129 Replies to “Running A Diesel On Vegetable Oil (Part 4 Ep. 47)”

  1. I used to put put veg oil straight into the tank in my car no messing!! Seems really complicated. But im not building a boat

    • I think it depends on time in the tank, for us we need to be able to store fuel for up to 1 year so we can allow any chance to have it go bad on us. this gives us a good head start.

  2. if you put a heat exchanger and dryer between the storage tank(s) you probably would be able to process your fuel faster…now you need to process hemp oil (hehe)

    • yeah this system is just as trial to see how processing works, the goal now is to jump production up 8 fold and miniaturize a system so we can mount it in the engine room

  3. Damen, Deep breath and slow down a little when your trying to explain the systems Lmao. I loved the outakes at the end just goes to prove that your human. This looks like it is going to be a fantastic system for you. I am loving the series.

    • Thanks Stephen, yeah we do cut quite a bit of swearing and tongue twisters…

  4. Very interesting, it’s hard work doing things cheaply. If the smaller element doesn’t work out you can use the larger one on a time switch to modulate the power input. Keep up the good work. More power to your vegetables.

    • Thanks Steve. the main reason we changed to a smaller element was to stop convection currents so for us a cooler element that heats for longer is better than a hot element that pulses. That said i could be 100% wrong as I’m absolutely not an expert and this is the first boiler I’ve ever seen let alone built.

  5. Just put a T after the pump with the appropriate ball valves to be able to direct the fluid to the appropriate tanks.

    • Hi Phil, yeah that was my first thought but I’m not convinced i have the tank perfectly clean so my preference is to filter and then pump to a tank. might be me being pedantic but in the processed oil i could see floaty bits so either my filter was dying or the tank wasn’t spotless.

  6. Whats the difference in the end product between this procedure and the one that uses methanol /potassium hydroxide .

    • Hi Russell, two different fuel types is my understanding, you can either modify your engine (like we have) so you dont need to modify the fuel (Just dry and filter it like we did) or you can modify the fuel so you dont need to modify the engine, when you modify the fuel you are changing it chemically, by adding the methanol, washing it, removing the glycerin etc. We are looking at the fuel conversion to A) reduce our running costs overall and B) reduce our environmental impact as much as possible. if we chemically alter our fuel the cost skyrockets and the impact follows, if we make some simple changes to the engine the fuel costs become marginal and the impact is almost carbon neutral and we dont need to lug around tons of methanol on a boat.

    • Free water and suspended water behaves really different. Suspended water is almost bonded into the oil and takes a huge amount of energy to release it. We are changing our processing setup away from more and more heat and going to a vacuum system as at 0psi the free and suspended water turns to steam and gets released from the oil

    • All you are doing by using vacuum distillation is lowering the boiling point and thus the energy needed to distill. But there is no difference in the process at all. If anything my guess is it’s going to slow the distillation down since the viscosity of the oil is highly dependant on the temp.
      Also, I don’t see how convection currents in the oil is a problem. If you could heat the oil to 110 C instantly, the water would literally explode as it would become steam all at once.
      Any water out of solution will boil and go to the top just as well as the emulsified water in the oil.

    • We are speaking to a guy who used to process ten ton of oil each month and he was saying they tried heating up to 400c but couldn’t get the water levels low enough, when they swapped to vacuum the water cane out very easily and because it could be done at room temp the could process more oil per day. Again trial and error everything we are doing is an experiment so who knows what direction we will end up in, just keep following what works and drop what hasn’t

    • I can’t argue experience. Thumbs up for trying it all out and getting your own experience.
      I’m in the process of building a small power plant for a house based on diesel/veggie oil and a PM generator head so these video series are pure gold to me.

  7. this wo;d work on shore, but Iwould think that the movement of the boat would keep it mixed up. could you not use a centerfuge.

    • Yeha you most likely right there Randy. This is just a test rig to figure out how to make the stuff, once we have that nailed the plan is to make a system that can process 8 times the amount this one does and also miniaturize it so we can install it in the engine bay

    • A long time ago I worked on building riverboats, I just remember all the diesel went through centerfuges. Don’t mean there a’nit a better way. Keep it up

    • A centrifuge is definitely on my list of things to look into. I like the idea of main engine oil filtration through one but also for fuel

  8. Will the engine also run regular diesel? I ask because running on oil would be awesome but while traveling finding enough to fill the tanks seems like a huge process. If you pull into a port in Alaska and managed to get oil… It seems like you wouldn’t be able to leave for a while while you make the fuel.

