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Does anyone have any knowledge or experience with the Greasecar system? These guys will retrofit a diesel car so it can use vegetable oil as a fuel.

I read an article about a guy who owned a Diner. He used to have to pay to have his fryer oil taken away. Now drives his car with it. He made a funny comment, he said when he gets oil from a Chinese restaurant, his exhaust smells like egg rolls.

http://www.greasecar.com/
 

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A service station in my area offers bio-diesel made from recovered waste vegetable oil and has developed a devoted local following. Some say creating fuel from algae is a viable large-scale solution to the various issues related to the current dependency on petroleum-based fuels. Here's a link that I believe has popped up here before...

http://www.unh.edu/p2/biodiesel/article_alge.html

Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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I understand there are actually two approaches, each with their own benefits:

1. Convert vegetable oil into "bio-diesel" and pour it into a normal diesel engine. The conversion process is apparently pretty simple and mainly serves to thin the oil and eliminate any water.

2. Convert your diesel engine to run on straight vegetable oil. The conversion process involves adding a second fuel tank to hold the vegetable oil and a switch to select between the two fuel tanks. You burn dino-diesel at startup, the exhaust gases warm the veggie oil until its viscosity is reduced sufficiently, and then you flip the switch and burn only veggie oil for the rest of your drive.

Number 2 is particularly interesting, because it's a hybrid solution. You can get plain old vegetable oil at any fast-food restaurant that needs to dump their old oil, and if you can't find an agreeable restaurant, you can get plain old diesel gas at any gas station.

Douglas (2002 Silver, Wisconsin)
 

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johnson487682 said:
I understand there are actually two approaches, each with their own benefits: [snip]
Number 2 is particularly interesting, because it's a hybrid solution. You can get plain old vegetable oil at any fast-food restaurant that needs to dump their old oil, and if you can't find an agreeable restaurant, you can get plain old diesel gas at any gas station.
I have not heard of people burning straight vegetable oil and had no idea that it would actually work. Interesting. No wonder the cars smell like food!

I've read that using the same gas tank for bio-diesel or petro-diesel (or a blend of the two) is not a problem. Also, using bio-diesel requires little or no retrofitting to a standard diesel engine--or gas pump--which is one reason why many people consider bio-diesel to be such a viable option for consumers and station owners as well.

Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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A lot of people over here in the ($5/gallon) UK are using straight vegetable oil ($2.40/gallon), often direct from the supermarket shelf. In the summer it just goes straight into in the tank, needing no alterations at all (so long as it's a diesel engined car ;) ).

In the winter, however, SVO tends to get quite gloopy, so it has to be either heated (heated tank), or a lot of people mix it either diesel or a little bit of petrol to keep it running smoothly. By the way, 5% of all French diesel is home grown from oil-seed rape.
 

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michaelplevy said:
Does anyone have any knowledge or experience with the Greasecar system? These guys will retrofit a diesel car so it can use vegetable oil as a fuel.

I read an article about a guy who owned a Diner. He used to have to pay to have his fryer oil taken away. Now drives his car with it. He made a funny comment, he said when he gets oil from a Chinese restaurant, his exhaust smells like egg rolls.

http://www.greasecar.com/

With the huge push to use low sulfer fuel to reduce emissions, I find it hard to believe burning used dirty cooking oil is a viable alternative that stands a chance. Anyone know what kind of emissions come from burning CLEAN cooking oil, let alone dirty? Logic seems to point to a bunch.
 

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tryoty said:
With the huge push to use low sulfer fuel to reduce emissions, I find it hard to believe burning used dirty cooking oil is a viable alternative that stands a chance. Anyone know what kind of emissions come from burning CLEAN cooking oil, let alone dirty? Logic seems to point to a bunch.
Well, there is not a lot of sulfur in an egg roll, so should stay pretty low.

Sulfur in food is pretty stinky stuff, so I would expect food, (and cooking oil is food) to be pretty low in that regard. On the other hand rancidicy is sulfur contamination of cooking oil, and the primary reason to change fryer oil is rancidicy. But I still expect that the amount of sulfur contamination that would make the oil unpalatable is far less than the amount that would cause emissions concerns.
 

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SkipHuffman said:
tryoty said:
With the huge push to use low sulfer fuel to reduce emissions, I find it hard to believe burning used dirty cooking oil is a viable alternative that stands a chance. Anyone know what kind of emissions come from burning CLEAN cooking oil, let alone dirty? Logic seems to point to a bunch.
Well, there is not a lot of sulfur in an egg roll, so should stay pretty low.

