home-brewing biodiesel

cforst513

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i love flying!!! i'm almost done with my instrument!!!

ok, now that the aviation part is over, what do you guys know about making your own biodiesel? my dad has a big dodge cummins diesel ram 2500, and, just as everywhere else, fuel for his truck is PRICEY. i saw on TV this website (www.freedomfuelamerica.com) where you can order stuff to help you brew your own gas. but what do YOU guys know of it? anyone out there actually make their own diesel?
 

gern_blanston

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My brother's running WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil) in his turbodiesel. Slick setup. Gets deep-fryer oil from a cafe where he works, filters it in his garage, and runs for nothing. Smells like burnt onion rings when he drives.
http://www.greasecar.com
A couple of local TDIClub guys are setting up to make their own bio, but they're not up and running yet. They claim it's a pretty simple project.
 

FurloughedAgain

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The methynol looks like the expensive part. Interesting setup.

Wonder what the cost-per-gallon works out to. You can drive a VW Golf Turbo-diesel that gets around 44per gallon...
 

Dangerkitty

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gern_blanston said:
My brother's running WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil) in his turbodiesel. Slick setup. Gets deep-fryer oil from a cafe where he works, filters it in his garage, and runs for nothing. Smells like burnt onion rings when he drives.
http://www.greasecar.com
A couple of local TDIClub guys are setting up to make their own bio, but they're not up and running yet. They claim it's a pretty simple project.
How does you brothers car drive? Can you tell ANY difference from using Veggie Oil vs. statard fuel?

I have been to website a few times and it is very interesting. I would love to hear the pros and cons of using the Vegetable Oil.
 

Dan CFI/CFII

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I know some guys using the FFA setup--VERY easy. Very cheap.

The hard part is getting a source for WVO. Some guys have struck deals with restraunts to dispose of their oil, but are simply swamped with the amount of WVO they end up with.

The B100 itself is really, really sweet stuff. Everyone I know says they get slightly less MPG on B100 vs dinodiesel, but it's a mile or two per gallon at most. The other big problem is that the BioDiesel tends to clean the fuel system out pretty well, and that caused the gunk that years of dinodiesel has made to wash out into the fuel filter for the first tank or two.

But it can be mixed in any ratio with dinodiesel. The only real problem is that with pure B100, there are gelling problems at low temperatures. Mixing some dinodiesel will generally fix it, or FFA sells a product (LDL) that is supposed to fix it as well. But I don't know anyone who has tried the LDL, so I can't say how it should work.

I'll most likely be joining the mix someday soon, as I'm converting my Toyota Pickup to a Toyota Diesel, and should be running in the next two months or so. Not only will my pickup get great mileage, but my friends here who make B100 out of WVO are doing it for $0.73-$0.86 per gallon!

Dan
 

FurloughedAgain

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What if you went down to Sam's Club and picked up big jugs of vegetable oil? or went to a restaurant supply company and purchased oil?

I'm just wondering if buying what you need is not just easier than trying to store barrels and barrels of used restaurant oil.

This is definately intriguing though.
 

gern_blanston

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Once my brother got the filtering and heating figgered out, he's had NO problems at all. He filters the oil 3 times, and has a heated filter in the car. You can't tell the difference in driving when the computer switches the engine from dead dinosaurs to 'greasel', and he gets the roughly the same mileage on either one. His diesel tank (the stock fuel tank in the) gets him about 3,000 miles between fillups, since he only runs dino for about 4 minutes at startup to get the coolant (which heats the veggy oil) up to temperature.
It's pretty neat. Wintertime thickening of the oil might be a factor, but other than that, it's a nearly invisible system that basically runs for FREE once your filter/storage system are up and running.
As for buying veggy oil, why?!? For now, most any restaurant that has a deep-fryer will gladly give you the used stuff rather than pay to have it hauled away.
My brother leaves a couple of jerry-cans behind the cafe, with pour-through filters to get the big chunks out when the oil is poured in hot, then they turn the cans around so when he drives by, he knows they've been filled, so he tosses 'em in the trunk and takes 'em home. The filter/pump setup in his garage took a little time and money.
Here's a summary on his website.
 

Otto77

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hmmm i wonder if stuff like this could be the way of the future..pretty kick azz if you ask me :)
 

Dangerkitty

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gern_blanston said:
Once my brother got the filtering and heating figgered out, he's had NO problems at all. He filters the oil 3 times, and has a heated filter in the car. You can't tell the difference in driving when the computer switches the engine from dead dinosaurs to 'greasel', and he gets the roughly the same mileage on either one. His diesel tank (the stock fuel tank in the) gets him about 3,000 miles between fillups, since he only runs dino for about 4 minutes at startup to get the coolant (which heats the veggy oil) up to temperature.
It's pretty neat. Wintertime thickening of the oil might be a factor, but other than that, it's a nearly invisible system that basically runs for FREE once your filter/storage system are up and running.
As for buying veggy oil, why?!? For now, most any restaurant that has a deep-fryer will gladly give you the used stuff rather than pay to have it hauled away.
My brother leaves a couple of jerry-cans behind the cafe, with pour-through filters to get the big chunks out when the oil is poured in hot, then they turn the cans around so when he drives by, he knows they've been filled, so he tosses 'em in the trunk and takes 'em home. The filter/pump setup in his garage took a little time and money.
Here's a summary on his website.
Gern,

Looks like your brother did a great job. One question though. Since you have to use regular diesel to run the engine to warm up the oil, can you just drive the car on regular diesel if for some reason you run out of vegetable oil?

