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JamesWilson
07-03-2008, 05:22 AM
<span style="font-size: 11pt"> With the price of Diesel now at 1.32 /liter~ $9.50+/US Gallon I'm considering using biodiesel.

A quick scan of some websites makes it seem very easy to make and virtually painless and cheap to switch to using (a new bigger fuel filter) so is there a downside? And it seems both my cars will be able to use it without any other conversion issues.

I'm using an average of 75 liters of fuel a month between two cars and don't have that much space for production equipment or storage.

Does anyone else make and use biodiesel or have experience with it?
</span>

aeronca65t
07-03-2008, 05:56 AM
One of my students uses it in his Cheverolet truck.

He gets the oil free from a local Chinese restaurant.

The oil is poured into a 30 or 55 gallon drum through a screen filter.
Then taken home and placed on a raised bench.
The oil is allowed to drip through a screen into a second drum (through a tap on the bottom of the first drum).
Then he uses it. He uses a hand pump and is careful not to pump all the way from the bottom of the barrel.

He only uses this stuff in the warmer months. Not during months where we are below 0 C (for us this us normally Jan, Feb, March).

One point: Here in the USA, this is illegal, since he is not paying road fuel tax on this fuel (the tax used to maintain the roads). There have been several cases where people were actually fined for using untaxed biofuel. I'm sure I've read something similar happened in the UK.

So, I would say the same thing to you as I did to my student. If you do this, don't broadcast that you're doing this.

Otherwise, you'll have Scotland Yard hammering at your door looking for their <span style="font-style: italic">Baksheesh</span>. :jester:

JamesWilson
07-03-2008, 06:15 AM
<span style="font-family: 'Comic Sans MS'"> <span style="font-size: 11pt"> Its not illegal here. There's a HM Revenue &amp; Customs Webpage (https://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&amp;_pageLabel= pageExcise_ShowContent&amp;id=HMCE_CL_000205&amp;propertyT ype=document#P82_6029) website that explains it, but its pretty dense. It seems I'd get a 20p/liter tax break on the stuff. or about a 1 a UK gallon.

Its not that much of an incentive... given the hassle of making and storing the stuff, but I might be tempted nonetheless... if fuel goes to 2/liter.

I think I should write my local MP.</span></span>

NutmegCT
07-03-2008, 06:47 AM
I am *really* looking forward to how this discussion goes. I myself am seriously considering getting an older Mercedes diesel (1982 300D?) and adapting it for biodiesel.

My first consideration is where to get the fuel. There are a few stations around that sell "bio-diesel" (petroleum mixed with vegetable derivative fuels made from grains or grasses). But that's more expensive than straight petroleum diesel.

As an aside, I'm also interested in how many folks where I live say they fill up with "ethanol" when what they use is really a mixture of 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol. Biodiesel isn't always just 100% old cooking oil. Two different critters.

Some people around here make their own diesel fuel from vegetable oil (used cooking oil from restaurants). But they're now saying that their suppliers are now charging for the oil - so it's almost as expensive as petroleum diesel. You can save a bit by driving to various restaurants and collect your own - if you have a large trailer and want to deal with the "mess". But it's still not really saving you much money in the long run, especially if you have to buy a trailer and large tank to put it in.

So for me, the question isn't whether to convert or not. I'm ready. But where to get the fuel?

Tom

aerog
07-03-2008, 08:16 AM
One point: Here in the USA, this is illegal, since he is not paying road fuel tax on this fuel (the tax used to maintain the roads). There have been several cases where people were actually fined for using untaxed biofuel.

There's a bunch of people around here doing it too. You can contact the local office of revenue (tax office, whatever) to get the forms to pay the tax directly to the local tax people.

tomshobby
07-03-2008, 08:34 AM
Support bio-diesel. Eat more french fries! :yesnod:

TR6oldtimer
07-03-2008, 08:49 AM
Another source for biodiesel:

liposuction fat (https://www.autobloggreen.com/2006/12/07/another-source-for-biodiesel-liposuction-fat/)

NutmegCT
07-03-2008, 11:11 AM
According to the NBB - National (USA) Biodiesel Board (a USA trade association) - there are only four biodiesel ("B20": 20% bio, 80% petroleum diesel) retailers in the entire state of Connecticut.

