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#731168 - 11/25/04 07:22 AM used cooking oil in diesel engine?
medic Offline


Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 1734
Loc: Bradford, Commonwealth of Penn...
While eating Thanksgiving dinner with my parents today, my dad told me he is getting his '97 Passat TDI converted to run on used cooking oil. This consists of a 15 gallon tank in the trunk and some hoses running from the coolant system into the tank to warm the cooking oil. He said he will have to run the first 5 miles on diesel and then when the cooking oil is warmed up he can switch over.

He told me that there are limited cooking oils that can be used and canola oil is prefered. He has already set up a deal with a local restaurant and a grocery store so he can pick up their used cooking oil. All he has to do is filter it with a regular water filter that you find under a kitchen sink. One filter lasts for 50 gallons. He figures, with the current price of diesel, that this system will pay for itself in 3 months and after that it's money in his pocket.

He has also been told that the cooking oil will clean his injectors and other fuel related parts of his engine.

[ November 25, 2004, 11:28 PM: Message edited by: medic ]

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#731169 - 11/25/04 07:26 AM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
55Test Offline


Registered: 09/22/04
Posts: 1837
Loc: New Brunswick
Tell me, what additive or detergent is present in cooking oil that will clean injectors or any related parts? I am 99.9 percent sure there are ZERO additives of any kind in cooking oil, after all it is meant for cooking and cooking only. I wouldn't believe what your father says.

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#731170 - 11/25/04 07:38 AM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 10870
Loc: The Motor City
I believe him. Among the diesel users that burn Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO), it is common to experience a cleaning effect with WVO.

Unless it as edited out, Medic's father didn't say the cleaning was due to additives in the cooking oil.

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#731171 - 11/25/04 07:41 AM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
medic Offline


Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 1734
Loc: Bradford, Commonwealth of Penn...
quote:
Originally posted by 55:
Tell me, what additive or detergent is present in cooking oil that will clean injectors or any related parts? I am 99.9 percent sure there are ZERO additives of any kind in cooking oil, after all it is meant for cooking and cooking only. I wouldn't believe what your father says.

Honestly, I don't know. Common sense tells me that there are no additives in cooking oil. But I also know that cooking oil can naturally dissolve many petroleum based adhesives without the help from any detergents. [I dont know]

As far as what he says, he was told this and just passed on the info because I was very interested. Most people would just think he's nuts. I am one of the few people he can discuss this kind of thing with.

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#731172 - 11/25/04 09:35 AM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
robnitro Offline


Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 140
Loc: New York City, NY
Esters have natural cleaning ability because they are highly polar. Esters are usually made of natural things, which includes vegetable oils I believe.

This effect of cleaning is also seen with biodiesel. The thing with veggie oil is that it has to be as thin as normal diesel, which explains why he has to heat it up first. Otherwise the injectors will not spray it well. Also, used oil has more acid buildup.

Check out http://www.tdiclub.com for some info on it ifyou want!

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#731173 - 11/25/04 10:41 AM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
jthorner Offline


Registered: 07/11/03
Posts: 1130
Loc: California
It can be done, but there are a lot of issues with respect to the actual oils used, etc.

One of several web resources is at:

http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_svo.html

Most sources recommend running the refined biodiesel fuel rather than straight vegetable oil.

John

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#731174 - 11/26/04 08:24 AM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
medic Offline


Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 1734
Loc: Bradford, Commonwealth of Penn...
Hmmm, I thought this was something new. I always knew that, in theory, diesels would run on any combustable fluid but I didn't realize it was this common.

I forgot about the fact that group V oils are partially made from vegetable oils.

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#731175 - 11/27/04 02:48 AM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 27108
Loc: a prison island
Rudolf ran his original engine on peanut oil.

It can be done with varying degrees of success depending on the oil, and how it's introduced to the engine.Some people simply blend the vegetable oil with dino, others have additional pumps and coolant pwoered heaters to introduce straight waste oil to the injector pump.

The U.K. have an issue, as you can often buy vegetable oil at the supermarket cheaper than the diesel at the pumps. Vege oil isn't taxed as highly, so the Govt misses out on the exise.

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#731176 - 11/28/04 08:26 AM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
tom slick Offline


Registered: 05/26/03
Posts: 8611
Loc: Central Coast, Calif.
check out
veggie power
greasecar, this site specifically deals with cooking oil power
globalstewards
department of energy
not all of these are "grease power" sites but the have links to "grease power" along with good info on biodiesel.

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#731177 - 11/28/04 06:52 PM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
MAJA Offline


Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 542
Loc: South Central Texas
quote:
Rudolf ran his original engine on peanut oil.

This may be true, but his first design diesel engine called for "coal dust" as the fuel source.

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#731178 - 12/01/04 05:14 AM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
JohnnyO Offline


Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 2484
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Car & Driver magazine did an article on these conversions a few months ago.

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#731179 - 12/09/04 01:04 PM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
rkpatt Offline


Registered: 10/27/02
Posts: 133
Loc: SE
I am in the middle of making my homebre set-up my 1994 diesel IDI non-turbo on WVO . I can tell you that it is the critical points of filtering and fuel heating are not as simple as they first seem .

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#731180 - 01/16/05 10:31 AM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
medic Offline


Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 1734
Loc: Bradford, Commonwealth of Penn...
Well, its done. My dad had his car converted over the weekend. He drove 175 miles home in 20 degree weather on about 3 gallons of WVO. He said that he didn't notice any difference in power from diesel fuel. The car ran as good as it ever has.

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#731181 - 01/19/05 02:32 AM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 27108
Loc: a prison island
medic, good work.

If I ever seel the 4Ruuner, I intend to get a second hand Japanese diesel ute, and do similar (although probably only run a blend with no mods for a while).

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#731182 - 02/14/05 07:24 AM Re: used cooking oil in diesel engine?
medic Offline


Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 1734
Loc: Bradford, Commonwealth of Penn...
I just wanted to update everybody. So far, my dad has managed to rack up about 4,000 trouble free miles on his WVO system. As of yet, he hasn't had to put any diesel in the stock fuel tank. He says it's still about 3/4 full.

His only complaint is that he is keeping the WVO in the garage at about 50F. At this temp, it is too thick to run through the electric pump that he bought. So filtering it and getting it into the vehicle is a major job. He's trying to find a cheap and safe way to heat the 55 gallon drum that he is storing it in. It is actually a pretty elaborate setup. I'll take a pick next time I visit my parents.

I often wonder how my mom feels about all of this. I know she is usually pretty understanding, but I think that may have changed after his Quadractor endeavor [Roll Eyes]

 -

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