Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

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Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by FBM » Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:11 am

Over a year ago, I started using PVO (pure, unused, undiluted veg. oil) as a replacement for diesel in my Kia Retona. Actually, I sold my other car and bought the Kia just to do this experiment. The idea is that by using plant-source fuel instead of petroleum products, the CO2 pumped into the atmosphere by our vehicles will maintain at a fairly constant level. Plants will recapture the CO2 and the annual cycle would be fairly steady. Bringing up millions of years' worth of carbon in the form of oil in just a few decades is the main reason we have a problem with atmospheric pollution. The problem is, considering the number of vehicles in the world, deforestation to make room for veg. oil crops is a danger.

Rather than try to propose a solution for all the world's CO2 problems, I instead decided to just take control of my own emissions. (No, not those. From my car.) After researching the available online information on the topic, I decided to stop buying PVO and instead use only Waste Veg. Oil (WVO). I mentioned this to the group of professors I tutor, and one of them, a prof. in Applied Chemical Engineering, got excited about it. They arranged for me to buy the WVO from the campus cafeteria, which I filter and put straight into the tank. Then the Chemistry prof. got a group of seniors to do a series of experiments to measure viscosity, cloud point, pH, and a few other things at a range of temperatures and blends. They tested 100% diesel, 100% WVO, and blends of 25:75 (both ways) and 50:50.

The real issue is viscosity. Diesel viscosity is fairly constant until the temperature gets very, very cold. The viscosity of PVO and WVO increases relatively sharply as the temperature drops. Above a certain viscosity, it gums up the fuel filter and injectors and doesn't combust very cleanly in the chamber. This is exacerbated by the fact that my engine is a direct-injection type, and veg. oil works better in indirect-injection systems. I don't want to do a 2-tank conversion, nor convert the WVO into bio-diesel; I want to use 100% WVO as long as the weather allows, and gradually blend a minimum of petroleum fuel as the temperature drops in the winter. Just enough to keep the viscosity down to a useable level.

The experiments that the Chemistry students did gave me a fairly detailed guideline for the diesel:WVO blends that should work best at any given temperature. Those results have been published in Korean, but not in English yet.

This year, at my suggestion, the Chemistry students are repeating the experiments using kerosene instead of diesel. Why? Because the only real difference between diesel and kerosene is that kerosene has a lower inherent viscosity. This means that I could blend a smaller amount of petroleum-based fuel in with the WVO in order to achieve the required viscosity in cold weather. Less old CO2 pumped into the atmosphere. The results of those experiments should be ready this summer.

AND, kerosene is cheaper than diesel. I get the WVO for less than half the price of diesel, and kerosene prices are about 75% that of diesel. So far, I've saved...dunno...at least a thousand bucks on fuel expenses.

OK, that's one of the things I'm into right now. I don't really expect anyone else to be interested. Just thought I'd contribute something to the 'serious disscussions' pages.

Now, move along. Nothing to see here. Back to your regularly-scheduled programming.
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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by charlou » Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 am

Actually, that was very interesting!

As you said, it's impractical to expect that this alternative to diesel fuel would be viable globally with our current transport habits, but do you think with a radical change to our usage of transportation this fuel source may become more practical ... even likely?
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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by FBM » Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:49 am

Charlou wrote:Actually, that was very interesting!

As you said, it's impractical to expect that this alternative to diesel fuel would be viable globally with our current transport habits, but do you think with a radical change to our usage of transportation this fuel source may become more practical ... even likely?
Oh, it's practical already. We could just collect all the WVO from restaurants, filter and blend it in at 10:90 with existing diesel reserves. That'd be a helpful reduction in pollution right there. 10% would meet the Kyoto Protocol's prescription for an individual's carbon reduction goal. No need for everybody to go 100% with it. Thing is, most of the WVO produced now either goes to a landfill or towards making soap, animal feed, etc. I think that's underutilizing it. Using it for fuel seems to be the way to get the most out of it, economically and environmentally.
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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by Xamonas Chegwé » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:14 pm

I'm curious as to why you are not bothering with converting the WVO into bio-diesel? I know someone that does this and it is not overly complicated - especially as he is an ex-chemistry teacher and competent in titration techniques. I believe that it is better for the engine in your car in the long-term.

He also gets his WVO free, collecting it each week from a Chinese restaurant that would otherwise have to pay for it to be taken away.
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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by Animavore » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:19 pm

Veggie oil?
Is that what Stephen Hawking uses to keep his wheels lubricated?
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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:21 pm

I saw a "Lassie" show (in black and white, no less) where Timmy saved his grandfather's life by running an air pump on his bottle of lab alcohol. I've been interested in alternative fuels ever since.

