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Biodiesel From Sewage Sludge

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the french-fries-smell-better dept.

Biotech 88

MTorrice writes "Scientists have developed a way to convert lipids from sewage sludge into biodiesel. The low cost and high yield of the sludge process may make it economically feasible as a source of biofuel, the researchers say. Today, biofuel producers use lipids in vegetable oils to derive biodiesel, a mixture of fatty-acid-like molecules. Biodiesel is compatible with existing diesel engines, burns with less pollution than petroleum-derived diesel does, and comes from renewable resources. But current biodiesel feedstocks are expensive, limiting the fuel's widespread use. The researchers from South Korea found that sewage sludge, the semisolid material left over from wastewater treatment, can yield 2,200 times more lipids than soybeans and costs 96% less to process. To turn the sludge lipids into biodiesel, the researchers heated them with methanol."

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Heh. (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41186867)

Sewage: [slashdot.org] the new bitcoin?

Smell (5, Funny)

FishTankX (1539069) | about 2 years ago | (#41186873)

They say that fryer oil based bio diesel smells vaguely of fries. This slightly concerns me.. as sewage based bio diesel would smell like...

Re:Smell (2)

Ichijo (607641) | about 2 years ago | (#41186935)

Because normal diesel smells like a field of poppies.

Re:Smell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186953)

A lot of people enjoy the smell of diesel actually.

Re:Smell (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41187491)

Who the fuck they and what kind of diesel are they talking? Mind you I can't smell it or petrol anymore so who am I to talk.

Re:Smell (5, Funny)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 2 years ago | (#41188059)

I like the smell of diesel. Partly because the combination of raw sewage, diesel and dead fish brings back memories of going to the seaside when I was young!

Re:Smell (1)

Abstergo (2677619) | about 2 years ago | (#41188405)

If I could, I would mod this up as informative.

Re:Smell (1)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | about 2 years ago | (#41188605)

I love the smell of diesel in the morning ... smells like ... victory.

Re:Smell (1)

smithmc (451373) | about 2 years ago | (#41192533)

I love the smell of diesel in the morning ... smells like ... victory.

When I was in grade school, a classmate got in trouble for wearing a T-shirt that read "Diesel smoke makes me horny". (His dad was a trucker...)

Re:Smell (4, Funny)

tzot (834456) | about 2 years ago | (#41186943)

Ah, shit.
Oh, shit.

Re:Smell (2)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 years ago | (#41187093)

No need to use sewage, below is an image of a Japanese bike that goes the direct way.
Sort of a Poopybike.

http://www.lamontagne.fr/photoSRC/W1ZTJ1FdUTgIBhVOGwYSHgYNQDUVGFdfVV9FWkM-/demonstration-de-la-popocyclette-le-29-aout-2012-dans-la-ban_812605.jpeg [lamontagne.fr]

Re:Smell (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#41187357)

Not a bike, a trike.

Re:Smell (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#41188979)

I was expecting the wheels would be driven by some sort of water-wheel mechanism under the seat...could work to get you home from Taco Bell...

Re:Smell (2)

c (8461) | about 2 years ago | (#41188075)

Not a problem. Sounds like a perfectly good source of "farm use only" diesel.

Re:Smell (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 2 years ago | (#41188201)

Tacos or burritos?

Re:Smell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41188869)

They say that fryer oil based bio diesel smells vaguely of fries. This slightly concerns me.. as sewage based bio diesel would smell like...

Really! The fries smell is cool but, the smell of sewage tainted diesel doesn't sound too swift!

Re:Smell (2)

Rumtis (887583) | about 2 years ago | (#41188893)

Possibly worse: liposuction! [forbes.com]

Although the article looks legit, I'm having a hard time finding actual proof that this works. Still, after an article like this I want to to break out the brain bleach.

Re:Smell (1)

MrWin2kMan (918702) | about 2 years ago | (#41189885)

Well, we've all been anxiously awaiting the return of the Wartburg and Trabant, yes?