An interesting site -

https://www.biodiesel.org/

PC
07-03-2008, 11:31 AM
Another source for biodiesel:

liposuction fat (https://www.autobloggreen.com/2006/12/07/another-source-for-biodiesel-liposuction-fat/)

They say that when you drive behind a veggie-diesel vehicle you smell French Fries.

Hmm... :rolleyes:

70herald
07-03-2008, 12:44 PM
Another source for biodiesel:

liposuction fat (https://www.autobloggreen.com/2006/12/07/another-source-for-biodiesel-liposuction-fat/)

They say that when you drive behind a veggie-diesel vehicle you smell French Fries.

Hmm... :rolleyes:

Super Size Me

or to update an old expression
"have my cake and eat it and drive my car!"

angelfj1
07-03-2008, 01:06 PM
<span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="font-style: italic">One point: Here in the USA, this is illegal, since he is not paying road fuel tax on this fuel (the tax used to maintain the roads). There have been several cases where people were actually fined for using untaxed biofuel. I'm sure I've read something similar happened in the UK.</span></span>

Are you sure that the use of biodiesel is illegal!!! I have been following the development of alternative fuels for years and have never heard this. What would be the difference in using used cooking oil or any other "fuel" that you produced. OR what about electricity. There is no way to establish that the electricity consummed to charge the battery in an electric vehicle is used for transpotation and not to light your home. How could any government establish a basis for the "road" tax. So, I think this must be incorrect.

NutmegCT
07-03-2008, 02:01 PM
<span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="font-style: italic">One point: Here in the USA, this is illegal, since he is not paying road fuel tax on this fuel (the tax used to maintain the roads). There have been several cases where people were actually fined for using untaxed biofuel. I'm sure I've read something similar happened in the UK.</span></span>

Are you sure that the use of biodiesel is illegal!!! I have been following the development of alternative fuels for years and have never heard this. What would be the difference in using used cooking oil or any other "fuel" that you produced. OR what about electricity. There is no way to establish that the electricity consummed to charge the battery in an electric vehicle is used for transpotation and not to light your home. How could any government establish a basis for the "road" tax. So, I think this must be incorrect.



He's saying that *not paying the tax* is illegal.

Tom

swift6
07-03-2008, 02:23 PM
<span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="font-style: italic">One point: Here in the USA, this is illegal, since he is not paying road fuel tax on this fuel (the tax used to maintain the roads). There have been several cases where people were actually fined for using untaxed biofuel. I'm sure I've read something similar happened in the UK.</span></span>

Are you sure that the use of biodiesel is illegal!!! I have been following the development of alternative fuels for years and have never heard this. What would be the difference in using used cooking oil or any other "fuel" that you produced. OR what about electricity. There is no way to establish that the electricity consummed to charge the battery in an electric vehicle is used for transpotation and not to light your home. How could any government establish a basis for the "road" tax. So, I think this must be incorrect.



He's saying that *not paying the tax* is illegal.

Tom



Precisely, just like not paying the tax on moonshine is what makes moonshine illegal (not getting into the health and safety concerns fom some of the stills). The Department of Revenue is who does the enforcment of it. If you buy it out of a pump run by a business, you're already paying the tax. If you make it in your garage, then you will need to pay the tax yourself. Electric cars will present a whole other issue with the Department of Revenue. When it becomes more prevalent, I'm sure they will come up with a way to do it. The majority of cases that I have heard about being prosecuted, so far, are more about fleets of vehicles using homemade biodiesel/used vegetable oil. Keep in mind that any business having two or more vehicles is considered to have a "fleet".

angelfj1
07-03-2008, 04:24 PM
If I own a car and my wife owns a car do we own a fleet? Just kiddding!

