Biodiesel

bigpapaporsche

New member
Here is the bottom line. There is no down side to using ULSD with B5<! I try, at every opportunity to only use it. One of the BAD characteristics of Biodiesel, that I didn't see anyone mention, is its ability to keep water in solution, i.e. it doesn't separate out like regular Diesel. Why would anyone want water (It there) mixing with their Diesel fuel and going through the Fuel System's components.
I've spent 50 years in the Diesel Truck/Construction equipment industry and appreciate the use of good maintenance practices and quality Fuel/Lubes. It is sorta like "FAST FOOD," a little is okay, but at every meal it will Kill You.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I thought you were going away, Aqua.
I just really, really, really don't like when some here post incomplete information.

You and a couple others on the forum either have a serious case of psychological projection, since you see fear and worry in the minds of people you do not know, OR you have the ability to mind read across long distances. Why not let other folks use their prudential judgment in fuel selection and maintenance for their vehicles, and you can do whatever the hell you want?
....
I have never commented about or tried to do psychological analysis of anyone here on the forum. Apparently you are more learned in that area than I am.

I do let others use their judgement. I provide references. Isn't that what discussion is about? Clearly nobody here is standing on technical studies. It is mostly opinion and manufacturer CYA legal speak.

I quote. And I responded to.
MB’s 2015 biodiesel brochure shows pictures of component issues related to higher% biodiesel use. MB included these pix for a reason, I’m sure.
Do you care to refute my reply in a similar manner that I used to respond to your post?

I really, really, really don't care what people do with or to their Sprinters.

I do care, and try to offset some things that are posted as fact.

I guess that after all of these years... No. I am not going away.

:cheers: vic

P.S. - Purchase a VS30 model. I rarely look in on that section.
 
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aarpskier

2017 LTV Unity FX
9 pages of theoretical discussion, name-calling, personal preferences, references to MB requirements, etc. All of which has no realistic practical application.

We are within 4 days of completing a two month, seventeen state, 8,000+ mile trip (Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois), at elevations from 600 to 10,000 feet.

To date, traveling 6,808 miles, we have purchased 408.5 gallons of diesel fuel, for an average of 16.7 mpg. Average cost has been $2.95. This fuel has been purchased from twenty different vendors (J&H Oil, Petro, Shell, Exxon, BP, Shell, Chevron, Raceway, Bucees, Circle K, Valero, Sunoco, Loves, Arco, Quik Trip, Maverik, Milepost, Sinclair, Phillips 66, Xpress 24) in ten different states. On several occasions, the vendor was the "only game in town" when we needed fuel. Three of the outlets were completely automated; i.e., no attendant.

All of the fuel was clearly marked Ultra Low Sulphur. There was either (1) no ethanol information on the pump, (2) B<5%, or (3) B5% - B20% (rare). Where there was no information on the pump, I asked an attendant (if there was one) about the ethanol concentration in their diesel fuel. Not one knew the answer.

So, in real life:

1. We bought and used the fuel available at the location we needed it.

2. On a couple of occasions, where there were multiple outlets in close proximity, we checked and found that everyone was selling diesel with the same posted ethanol concentration.

3. We had neither the time nor the inclination to drive around searching for something that probably was not available in any event.

4. If you only use your Unity close to home or confine your camping outings to a single state where you can fill up at personally researched and selected stations, you may be able to precisely control the amount of ethanol in your fuel. However, if you use your Unity as intended, you can't.

In short, theoretical talk is interesting, but in practice pretty useless.
 