Re:Smell (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | about 2 years ago | (#41190037)

Yes, I know you were just trying to be funny. But as an engineer with bits of background in both biodiesel production and wastewater (hey, not everybody gets to be a Rock Star programmer type), it is possible to get the sulfurous odor almost entirely out of the byproducts. It just takes money.

For biodiesel production, we want to keep the sulfur content down anyway to limit the impact on DPF and other catalysts.

Re:Smell (1)

Nf1nk (443791) | about 2 years ago | (#41190083)

As an engineer, I know that it is possible to get any results you want, given the right amount of money.

Re:Smell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190217)

Thank God they're not using this waste for turd burgers [youtube.com] . That too mentions lipids.

LOL! (2)

Narcocide (102829) | about 2 years ago | (#41186909)

Think of all the money we've been flushing down the toilet!!!

Re:LOL! (4, Insightful)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 2 years ago | (#41187439)

Please do. Western people use their own manure to pollute the seas and then spend money on chemicals to give the soil what the manure should have given it. If you use a compost toilet, you save the environment in a lot of ways and also a lot of money (like the money spent on sewage treatment). There's a nice book about it. You can download it for free at http://humanurehandbook.com/ [humanurehandbook.com] (link on the left of the page).

Re:LOL! (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41188677)

Or instead of turning it into dirt on-site (which may be prohibited by local regulations) or processing it into biodiesel you process it into methane and fertilizer [ponce.tv] .

If you have room and can do it legally a bason toilet [openideo.com] is simple and excellent.

Re:LOL! (3, Interesting)

morgauxo (974071) | about 2 years ago | (#41189469)

Actually for several decades now most sewage treatment plants have been separating out all of the solid particles and what can be is used for fertilizer. You can even go into some stores and buy bags of dried, treated sewage to use as spread on your lawn! My dad used to do it when I was a kid. It said so on the package but you could definitely tell exactly what it was when it got wet! I think they baked it or something like that to kill all the bacteria and make it safe first. I stayed far away from the lawn for a week or two whenever he did it but the grass loved it! It got very green very fast!

Re:LOL! (2)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#41190291)

I think Milwaukee was the first city in the US to do this - that's what Milorganite fertilizer is.

They've been doing it for decades.

Re:LOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41192159)

Since 1925, so almost 9 decades. I use the stuff on my lawn with great results.

Re:LOL! (5, Informative)

cusco (717999) | about 2 years ago | (#41190971)

Problem with this is heavy metals. Lots of heavy metals that would be processed out of industrial waste just goes down the drain in household sewage. They used to spread sewerage solids on corn fields in Michigan when I was growing up, but they had to stop because the metals were ending up in the corn in levels too high for human consumption. For years those fields were only usable to grow animal feed, until finally the metals were leeched out of the soil (and probably into the water table).

Re:LOL! (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#41189717)

If you use a compost toilet,

"Western People" call them outhouses. Been there, done that. Can't break pucker in the winter, can't breathe in the summer.

Re:LOL! (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 2 years ago | (#41234271)

Not at all. You can put this inside your house: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:21359 [thingiverse.com]

In fact, it is in my bathroom for half a year now, and I never had any problems. Off course, you have to empty it onto the external compost heap once in a while.

Re:LOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194445)

As another commenter pointed out, heavy metals and other contaminants are an issue.

Worse, suppose you live in a non-industrial ag town where this would not be an issue? In the US (or maybe just California?), if you allow sewage to be used as fertilizer, you are not permitted to require it be only from your town's safe stock. You have to accept the stuff from that factory town to the East with all the industrial contaminants that make it poison.

Our little ag town was exploring this until we found out about the catch. This was the explanation the board of supervisors gave for killing the project.

