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HVO / Renewable Diesel?

Chainbreaker

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Anybody following the HVO (aka: Renewable Diesel) situation? I was not aware of it until I recently stumbled across a couple of articles on it by accident:

What is the difference between renewable diesel and traditional biodiesel - if any? | Neste

Audi's V6 Diesel Engines Can Now Run On Renewable Fuels | The Drive

I like the 30% higher Cetane rating they allege!

Of course, the real ? is what will it cost, as compared to conventional Biodiesel blends B5-B20. Since its 100% non-dino based diesel is it going to cost less or more?

Sounds promising... but time & cost will tell if its a successful dino/blend diesel replacement fuel.
 

87cr250r

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We'll be switching our tugboat fleet to the stuff next year. There will be a ~5% loss of power. I expect a similar reduction in fuel economy.

Previously I had tried running the Propel bio fuels in my CUCV. The tank is relatively small at 20 gallons. I could get a full 5 day commute on a tank of regular diesel. On the propel fuel I had to refill every 4 days. It certainly wasn't worth the lower price. It caused no issues otherwise.

As for corrosiveness, look for ASTM D130 to compared the corrosiveness of fuels. All hydrocarbon fuels will grow bacteria if you've got water in the tank. Don't put water in your tank. The older high sulfur fuels would grow a sulphate reducing bacteria that accelerated corrosion in tanks but that's almost non-existent with the new fuel blends.
 

WillWagner

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I have been forced to use it here. First, the price of "diesel"....not gonna call it real diesel, cause it aint'....here in So Cal is STILL + $6 a gallon, almost $1.50 more expensive than low grade gasoline. Second, it stinks coming out the tailpipe. I have noticed almost 1 MPG less over the last tank but the truck seems to have a bit more power. The smoke out of the tailpipe on a hard, loaded acceleration, like an on ramp, is brownish, kinda like a car with a plugged filter or one that has been driven by a little old lady and needs a good blow out. The truck runs hotter, oil and coolant temps are the same as usual, but the engine smells hot, like hotter exhaust. Diesel isn't too hot coming out of the cylinders, I am concerned about increased exhaust temps and what they will do to expensive and difficult to change, expensive parts like the variable vane/VGT turbine end. As it was, on a Cummins, when the turbo sticks and disassembled for inspection, the vanes that slide through the diffuser plate showed melting on the leading edge, that's what causes the turbo to stick and start logging actuator faults. I wonder what it is going to do to the swing vane types like used on Ford and GM products. I am gonna be pissed if this stuff kills the turbo on my shi*box, they are NOT fun to do.
 

Karl kostman

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I live in ND and we still have REAL diesel fuel here, thankfully! I live on the border of ND and MN and you can sure tell the semis that came out of MN and likely fueled up with bio-diesel from MN, they are the ones parked along the interstate with gelled fuel systems. This really starts to pick up after -10 degrees and just keeps going to worse as the temps drop. IF I am forced to fill a truck with bio-diesel in the winter my standard practice is to triple the amount of Anti-gel solution I add to the tanks and that has worked for me. IF I can possibly get real diesel I will do that every time!!
 

2Pbfeet

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@Chainbreaker Any updates? Have you used this in your generators?

So this just appeared on several of my local fueling stations;
IMG_5568.jpeg

Neste has partnered 50/50 with Marathon in Martinez, CA. Due to a fire, the refinery capacity is at about 30-50% of total, with plans to be at the full 30Million gallon per year by the end of 2024.

In speaking with technical support, the above label is less than clear (I think). The fuel is supposedly 95% HVO, with 5% biodiesel, but I have an email in to technical services, since the web page says something different. Supposedly it has 96% of the energy capacity of Dino diesel, but it combusts more completely, so fewer particles, resulting in better mileage for many of the fleet operators using the fuel, due to the reduction in regen frequency.

The photo is supposedly renewable diesel on the left and Dino diesel on the right.
https://www.sae.org/binaries/conten...21/01/neste_nexbtl-diesel-burning_gallery.jpg

Since this looks like it is going to be the only fuel locally available, I'm interested to see how my various engines and vehicles respond. The local product is very clear, foams much less than Dino diesel, and has a lower, but still a distinctly diesel odor, which makes me wonder if this product is 5% Dino diesel. HVO should not smell like diesel.

