Converting my car to run on biodiesel??,

What are the necessary steps for me to convert my car to run on biodiesel? What are the prices, parts, and labor involved?

4 replies

Harald K. 35°

That FAQ contains some misinformation. You can not use waste vegetable oil to make biodiesel of acceptable quality. In general, there is a lot of misinformation about home-making of biodiesel around - it's not easy, and can be quite dangerous. Point 9 in the FAQ is right, but does not go far enough. You _should_ be worrying about residuals if you make your own.

However, commercial biodiesel is tested according to strict standards (unless maybe if you're in the UK, but hopefully they have changed that by now). I would advise buying, not making, unless you really know what you're doing, in which case I recommend the book "Biodiesel, basics and beyond", one of the few responsible guides around.

Right now, be aware that biodiesel may have serious environmental impacts. The most efficient way to make it involves oil palm plantations, and they are often grown on former rainforest.

Written in July 2008

We E.

I made biodiesel for my 1984 mercedes and it wasnt as difficult as some would think. It can be dangerous and is very messy. I went to gas stations to get my used oil and would then bring it home and prepare it in two converted hot water heater tanks I built (found instructions online).

When everything was said and done it came out to about 65 cents a gallon or so, and it makes my exhaust smell like fried chicken =)

Written in August 2008

C Robb W. 444°

I agree that commercially produced biodiesel can have serious negative environmental impacts but disagree about the waste oil. I buy mine from a commercial producer who manufactures 95% of their product from waste oil. I've been running on it for almost two years. The only thing I've had to do was change my fuel filter early on. In the winter I never let the tank get below 1/4 full and usually keep the mixture to 50% with regular diesel.

I intend to run my next vehicle on straight, filtered, waste oil as I'm moving to a warmer climate.

Written in August 2008

Stan S. 10°

Hi Riley: You might be interested to know that biodiesel takes a huge amount of water to produce...around 12 gallons of water consumed per mile driven in the USA with a soybean based oil.

Maybe you would consider an EV, mix of EV and cycling or mix of other greener transport options?


Written in August 2014

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