Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO)
:: THE ALMOST PERFECT FREE FUEL ::
:: There is also Bio-Gas ::
The Pros & Cons of using Waste Vegetable oils as a Fuel in a Diesel engine.
Pro: If you locate or have a FREE supply of WVO from your local Cafe or Restaurant etc., you may be interested that many people are now filtering and using WVO to run there Diesel Gen-Set &/or vehicle engines. Once correctly filtered using a Marine water blocking filter, that remove water and particles down to 2microns, is commonly called "Bio-diesel" and can be use as a substitute for petrochemical Diesel, to reduce or eliminate your fuel and/or power bills.
Using WVO in a 10kW Diesel gen-set engine will only cost 10c per hour to operate;
- Where a SC battery bank can be re-charge in 5~10 Minutes.
- Where most other battery Technologies take 2~8 hours.
All dependant on the battery bank size, type and state of charge. However this can equate to a total fuel cost of under 50c per day for a small energy consumer!
NB: Historically Diesel engines were initially designed to be lubricated by vegetable oil & operate on Coal dust, then came the use of Vegetable oil as a Fuel, long before petrochemical oil & diesel became abundant.
Con: What the big Oil Companies Don't want you to know!
These facts are now Scientifically proven;
- WVO used as Fuel has been proven to reduces Green house gases by up to 75% and NOx 16%, and other pollutants that are inherently introduced into petrochemical Diesel.
- Using 100% Pure Canola oil as Lubrication, has also been proven to provide superior lubrication than any Synthetic or Petrochemical engine Oil, and Greatly reducing pollution from standard petroleum were NMHC: 25%; CO: 48%; HC: 32%; NOx: 80%, and CO2: 1%... (read supporting documentation Document-1.pdf & Document-2.pdf)
- Waste vegetable oil can also be safely disposed of into the ground, it is biodegradable.
Guidelines to maintaining a Supply of Good Quality Waste Vegetable oil for use as FUEL.
How is Bio-diesel made from vegetable oil ?
Biodiesel is made through a chemical process called transesterification, whereby the glycerin is separated from the fat or vegetable oil. The process leaves behind two products, methyl esters (the chemical name for bio-diesel) and glycerin (a valuable by-product usually sold to be used in soaps and other products).
Two conversion methods worth reading;
If you are on a farm and have an old Diesel generator out in the shed, these engines can be re-commissioned to run on used Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) collect from kitchens, Restaurants, Cafés, service stations and even council oil dump sites etc, all you need to do is filter the WVO through a 2 micron, water blocking marine type fuel filter to remove impurities.
Six important points to learn when using WVO;
- Purchase a 12v DC or 240v liquid pump, incorporated with a marine filter housing with 2 micron water blocking Filter (.pdf file) should be the first step in cleaning & collecting your oils.
Use a Diesel engine that is in good condition, if you buy a worn out engine, we suggest you recondition it or it will still be a lemon after you purchase it.
Engine operating temperature plays a stronger role in proper fuel combustion than fuel temperature;
- You can purchase an after market versions of the above Filter housing on eBay for $110.
- In warm climates with a source of clear uncontaminated WVO (see below), filtering with the above is all you need to do, as many people fill the WVO directly into there vehicle tanks & drive off !
- When collecting your WVO, if you find one source and the oil is a milky colour, leave it and go to the next place, milky WVO will block your filter very quickly, a milky hue indicates either water &/or other less desirable fat or lard type oil have being mixed.
- Using a large, 2 Micron concertina (zig zag) type Marine Filters treated with Water-Block chemicals 25cm x 11cm (Racor Part No. 2020) are best, as they remove all water whilst filtering the oils directly into use or into whatever collection & settling containers you have.
NB: These large filters clean 1'000+ litres, @$30 each will only cost from $0.02~$0.05 cents per litre to filter WVO.
- Avoid using 10+ micron filters as the filters costs the same, so why bother! Remember, the finer the filter the less chance of any contaminants entering your fuel system, a water blocking filter enhances the purity of your collection (Water is a killer), be it going directly into use or pumped into your storage or settling tanks.