<span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">IN OTHER WORDS WE'RE SCREWED!!!</span></span>

Banjo
07-03-2008, 05:38 PM
In the world of bio diesel there are two distinct different systems.
First is mixing Used cooking oil along with other chemicals in a small home refinary to make "bio diesel" fuel to be used in any diesel vehicle without modification. it cost far less per gallon to produce this fuel that to buy straight diesel.
the second is the Veggiecar, or greasecar, which is a modified diesel vehicle fitted with a secondary fuel system that is heated and filtered so it can , after a warmup on real diesel, or bio diesel, be switched to run on pure, unrefined, (although filtered) used fryer grease.
In the long run the second style is cheaper, as you don't need to buy any additional chemicals to stabilize the grease.
We have several Veggie diesels that frequent our shop. Some only smell a little, some reek! It depends on the setup, the owner, and where they get the grease. If you get it at a burger joint, it'll smell like french fries, if they get it at a chineese place it'll smell like eggrolls. but the worst is fishfry grease. P.U.!!!
Most of these cars smell like the dumpster behind McDonalds when you get near 'em. inside and out.(and I'm not talking the exhaust).
Still thier very cool. and I've seen "hybrid" versions, like stated above that just had additional filters to be used with extra seperated grease in the warm months.
There's lots of info on them.
So I have to say, the biggest drawbacks are the smell, and the mess. and the ever increasing threat of the road tax issue becoming more serious as Veggie cars gain popularity.

NutmegCT
07-03-2008, 06:08 PM
Ben - interesting. In your neck o' the woods, where do they get the used cooking oil? Here in Connecticut it's only available for cash, and there are actually people "stealing" the used oil from behind the restaurants. Even prying off the lock on the tank.

I like the idea of 20% cooking oil in the diesel fuel. But I'm trying to figure out where you get the oil to begin with, unless you actually buy it.

At a tank (13 g) a week, how the heck does someone find 13 g of used cooking oil if trying to run 100% non-petroleum fuel? That's a lotta oil - and a lot of processing.

Tom

Dave Russell
07-03-2008, 07:58 PM
<span style="font-size: 11pt"> With the price of Diesel now at 1.32 /liter~ $9.50+/US Gallon I'm considering using biodiesel.

A quick scan of some websites makes it seem very easy to make and virtually painless and cheap to switch to using (a new bigger fuel filter) so is there a downside? And it seems both my cars will be able to use it without any other conversion issues.
</span>
According to the 2007 numbers that I found, %67 of that amount goes to various government taxes. Only %33 goes to fuel &amp; handling prices.

I suspect that in the UK, it is illegal to avoid the taxes on motor fuel, it is in the USA. You may qualify for an exemption as a small producer, but the record keeping &amp; proof of compliance &amp; quality may be daunting.

To compare, in the USA, about %11 of the total goes to state &amp; federal taxes.

In both countries, at the prevailing prices, the refiner/seller nets nearly the same amount.
D

Banjo
07-03-2008, 08:40 PM
Ben - interesting. In your neck o' the woods, where do they get the used cooking oil? Here in Connecticut it's only available for cash, and there are actually people "stealing" the used oil from behind the restaurants. Even prying off the lock on the tank.

I like the idea of 20% cooking oil in the diesel fuel. But I'm trying to figure out where you get the oil to begin with, unless you actually buy it.

At a tank (13 g) a week, how the heck does someone find 13 g of used cooking oil if trying to run 100% non-petroleum fuel? That's a lotta oil - and a lot of processing.

Tom


Most veggie car owners around here have set up agreements with local resturants to collect the fryer grease. Having to buy the used grease from the resturant has not happened here yet, it's still free. Most resturant owners are happy to not have to pay someone to dispose of the crud. I'm sure as more and more cars start to pop up, things will change.
A typical resturant can produce 10-20 gallons, or more, of used grease a week (depending on how often they change the grease in the fryer) So it's not that big of a deal to source it.
One customer of ours has a F350 truck that they use for a business. it has a 50 gallon tank in the front of the bed. and they also have an old MB 300D that has a 10 or 15 gallon tank in the trunk. The truck isen't so bad, but the car stinks to high heavens. I think I'd be sealing off the trunk a little better or something....

JamesWilson
07-04-2008, 02:31 PM
<span style="font-size: 12pt">I've done a little more investigating.

It seems that since the end of June British drivers can use up to 2500 liters of biofuels annually before they become liable for tax.

It also seems that I can use Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) in my cars without significant conversion issues.

Various people have reported using mixtures (20% up to 50/50) of SVO with diesel without difficulty; and a few have even been able to run 100% SVO.

The chief difficulty is the lower viscousity of the SVO that often requires heating the tank, fuel lines and maybe a stronger pump/glow plugs/injectors.

It may also be possible to vary the concentration with hgiher %s of SVO during the summer with less or none during the cold months.