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CJPJ

2008 3500 170"ext. 3.0 V6 OM642.993
Small detail:

Gas can have ethanol thinking its a oxygenated cleaner air additive : there's E-15, E-85

Diesel can have boidiesel: B5, B15, B20, B99

AFAIN
 

lrcasella

Member
aarpskier, maybe that's why the dealers couldn't tell you what the ethanol concentration was since there is no ethanol added to #2 diesel. Yes, Federal rules require that Road use diesel pumps must be labelled Ultra Low Sulfur and also bio content. 0-5 - no labelling required. 5-20 is labelled as 20, and anything above 20 must be labelled. This is the latest Mercedes Bio-Diesel Brochure: https://lookaside.fbsbx.com/file/Me...Dll3avHcB780UPUT1K5RR25FBNEqdMI1kVvF2T6-D9xLC.
Follow the guidance. If routinely using bio above 5%, more frequent oil changes are recommended - 10K, vice 20k. Also, limit idling to 5 minutes or less. We had Mercedes Engineers at the Skinny-Winnie Rally at Winnebago, at Paso Robles View/Navion Rally, and are going to be at our next rally in Virginia. They repeated this info - also recommended checking oil level. Also, don't use biomass diesel - that Mercedes does not approve in any percentage. Last, don't sweat it. A tank or two of bio content at 20% is not going to make a difference. If in Minnesota or most of Illinois and can't avoid routine fill up with B20, just follow the guidance.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
... Also, don't use biomass diesel - that Mercedes does not approve in any percentage. ...
:thumbup: That isn't in conflict with earlier information posted here.

...

If you follow the Mercedes guidelines for blue label B20 (not at all difficult), use blue label B20 or not, it ain't gonna matter.

:2cents: vic
Biomass fuel is easily identified by the required orange label.

BiodieselMB.jpg

It appears that suppliers can benefit buying (producing?) B100 and blending their own fuel.

A 2013 Overview.
When your customers pull up to the diesel pump, they want to know exactly what they are getting. Clearly posting your price and the diesel grade are part of your every day operation. Biodiesel pump label requirements give travel centers an opportunity to easily integrate biodiesel blends.

First, 48 states require B100 (pure biodiesel) meets quality specifications before blending, just like diesel fuel. All truck stops or travel centers purchasing B100 in order to take advantage of the federal blenders tax credit for $1.00 per gallon must purchase fuel that meets the ASTM D 6751 specification. You can ask your biodiesel provider for a copy of a recent certificate of analysis to prove your fuel quality at the initial blend was on spec.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates pump labeling within four categories; B1-B5, B6-B20, B20+ and B100. FTC biodiesel pump labels are blue in color. Orange labels denote the broader category of biomass-based diesel which could also include renewable diesel.
https://www.natso.com/blog/truckstop-biodiesel-pump-labeling-requirements-unraveled-
List of States.
https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/matrix?sort_by=tech

:cheers: vic

Some info from Chevron about bio-mass fuels (orange label = prohibited by MB) vs biodiesel (blue label = accepted by MB to B20).
There is so much confusion about bio/biomass diesel. I saw this post on the Minnie Winnie’s forum. I think Chevron’s reply should clear up some of this.
...
The wording on the orange label you are referring to “contains biomass-based diesel or biodiesel in quantities between 5 percent and 20 percent” is required by the FTC, and serves to notify the customer that the diesel fuel contains biomass-based diesel (in addition to petroleum-based), but does not necessarily mean it is a biodiesel product.
...
Biomass-based diesel [orange label] does not necessarily mean biodiesel, although it is also bio-derived. Biodiesel is produced from similar renewable feedstocks, but its chemical composition is distinctly different, and it is produced using entirely different chemical processes than those used in making renewable diesel.
...
Regards,

Chevron Fuels Technical Service
fueltek@...
tel: +1 510 242 5357 option#3
office hours: Mon-Fri 9-11am; 1-3pm (Pacific)
 
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aarpskier

2017 LTV Unity FX
Small detail: Gas can have ethanol thinking its a oxygenated cleaner air additive : there's E-15, E-85. Diesel can have boidiesel: B5, B15, B20, B99 AFAIN
Right. Thanks for clarification.

