Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Science

Run Your Car on Grease 362

Posted by michael
from the obligatory-earth-day-post dept.
i22y writes "With Greasel instead of Diesel in your tank, you can pull up to Jack-In-The-Box and fill up both your stomach and your gas tank. Run your car on old fryer grease and vegetable oil! Obligatory pictures and FAQ."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Run Your Car on Grease

Comments Filter:
  • Hey! (Score:5, Funny)

    by mdvolm (68424) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:14PM (#5785436) Homepage
    ... but that was my retirement grease!
    • Re:Hey! (Score:5, Funny)

      by BabyDave (575083) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:17PM (#5785473)

      My favourite bit from that one has to be

      Homer: Marge, if you don't mind, I'm a little busy right now achieving financial independence.
      Marge: With cans of grease?
      Homer: [sarcastically] No! Through savings and wise investment. Of course with grease.

      • Re:Hey! (Score:5, Funny)

        by Galvatron (115029) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @10:20PM (#5786547)
        Willie: Lunchlady Doris, have ye got any grease?
        Doris: Yes, yes we do.
        Willie: [ripping shirt] Then grrrease me up, woman!
        Doris: Okey-dokey.
      • Re:Hey! (Score:2, Funny)

        by xombo (628858)
        And this one

        Bart: Dad, isn't mom going to be mad about us ruing her car?
        Homer: If she didn't want me to ruin her car, she shouldn't have left her keys laying around the house.
    • Re:Hey! (Score:2, Funny)

      by bobbyt (260013)
      (homer with alcohol car at pumps)
      "Some for you, some for me, some for you..."
  • Slip slidin' away
    Slip slidin' away
    You know the nearer your destination
    The more you're slip slidin' away
  • or (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:14PM (#5785445) Journal
    you could turn turkey guts and plastics into oil and oil products! [discover.com]

    Does this look legit? I am always wary of this kind of stuff, but there's no obvious reasons to doubt it - it isn't making fantastic claims...
    • Re:or (Score:3, Informative)

      by justinland (602871)
      Yes, it's legit, bio-diesel even predates petroleum by about 15 years. It is still used in farm machinery, and here in Northern California, it's slowly becoming a fad, I'm seeing lots of bio-mercedes and bio run vw passats. It burns on par with petroleum based diesel, it's not any better for the environment, but it's great for the agri-industry and bad for the oil industry.
      • Not enough crops (Score:5, Informative)

        by theedge318 (622114) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @09:01PM (#5786146)
        BioDiesel is a great idea, but there is a very good reason why it hasn't taken off. BioDisiel promoters are right about it being great for the environment, but no one is willing to develop it for production (even the very interested VW).

        Reason, if BioDiesel were to challenge regular gasoline/petrol, it would require a lot of vegetables. While it is true that the U.S. is actually over-producing crops, and thus having to pay farmers not to grow crops. There still isn't enough plants to produce BioDiesel for everyone, even if all of those fields were fully cultivated.

        Facts Canada produces 50 mil. tons of relevant crops, and it would only need 10 mil. tons to power a country of BioDiesel cars. However the rest of the world does not have the same grain surplus as Canada, most other countries are at a deficit, and purchase Canada's surplus. The US. production although higher, has smaller surplus levels, and greater demand for combustible products.
        • by gpinzone (531794) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @09:06PM (#5786176) Homepage Journal
          Yeah, and I'm sure we won't be hated even more as a country that burns food rather than eating it. Etheopians will be screaming "Blood for corn!" instead of oil. Either way, the USA loses.
        • by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday April 23, 2003 @02:42AM (#5787466) Homepage
          Nope, that is not the reason.

          Here is why:

          1. In all countries that have reasonable diesel uptake to be interested in BioDiesel the government earns a considerable amount through fuel tax. As a result they are scared shitless of any chance for people to manufacture fuel themselves. A good example is UK where the Customs and Excise department staged ambushes on roads in Wales last year to stop cars that do not smell of abnoxious gasoline fumes and require them to immediately present a document that proves that their fuel has paid fuel duty. Any cars that could not prove this on the spot were impounded. Considering that in the UK you do not even need to carry a driving license with you to drive you can judge by yourself how scared the treasury is. It is the same as with the use of natural gas. The UK government has done anything in their power to make sure that the uptake of that one is only token and very low and is done in a way that cannot use household gas so that it does not hit their revenue stream.