Sulfur in food is pretty stinky stuff, so I would expect food, (and cooking oil is food) to be pretty low in that regard. On the other hand rancidicy is sulfur contamination of cooking oil, and the primary reason to change fryer oil is rancidicy. But I still expect that the amount of sulfur contamination that would make the oil unpalatable is far less than the amount that would cause emissions concerns.
LOL, I was using the sulfur reduction push as an example of the industry trying to reduce emmission overall. I wasn't implying burning vegetable oil would produce sulfur emissions. What other kinds of emiossions does burning vege oil produce? I know if you throw it in a fire the cloud of smoke it produces is tremendous. I just doubt it's viability as a clean fuel, that's all.
 

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tryoty said:
LOL, I was using the sulfur reduction push as an example of the industry trying to reduce emmission overall. I wasn't implying burning vegetable oil would produce sulfur emissions. What other kinds of emiossions does burning vege oil produce? I know if you throw it in a fire the cloud of smoke it produces is tremendous. I just doubt it's viability as a clean fuel, that's all.
Vegetable oil and diesel oil are not that different chemically. Chains of hydrocarbons. From a "stuff to set on fire" standpoint they are about the same (in fact the diesel engine was original designed to be run on vegetable oil.) If it burns the same way, it will produce the same sorts of emissions.
 

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michaelplevy said:
Does anyone have any knowledge or experience with the Greasecar system? These guys will retrofit a diesel car so it can use vegetable oil as a fuel.

I read an article about a guy who owned a Diner. He used to have to pay to have his fryer oil taken away. Now drives his car with it. He made a funny comment, he said when he gets oil from a Chinese restaurant, his exhaust smells like egg rolls.

http://www.greasecar.com/
My life partner, Lyle, is running a Jetta TDI wagon on bio-diesel. He's become something of an amateur-expert on making it and on bio fuels in general. There are several people he knows who are running diesels on straight vegetable oil, but this requires two tanks of fuel: one, a small tank with regular diesel or bio-diesel, and the larger tank with the vegetable oil.
The vegetable oil is too viscous to run into the engine unless it is heated up, which is what the fuel in the smaller tank does by allowing the engine to warm up to max temp before the driver switches to the main tank. Just prior to shutting down the engine, the driver again switches to the small tank to flush the veggie oil out so that the engine will restart when cold.
Ironically, Rudolf Diesel invented his engine to run on peanut oil and it did so quite well. His idea was to make farmers independent by allowing them to produce their own fuel. Many people are taking back their power by doing just that. Bio diesel and/or straight vegetable oil fuel, is perfectly bio-degradable, has vastly lower emissions and does not add new CO2 to the atmosphere because the CO2 was originally produced by the plants from which the fuel was made.
Contact me off chat, if you want more info.
[email protected]

Bob
 

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tryoty said:
LOL, I was using the sulfur reduction push as an example of the industry trying to reduce emmission overall. I wasn't implying burning vegetable oil would produce sulfur emissions. What other kinds of emiossions does burning vege oil produce? I know if you throw it in a fire the cloud of smoke it produces is tremendous. I just doubt it's viability as a clean fuel, that's all.
Burning oil in a well tuned engine is vastly different from burning it in an open container. Even the cleanest gasoline produces a huge cloud of thick black smoke when burned in an open container. A well tuned engine creates the perfect conditions to get as clean and complete a burn as possible. The black smoke is primarily made of small unburned hydrocarbons. An engine will make sure these get burned also.

The main impurities in food are water and organic chemicals (primarily hydrocarbons and nitrogen compounds with other trace elements). A well tuned engine burns hot enough to turn all the hydrocarbons into CO2 and H2O, but not so hot as to produce excess NOx. So you probably also get some N2, ammonia, and various salts. As long as you've filtered the vegetable oil, the percent of impurities will be very low.

Once the supher has been removed, the main remaining pollution issue with diesel engines is that they don't keep up with rapid load changes, so tend to exhaust a lot of unburned hydrocarbons (soot and black smoke). A diesel-electric hybrid could buffer the engine from rapid load change, substantially reducing the amount of soot the rest of the exhaust system (or atmosphere) has to deal with.
 

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Biodiesel stuff...

Wow, imagine this - a thread about biodiesel here! <g>

Actually, my husband knows a *LOT* about it, because he's running 100% biodisel in his Jetta wagon TDI. We are lucky enough to live less than an hour from the only refinery on the east coast, and he drives by it at least once/week. He's getting about 42 mpg, even with his Jetta wagon loaded down with computer equipment and tools.

I'll get him to hop over here and post - he can share the websites he goes to, etc.

One thing I do recall him saying is that emissions from biodiesel are much lower than regular diesel (a LOT, LOT, LOT lower), except for particulates. But the explanation for that is that engines aren't designed to use biodiesel - they're designed for dino-diesel, so there aren't filters in place for that. The newer diesel engines mandated to come out in the next few years will probably significantly reduce even those particulates.

I can say that standing behind his car when it starts is not unpleasant - it really has no particular smell - just definitely not "diesel". And his smoke is white, not black like dino-diesel.
 
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