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stevesmowing
08-22-2005, 11:04 PM
I know a guy that bought a diesel car and for about $800 added a tank that holds veggie oil from fast food places. With the cost of filters it costs him about $.13 a gallon. It seems like this might be a little more expensive at first but could pay off. Trucks could be run on veggie oil and I wonder if a mower could be converted as well. The engine still needs to start and stop on diesel but otherwise can run on the veggie oil. It seems like it could be saving us $100 or more a week which would seem huge. Anyone else seen heard of this? There was another car on CNN yesterday that someone convereted to run on the veggie oil as well.

dixiedemon
08-22-2005, 11:14 PM
maybe some day there will be a hybrid mower like Toyota's new car

Brianslawn
08-22-2005, 11:16 PM
soy diesel

kc2006
08-23-2005, 12:12 AM
I run my truck on veggy oil.

You do not need a kit to convert a diesel to run on it first of all. Its nice to have but not needed.

Theres a few options here, you can use straight veggy oil (SVO) waste vegy oil (WVO) which is old used oil from fryers at restuarants, or you can make your own biodiesel using WVO.

SVO and WVO are the same thing just new and used, you can run this in a diesel truck without doing anything, just you'll have to run a mixture with some diesel to thin it out, and it can only be used during the warmer seasons of the year. I was running a 75% WVO/25% diesel mixture and it worked great in the summer, you can also run a 100% WVO in the hot months like June-august. I've heard mixed reviews on starting on the mixture or starting on diesel and switching to the mix, I was starting on the mix and was fine since it was a mix, if i had 100% i'd start and stop on diesel. I have dual tanks so this helped, just you have to switch a couple mins before shutting off to clean the lines of the veggy oil. Some people use a system with check valves and other parts (i'm not up on this part i never looked into it much) so that they can switch say when they get in their drive and while the turbo is cooling it will drain back faster and its done in 10-20 seconds. Running a mix of WVO is cheap, the oil is free from restaurants so your only paying the 25% of diesel, to fill up both tanks on my truck its $102, with the WVO it was roughly $25.

Now then Biodiesel, harder to make, and costs about 60-70 cents a gallon to make. Biodiesel is made with WVO where you heat it up and circulate it to thin it down, then you take tests to find how much acid is in the batch you then have to neutralize this with a mix of Lye and methanol (thats what makes it cost money) you then circulate in the mixture, let it go for another hour and let it settle. The mixture settles out along with the crap, you drain this off and now you have to "wash the oil". Never looked into this part but from what i gather you run water threw the batch and let it settle out then you have to heat it again to burn the water out. When done the biodiesel is pretty thin and clear.

I was slacking and quit getting WVO, but I have to get more and I'll run a 50/50 mix in the next few months, then when it gets real cold i'll go straight diesel. It works out well because i don't drive my truck much in the winter, only when working season is around and i can run the mix in the working season. To filter the WVO i would heat it in a 55 gallon drum i have, then pump it to another bucket with a filter in it, and it drips threw there into another holding drum where i then pump it out and threw another filter that filters to 5 microns and into 5 gallon cans and into the truck. Takes alittle bit of time but its kind of fun, I would make it on sunday's and make enough for 2 fill ups.

You can find alot of info about this stuff online, just do searches for WVO biodiesel, greasel theres alot of products on ebay to make your own filter systems too. The kits they sell are nice but I didnt want to spend 1000 or more dollars to convert my truck, I found a very knowledgable guy online that made his own system that converts his stock tanks and heats them then heats the fuel lines and finally the fuel filter housing at the engine and he can run straight WVO all year round, just too much work for now for me.

Wow that was long ;)

LawnBrother
08-23-2005, 09:49 AM
Hey kc2006,
I have been planning on a diesel for my next car or truck just so I can run veggie oil. My question is, what MPG can you get out of veggie oil?

kc2006
08-23-2005, 10:21 AM
It doesn't effect your milage. In a diesel veggy oil will provide lower EGT (exhaust gas temps) possibly give you alittle more boost and it smells like french fry's almost. After talking with some people we think it gives the lower temps yet higher boost because it burns more effecient then diesel and has a hotter burn rate. Not positive but it makes sense.