BTW, "Mythbusters" did a show on using old oil from burger joints. They were pleased with the results.
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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by FBM » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:35 pm

Xamonas Chegwé wrote:I'm curious as to why you are not bothering with converting the WVO into bio-diesel? I know someone that does this and it is not overly complicated - especially as he is an ex-chemistry teacher and competent in titration techniques. I believe that it is better for the engine in your car in the long-term.

He also gets his WVO free, collecting it each week from a Chinese restaurant that would otherwise have to pay for it to be taken away.
If I were an ex-chemistry teacher, I'd probably do it. ;) I admit that I'm a little put off by the prospects of going through the procedures. (read: I'm too lazy) Getting the chemicals required to convert it to biodiesel would be easy back home, but here in Korea it would be almost impossible, especially for a foreigner like me. Chemicals are tightly controlled, probably because of the situation with N. Korea, the ever-present threat of infiltrators, etc. In general, DIY is a foreign concept over here. People here don't even change their own oil, much less something like this. No shit, most people call a truck for a flat tire. There's just no system for supplying what I'd need. The Chemistry Dept. can get them, but probably not in the quantities to keep me going long-term. I admit that I haven't asked, though. Converting to bio-diesel also results in a 10% loss in power content of the fuel, too. Did I mention that I'm too lazy?

I have to pay for the WVO because it's normally sold to soap manufacturers.
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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by FBM » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:39 pm

Animavore wrote:Veggie oil?
Is that what Stephen Hawking uses to keep his wheels lubricated?
:coffeespray:

That was cold. But funny.
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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:39 pm

In the Navy we purified lube oil with a centrifugal purifier, separating the oil from the water and solids. It's an easy system to build if you're mechanically inclined. A washing machine motor will power a purifier.
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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by Animavore » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:40 pm

I don't think anyone would notice the difference.














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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by FBM » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:47 pm

Gawdzilla wrote:I saw a "Lassie" show (in black and white, no less) where Timmy saved his grandfather's life by running an air pump on his bottle of lab alcohol. I've been interested in alternative fuels ever since.

BTW, "Mythbusters" did a show on using old oil from burger joints. They were pleased with the results.
*woof!*

"What's that, Lassie? You say there's a little girl lost in the forest?"

*woof*

"Oh! And she's diabetic and hasn't had any insulin since yesterday and there are wolves tracking her?*

etc.

btw, you haven't laughted until you've seen something like Mythbusters or Prison Break dubbed over with Korean voices. There's no way to explain.
"A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there. A theologian is the man who finds it." ~ H. L. Mencken

"We ain't a sharp species. We kill each other over arguments about what happens when you die, then fail to see the fucking irony in that."

"It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion."

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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:49 pm

FBM wrote:
Gawdzilla wrote:I saw a "Lassie" show (in black and white, no less) where Timmy saved his grandfather's life by running an air pump on his bottle of lab alcohol. I've been interested in alternative fuels ever since.

BTW, "Mythbusters" did a show on using old oil from burger joints. They were pleased with the results.
*woof!*

"What's that, Lassie? You say there's a little girl lost in the forest?"

*woof*

"Oh! And she's diabetic and hasn't had any insulin since yesterday and there are wolves tracking her?*

etc.

btw, you haven't laughted until you've seen something like Mythbusters or Prison Break dubbed over with Korean voices. There's no way to explain.
I've seen John Wayne movies on Japanese TV, so I'm well aware of the :coffeespray: .
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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by FBM » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:57 pm

Gawdzilla wrote:I've seen John Wayne movies on Japanese TV, so I'm well aware of the :coffeespray: .
Ah! So you can imagine watching Clint Eastwood and Arnold Schwartzenegger like that...finally, someone who understands. :cheers:
"A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there. A theologian is the man who finds it." ~ H. L. Mencken

"We ain't a sharp species. We kill each other over arguments about what happens when you die, then fail to see the fucking irony in that."

"It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion."

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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:04 pm

FBM wrote:
Gawdzilla wrote:I've seen John Wayne movies on Japanese TV, so I'm well aware of the :coffeespray: .
Ah! So you can imagine watching Clint Eastwood and Arnold Schwartzenegger like that...finally, someone who understands. :cheers:
Watching an spaghetti Western in Japanese is good, but watching a Japanese spaghetti Western is even funnier. They sometimes had the footage shot in the Philippines, and "Old West" town with palm trees were not all that rare. Great when you're shit-faced and adding your own dialog. :mrgreen:
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Re: Veggie Oil as Substitute for Diesel

Post by FBM » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:11 pm

Gawdzilla wrote:Watching an spaghetti Western in Japanese is good, but watching a Japanese spaghetti Western is even funnier. They sometimes had the footage shot in the Philippines, and "Old West" town with palm trees were not all that rare. Great when you're shit-faced and adding your own dialog. :mrgreen:
We really need to get together for a beer or 7 some day...
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"We ain't a sharp species. We kill each other over arguments about what happens when you die, then fail to see the fucking irony in that."

"It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion."

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