WANT FRIES WITH THAT? - BioDiesel Fuel Story

Biodiesiel is coming along as a viable and better alternativer to fossil-fuel diesel. Here’s a good story about it.

It started over a few beers: Biodiesel buddies (from left) Smith, Mortland and Tobler with their single-stage reactor
Yes, actual people are fueling cars with used fryer oil

By Sara Smith / February 16, 2006

Bruce Mortland does a lot of the same things that any other motorist with a 2001 VW Jetta would do: He flips through radio stations, he hums along to familiar songs, and he gets annoyed with other drivers.

It’s what he doesn’t do that sets Mortland apart. He doesn’t stop at gas stations, cringe at the prices and, defeated, fuel up anyway.

Mortland’s Jetta runs on homemade biodiesel, brewed in a Grove City garage. He gets his fuel at the Olde Mohawk restaurant in German Village.

Chubby thighs and high cholesterol are not the only byproducts of fried food. Unwittingly, restaurants are creating a new breed of domestically produced commodity. The oil that is left over after those fries are prepared can be used to manufacture a clean, cheap fuel usable in any vehicle with a diesel engine.

Mortland, a computer teacher at the Northeast Career Center, is one member of an eclectic threesome of tinkerers who are manufacturing their own biodiesel. Ted Tobler, a financial analyst for Ohio State University, and Kirk Smith, an IT manager for Big Lots, round out the group.

At a time when even an old oil man like George W. Bush is pitching alternative fuels, the three friends have become smitten by a fuel that seems too good to be true.

They would often meet at a bar on Sunday nights, knock back a few beers and talk about making their own biodiesel someday."(more at link)

full disclosure:many years ago I was a part-time call-in bartender at this bar.

I was using crisp’n’dry in my Toyota three years ago. See posts passim. In North Wales the problem of excise duty evasion by using cooking oil is so severe they have a special devision of the police helping HMC&E detect exhausts that smell of chip shops. They are known humourously as “The Frying Squad”!

I’m not making this up.

My Toyota ran fine on 30p a litre Safeway’s Vegetable Oil (diesel was twice the price). Even in the winter. (Only works for diesel engines, obviously!)

Some more info:
U.S. Military Facilities Increasingly Fill Up With Biodiesel
Alternative Fuel Helps Strengthen U.S. Energy Security, Protect the Environment

biodiesel.org/resources/pres … _users.pdf

Also BioDiesel produces more bhp per gallon than regular diesel.

Empty those fryers and make BioDiesel.

very cool, but they’re far from the first to do it…

Top Gear had it on their UK televsion show in about 2001… you take used vegetable oil from any chip fryer, chuck it through a paper filter, add 3ml of non kersene based white spirit per liter of oil, let it stand for about a week and it’ll run any diesel engine car with equal or bettter performance than diesel…

They tested it on Top Gear, they got a Volvo Diesel, ran it completely dry, filled the tank with veggie oil mix, bled the system, and the engine started first time and the Volvo happily blasted around the test track for the entire tanks’ worth…

Best part it that it costs about NT$1.8 per liter… and you’re recycling waste oil… :smiley:

I was pretty pumped when I heard about BioDiesel, but seems that anything but a very limited application of this alternative fuel would be an environmental disaster.

Worse Than Fossil Fuel

Biodiesel enthusiasts have accidentally invented the most carbon-intensive fuel on earth

By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 6th December 2005

Over the past two years I have made an uncomfortable discovery. Like most environmentalists, I have been as blind to the constraints affecting our energy supply as my opponents have been to climate change. I now realise that I have entertained a belief in magic.

In 2003, the biologist Jeffrey Dukes calculated that the fossil fuels we burn in one year were made from organic matter

which is exactly why governments (basically the US) will have to open their eyes to the fact that the fastest growing, most hardy and tenacious, huge oil yield plant in the world, Cannabis (marijuana) is currently illegal under an antiquated and misguided embargo established and maintained largely by a very misinformed Washington ever reluctant to admit they made a mistake…

Cannabis is the easiest plant in the world to grow, it grows anywhere, the only plant in the world that grows any faster is some kind of water bamboo, cultivating it has very low environmental impact and best of all it yields masses of high grade oil from the seeds in addition to other products like hemp, flax, paper and even bioplastics etc…

