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I don't know what all Prius fans think about this, but I'm sure glad to add my two cents. I think people who put their energy into driving bio-diesels, especially veggie-diesels are great. I considered it as well, but decided not to put my spare energy into collecting used oil from restaurants like some of my friends do. But blessings to them all. My understanding is that we are all working at doing our own part. Well, I suppose I shouldn't say "all of us," since I read today that our fearful leader, President Bush, decided to combat the high price of gas by lowering the environmental standards of the oil refineries. You go George! Please go before you completely ruin this one planet that has been given to our care.

Well, I got carried away there. Bottom line-- veggie drivers are great. Please don't try to set this up as us against them.

PA P
 

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The one drawback that I understood was that the biodiesel, or any diesel, generates a lot of NOx, and that is what causes smog. So therefore the California people don't like that. I suppose out in Kansas that isn't as big a problem.
 

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No one ever said the Prius was the final solution.

Biodiesel is probably a good way to go too. I mean, it makes sense to me since what are you gonna do with all that waste oil anyway? Might as well use it as fuel.
 

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sub3marathonman said:
The one drawback that I understood was that the biodiesel, or any diesel, generates a lot of NOx, and that is what causes smog. So therefore the California people don't like that. I suppose out in Kansas that isn't as big a problem.
Not 100% sure about true biodiesel, but 'greasel' doesn't produce any smog-forming components (unless it's badly out of tune.)

If you don't know, biodiesel is plant matter (usually oil or grease) that has been processed (using a process that involves mixing with alcohol, then using some nasty chemicals, both of which do NOT enter the final product, though,) into a diesel fuel. Greasel is a process where you modify a diesel engine so that it can run on pure vegetable grease. (Think french fry grease, which is, in fact, a common source for greasel fans.) You have to run your grease through a filter, and pre-heat it before it can run through an engine (so greasel-converted vehicles often have a second small tank that holds 'regular' diesel to start the car,) but it is even cleaner than biodiesel. (A few weeks ago, I saw an old diesel GMC truck with a 'powered by cooking grease' bumper sticker, a simple 'greasel' sticker, and a home-made 'Hummer - rhymes with dumber' sticker.)
 

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B5 if you care about your warranty on VW

One thing I wish the press would point out is that VW (one of the few makers of diesel cars sold in the US) doesn't approve of using fuel w/more than 5% biodiesel (B5) in it. So, for those who are using processed cooking grease and concentrations >5% and have a warranty, they can kiss the emissions and engine warranty goodbye.

See http://www.vw.com/contactus/faqs.html#5.1.

Ford has a similar statement.
https://www.fleet.ford.com/showroom/env ... nology.asp

Using B5, isn't going to reduce our dependence on oil given that from everything I've read about fractional distillation, a barrel of crude produces 2x the amount of gasoline as it does diesel (it produces both, but results in 2x the amount of gasoline). So, a 50 mpg diesel car powered by diesel refined from crude oil isn't really using any less (mostly foreign) crude oil than a 25 mpg gasoline car.

http://experts.about.com/q/Energy-Indus ... fining.htm and
http://api-ec.api.org/filelibrary/oilfacts_rgb.pdf mention these figures.
 

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This statement is funny though....

That's why some Hollywood hipsters are trading in their hybrids for an
old Mercedes and fueling up with biodiesel, which doesn't cause
greenhouse gases and is a renewable energy source.
Now I don't know how clean biodiesel is. While burning used cooking grease probably does reduce our dependence on foreign oil (while increasing our dependence on McDonalds and KFC), and it is hard to imagine that the combustion products are that much cleaner than gas (though they may smell better - I can just see it now: "Today's air quality, good, with a hint of curley fries and chicken fried steak"), I'm willing to concede it may be clean.

But I do know this: no matter how clean it is, it's still a hydrocarbon, which means it's going to produce good old CO2. And that's definitely a greenhouse gas.
 

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Re: B5 if you care about your warranty on VW

cwerdna said:
Using B5, isn't going to reduce our dependence on oil given that from everything I've read about fractional distillation, a barrel of crude produces 2x the amount of gasoline as it does diesel (it produces both, but results in 2x the amount of gasoline). So, a 50 mpg diesel car powered by diesel refined from crude oil isn't really using any less (mostly foreign) crude oil than a 25 mpg gasoline car.
Oh my... where to begin here.