Re:Heh. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186927)

There was, uh, an incident where a police had shot a black man in the back. And then went, and plant a gun next to him and say that the guy'd had a gun on him. What we found out after the investigation is: guy didn't have no gun. Police just shot a man, cold blood.

Re:Heh. (-1, Offtopic)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41187043)

I know it's seriously OT, but I'll bite: how many police were convicted of the guy's death? I'm guessing zero.

Re:Heh. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41187081)

He was found to have been shot 15 times, with the bullets removed from his body having been from two separate guns, not recovered at the scene of the crime and both of the same calibre as what is issued to police officers in the area.

The case was promptly closed. When presented with this information, the local police chief stated that it was "the worst case of suicide I've ever seen."

It's not a joke anymore (4, Funny)

Chewbacon (797801) | about 2 years ago | (#41186877)

I've never taken my wife seriously when she's said my poo smells so bad I could use it to fuel my truck for the life of the vehicle.

Re:It's not a joke anymore (2)

TuxWithoutPants (2719479) | about 2 years ago | (#41186937)

Can I bill you for a new monitor? This one is covered in coffee.

Re:It's not a joke anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41187495)

Your poo will probably fuel the truck for about 10 seconds,
but the truck doesn't need any longer to commit suicide.

That's how bad your poo smells

Re:It's not a joke anymore -- WELCOME! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41188509)

Welcome to the stinky poo club.
We hold our meetings out-of-doors.
Taking the world by force,
one elevator at a time.

Re:It's not a joke anymore (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about 2 years ago | (#41188641)

Uh... you might want to
  • take this [wikipedia.org] and then eat some non-pasteurized, non-UHT sour milk
  • change your diet.

lipids? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186893)

free liposuction for biodiesel production. People could live on fat farms, where they are paid to be fat, in exchange for all of their 'lipids'. free doritos and fox news for all.

read: soylent green won't be food, it'll be fuel.

Poop is a rich source of biodiesel? No shit! (2)

Narcocide (102829) | about 2 years ago | (#41186901)

Now we just need a car design that has a toilet you can hook your butt to directly so you can eat and poop while driving to keep fueling it.

Cueing bad Matrix references in 3... 2... 1...

Re:Poop is a rich source of biodiesel? No shit! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186921)

Meaning the average American would never need to leave their mechanical womb?

Re:Poop is a rich source of biodiesel? No shit! (1)

ldobehardcore (1738858) | about 2 years ago | (#41187157)

But does it generate the same amount of bioelectricity as a "120 Volt Battery"?

Re:Poop is a rich source of biodiesel? No shit! (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 2 years ago | (#41187457)

I think its a question of how many electrolytes you feedd the battery, er, human.

Re:Poop is a rich source of biodiesel? No shit! (1)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#41187177)

You are thinking of the Bumber Dumper [bumperdumper.com] ?

Re:Poop is a rich source of biodiesel? No shit! (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 2 years ago | (#41188129)

No! Just think about all the price hike for chilli. Chilli will be more expensive than gold!

Still.. biofuel (1)

Isara (869637) | about 2 years ago | (#41186911)

sure, it's certainly reusable and we're not going to stop producing it any time soon, but this isn't exactly going to help get us off of emission-producing combustion engines. I'd be interested to know the fuel efficiency and emissions of this fuel compared to fossil fuels. Anyone happen to be an expert on this? (my brief internet research isn't coming up with anything particularly helpful)

Re:Still.. biofuel (5, Informative)

burning-toast (925667) | about 2 years ago | (#41186989)

Emission production as you state it is only a problem on a local level where the emissions are most concentrated (dense cities). Even electric cars will have emissions (either in production or at whatever plant is making the electricity for it). It's the part about digging up materials which have been locked underground for millions of years and then releasing those emissions into the atmosphere that is the global problem. If all of the energy and consumables your vehicle used during it's entire lifetime (including manufacture) were harvested from plants or otherwise scraped off of the surface of the biosphere instead of from within the ground you would essentially be close to net-neutral impact on the planet as far as emissions are concerned (not that there is no impact, it would just be ridiculously low impact).