aarpskier, maybe that's why the dealers couldn't tell you what the ethanol concentration was since there is no ethanol added to #2 diesel. Yes, Federal rules require that Road use diesel pumps must be labelled Ultra Low Sulfur and also bio content. 0-5 - no labelling required. 5-20 is labelled as 20, and anything above 20 must be labelled. This is the latest Mercedes Bio-Diesel Brochure: https://lookaside.fbsbx.com/file/Me...Dll3avHcB780UPUT1K5RR25FBNEqdMI1kVvF2T6-D9xLC.
Follow the guidance. If routinely using bio above 5%, more frequent oil changes are recommended - 10K, vice 20k. Also, limit idling to 5 minutes or less. We had Mercedes Engineers at the Skinny-Winnie Rally at Winnebago, at Paso Robles View/Navion Rally, and are going to be at our next rally in Virginia. They repeated this info - also recommended checking oil level. Also, don't use biomass diesel - that Mercedes does not approve in any percentage. Last, don't sweat it. A tank or two of bio content at 20% is not going to make a difference. If in Minnesota or most of Illinois and can't avoid routine fill up with B20, just follow the guidance.
1. I miss-spoke when I said "ethanol." Sorry for the mistake.

2. As I stated, I saw (1) Nothing re bio content. (2) B<5%. (3) B5%-B20%. I never saw just "B20".

3. "Also, don't use biomass diesel - that Mercedes does not approve in any percentage." As others have pointed out on this thread, there are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of MB diesels in this country. I suspect their operators do as we did: fill up with what is available when a fill up is needed. Because the bell-shaped curve rule applies to everything, not all of those operators are going to precisely follow every maintenance requirement. And yet, there does not seem to be an epidemic, or even a minor surge, of MB's grinding to a halt because of biofuel use.

MB is never going to be able to convince a jury of the affirmative defense that an operator is at fault because he/she failed to fill up only with fuel that was not readily available (if at all) in the geographic area in which it knew its product was being used. When I was still trying cases, and teaching trial practice, I called that a "briefcase defense": Argue it and to avoid personal injury you had better put your briefcase up on the counsel table, because the jury members are going to take their shoes off and throw them at you!

4. "Last, don't sweat it." I think that is exactly what I was trying to say.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
When deciding whether B20 is appropriate for your use or not, be careful that the information you use isn't old news. Things changed in 2012.

There is very good reason that Mercedes Benz has modified their previous hard line stance on biofuel use in the USA. The following information also shows why digging up MB warnings published prior to 2013 regarding biofuel use, or older info from any manufacturer may have little value, and can actually be misleading.

Since 2012 B100 used to blend needs to meet an updated ATSM D6751 specification.

https://www.dieselnet.com/tech/fuel_biodiesel_std.php

"Two major specifications establishing the quality requirements for alkyl ester-based biodiesel fuels are the ASTM D6751 in the USA and the EN 14214 in Europe.
...
Approaches to US and EU standards for biodiesel differ. In the USA, ASTM D6751 establishes specifications for a biodiesel blend stock for middle distillate fuels. While the specification was written for B100, it is not intended for neat biodiesel used as automotive fuel. Rather, it is for the biodiesel component that is to be blended to produce biodiesel/diesel fuel blends. Since 2012, the ASTM D6751 standard defines two grades of biodiesel: grade 2-B (identical to biodiesel defined by earlier versions of the standard) and grade 1-B with tighter controls on monoglycerides and cold soak filterability. Two automotive standards for biodiesel/diesel fuel blends have been published by ASTM:

The ASTM Standard Specification for Diesel Oil, ASTM D975 [commercial on road diesel], was modified in 2008 to allow up to 5% biodiesel to be blended into the fuel.
ASTM D7467 is a specification for biodiesel blends from B6 to B20."

:cheers: vic
 
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BobLLL

Member
3. "Also, don't use biomass diesel - that Mercedes does not approve in any percentage." As others have pointed out on this thread, there are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of MB diesels in this country... [that use this fuel]
I think there is still some confusion between "biodiesel" and "biomass diesel". They are not quite the same thing. They are produced from different sources and by different methods. And they have different labels at the pump. (See label examples in Aqua Puttana post #88).