    • Yes she is dual fuel, that said we are realistic about oil in the cold parts of the world, its likely we will be 100% diesel in the ice and oil in the subtropics and tropics. Also getting oil in our quantities is actually not that complex. We buy it on the global market (around 100-250USD per tonne) and ship it in large bladders inside 20ft shipping containers to a port ahead of us, we are able to specify the level of filtration we need and then its just a case of drying and final filter. so the hard work has mostly been completed.

    • Nobody really knows. He’s like an urban myth, just when you think you’ve measured him he goes and has another growth spurt

  9. Hey I think that’s a terrific idea..Powered Vegetables..at least 120 HP per Tater, 100 HP per Mater and last but not least, 90 HP per Carrot..Then ya got the fixings for a High Powered Vegie Stew..Get-R-Done..lol..ok not so good an idea, I’m just being silly..Look forward to the real thing !

    • Thanks Bart, good to have you along. Not sure I want to be behind your tailpipe after your vege stew though…

    • Thanks Richard, we have already started designing version 2, this time we are going off the beaten track and building a vacuum pumped steam filtration beast. More to come on this…

    • yeah that’s true, when we process a batch of oil we are left with a percentage of oil that’s not usable in a diesel (to much water, particles too big etc) but we were thinking its usable for creating heat.

  10. I like your channel, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten through an entire video without bailing because of the constant wind noise. Please. I’m begging you. Get a wind screen for your mic!

    • Hi Brian, i hear ya! we have the biggest fluffy mic cover we can buy on our Rode mic. its a pretty windy place where we are building (miles and miles of dead flat fields and nothing to stop the wind). I do want to change this dynamic so please hang in there, wind noise is one of my biggest bug bear as well. Damien

    • It actually lasted the full run, I assumed it would die within minutes but it’s really surprised me with how long it lasted

  11. When she’s running, how about using a heat exchanger to use the engine heat to prewarm the oil before boiling to save energy. As for oxidation, what about pressing up the tanks with Argon or nitrogen?

    • It’s actually contact with mild steel that causes the oxidation. Hence we are painting our oil storage tanks and using stainless and rubber fuel lines

    • Steel Boat Adventures – Building Brupeg  I understand the issue, but removing the oxygen eliminates the possibility to oxidise. We used that method when transporting highly oxidsable chemicals to stop them eating through the tank walls. Gonna be grabbing that book. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Ok fair point. The oil will be stored for quite some time prior to use so the tanks that won’t be used could be sealed off using nitrogen fairly easily

  12. Seems the filter cycle could be at risk of not seeing all of the particles depending on the flow with in the tank…in theory the tank volume gets a 7x cycle but who knows how the oil mixes and where within the tank as the cycle does its thing….btw, love the series and a huge fan of wvo. So cool to see you have the supply chain sorted. Genius

    • Yeah I did think about that. It’s easy enough to just filter it a dozen times (which is what we ended up doing), still needs a fair bit of work to iron out the kinks but we are getting there

  13. How do you plan on getting vegetable oil? Also why not just put the height gauge after the valve into the bottom of the tank so you don’t have the extra valve?

    • We buy it on the international market (Alibabaa) and forward ship it to ports we are calling into. We found that no matter where you put it the pump creates so much vacuum that it sucks air down the sight tube.

  14. Awesome and yeah wind screen for the mic you had a wireless mike for a while what happened?
    But really awesome…

    • Wireless mic was good but the 3.5mm connection to the camera kept adding crackles to our footage so we ditched it in favour of the best fluffy mic we could afford

  15. …just got an idea : could you use centrifug force to separate the water from the oil and maybe warm up the oil with the exhaustgas from the engine … big ships “prepare” crud oil before it is used for fuel? maybe copy or modified an used system for your purposes … just by eyeballing your system looks a bit underdementioned

    • We are working on a version two system and might even be going away from a heated tank system altogether. More to follow on that one.

    • living in the north , I see the problem with diesel the paraffin particle flock out under-10C so we use winter diesel , biodiesel is even more affected. I think the crude soup should be pumped up and refurbished to fill the daytank (maybe 3 day/ 24 hour consumption). rather thinking of a way to heat the veg oil tank to get the oil out there (done in com. boats). other question? why is the water a problem in some supper efficient diesel motors they spray in water to keep it cooler. I am not an expert.