My truck was getting 20-21mpg around town before switching and it didn't change. Lately i've been getting about 18mpg because a sensor was acting up and I need to change filters and oil soon.

Remsen1
08-23-2005, 11:24 AM
Spike TV had this on Trucks! He used veggie oil + methanol + lye. I didn't know that you could do it with just veggie oil.

This is definately going to become more mainstreamed.

Has the government gotten their hands onto this for highway tax? I imagine they wouldn't like it very much if they found fuel being used that wasn't taxed.

liquidforcedude7
08-23-2005, 11:29 AM
I saw an artical about this in transworld snowboaridng about how some of the pros are puttin this on their trucks so they can save a lot of money and help the enviroment.

Envy Lawn Service
08-23-2005, 02:15 PM
I'm all for this natural fuel stuff and I do not think anyone running it should be subject to any hardships from not paying government road taxes, ect.

I say this because I feel, and anyone can see at the pump, that we are far to dependent on foreign sources of crude oil. Take a look at what is going on in the rest of the world and you realize the costs are going to continue to climb... especially for gasoline.

I think we should be all over these veggie based fuels like stink on ____.
Especially those WVO's as they are good in two ways.
American farmers would be glad to help farm our fuels....

kc2006
08-23-2005, 04:18 PM
From what i've read yes the gov trys to get in on it if someone turns you in. Its still very cheap, somthing like 10-20 cents a gallon only.

That system used on trucks is a 3000 dollar system, its a nice system but you can make one for way less using a water heater instead of the big plastic drum.

So far no one is doing it around here, I'm just too lazy to go get the stuff, i can get it almost anywhere (i always ask) but the stuff only lasts for 3 months then it starts to grow stuff in it, so I can only get so much.

Bulletproof
08-23-2005, 06:38 PM
KC 2006,

just wanted to say thank you for that informative speech. I saw the little segment on CNN and didn't write down the website and wanted to learn more.... Thank you!

Boycea
08-23-2005, 10:34 PM
KDC, thanks for the information. I am running a 1997 F350 Powerstroke diesel with 115,000 miles on it. Do you think I will cause any damage to the engine if I use a WVO and Diesel mix. Is the mix only recommended for newer trucks.

Itsgottobegreen
08-24-2005, 02:11 AM
I am looking at diesel ZTR mowers. Can a kubota diesel run bio diesel?

mosmgras
08-24-2005, 03:01 AM
I've been running Bio in my 321D Grasshopper(kubota diesel) for two seasons now. I make my own at about $.60/gal. No problems so far. I wash all of my fuel which makes all the difference. Unwashed it contains too much methoxide and other contaminants.

Brianslawn
08-24-2005, 03:41 AM
does the original investment and the extra time and fuel going to restaurants to get the used veggie oil and filter it actually make it worth while...also new veggie oil cost as much as diesel. we were discussing it today at work.

mosmgras
08-26-2005, 07:51 PM
Petro Diesel in my area: $2.59/gal.
Bio Diesel: $.60/gal.

It takes about an hour's labor to make 80 gallons of Bio. plus about 30 minutes to go and get the WVO from a resturant about 10 miles away from my house. So... less than two hours labor and about a gallon of fuel. It cost about $300 to build my reactor.

I burn Bio in my mower, tractor and NPR truck. I go through about 60 gallons a week. That being said, Petro diesel would cost $155 and Bio costs $36. At this rate, I'm saving about $120 a week. I think it's worth it. payup

Eclipse
09-29-2005, 10:33 PM
There can be some drawbacks to running straight veggie oil. I will see if I can find the link to an excellent paper written by a state university.

Also generally veggie oil and B100 yield less power and MPG's. It has a higher cetane (better burning) but lower BTU's (less energy per unit of fuel).

kc2006
09-29-2005, 11:20 PM
Also generally veggie oil and B100 yield less power and MPG's. It has a higher cetane (better burning) but lower BTU's (less energy per unit of fuel).

I used to have a paper that showed the centene of each veggy oil and almost all the veggy oils had higher centene's then number 2 diesel.

I saw same amount of mileage along with most people I talk to online about running straight veggy, and lower EGT's. It's almost as though the veggy oil is higher centene, yet more effiecent, possibly the lower BTU's as you said so it could equal out. But this would be a good thing for a vehicle thats towing (lower egt's).

