Do you make your own biodiesel?

   / Do you make your own biodiesel? #1  


Elite Member
Feb 12, 2006
Central New Hampshire
Kubota B3030HSDC
Much like so many others....... the cost of fuel is making me look into biodiesel. There are LOTS of websites out there that show how to do it, but i need real world answers from some that actually make their own.

What is a realistic cost per gallon?
How many months out of the year can you run it in your climate?
What temperature do you start having problems?
Do you have any trouble buying the chemicals needed to make it?
What do you do with the by-products?
Do you find enough waste vegetable oil to use..... or is it feasable to use new oil?
How many hours per week do you devote to making your bio?
   / Do you make your own biodiesel? #2  
In my area all the restraunts are locked into contract and they get payed for there waste oil. Called several times about buying oil from the collectors. Did not get a return call.
   / Do you make your own biodiesel? #3  
   / Do you make your own biodiesel? #4  
There is a guy a few miles north of me that is advertising biodiesel for sale in the local paper for $2.40 per gallon. diesel in my area is running more than a dollar more than that for 9/10 of a gallon.
From what I have heard as long as your tank has a heater to keep it from gelling up you can run it in the winter.
Where I work we are going to start using it in our big lime/fertilizer spreader truck and tender trucks, which only run during the warm months for the most part. The plus side of using it in our trucks is if we have a fuel spill in the middle of some farmers field you just fix the leak and no problem with ground pollution. It just grows really good weeds.

I also heard from somebody that you can use to replace your hydraulic oil, not positive on that though.
   / Do you make your own biodiesel? #5  

I have been using a 40-50% mix all winter w/out troubs in my f-350 and tractor. I throw some anti gell in for good measure

If you have to buy new oil then it is not cheaper, the waste oil is the way to go, but I too share concerns about waste availabiltiy in the future. THere isn't enough to go around (estimates put it at only able to provide about 10% of the countries fuel needs) and comercial guys are getting pretty cut throat saying they are going to report resturants for not using licensed carriers if they dont give/sell to them, so I am trying to get a comercial renderer to sell me filtered waste for about $1 a gallon, but I havent tried veryhard.

YOu can burn it in your oil furnace to, so a community/ neighbor biodiesel machine could be slick IF you can get a ready supply of the waste oil, and honestly I dont know if that is a guaranteed thing.

It also doesn't have as much power as dino diesel or get as good a mileage.
   / Do you make your own biodiesel? #6  
I did some research when I was looking at running it in my diesel Jetta. There are many that sing the praises, but there are some horror stories out there as well. Check out Fred's TDI Page. VW TDI Enthusiast Community and search. There was a horrible case of damage from a guy using it. There are also many that swear by it, so just be sure to do your research.

There are some "off the shelf" processors available. According to their pages, using used cooking oil isn't the best. However, if you can find better quality resturaunts who change out their oil more frequently, they say it isn't that bad.

Do plenty of research before you make your decision. Also, be sure to change your filters often.
   / Do you make your own biodiesel? #7  
When you process (heat and treat) the grease to "biodiesel" you burn out alot of "junk" and you dont need a do anyhing to your diesel machine. Biodiesel does gell more readily in the cold and has less power, but it does smell a whole lot better.

"Greasel" is when you only strain the french fries out of used grease and put it in a seperate, heated tank(ussually from the radiator) on your machine. You start the machine on regulalr "dino diesel" and after the grease tank heats up you can switch over, making sure you switch back to regular diesel to purge the grease before you shut off(imagine trying to start your machine with it full of crisco).

It is with the greasel aproach that you have the most problems. If there is cleaning solvent in the grease(not unheard of), the biodiesel process removes it, but in the greasel set up it can destroy your fuel pump. SOme also put straight grease in their diesel tanks in warm climes, but that can gum up the motor (Ie hang up a lifter) and cause major problems
   / Do you make your own biodiesel? #8  
There's another way to "mix" WVO that doesn't use heat treating, just filtering then water separator and a few chemicals added. Supposedly doesn't gel until around -10F either. One of the mechanics here has started using waste transmission fluid for fuel.
   / Do you make your own biodiesel? #9  
My concern with not heating the waste is that you run the risk of not cooking out the oven cleaner and wrecking your pump. Used motor oil and tranny fluid works to, but if there is metal shavings in there you wont be very happy for very long.

Does that mechanic magnetize the tranny fluid?
   / Do you make your own biodiesel? #10  
shinnlinger said:
Does that mechanic magnetize the tranny fluid?

The way it was described to me, no. Straight from the power flush reservoir to the truck. we'll just have to wait and see how good his filters are :rolleyes: