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  #1  
Old 02-18-2005, 05:23 PM
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Disadvantages of Waste Vegetable Oil???????

Have been reading about using Waste Veggie Oil in Mercs. Websites always talk abou the benefits BUT never the negatives. So I would like to know if anyone knows of the downsides of using Waste Vegetable Oil, if the conversion and oil processing are done correctly?
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2005, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetdiesel
Have been reading about using Waste Veggie Oil in Mercs. Websites always talk abou the benefits BUT never the negatives. So I would like to know if anyone knows of the downsides of using Waste Vegetable Oil, if the conversion and oil processing are done correctly?

Maybe I should chime in.

I dislike messing with my fuel system, and this is one drawback. Plus, you really need to filter your oil very well. This might be time consuming. And I don't like to install another tank in the trunk, where I have a lot of important stuff . That second tank will have to be heated as well, which I found a bit not so convenient.



Been thinking about running blends WVO/Diesel or WVO/Gasoline . This mean I can keep my fuel system unmodified. But people have found some problems with this too . Things about Wax and parafin clogging up the whole system, filter, injectors, IP .

Then the only thing left is home brew Biodiels . Thing is, it might dissolve rubber seals and all. One immediate problem I would have to deal with, is that this solvent to loosen a lot of deposits over the years in the current fuel tank, and I would have to take out the filter at the outlet of the tank, something I have not learned to do.
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2005, 06:12 PM
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There is no free lunch!

Here are the issues:

Petro diesel = expensive but very easy, the lazy "rich" mans option.

WVO conversions (heated systems) = cheap, really cheap if you have the time and space to collect oil, filter it, and can deal with loosing some truck or storage room. WVO systems can cut your fuel expenditures by 90% but this doesn't take into account your time. Not the best for short trips as the system never heats up and you are constantly cycling the purge system. The best system for those who commute and run the engine for at least 10 minutes.

Biodiesel = about halfway in cost between Petro and WVO. You still have to collect oil, filter it, and either buy or build a processor. Obviously this takes time. Biodiesel proponents claim it takes no longer to make it that to filter WVO and its not an issue. You do however need the space for a processor and to be able to store methanol, lye and well as dispose of the byproduct glycerin. Biodiesel will eat older rubber parts over time but it seems this happens fairly slowly and the parts can be replaced with upgraded materials when this happens. Biodiesel is the better choice for short trips, etc. You have to be careful in cold climates to keep it from gelling but there are additives to help deal with it.

Blends = cost depends on how much you use. Some have reported no trouble running blends but there have been reports of injector coking and other problems especially with high concentrations. You would still have to collect and filter WVO. A possible solution would be to install a coolant type fuel heater to assist in burning the blended fuel. Obviously this won't help on cold startup but it will minimize the coking issues once the engine warms up.

So, there you have it. IMHO most people are lazy and while they may complain about the cost of fuel they aren't motivated enough to do anything about it. I have been trying to get the WVO system put together in my truck for a while now but I am just too busy. By summer I should have it running. I use $2500 of fuel a year so cutting my costs by 90% would be significant. RT
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2005, 06:54 PM
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"Petro diesel = expensive but very easy, the lazy "rich" mans option."--RT

Well, at least you are maintaining a neutral position on this.... I have been wondering if there is enough WVO around to satisfy the demand if a bunch of people suddenly lost their ' lazy' attitudes... I can see fistfights at the back of the Fried Chicken Fast Food establishments.....
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2005, 07:40 PM
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Well, at least you are maintaining a neutral position on this....

Hey, tongue in cheek on that! I still have all of mine on Petro so you know what catagory I fall into... I guess that maybe that would fall into one of the disadvantages of WVO??? The cost of karate/boxing lessons or a firearm to defend your favorite grease dumpster once all the "lazy" people figure this out! That or we'll have to start dealing with "dumpster pimps" charging for access to your favorite supply. RT
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2005, 07:47 PM
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RT - Thanks for the GREAT IDEA!!!!!!!!