So the future is in pot… Brings a whole new meaning to “green” vehicles… :smiley:

Janoney -
From the article:

[quote]The National Biodiesel Board estimates 25 million gallons of biodiesel were sold in 2004. That’s 50 times as much as in 1999, but still less than 1 percent of the total diesel fuel used. There are optimistic estimates that biodiesel could eventually replace 10 percent of petroleum diesel.
Commercial biodiesel enterprises are more likely to begin with raw vegetable crops than vats of oil from the Olde Mohawk.
Sam Spofforth, executive director of Clean Fuels Ohio, defines biodiesel as “soybean or any number of other oils chemically processed to remove the glycerin.”
“It is made from renewable resources, often agricultural resources,” he said. “It’s a homegrown fuel. It’s produced in Ohio, so it can benefit our economy.”
Spofforth said biodiesel also reduces engine wear and tear: “It’s lubricating. It helps to clean out engine deposits and enhances performance.” [/quote]
BioDieael is not promoted as the be-all and end-all to the fossil fuel debate. But it is gaining recognition as an alternative source that can combine renewable sourcing with a very efficient recycling of waste that is a win-win no matter what your political agenda is.

Also, the USA IRS has a program that rebates $1.00 US per US gallon to registered BioDiesel manufacturers.

From another site:
"Go to IRS.ORG and see. There is a tax incentive refund of $1 per gallon used during the year.

We have a small Bio producer locally that is opening up a satellite system. His method uses soybeans bought from farmers and pressed for the oil. The by-product of that is cattle feed which is sold back to the farmer. Then the oil is transported to the refinery.

His plans are of having five locations, one per area county to supply the refinery. It is easier to truck the pressed bean oil than to buy and truck thousands of bushels of beans back and forth.

There are several new tax incentives available this year."

And as for soybean useage - “Bean oil is the by-product of soybean based cattle feed. Then it is converted into soap, glycerin and Bio-diesel.There is really no waste at all to it.”

According to the author of this piece, they pick up plastic barrels( about 55gal) of the oil weighing about 160lbs once a week. From that amont once it is processed that nets about 80% biodeisel and 20% glycerin. That = 100% utilization of the waste fryer oil.
And thats a good thing.

I have no dog in this fight - just thought it is a useful article. I am a proponent of alternative energy sources. And this looks like a viable alternative solution being developed.

Plasma -
I am also a proponent of hemp for its many uses (former smoker - stopped almost 20 yrs ago) both medically, for cooking, for nutrional supllementation (EFA’s) and for its excellent fiber uses. If the seeds can be smashed for BioDiesel then more power to it. Although I think their others uses may outweigh their volume to $$ value. Just a 1st look guess.

It’s great to hear that alternative energy sources are getting more popular.

Yes, it would be very good to reduce consumption and also to finally get hybrid cars and the like used on a mass scale. But for now this is what’s becoming available and that’s got to be a good thing, especially if recycled sources can be used as much as possible.

Biodiesel is a way for oil companies to make money out of this. You can run a car on the stuff that comes out of sunflower seeds squashed really hard. Your diesel car will run on bog-standard vegetable oil straight out of the bottle. I know. I’ve done it. If you run a tank of good diesel through it a month that will keep the injectors clean. On a complex engine a 75% mixture will run best. If you want to save the world, buy an old Merc or Toyota diesel and run it on SuperValu Vegetable Oil. What is the need for “biodiesel”?

Joesax. I did my experiment just after watching Top Gear run that Volvo on used chip fat from a Manchester (?) Chinese Take Away. Filled the old Corona up with forty litres of polyunsaturated (don’t want to harden the poor thing’s arteries after all :wink: ) vegetable oil for

But this has nothing to do with environmentalism, has it? I thought it was all about sticking it to The Man. So I’m all for it.

Hiyall. Some observations.

From (mostly UK and US experience) the concensus seems to be that running long term on unmodified veg oil (as distinct from biodiesel which is non-trivial to make) cokes up the engine, causes stuck/broken piston rings and blocked injectors. The white spirit additive on the Top Gear demonstration is probably an attempt to reduce those problems.

People also have run blends with kerosene which also helps to keep the oil from clogging the fuel filter in cold weather, obviously less of a problem here. Preheating has also been recommended.

