If your car is equipped with a diesel engine, it can run on biodiesel manufactured from used cooking oil without any changes. Pure vegetable oil, on the other hand, is not a practical fuel and is much more viscous than diesel. In simple terms, it’s thicker and stickier than diesel, so it doesn’t flow as smoothly and the engine will have a hard time burning it all. Pure vegetable oil can then accumulate in the engine, obstructing fuel flow and resulting in stalling or burnout.
Can I use cooking oil in my diesel car?
In diesel engines and heating oil burners, vegetable oil can be utilized as an alternative fuel. Straight vegetable oil (SVO) or pure plant oil is the term used when vegetable oil is utilized directly as a fuel in modified or unmodified equipment (PPO). Traditional diesel engines can be changed to guarantee that the viscosity of the vegetable oil is low enough for proper fuel atomization. This avoids incomplete combustion, which can harm the engine by creating carbon build-up. For use in a wider range of settings, straight vegetable oil can be combined with conventional diesel or processed into biodiesel, HVO, or bioliquids.
What else can you run a diesel car on?
My car can run on diesel (the fossil fuel version), SVO (straight vegetable oil), biodiesel (modified SVO), or any mix of the three. That’s not unusual: anything with a diesel engine can run on diesel, SVO, or biodiesel, including planes, boats, and motorcycles. SVO is a broad word that encompasses a variety of materials other than vegetable oil, such as animal fats (chicken, tallow, lard, and omega-3 fatty acid leftovers from fish oil) and algae. SVO can come from either virgin feedstock (crops planted expressly for fuel) or recycled feedstock (spent cooking oils) (WVO for waste vegetable oil).
How do you turn diesel into cooking oil?
Cooking oil that has been used is not a safe fuel on its own. Cooking oil undergoes a process known as transesterification to make it safe.
The chemical process of transesterification converts waste oil to diesel fuel. It’s a fancy word for a straightforward concept. We mix an ester with an alcohol in this method. In the case of biodiesel, cooking oil is mixed with methyl alcohol, or methanol, to form the “ester.” To start a chemical reaction, a little amount of catalyst commonly sodium chloride is added to the mix. The end products are methyl ester and glycerin, which is the technical term for biodiesel fuel.
The biodiesel is ready to use once the transesterification process is completed. Glycerin is extracted from the water and can be utilized in cleaning products, cosmetics, and medications. Meanwhile, biodiesel is distributed locally for use in vehicles, tractors, farm equipment, and other applications.
Can you run a diesel engine on kerosene?
Kerosene burns cleanly in most diesel engines and does not affect them. As a result, kerosene burns cooler than diesel and lacks the lubricating additives found in diesel. This means that if you use kerosene in your diesel engine, it will place a strain on your injector pump unless you use the proper lubrication.
How much does it cost to convert diesel to vegetable oil?
You’ll also need valves to transition from diesel to veggie oil after the veggie oil has warmed up, as well as a manual switch on the dash to activate the changeover and a temperature indicator to tell you when the oil is hot enough. You should also run the engine on diesel for a few minutes before shutting it off to clear the veggie oil from the fuel lines. Finally, you’ll need a separate fuel gauge to keep track of how much vegetable oil is in your tank.
Although Ghafarzade admits that the change is simple, one of his recent customers came in after a failed DIY project. It was necessary to undo and redo the conversion. “Making a mistake usually isn’t worth your time,” Ghafarzade remarked.
Veggie oil is not as environmentally friendly as some claim, according to critics. Running automobiles on vegetable oil, modifying cars to operate on vegetable oil, and marketing vegetable oil for use in cars are all prohibited acts that are punished by fines, according to the Environmental Protection Agency: “Raw vegetable oil or recycled greases (also known as waste cooking oil) that have not been treated into esters are not biodiesel and are not approved for use in automobiles by the Environmental Protection Agency. Furthermore, vehicles modified to utilize these oils would almost certainly need to be certified by the EPA, which “has not certified any conversions to date,” according to the agency’s website.
According to the EPA, the prohibition is in place because more emissions study is required. Veggie oil has been demonstrated to have lower particle and CO2 emissions, but higher nitrogen oxide emissions. “Cooking oil is physically and chemically different from diesel fuel,” the EPA adds, “and its use in conventional engines will generally result in poor emissions and engine durability.”
The EPA, according to Ghafarzade, is more concerned about the government losing out on gas taxes than it is about emissions. Although the EPA has stated that it intends to strengthen enforcement, Ghafarzade claims that he is unconcerned because enforcement is so infrequent.
Getting into trouble is uncommon, but it does happen. Last year, a guy in Charlotte, North Carolina was fined $1,000 for using vegetable oil. State inspectors were looking for illegal fuels when they noticed Bob Teixeira’s “100 percent veggie oil” sticker. He was penalized $.299 cents per gallon for dodging the gas tax, and he was informed he needed to pay a $2,500 bond for tiny fuel consumers. In the end, the state agreed to a reduced fine and requested that the $2,500 bond be waived.
According to John Swanton of the California Air Resources Board, recovered grease improvements “tend to increase the lifetime of the older diesel vehicles that we would really just want to discard,” presumably because newer vehicles are built to comply with higher emissions regulations.
In 1912, engine inventor Rudolf Diesel wrote, “The usage of vegetable oils for engine fuels may appear minor nowadays.” “However, such oils could become as essential as today’s petroleum and coal tar products in the future.”
Can you mix vegetable oil with diesel fuel?
Without being converted to biodiesel, vegetable oil can be used directly as diesel fuel.
The disadvantage is that straight vegetable oil (SVO) is substantially more viscous (thicker) than regular diesel fuel or biodiesel, and it doesn’t burn as well in engines, according to various tests.
BUT, if you use a skilled engine conversion company, it can be done correctly and safely. (For more information, see below.)
- Simply mix it with an organic solvent additive or what some firms refer to as “our secret ingredient that we’ll tell you about if you pay us” (many variants) or up to 20% gasoline (petrol) and go.
- The only way to use veg-oil is in a professionally fitted two-tank system with pre-heated oil that starts and shuts down on diesel fuel (or biodiesel).
We’ve never had much time for Nos. 13 (more on that below), and we’ve had a two-tank SVO kit that pre-heats the oil and swaps the fuel for a couple of years but have never used it. They do work, but we didn’t think they did a good job of solving the problem, and the more we learned about it, the less convinced we became. (Learn more about SVO systems with two tanks.)
We believe that pre-heating the oil, like many others, especially in Europe, is still insufficient to ensure that it will effectively combust inside the engine. It requires a complete system, such as the professional single-tank SVO systems from Germany, which include specially manufactured injector nozzles and glow plugs optimized for veg-oil. Then you can simply plug it in and go.
In March 2005, we installed an Elsbett Technologie single-tank SVO system in our TownAce (1990 Toyota TownAce 1.9-litre 4-cyl turbo-diesel 4×4 van). Modified injector nozzles, stronger glow plugs, dual fuel heating, temperature controls, and parallel fuel filters are all included in the kit, and it accomplishes exactly what it says.
There’s no need to wait or swap fuels; simply start and go, stop and turn off, just like any other car. It starts up effortlessly and operates smoothly right away, even in sub-zero conditions. SVO, biodiesel, petro-diesel, or any combination of the three can be used.
The only SVO kits we recommend are the professional single-tank SVO kits. Continue reading to find out why. We’ll also tell you about the alternative possibilities accessible.
Can a diesel engine run on olive oil?
Biodiesel made from leftover olive oil could be regarded as a diesel fuel replacement if long-term diesel engine tests show positive results.