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Today I learned that you can run a diesel engine car on waste vegetable oil (e.g., oil that's been used to cook). It is less harmful to the environment, less toxic to people and animals, and runs about 20 cents/gallon. Big surprise: it's against the law in the US. (The EPA only allows biodiesel - not vegetable oil.) Thanks big oil.

(Interesting side-note: Rudolph Diesel, the inventor of diesel engines, designed them to run on peanut oil. His goal was to "enable farmers to produce their own "fuel" from their crops for their machinery.")

Diesel engines work similarly to gasoline engines, with the primary difference being how they convert fuel to energy. "In a gasoline engine, fuel is mixed with air, compressed by pistons and ignited by sparks from spark plugs. In a diesel engine, however, the air is compressed first, and then the fuel is injected. Because air heats up when it's compressed, the fuel ignites."

As gas is no longer cheap, perhaps diesel engines will become more popular in America as they are already in Europe?

Benefits and limitations of "going veggie" include:

Pros:

  • Save money on fuel.

  • Reduce emissions.

  • Recycles waste oil from restaurants.

  • Vegetable oil can be made domestically, thus helping the local economy and reducing reliance on foreign countries.

  • Makes a political statement.

Cons:

  • Installing a conversion kit might void your vehicle warranty. (You can find other conversion kit resources here.)

  • Gathering used oil is messy.

  • You have to have extra space to store the used oil.

  • There is mixed data on how vegetable oil affects an engine's lifespan.

As the entire country mourns over the increase in gasoline / fuel costs, there is a small section of society that secretly wants fuel prices to go to the moon. With every passing week, this "secret society," travels around our beautiful country at little or no cost for fuel.

In 2006, I spent over $7500 dollars on gasoline. My business requires that i do some traveling, and after I reviewed the expenditures, I decided to implement an alternative that I'd been studying about for a couple years. I went out and purchased a 25-year-old diesel pickup truck as an additional vehicle, and began the journey of running a vehicle on an alternative fuel. That fuel is waste vegetable oil. There are four methods to run waste vegetable oil in a diesel vehicle, SVO (straight vegetable oil), bio diesel (chemical process costing about $1 a gallon), Mixing waste vegetable oil with the diesel fuel, and Mixing waste vegetable oil with RUG (regular unleaded gasoline). I chose to run Straight Vegetable Oil.

The initial expense for the diesel truck was $2500, I spent approximately $2000 converting my first vehicle to waste vegetable oil. The cost seemed excessive at the time, and the many hours of working in the garage making modifications and changes to enhance the performance of the system seemed to be a never ending affair....But, after the first year, I became an expert with my particular diesel vehicle, and I was burning a fuel that cost at the most 20 cents a gallon.

I started out looking for the waste vegetable oil at local restaurants, and took an inventory of who was collecting the oil now, and learned with experience, which oil to pursue and which oil to avoid. I took a "business" approach to collecting the oil, and set up contracts with a few restaurants, and within few months had hundreds of gallons of "extra" WVO (waste vegetable oil). During the first few months of collecting oil, I met a full time renderer that helped me with my containers and informed me about what was going on in the rendering market. As I collected oil "here and there," a few connections developed and I picked up some other WVO pickup points. The individual I met in the rendering business, offered to purchase all of my extra WVO, and then gave me a few stops in my area to also collect oil at, so he didn't have to travel into my area.

There is "SO MUCH," waste veggie oil out there, I'm really surprised that more people haven't made the "switch" to WVO. After 50,000 miles on the initial vehicle, and having burned over 3000 gallons of 20-cent fuel, the payoff is rather obvious. This year I've sold over 4000 gallons of extra waste veggie oil, and that is starting to make an impact, when I'm getting over $1.25 per gallon just to collect the WVO.

So, if you want to "make a difference," in your monthly "bottom line," convert to waste vegetable oil. It's quite the experience, you will be the only person in your area doing it, and you can save a ton of money.

$4 Gas Is MY FRIEND (permission to repost in full here.)

DISCUSS!

Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Jun 7, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=573

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