Biofuel sparks hundreds of farmer machinery repair complaints

Posted: December 9, 2019 by oldbrew in climate, Energy, ideology, Incompetence
Tags: , ,

What happened to testing, prior to making what looks like a disastrous change to working machinery in the name of climate ideology? Looks like the farmers are the testers.

The use of biofuel has sparked hundreds of complaints from farmers who claim it is forcing them into “unacceptable” costly machinery repairs, reports BBC News.

Adding biofuel – which is made from organic materials rather than fossil fuels – to diesel supplies is seen as one way of reducing carbon emissions from vehicles such as tractors.

But farmers say it has been clogging up filters and causing breakdowns.

NFU Scotland said more than 400 complaints have been made.

Supplier Petroineos said it was investigating and had recently reduced the biofuel inclusion percentages – from 7% down to 5% – in the hope of alleviating any problems.

Cold weather factor

The Scottish and UK governments said a long-term solution was being sought.

The filter clogging issue is said to be particularly bad when the weather is colder.

Some farmers will already have taken delivery of enough fuel to last all winter.

Jamie Smart, chairman of NFU Scotland’s legal and technical committee, said they were looking into whether better testing could be found.

However, he said: “That doesn’t help the short-term issue, how are we going to get through the next few weeks and months.

“We are hoping that this 5% inclusion rate will help but we don’t know yet.”

Continued here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    The filter clogging issue is said to be particularly bad when the weather is colder.

    So switching to electric tractors is not the answer.

    Biodiesel testing – it’s not rocket science…

  2. JB says:

    This can hardly be an unexpected result by diesel operators in the know. All my vehicles are diesel. I’ve owned an operated diesel cars and tractors for nearly 45 years. Organic fuels have a much higher congealing temperature, and tend to clean out trace particulates and residues that invariably get in the fuel system. Everybody who has switched completely to organic oils knows about these “headaches.” They should be periodically adding ATF or Power Service to their fuel tanks at 1/300 ratio to keep the system swept clean and the injection nozzles functioning properly. Any time organic oil is used as a fuel auxiliary heaters must be used in the fuel reservoir to keep it flowing freely.

    I would not be surprised that in the manufacturer’s maintenance manuals they directly address the problems associated with running bio fuels. If not, then they have a legitimate claim against the tractor manufacturers for at least not apprising them of the additional care required, and ideally setting up the tractor fuel system to operate at full performance.

  3. Michael says:

    Not just cloud point but also lubricity

  4. stpaulchuck says:

    yeah, those bio-dumb fuels are a real idiocy here in the Upper Midwest and Canada at -20F or so every winter. Regular diesel is hard enough (pardon the pun) to keep flowing. I understand a lot of guys dump some kerosene into the tank for that. Not sure how that would react with recycled kitchen grease.

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, I’ve run various strange fuels in Diesels for years, including B 5, B 10, B 20 and B 100 (the number is thd percent). I’ve also made biodiesel in small batches.

    First, it is a Great Fuel.
    Second, only if it is warm.

    Lubricity is fine and better than some Diesel.

    Viscosity is thicker. This can be fixed by fuel warmers.

    It gells and flocculates at far warmer temperatures. In cold weather this makes crystals or blobs of solidified fuel. The white flakes stack up in the filter until it clogs. You can “repair” this just by warming the filter…

    Straight vegetable oil is far worse. Very viscous and makes fat flakes at modestly cool temperatures, yet with added fuel, fuel line and filter heaters, you can run vegetable oil in places where it isn’t Canada Cold (I.e. above freezing).

    Biodiesel has had the glycerine backbone of the fat removed, and the fatty acid turned into an ester. Thus works very very well, unless cold. For that reason, selling biodiesel in cold climates is stupid and ought not be done.

    To force folks to use this in winter without added heater equipment is criminal.

  6. oldbrew says:

    Do farmers know they could get electricity for less than nothing on windy weekends?

    A smart energy system in action
    9th December 2019 – Insight

    Over the weekend, consumers up and down the nation found themselves being paid to use electricity generated from renewable sources. Why?

    Smart? 😄

  7. ivan says:

    oldbrew, I don’t think it is smart, it is more of a ploy to get everyone onto smart meters that will allow rolling blackouts when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun can’t shine through the clouds/ The ESO appears to be the section of the national grid overseeing the push for all renewables. Whoever set it up hada very twisted sense of humour ‘ESO became a separate entity within the group on 1 April 2019’ – in other words they are fooling the people that buy electricity.

  8. ivan says:

    PennState Extension of the College of Agricultural Science has a very interesting Renewable and Alternative energy Fact Sheet ‘Using Biodiesel Fuel in Your Engine’. It mentions many of the problems that can occur in cold weather conditions all of them are expensive to fix (things like stripping and cleaning the injectors and the injector pump that require specialist equipment and training).

    Apart from reducing food production because of the land required to grow the crops for biodiesel the actual fuel isn’t all we are lead to believe.