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View Poll Results: Does this argument make sense?
Yes. 4 25.00%
That's rediculous! 12 75.00%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 03-06-2008, 11:28 AM
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WVO: Legal or Not? probably not. But what about this?

http://www.epa.gov/SmartwayLogistics/growandgo/documents/faq.htm#i_14

So is it legal to use pure WVO as a motor fuel? I think everyone wondering has their answer and it's pretty clear that it's NOT legal.

But, the line according to that same FAQ answer as to when WVO becomes biodiesel is not at all clear. It certainly looks to me that they define biodiesel as WVO with Methanol or Ethanol added for esterfication. So... WVO with a splash of E85 (85% Ethanol) would indeed meet that criterion would it not?

Obviously it's a law the govt. doesn't care to enforce. It says right there they've never once enforced that law. So, if it's not important to the govt. to enforce the law it's probably just a technicality that they like to keep to make themselves feel better about the issue of WVO.

I think as long as WVO users keep the EPA's technicality of adding Ethanol (in this case E85 to WVO), it satisfies the law. Aye?

And NOTE to biodiesel purists, I said satisfies the law.
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Last edited by 777funk; 03-06-2008 at 11:36 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2008, 11:51 AM
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I think you have to consider the definition of "esterfication" to interpret the EPA description of biodiesel.

I am waaaaayyyyy out of my area of expertise, but according to their description the base oil is put through a process to remove the glycerin. I don't think that by simply adding E85 to your grease tank that this is happening.

I am a greaser, and would love to have someone chime in here and prove me wrong

Rich
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2008, 11:57 AM
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I agree. Esterification happens at elevated temperatures and when reacted with methoxide - not just a splash of E85 or methanol. Not to mention the additional washing/drying, etc.

I understand your point - it's not a gigantic leap from A to B.....but the leap still exists and that's how the EPA is currently defining it.
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2008, 12:53 PM
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methoxide or ethoxide is needed to make bioD... methoxide is methanol and sodium hydroxide and ethoxide is ethanol and sodium hydroxide

you can also use potassuim hydroxide (KOH) instead of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) i believe, but you need more of the KOH than the NaOH

I was one on the "That's Ridiculous!" side but i would not say it is ridiculous , it just does not fall into the grey area enough.
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2008, 01:47 PM
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I think the legality of using WVO as a fuel comes down to a tax issue more than anything related to EPA regulations. In Ohio around .28 cents per gallon of gasoline and .29 cents per gallon of diesel goes to state tax. Add in the federal tax of .18 cents per gallon of gas or .24 cents for diesel and county taxes and you could be paying over .50 cents per gallon of fuel tax. Unless you are running farm diesel which is either tax exempt or subsidized.

Go to http://www.activetax.net/ to check out tax info. per state.

Anyway, when you are running WVO, SVO or biodiesel that is home-brewed you are not paying a tax on the fuel you use. Therefore, some people (including local governments) may feel that if you are not paying taxes to help maintain the roads that you drive on then you should not be driving on them. Or you could just pay the tax which may require a bit of paperwork through your states department of taxation. People who produce biodiesel for public, on-road consumption must also be licensed as a fuel dealer which adds additional cost in the long run. You do not need a fuel dealer license is you use or sell biodiesel for off-road applications such as if you are selling to a local farmer or using it in your tractor, etc.

According to ATSM D6751 guidelines 100 % biodiesel is defined as "a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats." Basically there is much more processing needed to turn SVO or WVO into biodiesel than just splashing some ethanol in there. For more info on "What is biodiesel?" check out: http://www.biodiesel.org/resources/definitions/default.shtm

So in my opinion it is legal to use WVO or biodiesel as long as you pay your road tax. And the enforcement of the road tax is not a major priority at this time because WVO and SVO as a road fuel is still limited to "niche" users. Collecting and filtering WVO is not the most glamorous thing in the world and is not for everybody. Also, there is only so much grease to go around and restaurants are starting to realized that their yellow grease has some value. Hope that helps.
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2008, 01:49 PM
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biodiesel is the common name applied to Methyl Esters, which is NOT oil. esterfication changes the composition of the oil into methyl esters. Methanol is combined with the fatty acids found in WVO/SVO or animal fats, and uses lye as the catalyst.
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  #7  
Old 03-06-2008, 03:38 PM
ForcedInduction
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Read the website again.

