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Old 08-28-2005, 11:29 AM   #1
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I happened to watch a show called Trucks last Saturday. They showed step by step how an individual could make their own Bio-diesel fuel for about 70 cents a gallon. They combine used vegetable oil from a local restaurant with a portion of lye and some methanol and came out with bio-diesel. It was all done using equipment from a company that specializes in it. They loaded the 20 or so gallons they made into a Dodge Cummins Diesel powered pickup and ran the tar out of it..very impressive show. The equipment is pricey unfortunately at over $3000 with various options. I must say it caused me to think for a while as to my potential to really do this....anybody out there ever do it???

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Old 08-28-2005, 11:29 AM   #2
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I happened to watch a show called Trucks last Saturday. They showed step by step how an individual could make their own Bio-diesel fuel for about 70 cents a gallon. They combine used vegetable oil from a local restaurant with a portion of lye and some methanol and came out with bio-diesel. It was all done using equipment from a company that specializes in it. They loaded the 20 or so gallons they made into a Dodge Cummins Diesel powered pickup and ran the tar out of it..very impressive show. The equipment is pricey unfortunately at over $3000 with various options. I must say it caused me to think for a while as to my potential to really do this....anybody out there ever do it???

BigBob....
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:18 PM   #3
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Interesting concept.

If they're making bio-diesel for 70 cents a gallon they'll be saving from $1.75 to $2.00 per gallon depending on diesel's price where they are. After they make 1,714 gallons they'll recoup the initial investment for the equipment and really start to enjoy a cash savings on their fuel expenses (@ $1.75 saved). That's presuming they don't have to invest in any additional storage tanks to hold all that fuel.

I wonder how long it'll take to use 1,714 gallons of diesel fuel?

My Ford will get around 11 towing so I'd have to pull my fiver nearly 19,000 miles before I broke even. If I drove the truck unloaded and got 17.5 mpg I'd drive almost 30,000 miles to break even.

If I went on a longer round trip than my 38 gallon factory tank would allow, I'd need to devise a way to haul all my trip's needed fuel with me. Maybe another trailer behind the fiver with a big tank on it? How much would all that fuel weigh?? Would it be safe to haul it with me??

I guess I'll just keep supporting the Arabs and buy my diesel at the pump.
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Old 08-28-2005, 02:29 PM   #4
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There is a very seldom talked about issue. Anyone pumping fuel into a highway vehicle is responsible to pay the Federal & State taxes. In Wis it is .329 and fed is .244. If the use of alternate fuel becomes common than you can count on the tax man with his hand out. Those taxes are what pays for highway construction and maintenance.
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Old 08-30-2005, 03:44 PM   #5
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I agree this effort is loaded with concerns, and to save some money one will have to give into an almost part time job of making and managing the stuff. There's a thread on the Turbo Diesel Register website which is following this same subject. There is clearly interest in pursuing it for some individuals...ones willing to maybe build more economical equipment, and experiment with variations in mixing the potion...pulling up to the pump and grabbing that green handle is still a more appealing task for the moment.
One can't help wonder what time and increasing costs might eventually bring about.

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Old 08-31-2005, 01:59 PM   #6
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On http://www.thedieselstop.com there is a whole forum dedicated to "bio-diesel" and WVO or waste vegetable oil.
They simply stop at the Arches and load up the french fry oil. Get it home and filter it. Put it in a tank in the bed. They start the truck on diesel and then switch to the WVO. Then prior to shutting down they switch back to diesel.
The biggest problem is keeping the WVO liquid. It does have a tendency to "gel up" at higher temps than diesel. Fixes for that are posted on the web site.
Most "bio-deisel" is no more than 10% bio and 90% diesel. It generally costs $1.00/gallon more.
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Old 09-01-2005, 06:22 AM   #7
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The only downside is, your truck smells like french fries all the time, so that makes you hungry, then you stop and buy McDonalds. There goes your cost savings... hehe It's a vicious cycle
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Old 09-01-2005, 07:39 AM   #8
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Fast food restaurants are not a source for "good" oil. Oriental restaurants are better (but not always). Check out the various websites for more info. After all, Rudolph Diesel originally developed his engine to use "alternative" fuel. He believed that the farmers could "grow their own fuel".

There is a guy over at http://www.skoolie.net that is running a skoolie (diesel) on waste oil. I think he is using a greasel setup (pre-warmed straight waste oil injected into hot engine) but I may be wrong (or there's more than one doing it). We attended a Bio-Diesel seminar at a local organic farm and decided it was too much hassle for someone who moves around alot. We would need a cargo trailer just to haul the unit around. Also there was the problem of finding waste oil and jet fuel (components for making bio-diesel). Here locally, we have found that #1 most restaurants dump their waste oil into the grease drains (which are then pumped out by a big truck along with some of the regular waste water) and #2 restaurant employees are not inclined or are incapable of learning to seperate the oil. #3 Some guy has "contracted" with the majority of the local restaurants to collect their waste oil for a bio-diesel plant that he is building.

When we are farther along with our bus conversion, I will look into the Greasel setup again and check out the availability of unused vegetable oil from restaurant supply companies. I think it would be easier for us to obtain fresh drums of veggie oil from outfits like Sysco than to have to search out sources for good oil in the various towns we may travel thru and then have to strain the goop out.

For more info on running Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) check this out.

BTW, the engine we will be usng is a standard (old) 8V71N Detroit Diesel with out any of the fancy computer stuff and we are leaning toward fresh, unused rapeseed (Canola) oil. We have the "souped up" N65 injectors on the engine but I don't think those would have to be changed. As far as the fuel taxes... most states do not have a system in place for collecting taxes on the alternatives fuels and therefoire it falls into a "loophole". Others that do have the tax exempt anything below a certain amount, usually more than enough for personal use (kinda like making homemade wine & beer).
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