MBDiagMan
09-30-2005, 10:36 AM
I am a Mercedes guy. My wife, kids and I have driven diesel Mercedes cars a total of well over 800,000 miles. There have been people running the old 240D's on WVO and biodiesel for quite some time. Most of them have gotten fuel free at the hamburger joints or whatever, but now that this is really catching on I'm sure that this will not be free for long with the fuel prices being what they are.

There are problems involved in running it straight. The fuel must be filtered which is not a big deal if you want to hassle with it. The fuel also will gel in the lines in cool weather. There are a few companies that sell fuel lines that have a way of being heated.

From what I have read the best approach is to just mix it with diesel, but this only works well if the engine is run A LOT. The reason is that there is a fungus that grows in regular diesel fuel. The fungus if combined with biodiesel can really cause problems, but if you are going through fuel rapidly, you don't have as much trouble with it.

The other problem that some feel is present is the fact that the WVO does not lubricate the injection pumps, or in the case of later engines, the electronic injectors, adequately. These are EXPEN$IVE components. Their cost compared to a carburetor, makes a carburetor look like pocket change.

You can probably overcome the lubricity problem by adding just a few ounces of cheap motor oil to the tank at each fillup.

I love diesel engines and when I was driving 60,000 miles per year and diesel was cheaper than gas, I saved lots of money driving a diesel car due to fuel savings and engine longevity. A mower is a GREAT application for a diesel engine, but they are expensive so if you don't use it daily, it is tough to justify the added initial expense and potential repair/rebuild cost.

When I bought my Bad Boy, I wanted the Cat Diesel model so bad I could taste it, but I just couldn't justify it. If you take good care of your equipment and run it every day for a living, you WILL be able to justify a QUALITY diesel engine on your mower.

Good luck,
Doc

LwnmwrMan22
09-30-2005, 02:51 PM
Petro Diesel in my area: $2.59/gal.
Bio Diesel: $.60/gal.

It takes about an hour's labor to make 80 gallons of Bio. plus about 30 minutes to go and get the WVO from a resturant about 10 miles away from my house. So... less than two hours labor and about a gallon of fuel. It cost about $300 to build my reactor.

I burn Bio in my mower, tractor and NPR truck. I go through about 60 gallons a week. That being said, Petro diesel would cost $155 and Bio costs $36. At this rate, I'm saving about $120 a week. I think it's worth it. payup


But, if you add in your time to go get the oil and "make it", if you were able to work that extra 2 hours @ $50 / hour, that would be $100, which now you're basically saving $20 / week.

HOWEVER, if you were to get the oil at a time where you weren't able to work, ie, after the sun goes down, then yes, you could be saving yourself that $120.

I suppose we could get into semantics, as say that if you worked that extra 2 hours, that there would be costs associated with that as well, so now you'd probably be saving about $15 / week, because it'd probably cost you about $5 to do that actual work.

Plus, I suppose you'd in a way be saving less than that $120 / week, because @ $50 / hour, it doesn't really cost you $50 / hour to work, probably more like $5 / hour, since you'd already have the equipment sitting around, whether it was running or not, you'd just have a different fuel cost.

So, back to my original point, that if you were to go make $50 / hour for that 2 hours working, then you really aren't saving that much money, especially since you're still working, making the biodiesel.

Eclipse
10-01-2005, 09:29 AM
From what I have read the best approach is to just mix it with diesel, but this only works well if the engine is run A LOT. The reason is that there is a fungus that grows in regular diesel fuel. The fungus if combined with biodiesel can really cause problems, but if you are going through fuel rapidly, you don't have as much trouble with it.


Never heard this when talking about Biodiesel blends?



The other problem that some feel is present is the fact that the WVO does not lubricate the injection pumps, or in the case of later engines, the electronic injectors, adequately. These are EXPEN$IVE components. Their cost compared to a carburetor, makes a carburetor look like pocket change.


As little as 2% Biodiesel blended with straight #2 diesel increases lubricity 50%. I'm not sure why WVO would not lubricate better as well?