          1.1. To add to 1, despite the fact that Biodiesel has a flash point of 300 degrees plus and is as safe to handle as fuel can get government still classes it as car fuel for storage purposes so that people who can buy bulk cannot store it (UK has an ancient wartime law that prohibits the storage of more then 20l of petrol outside a car fuel tank without a license).

          2. Biodiesel is manufactured at the moment largely from recycled oil that will have to be disposed of (usually burned) because it is an extreme environmental pollutant. To produce Biodiesel stuff is filtered through HEPA and some of the more obnoxious soluble impurities are removed by running it past an absorbent. It is also usually dried from excess water. In civilised countries the food producers (including the ones that produce bulk rate bakery and supermarket foods) are required to dispose of the oil in a legit manner. AFAIK at the moment less then 0.001% is used.
        • Re:Not enough crops (Score:3, Informative)

          by noeffred (594971)
          In Austria this is not entirely true. "Bio Diesel" (which was in fact created here) is very popular for agricutlutral vehicles, such as harvesting machines and tractors. Many farmers do nothing but grow crops for the bio diesel production. A Friend of mine runs his car off salad oil which works just as good. You have to add some "normal" Diesel though in either case. Your engine greses a bit faster with these. And not every engine is able to run properly on Bio-Diesel (so some say)

          By the way, when a car
    • Re:or (Score:5, Informative)

      by kfx (603703) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:44PM (#5785711)
      It is in fact real and scientifically sound (tried submitting it earlier but got rejected...); widespread deployment of these plants could eliminate the need for landfills, while also making oil dirt cheap. As an added bonus, they can refine previously unusable types of petroleum, and break down inorganic substances into reusable raw minerals as well. Understandably, Japan for one is VERY interested in this... Philadelphia is looking at deploying these plants as well as soon as they see how viable it is on a larger scale.
      • by sbjornda (199447) <sbjornda@hotmai l . com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @10:04PM (#5786480)
        (tried submitting it earlier but got rejected...)
        I tried too with similar results. There's also a briefer on-line description here [springfiel...leader.com] for those who don't want to look at the paper-based article in Discover - though it really is worth reading. It's worth stressing: The Thermal Depolymerization process can convert anything with a carbon atom into petroleum, safely. Even dioxins. This story should blow the heard-it-all-before "Greasel" story right out of the water. There's no justice on /.

        .nosig

        • by kfx (603703)
          Thats the thing about this process--it doesnt require special equipment in your car, but breaks ANY organic matter into gasoline, light oil (which can be further refined into gasoline), water, and leftover minerals; it can refine leftovers from normal crude refineries, and can refine coal into a clean, fast burning powder. It can also be used just to break down comuters and appliances into raw minerals and metals for reuse. They say the only thing it can't do is nuclear waste, which understandably would sti
        • "for those who don't want to look at the paper-based article in Discover"

          Here is the online version of the article. [discover.com]

          (Apologies if someone already posted the link.)
      • Oil forever? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by uglomera (138796)
        So we get all the organic waste and turn it into useful organic stuff. This means oil is here to stay, and get cheaper, so the air is not getting any cleaner. I thought we didn't want to use oil forever!
    • about using grease in cars in the uk Fry and Drive [guardian.co.uk]
    • Re:or (Score:5, Informative)

      by Patoski (121455) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:54PM (#5785796) Homepage Journal
      I can assure you that it is legit. Apparently they're doing a nationwide rolling tour as they stopped by the town I'm currently living in. To get fuel for the next stop they dropped by the local Chinese take-out place and relieved them of some of their waste grease. They pulled out of town leaving an exhaust trail that smelled like shrimp fried rice. :-)

      Very cool...
      • Re:or (Score:3, Funny)

        by bill_mcgonigle (4333)
        They pulled out of town leaving an exhaust trail that smelled like shrimp fried rice.

        OK, yeah, I'm gonna sit in traffic for two hours breathing shrimp fried-rice, donuts, and fried chicken, then get home and have a nice salad and a blanched chicken breast. Right.

        Save the planet, pork up its populous - interesting dilemma.
  • Jack in the box (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvilTwinSkippy (112490) <yoda AT etoyoc DOT com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:14PM (#5785450) Homepage Journal
    Hmmm... which is more deadly now. The car or the fuel...
  • by chrisseaton (573490) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:14PM (#5785452) Homepage
    Haven't they been doing this in Wales or Ireland or something a while ago? I remember a BBC radio news item about police stopping and checking people's cars (it's illegal, you see).
    • I don't think they have to stop the cars to check. They should be able to tell by driving behind them. Apparently a nice side effect is that the exhaust smells like french fries (or some other fast food - I can't remember exactly what).
      • They should be able to tell by driving behind them. Apparently a nice side effect is that the exhaust smells like french fries (or some other fast food - I can't remember exactly what).

