John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Friday, August 18, 2006
  A few photos
knifecrimepetition
Collecting signatures at the Wheatsheaf, Sheldon for the Knife Crime Petition
refilltank
Putting sustainable fuel in the tank
refuelling
Getting the fuel from Wednesbury
relaunchsheldon
Relaunching Sheldon Community Centre and opening the Fun Day.

I am setting up a facility for people to refuel relatively easy using pure rapeseed oil and paying the 27p duty to Mr Brown. There are no planning issue, but the Health and Safety Executive have some controls. The flashpoint for vegetable oil is about 220C so we really don't have to worry about explosions (petrol for example is -40C)

An extract from my last email from the HSE:
Flashpoint is one of the main properties used to determine the fire and
explosion hazard of a material. The flashpoint is defined as the
temperature to which a liquid must be heated before it will produce a
mixture of vapour in air which can be ignited. Lower flashpoint liquids,
particularly those with flashpoints at or below ambient temperature, need
particular care when being handled.

As examples,

The flashpoint of petrol is - 40°C
The flashpoint of methanol is 11°C
The flashpoint of diesel is at least 55°C

The flashpoint of vegetable oil will depend on the original source
material, but for rape-seed oil it is quoted as 220°C.

The flashpoint of bio-diesel again depends on the source material. It is
significantly higher than conventional diesel, and flashpoints may be
between 125 and 150°C. In use bio-diesel is usually blended with
conventional diesel, a typical ratio being 20% bio-diesel / 80%
conventional diesel. The flashpoint of this fuel will be close to that of
conventional diesel material, ie roughly 55°C.

Storage of bio-diesel and its blends does not give rise to additional areas
of concern, (in comparison to diesel), and the guidance set out in HSG176
for higher flashpoint liquids can be applied.
 
Comments:
"I am setting up a facility for people to refuel relatively easy using pure rapeseed oil and paying the 27p duty to Mr Brown."

Congratulations on this! Is there a connection here to Steve Dewar and his enthusiasm for this topic?

I am, however, worried about the ecological footprint generated by inefficient transport, even though CO2 neutrality and sustainable product production are important steps. Have you looked at what your car's footprint is like in terms of hectares or acres of land use? Also, have you seen the Greenpeace video on electricity generation (approx. 18 mins, available via videosites), in which conventional generation is likened to buying a pint of beer and throwing two thirds away before you drink it? For most cars the scenario is much worse. Compared to what is realistically achieveable, over 5/6ths of the fuel are 'wasted', due mainly to the inefficiencies of combustion and the high weight of our vehicles.
I appreciate that this move of yours is a practical step, which makes it easier for Yardlians to take a 'step' in the right direction. One step at a time in practise is worth two in theory ;).
 
Not sure who Steve Dewar is. In terms of the sustainability of transport one of the key issues is in fact how far you travel.

The second law of thermodynamics and the Carnot Cycle are the things that drive the efficiency of most heat based engines.

CCGT gas generators run at 55% efficiency. With CHP the waste heat can be "used" as well.

Diesel engines can hit an efficiency of 50%, but transmission losses will take that down.
 
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better brent chart

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