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March 30th, 2002
03:14 pm


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this is just fascinating...
Information on converting diesel engines to run on vegetable oil .

I may have to hit one of their workshops. Not sure how practical it is for long-haul vehicles like my truck. (I'm envisioning finding a supermarket in Remotest Darkest Oregon and buying 30 gallons of corn oil...)

Current Mood: impressedimpressed

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:March 30th, 2002 05:37 pm (UTC)
I've seen the blurbs for From Fryer to Fuel Tank in the Real Goods catalog I get. I haven't bought the book yet, simply because I don't really have any interest in modifying my own car. The authors apparently drove 10,000 miles around the US, filling up by asking restaurants for used deep fat frying oil...
[User Picture]
Date:March 30th, 2002 10:41 pm (UTC)
According to the link I posted, you can treat vegetable oil with lye and methane(?) and get something that can go straight into an unmodified diesel engine.

Modify the engine a touch and you can run on straight vegetable oil.
Date:April 16th, 2002 02:52 pm (UTC)

Be that Methanol

Lye + Methanol (like ethanol, but a better catalyst for the reaction, called transesterification) plus veggie oil, new or used, will create biodiesel. As another user noted, using alcohol in your vehicle causes some problems--you will have to replace rubber hoses & seals with synthetic equivalents after 20K-100K miles, as the alcohol breaks it down. I finally learned how to make it this weekend, and wouldn't try it at home. For now, I'm happy pumping straight-veggie oil into my modified engine. If you want a workshop in your area, follow the above link & get in touch.
[User Picture]
Date:March 30th, 2002 05:59 pm (UTC)

The new petro

Corn is the new petroleum. There are also cars that run on ethanol and, currently, ethanol is made from corn.
[User Picture]
Date:March 30th, 2002 09:31 pm (UTC)
That link is pretty darned cool.

Thanks! I drive two diesels, and one of them has proven that it could run on coconut oil; but I'm glad we haven't had to do that. I like the idea of just filtered, used fryer oil... some day we'll probably have to go check out one of these classes.
[User Picture]
Date:March 31st, 2002 01:31 am (UTC)

French fries!!

My fiance has a wonderful friend who did this to her van, and she gets the leftover oil that fries from fast food resteraunts are cooked in. Everywhere she drives, it smells like french fries. =)

Personally, I kinda like the smell of fries!
[User Picture]
Date:March 31st, 2002 08:37 am (UTC)
Mr. Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, originally invented them to burn biofuels, not petroleum. The engines had to be modified INTO petroleum burners.

That said, Mr. Diesel wasn't aiming for french fry grease in his engine. But whatever works... :)

Alcohol is also a nice renewable bio alternative to petroleum, but as yet there is no additive that reduces the corrosiveness of the alcohol to prevent it from eating holes in your engine over time.
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