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  #7  
Old 02-18-2005, 07:59 PM
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One thing that I'd be cautious about with WVO is the acidity. Refined virgin vegetable oil is either pH-neutral or very mildly acidic. Once it's heated up to a high enough temperature, many times, some chemistry happens, and it becomes really hard to say exactly what this substances is, but it's definitely not just oil (as in glycerol ester of various fatty acids) anymore. WVO you get from various sources isn't the same stuff, your luck may vary. I know that WVO can be pretty acidic in some cases (from free fatty acids?), and in that case it can do serious damage to metal parts in the IP and elsewhere through chemical corrosion. I've read about non-refined virgin vegetable oil doing that, although I don't know of any first-hand accounts of WVO-caused damage. Does anyone know of some solid or semi-solid data on WVO acidity and its impact?

You also want to be careful with home-made biodiesel. The basic process sounds pretty easy in various internet accounts, but it can be and does get screwed up. Even commercial biodiesel manufacturers sell off-spec fuel sometimes, even though they work with an easier starting material (refined virgin oil). Processing WVO into biodiesel requires varying amounts of chemicals and strict quality control, it's very hard to make it a fool-proof process in home conditions.
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2005, 08:56 PM
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I'll chime in as a recent user of a 70 - 90% WVO/RUG blend. I was unable to find a free source for WVO so I started buying it at $.50 a gallon. Then I built a small filtration system. Now I really need to buy a larger container so I can pick up more than the 3 five gallon cans I have at a time. It takes me a few hours to filter out 10 gallons of WVO when its cold using heat and a hand pump. Then I have to bend over and mix 4 gallons to 1 gallon of gas in a five gallon jug and slowly pour it into the fuel tank so I don't leave an oily mess in the driveway and on the car. I burn a tank every 3 days so I have to invest five or six hours every three days for fuel at $.92 cents a gallon once its blended. I feel great doing it from an environmental and political perspective but its alot of work. Once it warms up and I have some more money to invest improving my system, it should be easier but I just can't drop $75 on a 35 gallon poly tank right now. I did build a coolant/fuel heat exchanger and a 12volt fuel heater and they should prevent any of the wax/coking problems. I am also considering setting up a company to collect grease commercially from just one or two restaurants. Of course I'll have to invest in $300 commercial grease dumpsters for that but it will make the oil cheaper in the long run. My local biodiesel coop will be making WVO available commercially in the coming year I think but I'll probably have to drive 45 minutes for it.
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2005, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwthomas1
Petro diesel = expensive but very easy, the lazy "rich" mans option.

WVO conversions (heated systems) = cheap, really cheap if you have the time and space to collect oil, filter it, and can deal with loosing some truck or storage room. WVO systems can cut your fuel expenditures by 90% but this doesn't take into account your time. Not the best for short trips as the system never heats up and you are constantly cycling the purge system. The best system for those who commute and run the engine for at least 10 minutes.

Biodiesel = about halfway in cost between Petro and WVO. You still have to collect oil, filter it, and either buy or build a processor. Obviously this takes time. Biodiesel proponents claim it takes no longer to make it that to filter WVO and its not an issue. You do however need the space for a processor and to be able to store methanol, lye and well as dispose of the byproduct glycerin. Biodiesel will eat older rubber parts over time but it seems this happens fairly slowly and the parts can be replaced with upgraded materials when this happens. Biodiesel is the better choice for short trips, etc. You have to be careful in cold climates to keep it from gelling but there are additives to help deal with it.

Blends = cost depends on how much you use. Some have reported no trouble running blends but there have been reports of injector coking and other problems especially with high concentrations. You would still have to collect and filter WVO. A possible solution would be to install a coolant type fuel heater to assist in burning the blended fuel. Obviously this won't help on cold startup but it will minimize the coking issues once the engine warms up.

So, there you have it. IMHO most people are lazy and while they may complain about the cost of fuel they aren't motivated enough to do anything about it. I have been trying to get the WVO system put together in my truck for a while now but I am just too busy. By summer I should have it running. I use $2500 of fuel a year so cutting my costs by 90% would be significant. RT
RT, when you start cutting checks for me to use SVO, I'll do it. If your time is worth nothing, fine. I don't have enought time to do all the stuff I need to get done, never mind make political statements. If I have time I want to spend it playing with the wife and not cranking the pump when I can have the wife crank my pump. Or better yet, I'll go get the old beater for the process and provide the tank. Since your time is so plentiful, you go get the stuff and process it then fill up my tank.