        Dang! I hate being behind those guys. I get hungry, fat and acne just from being in a traffic jam during rush hour....
    • by chrisseaton (573490) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:22PM (#5785539) Homepage
      Here y'all go, it's already been done in Wales [bbc.co.uk] (2002) (it wasn't illegal) and Tokyo [bbc.co.uk] (1998).
      • by afidel (530433)
        Actually there was a case where a gentleman in the UK was cited for tax evasion for using homebrew biodiesel because his fuel was not taxed and hence he was not doing his part to maintain the roads.
    • by Hieronymus Howard (215725) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:25PM (#5785560)
      It's not illegal in the UK if you pay tax on the biodiesel. The problem (as far as the government was concerned) is that people were running their cars on fish'n'chip oil without paying any fuel tax.

      Asda (Walmart) in the UK now run their fleet of delivery lorries on recycled donut frying oil.

      HH
      --
      • yeah, but the thing I don't understand is how can they formulate a tax law in such generic terms that automagically anything you run your car on becomes 'fuel' and has to be taxed.

        What is going to stop the UK government from, for example, adding another tax to electricity if it's used to recharge a car's batteries? and what about fuel cells?

        If I lived in the UK I'd be kind of pissed...
        • What is going to stop the UK government from, for example, adding another tax to electricity if it's used to recharge a car's batteries? and what about fuel cells?

          That's kind of the point: fuel tax is supposed to pay for road maintenance.

        • Right, because the money to repair and upgrade the roads just falls from the sky. What kind of gumdrop-tree candycane-lane place do you live?
      • "The problem (as far as the government was concerned) is that people were running their cars on fish'n'chip oil without paying any fuel tax."

        OK, so let me get this straight: The government is unhappy that you're not paying a tax on more environment-fuel, a tax that was supposed to convince you to use more environment-friendly alternatives to begin with.

        You know there's too much bureaucracy when...
        • Hey, Oregon is wanting to put GPS gear in your car, so they can tax you based on miles travelled, rather than by gallon of gas, which takes away the benefit of better mileage. Might as well get that SUV, since you will pay the same taxes.

          Here in NC, I just filled up. $1.49 a gallon for unleaded. Over $0.42 of that is taxes. I guess that is not enough for them.
      • Asda (Walmart) in the UK now run their fleet of delivery lorries on recycled donut frying oil.


        Mmmm...I'll bet the exhaust smells delicious!

    • There is a BBC news article about Welsh Police impounding cars because the owners used cooking oil as fuel without paying fuel tax here [bbc.co.uk].
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The original car engines could run on just about anything - until the big diesel and gasoline companies bought the patent for the engine, and converted it to run on only what it does today.

    Seems to me like this is just a step back towards the original engines which could run on just about anything.
    • From the FAQ [greasel.com]:

      Did Greasel discover that diesel engines will run on cooking oil?
      No. The first diesel engines (invented by Rudolf Diesel in the late 1800's) were actually designed to run on plant oils. Immediately after Rudolf's untimely demise, his colleagues (who were just then tapping the resources of petro-based fuel sources) swept his veggie ideas under the rug and actually converted his design to run on petro-based 'diesel' fuel (which they were nice enough to name after him).


      (Emphasis mine)
    • Bullshit conspiracy theory. Standard internal combustion engines can not possibly burn anything other than gasoline or maybe alcohol. There were some experimental fuels for them, but you don't get nearly the same power density and they aren't as easy to get. Diesel engines can run on many things, but diesel fuel is pretty much a byproduct of gasoline production, so it was cheap and convenient.
    • Apparently, the Dr Rudolf Diesel ran his original engines on peanut oil [earthsci.org]

      HH
      --
  • by spiffy_guy (30225) <spiffy&babel,acu,edu> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:15PM (#5785457) Homepage Journal
    People have been making "Biodesiel" for years now. This is nothing new. A little lye and some vegetable oil is all it takes.

