corrected by the OEM's.
For anyone who would like to see the outstanding presentation by Gary Parsons of Chevron, it is posted here.
The Jetta used in my testing was powered by B100 for about 2500 miles, then it got cold so I dropped down to B50. Once I learned that it would not work with B100 for the long-term, I dropped to B5. Now I'm selling the Jetta (see my ad in the classified section) for $23,000. It is still under full manufacturer's warranty.
Thanks to all that contributed in a positive manner. I'd be happy to answer any additional questions, but please spare us negative comments. I hope that my testing has contributed something to TDIClub, and although I don't see myself using this site much more in the future, perhaps there will be a changing of the guard at some point, less trolling in the alt fuels forums, and more advocacy of non-petroleum fuels.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 22:56   #394
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Default Thank you Jason

I appreciate being able to follow your trial with the Jetta 2009. If not for you I might have actual purchased this car. You did me a great service.

You just may find you are wrong about a trend toward lower blends. There isn't time to make slow changes anymore and more and more people are becoming aware of it.

While you were getting discouraged at the Biodiesel conference, I went to a program on the disappearance of pollinators and renewed my determination to educate people on why their choice of fuel is so important.

Jason, Don't give up. don't change you convictions. or your business plan.

The next couple of years will bring great changes. Maybe not because we suddenly develop ethics but because we have no choice. Biodiesel is the only real option that we have. (I'm ready for the six detractors that will jump up and down because I said that)

Albert Einstien told us many years ago that once the bees are gone the human race only has about 4 more years. The acidification of the environment has already cut the bee population in half worldwide. Time is short.

This is also my last post on this forum. I have a low tolerance for nonsense. I'll check in at infopop and keep track of your progress. I also noticed that Micheal Briggs is posting at Biodieselnow so I will check in there periodically as well.

Jason, you are on the cutting edge of our future. Hang in there and continue what you've started. You are part of what is going right in the world.

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Old February 15th, 2009, 22:58   #395
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Maaaan. I'm really sorry to see you go, you took one for the team, that's for sure. I'm also sorry that I won't be able to buy a VW for the foreseeable future. I'll just keep this one going (unless I find a 2003 at some point!). My Golf has been my favorite car to date, and I hope to keep it going for a long time, but it's a shame that there's no upgrade path for the future. Thanks for all of your research and testing!
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Old February 15th, 2009, 23:36   #396
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sorry to hear you're giving up Jason. I'm picking up an '03 wagon this week for some of the same reasons. I know the ALH engines do great on B100 and just don't want to be a tester for new tech just now.

To a certain extent, many car companies make the same claim. Unless they can assure quality of biodiesel in the marketplace, they'll continue to shy away from even considering the use of it. And why shouldn't they? Look at how highly controlled diesel fuel is compared to biodiesel. I see many people in the biodiesel world clamoring for acceptance, but I don't see those same people hammering on the biodiesel world to get its act together and force higher quality standards (BQ-9000 and/or another higher quality standard with sustainability requirements). Are the requirements strict and possibly too much for some shoestring budget companies? Maybe. Are the car makers going to accept biodiesel otherwise? Not on your life.

Will any of that make late post-injection work? No. But will it make manufacturers take another look at biodiesel and alternative regen techniques? Perhaps.

I'll be interested to talk with jsrmonster to see if he has any insight as to what chip tuning could do in minimizing the late injection. There is some possibility for aftermarket changes that would not be painfully expensive to implement...

As I said at the summit, I am still interested in collecting warranty stories in a central repository somewhere. Maybe the infopop forum is a better place for it.

I am concerned about misuse regarding use of our i-Spec or other equipment used for confirming biodiesel blend in denying warranty claims.

I will personally get on the phone and educate mechanics that don't understand biodiesel, the use of it in modern diesels, or the things that are still covered under warranty regardless of biodiesel use.

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Old February 16th, 2009, 06:36   #397
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Jason, every single technical determination that was presented to you by Gary Parsons of Chevron at this conference was previously presented to this venue by myself and others as a result of research. You and many others did not want to listen so, on went the blinders resulting in your perception that "how dare we interject". You even go as far as attempting to silence us by demanding that negative posts need not apply along with referring to such as trolling.

I as well as many others here truly thank you for your participation and research however, some of us can really see through the close minded bioD or die mindset some seem to have and I felt it was my duty to quash it with facts such as was the case here all along.