Collecting WVO: The oil should be a honey colour and as light brown as possible, not milky or thick as mentioned above, cleaner WVO will save your filters, time and all sorts of long term problems.
WVO Heater kits: If a cup of water left outside freezes where you live, you are more suited to start and stop your engine on Diesel, and use a fuel heater until the fuel system reaches the advised operational temperature 50°C (120F), before switching over to WVO. Some marine filter housings have inbuilt heaters and some use Electric blankets on the filter & lines to assist driving in very cold regions, your vehicle may only need to shut-down & start on diesel in freeing conditions to allow easier starting. Thick WVO may damage some Diesel fuel pumps over time. Commonly WVO over 15°C (60F) will be more viscous (thinner), a Diesel engine in good condition should start easily at 15°C, But may require a longer warming-up period. However, a vehicle filter housing using two temperature controlled Glow plugs or a blanket heater, will provide a quicker fuel heating option.
Proper and complete pre-filtering. The more energy and effort you put into pre-filtering your oil, the more successful you will be running on WVO, remember newer vehicles require higher quality fuel than most older vehicles.
- Engine minimum temperature guide line is from 66°C (150F).
- Fuel minimum temperature guide line is from 50°C (120F).
There are various opinions on the best type of injector and combustion chamber configurations that are supposedly more suited to the long term use of WVO, unfiltered oil and cold temperatures are WVO enemy ...do your research!
It is highly recommended you research your engine design to see what is needs to be done to reduce the chance of causing long term damage to your engine, basically it comes down to sourcing a good source of WVO and filter it down to 2 micron.
Latest research on a single piston diesel engines indicates they can be converted into a 6 cycle (6 stroke), using fuel then water (steam) for the second power stroke, this system reduces fuel usage by 50% as it uses 50% water, and has the added benefit of reducing engine heat by approx. 40%, and as mentioned using WVO greatly reduces Greenhouse gasses, NOx and other pollutants that are inherent in petrochemical Diesel.
If you don't want to build and use a $400 WVO filtering system that uses 12v Pump and 2micron water blocking Filter, you can spent five times more and purchase a $2'000 (US$1'500) 240v Power Centrifuge designed for WVO, the 6'000rpm motor is the better one, this is there CENTRIFUGE MANUAL (1067-D).pdf
:: Waste Vegetable Oil Resources ::
For those interested in the development of WVO, this article is a good read and starting point (.pdf file)
A few random site Links worth reading;
Search the internet & let us know if locate a better site on WVO and we will put a link in here!
As an example: You can eliminate a $230 Monthly electricity bill ($7.57 day ÷ 27c/kWh=28kWh day) by simply purchased a cheap 6kWh silenced Diesel generator fitted with Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) switching gear costs $2'000.
A stand-alone 6kWh Diesel Generator (excluding Solar & electricity supply charges) operating on WVO during working hours (or preferably intermittently charging a battery bank) for say 4 hours, 7 days a week for 3 months =152 hrs operating time per month, would pay for itself in several months, as WVO fuel cost negates the electricity cost by approx. $250 per month. We advise you actually use at least a 10kWh silenced generator incorporated with a battery bank, then you will only need to operate the generator for 2~3 hours a day to accomplish the some power production in 91 hours month, thus reducing the wear & tear of a smaller Gen-Set!
Silenced Generator are specially enclosed a silencing canopy, and are very quiet from 60~70dB at 7mt, you can hear one start, but hardly hear them running, especially in as urban environment, as normal quiet background noise is generally 55~65dB.
We recommend you purchase a new diesel gen-set and first run-it-in on 100% Diesel for the first 10 hours, this is to bed the rings in, then start using a 50/50 blend of WVO/Diesel to test if the engine smokes at normal operating temperature, if no exhaust smoke is present when warmed up, reduce the diesel content further to get as close as possible to 100% WVO, if smoke appears during normal operation, increase the diesel content until it stops, it's that simple!