IIRC The Sahara Handbook recommends adding 10% engine oil to kerosene as a “get you home” (quite a long way if you are in the Sahara)alternative to diesel. The oil here is to protect your injection pump, which is insufficiently lubricated by kerosene alone.

I’d guess that adding engine oil to a veg/kerosene mix might help, since it has detergents in it that’ll reduce gumming. You could probably use some sump oil but its corrosive so you’d have to neutralise it, most easily done by mixing with fresh oil which has buffering additives. Its also carcinogenic so you’d have to handle it carefully. 2-stroke oil might have advantages but I dunno what its relative price in bulk is here. In the UK it’d certainly be more expensive than 4S engine oil.

I’d also speculate that a small amount of water sprayed into the air intake of a normally aspirated diesel would help, since at high temperatures water reacts with carbon deposits to give carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which burn. Water spray kits for competition petrol engines exist. Mixing water with the fuel would be a more difficult alternative, requiring perhaps alcohol or acetone as a mutual “bridge” solvent, or some mechanical means of mixing to give an emulsion, which the injection pump might not like.

Sometime between late 2003, when I bought a gallon for mixing with oil as an underbody anti-rust spray, and mid 2004, when I tried to buy 10 gallons (having obtained a disposable diesel Maestro), The Man effectively banned the supply of bulk kerosene via pumps. People with oil-fired central heating still get deliveries but they are mostly out in the sticks and if inclined may have access to the Pink Diesel supplied to farmers. I havn’t tried, but I’d guess trying to buy bulk white spirit might also attract attention. The Man is definately on this case in the UK. Big fines.

In Taiwan, the incentives are smaller since fuel is cheaper, engine oil seems to be more expensive, and there’s no ready supply of disposable diesels for testing. On the other hand, The Man seems unlikely to be on the case anytime soon, and Taiwan is…well…just smellier.

[quote=“hexuan”]Joesax. I did my experiment just after watching Top Gear run that Volvo on used chip fat from a Manchester (?) Chinese Take Away.[/quote] :laughing:

But I imagine Ed Lithgow’s right about the long-term effects.

[quote=“joesax”][quote=“hexuan”]Joesax. I did my experiment just after watching Top Gear run that Volvo on used chip fat from a Manchester (?) Chinese Take Away.[/quote] :laughing:

But I imagine Ed Lithgow’s right about the long-term effects.[/quote]

Not for older engines. There’s nothing to clog up on a basic diesel engine if you add a bit of kerosene or run a 75% oil/diesel mixture. Indeed one of things you have to do with a grey Jap import car is get the diesel pump adjusted because the diesel is much thinner in Japan.

For newer diesel engines there may be issues with the lack of consistency in the fuel, and they may have much smaller injectors. However, it’s all about saving money, and I can’t see many people putting 30p vegetable oil through their

adding to the past couple of posts:

new diesel engines have such small injectors that if you use biodiesel fuel, the manufacturers warrany will be voided.

they say the biodiesel will clog the injectors, so if your new truck has problems, too bad. they only honor the warranty if you use petroleum.

here in montana they only sell 80/20 biodiesel, which is 80%petroleum, and 20% biodiesel.

this technology just needs some fine tuning and i think it will soon be a viable option for all diesels, maybe someday, all cars.

also, interestingly, willie nelson has developed a whole line of biodiesel feul with the brand name “biowillie”. all his tour buses run on 100% biodiesel. i think we will see a lot more development of this from willie and his company.


I was just looking for bio diesel in this forum and I found it.

Just wanted to know how mutch fat it is in one off those fucking bugs the locals call yang lang (cocroatch)

If they could make bio diesel out off them the futore nead off energy woud no longer be a problem.

Those litle insects are making me crazy.

Ducked adds a good amount of info to tainancowboys first post.

there is a lot to do, yet a lot that needsto be done to get this ball of oil rolling.

glitches need to be worked out, and systems need to be fine tuned, but oh, what a day it will be.

the day will come, oh yes, markets will change. whether it be for need or greed, fuel markets will change.

this is the land of pioneers, the new pioneers.

any teslas, or edisons, or pasteurs or whitneys out there?

this ball of oil needs to keep on a truckin’…

John -
Speaking of Tesla…see my new vroom vroom post.