Thursday, 7 June 2007

Drive your diesel vehicle on used chip fat!

It's Green Transport Week from 16 - 24 June and at work I'm putting together a briefing paper on greening vehicles that includes information on using waste vegetable oil as a vehicle fuel. I thought some readers here might be interested:

Running Buses on Waste Vegetable Oil

This is perhaps a step only for the committed environmentalist! Before going ahead with any conversion please speak to a technical expert

Restaurants that fry a lot of food need to pay to get their waste cooking oil disposed of safely. Oil is difficult to dispose of and can cause environmental problems. However diesel engines can easily be adapted to run on used food oils. Waste vegetable oil (WVO) is the most environmentally friendly fuel and can be very inexpensive. It can be used straight or converted into bio-diesel.

Most bio-diesels require fuel plants to be grown on land that otherwise would be used for foods, or require rainforests to be cut down, neither of which are environmentally friendly solutions. Using WVO however solves both the problem of how to dispose of the waste oil and how to find an environmentally friendly vehicle fuel.

Converting your diesel vehicle to run on bio-diesel manufactured from WVO requires no modification to the engine and can be done in a few days. If done properly, it will not damage your car and shouldn’t significantly affect the resale value. However please consult a technical expert or a garage about the suitability of WVO for your vehicle.

There is some work involved in collecting used vegetable oil and filtering it – most users find that a few hours every few weeks is enough, and walking into a restaurant asking for used cooking oil can be an entertaining way to start a conversation!


Big Green Bus ‘change the world one veggie oil powered bus at a time’ (USA)

Grease Not Gas information on using used food oil in a bus.

Good Grease Online forum for discussing conversion of vehicles to waste vegetable oils. (USA)

VegOil Motoring UK site on converting your vehicle

Notes on converting to waste cooking oils (USA)

Service buses running on WVO in Maidenhead (UK)


Whirling Dervish said...


Thanks for your comment on my recent post about reducing our carbon footprints- and I will happily plant a tree in your honor! 1 down, 1 to go..!

I'll send you a picture of the tree I plant..:)

Anonymous said...

Biodiesel fuel has API regulations and mix recommendations based on engine manufacturer (i.e. B5, B20, B50, etc.)

However, the base stock, from which the "bio" portion is derived is not regulated. Beware the use of animal-fat in any base stock due to its very likely effect on fuel injectors and fuel filters.

Vegetable oil - base stock is often a good solution. Be sure to check with your diesel engine manufacturer for their recommendations.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Good point about the animal fat, Steve, thanks!

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