Fuel Heating System Idea

Joined
Sep 14, 2015
Messages
170
Location
Chicago
First post in alternative fuel forum so please bare with me.

Some things about me and my truck. I live in Chicago where we can see temps above 100F in the summer and -20F in the winter. I have an FJ60 converted to a 1HDT and I love it. My truck has a Webasto Top C installed it will heat up the block after 20 minutes and start up like its summer time when temps are well below freezing.

I'd like to run B50 in my truck all year without additives or other types of fuel. My wife hates the smell of straight diesel and thinks I'm slowly killing my kids. I'd like to keep the truck so I proposed switching to bio for a less toxic/better smelling exhaust and she is on-board.

I don't make biodiesel and don't plan to. Loyola University in Chicago has a student run program sponsored by the school that makes B100 and will deliver it to your door in 55 gallon drums. It's not as cheap as making it myself but I'm not ready for that at this point.

Plan would be to keep the B100 in my heated garage at 50 degrees F so storage is not an issue. The perceived issue is keeping the truck up and running in any temp while running B50 all the time.

This is my half baked plan at this point...Install a 3 gallon auxiliary tank which will hold straight diesel and run the Webasto (Webasto says the Top C should run no more than B20). Design a coolant heat loop that will run in parallel with the fuel lines and insulate them together so that the fuel lines are heated by contact with the coolant hose. Figure out a way to use the coolant to heat the fuel filter and gas tank as well. Utah Biodiesel Supply sells a fuel filter head that has a coolant loop and there is a coolant fed battery warming heat exchanger that may work nicely on the bottom of the tank. This system would be preheated by the Webasto unit. The entire loop goes through the cabin heater so it will be closed in the summer when the heat controller is set to 'cold'.

Given that I'm a total newbie to biodiesel please tell me why this is a good/bad/necessary/unnecessary idea. What am I not thinking about? What am I missing?
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
1,378
Location
Coldest N. America
To make biodiesel work in a cold climate I store B50 mix out in the cold and let the High-Melting-Point-Esters settle out and only pump from the top clear layer for winter fuel. The system is self adjusting. It's much easier to remove the HMPEs before they clog the fuel system regardless of how well it's heated since they will solidify and clog fuel lines when it cools after shut-down. I removed the fuel inlet screen in the tank as it would frequently clog in the winter with HMPE residuals from warmer seasons. I replaced it with an inline filter WIX-NAPA 33972 [see below] in the fuel line after the sedimenter/water separator in the engine compartment. I heat the fuel mix with a Flat Plate Heat Exchanger located between the fuel feed pump and the OEM fuel filter, it gets hot coolant from the heater circuit. I can run B20 year round with this system. That's enough bio to clean up the exhaust to zero smoke and less than 10ppm HC, essentially as clean as a modern TDI-VW exhaust, with very little objectionable diesel smell.

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Joined
Sep 14, 2015
Messages
170
Location
Chicago
Thank you John. That is great advice. I'll be sure to remove the fuel inlet screen and replace with the suggested filter. I believe my design will be overkill in regards to heating properties and there will be lots of testing.

I'll also plan to store the B50 mix outside and pump from the top as suggested. Other than 50% petro-diesel and 50% bio do you add anything else to the B50 mix?

Also, where is your heat-exchanger located? Is it under the truck near the tank or nearer the fuel filter?
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
1,378
Location
Coldest N. America
Thank you John. That is great advice. I'll be sure to remove the fuel inlet screen and replace with the suggested filter. I believe my design will be overkill in regards to heating properties and there will be lots of testing.

I'll also plan to store the B50 mix outside and pump from the top as suggested. Other than 50% petro-diesel and 50% bio do you add anything else to the B50 mix?

Also, where is your heat-exchanger located? Is it under the truck near the tank or nearer the fuel filter?
One can add up to 10% premium gasoline in the winter to make cold starts easier.
I heat the fuel mix with a Flat Plate Heat Exchanger connected between the fuel feed pump and the OEM fuel filter, it gets hot coolant from the heater circuit. It's mounted on the inner fender on the left side of the engine where the fuel feed pump and canister fuel filter are. It's between the batteries in the photo.

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