Over the week-end I might try a 20% mix and see how it goes (literally).

Watch this space....
</span>

NutmegCT
07-04-2008, 03:00 PM
James - thanks for the update. I'm quite interested in your statement that your cars can run on SVO without modification.

What cars are you running? (make/model/year) etc.

Most everything I've read on SVO includes a warning that modification is needed.

Thanks.
Tom

angelfj1
07-05-2008, 09:25 AM
From the Guardian, did you know:

<span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">"Since April, all petrol and diesel in Britain has had to include 2.5% from biofuels. The EU has been considering raising that target to 10% by 2020, but is faced with mounting evidence that that will only push food prices higher."</span></span>

read the complete story here:
"https://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jul/03/biofuels.renewableenergy

JamesWilson
07-05-2008, 06:56 PM
Progress Report:

I've decided to phase in the change.

This morning I added 3 liters of new, unused vegetable oil to a 1/2 tank of standard grade diesel. This would give roughly a 10% Oil/90% Diesel mixture; and if it didn't work I'd have the other 1/2 to fill with diesel to dilute it if need be.

I then drove it around the neighborhood- typical suburban driving 20-40 MPH, with numerous stops and starts for stop signs, numerous rolling stops as for yields, a number of traffic lights with idling up to a couple of minutes. No hill starts though. And a couple of blasts down nearby country lanes at 60 MPH for 10-15 minutes. About 15 miles total of varied driving.

There was no discernable change in the car's performance.

It ran normally and I didn't notice any deterioration in acceleration from stops or at any hgiher speed up to 60 MPH.

It started immediately when hot and cold, with temperatures here in the high 50s.

So a 10% mix seems completely do-able.

Tomorrow I'll try another cold start after sitting overnight and will up the concentration to 20% by adding another 3 liters of Oil.

I'll then try that for the following week as an extended test, with more city driving and an hour or so on the motorway.


I've seen reports that this particular car will run fine on even relatively high concentrations of oil; though then I'd need to:

Use a heated fuel filter at higher concentrations- this would make the injector's and injector pump's jobs easier.

I'll need to check the fuel hoses for compatibility- the oil can attack natural rubber and synthetic hose is apparently immune.

I might need to find a way of heating the fuel lines too.

The companies that do conversions do all that and typically like to install the SVO as a parallel system with a seperate tank that's heated too. This allows the use of normal diesel until the oil heats up.

I suspect that may be necessary for 100% SVO system but may be overkill for lower concentrations or areas with hotter climates.

The exhaust also now has a new smell: its not bad, maybe even pleasant, though I cannot confess to sniffing the exhaust much before. But people that use waste oil sometimes complain their cars smell like a chip shop... or worse.

Economics: Buying oil in 3 liter plastic bottles is almost certainly not the cheapest route, but its OK for this experiment. The cost is about 20p/liter less, so a 20% mix would save me a couple of pounds a tankful. I believe I can get the oil for 50p/liter in bulk, saving 80p over the cost of diesel. That'd really make the exercise worthwhile, as would higher concentrations (30%, even 50% which some people say is workable in the relatively mild British winters....)

The car is a 1992 Peugeot 405 GLDT: A 1.9 turbo-diesel with a 5 speed manual transmission. It already has roughly 130K miles on it and is fully depreciated.... Its a good daily driver practical car, we've had it since it was new and its never had any past difficulties.

The car is old but in good mechanical condition.

I'll report again after Sunday's experiment, but I'm optomistic about it and the following week....

swift6
07-06-2008, 11:39 AM
If I own a car and my wife owns a car do we own a fleet? Just kiddding!

<span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">IN OTHER WORDS WE'RE SCREWED!!!</span></span>

I know you were kidding Frank, but if you operated a home business and the business owned the vehicles (which I have seen people do for tax reasons), then yes, it would be a fleet. Fleet applies to commercially registered vehicles, not private.