Esterficiation uses a certain type of industrial alcohol (ethanol or methanol) to remove the glycerin from the cooking oil...

Not added, used.
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  #8  
Old 03-06-2008, 05:05 PM
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Home grown chemists

tend to miss the point on this.

ADDING methyl alcohol doesn't constitute the trans esterification reaction. AND cooking oil is not diesel, biodiesel or 'raw' biodiesel.

The vegetable oil and alcohol are reactants and the biodiesel is a product.

Beyond that??? enroll in your local community college or university's organic chem (first semester) course.
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2008, 05:09 PM
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YOU got it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudebutler View Post
I think you have to consider the definition of "esterfication" to interpret the EPA description of biodiesel.

I am waaaaayyyyy out of my area of expertise, but according to their description the base oil is put through a process to remove the glycerin. I don't think that by simply adding E85 to your grease tank that this is happening.

I am a greaser, and would love to have someone chime in here and prove me wrong

Rich
BUT esterification is more than just 'removing' the glycerin. It is actually rearranging the molecules of the oil, themselves.
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  #10  
Old 03-06-2008, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Sean Watts View Post
tend to miss the point on this.

ADDING methyl alcohol doesn't constitute the trans esterification reaction. AND cooking oil is not diesel, biodiesel or 'raw' biodiesel.

The vegetable oil and alcohol are reactants and the biodiesel is a product.

Beyond that??? enroll in your local community college or university's organic chem (first semester) course.
I said reacted with methoxide didn't I? Did I pass your chemistry test too?

Bottom line: Some seem to discount the authoritativeness of the EPA...but WVO is illegal in their eyes. It may change but right now, there's nothing to argue about.

YES, taxation is probably the larger issue here - as the EPA is obviously waxing/waning on the NOX issue - but as it stands - a GOVERNING agency that has rules and regulations and the power to enforce them has not approved it as use for on-road fuel.

They may not be harrassing people about it - but that's not the issue. If you think you're justified using it anyway - well, that's your choice - just don't expect everybody to be convinced it's legal because you come on here and talk about it.
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  #11  
Old 03-06-2008, 06:09 PM
C Sean Watts's Avatar
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actually

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan G View Post
I said reacted with methoxide didn't I? Did I pass your chemistry test too?

Bottom line: Some seem to discount the authoritativeness of the EPA...but WVO is illegal in their eyes. It may change but right now, there's nothing to argue about.

YES, taxation is probably the larger issue here - as the EPA is obviously waxing/waning on the NOX issue - but as it stands - a GOVERNING agency that has rules and regulations and the power to enforce them has not approved it as use for on-road fuel.

They may not be harrassing people about it - but that's not the issue. If you think you're justified using it anyway - well, that's your choice - just don't expect everybody to be convinced it's legal because you come on here and talk about it.
I was addressing the opening post. BTW, if you use the term 'methoxide' without including it's base metal, I would count off on your test. I did read the EPA's reason for its decision - I agree with it and I'm in no way discussing taxes here.

ALSO **directly from the page**

Vehicles converted to use these oils would likely need to be certified by EPA; to date, EPA has not certified any vegetable oil conversions. Lastly, these conversions may violate vehicle warranties.
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2008, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Sean Watts View Post
I was addressing the opening post. BTW, if you use the term 'methoxide' without including it's base metal, I would count off on your test.

did i pass?
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2008, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Sean Watts View Post
Lastly, these conversions may violate vehicle warranties.


Whew! That was rich! I would have to say that 90% of the vehicles running on WVO can barely remember what a warranty is.

-Jim
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2008, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Sean Watts View Post
Lastly, these conversions may violate vehicle warranties.
I love these sorts of misleading statements. However, this one is actually better than most where people say it will "void" your warranty. Here's the real truth. If you go in with a engine related issue, yes, a VO system will likely prevent you from getting the repair done under warranty. However, if a strut fails or your AC stops working, the claim for service under warranty will not be affected. A mod does not make the whole warranty go away... it only affects your ability to get warranty service on the system that was modified.
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  #15  
Old 03-07-2008, 11:23 AM
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Back to the filling a tank with WVO and adding some ethanol to it. I would be afraid that under the 160 degrees you should have your oil at even without the NaOH as a catalyst some glycerine could form. Think of what THAT would do to your IP, etc...

Me, I would only use properly processed BioD in my car. That means filtered, esterized, and washed.
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