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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With stories that vehicles running on biodiesel smell like Fish & Chip shops, is "The Birmingham Fryer" going to catch on?

You can read this BBC website news report and if watch the multimedia clip linked at the top left if a) it's still there and
you are connecting from the right country?

Now if biodiesel does become the fuel of choice, does that mean less sooty exhaust emissions and if so will the Seuthe company be out of business??


David
 

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QUOTE (BBC News website)The UK's first train to run on biodiesel is going into service as part of an attempt to make rail travel more environmentally friendly.
Hmmm. Marvellous, perhaps in say fifty years we'll have joined the rest of Europe with widespread electrification and won't need so much diesel. We could power the whole network with a batch of new relatively clean nuclear power stations, much more evironmentally friendly! I mean the French only get 70% of their electricity from nuclear power and their electric trains seem to run quite well...

What would be more impressive on routes where electrification is too expensive for cheapo private operators/a road obsessed government would be a hydrogen powered train...it's harder to be cleaner than that! Imagine a railway where the coaches and wagons are made dirty by the rain...


Why don't Virgin introduce an 'Organic Train' service with the whole thing carbon offset to buy into the current obsession with everything organic (and more expensive)? They could have rice-paper tickets, Afternoon Tea with fairtrade organic tea and organic scones and jam, solar pannels on the roof and change their livery to green and passengers enjoy the view of just-planted forests from the windows, or just call themselves Organic Virgin - or would that imply that they had not had an organic yet? Branding is so complicated...

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I notice it's only 20% biodiesel they are putting in. You wouldn't want to fry your chips in the final fuel mixture.

It also says that Rapeseed is one of the plants being used. I suppose this means that even more of the countryside will be turning yellow?
 

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To quote from the bearded one himself ;

At the launch, Sir Richard said: "It's fantastic that we are leading the rest of Europe in developing this fuel."

He must be reffering to diesel for rail use - AFAIK the Germans (& probably others) have been using biodiesel for years on the roads !

Does DB (& other european railway companies) use biodiesel yet ?
 

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I have to admit that I simply don't get this "bio" fuel arguement - it is not as if the crop has been planted by hand and harvested by oxen, huge amounts of diesel are consumed just producing the crop, let alone refining and distributing it.... even if the entire globe were covered in the stuff it would still only yield a fraction of the volume of oil needed. The ONLY green solutions are electrification or burning wood! Until we have a practical fuel cell, hydrogen will remain a dream.

60134 - I must have got out of bed the wrong side this morning!
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 8 Jun 2007, 12:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Does DB (& other european railway companies) use biodiesel yet ?
No, they use that strange and exotic thing called electricity...

On the continent diesels are mainly used for shunting operations etc. which are low speed and low load so low emission in comparison to say the HST. I bet they do use bio-diesel to reduce the small emissions even further but if not there can't be so much pressure on them to do so since the railways pollute much less there anyway...it's all the problem of the power stations instead!!

Goedel
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 7 Jun 2007, 23:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It also says that Rapeseed is one of the plants being used. I suppose this means that even more of the countryside will be turning yellow?

If they plant anymore of the
stuff I will have permanant hay fever.

Regards

John
 

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QUOTE (goedel @ 8 Jun 2007, 13:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>No, they use that strange and exotic thing called electricity...
Goedel

Apart from the 218's that I seem to see everywhere when I go to Germany - the last one I saw starting up would rival some of the best steamers for "clag" !

Personally, I think that all this bio this, bio that ect is a load of tosh. We could save far by making fewer journeys & going slower on those that we make. Just a current marketing ploy - how long before H or B announce that their motors are kinder to the environment because they draw less current ?
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 8 Jun 2007, 15:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Personally, I think that all this bio this, bio that ect is a load of tosh. We could save far by making fewer journeys & going slower on those that we make. Just a current marketing ploy

So you'll be walking to the corner shop from now on then?


Regards

John
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 8 Jun 2007, 13:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Does DB (& other european railway companies) use biodiesel yet ?

Stupid huns, they do.
It´s easy to do, as only the fuel injection system may have to be modified on older diesel engines to use environmentally friendly fuel. Please keep in mind: the carbon dioxide emitted when burning biodiesel is far less than when burning diesel from non-renewable sources.

Wikipedia on biodiesel

However, Goedel is correct that most western European continental trains run on electricity, fed through an overhead catenary, and the electricity is derived from various sources - nuclear, wind, water power, coal burning power plants, they´re all in the mix.

Then again, if Sir Richard Branson needs to brag and show off, let him. I wonder how environmentally friendly his various Virgin airlines are, when it comes down to numbers rather than big talk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
>AFAIK the Germans (& probably others) have been using biodiesel for years on the roads !
I believe that continental diesel is a blend of between 5 to 10%. I guess the "claim" here is for the 20% level.

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 8 Jun 2007, 18:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>>AFAIK the Germans (& probably others) have been using biodiesel for years on the roads !
I believe that continental diesel is a blend of between 5 to 10%. I guess the "claim" here is for the 20% level.

David

Not quite.

5%-10% is the amount of biodiesel contained in regular diesel that you purchase at German gas stations (usually 5%).

True biodiesel features reduced taxes to make up for the higher costs when producing it, and thus it is marketed as biodiesel. Several German railroads are using what is 99.9% biodiesel plus 0.1% of whatever additives are needed. Their exhausts do smell a bit of fryer oil, though.

While Sir Richard may be a man of honorable intent and pure unselfishness, his miscellaneous claims are usually not imho.
 

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QUOTE (BRITHO @ 8 Jun 2007, 17:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>So you'll be walking to the corner shop from now on then?


Regards

John

Certainly not ! - just cos' you do (mind you, not having a car may have something to do with it) & in any case, the local corner shop is now flats !

Anyway, if God meant us to walk why did he give us (me) Wheels, 24hr Tesco & Maggie ?
 

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Man gave us wheels, Tescos and, I suppose, Maggie. God gave us the horse!

60134 (who could, just about, commute to work on his quadraped....)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
QUOTE I wonder if he might try biodiesel in his aeroplanes?

He's working on it; or something very like it. There was a reference somewhere in the BBC news report. I am sure we will all get to hear about it when they have something he thinks he get airtime for.

David
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 9 Jun 2007, 10:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Certainly not ! - just cos' you do (mind you, not having a car may have something to do with it) & in any case, the local corner shop is now flats !

Anyway, if God meant us to walk why did he give us (me) Wheels, 24hr Tesco & Maggie ?

Sorry - just been trying to visualise you with wheels attached, I suppose it could be a skateboard. Tee Hee.......

Regards

John
 

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Not sure if Branson is climbing on the bandwagon or missing the bus. Recent reports on biodiesel have highlighted the amount of land and water that would be needed to cultivate it, which may be taken from food production or result in more rainforest being cut down to grow palm trees for oil. The cultivation is low-emission though, because the product is used to power the tractors etc.

Fuel cell trains (or fuel cell anything else) don't help you environmentally unless you have a way of producing the hydrogen without emissions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The highly publicised launch of this trial has prompted Engineering Technology magazine, the official monthly magazine of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, to publish an article on the prospects for "green", non electric rail travel. You can read it here on the institutions website. The main photo - a Virgin Voyager passing behind a field of oil reed rape - is the cover photo and very eye catching it is too with all that yellow. The thumbnail which accompanies the web article does not show the whole picture.

David
 
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