Biodiesel (as usable in my VW Jetta) is only a little less efficient than petrol / oil based diesel. Mileage is about 5mpg lower or so, but you have to make sure the biodiesel is clean of other contaminants which can be a bit laborious depending on the original source. Of course most people I am aware of will typically use an 85/15 blend for better performance (15% regular diesel).

As far as emissions go, I don't think it's too much different but I don't know much about that. I guess it would entirely depend on how "clean" and viable the input is.

In any case, if we can turn something which truly does not have a better use other than to be cleaned (at great expense) and sent back into the biome into a usable fuel at less expense I fully support research into it. It seems to be much smarter than ethanol where suddenly the price of fuel becomes linked to the price of food. We honestly don't currently have a better use for human sewage anyways considering it is not considered fit for fertilizer either. Besides, if this comes to America just think of how much fatty acids are already present in the McSewage, or how we could just re-introduce Olean oil if we needed to increase production (how's that for a disgusting thought?).

- Toast

Re:Still.. biofuel (1)

burning-toast (925667) | about 2 years ago | (#41187005)

Posting in reply to my own post... Bad form, I know. Just a couple of details since this is something which personally interest me...

Considering I get about 45mpg on my 2006, averaged over 600 miles driving around Chicagoland, on regular diesel (low of 35 in bad traffic and a high of around 52 on the freeway) losing 5mpg is a trade I would be willing to make to switch off of diesel and onto biodiesel (100%)... Now if only I could just pump it into my tank at the gas station instead of having to procure and clean my own from fry oil...

Many of the restaurant chains or their suppliers are now taking back used fry oil because they realized they could do the same thing as the guys at home and use it in their fleet trucks to reduce costs. This relatively recent development has made it harder to self-produce. And some jurisdictions don't like it because they do not collect road-use type taxes on fuel you produce yourself.

- Toast

Re:Still.. biofuel (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#41190655)

They used to claim that the increase lubrication caused greater fuel efficiency in the bio form. Diesel is a lot like gas where it is formulated in different types in different parts of the country at different times of the year. This claim may be just something that is regional or perhaps only applicable during certain types of the year.

As for restaurants, Every one I worked at sold the waste oil to make soap and other supplies from. At a family style restaurant I was part owner of once, we got something like $100-$150 a month from our waste oil and they came and picked it up. This was 20 years ago but I was really surprised to find stories of people just getting the waste oil from restaurants. They must have stopped using it for those purposes or maybe the owners didn't know of it.

Re:Still.. biofuel (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41192275)

Actually there's less lubrication, at least in the biodiesel that's home produced. Diesel DOES have different formulations as well since if it did't it would turn to a gel in the Winter and nothing would run until it was warmed.

As for stories of free oil - that's mostly B.S. IMO. Every restaurant n my area has their waste bin locked and signs notofying folks it's NOT free. It's used to make fuel and yeah soaps etc. using the glycerin. I laugh at people who think they can just grab it and use it - sure as heck not in my area. I won a diesel too and you'd better believe I've researched making biofuel for it. Right now it simply makes no sense but I'll be interested to see if we begin making it from poop, beats ethanol for sure!

P.S. Funny that folks think this stuff isn't suitable for fertilizer when others are going so far as to mention specific brand names of fertilizer that uses it...

Posting A/C to preserve moderation :(

Re:Still.. biofuel (4, Interesting)

ldobehardcore (1738858) | about 2 years ago | (#41187195)

Regarding Emissions:

Biodiesel is much better for the air. While it certainly does produce CO2 in nearly the same amounts per unit burned, it is unlikely to contain sulfur in measurable amounts. How much sulfur is in deep fryer oil, or sewage? Practically none, since it's poisonous. People don't eat it in more than trace amounts.