And just to make sure I understand you. When you state that it runs just like a normal car on greasel are you stating that it has the exact same pick up and acceleration as normal diesel?

Thanks in advance. I really think I wanna get one of these things.
 

gern_blanston

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Yeah, it's a 2-tank setup. You start and warm up on diesel, then switch to veggy oil. You can run on either one. He can go about 1,600 miles without filling up if he runs all the diesel and all the veggy oil out! The valves run return fuel to the tank it comes from, that's why there's not just a simple left/right valve like in a '172.
And you absolutely cannot tell the difference in acceleration or driveability between dino and veggy.
It's pretty cool.
 

enigma

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www.frybrid.com

Here's a real good website for waste veggie oil diesel fuel.

From what I can tell, this WVO fuel deal is not quite as simple as some would like it to be.

enigma
 

gern_blanston

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Oh yeah, in case anyone didn't notice, he's a bit of a geek.
Feel free to e-mail him. He loves to proselytize the wonders of veggy oil. I'll try to stay off my soap box, but cars that get good mileage are the future, and these veggy/bio setups are. I drive a Golf TDI myself, I'm just too lazy to do the veggy-oil thing. But I do average over 47 mpg, and if you haven't driven a late-model turbodiesel, they're a FAR cry from the noisy, smokey, sluggish pigs of yesteryear. It's nice to go 700+ miles on a 15 gallon tank. Great little car.
 

Dangerkitty

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From what I can see, many of these veggie cars have the veggie oil tanks in the trunk. What happens if you are rear ended? Would there be a chance of 300'F Vegetable oil spewing all over you if you are rear ended on the highway?
 

Dan CFI/CFII

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WVO is a bit more complicated, because you've got to set up the filters and heaters and all...

But converting WVO (or SVO, or whatever) into BioDiesel gives you plain old BioDiesel, which requires no modifications, and can be mixed in any ratio with dinodiesel.

FurloughedAgain: that's what I'm planning on doing. Buying Veg Oil to make BioDiesel is still pretty cheap, and I could call and get it delivered pretty easily.

Because of all the modifications and complexity of running straight Veg Oil, I'm going to stick with the BioDiesel route myself.

Way of the future?!?! You know it.

Dan
 

gern_blanston

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Dangerkitty said:
From what I can see, many of these veggie cars have the veggie oil tanks in the trunk. What happens if you are rear ended? Would there be a chance of 300'F Vegetable oil spewing all over you if you are rear ended on the highway?
The oil in the tank isn't hot. It gets heated on the way to the engine compartment by running inside a coolant line that's run back to the trunk. The tank heats up a little bit due to the returned oil from the injection pump, but it never gets hot. Pretty slick setup.
 

FurloughedAgain

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I tend to agree with Dan. I have trouble performing my own oil-change so major modifications to my car are most likely out of the question.

But if I could come up with a small setup to create bio-deisel in my garage and then run it on a straight deisel car....thats a possibility.
 

jarhead

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FurloughedAgain said:
What if you went down to Sam's Club and picked up big jugs of vegetable oil? or went to a restaurant supply company and purchased oil?

I'm just wondering if buying what you need is not just easier than trying to store barrels and barrels of used restaurant oil.

This is definately intriguing though.
At Sam's club, a two liter bottle of Olive oil (a little over a half a gallon) runs about $7.00. That's about $13.00 a gallon. Hardly an incentive to avoid gasoline at $2.55 a gallon, unless you could get a hundred miles per gallon or more out of it. And if you could get that kind of mpg, supply and demand rules would kick in, and the price of veggie oil would go through the roof.

As far as collecting waste oil from Burger King, as soon as there was a big demand for it, they would start charging for it, and people would start getting shot for "drive offs" because they swiped French Fry oil. :)
 

FurloughedAgain

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unless you think that VW is going to come out with a Chicken-strip powered Jetta next year, I dont think supply and demand is a problem.

I'm sure i'm just daydreaming (was looking at a diesel jetta on Ebay going for $11,000) but sure seems like a neat idea.

hmmmm jet-fuel is essentially diesel...a french-fry powered learjet...

Seriously, the price of oil headed in the direction it is, at least SOMEONE is thinking of alternatives that may be commercially viable.
 
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