    • Hi Bruno, it’s likely in the very cool regions we will use diesel and oil in the warmer climates

    • …or prepare the auxiliary/elektro/hydraulik generator for only run on veggie oil and keep the mane machine with safe diesel

    • We ended up dropping the three tank idea in favour of a simplier system to learn and test

  16. This looks great for a home based unit, but on a boat it is a waste of time (procurement and processing), money (labor, parts and effort) and most of all valuable space the processing equipment takes up on the boat!

    • Hi Terence. As mentioned a few times in the video, this is just a test rig and was never meant to be fitted into the boat. It’s simply so we can learn how to create our own fuel, as for the economics of it, its hands down cheaper than diesel (around a tenth of the price) and given we need 27,500L of fuel this reduction is definitely worth it for us. That said we will be creating a much smaller footprint unit that can process a much higher volume of oil per day, this new system will be mounted in the engine bay (where we have a space 4m wide by 3m long and around 1.5m high to fit the gear so plenty of room).

    • Sorry to offend you.I really enjoy your videos. Since I became disabled can’t do much but sit and think about things I was just trying to get you to look at the bigger picture. You are going to need space for procurement equipment, 20L or 25L buckets, 600L totes for unprocessed oil and waste (oil-water-sludge,used filters). How many days running around in unfamiliar ports finding and transporting the used veg. oil? Some type of pre-filter to remove as much solids as you can because they will not settle out on a moving boat. How much to procure, transport, filter and process the oil? Other supplies?
      I can’t wait to see you on the water! Something I’ll never be able to do! Appreciate all your hard work!

    • Thanks Terence
      Space is not an issue, all the points you’ve mentioned we have included in our analysis and all are manageable. We are able buy oil on the global market and when not we can use diesel. Amounts are available in any quantity, etc. The thing to maybe consider is we are willing to face any issues and do whatever is necessary. We understand it may be daunting for others but for us it’s the way we want to live. Trying new things and being resourceful and courageous. We are even willing to fail because the journey is awesome and interesting and we get to not live in fear. Cheers Jess

  17. Should any filter block or disintegrate and block a pipe, how much pressure will your pump deliver? Wouldn’t want hot 80C oil spraying everywhere and burning someone if the pressure got so high that something blew. A pressure relief between pump and filter may be worth considering, and a flow sensor at the outlet of the filter with alarm and pump shut-off.

    • All of that is a great idea but we have actually started moving onto a version two processor. We have removed the need for heat and will be using full vacuum to turn the water to steam and filter from that point

  18. At 23:07 I thought I was about to understand things but it got technical again. You guys are stars and deserve a few of what I though was appearing at 23:07. Thanks for explaining the processes.

    • Thanks Pete. We will be making a version two processor which is completely different again so this time I will make it a simpler but it should be a very cool machine

    • We can buy it by the ton on the global market. We forward ship it to the ports we call into but when I’m Australia we are able to both collect our own and buy per ton from local suppliers. Getting oil is not really a challenge, making it last is the hardest thing to solve

    • Yip your not wrong . I have two bag filters and housings on their way. This was always just a knocked up test rig

  19. why don’t you process the oil with methanol make (biodiesel) , you could sell brupeg soap with the waste

    • Mainly cost, and I’m not really to interested in being a soap salesman, that said, would you like to purchase 17,000 bars of soap Mike?

    • soap manufacturer might buy it. I have seen homemade systems for biodiesel and the methanol is recoverable . Anyway love the channel If you have time lol Ссылка?v=xILCbElGwJM

    • Thanks very much. Yeah we are counting them down. It’s a neat milestone for us to reach

  20. 11:52 I would suggest you write this out in both words and diagrams and label the hell (in paint or permanent marker) so that any one of your crew could figure it out. I’ve done this with some of the more complex, not-very-intuitive systems of valves and manifolds on our boat in case I’m disabled or for some other reason can’t explain some ‘get you home’ part of the boat. I mean, I’d hate to think a crew would have to review this video to get the diesel happening!

    • Yeah this is just a test rig, this one won’t be going into the boat

    • I get that…I just mean generally. In the bowels of the boat, use a silver ink pen…it really stands out.

    • Ok good to know. Thanks for the tip. How’s your boat doing Marc?

