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Alternative Fuels An energy source alternative to using fossil fuels. Materials or substances that can be used as a fuel, other than conventional fuels. Waste oils, vegetable oils or animal fats, which can be used alone, or blended with fossil fuels.

Alternative Fuels

Diesel fuel or vegetable oil for fuel, your thoughts?

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Old 08-03-2009, 02:22:52 AM
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Talking Re: Diesel fuel or vegetable oil for fuel, your thoughts?

Originally Posted by Fred Van Hook View Post
Mythbusters ran a diesel car on filtered used vegetable oil and went from 33 to 30 mpg.
Mythbusters never tried to use it in Minnesota during the wintertime......
Bruce in alaska
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:24:19 AM
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Default Re: Diesel fuel or vegetable oil for fuel, your thoughts?


Costco (in the UK) used to sell vegetable cooking oil at quite a good price and our son used to buy it to run in his Vauxhall Combo van with 1.7 Isuzu engine. The price went up by stages as Costco realised that they were selling more and more for vehicle fuel and less for cooking. Eventually Philip gave up, as the engine wasn't happy on a 50/50 mix and needed regular runs with pure diesel to clear the injectors out.

Vegetable oil does NOT mix with mineral oil. A lot of folks find out the hard way with blocked oilways in the engine. Conventional solvents won't touch it as Andrew mentioned.

Yes, it will work, but if you take the hassle of getting it cleaned up and filtered, preheated and then the additional maintenance required, you'd be as well off staying with conventional diesel.

I know of a couple of plantations in Indonesia with some Bamford diesels that run on oil that they produce from the waste products of the stuff they grow, and even with almost free fuel they still reckon it is marginal given the extra costs of preparation and extra spares for the injection system.

I have never run any of my own diesels on it and won't be.

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Old 08-04-2009, 02:29:41 PM
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Default Re: Diesel fuel or vegetable oil for fuel, your thoughts?

I have heard that canola oil is supposed to be good for use with a diesel engine. Is that true or did I hear wrong.

After the glycerin comment I am going to dump the veg oil and for the moment go back to diesel.

Thanks for all the comments and the great response to this thread!

Danny J
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:49:29 PM
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Default Re: Diesel fuel or vegetable oil for fuel, your thoughts?

I service a large standby generator for a large public transit facility. They ran a mix of biodiesel in their buses. For whatever reasons they had trouble with hard starting and plugged fuel filters. They dumped the fuel that was drained from the buses into the generator fuel tank. This was several thousand gallons of biodiesel. Within a short period of time, it plugged the fuel filetrs on the generator (go figure). The fuel filters were coated with a brown sticky substance and smelled like some kind of paint thinner. The day tank was full of solids swirling around on the bottom of the tank. They had to pump out all of the fuel and put in good old #2 off road fuel and add a pair of Raccor filters to collect the dirt and slime out of the fuel. This had to cost a large fortune, not counting the cost of disposing of the contaminated fuel.
None of the major engine manufacturers recommend the use of any mix of biodiesel in generator sets.
I have run it as a vehicle fuel without problems, but I would not recommend it in generators. The fuel use and exchange rate with fresh fuel is just to slow.
I have not had any problems with diesel fuel that is over thirty years old. I know Bruce (BTPOST) has run fuel left over from WW2 without any problems.
My 2 cents, which I hope is worth a nickle anyway!
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:00:27 PM
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Default Re: Diesel fuel or vegetable oil for fuel, your thoughts?


I've tried Canola oil in the Homebrew Hvid and, though the Hvid engine is not a true Diesel (non-pressure fuel system but compression ignition), it would run on it but I had to dilute it with about 50% kerosene (parrafin) to get the engine to run well.

The glycerin in the veggie oil also caused choking amounts of coke to be deposited on the exhaust valve stem and in the exhaust passage.

Take care - Elden
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:16:51 PM
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Exclamation Re: Diesel fuel or vegetable oil for fuel, your thoughts?

