It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Does anyone here make their own Biodiesel?

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 23 2013 @ 02:04 PM
At first, this was going to be kind of a future SHTF idea. But, when comparing $0.90 a gallon (to make your own) to $4.00 a gallon for diesel, and me driving an hour to my job and an hour back each day....well, it suddenly is a much more attractive NOW investment.

I can get a 40 gallon kit for around $1500 (and additional needed supplies for about $300), but this is all startup stuff. This would really pay for itself relatively quickly. I've done some preliminary research, and I know that the FIRST thing I have to do is find a fast food restaurant as a supplier. There are a few near me, including a McDonalds, so that is the first step.

But, I'm wondering if anyone else here has done this or is doing this, and what other challenges they had, recommendations, etc.?

posted on May, 23 2013 @ 02:11 PM
I tried it, and made some, but unless you can reclaim your methanol you are losing money.
A four litre jug of methyl hydrate costs about $10.00 here.

Now, how much fuel do you need to distill your methanol back to re-use?

posted on May, 23 2013 @ 02:14 PM
forget miccy dees they use theirs for there own vehicles in the uk anyway get a hotwater tank from a house renovation or scrap yard /white spirits or ethanol if you stay near a refinery .

a few good filters and heat overnight add a small drop of oil to mix and of you go easy peasy ?

posted on May, 23 2013 @ 02:20 PM
Remember when it first got released in the UK - you couldn't get cooking oil due to the fact everyone was using it for their cars till the price went up and these days its pretty much the same as normal fuel price in proportion

It's probably ok if you can get a guaranteed supply but other than waste dealers/fast food joints who's going to have enough to make it worth while?

posted on May, 23 2013 @ 02:24 PM
reply to post by Gazrok

From the US here Gazrok. My brother tries to make his own bio diesel using old frying oil that restaurants usually throw out.

He has been doing it for a few years, BUT he is really having a difficult time finding any restaurants that are willing to give it up. It seems that there are companies out there that are setting up contracts with bars/restaurants to come and claim their used frying oil............

Conspiracy?? Not sure, but it definitely seems like (in the case of using old frying oil) that little guys will find the trouble isn't worth the savings....

posted on May, 23 2013 @ 02:45 PM
First of all DO NOT buy some kit for $1500, you will be spending about $1200 more than you need to spend if what you want to do is run a diesel vehicle off of an alternative fuel source. I have 2 tractors at our house that run off of recycled cooking oil as well as my daily driver truck. My truck is a military surplus AGO-10, its a 1 1/2 ton 1984 Chevy chassis with a 6.2 ltr GM diesel and I run cooking oil everywhere I go.

My set up is a very simple and inexpensive design that my father and I came up with to run his diesel generator about 15 yrs ago. It's quite simple to do with a little knowledge and self engineering.

I get used cooking oil from the local restaraunts in the area we live in for free since it is considered a hazmat and they have to pay to dispose of it. Once I get my 55gallon drum of cooking oil home I filter it very good through a filtration system I made that consists of an electric fluid pump and 2 standard NAPA 10 micron oil filters. You can buy the pump for about $75 if you search online and the oil filters are about $10 a piece plus about $20 each for the 2 filter housings.

Once I run the oil through my filtration system I filter it again through a canister filter that I converted over from a Detroit 8V92 canister oil filter. I use the same pump for this filtration that I use for the first filter so there's no need to purchase 2 pumps, I just put a set of hydraulic quick couplers on the lines so I can change which filter system I use quick and easily. Instead of using the original filter element for the Detroit canister filter I went with a 5 micron filter that can be purchased for about $15.

Once I have filtered the used cooking oil through both of my filtration systems it is ready to put in the tank and run, almost.

Since used cooking oil has a higher viscosity rating than diesel at room temperature you need to pre-heat the cooking oil so that it will thin out and loose some of its viscosity. This is quite easy to do. The first thing I did when converting my truck and tractors to run off cooking oil was to remove the fuel tank from the vehicle and install a heater core inside the fuel tank. I did this by cutting a hole in the top of the fuel tank and braising a copper heater core into the side of the tank with the 2 nipples of the heater core (inlet and outlet) coming through the side of the tank. I then welded the top of the tank that I had removed back on and reinstalled the tank into the vehicle.

I then spliced into my heater hoses coming from the thermostat housing and the bypass outlet on the engine and ran heater hoses to the heater core in my fuel tank. I then installed a separate, small tank in my truck to hold diesel that is used to start and run the truck until it reaches 195 degrees (you may have to put a 195 thermostat in your vehicle) at which time I use a dual tank switching valve to switch from the diesel tank to the cooking oil tank and off I go. I think I paid $65 for a universal tank switching valve from Autozone and for my small diesel tank I used a pony keg that was laying around in my shop.

I drive my truck 60+ miles round trip everyday to and from work and have noticed no real drop in my fuel economy versus diesel. Even this winter when it was -30 as long as I plugged my truck in at night and gave it 20 mins to warm up in the mornings it would run just fine.