  21. What would happen if you use an instant hot water system and cycle it though a tank to heat it up faster

    • Yeah I pondered that but I think there would be far too much convection current and it wouldn’t crack the water

    • +Steel Boat Adventures – Building Brupeg
      Was thinking you could draw it though the filter and then though the heater to a storage tank
      By the time it’s all to temp it would have gone though 7 Times then let it sit at temp in the tank for a while to separate

      I guess this system is proven to work anyway

    • We have already started working on processor 2.0 which uses vacuum rather than heat to crack the water

    • +Steel Boat Adventures – Building Brupeg
      That’ll be intresting to see
      Can’t wait
      A subject im going to be following closely

  22. I’m sure you’ve considered this, but unless I missed it you didn’t discuss it in the vid – why not take engine coolant and run it through a bypass valve to an indirect heating coil tank?

    Underfloor heating valves mix the return from an underground coil with hot water from a boiler system. Indirect hot water tanks are inexpensive, and usually have an electric heating element too, so that option would remain.

    I’d be interested in your thoughts? (it’s something I’ve considered – because I’d like to try and blend veg oil with my heating oil to heat our house – so have been looking at options for processing)?

    • Hi Daryl

      It’s possible but I think it would take a bit of trial and error to figure it the ratios etc (not a hard challenge). We are actually working on a version 2 processor that does away with heat altogether and using a a vacuum to turn water to steam and cracks the water at a much reduced energy level. It’s a completely different system to the hot water cylinder so stay turned as we suspect it will be a more effective design overall

  23. Is it worth messing about with this oil ,my mate nakerd his engine up using cooking oil straight from the supermarket !!!!!

    • Only certain engines can handle it and you have to modify the engine to run it and cold vege oil is bad for all engines as it much thicker than diesel and needs to be heated, so it’s not surprising that some engines get buggered. The cost of the oil if it works is about 1/4 that of diesel and reduces fossil fuel reliance, so for us its well worth finding out if it works. Rebuilding or replacing an engine is a price we accept for the risk that it could work done properly.

  24. Do you reckon you could tap a valve into the bottom of the filter housing ? Then you could drain it easily without spilling as when you do it at sea there will be motion

    • Yeah I suspect that would be possible, maybe not on this filter as it’s just a cheap plastic housing. We have just been given a couple of stainless bag filter housings so these could be modified with a drain

  25. Amazing process. This video is really informational. Thank you. Loved the out takes. Where will the filtering system be located? Could you use your engine cooling water to heat the primary tank and maintain the temperature of the oil in the secondary tank before you send it to the water coolers? Just a thought. Hope Jess has healed up. Take care and be safe.

    • Hi Matt

      Jess’s original injury is healing up nicely thanks for asking. This rig was always a test to learn how to make fuel, the plan is to figure out what works then miniaturise it and install into the engine room. We have actually started working on a new version of the processor that does away with heat to crack the water and instead uses vacuum to turn suspended water into steam. It’s also much faster to process the same amount of fuel so for us that’s a huge bonus (as it would take 92days to fill the tank using that hot water cyclinder).

    • Damien,
      Glad to hear Jess is healing well. The vacuum sounds interesting. The closer you can get to a continuous process the better and the vacuum may get you very close. It would be ideal to be able to have a large storage tank for the raw oil and then feed the engine with a continuous flow of prepared fuel. I don’t recall what your cruising fuel consumption estimate was. Would it be possible to generate a continuous supply of say 40 liters/hour with the vacuum system and a buffer tank of say 100 liters? I’ll have to get the book you mention to catch up, but you folks are doing an amazing job on the fuel oil project. Thank you for keeping us informed.

    • The plan would be to purchase oil prefiltered down to maybe 5-10 micron which is easy enough to do in our quantities, then from the bladder sitting on the dock filter down to 1-2 micron using a bag filter and the vacuum system located in the engine bay. The vacuum pressure tank will be approximately 300-400L so we would suck in that amount of oil, vacuum down as much as possible for around 40mins then push that processed oil through another 1micron bag filter and into the main oil storage tanks onboard. So we should be able to process about 7ton per day if we take shifts. So a empty to full refuel will be a three day operation but that’s a year of fuel so not that much of an issue

  26. When you filter the oil like that, I would guess you are still going to have a bunch of bigger particles in the oil since all you are doing is “thinning” the particles by circulating it over and over. Would it not be better to place the filter between the boiler and holding #1 to make sure all the oil has passed the filter?