    What is interesting is that it is still cheaper to buy real desiel than vegetable oil. Where biodesiel has an advantage is in recycling used vegetable oil that is no longer food quality but is with a little work good enough to burn in your car/airplane. Unfortunatly there is not enough of this to make a real dent in the American desiel usage.
    • by atomicdragon (619181) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:35PM (#5785639)

      I worked for a small company performing research into alterations to diesel engines. One of the things we played with was vegetable oil and biodiesel. Biodiesel is a great fuel since it produces no net carbon dioxide (all of the carbon in it was pulled from the air by the plants) and it lacks the sulfur found in normal diesel.

      You can also run an engine on straight vegetable oil, which is different from biodiesel. The only problem is that the oil is really thick, so you have to start and stop the engine with normal fuel to heat it up, then switch to the vegetable oil after a minute or two. I've heard of products that will do this automatically for vehicles, but we just switched fuels manually. Although it doesn't burn to well, and the fuel economy is not a good as diesel (as in volume of fuel/power) but the pollution is not that bad. There is a slight increase in the particulates (smoke) produced, but otherwise its comparable to normal diesel without the sulfur. Also (this being appreciated more when you're standing around the engine all day) the smell of fries is a decent change from normal exhaust.

    • This is not Biodiesel. This engine mod runs on straight vegetable oil without any processing other than filtering. Grease is usually too viscous to be used directly but this system preheats it to make it flow better.
    • by BigBlockMopar (191202) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:14PM (#5785925) Homepage

      People have been making "Biodesiel" for years now. This is nothing new. A little lye and some vegetable oil is all it takes.

      That's not even necessary.

      I worked at a McDonalds in high school (about 1991), and one of the maintenance guys had an old (even then!) mid-1970s VW Rabbi (someone chiselled off the T for the fun of it) which was running on used shortening.

      Actually, the guy was bright and knew a lot about cars, though he had no formal education. He built a system into an old gas can which rested on a "hot plate" heated by engine coolant. McDonalds filters their oil every day, and on those days on the schedule when it was being replaced, he'd just run it through the McDonalds filtration pump and into the gas cans.

      The shortening would thicken, but when he was driving, he'd wait until the engine was warm and the oil was liquid, then throw the valve over to run it off the shortening. The fuel line was a copper tube taped against the lengths of copper plumbing pipe carring the hot coolant to the "hot plate" in the cargo area of the hatchback. Running out of fuel was no big deal - when the engine started to sputter, he'd flip the valve back to diesel off his regular tank, then at the next stop, he'd swap the gas can sitting on the hot plate. The pickup tube was hacked into the cap of a gas can, so the car sucked the oil right out of the gas can.

      Riding in that car with him from Ottawa to Toronto (for a Ramones concert) in the dead of winter, I found only two small problems. One, the interior of the car was damned hot because of the hot plate. Two... the car - and I mean *the whole car*, from interior to exhaust - smelled like Chicken McNuggets. Sometimes, Filet-O-Fish.

      On the other hand, the fuel was free, it was filtered with McDonalds specially-designed oil-filtation equipment and never seemed to cause him a problem with fuel filters, and my 340-4bbl Duster was getting about 8 miles per gallon... so I envied the utility but declined his offer to trade for my Duster.

      What is interesting is that it is still cheaper to buy real desiel than vegetable oil. Where biodesiel has an advantage is in recycling used vegetable oil that is no longer food quality but is with a little work good enough to burn in your car/airplane. Unfortunatly there is not enough of this to make a real dent in the American desiel usage.

      This is true. Actually, the cost advantage isn't so great, when you figure that your time is worth something. Rather than scouting out restaurant dumpsters (which are pretty unpleasant places), you could be doing something more fun like getting fellatio or posting to Slashdot.

      In his case, though, it was win-win since he was already gonna smell like McNuggets at the end of the day.

      On the other hand, virgin vegetable oil could be a highly viable fuel. But the problem is that the very same people who jump up and down and scream about how nasty petroleum is, also jump up and down and scream about how nasty genetically modified corn and soy (which is the only way to make this economically viable) is. The best line I've ever heard came from a Greenpeace activist driving a sick little moped (blue clouds of poorly-tuned two-stroke, measurably more noxious than the exhaust from any well-tuned land-yacht SUV that he also complained about) screaming about how we can't feed cars while people are starving in Somalia. (If Somalis don't want to starve, they should have less children. Sorry, but it's not my problem.)

