Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by dozerman21, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    Has anyone tried or considered making their own biodiesel? With diesel fuel rising daily, I'm looking at all avenues. I paid $4.52/gallon at a truck stop today.:angry:

    Would biodiesel work in heavy equipment, or would it be lacking in sulfur or something else? I've been looking at the kits like this:

    The worst thing with this that I can see is transporting the used oils from a restaraunt or wherever, but it might be worth the trouble if it is true that you can make fuel for around $.70/gallon. I'm sure there is a pain in the @ss factor, but it might be worth it if these insane fuel prices continue to rise.

    Any thoughts?
  2. jaybird24

    jaybird24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 623

    What you are referring to is waste vegetable oil. Biodiesel comes from soybean and possibly some other plants, and requires no extra engine mods that I know of. Waste oil is what you can make yourself, but I don't know much about either so I'll let others give the details.
  3. BrIONwoshMunky

    BrIONwoshMunky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    No, you can make biodiesel yourself. Waste vegetable oil is nothing but filtered fry oil. Bio-diesel is vegetable oil that has gone through a 'transesterfication' process that essentially removes the glycerol/glycerin/glycerine from the liquid, and turns it into an immediately usable fuel.

    The link the original OP used that directed to bio-diesel batch process equipment, would indeed yield bio-diesel as a result with glycerine as a by-product.
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    It is not as simple as that. All current CASE equipment I believe except the excavators are able to drink up to B20 which is to say 20% bio diesel. Deere is only B5. So it is machine and brand specific as to what percentage you can use and not run sideways with warranty. I believe that the fuel also has to have been produced and certified under an established quality control procedure (cant remember the nomonclature).
  5. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,396

    4.52 you should be so lucky...we are $5+ at some stations

    problem with biodiesel is it acts as a detergent, so it cleans your fuel lines and can cause a lot of gum buildup and fuel filter clogging....start low...maybe a B20 and run that for a while then slowly increase

    also bio doesnt have as much energy as a gallon or regular diesel will get you a lot further then a gallon of bio
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    If you run strait vegetable bio diesel, you'll need a couple of things for your vehicle or equipment. The wvo will gel sooner so you'll need a tank heater and also a good in line heater/filter for the winter time. The rubber lines on your application will also need to be rated for bio, just like earlier posts, it acts as a solvent and will break down the rubber lines and seals in the fuel systems.

    The setup for converting waste veggy oil is also an investment, then you have to find the time and effort to go find the wvo, and take the time to make it. Would you make more working during those periods ??

    I don't know, the way I look at it is that you'll have an initial investmet to start making and using your own bio fuel, and it will take a while to get a return out of it. But, with rising fuel costs, you might get a return sooner than later.
  7. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    Yeah, kind of what I figured... probably more trouble than what it's worth, at least for now. Thanks for the replies.

    If anyone buys one of these kits, or already has one, let us know what you think of it.
  8. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    I am very familiar with both processes.....WVO and biodiesel. I know a guy (and I say it this way, because while using your own homemade fuel is "good" - it is illegal and a crackdown has started.) So, I know this guy who converted his dump truck to burn WVO about 3 years ago and has run over 2,000 gallons of V.O. through his dump truck.......older trucks/vehicles have the possibility of being compatable, but.....learn about viscosity and how to address that issue.
    I know of folks who thought biodiesel was gonna be awesome, so they bought the kit and started producing........beware, the 55 gallon drums of glycerin add up real fast and you are dealing with very caustic substances to concoct this magic which can, in effect, kill you or maim one likes to talk about that portion of it. Alot of the biodiesel being sold right now on the open market is not filtered as well as it should be and is causing more than ordinary wear and filter replacement.
    Collecting the WVO is a breeze and after you learn the system and get your route established, you can collect and filter 100 plus gallons of goo in about an hour. A good source to learn a bit more is Germany has been doing this for years and actually produces several autos designed for wvo........anymore info wanted pm me.
  9. BrIONwoshMunky

    BrIONwoshMunky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    The only reason it's 'illegal' is because you avoid paying the road-tax that's built into the fuel you buy at the pump.
  10. 74inchShovel

    74inchShovel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    This would look alot better to me if I had more time than money. I would be curious how much you really save if you add up all the elements that go into this. Compounding this is that this is a very finite fuel source, (WVO) and laws of supply and demand will kick in if too many people do it.

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