Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Students at automotive HS convert car to run on Waste Grease

The technology to run diesel automobiles on waste grease from fast food restaurants is quite simple. All you really need to do is filter it.

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Comment by Riko Kamachi on April 15, 2010 at 7:56am
Ohhhhhhh. Great idea! I wonder if there's any plans to market this, I think it'd sell really well.
Comment by Sarah Shaw Tatoun on April 16, 2010 at 9:02am
Thanks Riko-- it's a great technology. There are various books and plans available for people who want to do it themselves-- and actually, with a little bit of treatment of the oil you don't even have to convert the engine! I don't know if there are businesses that do this kind of conversion exclusively, but I'm sure many mechanics can do it without too much difficulty. There have also been some fun 'tours' by diesel buses around the world (including this one across the US) powered entirely by waste oil collected from restaurants for free.

Biodiesel is a pretty controversial subject, but I can't see any objection to using the billions of tons of oil produced for other purposes.
Comment by Richard Beresford on April 20, 2010 at 8:18pm
I agree, there are also some really efficient chemicle processes which can be used to convert lipids into efficient fuels. Esterification. I am currently designing my own social enterprise around utilising the waste domestic oil we produce in urban environments, which usually gets discarded down the drain and causes problems at that end also. Most of the problems around this seem to arise with permits to perform the actual esterification, depending ofcourse on the health and safety limitations of the country you are living in, and I believe collaberation with local universities, medical facilities and industry could lead to invaluable results in this area. We could use this waste oil to run much more than cars, particularly in densely packed urban regions where cars arent really in high demand, but street lighting usually is ..
Comment by Richard Beresford on April 20, 2010 at 8:19pm
or home heating
Comment by Benjamin H on April 21, 2010 at 4:44am
Someone at my high school also did a project like this, so I am glad to hear other people are doing this as well. I did want to point out, however, that you still need some fossil fuel to heat the vegetable oil. If you use the oil at normal temperature, it damages the engine. Yet I think this technology could save a lot of fossil fuel and the technology is available now, so I hope to see a business selling these cars in the future.
Comment by Sarah Shaw Tatoun on April 21, 2010 at 5:54am
Benjamin-- I've heard that running on pure vegetable oil damages the engine too-- but some of the people who have modified engines have insisted on using only vegetable oil and claim that they haven't had any trouble with the engine. I think it may be that you have to clean it more frequently or something.
Comment by Sarah Shaw Tatoun on April 21, 2010 at 5:55am
Richard your social enterprise sounds wonderful! Is that going to be your Evoke?
Comment by Richard Beresford on April 21, 2010 at 1:51pm
It may well be, its something I have been planning on and off for a couple of years - of course my plan is to have it as carbon neutral a process as possible, so collection by human power (bike + cart) and warming through solar power (esterification works fine at 40-60 Celsius and most fat will be liquid at that temp also). I will blog about this in the near future. Though I also have crazy dreams about community run renewables projects (water & wind mainly), and Huerto-style city gardening & lawn->meadow conversions ;)
Comment by Sarah Shaw Tatoun on April 21, 2010 at 2:05pm
Are you familiar with Pedal People? It's a worker-owned cooperative that does pickup and delivery (including trash collection) all by bicycle.

Your other dreams sound interesting too-- and far from crazy!
Comment by Richard Beresford on April 21, 2010 at 11:17pm
Another great link Sarah , thanks, lots of inspiration there


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