I'm not sure "biomass diesel" (the orange pump label) is as widely available at retail pumps, compared to B20 (blue label). So we can't assume that lots of sprinters have run lots of miles with biomass diesel.
 
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aarpskier

2017 LTV Unity FX
I think there is still some confusion between "biodiesel" and "biomass diesel". They are not quite the same thing. They are produced from different sources and by different methods. And they have different labels at the pump. (See label examples in Aqua Puttana post #88).

I'm not sure "biomass diesel" (the orange pump label) is as widely available at retail pumps, compared to B20 (blue label). So we can't assume that lots of sprinters have run lots of miles with biomass diesel.
As to Aqua Puttana's labels, in the recent 2-month trip I detailed above, I never saw either the center or the right label. Most of the pumps I used had the left label, or at least something similar referencing ULSD. In addition, a few pumps had additional labels to the effect that the fuel was between B5% and B20%.

I don't know the difference between "biomass" and "biodiesel" (and a re-reading of the now-10 pages of this thread suggests many folks are like me). I suspect that is also true of most private and commercial MB diesel owners and operators. We all just pull up to diesel pump, see the standard ULSD sticker and fuel up. And MB is never going to convince anyone that that is a misuse of its product.
 

BobLLL

Member
I don't know the difference between "biomass" and "biodiesel" (and a re-reading of the now-10 pages of this thread suggests many folks are like me).
Well, the only differences we really need to know are:
1. Biomass diesel has an orange sticker.
2. There isn't as much on-the-road experience with biomass diesel.
3. Biomass diesel is still completely "not-approved" by MB.
4. MB has backed off its non-approval of B20 biodiesel (blue sticker), and allows it with restrictions.

Personally, I would not fill with biomass diesel based on what we know so far. It is not hard to avoid the orange sticker; I've rarely if ever seen it.
 

alehorton

New member
Some interesting official info from MB on BioDiesel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfW27mnRH5U&t=0s
I love it, when put on the spot the Mercedes reps will say what makes their vehicle still appealing for purchase, even with a cringe on the face. Telling folks they cant drive through Minnesota is an automaker P.R. no-no apparently, to the benefit of everyone trying to get a straight answer about b20 in egr/dpf diesels
 
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Bobnoxious

Learning about Sprinters to help others
I love it, when put on the spot the Mercedes reps will say what makes their vehicle still appealing for purchase, even with a cringe on the face. Telling folks they cant drive through Minnesota is an automaker P.R. no-no apparently, to the benefit of everyone trying to get a straight answer about b20 in egr/dpf diesels
Biodiesel discussion begins at 12:30. Yeah, and numerous cuts during the Peter DeMayo interview. Allow me to translate: Avoid B20 at all costs!!!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WfW27mnRH5U
 

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Klipstr

2018 Wonder FTB
So what do you all suppose Ford is doing different in their diesel engine used in the Transit chassis? In all the Ford literature they tout B20 capable and have no admonishments about idle times or other concerns.

In addition the Transit diesel is equipped with technology to alert when an oil change is required rather than a specific interval. I'm guessing is a sensor that is looking through the oil at some point to determine when the particulate load reaches a certain level (oil becomes less transparent as particulate load increases). In my case that alert happened around 10,500 miles. When I had it changed I asked the techs to let me look at the oil. It did not seem unduly filthy to me or to them. I'm guessing the sensor errs on the side of caution.

I know, I know, not a Ford forum but smart guys lurk here so thought they could shed some light...
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
... Allow me to translate: Avoid B20 at all costs!!!
Your picture grab of Peter Demayo is very compelling data.

BiodieselPeterDemayo.jpg


So we revert back to what we want to believe? I thought there was actually some progress made toward accepting published MB data in this thread.

This is PUBLISHED BY MERCEDES BENZ. It is verifiable as official data.