The case in California that I recently heard about was a "fleet" of five vehicles for a local delivery service that used veggie oil and the owner was being prosecuted for tax evasion. In the same story it mentioned how Governor Schwarzenegger was also in violation of the same statute because he used straight vegetable oil that he would buy at Costco in his Diesel Hummer. Even though his was a private vehicle, not part of a commercial fleet. The Guvernators spokespeople said they were calculating the back taxes so they could be paid.

mailbox
07-06-2008, 02:07 PM
I haven't seen it mention here (or just missed it) but be very careful with the amount of veggie oil used in a USED fuel tank. Veggie oil is known for it's cleaning ability. This is why regular biodiesel is sold as B20. No more than 20% oil will not hurt. All that crud that has accumliated over the years WILL find it's way to the filters. BIG PITA. I would suggest a new tank or have the old one cleaned. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif

JamesWilson
07-06-2008, 07:57 PM
I've seen that (tank deposits loosened) mentioned too.

The oil can be used but with a recommendation to change the filter soon after going to a high concentration; and perhaps to carry a spare.

I'll do that, its relatively cheap and easy.

It also seems that in the very short term there's little to go wrong provided the injectors and pump are suitable. And on my particular car they seem to be, according to websites for a couple of companies that provide conversion kits.


But, in the long term things can get more problematical.

Unless the oil is properly injected by the system it may not burn quite so well and leave carbon deposits that eventually affect the engine's performance. Its been suggested that running a tank of proper diesel through at a motorway speed for half an hour will clear that away.

I've also seen cautions that the oil may not burn so well and blow-by can contaminate the lubricating oil. A regular check of oil levels that reveals more oil would catch that problem.

The biggest issue seems to be the viscousity of the oil: 12 times thicker than diesel. Heating it up is recommended for very high concentrations, or a 10% mix of gasoline is said to improve its viscousity by 50%.

Some people with cars like mine have run theirs on 100% oil in the summers and a 50/50 mix during the winters; supposedly with no other changes.

But I'm pretty hesitant to even try that.

The conversion kit provides hotter glow plugs, injectors optimized for oil, a heated large capacity filter and heating for the fuel lines; all to allow use of 100% oil and to avoid the noted problems. The best ones come from Germany, it seems....

Maybe if my experimenting proves the car runs acceptably on a higher oil mix I can then justify buying the kit and doing it properly.


Lots of people are very enthusiastic about using "waste" oil since its much cheaper than fresh, but....

It'd require filtering of particulate matter and treatment to remove any water.

In addition, such used oil may have various chemical impurities that filtering will not remove. I understand the acidity of the oil can be a real problem.

At this point waste oil isn't a source I'm considering, unless bulk buying (say 100 liters) of fresh oil at reasonable prices isn't possible. And I'd want to experiment more to make sure a high concentration is workable.




Progress Report 2:
It started this morning (low 50s temperature) without difficulty on the 10% oil mix from yesterday. Added oil to raise it to a 20% oil/diesel mix. Drove very briefly and there was no change in the car's performance.

I plan on running it on this mix through the week and give it a more extensive trial.

I'll get the new filters tomorrow, and at the week's end pull the one now in and see how much crud came loose. If it stops suddenly, I may get to do that sooner....

DrEntropy
07-07-2008, 05:03 AM
James, you are boldly going...

I'm interested to learn how this works out. Diesela may be going on a diet. :shocked:

bugimike
07-07-2008, 08:26 AM
Sounds to me like a couple of Raycor filters as used on big semi rigs and the marine industry would be in order. They are very efficient filtering systems designed for ease of servicing!

tony barnhill
07-07-2008, 11:26 AM
So, James, when you drive by do little kids ask their mom for french fries? hehehehe....I think that's great its working - 20% oil/80
&amp; diesel brings the cost of diesel back down to gasoline prices....where do you think you'll get your oil?

JamesWilson
07-08-2008, 01:47 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]...where do you think you'll get your oil? [/QUOTE]

The local grocery store sells it in 3 liter jugs for 3.49 pounds.

But a Chinese Restaurant supplier has 20 liter barrels of rapeseed oil (I think that's called Canola in the USA, and its supposedlythe best oil to use) for 19.45, about 35p/liter cheaper than diesel.

This is new oil so I don't have to mess with filtering it, or worrying about whether there's water or chemical contamination.

A catering supply house might be a little cheaper yet;but commercial oil suppliers advertise for deliveries of 1000+ liters.

Its been suggested that fuel prices could rise another 20p within weeks, so a 50p+ savings per liter would justify installing a conversion kit- I'd see a one year pay-back on the installation at that level of cost differential.

