Biodiesel: Kubota Review  -- Kubota Tractors Discussion Forum and Review Biodiesel: Kubota Review -- Kubota Tractors Discussion Forum

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 08-19-2002, 18:03 Post: 41387
Charlton



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 Biodiesel

Two questions first, is anyone using Biodiesel either B20 or B100? Second, Has anyone had any luck reaching a Kubota factory rep? I am trying to find out if Kubota has a policy on Biodiesel as to the warranty implications.

Thanks
Dave






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 08-20-2002, 06:30 Post: 41408
TomG

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Dave: I put a question to NH through their web site 800 customer number. They referred me to my dealer. I have no problems with the idea of calling my dealer. I just figured that the dealer would not likely have the answer on hand and would end up calling NH anyway.

I guess they've got a system where they direct most questions to a dealer and the dealer calls a regional factory rep if they don't have the answer. The rep probably calls somebody else. So I asked the dealer and received an answer later in the day. A couple of weeks later NH calls back and asks if I was happy--I was.

I guess it makes sense if there is some filtering of public contact before the contact starts taking up the time of highly technical people--who also may not be the best at PR. Kubota may have a similar system and it may be easier to get an answer by asking a dealer rather than looking for a rep. In general I like dealers; they even support this site as well as participate.






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 08-20-2002, 09:54 Post: 41418
Murf



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 Biodiesel

My fuel company rep. warned us AGAINST using Bio-Diesel...yet. It seems that, like anything else, something new means "subject to change". Presently there seems to be a serious problem with algae growth, especially in situations where the machine does not see a lot of use (ie. running full-time). For those who may not know, algae is a nasty problem in a diesel fuel system, in a untreated situation can cause a total blockage of the entire system. Apparently the refineries are unable to put enough additives in the fuel to do little more than slow the problem down. Best of luck.






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 08-21-2002, 07:33 Post: 41457
TomG

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I read a newspaper story about a U.S. city that switched its city buses to bio-diesel. The story said the buses smelled like french-fries. I haven’t heard about the algae issue. Maybe the city had had an algae problem and now the buses smell like diesel again..

As I recall, algae problems are associated with moisture in the fuel from condensation. Maybe the problem is manageable if very good storage is used. Still, my 1710 doesn't burn enough diesel for me to worry much about going to a cheaper fuel, but my wife does like french-fries much better than diesel smell.






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 08-23-2002, 00:12 Post: 41538
JonB



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 Biodiesel

I've been told to fill up the fuel tank after each use to prevent water condensation. But under what circumstances does water condense inside the fuel tank? My guess is water would condense on a warm day after a cold night. Is there any other water to prevent water condensation? Thanks in advance. JonB






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 08-23-2002, 08:22 Post: 41546
TomG

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 Biodiesel

Dew point is the temperature at which humidify in the air starts condensing. On a warm humid day, fuel in the tank warms up and air space fills with humid air. Air and fuel in the tank stay warmer after it starts cooling down in the evening. The cooling evening air causes the inside surface of the tank to go below the dew point of air that's in the tank, then water condenses on the inside surfaces and gets into the fuel. Since water is heavier than fuel, it goes to the bottom of the tank and collects in the filter bowl. Once in the fuel water doesn't evapourate.

Keeping the tank topped up, especially during the winter, simply reduces the air space and therefore the amount of water from condensation. It doesn't stop the problem, which is why it's good to check for water in the filter bowl occasionally. Some fuel additives contain water dispersants. However, some people discourage the use of additives that contain methanol. Water that goes on to the injectors can turn to steam and damage the injectors, or at least that's the story. It probably better to just check the filter bowl and keep the tank topped up.






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 08-23-2002, 08:43 Post: 41549
Murf



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Funny how theories have subtle differences depending on the application. I was always taught that the condensation in the tank is caused by the fuel (and possibly the steel tank itself) cooling much slower than the evening air, causing a vacuum situation, thus drawing in moist air which condenses into water vapour. In fact around here it is common to see an old oily rag tied around vents & filler caps, theory goes it gives the water vapour something to collect on before it can reach the inside of the tank.

As for the water in the injectors, I don't believe steam is the problem, water is far more viscous than diesel, and it simply will not pass through a fuel injector tip, in a severe case it will effectively stop fuel from getting through at all. In very cold weather it would not take much water in a tip wreck it either. Best of luck.






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 08-24-2002, 05:27 Post: 41567
TomG

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I guess the results are the same by either theory and that's what's important.

I'm not sure that the theories are incompatible. One is from the perspective of air that's already in the tank and the other considers new air drawn into the tank as the inside air cools. In either case, the temperature at the top part of the tank where there is no fuel probably drops below dew point first.

It's probably a fairly complex mechanism. Fuel in the tank cools slowly, which keeps inside air warmer than outside air. That would create inside air circulation that would tend to warm the tank in the air space area and also reduce (or delay) the amount of air drawn into the tank. Some nights the tank surfaces may not drop below dew point even when there’s dew on the grass.

I think that maybe a long thin aluminum vent pipe that is exposed and faced down would minimize condensation in the tank. The vent tube should reach dew point first and water would condense on the inside and run out of the tube. But that'd probably be over-designing things since I just keep the tank topped up and never have had a problem.

The water in the injectors stories I've heard include exploding injector tips. I've always wondered about these stories. I do believe there’s a reason why decent quality diesel anti-gel additives usually specify ‘Does not contain methanol.’






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