200px-diesel_prices.jpgThe diesel engine could be what the world relies on someday. I’m not saying we will run out of petro. We could or will one day. Petro oil based fuel is going to be priced out of reach to make a normal commute to work non cost effective. I am always writing about alternative fuels and the vehicles that use them such as a grease car, diesel engine, bio diesel, SVO, WVO, etc:. Vegetable oil discarded from a restaurant and used as fuel is regarded as waste vegetable oil (WVO). Straight vegetable oil is (SVO). The diesel engine might just be the engine that does all brute muscle jobs.of the future. There are promising alternative power supplies on the drawing board being tested for implementation but the diesel is here now. Back in the early 1900’s a man by the name of Rudolph Diesel invented an engine that could run on any type of oil or grease. Petroleum oil, peanut oil, canola oil. Not only was his engine versatile, but many of his original prototypes are still in operation today, almost a hundred years later. That’s a diesel for you. This engine will go and go and go. The diesel can easily run half a million miles and truckers talk about a million miles all the time. This will be with the proper maintenance I’m sure. Now not all diesels are the same or made for the same purpose. The engine I’m most interested in will run on bio diesel fuel. This will be the power supply for my grease car.
DeltaHawk Engines, a small Wisconsin company, is developing a family of lightweight, V-4, two-stroke, turbo- and super-charged diesel engines for a variety of general aviation and non-aviation uses. The engines will run on Jet A (JP5) fuel, or #2 diesel where ambient temperatures are high enough to avoid gelling (above 20° F).
This is a major innovation. We are seeing the different uses for this 100+ year invention in all fields. Ive been looking for an answer on running SVO on my small implements such as my chainsaw, mower, weed-whip ETC. All I hear is go electric. I will research this further. This is what is clear to me. I can run my vehicle on WVO and it will cost 1/4 of the price of petro oil based fuel. The engine of today was not designed for running off of WVO. The engine of today is designed for petro based fuel. I can modify the engine to run on WVO, SVO or I can modify the vegetable oil without modifying the engine. The viscosity of vegetable oil must be lowered to allow for proper atomization of fuel, otherwise incomplete combustion and carbon build up will ultimately damage the engine. The least expensive route here is to collect WVO and modify it to run the diesel engine without modifying the engine. There will be up front costs setting up your processing plant. There will aways be a need to replenish your storage supply of WVO and there will be time involved in processing it.

I am changing my bus into a grease car and I am going to use the WVO process and not change the diesel engine. I have the room for the processing plant in the barn and it doesn’t take a lot of room. What I understand is that I can run my bus with WVO for at least another 300,000 miles at around .50 cents, on the high side 1 dollar a gallon. We will see how true that is.

Frederick Carter
Semi retired at 50 yrs old and I’m fascinated with new sources of energy and am always working on new projects. The grease car is one dear to my heart. My school bus conversion is on track.

Frederick Carter

Grease Car is the Word

Discover Tho Secrets of The Most Sought After Alternative Fuels & The Future of Energy”


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yelloish-fuel-noback.jpgThe fuel you see after this process will run a grease car. There will be a 24 hour waiting period after we mix this but the final product will be fuel. You will see the color and viscosity to give you a visual of the final product.

Lye absorbs water from the air which will interfere with the chemical process so be swift when measuring your lye. Weigh your lye in a Ziploc plastic bag. Have the bag on the scale and when done roll out the air and zip it tight.

You will be using 3.5 grams of lye. NaOH must be 97% pure. If you use KOH then use 5.5grams for 90% pure and 5.8 grams for 85% pure.

Now we are going to mix the methanol using the safest method possible. Measure out 200 ml of methanol and pour it into the half-litre HDPE container using a funnel. Be a bit swift due to methanol also absorbs water from the air. Cap the container immediately. Carefully add the lye to the HDPE container using the second funnel. Replace the bung and cap it.

What we are doing here is forming sodium methoxide. You will swirl this mixture around for a bit so the lye will dissolve. There will be a bit of heat on the container from the chemical reaction. You will see when all the lye is dissolved. The liquid will be clear. You want all the lye to be dissolved so be patient. With Naoh it can take 30 min. to over nite. Using KOH you will not have a long crystal dissolving rate. 10 minutes probably.

The blender you use will become non workable after doing this four or 5 times so get a cheap second hand one. Make sure the seals are tight.It must be very dry if you just washed it.

Preheat the cooking oil to 130F and pour into the blender. Pour the methoxide into the oil. Lid the blender and run on slow for 25 mins.

Pour the mixture into the 2 litre PET bottle for settling and tighten the lid. The bottle will contract as the mixture cools down so let some air into it after a bit. let it sit to settle for 24 hours. You will see a yellowish liquid after 24 hours and that is grease car fuel.

Frederick Carter

Grease Car is the Word

Discover Tho Secrets of The Most Sought After Alternative Fuels & The Future of Energy”

buss.jpgYou will need a few things to make your grease car test batch of biodiesel. Lets start with 200 ML of methanol.99+%. You can use DriGas antifreeze. Just get it at your automotive store. There are 2 types. Methanol and isopropanol. You want methanol. It will be labeled. For larger supplies which you will eventually need just search the net for racing fuel distributors.