    • Maybe. It’s all trial and error for us at this stage. This is the base design we were told to make but I’m sure like anything it could be improved. We have already started working on processor 2.0 which uses vacuum rather than heat to crack the water

  27. You can throttle the heating element by using a capacitor in series with it, from an old single phase electric motor, when you are controlling AC current.
    The capacitor will act like a spring against the current as to limit the amplitude of the current – if that makes sense.
    By using several capacitors in parallel with a switch or relay in front of them you can make a stepped power control.
    The capacitors you need can be found in old motors, fridges, televisions ect ect.. the most important thing besides the size is they are rated above the voltage you are using. 🙂

    • I’m sorry I don’t know the math off hand. But any electronics buff will be able to calculate how big the capacitor needs to be in order to “dampen” the power usage and/or make a stepped attenuator for your heating element simply based on the element size and the supply voltage.
      The nice thing about using capasitors for it, is that they do their job without losses and are pretty cheap (or free)

  28. I know you are getting your bulk oil in a bladder inside a shipping container but how are you getting it from the dock into Brupeg,? Is there a fitting on the bladder where you can connect to a pump? You may have said in the other video where you explained about getting veggie oil but I don’t remember and from the comments you are getting a lot of viewers who haven’t been with you that long. I”ll never make boat fuel but I make smaller version for heating oil and to run a tractor and pickup so I am really curious what system y’all end up with. Love the video’s, you are a great team.

    • Thanks very much from the feedback. The bladders have a screw cap you can connect a pipe to and we will be building a vacuum pump to transfer the oil. Dock to Brupeg will be something that varies but is able to be dealt with by adding more lengths of pipe. We will need to use stiff wall pipe (think irrigation pipe rather than garden hose) as we will be creating a strong vacuum over a fair distance in some cases.

      We have already started working on processor 2.0 which uses vacuum rather than heat to crack the water so that should be an even more interesting project down this oil road

  29. I ran a Ford F-250 Powerstroke over 100K miles on waste fryer oil. Used a system made by VOTech. Heating the oil as close to 160 degrees before injectors is key. The VOTech system used a filter housing that had an integrated hot water jacket. Important to start up and shut down on diesel. Which means purging the system with diesel before shutting down. And make sure no components are galvanized.
    jon

    • Thanks Jon, that’s very much along the lines of our thinking. Thanks for the name of your system I will look into it

    • Hi Tamara, she will start up on 100% diesel and run for around 10-15minutes until the engine is up to normal operating temp, then we switch to 100% straight filtered vege oil and run for however long we need to, then 10mins before we shut the engine off we swap back to 100% diesel and purge all of the fuel lines so that no oil residue is left for when we need to start up next

    • Craig your being ridiculous mate, my veges were already over powering me in the last scene! They don’t need any more power as I couldn’t handle what they were putting out as it was!

  30. DAMEIN, OLD ONE LEGGED JOSEPH HERE. DOES YOUR BOOK SAY ANYTHING ABOUT A CHECK VALVE ABOVE THE DC PUMP? JUST WONDERING, BECAUSE IF YOU GET BACK FLOW THROUGH THE PUMP WONT THAT CONTAMINATE THE CLEAN OIL? JUST ASKING OLD ONE LEGGED JOSEPH T RETIRED NAVY

    • HI JOE, NO NOTHING ABOUT A CHECK VALVE AS THE PUMP JUST CIRCULATES THE OIL SO EVEN IF IT DID BACK FLOW IT WOULDNT MAKE MUCH DIFFERENCE I DONT THINK

    • OH I SEE. ON OUR SHIP WE USED A 5 STAGE CENTRIFUGE TO SEPERATE DFM AND SALT WATER. THERE WERE TWO TYPES, AUX STEAM AND ELECTRIC. BELIEVE IT OR NOT THE STEAM CENTRIFUGE WAS WAY FASTER AND BETTER, YOU COULD BURN IT IN THE BOILER RIGHT OUT OF THE CENTRIFUGE!! GOOD TO HEAR FROM ALL MY KIDS HEHEEH OLD MAN HERE, JUST SAYING OLD ONE LEGGED JOSEPH T RETIRED NAVY

    • THAT DOESNT SURPRISE ME THAT STEAM WOULD DO A GREAT JOB. ITS A PRETTY POWERFUL WAY OF TRANSPORTING ENERGY!

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