Restaurants' on-site waste cooking oil recovery, refinement, & retail Vegetable Oil (VO) Diesel Fuel

Farmers' pressed VO Diesel Fuel too!

Vegetable Oil (VO) Fuel Savings

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Yes; so long as they have diesel engines and are installed with a vegetable oil (VO) fuel retrofit that heats the oil before engine injection. Since diesels are compression-ignition and move the pistons with a combination of fuel injection timing and chamber pressure, thus not requiring a spark as with conventional gas cars, they are able to run VO that has been heated to reduce its viscosity, or resistance to flow, so that the flow is similar to that of diesel fuel. The VO temperature “sweet spot” for viscosity comparable to that of diesel fuel at about 39 SSU (4 centistokes) is about 167 degrees F, as shown in the chart linked here.
Yes; Volvo, Mercedes, and Peugeot & Citroen all recently approved of hydro-treated (hydrogen reacted) Vegetable Oil fuel. While hydrotreating vegetable oil fuel makes it chemically similar to conventional "diesel" fuel, that process is even more expensive than the biodiesel process while also creating a propane byproduct, and yet still requiring pre-heating in cold weather.

In support of the Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) model, our friends at Elsbett, inventors of the Turbo Direct Inject Diesel (TDI), have also invented the Elsbett Engine; not yet mass-produced for lack of a Vegetable Oil Fuel Standard which our stations will provide. Their engineering associates are also featured extensively in our list of 800 Vegetable Oil Fuel conversion kits available worldwide.
There are numerous VO conversion companies in the US and worldwide; most of whom sell two-tank VO retrofit kits that redirect the engine coolant from the heat exchanger through enclosed piping or hosing in a separate VO tank. The heat that the coolant brings to the tank, with a subsequent coolant or electrically heated filter and fuel line, brings the VO to engine operation temperature before switchover from conventional diesel fuel. Some VO retrofit manufacturers market single tank systems, which require a block heater for preheating VO before engine startup in colder climates; and include the heated filter and fuel line. Additionally, they may swap the stock glow plugs for hotter, longer lasting custom glow plugs; as well as the injectors for injectors that optimize injector shape and direction for VO fuel while also optimizing injector timing.
Most VO conversion companies now offer automatic VO switchover, which makes running VO fuel in your diesel much easier than back in the day when VO drivers had to observe the VO temperature from a dash gauge and manually switch from diesel to VO once it increased to engine operating temperature. Also, please bear in mind that at the end of your trip, you must “purge” your engine of VO fuel so that it does not begin to polymerize within the engine – a potential problem that could cause component failure if not addressed through best practices. Unfortunately, single tank VO systems are not available for all vehicle makes and models; as different vehicles have different injector pumps, particulate filters, and possibly computer operating systems that may not take well to a single tank conversion.
Dr. Rudolf Diesel indeed ran VO in the first diesel engine; and even had a vision that farmers could grow and run their own fuel. But the diesel engine was augmented to run a waste byproduct of petroleum; this byproduct was renamed “diesel” to make it seem like the appropriate fuel for these magnanimous engines; and the concept of VO as a fuel almost disappeared for lack of research, testing, and general industrial support.
The Energy Policy Act of 1992, or EPAct, includes in its definition of alternative fuel: “fuels, other than alcohol, derived from biological materials.” VO fuels, derived from nuts, seeds, and other plants, are certainly included in this definition. Some insurance companies will not insure vehicles running VO fuel due to a lack of EPA VO retrofit approval; which itself is due to a lack of VO fuel, component, and maintenance standards and subsequent tax collection capacity; addressed by both our Flowtration Stations and the standards to be endorsed by our sister site VOFITA (Vegetable Oil Fuel Industry Trade Association). We know of one insurer that explicitly encourages alternative fuels such as VO fuel: Better World Club.
100th Grease Monkey manufactures the “Flowtration Station” – an integrated VO refinery / fueling station that will be distributed to a nearby restaurant. The restaurant pours the cooking oil only into the station; the station refines it automatically; and then you can simply purchase your VO fuel with a debit or credit card, just like any conventional gas pump.
Our Flowtration Stations, “Pure by Product and Process” ™, disallow hydrogenated cooking oil, as it is too thick for our pumps and filters at normal temperatures; and require refined oil that minimizes phosphorous, which may cause pitting in diesel engines. We also require food establishments to pour cooking oil only into our stations, with solids and other foodstuffs dumped into their renderers’ or compost bin, to eliminate cooking oil contamination. Most restaurant cooking oils, if heated to a consistent temperature with a minimum high enough to prevent clouding during the standard process, have very similar in-vehicle flows at engine temp due to very similar viscosity ranges (excluding hydrogenated oils and animal cooking fats, though residual fried animal fats are burned off with heat after our station minimzes water and particulates). Additionally, we use only non-VO-reactive materials in the Flowtration Stations’ construct, such as aluminum tanks and piping and norprene or buna-n hoses; and all of our stations are “tuned” to consistently heat and filter all waste cooking oil to a minimal water parts per million and particulate micron content level. More details on our Standards Page.
When first running VO fuel in a used diesel vehicle, you will want to change the oil and fuel filter at least twice within your first 5000 – 10000 miles. This is due to the high detergent properties of VO fuel, which lead to a “detox” effect on the petrol diesel sludge that will have been built up in the system beforehand. You will want to use bio-based oil lubricants that better bind to the VO fuel. Routine maintenance thereafter includes cleaning your auxiliary VO tank and purging your fuel injectors every 7500 – 10000 miles. We recommend getting your local mechanic VOFITA certified so that he or she knows exactly how to service your VO diesel vehicle.
You will notice much smoother acceleration on VO fuel compared to diesel, thanks to VO fuel’s increased lubricity over conventional diesel; and very similar miles per gallon.
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VO fuel sees across-the-board emissions reduction to conventional diesel fuel; as noted in our About Page. Although more testing must be performed for various vehicles, bottom line is that if enough folks drive on VO fuel, we will see a dramatic worldwide reduction in carbon and other pollutants. In fact, running VO fuel is considered “carbon neutral” since the plants used to produce VO absorb more carbon during their growth cycle than their oil emits when used as fuel.
There are conversion companies that work with medium haul and big rig trucks; having already logged hundreds of thousands of miles on VO fuel. We are capable of setting up closed loop systems with your food delivery endpoints with locked-in long-term prices, so long as they use enough cooking oil to accommodate your rig, and the setup is profitable for all involved. You will save on fuel and maintenance costs; not only from discounted fuel, but also by dramatically reducing the frequency of your conventional diesel station fueling stops. Please message us for details.
We automatically discount the VO fuel prices at our stations from the regional diesel prices reported by the United States Energy Information Administration. Our partner conversion companies offer various kits for various diesel vehicle makes and models at varying prices, but with a carbon fee on its way, diesel engines' inherent 40% higher efficiency than their gasoline counterparts, and VO conversion kit cost reductions, you will pay less for fuel.