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Old 03-05-2011, 05:42 PM   #29
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I see a lot of threads about plans, hopes and new installations running on waste vegetable oil or straight vegetable oil, but not so many with actual experiences. Here on the left coast, WVO is seldom free -- the restaurants here want $5 for a jug and then you have to filter it, find a place to discard the gunk, etc. I have several neighbors who have started these projects (either filtered WVO or biodiesel) but still buy petro-diesel at the pump. Wholesale soybean oil in jugs is around $6 a gallon; on the commodities market (60,000 pounds at a time) it's around $4.50. It is all a good idea but depends on there actually being a good source of inexpensive plant oil and I haven't seen one yet.

It is a complicated question though with a lot of fingers in the pie. Reclaiming oil from ethanol production is promising and there are a lot of other schemes that bear watching. But be cautious about assuming you can pick it up for free, particularly on your travels.

One of the advantages of having an old Airstream diesel motorhome is that the Isuzu has a simple mechanical fuel injection system that will burn about anything you give it.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:12 PM   #30
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Wow, it's surprising how little has been done to make a moho run on bio or svo.... anyone have thoughts and/or experience converting a Cummins engine?
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:49 PM   #31
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A neighbor has a bread delivery truck with a cummins diesel - they converted it with a WVO system, and collect the waste oil form the places they deliver bread to. They filter the oil (overday - they deliver at night) and then run on it almost full time. They run on WVO so much, the main diesel tank is a WVO tank, and the small WVO tank holds the diesel they need just for starting/warm-up.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:32 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by dljosephson View Post
One of the advantages of having an old Airstream diesel motorhome is that the Isuzu has a simple mechanical fuel injection system that will burn about anything you give it.
Who you calling "old"? Actually, that's true, I've resisted burning any bio stuff without really researching filtration. Gawd knows, I've had enough filter problems "at the pump".
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:34 PM   #33
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I ran my F250 on Bio bought locally. It smelled way better than regular diesel and semed to run just fine. With the current price of diesel, I am happy to have a v10 gasser, though regular ain't cheap either.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:09 PM   #34
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you can't run straight vegetable oil in a diesel, its to thick. and in cold weather you have to have a heated tank. and it still gets thick in filter and lines in cold weather.10 to 50 percent vege oil mix to diesel fuel is onlyway to run it.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:24 PM   #35
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I have been doing my internet inquiries and reading up on all this. Here is the problem. The conversion of grain and beans into biofuels only drive food prices up. The more we use this to fuel our vehicles the more the price goes up. We end up paying for fuel one way or the other. Feed for cattle, humans and poultry just will keep going up. Farmers have no problem selling their grain at higher prices.

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Old 05-17-2011, 06:27 PM   #36
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On the West Coast, we have a 5% biodiesel fuel called Propel....we run this in both our Audi A3 TDI and our GMC Duramax Denali. They also sell a B20 (20% biodiesel) in Washington State, and I hear it is soon to come to Oregon and California. We can run the B20 in our Duramax, but not in the Audi. I have noticed no difference in performance, but the cost of of the Propel fuel is the same as "normal" diesel.

We see a few old Mercedes-Benz diesels running around that run vegetable oil that has been processed in some way....perhaps it is mixed, as rock60 says, or perhaps they use a block heater (our Duramax has a block heater)....or, maybe it doesn't get cold enough in California to cause problems.

I have mixed feelings about biodiesel....I hate to see us using fields, that would otherwise grow crops for food, being used to grow crops to run cars! Propel claims they don't do this....I wonder.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:14 PM   #37
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On the West Coast, we have a 5% biodiesel fuel called Propel....we run this in both our Audi A3 TDI and our GMC Duramax Denali. They also sell a B20 (20% biodiesel) in Washington State, and I hear it is soon to come to Oregon and California. We can run the B20 in our Duramax, but not in the Audi. I have noticed no difference in performance, but the cost of of the Propel fuel is the same as "normal" diesel.

We see a few old Mercedes-Benz diesels running around that run vegetable oil that has been processed in some way....perhaps it is mixed, as rock60 says, or perhaps they use a block heater (our Duramax has a block heater)....or, maybe it doesn't get cold enough in California to cause problems.