Why would I wanto to go thru all that hassle? You only save 90% if you have free labor. If that is what your labor is worth, who am I to debate it? Mine is worth much more. The less I have to do, the more time I have to spend on doing things that cannot and will not wait for my attention. As it is, I already have a "Honeydew" list that is not getting done.

I don't complain about the cost of fuel. Only the taxes when I run over potholes because that is what the taxes are supposed to fix. I'd like to save 90% of my fuel bill. The reason I went with diesel is because I wanted a 25% reduction in fuel costs which I already have. If it costs too much for me to play with my toys, I guess the choice I have to make is to either work harder or play less.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2005, 09:48 PM
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Rick,

You can get plastic (poly) 55 gal. drums for about $10. Find a company that uses chemicals. Most chemicals come in these barrels. At my company we use chemicals in the boilers and these drums are available free. That doesn't help you but you might look at your local industries for a supply of barrels.

I use 2 in my WVO process. I filter raw grease to 25 micron bag filter and then pump that mixture onto the other barrel through a 10 mic. bag filter. From the last barrel I decant the oil into 5 gal. 'cubes' and let it stand. The oil will seperate. I then syphon off the clean oil from the top and leave the sludge. The next time I collect grease I return the sludge. I have had no problems with clogged filters using this method.
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  #11  
Old 02-19-2005, 01:11 AM
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Aklim,
don't be waiting by the mailbox for funds from me. Is my time free? No. But I sure don't have a lot of extra money laying around either. Saving $2250/year would make a pretty big difference in my life. The secret to making WVO work for you is to streamline the collection/filtering process. I am planning a hitch mounted collection unit. I have to drive by two of my sources every day so stopping is no big deal. The filtering units I am working on will gravity filter 10-20gallons a day with no input from me. I have purchased electric transfer pumps to move the WVO and I am planning on a "fueling nozzle" like one at a fuel station mounted by my garage door for easy fillups. The key is to take the process and make it as automatic as possible. If I have to fill the tank with gas cans, carry waste oil to and fro in containers it won't be worth it to me. Here is my process: Hitch mounted 30gallon barrel with electric pump allows me to pull up to provided barrel and suck up WVO. Return to house, reverse pump to transfer oil through piping leading to filter barrel. Second pump feeds oil to storage unit in batches through final polishing filter. WVO now ready to use. Storage barrel is mounted high and will gravity feed to filler nozzle for vehicle tanks. No physical WVO handling required. The only minor effort is mounting/dismounting collection unit, which is like putting in a drawbar on the back of the truck so its something I do several times a week anyway. I am quite confident I can reduce the whole process to 1-2hrs a week total. Cutting my fuel bill from $60/week to $6/week is worth it. Leaves a little extra cash for the other expensive hobbies I have. RT
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2005, 01:45 AM
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Oh well, there goes my vacation in the Bahamas. Thanx to RT for not sending me money.

IF, (I haven't heard from you reporting your success yet and so it is an IF) you can make it as simplified as you said it might not be too bad. Assuming the WVO consumption is the same as diesel and doesn't need more to go the same distance, and counting the costs of the degeling agents for winter use, it might pay for itself.

However, I still disagree with your statement that buying fuel from the pump is being lazy. If my neighbours see a 55 gal drum on stilts in my yard, they might have a problem and start point out sections in the covenant and have me remove it and my shed that I have in the yard that is not supposed to be there. My garage will not accomodate much more than my workbench and grinders, etc, etc, so having it in there is not an option either. Sometimes, it is just not possible,
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2005, 04:44 AM
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"Hitch mounted 30gallon barrel "
I hate to see that much weight unsupported there....
Does anyone know of small but high speed wheel / follower mounts... as with front castor wheels on big lawn mowers ? I think I have seen something close on tow truck attachments....
This would support some of that weight but not be a "trailer" in terms of backing up... it could pivot up and down on its frame which attaches into a receiver hitch.
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Old 02-19-2005, 08:54 AM
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Kip,

Thanks for the tip. 55 gallon drums for storage and filtering are not as big a challenge for me as transporting oil from my source to my house - that's where I need a large, horizontal tank that will fit into my trunk plus a 12volt oil transfer pump to really make it fast.