All the best,

2Pbfeet
 

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2Pbfeet

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We have been running R99 in my tugboat fleet for over a year. There have been no troubles OTHER than float based tank level indicators. The specific gravity of the R99 fuel is much lower than diesel #2. This caused issues with a specific brand of tank level sight glasses.
Thanks!

Have you seen a specification sheet for R99 or R95?

All the best,

2Pbfeet
 

WillWagner

The Person You Were Warned About As A Child
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We have been running R99 in my tugboat fleet for over a year. There have been no troubles OTHER than float based tank level indicators. The specific gravity of the R99 fuel is much lower than diesel #2. This caused issues with a specific brand of tank level sight glasses.
You burn a mess of fuel. Have there been issues with older fuel sitting? What is the "shelf life" of the "renewable" crap?
 

87cr250r

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This is what we got from our engine supplier:


As for storage, we have not seen any issues. Most of our boats burn through 50% of their fuel every 3 weeks. We have a few other boats that have 40,000 gallons of fuel that's mostly used as ballast so there isn't much circulation out of those tanks. They key is to keep the water out. Once you get water you get bacteria and the sludge begins.

Interestingly, with the ultra low sulfur diesel, a lot of the corrosion issues are gone. Sulfate reducing bacteria make sulfuric acid and can eat through steel tanks in a hurry.

Our fuel makes only one stop between the refinery and our boats (a tank terminal) so it's very clean and dry when we get it.
 

2Pbfeet

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Mt. Hamilton, CA
@87cr250r Thanks! That is very helpful and informative. Coincidentally, we had the tanks cleaned (water got in somehow and gummed up something, perhaps a biodiesel additive?), so when we refilled with N95, the improvement in start time and lower smoke was noticeable, as was the reduction in diesel exhaust smell. It is a much cleaner combustion, though it probably is much less noticeable in a newer DEF engines. (Ours is a CAT 3126, so just a little tiny engine compared to yours. ;) )

Thanks again.

2Pbfeet
 

Chainbreaker

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Oregon
@Chainbreaker Any updates? Have you used this in your generators?

2Pbfeet
@2Pbfeet No, I have not. Since I still have a lot of treated Biodiesel, I've been burning through it slowly...(generators, tractor & mower).

Not too excited about the link above that "87cr250r" linked regarding the effect it had on the large generators it was tested on. The lag in response to Hz recovery to hold 60 Hz could possibly be even greater on my MEP-002a 5kW gensets with less rotational mass & HP.

So...still on the fence regarding the price vs performance & storage longevity vs lower cost biodiesel with additional additives I use. For now, I'm sticking with treated B-whatever the lowest % biodiesel I can find.
 

2Pbfeet

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Location
Mt. Hamilton, CA
@2Pbfeet No, I have not. Since I still have a lot of treated Biodiesel, I've been burning through it slowly...(generators, tractor & mower).

Not too excited about the link above that "87cr250r" linked regarding the effect it had on the large generators it was tested on. The lag in response to Hz recovery to hold 60 Hz could possibly be even greater on my MEP-002a 5kW gensets with less rotational mass & HP.

So...still on the fence regarding the price vs performance & storage longevity vs lower cost biodiesel with additional additives I use. For now, I'm sticking with treated B-whatever the lowest % biodiesel I can find.
What do you treat your biodiesel with to preserve it?

Isn't the test of the response proportional to total output, I.e. enough load for 5/7% drop? The plots looked pretty similar to me on a 2V/Hz and a 3V/Hz regulator setting (2-3% more fuel), with a load drop of about 50% capacity. What did I miss?

I will be interested to do testing on a couple of generators that I have here that have Dino diesel in them now, and then again with N95. I didn't notice any engine response differences with the CAT 3126, but I don't know that the little workout I gave it scales to anything. Looking at the CAT engine data plots, it seemed to me that the governor was slightly advanced with HVO relative to Dino diesel, but other than a shift in volume of fuel consumed, the power output only became limited when the rack hit the stop, and that is not really something I would worry about here as it is never going to happen here; I don't push my diesel to the max like that. I doubt that I would ever likely notice 12,000 vs 11,520W.

All the best,

2Pbfeet
 

87cr250r

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Is your frequency dropping significantly below 60 hz? 57hz? What voltage regulator does the generator have? Some regulators don't have a lot of power for boosting during momentary load surges. If frequency is dropping then there isn't much you can do about this beyond soft starts and variable frequency drives.

On that note, if you're powering any incandescent lights, they have more than 2x the inrush current of a similarly powered electric motor. Not many know this. This may help with your load management.
 
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