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« 180 MPG! | Main | Technical Note: Fischer-Tropsch Process »

April 02, 2005


Ed Usrey

This is a great site, Jim. Thank you for this platform. I believe we will see a combination blending of biodiesel and the F/T diesel. Tell me if this makes any sense. My feeling is that the high cetane value of the F/T diesel is too high and will cause too extreme cylinder temperatures at combustion. The fuel doesn't have enough "body" to create the necessary horsepower. A blending of a heavier vegetable oil, and necessary chemical enhancements for the prevention of gelling/emulsion stability, will give the blend a better power factor at the rear wheels. I am making this educated guess as an oilfield hand. I have worked as a weldor, mechanic, electrician, and crafts supervisor on new construction and maintenance in plants and on pipelines over the years. What do you or any one else think about my guess/opinion. I have no petro-chemical expertise.

Carl from Heliotropic

Hi Ed,

Biodiesel is not vegetable oil. It is manufactured from vegetable oil and methanol in a chemical process, at the end of which it has significantly different chemistry and properties than vegetable oil.

I have no idea if a blend of biodiesel and F-T diesel is better than either alone but it's an interesting thought.

Michael Anderson

I am not familiar with the properties of FT Diesel with respect to lubricity, however, I would assume that given its low sulfer content it would be poor. Blending with biodiesel would seem like a logical way to produce a fuel with excellent properties in all respects.

Robert J. Rohatensky

I believe that for biofuels to become a sensible fossil fuel replacement, a larger view of the effect relatively cheap fossil fuels have had on agriculture over the last 60 years is needed.

With current farming practices, it takes several times the output ethanol or biodiesel of fossil fuels to grow, transport and process the crop to produce the biofuel. This has to be corrected first. If we can move the agricultural sector to renewable energy, we can produce biofuels economically and without the large fossil fuel inputs.

I have more information on my views on the agricultural industry here:


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