WINNSBORO — Bio diesel enthusiasts from all over the southeast region traveled to downtown Winnsboro to attend the 4th Annual Turbo Diesel Injection Car show at Midlands BioFuels on Saturday.
In addition to Volkswagen vehicles, this was the first year Mercedes owner were invited to participate in the one-day event as well.
Evan Maxwell show a demonstration of a injector pump calibrator he built from scratch, which regulates the injection pump.
In the engine there is a fly weight like any old fashioned diesel engine. Even on the electronic pump, Maxwell noted that the computer switch does is control the feedback accelerator.
“It’s not like you don’t have dynamic control, it’s very simple,” Maxwell said with a chuckle.
Using the term “simple” loosely, Maxwell stated it took him nearly two year to build the injector pump calibrator.
Participants joined in festivities including tune-ups, engine enhancements and tours of the Midlands BioFuels plant by owner Joe Renwick.
Essentially, bio diesel is made by replacing the glycerol with methanol. Methanol is the basis of how bio diesel is made. Through the reaction process about 100 gallons of glycerol will be replaced with 100 gallons of methanol. The reaction occurs after reaching a temperature of 140 degrees.
After that, the methanol is reclaimed through a distillation process. At 190 degrees, methanol will flash off as vapor. It is then vacuumed through a 52 F tank where it is rendered back into form and can be reused. Renwick says in essence, they only have to use 50 gallons per reaction.
“It is way more efficient,” Renwick noted during a previous tour. “It makes our life a whole lot easier.”
Renwick recently accepted the 2013 “Spare the Air” award in April.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control recognizes environmental leaders (i.e., companies, groups, communities, schools, local governments and individuals) that have made a voluntary commitment to promote and practice air quality improvement in South Carolina.
Former winners to receive the award include Bosch Anderson (2012), Boeing (2011), Bridgestone (2009) and Lexington Medical Center (2008).
Five percent of all the bio diesel used at the University of South Carolina is made in Winnsboro. In 2008, Midlands BioFuels was one of seven plants in South Carolina operating. The only plant still operating besides Midlands BioFuels is located in Charleston — Southeast Bio Diesel.
Midlands BioFuels staff are currently working to secure its own area for bio diesel vehicles at the 2014 “Rock Around the Clock” festival.
This year’s “Rock Around the Clock” will be held on Oct. 4 in downtown Winnsboro.