WVO - anyone runnin it in diesel mowers??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 1cooltreeguy, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. 1cooltreeguy

    1cooltreeguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    Hey Guys (and Gals I think), I am considering running waste vegetable oil in my diesel mowers (and Trucks). Is anyone running it in anything they have or what do you think. Diesel is $3.39 in my town.:usflag::usflag::usflag:
  2. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I don't have a diesel machine, but started a thread about this a year or so ago because my stepson works in the Bureau of Prisons, and at that time was over all maintenance at the prison. He was instrumental in switching over all their diesel equipment (mowers, trucks, dozer, etc) to vegetable oil reclaimed from the prison kitchen.

    The main issue is adequate filtration prior to putting it in your tank. There is also an issue with flowabilty at low temps, but for many, with mowers, that would not be an problem, depending upon climate. A mower with dual tanks would be ideal. Keep one full of diesel, the other veggie oil. Start on diesel, then switch to vegetable when the engine warms.

    If you have a ready source of WVO, I, personally would not hesitate to switch. I know there are websites of companies that market filtration equipment and supplies. One is based near here, I believe. Good luck. Neill
  3. 1cooltreeguy

    1cooltreeguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    Thanks for the heads up. I do have a few mowers with dual tanks but have 2 diesel mowers- Kubota F3060's- with single tanks. how do you suggest I remedy this? Install a small(1 Gallon) for reg tank? Thanks, ERic:usflag:
  4. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 855

    I have a Diesel toro with 2 tanks, but I was under the assumption that you need to run the veg oil thru some kind of process before you can use it in a diesel engine........
  5. 1cooltreeguy

    1cooltreeguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    yeah-thru 10 micron filters-...
  6. IMAGE

    IMAGE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,134

    Your kind of right. There are 2 different ways of running on veg oil.

    1. Straight Vegitable Oil(SVO) or Waste Vegitable Oil(WVO) are common setups for cars/trucks when a person does not want to make biodiesel. The advantages are that you dont need to learn how to make biodiesel, all you really need to do is filter the SVO. You would use 2 tanks, one with diesel that you start the mower on, and one with SVO that you would switch too when the motor is warm, and a few minutes before shut down you would switch back to the diesel tank. You need a heated fuel system on the SVO side, heated enough to preheat the oil to 150-180 degrees preferrably. The cost for running WVO in your vehicle is just the initial heating and duel tank setup, and then the cost of filters to filter the WVO you get from resturants.

    2. The process your talking about would be making BioDiesel(BD). BD can be run in your existing fuel setup, without needing the heated fuel lines and/or heated tank. BD is made in a processor (google "biodiesel appleseed"). BD will clean your fuel system, so be ready to change filters a few times until it gets all the current junk out. It also is hard on some of the older rubber fuel lines, but that should not be a problem in a newwer vehicle, but I am not sure if mowers have the updated rubber lines. The cost of BD is the initial cost of the processor, and the lye you will use to make it, probally between $.70-$1 per gallon, depending on your effiencies. The nice thing about BD is you can use it in vehicles not set up for SVO, just pour it in the tank and your good to go.

    I am not an expert on these. But I will have a BD setup soon, and have put a ton of time teaching myself about them the last few yrs. At first it looked like a hard task, but after enough time reading and asking questions to people in the know, I feel I have a decent handle on it.

    google: Appleseed Processor, or BioDiesel Processor, or BioDiesel Forum, or SVO/WVO Forum, Grease Car, Journey to the Future, there are alot of good sites out there. If you go with BD the Appleseed appears to be the best bang for your buck in getting started.
  7. 1cooltreeguy

    1cooltreeguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    Why would you need to preheat WVO when diesel sits in tank and goes to the engine cold? Thanks, E
  8. S.A.L.

    S.A.L. LawnSite Member
    from NOLA
    Messages: 226

    As the ambient temp. drops the veggie oil will start to gel.
    It's hard to push gel through the fuel lines.
    Warming the veggie oil allows it to flow through the lines with less effort.
  9. mverick

    mverick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    Just like a diesel. If you try to light a fire with Diesel, it usually won't light. You need to heat it to vaporize it then it will go. That's why Diesels have Glowplugs and High compression. Higher compression gets the fuel/vapor hotter from the compression. Glow plug to light it off. Once cylinder is up to temp. No need for glow plug.

    Just have to heat WVO more.

    Basicly, you start vehicle with the diesel. The Water from your radiator is run back to the WVO tank and circlulated through a coil surrounding the pickup tube. Then it's pumped up to the engine and I think they heat close to the engine with Electric heater. Then into your injection pump and into the motor. Once engine is up to temp it means the Oil in the tank is getting heated by the Radiator being up to temp so you can draw off it easier. They heat close to the motor to get it up to temp to be consistent.

    Before you shut the car off, you need to switch back to diesel and let it run through the system to clear anything out. Since when you start it the next time. The heat will take a while to warm the engine and also the heater close to the engine will have all ambient temp oil in it that won't ignite.

    They can build cars to run off it without all this hassle. But, you'd have to pay for it. LOL...

    You have to do this if it's hot or cold out.
  10. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    I have already considered making the switch but their is one big problem. WVO needs to be refined into diesel. not hard but if you do not you will screw up the fuel system. WVO congels really quickly so unless you only run in the summer and clean fuel system when it gets cool it will congel on you. I mean temps around 60 at night will cause this to happen.
    Bio diesel on the other hand does not do this and yes their is a big difference between bio and WVO.

    The next big issue is that you injection pump, fuel pump are using rubber o rings. wvo or bio will break down these rubber O rings and cause early failure of the systems. This could be corrected if you can find synthetic orings for the injection pump and replace the fuel line with synthetic line. The problem is that their are very few places that will even attempt in rebuilding your pump with synthetic parts even though it would last longer. If you know how to do this i would be interested in talking with you further.

    Remember do not use strained waste vegitable oil. use refined bio diesel. I hope this helps and I hope to find in the next year someone to build me a pump so I can go all bio fuel in my equipment.

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