Waxy substance clogging prefilter - need help

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Waxy substance clogging prefilter - need help

Postby FerndaleFryer » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:52 pm

I did a search and came up with this thread: filters plugging while on a 50/50 blend

plus some good information on the HIH vs HOH and the wrapped fuel filter answer some basic design questions I had.

My problem: waxy buildup on my prefilter causes fuel starvation and a eventual stall.

Here is my setup: f-350, 7.3, 1993, stock 2 tank system, made the front tank the WVO, put a HE in it, have the fuel pickup outlet on the bottom of the tank (the stock pickup was broken) and also welded a shutoff drain valve on the bottom. goes into a clear spectrum FF from murrays, then into a walbro 11psi FP from vegtherm, into a centek FF wrapped with 5/8 coolant and insulated, HOH to the engine, waiting on my FPHE to get here for the final setup.

my filter process: john galts settling process, plus is blend it with 10% kero, 5% rug 85% WVO until my FPHE gets here. 1 micron final filter sock in my basement about 60 degrees ambient, no heating for filtering.

If I drain my tank and put 60 degree filtered WVO in the tank I have no problems, the next day after about 3-5 miles the prefilter is totally clogged, I am assuming the this is causing fuel starvation. If I change the prefilter WITHOUT draining the tank it gets clogged in very short time again. If I drain the tank and put a new batch of WVO and drive immediately then everything is fine, next day same waxy buildup.

I guess I need to know how to get rid of this stuff?
Change my fuel pickup line from the bottom of the tank to a stock setup?
put a plumbers trap in so the waxy stuff settles out before the prefilter and then just drain it everyday?
Is there a additive I need to use?
Should I take the 1 micron 60 degree filtered oil and put it outside in the 30 degree weather and then put it back through a 500 micron or jeans filter to remove the waxy stuff?
Should I get a bigger prefilter and just clean it every couple days?

Everything was going fine until my first winter...

any help is greatly appreciated, I don't have a camera or else I would post pictures, I am trying to get one but my friends are being stingy.

thx
Ryan
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Postby John Galt » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:25 pm

Put your fuel in a barrel outside, and pump from the top half of the barrel through a 5µ filter into the vehicle tank. Let the stuff settle out BEFORE you put the fuel in the vehicle. SOP for cold climate blends.

Did you refrigerate a sample of your fuel blend as suggested in the link you referenced?
Last edited by John Galt on Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 240Volvo » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:09 am

This is NEW SYSTEM? Is the VO tank one that previously held petro-diesel? Your answers to these issues could help to resolve this.
1984 Volvo 240 diesel with a single tank Elsbett conversion: electric fuel filter heater, FPHE, glow plugs, and injectors. Also injector line heaters and block heater, running 20%kero/80%WVO winter blend.
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Postby FerndaleFryer » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:35 am

John: I did put a 16oz bottle in the freezer at one point but at the time I was new to this whole thing and was only looking at what my oil did in the cold and may have forgot to look for the fats.

volvo: this is a junk yard tank from a RUG truck of my same year, it is steel but I don't have the money yet to get a aluminum, its on the list of things it improve.

John: So you are recomending a modified system to the one 2 barrel settling system you have mentioned before? so single barrel, when putting in the single barrel should I just put it in cold? or should I bring the temp up to 100 ish and then let it sit in the 30 degree cold for a week before getting the fuel out?

I forgot to mention before that your 2 barrel system had stopped working for me when the temperature fell.

So should I set up a bunch of single barrel settling systems and rotate which ones I pull from and which ones I add more oil to?

will this system work down to 5, because thats about as cold as it gets here.
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Postby SunWizard » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:53 am

It sounds like PHO or fats. Cold settle them out, which can be a trick starting around 30F since the VO becomes gel and quits settling. For an easier solution, modify your rig to provide heat before any prefilters. Then you can burn PHO with no clogging, I often use 100% PHO down to -10F.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
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Postby powerstroke73L » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:04 am

SunWizard wrote:It sounds like PHO or fats. Cold settle them out, which can be a trick starting around 30F since the VO becomes gel and quits settling. For an easier solution, modify your rig to provide heat before any prefilters. Then you can burn PHO with no clogging, I often use 100% PHO down to -10F.


Ditto. Though I use John's cold upflow method to pre-settle my oil before centrifuging, I don't do it at such a slow rate so fats and PHO tend to get through, but fry bits and other crud doesn't. The Vegistroke system throws enough heat to make pretty much any kind of hydrogenated oil usable. However, I may have to add some heat to the cold upflow process soon because as Sun mentioned, once it gels the crud stays in suspension.
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Postby FerndaleFryer » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:39 am

Just to clarify:

By rig you mean my truck, by adding more heat that would mean the HE in my tank, which I purposly only made big enough to keep the oil fluid but not overheat.

Can the PHO be resuspended after falling out of my oil with sufficient heat only or would I need to aggitate it? The PHO falls out of my oil after 1 night in my trucks tank.

on the cold flow settling: is about 50F perfect for this setup in order to have the fats fall out but still keep the oil from gelling and not flowing? I have a wine cellar type part of my basement that if I close the door will stay around 55F, ground temp, maybe a little colder because part of it is exposed to the air outside.

