WVO: Trying my luck on getting research approved by environmental agencies

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Apr 28, 2015
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Reunion Island
Hi,

As some of you may know, I have a decent personal experience (as a one man thing) with running WVO in diesel cars.
putting almost 80000km on a Peugeot Partner with DW8, BOSCH VE engine helped me to learn some good and some bad practices during which I used up to 6000 liters of filtered WVO along with 1500 liters of ULSD diesel.
This year, sorry if I haven’t took the time to tell the story but personal life was tough, I now have a MB C250TD, model year 1995, and already put 10000km on it with various ratios of WVO almost flawlessly compared to the Peugeot one. I guess the inline diesel pump is for something.

ok, back to the topic: as I’m starting to get known in the restauration field because of my reactivity and professionalism, a supplier reached out to me and asked if I would work with him to collect oils that he would get back when he delivers new fresh oil. Estimated volume starting with 3000 liters a month. the catch is I must get some authorisation to emit receipts when collecting.

so, as I’m doing all this WVO thing not mainly for money but for fun, entertainment, knowledge, waste-empowering… I took a chance and reached out to one local environmental state agency. I explained that I would like to be able to collect, experiment, research and team up and get help with others that might be interested or already working on alternative WVO uses. Basically they said “sure!”

I’m have an appointment on Friday, any suggestion will be appreciated and credits will be given :) if I can make a leap forward doing all this, we all can enjoy it.
 
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Do you have any data on emissions? I am thinking along the lines of CO, CO2, NOx and soot as compared to ULSD. I am sure there is a lot of information in the literature on these emissions from others doing similar things and it would probably help your case to go prepared with some of this information. Also, if you could find information on embodied energy to prepare a gallon of WVO. How much energy was expended to plant and harvest and then process the crop to get a gallon of VO which when used becomes WVO.

These are just basic items that they may ask you and you would look much more professional to them if you went in with this knowledge in hand. Also, since you are on Reunion Island, I would think all ULSD is imported but are oil crops grown on the island? If so, what are they? Can they be converted to VO? How much unused land on the island could be converted to growing VO producing crops? Can the island help its balance of payments by doing this? Try to think of all of the economic factors that would go in your favor and be able to report on them with some figures.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
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FL, USA
Are you talking running straight WVO?
or Processing the WVO through transesterification, which is technically "biodiesel"?
I've done the later, its pretty well researched and was going on 20+ years ago. That generates a fuel that is practically equivalent to Diesel.
But is a somewhat complex process that adds cost.

I'm not sure the details of the former. Seems problematic from engine standpoint - viscosity and coke formation are 2 that come to mind.
WVO varies widely in quality and properties, i guess you know that. So getting a consistent feed or otherwise processing it to be consistent seems critical.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
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A Barrier Island
Several years ago I ran used vegetable oil in my 1982 Volvo diesel. I probably ran 3-4 hundred gallons through it. I would filter it through several increasingly fine grid filters purchased on ebay. Then heat it to remove any water and mix the oil with diesel at about 50%. In the winter I would cut it with some kerosene. It ran great until the VW built 6 cylinder engine quit at about 250K miles. The only problem was the fuel pump began to leak but that might have happened anyway. I got it rebuilt and recalibrated and the engine worked fine after that. The better strategy to using WVO in a diesel is to have a two tank system.

I got plenty of comments on the exhaust fumes having an odor of french fries. The mileage remained always the same as running on pure #2 diesel. No change in engine performance or power.

It was a wonderful experiment. My oil supply eventually dried up as the truckers caught on and used it in their rigs.

1635253057000.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Superflan

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Joined
Apr 28, 2015
Messages
677
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Reunion Island
Do you have any data on emissions? I am thinking along the lines of CO, CO2, NOx and soot as compared to ULSD. I am sure there is a lot of information in the literature on these emissions from others doing similar things and it would probably help your case to go prepared with some of this information. Also, if you could find information on embodied energy to prepare a gallon of WVO. How much energy was expended to plant and harvest and then process the crop to get a gallon of VO which when used becomes WVO.

These are just basic items that they may ask you and you would look much more professional to them if you went in with this knowledge in hand. Also, since you are on Reunion Island, I would think all ULSD is imported but are oil crops grown on the island? If so, what are they? Can they be converted to VO? How much unused land on the island could be converted to growing VO producing crops? Can the island help its balance of payments by doing this? Try to think of all of the economic factors that would go in your favor and be able to report on them with some figures.
I don't have any personal data on emissions, except the opacity measurement that took place with my MB car on 65% WVO at the time, and the results were way better than the averages for this engine, but of course I have no date on NOx and I will ask if there's a lab that can assist on getting actual data
Thanks for all the tips and suggestions on the whole economical picture of WVO ; All cooking oil is imported for now, and my gut tells me that when it's turned into WVO, it's better to use it on the island than exporting it to Africa.
Are you talking running straight WVO?
or Processing the WVO through transesterification, which is technically "biodiesel"?
I've done the later, its pretty well researched and was going on 20+ years ago. That generates a fuel that is practically equivalent to Diesel.
But is a somewhat complex process that adds cost.

