Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: stockingfull On: Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:46 pm

Having rented several in Europe, I'm a fan of turbo-diesels as a performance/economy solution. In Europe, it's a no-brainer because, in addition to the 30-50% improvement in mileage, diesel is subsidized and is 20-25% cheaper than "benzin."

However, these days I'm noticing a 20% premium for diesel -- over PREMIUM!!! In my area today, we're talking $3.45 for premium, $4.30 for diesel. If that holds up, it's gonna pretty much negate the economic advantage of diesel.

On old gear-head friend of mine who I spoke to over the weekend told me that someone with refining knowledge told him that there were two ways to "crack" crude, one favoring greater quantities of gasoline, the other favoring greater quantities of diesel/heating oil. And that our refineries on this continent have the gas bias designed in, and can't readily be converted to favor greater diesel production (as occurs in, for example, Europe). Of course, this would have long-term ramifications for the economic feasibility of broader diesel use in the U.S.

True or False?
stockingfull
 
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Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:40 pm

The amount of each finished product from a barrel of crude is pretty fixed. In a 44 gallon barrel, about 20 gallons will turn into gasoline. You can't dial up what you want to get out of it.
Last edited by coaledsweat on Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: Berlin On: Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:17 pm

"You can't dial up what you want to get out of it."

true, kind of. It depends greatly on the source of the crude as to what end products are easily produced, however you can make just about any amount of light oil/gasoline from crude if it's "sweetened" through the use of natural gas as a hydrogen stock. While refiners may be geared to a certain ratio of end product, I don't believe that it would be too difficult to change the mix.

as for the price of diesel, remember growth of world use of distilate fuel oils have outpaced the growth of the use of gasoline, also we are now (thanks to the epa and other idots) using ULSD fuel.
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Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: cArNaGe On: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:23 pm

All I know is I'm driving my 1/2 ram instead of my ford diesel.
I haven't done the math to see which is cheaper to run but it feels better to drive the gasser.
cArNaGe
 

Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: Charlie Z On: Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:18 am

It is odd when less refined (less process) diesel costs $1.10/gal more than gas and home heating (bulk) is .40 more...

A Ford Escape hybrid costs the same in fuel consumption (and pretty much purchase) as the new VW TDI, with 35mpg gas about equal to 50mpg on diesel. Both are about the same size inside (small, but big enough?). The Ford has some upside, though I really like VWs TDIs.

It takes awhile to figure out the jargon, etc. but it's interesting stuff how you can trick the Escape to better mileage: http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=350

The jeep I have is like a piper cub, a Beaver, or Cessna O-1 nothing changes uphill, downhill, downwind or up, I get 15 mpg. Their concept car this year is a diesel-hybrid plug-in. Yea, man, bring it on.

For now it's time to just pull out the bike...
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Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:30 am

The problem I see with Hybrids, is that the battery maintenance/replacement will be a big issue after a while... In the city, with not a lot of miles each year,, they may be a good alternative..
But you can't beat a car, that virtually no matter how hard you drive it, gets over 40 mpg.. The only time I've seen a tank that calculated less than 40mpg was in the dead of winter, where I let it idle too much to warm it up... The replacement TDI has heated butt-warmers :shock: :lol: , so I should eliminate the idling.. it really takes a long time to warm up anyway, there is no load on the engine at idle.

AND another big pluss... the TDI's are NOT slow.. they are peppy,, and with a $200 set of injectors or a chip they are real peppy and STILL get the same fuel mileage...~~

I've been watching the TDI's on Ebay,,, the price of Diesel hasn't hurt their resale any.. a 200K Jetta, 2001 is still going for over $7K... amazing..

Greg L
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Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: CoalBin On: Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:33 am

I figure we can drive our Passat TDI up until the point diesel is twice as expensive as gas - my minivan gets less than 1/2 the mileage the passat does. ( thinking about it - I'd still drive the VW anyway - love the way it pulls,smells,sounds and handles - especially chipped.) I'd love to have a minivan like the stick Renault ESpace turbo I rented over there - what a blast on the autobahn. (for a minivan that is)

In Europe (I'm only directly familiar with Germany/Austria/Italy region) The diesel/gas debate is being eclipsed by CNG - to meet the new emissions standards the diesels need $$$ systems to keep them clean - making buying them new much more $$. This past month two long time diesel relatives bought CNG hybrids. There are also diesel hybrids over there. The old Diesels are not allowed into Berlin, Cologne and Hanover anymore - more are said to follow.