      • Dude, are McNuggets Kosher?
      • The best line I've ever heard came from a Greenpeace activist driving a sick little moped (blue clouds of poorly-tuned two-stroke, measurably more noxious than the exhaust from any well-tuned land-yacht SUV that he also complained about) [...]

        Let me guess, same type of person who throws paint on someone's mink coat while wearing a leather belt and aligator skin boots?

    • Read one of the best books ont he subject, "From the Frier to the Fuel Tank". Just recycling current used grease could fuel 10-20% of current US diesel usage. But the real key to making this work on a larger scale is water algea farms which produces massive amounts of vegitable oil. It could be possible to produce more oil then we burn a year in diesel on not that many miles of farming.

      But really diversity is the key to a more balanced enviroment. The fact of the matter is this is waste that could be r
  • Simpson's (Score:2, Funny)

    by Mr.Happy3050 (573052)
    I'm sorry, I can't help but think of this.
    Bart: We're going to be rich through grease?
    Homer: No, I'm going to earn money by savings and wise investments... of course through grease.
  • by Oriumpor (446718)
    Hey first post about the dupe...

    Greasecar.com .... yeah... never mind it's been up for freakin ever, I read about it here ages ago.... I've got a post somewhere saying something like the following:

    It's impractical because grease is already recycled, you have to A) own a deep fat fryer, or B) know someone who does. (and they'll pay you to take it away)
  • by bombkit (621668) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:17PM (#5785484) Homepage
    (directed at a Krusty Burger employee)
    The grease on his forhead alone is worth a bounty!
  • Cost of Veggie Oil (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvilTwinSkippy (112490) <yoda AT etoyoc DOT com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:17PM (#5785489) Homepage Journal
    I don't really seeing this idea getting to be uber-big. First off, there are only soooo many fast food joints to raid. It's going to become like the waste hops from beer, marketed trash with a competitive street price.

    If a tone of people start doing this they are going to find the veggie oil costs a HELL of a lot more than diesel. (Anyone ever price out biodiesel?)

    • by ikeleib (125180)
      Kitchen grease already has a street value. It's called yellow grease and is used for making animal feeds. Many restaraunts have a contract with a yellow grease company. They often have locks on their grease traps to make sure that spurious pickups don't occur. There is, in fact, yellow grease theft and smuggling.

      See:
      http://archive.salon.com/business/feature/ 2000/11/ 06/grease_wars/index.html
    • by Exocet (3998) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:40PM (#5785683) Homepage Journal
      I'm on the board of directors for the GoBiodiesel Cooperative in Portland, Oregon.

      We have priced out what it costs to produce biodiesel (as a cooperative). It costs us approximately $1/gallon in pure supplies (plus electricity) to produce biodiesel. We're just starting (first test batch last weekend!) but are well aware of the costs. We're using methanol right now but would like to switch to the more expensive but more enviro-friendly ethanol. We'll see what happens on that front. Oh, and once we're done producing test batches with lye we will be switching over to ...sodium methoxide (???). I can't recall what it will be, to be honest.

      We will need to recoup the costs of the processor, the building it's located in, etc. Plus, we'd like to pay volunteers a small amount for their time.

      We plan on selling biodiesel for approximately USD$1.25-$1.50.

      If you're interested, visit the GoBiodiesel Cooperative [gobiodiesel.org] web site and learn more about what we're doing.
    • If a tone of people start doing this they are going to find the veggie oil costs a HELL of a lot more than diesel. (Anyone ever price out biodiesel?)

      Commercially-produced biodiesel is indeed more expensive, 2-3 times more than petro. Running a small co-operative is one thing. True commercial production is another -- you have equipment costs, plant safety/environmental standards that have to be met, etc. There are taxes to collect. And there are administrative costs associated with all of this.

      So it's
  • Mr. Fusion? (Score:2, Funny)

    by brianjcain (622084)
    Doc: I need fuel. Go ahead, quick, get in the car.

    Marty: No no no, Doc, I just got here, okay, Jennifer's here, we're gonna take the new truck for a spin.

    Doc: Well, bring her along. This concerns her too.

    Marty: Wait a minute, Doc. What are you talking about? What happens to us in the future? What, do we become assholes or something?

    Doc: No no no no no, Marty, both you and Jennifer turn out fine. It's your kids, Marty, something has got to be done about your kids.