Brianslawn
10-01-2005, 01:19 PM
But, if you add in your time to go get the oil and "make it", if you were able to work that extra 2 hours @ $50 / hour, that would be $100, which now you're basically saving $20 / week.


good point.

or better yet if you can make $75 an hour for those 2 hours and after the sun goes down youd rather be on lawnsite.... then biodiesel is actually costing you more.

it'll work for some, but not others. just depends on your operation.

Precision
10-01-2005, 08:24 PM
Biodiesel has higher cetane value +/- 52 while #2 diesel has 42. Cetane is analogus to octane in gas. The higher the value the easier burning it is. Read that as less likely to coke up the injectors and the like.

Since we have switched to low sulphur diesel, the lubication is way down. Biodiesel fixes that and in Europe all diesel is mixed (by law) 5% with biodiesel.

Now as far as going straight veg oil or heaven forbid straight waste oil as a replacement for diesel, you are running a big risk especially with the waste. It will run and run fine for a while, the problem is slow building and involves the injectors getting plugged. Not a cheap repair.

In addition all waste oil is not created equal. What if your source mixed in vinegar to help clean out the fryer. I know its done, I used to drain my fryer then pour in a gallon of vinegar and heat the fryer, dissolved off all the gunk, then flush it out. Usually ending up mixed with the grease. Imagine what that will do in the engine.

Here are some links with lots of information on this topic.

http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_make.html

http://www.biodieselcommunity.org/

This should help all to understand what is going on and how to do it properly.

Personally, in the off season I will be setting up my reactor and making some biodiesel.

You can legally make 400 gallons per year without paying road taxes. After that, well your on your own. My opinion, just pay, so your total cost is up to $1 per gallon. You are never gonna see that price again.

I have places on my route where I can get the waste oil with little or no extra time and besides it will be fun. Now I just need to justify getting a diesel mower.

Envy Lawn Service
10-02-2005, 12:56 AM
Precision,

Sounds like you have already justified the purchase of a diesel mower.
Just go diesel when the time comes to add another.

rookie03
10-03-2005, 12:53 AM
How do you go about getting veggie oil? Anybody out there getting veggie oil? If so, how much are you getting? I'm wanting to convert to veggie oil, but would like more information on how to go about getting it. Thanks!

Precision
10-03-2005, 02:13 PM
How do you go about getting veggie oil? Anybody out there getting veggie oil? If so, how much are you getting? I'm wanting to convert to veggie oil, but would like more information on how to go about getting it. Thanks!

SVO or WVO?

straight veg oil in my opinion is a waste of time. it isn't much cheaper then diesel and has some serious risks if you don't run the two tank system properly in your vehicle.

Waste veg oil filtered and run as SVO is even more risky.

Waste veg oil turned into biodiesel Much safer as long as you check to make sure you did it right.

Getting SVO, go to the cheapest ethnic grocery store (Usually a Latin grocery) and buy the cheapest veg oil they have.

Getting WVO, you have to use your sales skills and find some bar, fast food joint, grocery store or whatever that does a lot of frying and make a deal with them.

You will find information on this in the links I provided before.

Precision
10-03-2005, 02:14 PM
Diesel jumped from $2.71 (with regular gas at $2.69) to $3.25 (with regular gas at $2.95) in a week here. Anyone know why?

LwnmwrMan22
10-03-2005, 05:20 PM
It's up to $3 / gallon here. I suppose one would say because the northern refineries are switching over to a cold season blend (if there really is such a thing anymore) which would mean that they couldn't use the same diesel all over the country, which would mean 1/2 of the refineries are making warmer season diesel, while the other 1/2 are making cold season diesel, which would mean less reserves, higher prices.

:)

I always do love when people have run-on posts.

Precision
10-03-2005, 10:10 PM
yeah, maybe

I was thinking heating oil vs diesel. bit $.50 in a week. That seems excessive.

Grass Man
10-03-2005, 11:02 PM
.... Interesting topic, thanks :).

roscioli
10-03-2005, 11:39 PM
I didnt read all the posts, so maybe this was already said, but I bought a kit from www.greasecar.com for my mercedes for $800. since sold the car before installing it, so I havent tried it yet, but that site offers more info. IM me if you want any info from me.. mike