Check out - http://green.autoblog.com/2007/06/22/dr ... tural-gas/

As an interesting side note - pellet stoves are really taking off there.
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Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: Charlie Z On: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:19 pm

I traded cars with my wife's friend's Jetta TDI and I loved it. Always wanted another. It is very fun to drive. My buddy has an 04 and gets 49mph (never more, never less). I am eyeing the new 09's coming out in a few weeks, but the cost of diesel has made it go from a great idea to a good one.

The hybrids a just starting out - we're just looking at the first gen right now and they're doing pretty well. That little Ford is well proven and the only 'full hybrid' ...other than the Prius :crazy: I don't know what mileage you get out of the hybrid's batteries or their cost. Very important to know.

I did do the math on some of the new full electrics (EV) - 60-70k miles max and a then a $4500 battery bill. Worked all out, it would cost almost $1700 MORE per year to run than my 15mpg jeep... Battery tech has a ways to go.

I have an 8 mile 2 lane road to work. I figure I'd use a hybrid for that kind of driving and keep the jeep for the weekends. Hybrids are great at slow country/city roads (stop and go). I don't think they work out too well out west.
Diesels are far better at highway speeds. Depends on what you need to do.

If you want to get crazy about mileage, the germans lead by hacking up Royal Enfield (now made in India) and putting in chinese yanmar-clone garden tractor diesels. A tinkerer's delight. 150-200mpg. Here's a big V2 version.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBLZSmalPyI

The US version a PA man built (sounds great); maybe for Matthaus>?: http://youtube.com/watch?v=zYNgxVOI1NM
Charlie Z
 
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Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: coalkirk On: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:03 pm

Diesel always goes higher than premium fuel in winter due to competeing with fuel oil. It'll be lower than regular in summer.
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Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: sandman On: Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:46 am

coalkirk wrote:Diesel always goes higher than premium fuel in winter due to competeing with fuel oil. It'll be lower than regular in summer.



not that long ago diesel was the same as regular in the winter and 30 cents less the rest of the year.

right now home heating oil (no road tax) is more than regular gas.

it's all about the money.

the only time it will go down is when the oil companys banks run out of zeros and cant count any higher
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Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: sandman On: Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:47 am

i smile everytime i walk by my oil tank.

the gauge hasn't moved since i fired up the vf :D
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Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: pret On: Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:10 am

Where I live in Central/Eastern Pa, Diesel is 4.25 and regular gas is 3.19 a gallon. I drive a lot of country roads to and from places and get 31mpg. My brother has a VW tdi and loves it! He gets between 44 and 50 mpg depending on how he drives it. When he bought it 2 or 3 years ago, he made a huge savings in fuel costs because he moved from a toyata tocoma - beautiful truck. I'm traveling 9.7 miles for every dollar I spend on fuel, and he is traveling 10.8 miles for every dollar he spends on fuel. Not so different now. HOWEVER, I'd drive his vw over my saturn ANY DAY. It's fun to drive, it's quick and it looks sharp. The maintenance is about that of the saturn and that engine will far outlast my saturn. I have about 171K on the saturn as it is... he's going to put twice that on his vw before it's said and done.

I find it hard to believe that diesel and home heating fuel are priced as they are today relative to gas prices. I must concur with the myriads of folks out there who point to greed for an explanation. But hey... that's the world we live in. No point getting upset, just got to look for ways to reduce it's impact on us.
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Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: Matthaus On: Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:34 am

As already stated Diesel will come down again after conclusion of the current game playing/home heating oil demand. In the mean time Bio-Diesel is a good alternative, just have to be careful to have some spare fuel filters on hand to catch the gunk that will be scavenged from your tank when you first start burning it. A home set up can be had for less than $300 if you are handy and don't mind a little scavenging at the local scrap yard. I have a buddy in Calif that is currently producing 200 gallons a week for $.84 per gallon. Put that number in the calculations in previous posts and you are talking about a whole new ball game. :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiesel
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Re: Diesel v. Gas -- Refining limits?

PostBy: Charlie Z On: Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:10 pm

I have an old harley with a split tank that would be a great bio-d bike. You need to run 'regular' diesel at first, until everything warms up, then cut over to bio-d. It might be good with one of those Punsun motors mentioned on dieselbike.net. (Won't exactly be comparable to your track bike, though!)

Bio-d makes a lot of sense, but soy prices are rising as plants are built (and the idiotic ethanol subsidies put acreage into corn...). There is only so much waste oil. People are starting to get caught dumping the glycerin by-product. There's a lot of waste with it, too.

It makes a lot more sense to 'cut' diesel with bio-d than it does gasoline with corn ethanol...
Charlie Z
 
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