I live in a very small county in central North Dakota of about 2,000 people. We have 2 restaurants here and there are 3 in the town where I work. I pick up the used cooking oil once a month from each restaurant and I end up with about 120 gallons a month of free fuel. I am soon going to start collecting from other restaurants in the surrounding counties so I can have a stockpile of fuel in case of emergency. I would eventually like to have about 700 gallons on hand as I discovered this winter that I can run my old fuel oil furnace off of used cooking oil also.

in a large city you should have no problem getting hold of used cooking oil from various restaurants, I would just focus on small mom and pop family owned restaurants. Most of your franchise chains will have too many regulations and corporate policies to contend with.

posted on May, 23 2013 @ 03:12 PM
I can vouch for the Restaurants getting paid money for their used OIL. I use to own a restaurant and for a time you did have to pay to dispose your used oil, then people started showing up offering to pay you for the oil.

There are a few biodiesel distributors here but they charge you less than a dollar of what the current price is of diesel, hence i didn't find it worth risking my warranty and possible engine damage (although unlikely) for less than a dollar savings.

I would love to do it myself as well, but it seems a bit of a pain in the arse.

posted on May, 23 2013 @ 03:45 PM
That's kind of where I'm at with it. It has to really be worth the hassle to do now. As for making my own kit, I just would feel more comfortable with a purchased kit, I mean, for something going into my truck.

Warranty isn't an issue, that's long since gone, but I still don't want to risk engine damage either. So, the more error I could remove from the process, the better. The real key before even starting, is to find out about the restaurant angle. If I have to pay for it (the used oil), really isn't worth doing. Though, I would like to have the option as a SHTF backup, I won't invest the money without being able to take advantage of it now. Instead, I'd just keep the plans onhand, and build after a SHTF event instead.

posted on May, 23 2013 @ 04:01 PM
My friends dad used to run an old volvo on restaurant oil.
I'm sure after filtering the oil he just added 1ml turpentine / white spirits to 1ltr oil and it worked great with no other modifications to the car.

posted on May, 23 2013 @ 05:54 PM
do not use heating oil as it will knacker the seals in your fuel pump the volkswagen engine range over in europe installed in ford galaxy / seat people carriers can run on straight oil .or if you are near a harbour see somebody for cheap fuel ??

posted on May, 23 2013 @ 06:24 PM
reply to post by Nucleardiver

Thanks for the info!! That confirms the information that I remember reading a few years back, especially the dual tank deal..

I do remember that the aux "reg" diesel tank was used as you said for starting and warming up the bio, but seem to remember that it was also important to swtich back to aux "reg" diesel prior to shut down, to be sure the lines have been purged of the bio?

Does that make sense, or am I remembering that aspect incorrectly?

posted on May, 23 2013 @ 06:37 PM
While cooking oil will work with little or no changes in a diesel,you need to understand the viscosity issue.Imagine oil and grease,one's a lot thicker than the other,thats why it needs to be preheated.Deep fryer oil comes in a big white block like crisco or lard,and if cooled,will return to a big white block,or brown if well used.Major restuarants sell it to recycling centers,and you really don't want to hear those stories..Yes,I worked there! Years ago trailer life magazine got a hold of a toyota diesel,heard the rumors,and started trying to use veggie oil in it with NO changes.They got it running on 100 percent veggie,and only a little noticable power loss.

posted on May, 24 2013 @ 08:02 AM
reply to post by JacKatMtn

Interesting. I have 3 different tanks in my diesel truck, a large auxiliary tank and a front and rear tank, and can switch between them. It's obvious though, that I should continue doing some research in this area. If it is truly cost effective, I don't mind doing the work and making the investment, but has to be a good savings, for me to go through all of this.
edit on 24-5-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 25 2013 @ 10:01 AM
reply to post by Gazrok

you are already most of the way there,just need to heat one of the tanks now.I hate to say it,but with the cost of oil and the effort to the swap,I doubt you'll save much,but having the option is nice.Now if we can figure out how to make the oil at home from yard clippings

posted on May, 26 2013 @ 12:27 AM
I ran chip oil for about a year in my diesel. I have a two tank setup so aux tank was diesel and main tank was a mix of oil and diesel ratio of about 80Lt of oil 20Lt of diesel worked fine with no mods.

The BIGGEST thing I can recommend is cold filter your oil down to 1-5mic. Filtering it cold will get rid of all the fatty deposits that re-solidify with heat but can still clog up your filters. Always start and stop on diesel as previously stated in other posts above.

By the way I stopped cause I'm batf$%ck lazy.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 10:07 PM
Look up making Bio diesel from the Jatropha plant. Makes 2000 gallons from 1 acres. U of FL and Boeing have done a lot of research and thinks it could be the future

posted on Jun, 11 2013 @ 10:05 AM
reply to post by TimeOfZera

Yep, thanks, I just read an article on that the other day even.... It really sounds promising, but I can wait until there is more data on it. In a SHTF scenario especially, being able to make it from a replenishable crop is the way to go.

new topics

top topics


log in