I recently talked to a gentleman who swore on Biodiesel, and how great his Ford truck ran on it. He had an icecream stand opposite our engine display at the Sussex County Fair this year. I told him about the problems we encountered, and the findings of a diesel injector mechanic member of our club had found coming into his shop after biodiesel exposure. He told me in no uncertain terms that his Ford loved the stuff, and gave him better fuel economy than good ole #2, That nite he drove up to his stand to load up for the nite, when there was a tremendous BANG from under the hood, a loud report fron the exhaust, and a sudden appearance of a klarge dent from inside the hood of the truck. A few seconds later, a trickle of biodiesel made it's appearance from under the truck, and grew larger as we watched. The engine was strangely quiet! Turns out the fuel injector seized, and then proceded to blow itself off the engine block, taking fuel lines and hoses with it, as well as pieces of the mounts on the engine! The truck was back to work the next night, but with a new block and fuel pump, and a tankful of #2! Seems that Ford doesn't recommend bio, and didn't want to warrenty the work replacing the block and pump. As the bio was purchased at a station out west, as pump fuel, seems that a little lawsuit is at hand, for the $4,500 in replacement parts and labor! The gentleman doesn't swear by bio any more, he swears AT it!
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:56:28 PM
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Default Re: Diesel fuel or vegetable oil for fuel, your thoughts?

I currently run a VW Polo (2001) with the 1.9 SDI engine ,(non turbo) and it says in the owners manual that it will run fine on up to a 50/50 mix of ordinary diesel and rapeseed oil, without any modification, but any more than 50/50 will result in difficult starting. I assume from the way the manual reads that in Germany you can fill up from the pumps with rapeseed oil? Bit more difficult than that in the UK.
I've never had anything but pure diesel in it, and wont be taking the chance.

However, if I had an old Lister or Petter or simarlar, say, on a sawbench that was already worn out, smoking heavy etc, then I would try veg oil, (new) just to see if it would have it. Also, if my car was about knackered then I'd maybe try veg oil in it.

But I need my car to be reliable and last as long as possible so will be sticking to the pure diesel.
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:10:12 PM
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Default Re: Diesel fuel or vegetable oil for fuel, your thoughts?

ive been running bio diesel now for four years and i think its better fuel...if you get your fryer grease for free its worth doing.....
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:07:05 PM
Walter Neumann jr Walter Neumann jr is offline
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Default Re: Diesel fuel or vegetable oil for fuel, your thoughts?

Originally Posted by Andrew Mackey View Post
Do NOT allow the engine to stand for more than a few weeks with the vegie oil in it. The oil goes rancid
i thought you were goin to tell us it could get food poisoning
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:15:29 PM
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Default Re: Diesel fuel or vegetable oil for fuel, your thoughts?

There are four families in Green Hill Indiana that have been running WVO in the VW Jetta TDI's for 4 years. They all went together and bought a Apple Seed Processor and self taught themselfs the tytration process. They fiqure the first gallon cost them about $10,000.00. After that they made WVO in Jan. 2006 for 47 cents per gallon. In the process the ingredients used are cooking oil, lye and methanol. The glycerin that was left over was spread on gardens and flower beds. (biodegradable) They were making enough fuel for them selfs and a friend of mine that also heated a 3000 sq. ft. shop with a boiler and they keep 400 gallon in reserve. They do have to mix fuels in the winter to avoid jelling. I just notice the engines in the TDI's are a little noisey. The emmission from the exhaust is carbon dioxide and water. They have kits they use to test the cooking oil before they pump it into their tanks. (they say it is easier to do that than take the oil back after dark) A cordless drill is used to transfer the used oil. McDonalds won't let them have their oil because of liability and they use the oil for themselfs in delivery trucks. Here is a link: ecogeek I have run diesel, used cooking oil, used motor,hydraulic,tranny oil and citronella in my Metro with no problems yet. (400 hrs.) I have heard if the fuel is clean and proper maintenance these will run for over 100,000 hrs.
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