I'm not sure the details of the former. Seems problematic from engine standpoint - viscosity and coke formation are 2 that come to mind.
WVO varies widely in quality and properties, i guess you know that. So getting a consistent feed or otherwise processing it to be consistent seems critical.
I'm running straight WVO because I can, but I'm open to doing anything else if it's worh it ; I'm running straight WVO because it's simple and effective on ressources : collect, let it settle, filter the top on 5 microns, discard the rest properly. I'm sure we could run off-grid electricity with this along with the solar panels solutions, agricultural machinery, ...
Several years ago I ran used vegetable oil in my 1982 Volvo diesel. I probably ran 3-4 hundred gallons through it. I would filter it through several increasingly fine grid filters purchased on ebay. Then heat it to remove any water and mix the oil with diesel at about 50%. In the winter I would cut it with some kerosene. It ran great until the VW built 6 cylinder engine quit at about 250K miles. The only problem was the fuel pump began to leak but that might have happened anyway. I got it rebuilt and recalibrated and the engine worked fine after that. The better strategy to using WVO in a diesel is to have a two tank system.

I got plenty of comments on the exhaust fumes having an odor of french fries. The mileage remained always the same as running on pure #2 diesel. No change in engine performance or power.

It was a wonderful experiment. My oil supply eventually dried up as the truckers caught on and used it in their rigs.
I currently use a Intex pool filter with Dacron cartridge, with a 1000µ prefilter. I'm concious that the fuel system will leak at some point, like it did on my Peugeot, the VE pump went pouring oil from all seals and needed a €500 rebuild and recalibration, but it was still worth it (and it was already having small leaks when I bought the car).

I have the same experience with the odor and the mileage, except the engine sounds different on WVO : 80% WVO seems to be the sweet spot on mine for power and sweet sound. On regular diesel it has some diesel clatter, and on 100% WVO some roughness when revving on load

Sorry to hear that you had to stop because someone cut you off :(
 
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I used a crude filtration system like this. Each successive filter had finer plastic mesh. It was cheap and effective. When a filter needed cleaning I'd run it through my dishwasher and reuse it. If you refit your fuel pump with Viton seals the WVO won't attack them; no more leaks. I never got to 80% ratio. I read that high WVO concentration might cause the ring lands to coke up. I think the earlier Benz diesels are more robust and tolerate using WVO better than the VW made engine in my Volvo. I would seek out oil from Chinese restaurants as they tend to change their fryers more frequently than other places. Some of them would charge me a nominal amount. Chinese are shrewd businessmen! BTW, I first got interested in R.I. when it was featured a few years ago on the sailing video 'Delos'. Pretty remote. Have you lived there long?

1635257164841.jpeg
 
Joined
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Messages
574
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FL, USA
I'm running straight WVO because I can, but I'm open to doing anything else if it's worh it ; I'm running straight WVO because it's simple and effective on ressources : collect, let it settle, filter the top on 5 microns, discard the rest properly. I'm sure we could run off-grid electricity with this along with the solar panels solutions, agricultural machinery, ...
Yeah understand, if this has been working for you i'm not sure I would try something more complex.

I guess the only recommendation I have is you might try some type of solids that aids in the settling and perhaps makes it more effective.
Diatomaceous earth is one potential settling aid/filter aid.
 

Superflan

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BTW, I first got interested in R.I. when it was featured a few years ago on the sailing video 'Delos'. Pretty remote. Have you lived there long?
Oh interesting, I just discovered the video:

I was born here, and only went living in Europe from 2006 to 2011 ; I was there the rest of the time
 
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MD
WVO was a big thing 20+ years ago using older Mercedes. There were a number of conversion kits, instructions for tank heaters, etc. as well as bulletin boards and then forum dedicated to it. Searches can most likely find all that info, People got quite advanced at it. Mostly they trashed engines, not wanting to believe what the WVO did to crankcase oil. But we still have people who ask how biodiesel can get in their crankcase. Round and round she goes, and where she'll stop only the EPA knows.
 
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California
WVO was a big thing 20+ years ago using older Mercedes. There were a number of conversion kits, instructions for tank heaters, etc. as well as bulletin boards and then forum dedicated to it. Searches can most likely find all that info, People got quite advanced at it. Mostly they trashed engines, not wanting to believe what the WVO did to crankcase oil. But we still have people who ask how biodiesel can get in their crankcase. Round and round she goes, and where she'll stop only the EPA knows.

Yes and many old VW TDIs with greasecar WVO kits back in the day. Most of those cars had major or catastrophic mechanical failures from WVO and ended up in the junkyard. I personally would never purchase a TDI equipped with a greasecar kit in the trunk no matter how cheap or nice it was. Potential basket case.
 
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