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Used cooking oil in diesel mowers?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BBC.lawn.services, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. BBC.lawn.services

    BBC.lawn.services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    Was watching Myth Busters tonight and they were running a diesel car on used cooking oil after filtering it... any one attempted this with a mower?
  2. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 14,126

    Are you sure it was just used cooking oil? I've seen quite a few programs on using used cooking oil for making bio-diesel, but it isn't as simple as just filtering it, then using it. There are many great bio-diesel processing units available to convert old cooking oil. One of the best programs I've ever see on the subject was on Trucks back when Stacy David was the host.
  3. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    I haven't personally, but yes, it works fine. It just has to be forced through a filter, usually utilizing a vacuum pump, I think. A fellow that owns a local restaurant runs his diesel truck on it all the time. The only problem is the high pour point of most cooking oil, which means it can gel up in colder temps. Of course, 90% of the time, that isn't a factor when mowing.

    It is my understanding that diesel engines were originally designed to run on vegetable oil.
  4. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 14,126

    Not according to this rather lengthy, but interesting article from Wiki. It was designed to run on fuel oil, but many other fuels have been tried and/or used successfully throughout its history, including vegtable oil-

    The following was lifted directly from that article about 3/4 of the way through it.

    It is often reported that Diesel designed his engine to run on peanut oil. Diesel stated in his published papers, "at the Paris Exhibition in 1900 (Exposition Universelle) there was shown by the Otto Company a small diesel engine, which, at the request of the French Government ran on Arachide (earth-nut or pea-nut) oil (see biodiesel), and worked so smoothly that only a few people were aware of it. The engine was constructed for using mineral oil, and was then worked on vegetable oil without any alterations being made. The French Government at the time thought of testing the applicability to power production of the Arachide, or earth-nut, which grows in considerable quantities in their African colonies, and can easily be cultivated there." Diesel himself later conducted related tests and appeared supportive of the idea.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  5. BBC.lawn.services

    BBC.lawn.services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    It would be interesting to see if the longevity of the engine would be majorly compromised by doing this...

    With fuel prices looking to rise. Diesel engine running on a cheap fuel source would be "taking it to the man."

    The myth buster episode was season... 4 I think. (+ If your a amazon prime member you can view it for free.)
  6. johnwright238

    johnwright238 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    There are several water powered mowers on YouTube and I am working on a magnet powered mower after mower sales slow down here in a couple months.
  7. BBC.lawn.services

    BBC.lawn.services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    sweet man!!! I'll PM you.
  8. JimQ

    JimQ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,139

    Have you considered Crystal or Pyramid power? Oh wait! How about a crystal pyramid?!?!?! :laugh:

  9. Tizzy

    Tizzy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 383

    im fairly certain that you will void your engine warranty on the mower running biodiesel. im fairly certain thats the same for all makes. its something to check into
  10. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 14,126

    Most diesel engines are now rated for use with bio-diesel. Take a look at some of the company websites regarding this.

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