JamesWilson
07-30-2008, 05:37 AM
Progress Report:

I've now done nearly 600 miles on a 20/80 Oil/Diesel mix with absolutely no problems either starting or running the car on all kinds of roads and traffic or dry/wet/warm/cool weather.

I'll most likely try using 100% oil on the weekend and see how that works out... I've seen a number of reports that my car will run OK on that unless the temps drop and stay below freezing. And the Scottish summers aren't quite as bad as that....

tony barnhill
07-30-2008, 11:13 AM
Progress Report:

I've now done nearly 600 miles on a 20/80 Oil/Diesel mix with absolutely no problems either starting or running the car on all kinds of roads and traffic or dry/wet/warm/cool weather.

I'll most likely try using 100% oil on the weekend and see how that works out... I've seen a number of reports that my car will run OK on that unless the temps drop and stay below freezing. And the Scottish summers aren't quite as bad as that....
Any cost savings figures yet?

JamesWilson
07-30-2008, 10:02 PM
Cost savings so far:

for a 20/80 mix for new oil (costing only 35p less than diesel) is only about 5%- hardly worth it, but if I used recycled oil (assuming its free) I'd then save 20%.

for 100% oil: new would save about 25%; used would be 100%.

The 100% looks really, really atractive. And I may try it with new oil at the weekend and r una month or so on it. I estimate I'd save over 100 pounds monthly using recycled oil, but only 30 pounds if I have to buy new oil. But if diesel prices go up higher...

My car has the Bosche fuel pump that seems the critical component so it should be OK. And summer is here (well, what passes for it) so ambient temperature shouldn't be an issue.

Once I'm sure it runs OK on 100% oil I'll look to source recycled oil from a local fish &amp; chip shop, but I don't know how much oil they use a month or how frequently it gets replaced, what sort of canisters are needed to move it, etc. I'm learning all this as I go.

A German company makes a conversion kit for #550 that includes hotter glow plugs, a heated fuel filter and other niceties. That's roughly 7 tankfuls so between now and Christmas I could save more than enough for a nice present then and run through the rest of the winter....

angelfj1
07-31-2008, 05:47 AM
James: I find this topic very interesting! Please keep us posted.

Also, considering the various LBC's that have been produced, did any offer a diesel? Don't some of the Austin taxis run diesel?

What LBC's would be best suited for a diesel transplant? I could see it now a TR-7 diesel - daily driver! :smile:

Best regards,

Frank

NutmegCT
07-31-2008, 06:13 AM
One thing that keeps me away from considering this seriously ... here in Connecticut restaurants are selling their old oil - for $5/gallon.

When you consider the new equipment needed (the pickup tank, the storage tank, the "filtering" tank, and the modifications to the engine), it begins to lose some of its appeal. You don't just drive your car up to McD's waste oil tank and fill 'er up.

I admire James for his detailed investigation and am following this *very* closely. But if the equipment -and even the "chip oil" - has to be bought, the advantage begins to diminish.

Just a thought ...

Tom

JamesWilson
07-31-2008, 07:04 AM
You don't just drive your car up to McD's waste oil tank and fill 'er up.


No, indeed not. I reckon I'll have 4 or 5 20 litre cans from using new oil that should be ok for carrying to the local chippy and transporting the stuff. If they're not really suitable I could buy an alternative for around 12 pounds each.

My local garden centre sells plastic water barrels for 25 pounds each, each can hold 136 liters. But they're not airtight and I cannot tell whether the oil stored in them might absorb water as a contaminant from the air. I'd doubt it (oil and water not mixing) but will need to ask about that.

As I understand it the chief issues with using waste oil is to first heat it sufficiently so that any water is boiled off, and particles that need to be filtered out.

Filtering: Some people recommend letting it sit for a few days to allow particles to settle out. then it can be filtered, first through old cloth to remove the larger particles, then progressively through 20 and 2 micron filters. I've no idea how long the filters last but suppose it depends on the supplier and how dirty they let the oil get before discarding it. The filter bodies seem to cost around 50 pounds and the consumable elements around 8-10 pounds each. So a set up with two filters and a barrel for the clean oil oil would cost about 150 pounds, assuming I can get the other containers for free and fabricate a feeder tank from one of then to feed the filters. I'd try to let gravity provide the push... a pump could be used if needed.