Thanks for the help so far, the cold whether threw me off my game, its part of the learning process
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Postby John Galt » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:30 pm

on the cold flow settling: is about 50F perfect for this setup in order to have the fats fall out but still keep the oil from gelling and not flowing?
Yes 50°F seems to be cold enough to drop the fats and PHO while still keeping the clear VO easy to flow.


John: So you are recomending a modified system to the one 2 barrel settling system you have mentioned before? so single barrel, when putting in the single barrel should I just put it in cold? or should I bring the temp up to 100 ish and then let it sit in the 30 degree cold for a week before getting the fuel out?


Just pump your finished fuel into a barrel and leave it outside, then pump off the top of the outside barrel to fill the tank. Alternatively you could fill 5 gal plastic water jugs with your finished fuel, leave them outside in the cold, and carefully decant the clear fuel off the top into the tank.

I forgot to mention before that your 2 barrel system had stopped working for me when the temperature fell.


I'm not sure I understand why. I was processing below freezing the other day and producing clear fuel without any problems. My processing shed is unheated so when I pump out of the last barrel through the final filter I never get any fats or PHO in the fuel when it's cold enough for them to cause problems because any residual PHO and fats stay in the bottom of the last barrel. This seems so easy, I don't understand why you're having problems.
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Postby FerndaleFryer » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:24 pm

instead of a 2" inlet I have a 3/4, could this cause a restriction when the oil gets below 50 and starts to thicken? like I said it worked flawless until it consistently stayed cold.

my problem is the oil flowing into the settling barrel, the first one, not the second dewatered oil barrel.

Also what temp should I be able to run your system up to? 15F?

I really do try and do my homework John, but sometimes the light doesn't go off until you get your feet wet and try and do it yourself. I only mention this because sometimes you are a little harsh with people but most of the time rightly so because they have made NO attempt at finding the answers before they post, in my case I have read this forum extensively and the infopop one as well as anything else I can get my hands on.

Sun: you mights want to get in the habbit of making important post stickied to emphesis there importance and also to make them pre-requisite reading for new members before they seek additional information.

Thanks for the help
Ryan
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Postby John Galt » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:14 pm

The output from my upflow barrel is 5/8 clear vinyl tube, specifically selected to slow the flow through the upflow barrel to reduce turbulence and increase settling time. When processing I fill the upper barrel once a day, and let the system drain down slowly, usually taking 4 to 10 hours depending on the temperature.

If any of my comments seem harsh then make a specific complaint on the forum or by private message if you prefer. I have no problem making apologies if I've made a mistake.
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Postby FerndaleFryer » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:56 pm

harsh was the wrong word, blunt which some people may percieve as harsh, but we all know that perception is not truth but rather what one believes to be true about a certain thing.

believe me you have been a valuable resource during my whole process in getting my system up and thank you for sharing your knowledge.
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Postby SunWizard » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:51 pm

FerndaleFryer wrote:By rig you mean my truck, by adding more heat that would mean the HE in my tank, which I purposly only made big enough to keep the oil fluid but not overheat.

Best to have a FPHE or some TiH before any filters, and not heat the tank much. This melts any PHO. Often a proper heated pickup is enough, what is your HE in tank?
Can the PHO be resuspended after falling out of my oil with sufficient heat only or would I need to aggitate it? The PHO falls out of my oil after 1 night in my trucks tank.

PHO will melt very easily if you get the VO up to about 50-60F, no agitating needed.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
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Postby FerndaleFryer » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:08 pm

my HE is a aluminum tub coiled around the PU, maybe 2 linear feet. I do not know the actual temperature of the oil in the tank but the outside of the tank is warm and the outside temp doesn't get higher than 30F right now, so it has to be high enough to melt the PHO.

I have tested it by driving almost a hour of highway driving, clean prefilter and switching over to oil and watching the prefilter clog up with wax, so I am perplexed about the concept that the PHO will remelt into the oil after a certain temp, since I am not experiencing that.
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Postby John Galt » Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:54 pm

I've watched samples decrease in temperature till the PHO dropped out and then become even colder. As the temperature warms again it must increase much higher than the temperature that the PHO dropped out before it dissolves back into solution.

The system you describe in your truck won't work without a final HE before the filter. That's whats likely causing the filter clogging.
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Postby WD8CDH » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:35 pm

Not all of the PHO or fat in a particular batch of oil has the same cloud point. If you don't run the oil thru a cold upflow settling system too fast, you can usually assume that you can operate your vehicle without adding heat before the filter as long as the fuel isn't chilled to below the temperature of the settling drum. Below the drum temperature, you may or may not have problems. As John said, once some PHO has become cloudy, it takes a little more temperature to get it clear again. I have seen people have problems in the un-heated parts of their system the day after a really cold night even if the temperature warms up to well over the previous day.

You could decrease the temperature that you are settling at or you can add temperature before your vehicle filter. You only need enough heat in the tank pickup area for the fuel to flow (even if it is still like gravy) but you need to heat the fuel before the filter until it is at least no longer cloudy and maybe even a little more depending on the flow rate.
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'80 Audi 4000D
'83 Isuzu Pup
'86 Golf
'76 Honda Civic with Kubota engine
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