Yes, you get more gasoline out of a barrel of oil than you do diesel.

However, the amounts are fixed. YOu're always going to have a percentage of diesel and a percentage of gasoline in each barrel of oil. That's how fractional distillation works. Maybe half the barrel can be refined into gasoline, and around 30% can be refined to diesel. So it's really not as bleak as you make it out to be.
 

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DSA said:
But I do know this: no matter how clean it is, it's still a hydrocarbon, which means it's going to produce good old CO2. And that's definitely a greenhouse gas.
Yes, it will produce CO2, but it doesn't ADD to the greenhouse gas problem. It was produced from a plant that removed CO2 from the air, and now you're just putting that back.

On the other hand, dinosaurs millions of years ago were removed from the carbon cycle, until the people found them as oil and started reintroducing the carbon back into the atmoshpere as CO2 from engine emmissions.
 

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DSA said:
But I do know this: no matter how clean it is, it's still a hydrocarbon, which means it's going to produce good old CO2. And that's definitely a greenhouse gas.
Yes, it does release CO2 in the combustion process. But where do you think the CH came from? It was removed from the air as the plants grew and did their thing. Plants make their food from CO2.
 

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I'm all for anyone who tries alternative fuel and/or reduces our dependence on foriegn oil.

However - and please correct me if I'm wrong - doesn't bio-diesel have a very limited amount of potential users? By this I mean, if everyone (or even 2%) converted their cars over to run on it, wouldn't we quickly (immediately?) run out of grease? How many cars can a single Burger King support?

Doesn't the same logic hold true for methanol? It's only attactive because there's not a lot of people using it? At their full potential production, what percentage of American autos could be powered by bio-diesel and corn?
 

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Tideland Prius said:
Biodiesel is probably a good way to go too. I mean, it makes sense to me since what are you gonna do with all that waste oil anyway? Might as well use it as fuel.
I agree. And you can power quite a few vehicles with it, maybe a lot of vehicles. It may make a lot of sense to convert more fleets of large vehicles so they can use that waste oil. Still, you have to consider the costs, including the fuel-driven transportation costs, of collecting all that waste oil.

But the economics, and overall energy efficiency, really turn to the worse when you convert so many vehicles that you drive that waste oil into scarcity. Now you're in a case similar to that of ethanol: Does it make sense to go beyond using waste (cooking oil, corn stumpage) and begin growing the plants for the primary or sole purpose of turning them into vehicle fuel? Now you have to charge the costs of all the inputs to the final product, including the irrigation, the fertilizers, the harvesting, the processing, and all the transportation of the inputs and the outputs.
 

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:?: I've been curious... What with the ICE being spooled up to ~1,000 RPM before introduction of fuel and ignition, why wouldn't the Prius be a good candidate for a diesel ICE - Bio or otherwise..??
 

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highroute said:
But the economics, and overall energy efficiency, really turn to the worse when you convert so many vehicles that you drive that waste oil into scarcity.
And what happens when the next health food craze makes fried food obsolete? Just like how Atkins led to Krispy Kreme's stock dive. WHAT HAPPENS THEN???!!!
 

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I am with PA P ...good on them...and I am glad they have the energy and sense to care about the environment...
When other alternatives are available readily and easily I will certainly consider them..in the meantime..I love my Prius...
 

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ehurtley said:
Not 100% sure about true biodiesel, but 'greasel' doesn't produce any smog-forming components (unless it's badly out of tune.)
They are *WORSE* than dino-diesel, making it poor solution.

NOx emissions are higher from biodiesel, which is why we should always measure vehicle cleanness based on the ULEV, SULEV, PZEV categories. Those that want to deceive focus solely on carbon, intentionally ignoring the harsh reality that biodiesel makes smog problems even worse.

Of course, a non-hybrid automatic diesels get disappointing real-world (mixed driving) MPG anyway. So the support for biodiesel is difficult to justify.
 

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john1701a said:
Of course, a non-hybrid automatic diesels get disappointing real-world (mixed driving) MPG anyway. So the support for biodiesel is difficult to justify.
How about that new Jetta TDI with the DSG Auto, which actually only gets one less MPG in the city, and one more MPG on the highway, than the manual.
 
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