Biodiesel is a road and off road legal alternative to fossil/mineral diesel and red diesel. It has many of the characteristics of normal mineral diesel, but is typically made from vegetable oils.
Running any diesel engine on vegetable oil is not a new concept. The original diesel engine first demonstrated in 1895 by Rudolph Diesel was designed to run on vegetable oil.Biodiesel has been available for many years as a mainstream fuel in the major vehicle manufacturing countries such as Germany, the USA and across Europe.
By producing biodiesel we are also recycling and that is good for the environment.
You may be surprised to learn that far from being an inferior, home produced fuel, biodiesel is better for your car engine and the environment than fossil based fuels such as petrol and regular forecourt diesel.
Fuel prices are rising steadily all the time and with higher and unpredictable prices at the pumps, many people are turning to either making biodiesel or purchasing it already made from a supplier.
With the former option, making biodiesel safely should be a priority. With the latter, finding a biodiesel supplier near enough to become economical can often prove difficult, and of course this is a more expensive option.
By making biodiesel at home it should be possible to produce your alternative fuel from waste vegetable oil ready to go in you tank at a fraction of the cost of forecourt fuel. If you choose to use new oil the savings are not as spectacular but you will still see a significant saving on forecourt diesel pump prices.
Types of Vegetable Fuel
There are three options to consider when using vegetable oil, however we would only recommend option three - home produced biodiesel.
Straight Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is around five times more viscous or thicker than regular diesel. A diesel engine would need to be modified to cope with this increased viscosity to ensure the oil flows freely through the fuel system and into the combustion chamber.
This can be accomplished either by preheating and so thinning the oil before it enters the injectors, or by installing a double tank system where the car is run on normal diesel until warm and then switched over to biodiesel.
Another problem can be that oil has different chemical properties and combustion characteristics from the fuel that most diesel engines are designed to use. In newer cars with precise tuning systems this can cause problems. In addition to this there is the cost of the conversion and warranty issues to consider.
Vegetable oil can be mixed with other fuels or solvents to lower its viscosity.
When mixing vegetable oil with forecourt diesel this should be limited to 20% oil to 80% diesel.
This method is not a good environmental option as it still involves using a fossil based fuel.
Some people have experimented with solvents such as white spirit or paint thinner. This is not recommended because performance and the long-term effect on engine wear are both unknown quantities.
Making your own Biodiesel
This is without doubt the best option.
Biodiesel will work in most diesel engines, meaning that no modifications or conversions are needed.
It is clean and safe, and has good lubrication properties for the engine.
You also have the satisfaction of producing your own fuel and your chance to smile as you drive past your local garage!
Can I use home produced biodiesel in my car and will it need any modifications?
Biodiesel can used in most conventional, unmodified diesel engines.
To make Biodiesel you need a good step by step guide and the best one is
is a clean burning renewable source of fuel made from new or waste vegetable oil. Straight vegetable oil (SVO) is new, unused cooking oil, and waste vegetable oil (WVO) is used oil that until the biofuel revolution was often dumped in landfill sites.http://www.howtomake-biodiesel.com
the cost of this guide is far less than the savings from your first tank of fuel so is a wise investment.