You will need 1 liter of new vegetable oil. The supermarket will have it labeled as cooking oil or some kind of vegetable oil.

lye catalyst — either potassium hydroxide (KOH) or sodium hydroxide (NaOH). Kho is the preferred one to use although they both will work. You should find this at the hardware. For your larger batches look for soap maker suppliers online or in the directory. Keep your lye air- tight. You don’t want any moisture building up inside the lye container. Don’t use drain cleaners that contain lye. Just get Lye.

Have scales accurate to 1 gram or less. You will need a way to process the blend. I used a blender for my first test batch. Have some Measuring beakers. Two will be enough. Get TWO 2 litre plastic bottles for settling. You will need some duct tape and a thermometer.

Get 1- halflitre translucent white HDPE (#2 plastic) container with bung and screw-on cap. Have 2 funnels that fit the HDTP containers.

Makes sure equipment is clean. This is going to be fun making your test batch of biodiesel and soon you will be running your own grease car.

Frederick Carter

Grease Car is the Word

Discover Tho Secrets of The Most Sought After Alternative Fuels & The Future of Energy”

side busWith all the verbal abuse done at the gas pumps and knowing that the world is dependent on fossil fuel the grease car is something to pay attention to. Now we cant replace fossil fuel over nite but it has to start some where. So lets go over a few things. There are plenty of sources for fuel that are not fossil related. We will look at waste vegetable oil (WVO) and straight vegetable oil (SVO)

Biodiesel is made from vegetable oil, animal fat or both. SVO is the preferred one but WVO will be the least expensive to run. Now the common household will not have enough waste product from everyday consumption to feed the grease car, so you will be out sourcing a bit. The neighborhood foodery will be the most likely place to get some waste vegetable oil (WVO). This will have to be de-watered, de-acidfied, and filtered before being used.

The average household uses 600 gallons of gas a year. You will pay about 1/4 of the price for fuel making it yourself. Now that we are feeling good about helping the environment and saving money on fuel lets see what this is going to entail. There will be some equipment needed to process the waste oil.

Believe it or not, the original diesel engines were designed to run on peanut oil. Today the diesel engines are designed for petro usage. Vegetable oil will burn in a diesel engine but only if its viscosity (how thick a liquid is) can be brought down to a level similar to petro-diesel. To do this you can mix it with another fuel such as kerosene or petro-diesel, but you can also do it by heating it to about 160 °F. The heating option can allow you to run on pure vegetable oil or waste vegetable oil. I’m still looking for the right system to retrofit my vehicle with. Theres a few different systems out there so I have a bit of research to do.

This grease car is going to run on the WVO system that will have to be heated before burning. The system will cost a little more in the beginning but will be very cheap to run in the long run.

Frederick Carter

Grease Car is the Word

Discover Tho Secrets of The Most Sought After Alternative Fuels & The Future of Energy”

school bus Diesel engines last a long time, half a million miles or more is not unusual, . What is clear is that “any diesel” is an exaggeration. Some diesel engines are more suitable than others. Many vegetable oils have similar fuel properties to diesel fuel, except for higher viscosity and lower oxidative stability. These differences should be able to be overcome. Now you get vegetable oil that can substitute for #2 diesel fuel. This is used for engine fuel or home heating oil. A grease car will run on vegetable oil. It will run on used vegetable oil.

Vegetable oil discarded from restaurants and used as fuel is regarded as waste vegetable oil (WVO). Straight vegetable oil is (SVO) or pure plant oil (PPO). For engines designed to burn #2 diesel fuel, the viscosity of vegetable oil must be lowered to allow for proper atomization of fuel, otherwise incomplete combustion and carbon build up will ultimately damage the engine.

Basic diesel Engine Theory

Modern engines are fitted with injection systems designed to deliver and properly atomize diesel fuel which has a viscosity of approx.. 8 centistokes, common vegetable oils are 10-20 times more viscous (thick). Spraying this through an injector designed for diesel would be like spraying butter through a spray water bottle. This fluid is so much more viscous. An improper spray pattern will result in incomplete combustion, incomplete combustion will result in carbon deposits being formed in the engine which will destroy the engine. There are several ways to reduce the viscosity of vegetable oil, the simplest is simply heating it up. When vegetable oil has been heated to 160F its viscosity is very close to that of petroleum diesel.

The other issue which needs to be dealt with is the polymerization of vegetable oil when it contacts metal below an optimum temperature. The simplest way to explain this is with a simple analogy: Imagine placing a pan on the stove, pouring a small amount of vegetable oil in the pan, and turning the heat to high. The pan will begin to heat up and as it does it will heat the oil, around 300F the oil will start to smoke, then turn black, stick to the pan, and destroy it. With another pan turn the heat on high again. When the pan gets to about 600F throw a tablespoon of oil in the pan, you will notice that the oil is skittering around the pan on a layer of vapor, none of the oil is sticking to the pan and none of it is turning to carbon.