BiodieselMB.jpg

More of the official post 2013 information (the USA biofuel official standard changed in 2012) is available in the PDF brochure and earlier discussions.

Use blue label B20 or not, but let's keep to facts.
Keep in mind that a Blue B20 label identifies biofuel blend ranging from B6 to B20. It is not even necessarily a B20 fuel.


:cheers: vic
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
So what do you all suppose Ford is doing different in their diesel engine used in the Transit chassis? In all the Ford literature they tout B20 capable and have no admonishments about idle times or other concerns.
...
My opinion. Ford is more practical in the approach to fluids. Mercedes has always been extremely conservative when it comes to any fluids. I offer the BeVo list as evidence. There are few manufacturers who bother to go into similar detail. Most rely on ACEA, API, and other industry standards.

In addition the Transit diesel is equipped with technology to alert when an oil change is required rather than a specific interval. I'm guessing is a sensor that is looking through the oil at some point to determine when the particulate load reaches a certain level (oil becomes less transparent as particulate load increases). In my case that alert happened around 10,500 miles. When I had it changed I asked the techs to let me look at the oil. It did not seem unduly filthy to me or to them. I'm guessing the sensor errs on the side of caution.
More likely dielectric than opacity as to any sensor. The computers are also able to track engine temperatures, operating hours, speeds, etc. to use in the calculations. That is what the MB T1N ASSYST oil change used for data.

I know, I know, not a Ford forum but smart guys lurk here so thought they could shed some light...
No problem. It seems that most anything is ok when it comes to biodiesel discussion.

:cheers: vic
 

Bobnoxious

Learning about Sprinters to help others
Your picture grab of Peter Demayo is very compelling data.

View attachment 111056


So we revert back to what we want to believe? I thought there was actually some progress made toward accepting published MB data in this thread.

This is PUBLISHED BY MERCEDES BENZ. It is verifiable as official data.

View attachment 111055

More of the official post 2013 information is available in the PDF brochure and earlier discussions.

Use blue label B20 or not, but let's keep to facts.
Keep in mind that a Blue B20 label identifies biofuel blend ranging from B6 to B20. It is not even necessarily a B20 fuel.


:cheers: vic
My apologies for the confusion. Peter's ugly mug was not intended as "compelling data."

Forgive me, as I am a product of my former employment where everyone and everything is suspect. I refuse to swallow the corporate Kool Aid or politician's promises of "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." The world is filled with liars and deceit.

Peter says, "Our engineers have done 'some' testing..." Allow me to translate: our marketing team has determined, based on extensive engineering data, the detrimental effects of Biodiesel won't become apparent until well after warranty expiration and thus, minimal impact on profits.

I brought a diesel advertised and intended to burn diesel not eco sourmash. The corporate/gooberment deceptions continue...

:hugs:

NOx
 

alehorton

New member
Biodiesel discussion begins at 12:30. Yeah, and numerous cuts during the Peter DeMayo interview. Allow me to translate: Avoid B20 at all costs!!!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WfW27mnRH5U
This was not the message I intended to communicate. Rather, I meant to say that if MB says its okay, then its okay. They just had to get squeezed into the position of saying it.

I do not know the reasons for his hesitancy, nor do I think it is reason enough to stop investigation of biodiesel use for these vehicles.. Truly good evidence would look like a test of multiple dpf/egr sprinter diesels side by side having run on different fuels. Mercedes would most likely be the only organization with enough motivated capital to run such tests. (anyone know any engineers at mercedes? :)

Furthermore, because most modern diesels are equipped with the same egr/dpf and double injection that are allegedly the source of the problems; it seems all other things equal (injector sizes, material use, etc, ), evidence can be gathered for or against the use of biodiesel from other manufacturers diesels, or even other mercedes diesels.

I would be most convinced by chemistry, when the biodiesel gels up in the crank case (at what temp), what causes the cylinder to get worn---poor fuel filtration or the chemistry of biodiesel itself...etc.
 
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