So while Biodiesel is still not great for greenhouse emissions (unless it's balanced. Plant a tree dammit!), it's great for the breathing air of critters like us, compared to petroleum derived diesel. And if you clean it so it burns better in your engine, it's going to be much lower in particulate emissions as well.

If sewage derived biodiesel is scalable, (and it looks like it might be), this could mean the end to all the shit we put up with going to war for petroleum.

Re:Still.. biofuel (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41187401)

Biogas from waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) do contain sulfur, and the amount can vary a lot. Basically it depends on type of water treatment plant and the chemical (if it uses chemicals) used. In some cases reports have indicated more than 1000 ppm of H2S in biogas, but generally it's approximately 0-100 ppm.

The sulphur does come from waste and some from water as well. According to Wikipedia, human body (70kg) contains approximately 140g of sulphur. It's necessary component for living cells. So sulphur as itself is not that poisonous. LD50 value for pure sulphur is ~5g/kg. H2S is more poisonous (>100ppm is immediately dangerous, and 10 ppm is recommended limit for 10 min exposure), and active reducing bacteria tend to reduce the organic sulphur into H2S in biological plants.

And obviously the location determines the amount of sulphur in waste water, whether it's mostly municipal waste or chemical process waste water.

I don't know how much of this sulphur would end up in the lipids, though, but generally stating that sulphur is poisonous and waste water does not contain it, is just wrong.

Re:Still.. biofuel (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41188711)

Biodiesel is much better for the air. While it certainly does produce CO2 in nearly the same amounts per unit burned, it is unlikely to contain sulfur in measurable amounts.

But sulfur has been stripped out of diesel, too.

Biodiesel is carbon-neutral but results in slightly more nitric oxides so it has more acid rain potential than gasoline but in theory should do lower overall environmental damage. Long-term, we really need EVs. Or maybe one day hydrogen fuel cells will become practical, but that includes a better way to "make" hydrogen.

Re:Still.. biofuel (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41191925)

Biodiesel user here. It actually is great for greenhouse emissions. There may be an similar amount of CO2 produced when you run your car on diesel or biodiesel, but that CO2 is removed from the atmosphere by the plants grown for the biodiesel feedstock, so there is no *net* increase in atmospheric CO2. With regular diesel, you are digging it out of the ground and adding to atmospheric CO2.

Huh? I think you're missing an important point (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | about 2 years ago | (#41194051)

So while Biodiesel is still not great for greenhouse emissions

Biodiesel is just fine for greenhouse emissions. It's carbon neutral, an analogue to the photosynthesis loop. It goes like this:

Sun powers plants, that's your energy in. Plants grow and pull carbon from the air and nutrients from the soil. Harvest plants. Press oil from the plants and make biodiesel. Return the leftovers to the land for fertilizer. Burn biodiesel. Biodiesel returns CO2 to the atmosphere for the plants to use back in step 2.

The problem with oil is that it isn't a loop. Pull oil out of ground, burn it, CO2 is released but there isn't anything at the beginning of this process that removes CO2 from the atmosphere. CO2 emissions go up and you get global warming.

Re:Still.. biofuel (3, Informative)

dkuntz (220364) | about 2 years ago | (#41189111)

The issue I see is that newer VW TDIs (with the common rail system) is not designed to run on anything higher than B5 (95 Diesel/5 Bio). With my 2012 Jetta, if I use anything higher, they can void my warranty, and they are able to tell. Which sucks cause the station right near me that does Diesel does anywhere from B1 to B11, no notice as to what it is at that time. The problem here is the point in which biodiesel combusts, as compared to straight diesel. To be "clean burning", which VW Diesels are, they do a direct injection of diesel into the exhaust system to burn off the soot and other impurities that are/were common with diesel engines. Biodiesel doesnt ignite the same, leaving the impurities/soot, causing it to clog part of the exhaust system up, requiring expensive replacements.

