• Thankful For Your Family…. Business?
    Landscaping businesses are often family endeavors. While this can combine the best of both worlds (personal and professional), it isn’t always smooth sailing. Click here to read more.

Used Veggie Oil Power

ttferrell

LawnSite Member
Location
IN
Greetings -

I am curious if anyone in Lawnsite land is making/using Biodiesel from used veggie oil?

I have been making biodiesel for almost a year, and used it almost exclusively (I mix 50/50 in winter) in my Ford F250, an old Mercedes, and 2 tractors with great results. A couple of friends are doing likewise - one is also using it in place of fuel oil to heat his home.

We are adding Lawn Care to our current business (real estate investment/management) this year and are planning on running our Zero-turns on the stuff.

our current cost is .68 cents/ per gallon + a little labor.

Anyone else out there?
 
OP
T

ttferrell

LawnSite Member
Location
IN
One friend has been adding a standard anti-gel additive to his bd, and is running it in a jetta and a tractor, apparently with no problems. I thought I'd give him a chance to try it out before I tried it. I have been mixing 50/50, and haven't had any problems with gelling down to about 5 deg. That's the coldest it's been here.

Have you had any problems in winter?
 

DUSTYCEDAR

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
PA
what set up r us using to make the bd?
did you build it or buy it?
we also love to see pics of this.

did you have to change the fuel lines on your truck?
i have heard that it eats them to some extent?
thanks dusty
 

NattyLawn

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Lancaster, PA
what set up r us using to make the bd?
did you build it or buy it?
we also love to see pics of this.

did you have to change the fuel lines on your truck?
i have heard that it eats them to some extent?
thanks dusty
Search around for "appleseed biodiesel processor" and you should get some hits. If you have access to an old hot water heater, a few drums and some veggie oil it should be pretty easy. I planned on making my own BD, but then moved 3 miles from work. Sold the diesel, but I wish I still had it.

If you use Firefox, go to www.crazedlist.org You can search all of the craigslists in one shot. You'll occasionally see appleseed processors on sale there too. You'll need a source of oil though, and some time. But when you get fuel for 70 cents a gallon, it's pretty cool.
 
OP
T

ttferrell

LawnSite Member
Location
IN
A friend and I built ours at his place - it is basically an appleseed type, with some modifications. We actually just disassembled it, and are in the process of re-arranging it to make it more vertical, to use gravity and less pumping.

We use a water heater to heat it up, then 55 gallon drums to process/wash/dry. We are going to add a water heater turned upside down now too (they have a coned top) for better separation. We were using a stand-pipe in a drum to pull the fuel off the top of the by-product. We have scrounged nearly all of the parts. Probably spent $100 or less.

A local environmental center has a fuel meister. It uses essentially the same process, but costs around $2500.

I am planning to build my own in my shop this spring. I think I am going to splurge and buy a cone-bottomed barrel for processing/separation. I heat the shop with a wood boiler, so I am going to run a line through a 55 gallon drum to heat the oil.

There is a bunch of info at journeytoforever.org/biodiesel and a few other places if you search.

I'll try to take some pictures as we put the current one back together and as I build mine. It may take a few weeks though to get to it.

My understanding is that all vehicles after 1997 (or so) use synthetic rubbers (vitron), not natural rubber. This stuff supposedly eats natural rubber. But I have not replaced the lines in my 83 mercedes or my 82 kubota, with no problems yet. I was (maybe still am) expecting them to fail though.

This project has been fun, getting to act like an engineer, even though I am definitely not.
 
OP
T

ttferrell

LawnSite Member
Location
IN
Finding oil has been pretty easy for us so far. I also work at a small college (as does one friend doing this) and they are happy to give us oil from their food service. We get 40 gals a week. I also get 10 gallons a week from a local mexican rest. Other places are willing to give us oil too. Some have even contacted us to try to give it to us. We have plenty for now though, I have well over 500 gallons stockpiled, as does my friend.

The environmental center ran adds on local radio asking people to bring in oil from turkey fryers etc, and got bombarded with hundreds of gallons as well. They collect regularly from an Elks lodge and a few other places too.

Someday I fear it will get harder to come by though.
 

DUSTYCEDAR

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
PA
i want to do this to heat my home in time
i use wood now and its a lot of work to split all that wood
oil is easy to find
i just have to get all the right stuff and knowledge to do this
thanks for the info
 

ECLC

LawnSite Member
Location
Snow Hill NC
I have been able to blend mine with no problems....but running straight bio in the winter is tuff.
A blend will work all day long.
I will try and submit some photos later night.
 

gtmorgan89

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
East TN
I've been looking into this as well. I have a Cummins, and a diesel Toro with a Kubota, and Im hoping to seal the deal on a 2nd diesel mower soon. It would save me a ton to make this stuff. I have heard good and bad about it. Has anyone had any power loss? Are you able to swap back and forth from bio to regular diesel?
 
Top