I find it hilarious that you now determine that the tdiclub is not the place to discuss alternative fuels. Lemme guess, you couldn't stop thinking of wanting to throw cream pies at Gary Parsons during his presentation, right? May I respectfully suggest that if you ever do return to this venue, do so with the blinders off and listen to those in the know? Later!
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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:00   #398
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurot
Willis - the amount of fuel used at the regen is so small that you'd have to purge all the regular fuel out of the system before jumping to the D2 tank, do the little squirt, then go back to the other fuel. a better system is to use an injector right before the DPF, which doesn't cause the oil dilution problem, and have a second tank set up with D2 to squirt in there, instead of using the main tank. That is exactly how Catepillar does it (although they use the main diesel tank), and there is no problem with biodiesel. Unfortunately, the cost is $7000 - $10,000 for that kind of system, so it would be cost prohibitive to install in a passenger vehicle.

Is it just me or is any one else having problems understanding why installation of a separate injector (right before the DPF) would be so expensive? It would seem a simple, electrically driven low pressure pump with some sort of flow control device would be all that's required (much more complicated than the windshield washer pump?).
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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:33   #399
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSmoke
Is it just me or is any one else having problems understanding why installation of a separate injector (right before the DPF) would be so expensive? It would seem a simple, electrically driven low pressure pump with some sort of flow control device would be all that's required (much more complicated than the windshield washer pump?).
This has also been discussed here. I had the distinct opportunity of speaking one on one with a prominant design engineer from VWAG at the recent Baja 1000 race in Ensenada, Mexico. Trust me, there are many varibles that make your assumption that such a system would be cheap and easy to do not so. Later!

Reference post #64 here: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread...=226834&page=5

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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:34   #400
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I'm with you there. I could design something myself for about $300.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:49   #401
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just like we perdicted, no one wanted to listen when we in the know stated that bio is not to be used in 2009 TDIS. well now its been proven! thanks harvieux, for your support. and others on this side of the issue. now on with the show.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:58   #402
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Does anyone know if a ASTM lubricating wear test has been done with various amounts of biodiesel dilution ?

At what level of dilution does an increase in wear become a concern ?

Knowing the above you could intelligently adjust your oil change interval to avoid any lubrication problems.

I believe this would apply the KISS principle to this whole matter.

Also a valid testing procedure would be needed to determine exactly what the % of biodiesel is truly in the engine oil.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:07   #403
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Jason, I'm sorry that you seem to interpret some objectivity as "negative". There is a bit of trolling here, and thick skins are necessary, but I have to agree with some regarding the polarization and blinders of some biofuels advocates here. Don't get me wrong -- I am one of the strongest proponents of biodiesel here, but for any substantive forward movement it's got to be reality-based.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:25   #404
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvieux
This has also been discussed here. I had the distinct opportunity of speaking one on one with a prominant design engineer from VWAG at the recent Baja 1000 race in Ensenada, Mexico. Trust me, there are many varibles that make your assumption that such a system would be cheap and easy to do not so. Later!

Reference post #64 here: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread...=226834&page=5
Is this the post to which you are referring?

-------------------------------------------------------------

"I don't know if this has been completely covered as of yet but, I thought I would mention that I spoke to one of the VWAG engineers on Thursday in Ensenada Mexico while I was assisting in performing the 2008 Baja 1000 pre-race inspection on VW's new V-12 TDI Toureg (actually Audi's engine) as a SCORE Internationl technical official. (I will do a thread in TDI Motorsports with pictures as time allows).

I asked this engineer what exactly triggers the DPF regen. in the new CR. He says there are four (4) factors. (1) pressure sensors in the DPF. (2) mileage traveled. (3) metered fuel flow. (4) temperature pre and post DPF. I think most of us were pretty right on in our assumptions here, eh?

I also asked about a seperate fuel injection system as opposed to the current post-injection process even though we/I knew it would be cost prohibitive. He says such a system may not be reliable for the over 120K miles or so due to possible exposure to elements along with the possibility of accumulating condensation in the fuel path to this DPF injector system due to the possible length of time between regens. Later!"

-----------------------------------------------------------

If so, it doesn't address any specfic cost issues. I'd be interested in more detail if you can provide it.

As to to condensation in the fuel path, why not route the existing fuel line directly past the injection pump and/or, do a brief regen, if it's been too long, to flush the pump?
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:33   #405
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Exposure to the elements for an injector can be solved by a simple metal flap that's opened with a solenoid and then fuel is injected. The injector can be as simple as a fuel line with a valve. Or does the fuel need to be atomized? I thought the fuel just sticks to the dpf and causes heat to burn off soot. If it combusts prior to the dpf then an actual injector would have to be used. I'd be willing to use a little more fuel every 300 miles to use bio. A fuel line can't have more than a fraction of an ounce of water could it?
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