This same principle applies inside the combustion chamber of your engine, so injecting oil at any temperature into a combustion chamber which is not at operating temperature will result in carbonaceous deposits being formed on the piston crown and cylinder walls again destroying your engine. We now have two major problems to overcome.

1) The vegetable oil must be heated to at least 160F before being injected so that it can be atomized properly by the injectors.
2) The engine must be at operating temperature before any oil is injected.

Since we have an engine which is cooled with coolant (50% Distilled water, 50% Ethylene Glycol) we have an abundance of coolant which has been heated to 180F by the time the engine is up to operating temperature, we have a ready heat source. Since the engine must be at an operating temp of 180F we have met the requirements set by problem #2 (engine at temp), and by using a ( coolant to fuel ) heat exchanger with the coolant being 180F we can easily produce fuel at above 160F meeting the requirements of problem #1.

So we will need to have a vehicle with two independent fuel systems, one for diesel and one for the vegetable oil. We will start the vehicle on diesel fuel and run it on that fuel until we are at operating temperature, at this point we can supply vegetable oil at better than 160F and can switch the fuel supply. Of course when we shut the vehicle down the fuel system will still be filled with vegetable oil, which will cool and become useless as a fuel prohibiting us from restarting the vehicle as the conditions to solve problems 1 & 2 are no longer being met. To solve this issue we will need to purge the vegetable oil in the fuel system with diesel before we shut the engine off.

Several manufacturers developed systems which enable the use of vegetable oil in a diesel engine, however upon inspection its been found that they all were lacking on one or all areas required for a functioning vegetable oil fuel system. The most common error discovered was that nearly every system relies on a small inefficient heat exchanger in the fuel tank to provide all the heat to bring the vegetable oil to injection temperature. One such system was installed in a VW Diesel pickup, the round tank was installed in the bed under a canopy. On a 55F day it was driven for 45 minutes in traffic. The engine came to temperature quickly, but the temperature gauge installed in the tank had barely moved, after 45 minutes it read an oil temp of only 120F. It was realized that the previous owner had driven for thousands of miles injecting oil at no more than 120F It became obvious that simply heating the tank with a coil and running the vegetable in a PEX fuel line inside a coolant line was not enough heat. In addition this system was being required to heat the full volume of the fuel tank to injection temperature. This meant that each time the grease car ran, it had to heat 15 gallons of vegetable oil to 160F before It could be used as fuel. This is of little use in the city and would only be a benefit on cross country trips.

It was also discovered that many of the systems on the market routed the unused fuel back into the inlet side of the injection pump so that they did not have to run a return line back to the fuel tank. While this meant that the heated fuel was not sent back to the tank (which needed to be at injection temperature anyway) it also meant that in order to purge the fuel system, the fuel in the lines, injectors and injection pump had to be consumed in order to be replaced with diesel fuel before shutdown. Because this method only diluted the vegetable oil present in the loop, the same volume of fuel must travel through a looped systems 6 times to assure that no vegetable oil is present. This leads to very long purge times and a tendency to trap air in the fuel system leading to fuel starvation. Some systems went as far as to simply permanently “Loop” both the diesel and the vegetable oil which is a particularly poor idea as diesel is a poor lubricant to begin with and when heated becomes a destructive force in the fuel system. This is why most diesel engines actually have a fuel cooler in the return line.

So we will look at a new design.. Each component was taken separately and designed to exceed its system requirements. We need the following components to have a functioning vegetable oil fuel system which will not result in engine damage:

1) A tank to contain the vegetable oil. It should be constructed to the same specifications as the fuel tanks used in race cars. The tank should have an internal baffle to prevent the fuel from sloshing from side to side. It should be constructed from a material which will not react with the vegetable oil it contains. The area around the fuel pickup tube should be heated to insure that the fuel is thin enough to be drawn through the fuel lines without undue restriction.

2) Fuel lines to supply fuel to the engine and return unused fuel to the tank should be heated to thin the fuel enough to be drawn through the lines without undue restriction.

3) A fuel filter which will also need to be heated so that the fuel can be filtered easily. Such filter should be an easily replaced part and readily available.

4) A final fuel heat exchanger capable of using engine coolant to heat fuel to the required temperature at maximum fuel flow.

5) Switching valves to switch between the two fuel systems. These should be independently controlled so that no cross contamination of fuel takes place and to speed the purging of fuel from the system.

6) A controller to switch the valves when the fuel is at the proper temperature and not before, to provide status indicators (Diesel mode, VO mode) to the driver, to provide an alarm if the vehicle is shut down while running on vegetable oil and to control the purging function so that the driver need minimal interaction and can devote his or her attention to driving as this is, after all, the point of the exercise.

There are new innovative systems out there now and as far as finding the right grease car setup it will take a little studying but the designs are out there.

Frederick Carter
Grease Car is the Word

Discover Tho Secrets of The Most Sought After Alternative Fuels & The Future of Energy”