Before I actually used WVO, I was a little smug and dismissive of people who used diesel. Now that I understand how much time has to go into it, at least on the front end building systems if not actually doing the filtering and blending, I'm more sympathetic. The infrastructure is there, or close, for fuel stations to pump filtered or virgin WVO/SVO at the station. I think that's the only was we will build wide usage and acceptance.
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  #15  
Old 02-19-2005, 11:18 AM
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Cool

[QUOTE=rurik
You also want to be careful with home-made biodiesel. The basic process sounds pretty easy in various internet accounts, but it can be and does get screwed up. Even commercial biodiesel manufacturers sell off-spec fuel sometimes, even though they work with an easier starting material (refined virgin oil). Processing WVO into biodiesel requires varying amounts of chemicals and strict quality control, it's very hard to make it a fool-proof process in home conditions.[/QUOTE]

Disinformation . Once you have your start up costs out of the way,IE: processor/wash tank, methanol, lye ect the process isn't that complicated and you can make very high quality spec biodiesel in your spare bedroom,garage, or shed.
The quality of the fuel depends upon several variables, but this can be worked around and overcome by the process of elimination. If you use proper equipment, like electronic scales and PH meters kept calibrated you eliminate most of the nagging variables. Heat the wash water and be careful not to let any of the glycerine by-product into the wash thereby reducing the possibility of saponification (making soap).
Granted, it IS a process though, and homebrewing is not about half the cost of petro,it is far less than that: after start up the cost is approx .42/liter (a liter is 3.78 x to the US gal) depending on how much you put out for the methanol (the most expensive ingredient), a portion of which can be recuperated after the reaction is complete and reused.
This is the one I built and am using: http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_processor12.html The process is also indicated. Did I have some problems with the fuel lines and seals ? Yes, and no, in that order, but this is something I was expecting. Best work around in Benz's is to remove the screen sediment filter that is inside the tank (it screws into it) It looks like this:
http://oem.overnightautoparts.com/parts/overnightautoparts/viewImage.jsp?image=img.overnightautoparts.com/live/E101087062MEY.JPG The fuel line screws into the screen filter. So after having removed the screen strip it of the screening material and replace it but add an extra in-line filter at the outlet port of the fuel tank. This will clog up with the residual gunk that dino (fosil fuel) left behind and you can then easily change it in a few minutes instead of after paying for a tow. I also replaced my fuel lines as they were old and cracking.After two tank fills of B100 (100% biodiesel) your system will have been cleaned of residues and you won't be bothered with clogging anymore (there is an end).The engine noise is significantly reduced. You can blend biodiesel with dino to any percentage without the need to modify anything in the engine. Caution is for colder weather. Below 5C (about 40F) it will want to gel, and this is it's only major drawback. It is 75% cleaner burning than dino, and eliminates 16 different toxins that emit from the tailpipe, and due to it's superior lubricating properties it also extends engine life, any engine, truck, car, generator boat ect. Some also successfully use it as home heating fuel.
Once the processor is built and you have learned how to use it the rest is repeat actions. I have mine operating in an extremely tight space and this year it will be expanded to where I can produce 160 liters at a time in tqwo tanks, one the processor itself and the other a secondary settling tank.
The next project on the agenda is to install a two tank conversion commonly used for SVO/WVO (Straight Vegetable Oil/Waste Vegetable OIl) direct feed, except that I plan to run B100 it is for the winter months. It requires a second tank, a heat exchanger (usually the rediator coolant lines) a fuel line and a switching mechanism ( I am not too sure how this works but I plan on finding out) a heated fuel filter in the engine compartment and off I go. Start on dino, wait for it to heat up (indicated by the engine temp gauge) and then switch to BD, run B100 via the heated system to the pump and then when I am near destination switch back over to dino and prime the system that way. I should be good to go all winter in ridgid temps with this system. Biodiesel is lighter than SVO?WVO and will get quite thin once heated in this two tank system and will require no extra effort on the part of the pump or injectors to vaporise.
Luc
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