This is to say, annoying, at the least. Now, I've heard of people having good luck with mod kits adding a second (heated) tank to use with filtered waste vegetable oil, with a cutover switch in the cabin. Start on diesel, switch over to WVO, then switch back later, but those were with pre-2010 VW Diesels.

Re:Still.. biofuel (1)

Shotgun (30919) | about 2 years ago | (#41194393)

So don't use this product in cars. Use it for home heating oil, which is just diesel with the road use taxes removed (at least in the US).

Re:Still.. biofuel (2)

Another, completely (812244) | about 2 years ago | (#41187055)

The better comparison might be between the emissions that would normally be produced by allowing the raw material to decompose naturally and the emissions from turning it into biodiesel and burning it. They would be different gasses, so the comparison would need to account for the different greenhouse effects. I understand that methane is one of the worse ones, so your emissions on this type of biodiesel might come out negative.

Re:Still.. biofuel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41187209)

Except, methane is burned in the production of the biodiesel. The combustion products of methane end up being CO2 and Water. The CO2 can be scrubbed and sequestered in the operation. The water can be treated a little more, and added to the potable supply, or used as a coolant for the biodiesel manufacturing process.

Re:Still.. biofuel (2)

Another, completely (812244) | about 2 years ago | (#41188567)

Except, methane is burned in the production of the biodiesel. The combustion products of methane end up being CO2 and Water. The CO2 can be scrubbed and sequestered in the operation.

If the sewage were not being processed for biodiesel, then it would have given off methane into the atmosphere during natural decomposition, wouldn't it? So this processing prevents some amount methane from being emitted (and possibly uses some more methane from another source; I didn't see that mentioned in the article, but there seems to be a lot of methanol involved, so I guess that might use methane during its production, although I don't know what happens to it after it's used here.) The upshot is that CO2 is produced (when the diesel is produced, and again when it's used), but a bunch of the more dangerous CH4 is avoided or destroyed, so might that not work out as a net good?

Re:Still.. biofuel (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41187187)

The CO2 part of the emission is eliminated here because the CO2 being released was already taken from the atmosphere in the first place so there is no new CO2 being produced here. Other emissions are probably not reduced, but those are really only a problem for the immediate area surrounding the car. If you use this fuel to generate electricity in a central place with no people around and a very high smokestack, then the emission problem really would be solved by this technology. That plant also could be dedicated to this kind of fuel which would avoid the problems people here are pointing out with using this fuel in normal engines. However, I doubt there is enough energy in sewage to power all of our vehicles, but if it can power some of them then that's still better than nothing.

Won't someone please think about the junkies? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186931)

This is definitely going to cause a price hike in the illicit Jenkem trade.

Some diesels don't work well with biodiesel. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41186951)

Despite the bullshit in the summary, biodiesel is NOT compatible with all diesel engines.

In some VW TDi engines biodiesel can and will cause problems in the fuel injection system and the EGR
system.

Of course I work on these cars for living, so I am sure one of you keyboard commandos will tell
me I am wrong because you heard it on a website somewhere. Hey, fuck up your own TDi, I could care
less. Just don't come to me for sympathy.

Re:Some diesels don't work well with biodiesel. (4, Informative)

shuz (706678) | about 2 years ago | (#41186999)

To expand on this, in new TDI's from Audi/VW at certain intervals raw diesel is injected into the cylinders post burn to heat up the particulate filter and burn off collected carbon. Because of this the raw diesel fuel mixes a little with the oil. For petroleum based fuels this is not a problem as the synthetic oil is designed to allow this to happen. Unfortunately biodiesel is a really great engine cleanser. The problem is that when biodiesel above 5-10% mixes with the synthetic oil the oil is diluted and loses its ability to adhere to the cylinder wall and prevent friction. I think most people understand the basic concept of running an engine without oil. My understanding is that a person could run up to 20% biodiesel if they are willing to make very frequent oil changes, say every 5k miles. But at ~$60 a change it may seem pricey for you.