    Marty: Hey, Doc, we better back up, we
  • by Nethergoat (597008) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:19PM (#5785503)
    And in other news today, McDonalds will be shipping its meat in special "pressmobiles" which will use the shipped product as its fuel - scientists predict heart disease in the U.S. will fall by 25% as a side effect of this new transportation method.
  • UVic (Score:5, Informative)

    by B3ryllium (571199) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:19PM (#5785509) Homepage
    University of Victoria, in BC Canada, already had a Veggie Van fully operational. I think the diesel engine itself is unmodified, but they had a special filtering process so that they could use leftover McDonald's vegetable oil ...

  • grease (Score:2, Funny)

    by ranolen (581431)
    Sorry my car is on a diet. Will they have a lite version?
  • by sssmashy (612587) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:21PM (#5785526)

    .

    Switching to grease? Finally, dogs will have a reason to chase your car.

  • Asda, the UK subsidiary of Walmart, is running it's fleet of lorries on biodiesel produced from waste oil from frying donuts. They produce between 60 to 90 million litres of waste frying oil every year, which is now providing them with cheap fuel.

    See this web page [tve.org] for more information.

    HH
  • I remember seeing a story on Discovery back in '92 or so about a guy in Maine running his VW Rabbit off of fry grease. Aren't they calling it biodiesel these days? A friend was looking into starting a company that collects grease from restaurants and purifies it to create biodiesel, but found that the grease collection biz is pretty cutthroat. It's not as easy to get your hands on spent fry grease as you might think!

    -brian
    • Biodiesel is not exactly the same as cooking oil. You add sodium methoxide (sodium hydroxide and methanol mixed) to break the triglycerides in oil into glycerin (which is removed) and methyl esters which are simpler chains than the three pronged (think E shaped) triglycerides.
  • by Crasoum (618885) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:34PM (#5785625) Journal
    Read the Faqs, one of the first questions says..


    Did Greasel discover that diesel engines will run on cooking oil?

    No. The first diesel engines (invented by Rudolf Diesel in the late 1800's) were actually designed to run on plant oils. Immediately after Rudolf's untimely demise, his colleagues (who were just then tapping the resources of petro-based fuel sources) swept his veggie ideas under the rug and actually converted his design to run on petro-based 'diesel' fuel (which they were nice enough to name after him).

    Blarg

    PS the puns on the greasel site are pretty lame...
  • This isn't new (Score:2, Informative)

    by maddskillz (207500)
    This has been done before [veggievan.org], but it's cool that other are trying it too.
    There are some great links to Biodiesel sites too. It's nice to see some people trying to take some baby steps, towards environmentally friendly vehicles, instead of just trying to go straight to the top, as is the case with hydrogen powered vehicles, which are great, but too expensive
  • Implications (Score:2, Interesting)

    by smartperson (657811)
    Some people may not see the same value in this, but these folks are providing a standardized kit to allow their cars to run on a renewable resource. This needs no further elaboration.

    The issue about engine temperature is disheartening, perhaps an inexpensive additive can be developed to thin the vegetable oil to an appropriate viscosity instead of relying on temperature?

  • Why this car could be systematic.. hydromatic... ultramatic...
  • by jpetts (208163) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @07:46PM (#5785730)
    I notice that they use a triple bypass valve, so now when you've had your triple bypass operation for your heart, because of all the burgers you've been chowing down, you can get a triple bypass for the car, so it matches...
  • My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.
  • I mean, most of these have animal adulterants in them, so what's a low-impact vegan geek supposed to do?

    I suppose you could use olive oil, but she's kind of thin ...
  • by Radi-0-head (261712) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:09PM (#5785889)
    There is a company that sells a full conversion kit for diesel vehicles.

    Check out www.greasecar.com
  • a bucket of kfc will cost 30 bucks!

    Nooooooo!

    What the hell, I'd still pay it.

    --Joey
  • People seem to be complaining that vegetable oil costs more than regular diesel fuel. That's probably because there isn't enough supply of, for example, soybeans to process into soybean oil.

    Why the "shortage" (at least as it pertains to use as a fuel)? Because soybean prices are terrible, so farmers lean toward producing something they can make more money at (corn, livestock, etc.)

    Provided this starts to take off, there could be a higher demand for soy-based oils for fuel sources, thus encouraging more fa

    • The prices aren't too bad right now. I haven't priced it out lately, but Costco used to sell 5 gallon drums of vegetable oil for a bit less than $2.00 a gallon. I imagine that if you buy straight from a distributor in larger quantities than 5 gallons, you could get an even better price.