If the oil has to be stored in airtight containers I'd then need at least 3 of them, as well as however many would be required to transport the stuff.

I understand that waste oilmay also have other contaminants from cooking- phosphates, salt, etc. that may need to be monitored. I have a friend who's a bio-chemist here at the University so I'll probably be able to get some chemical analysis done cheaply to figure out whether the supply has any nasties in it or if it's useable.

So I'll see how the test goes over the next couple weeks, and report back again...

NutmegCT
07-31-2008, 07:28 AM
Here's an interesting description of the steps needed, and the caveats, related to converting "chip oil" for use as fuel.

https://www.greasecar.com/article.cfm?aid=19

I'd be interested in any similar sites you've found in the UK.

Thanks.
Tom

70herald
07-31-2008, 08:27 AM
I admire James for his detailed investigation and am following this *very* closely.


I am also following this quite closely, and even looked at a diesel powered van yesterday (because I need a van, not specifically diesel) Now all I need is a good source of used oil.

JamesWilson
07-31-2008, 12:36 PM
Thanks for thagt link- it's a good site. I've seen much the same information here, but spread over several sources. I'll try to put together a short list and post them....

JamesWilson
09-06-2008, 02:46 PM
Progress Report:

Over the past month I've now done nearly 400 miles on 100% Vegetable Oil with absolutely no problems either starting or running the car on all kinds of roads and traffic or dry/wet/warm/cool weather.

I usually drive a little more than that but the car was "down" for a week when a brake pipe corroded through and broke. :hammer: Totally unrelated to the oil.

The biggest problem was the 20 litre cans the oil comes in- they're a bear to wrestle in position and pour through the funnel into the tank. Makes fueling the car a two person job- or I just pour it into more manageable 5 liter cans. If I buy it in the smaller cans it then becomes a bit more expensive.

Seems to work fine, though with diesel prices now starting to ease a little the eonomics aren't so attrative. I'm saving roughly 20% I estimate.

I'll try it another month or so; and maybe then start seriously looking for a local Fish &amp; Chip Shop for their waste oil. My local one uses lard so they're out....


I now have a vegetarian car.... :angel:


At some point in the next couple of weeks I'll need to pull the fuel filter and check how much debris has been dislodged by the fuel change. I've got two spare filters and the tools (Both of them!- a screwdriver and adjustable wrench) should it suddenly decide to stop running; and I've read the shop manual so I'll kinda- sorta know what to do when it needs doing.

kennypinkerton
09-06-2008, 08:38 PM
Might want to check the chinese eateries. I've read the they use is really good for that kind of setup (safflower oil? or maybe it's just a high quality vegetable oil I think).

For the gravity feed thing, for about every 2 ft high the main container above ground level is, you get about 1 psi of outlet pressure at ground level.

70herald
09-07-2008, 12:32 AM
James what kind of fuel filter does your car have? My recently acquired Nissan only has some sort of water separator filter.
Now all I need is a good source of oil.

hilsideser
09-07-2008, 09:33 AM
I took a seminar given by a local producer of the stuff and our extension service. Main thing that comes to mind is the the bio diesel tends to loosen all debris in the existing fuel tank and carries it forward through the delivery system. Therefore, the producer recommended replacing the existing tank before going to biod iesel to avoid problems.
My two cents...

JamesWilson
09-07-2008, 11:47 AM
The regular fuel filter is a big-ish one about two inches in diameter and three inches tall, installed in its own housing conveniently at the front of the engine. Easy to get to, and change.

The tank isn't that readily available new- the car's now 15 years old and I suspect a new one would be extortionately expensive, if one could be found.

For the refueling I've found a little pump that could be used for both re-fueling the car and for pumping used oil through a set of filters.

In the longer term the used oil would make it all much more attractive.

I'd thoguht of the Chinese (and Indian) restaurants but one said they cook everything in their oil- vegetables, fish, porks, etc.; and I've been lead to believe that oil used to fry meat should be avoided- so a Chip shop with seperate vats for the chips and fish would be ideal.

We'll see how it goes. When winter comes I may have to revert to a mix again or straight Diesel. Depends how cold it gets. Or I could get a conversion kit with heated fuel lines, a heating element for the fuel tank, a heated filter and adapted injectors and glow plugs. Its a little expensive, but if the oil is free otherwise....