Re:Some diesels don't work well with biodiesel. (2)

ldobehardcore (1738858) | about 2 years ago | (#41187227)

What if biodiesel users implemented a more viscous oil? Would that help? I'm honestly curious.

Wouldn't a higher viscosity oil dilute less quickly, making it last longer? Or would it still cause problems by not lubricating the engine enough, and letting heat build up from friction anyway, since the oil doesn't move as quickly?

Re:Some diesels don't work well with biodiesel. (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | about 2 years ago | (#41189645)

It is unlikely to dilute less fast - it would be mixed in the same proportions.

Additionally, running thicker oil will reduce engine efficiency, which is why you run a diesel in the first place.

Re:Some diesels don't work well with biodiesel. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41188593)

That's nothing new, PSA (Peugeot-Citroën) has had post combustion particulate filter for about a decade now. The first versions had a small additional tank of a special product injected for postcombustion (which had to be refilled very occasionally, I can remember but it was every 80000km/50000miles at least, maybe more).
I believe the most recent ones no more need any additive, but don't quote me on this, I only have gasoline cars.

Re:Some diesels don't work well with biodiesel. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41188733)

In fact this is always a problem because there is always some blow-by. Running biodiesel means more frequent oil changes because the blow-by from biofuel ruins petro-lube, and vice versa. Supposedly you can get bio-based crankcase lube in europe. I haven't looked in a while but last I checked there was nobody importing it to the USA.

Re:Some diesels don't work well with biodiesel. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 years ago | (#41191349)

The bigger problem is that the fuel injection system (in all new common-rail Diesels, not just VW TDIs) operates at such high pressures that the waxes present in Biodiesel tend to gum it up and break it. Given that the fuel injection system on a new Jetta costs $10K to replace, using biodiesel in such vehicles is not a wise choice.

Older Diesels, such as my 1998-model VW, do just fine on Biodiesel -- and get better fuel economy than the new ones, to boot!

Re:Some diesels don't work well with biodiesel. (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#41187085)

It seems to be an issue with common-rail diesels. The Bosch pumps fitted to old VWs and PSA XUD engines aren't bothered in the least, but XUDs with Lucas pumps won't last the pace. Anything with a common-rail system has big warnings in the manual not to use it with biodiesel, which seems like a step backwards.

It annoys me slightly that the heavy, lumbering, clattery 2.5 litre 200bhp turbodiesel getting 40mpg in my old CX is cleaner than the 50mpg 1600cc engine in my van...

Problem. (0, Flamebait)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41187037)

BP p.l.c., Chevron Corporation, ExxonMobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Total S.A.., ConocoPhillips Company and the OPEC Cartel would all have some very strong opinions against biodiesel - as they have already done so resulting in what should be a 1% cost-per-Watt-at-the-pump fuel source compared with fossil oil, costing almost the same if not *more*.

Such is the political environment where those with declared interests in those companies that lobby TPTATB (The Powers That Appear To Be) to protect their interests are those lobbied! I'm looking at YOU, Dubya! It's not all bombing Iraq to the Stone Age (I swear I just heard Achmed The Dead Terrorist yelp "Ooh! Upgrade!"), it's oil interests that have held back high efficiency solar plant, wind/tide farms, offshore biomass for fuel and food (kelp!), and better hybrids (I don't know of any that meet Obama's 54.5 target for whenever it is (2015?), among many other innovations that have the potential to save stupid amounts of money for individuals and put paid to war over fossil fuel.

Re:Problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41188491)

... it's oil interests that have held back high efficiency solar plant, wind/tide farms, offshore biomass for fuel and food (kelp!), and better hybrids (I don't know of any that meet Obama's 54.5 target for whenever it is (2015?), among many other innovations that have the potential to save stupid amounts of money for individuals and put paid to war over fossil fuel.

