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By smokey2 - 30 August 2006 32

When is someone in the ACT going to start selling biodiesel.

I can get it at VP on the Hume at Holbrook and in Sydney.

I would like to be enviromentally friendly, use renewable fuels with less pollution.

I don’t even mind the 5% less milage which I get burning Canola and would be happy to drive a few extra kms to get it.

How come the ACT is so slow to adopt enviromentally friendly fuels?

Is it just following our federal government counterparts that suck up to the large oil companies?

Gelling in winter is less likely with Canola rather than animal Fat based biodiesel.

100% ie B100 biodiesel can be a problem so it is usually mixed with dino fuel the proportion depending on the temperature to meet Aust standards.

I have not had any problem with gelling even going up to Falls creek last week after a fill at Holbrook although I topped up with winter diesel at Mount Beauty.

The fuel at Holbrook is processed at Moama and is available at several VP outlets in Southern NSW.

Alot of misinformation is generated by the large fuel companies to protect their market.

What’s Your opinion?

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32 Responses to
miz 7:27 pm 30 Aug 06

Does anyone know if you can use the Ethanol fuel (or proportion of same) in an older car (we are talking 1991 make)? No one has explained this stuff. I am just using the cheapest unleaded as I don’t even know if I can use the snazzy unleaded ones that are now appearing at the servo. I would like to be ‘greener’ but don’t want to wreck my car.

el 7:11 pm 30 Aug 06

Compressed Natural Gas is bloody horrible fuel for auto purposes. LPG is a much better choice, IMHO. Ethanol (without the “M” at the front, folks – Methanol is something different again) is, er, somewhat suspect re Manildra’s “donations” to the Liberal party. There’s plenty of ethanol blended fuels about these days, BP in particular seems pretty keen to push the “E10” (I think it’s called) blend.

Roland GRNS 5:37 pm 30 Aug 06

There a number of possibilities ranging from compressed natural gas to
lignocellulose based ethanol
that are obviously ripe for careful development.

Al 4:19 pm 30 Aug 06

After 3 years living in Holbrook, I can vouch that it gets every bit as cold as Canberra. But the independent servo there has always been at the leading edge of fuel sustainability. They have sold methanol blended petrol for years (which you can get here at the United just north of town at Eagle Hawk – close enough for us living at Harrison).
But the Holbrook servo paid a price for its pioneering – the local community fostered an ongoing rumour mill against the company about selling bad fuel and damage to engines. I used them for every tank for 3 years and our cars never missed a beat.

Special G 3:21 pm 30 Aug 06

One of the current affairs shows did a piece on biodiesel a little while ago. If using recycled fish and chips oil its great but mass producing it is no better than the regular stuff.

I don’t think it would do good things to my motorbike.

richopesto 3:02 pm 30 Aug 06

A lot of misinformation is obviously still going round, by the looks of these posts.

Have a look here:

PS Ive been making biodiesel at home for about a year now,. so I sort of have some claim to a little knowledge.

Hey smokey 2- where’s ‘VP’ service station?? I want to buy some of that bio-diesel (and see if its as good as mine)


el 2:54 pm 30 Aug 06

There’s a bloke in the usenet newsgroup that’s been doing it for a while in his shed. As far as I’m aware, gelling is no more a problem with biodiesel than regular diesel. I’m talking about the used oil biodiesel. Haven’t heard much regarding “growing food crop” methods and fuel apart from the discussion of Ethanol and it’s addition to standard petrol.

bonfire 2:04 pm 30 Aug 06

i have no idea, im happy just putting petrol in mine, plus some octane booster when its required.

i miss super.

Mr_Shab 1:38 pm 30 Aug 06

I was referring to growing the food-crop that gets refined into oil, before being refined into bio-diesel.

You need a bucket-load of fuel for farm machinery, transport and refining. That NaOH and metho don’t come from nowhere, either.

You get a much better energy return on investment with diesel than with biodiesel. That meaning that the “hidden environmental costs” of biodiesel make it not quite as clean and green as it might seem. You’re right though – it’s still streets ahead of methanol.

I applaud anyone trying to do better by the environment, but I’m yet to be convinced that biodiesel is a viable alternative.

BTW Bonfire – Can you dump plain, unrefined palm/canola oil in a diesel tank? I thought it needed to be fooled about with a bit first, or you’d do horrible things to your engine.

Tempestas 1:38 pm 30 Aug 06

Smokey2 check out Adam Curry’s website and look for references to Trinity his biodiesel merc (now defunct I think) In the US (via Canada) apparently you can get a home garage Waste vege oil to Bio diesel conversion system for about US$3k. Google away. Perhaps once set up we can get JB to move the server to the location of the set up with a little dino genny.

I can see it now – “RiotACT powered by left over fish and chip oil”

smokey2 1:15 pm 30 Aug 06

I have done a fair bit of reading on it and manufacture using canola treated with metho and caustic soda appears very simple. The by product being glycerine or soap.
Cannot see much of an environmental problem there.
I am sure many of the farmers growing Canola are also using biodiesel to power their equipment.

Biodiesel has far less polution as it is a straight vegetable product with no sulphur or the other impurities dino fuel has. Particle levels may be a little higher which is a downside and can clog catalytic exhaust filters on some of the really new engines.

Main problem is converting potential food into vehicle fuel which the greens are against.
However much more simple and efficient than converting wheat or corn to alcohol to use in petrol motors like the yanks are doing.
It is better for our farmers to grow canola than wheat as the corrupt AWB then bribes third world dictators like Saddam to purchase our wheat.

Anyway I don’t want to make the stuff as I live in a flat and my neighbours will think I am operating a meth lab. I just want to be able to buy it in Canberra.

bonfire 1:05 pm 30 Aug 06

why dont you just go down to the supabarn, buy some black and gold label canola and tip it into your tank ?

the concat reported an article on palmoil in darwin a few days ago.

on bougainville under onas marijuana fuelled reign, and when the PNGDF isolated the island using their rowboats, the BRA used coconut oil to power the vehicles they had.

Mr_Shab 1:00 pm 30 Aug 06

The environmental benefits of biodiesel are pretty marginal (or even worse than diesel, depending on the methods of production).

Unless that is, you start converting your own waste oil into usable fuel.

Danman 10:53 am 30 Aug 06

I would have thought the same applied to diesel ? Thats pretty thick and fairly similar – besides I would have thought that the fuel injection system on a diesel or converted Waste vege Oil (WVO) type engine would have no problem cutting your finger in half so why would slightly thicker biodiesel matter ?
Isnt sub-terranean temperatures pretty standard the right up and down the eastern seaboard? On a totally different tangent, when I was a chef we used to sell off our WVO to a guy for 5 dollars per drum (20 litres). Is there any net resources on how to make you rown WVO fuel and convert your vehicle to operate on that? I know a few people who would find it rather handy, and are friendly with som epeople in thetrade still so would have an endless supply (maybe) of dirty crisco

Big Al 10:39 am 30 Aug 06

I heard a chap on the radio answer that question a couple of weeks ago – apparently it’s to do with the colder temperatures here – biodiesel apparently gets too thick when its cold so its not sold south of Wollongong – but then again, if you can get it in Hollbrook … who knows.

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