Re: Bio-diesel is it worth it?
I made bio diesel fuel until I sold my gas station back in '05. I had a full garage set up for production although I only made two 55gal drums a month. I used WVO (waste vegetable oil) and my neighbour at the time agreed to run it in his 98 7.3L. I picked up the oil from local wendy's restaurants (I knew the owner) at no cost to me. It was time consuming to refine the WVO into useable product. Had to filter the oil several times, then extract the fat and mix in some methanol to aid combustion (methanol eats away the rubber hoses).
My neighbour, Dave, decided he wanted to try to run it straight, so we upgraded the fuel hoses to either synthetic rubber or metal where it was viable. We installed a 30 gal fuel cell in the bed of the truck and ran a separate pump and fuel lines to a solenoid under the hood which fed the fuel rails. It took a while to figure it out and get it working but it was the fist time I started up a diesel inside an 800sq ft garage with the doors closed - it smelled like french fries!
It ran fine and didn't cause any injector problems. The low volume I produced was enough for him for one days worth of work a week. In the winter I added coiled copper pipe into the fuel cell and ran engine coolant through the pipe. I plumbed it to go under the front cab and up into the engine bay. It added 5-6L of added capacity overall.
When the days grew colder and the WVO gelled up, you'd start the truck on petrol diesel. When the engine was up to operating temp you'd wait a good five extra minutes and then switch the fuel pump over to the bio tank. When the bio tank went down to 20% capacity (5% of the remaining volume is copper pipe don't forget), you'd switch it back over to regular diesel. It gave him a couple hundred miles driving distance and at minimal cost - just some truck modifications.
Once I get my new career settled down I plan to re-open my operation. Not that I don't like the power stroke diesels, it's easier for me to convert a cummins over to bio diesel fuel. With ever changing emissions it may get more difficult to make fuel that won't effect the computer, but I'll worry about that when the time comes. Changing the house zoning from multi residential over to commercial/industrial takes a while here!
'11 Ram Quad Cab 4x4 SXT 5.7L HEMI (stock); 48,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 64,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 28,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
Amsoil in all vehicles!