It was already said elsewhere by someone else, but I'll repeat it here: Oil's primary application is war. If you wish to dominate the seas and the skies, you have to have strong oil economy throughout the world, and control the oil tap. So, it is other way around: "war causes oil economy", not "oil causes wars". Oil suppliers are not kingpin villains, they are just playing along with military industrial complex.

Re:Problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41192423)

You do realize that BP is one of the larger investors in Solar power right? Their panels are supposed to be pretty high quality. They and the others are energy companies not just oil companies. I think your tin hat might be a bit too tight...

That's nothing. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41187041)

I heard on Drudge that President Osama is planning to fund research into biofuel from dead bodies. In his words, 8000 ppl die a day in the US alone, and that's a lot of barrels of biofuel. Sicko.

That's how... (3, Interesting)

Vintermann (400722) | about 2 years ago | (#41187067)

To turn the sludge lipids into biodiesel, the researchers heated them with methanol.

Yeah, that's basically the way all biodiesel is made... But the problem with biodiesel isn't just the price of feedstock (used fryer oil is cheap enough already!), it's the price of removing stuff from the feedstock that would make the biodiesel of unacceptably low quality (free fatty acids, BCBs).

Re:That's how... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41188039)

RTFA - the came up with a cheaper process to do that too.

So the car (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41187235)

runs on shit. There. Somebody had to say it.

Reinvinting the wheel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41188265)

Makes me wonder how World Changing Tech is doing, http://www.changingworldtech.com/index.asp. They have had a plant running for some years processing leftovers from a turkey processing plant. I belive their process will work with sewage too.

Interesting, but... (2)

MtViewGuy (197597) | about 2 years ago | (#41188465)

....If you want to make biofuels on a truly huge scale, there's only one source that actually makes sense: oil-laden algae.

Since some forms of oil-laden algae can grow in seawater, that right there means anywhere near an ocean the algae can be grown on a very large scale without the enormous expense of finding a source of fresh water. And the waste from processing oil-laden algae into biodiesel fuel can be processed further into either ethanol or turned into agricultural fertilizer.

Re:Interesting, but... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41188697)

It's "all" oil-laden (anything you'll encounter in typical conditions) and we already know that you get the most production by just letting nature colonize your ponds. Then you don't have to dick with Ph or anything, just pump the water in.

Re:Interesting, but... (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#41193133)

It's "all" oil-laden (anything you'll encounter in typical conditions) and we already know that you get the most production by just letting nature colonize your ponds. Then you don't have to dick with Ph or anything, just pump the water in.

So, feed the algae on sewage, let it 'harvest' the lipids and oils needed for biodiesel, then harvest & process the algae? Should be good for a couple mil in development studies...

Re:Interesting, but... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41198771)

So, feed the algae on sewage, let it 'harvest' the lipids and oils needed for biodiesel, then harvest & process the algae? Should be good for a couple mil in development studies...

We've spent the money already, take a look back [nrel.gov] at it.

Re:Interesting, but... (1)

cusco (717999) | about 2 years ago | (#41195593)

I've heard this idea presented before, and it scares the ever-living carp out of me. As if an oil spill isn't bad enough, now we're going to have an oil spill that reproduces on its own? All it will take is a dike collapsing in a storm. Yikes.

Ashi and shee-pack? (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 2 years ago | (#41189249)

Great anime from South Korea (coincidence?)

central to the plot was recycling poop into fuel when the world's fuel ran out.

"Biodiesel is compatible..." Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41189657)

"Biodiesel is compatible with existing diesel engines" yeah, except for VWs engines since 2006.

so if bio diesel made from fryer fat smells like.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41190161)

french fries, what is biodiesel made from sewage going to smell like when a car burns it ?? that could be a really unpleasant drive through the city.

Stranger than Fiction... (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | about 2 years ago | (#41190533)

...the first time in human recorded history there is a mathematical proof with which to fuel further human population growth and development that the Oil and Gas industry can sell back to us at extremely high profits

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