I have mixed feelings about biodiesel....I hate to see us using fields, that would otherwise grow crops for food, being used to grow crops to run cars! Propel claims they don't do this....I wonder.
In an update to this post.... Our local Union 76 station, which also carries Propel, now carries the B20 biodiesel! When we return from our trip from CA-OR-WA, we plan to give it a try. Biodiesel is supposed to have increased lubricating properties, which makes your diesel power plant run quieter. A friend running an old Mercedes-Benz 300D wagon tried it and was amazed by how quiet his vehicle ran....not sure whether he tried the B5 or the B20.

I also talked to some folks who are wholesalers for used vegetable oil, and they told me they sell to Propel. So, perhaps Propel does indeed use only used veggie oil and no crops are involved!
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:05 PM   #38
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Howdy all - another update on our wvo 2 tank system. We now have over 2,500 miles using wvo (this is oil we pick up for free from a local restaurant and we have a source where we buy it for $2 a gallon when we need it). The truck runs flawlessly, however you have to do a few simple things. We must start and stop it with diesel and only switch to wvo once the engine is 175 degrees plus. We have to switch back to diesel a few miles from our destination to purge wvo from our lines and fill them with diesel. Great power, smells good, no loss of mpg.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:24 PM   #39
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www.greasecar.com does conversions of standard diesel vehicles.

Have seen this in actual use on vehicles with +200,000 miles, (older diesels without all the fancy anti-pollution stuff on them. My favorite uses filtered used Mexican restaurant grease. Smells like tacos, but does require a separate tank, and starting/stopping with regular diesel.

Restaurant grease can be recycled into soaps, etc. but most restaurants get so little money for this and have to have a separate dumpster that they're willing to give it away free by the "cube" a 7 gallon bottle they buy it in, or sell it for a small amount of money.

Paula
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:29 AM   #40
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Just got back from the maiden voyage of our new AS (along with our "new" TV - a Dodge Ram 2500 w/5.9 Cummins). After several $125 fillups, SVO sounds like a pretty good option!

I checked out the Greasecar site, and they have a specific kit (includes a 40 gallon tank, fuel pump, injectors, automatic controller, etc.) for my truck. The cost is ~$3K, so I would have to get the oil cheap or free for the economics to work out. My thought is to have a "collecting day" during which I would visit restaurants and pump out their grease to a tote in the truck bed (300 gallon totes are available for cheap). This would be filtered and stored until ready to use. For long trips I would need to be able to filter on the road (or have an additional auxiliary tank).

Not sure if any of this will make sense when I run the numbers, but it is definitely worth the time (and curiosity satisfaction) of digging into oil availability a little.

With a cheap source of veggie oil, my big-honkin-truck could become my fuel-sipping daily driver!
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:09 AM   #41
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If I had an engine I cared about, I would not run WVO in it. Biodiesel is a much better alternative. WVO will eventually cause all sorts of problems as gums build up on rings and other mechanical parts. Biodiesel conversion of WVO will produce fuel superior to conventional diesel. I have done a lot of research on this. It takes work to do the conversion but how much are you saving running WVO if you ruin a $5000 engine? I got rid of my diesel and am happy about that.

Perry
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:45 AM   #42
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I got rid of my diesel and am happy about that.

Perry

I dunno' - I just bought a new diesel car, and am now running three diesel vehicles (four if you count my Kubota tractor!), and with almost a million miles in diesel vehicles, I couldn't be happier. There's a reason why, despite the higher initial cost, half the vehicles sold in Europe are diesels. But you DO have to think about them differently, care for them differently, drive them differently.

My research and somewhat limited experience tells me that not all engines like biodiesel - not because of fuel properties, but because some of the fuel system seals, gaskets, etc. get degraded by it. Not to say it hasn't happened, but I've never personally heard of anyone running WVO having issues with stuck rings, valves, etc. - but then again, everyone I know doing this is super careful about fuel filtration and because of viscosity issues, you do have to start on regular diesel or biodiesel (if your fuel system will tolerate the bio) and then flush the pump(s), lines, the whole common rail or piezo injectors, etc. with "normal" fuel again at shut down. It's sort of a pain to operate and costly to set up ... but then again, IF you can get your basic fuel free or nearly so, operating costs are low. And if it's from a renewable resource (mostly corn), it at least appears to be more nearly carbon neutral and clearly reduces foreign oil dependence.

Now if we could just get the price per gallon of "dino" diesel fuel more nearly in line with refining cost as compared with gasoline, I'd be a really happy camper!
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