      Still, the 5-gallon drums might be nice. You could carry them in your car without worrying about fumes or spontaneous combustion, and warehouse grocers are almost as common as gas stations (at least in California.)

  • Iraq was a mistake? (Score:3, Informative)

    by hey (83763) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:55PM (#5786115) Journal
    Maybe the invasion of Iraq for the oil was unnecessary.
    Next we can invalid a country for the veg oil.
  • Seriously. [216.239.53.100]

    "Some of the earlier problems with odour from acetic acid in the emissions were also solved. The fuel used is 95% bio-based ethanol from forestry by-products and, for some periods, wine-ethanol."

    I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, but at some point Sweden was importing Spanish wine to fuel some of their buses. I dunno about the acetic acid smell though--yuck.
  • by bluegreenone (526698) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @09:14PM (#5786222) Homepage
    One thing I discovered in my research about energy sources was that even "renewable" energies may not be as beneficial as they first seem. Using vegetable oil to fuel cars sounds great, right, all that energy coming from environmentally friendly plants?

    But looking at how plants are grown, you find out that fertilizers and all those other chemicals needed for modern agriculture are PETRO-chemicals, meaning you still need oil to make them. And wherever I read this (wish I could remember) they had done a study and found that natural fuel economies actually used MORE oil than oil economies. Kind of like how electric cars still need to get their energy from somewhere, you are just pushing the pollutants farther upstream in the process.

    Needless to say I found it depressing.

    • Wrong on 2 counts (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DaveWhite99 (525748)
      Wrong on 2 counts:

      1) Natural gas, not oil, is used in making commercial fertilizer.

      This is an important point from the USA's point of view, since the vast majority of our natural gas comes from domestic sources and Canada.

      2) Most natural fuel does NOT use more (fossil) fuel than it produces (in natural fuel).

      Corn-based ethanol is the evil fuel you're speaking of. It is indeed a huge energy sink. The only reason it exists is because of huge government subsidies. Biodiesel, on the other hand, is 78% so

  • This is not biodiesel. Biodiesel will run in any diesel engine w/o modifications. Most of the diesel sold in Europe is or contains biodiesel. Biodiesel is made by taking oil (such as used veggie oil) and mixing it with sodium methydroxide (Lye and Menthanol). The glycerine seperates out and what is left (minus more filtering, called "washing") is biodiesel.

    This is often refered to as "SVO" - Straight Vegetable Oil. The Gresel system requires two tanks for starting and stopping on regular diesel. I've seen

  • Is the impracticality of the whole thing. For example, starting a grease car is a royal pain in the ass. First you need to heat the fuel line so that that grease flows before you can even attempt to hit the ignition. I can only imagine what other kinds of problems this produces...
  • Not enough grease? That's BS. There's like, 1500 mcdonalds restaurants for each person on earth, and that's just mcdonalds
  • Greasel-fueled engines sound great in theory, but those things [doupe.cz] are a lot harder to kill than they look.
  • by Cylix (55374)
    There are also used oil burners too. You can do a google search if interested.

    The primary problem with all of these things is there isn't exactly enough fuel to go around. Sure there will be a niche market, but there isn't enough fuel in mass to really serve the populous.

    I just can't wait to install my new Mr. Fusion though. It makes BioDiesel and Used Oil burners look like a match.

  • Tax implications (Score:3, Interesting)

    by slim (1652) <`ten.puntrah' `ta' `nhoj'> on Wednesday April 23, 2003 @06:30AM (#5788109) Homepage
    This is interesting. A while back a Welsh supermarket noticed that their own-brand vegetable oil was selling in huge amounts, and it turned out that a number of locals were manufacturing biodiesel for their own private use. Biodiesel is manufactured by adding methanol to vegetable/animal oil/grease, which displaces glycerine from the oil and allows it to be used in an unmodified Diesel engine.

    The authorities came down on this lot, not because there's anything illegal about Biodiesel, but because once it's engine fuel, it's taxed as engine fuel, and they hadn't been paying the appropriate taxes. With the taxes added on, it's still cheaper than standard Diesel, but not as dramatically so.

    However, this Greasel site appears to be about modified engines which run on ordinary vegetable oil, not Biodiesel. So what are the tax implications there? Does the taxman have to rule that vegetable oil is taxable as soon as you put it in a fuel tank? Or based on your intention for the oil at the point of sale? What?

"Gotcha, you snot-necked weenies!" -- Post Bros. Comics

Working...