vegetable power!

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vegetable power!

Post by skiing39 » 21 Oct 2002, 03:10

What does everyone think about running vegetable oil in you cars?
David M G Jones

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Post by JohnD » 21 Oct 2002, 23:45

Hi David - A few years ago the Diesel Car Mag. ran an article about a bloke that ran his car/van on used fish and chip shop oil. There's also an interesting web site about it.

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Post by Zummerman » 22 Oct 2002, 15:51

Fascinating idea! Running on used cooking oil should be cheap in the UK, the figures mentioned on TV recently suggest that legal oil costs about as much as agricultural diesel. Supplies should be fairly easy too unless too many people jump on the bandwaggon. Restaurants/chippies etc have their oil delivered in 25L drums and, depending on the deal they can do with their supplier, quite often have to pay to have the used stuff removed and disposed of. Cut out the middle man and talk to your local chip shop!
A quick glance suggests that there are a lot of sites talking about the subject. This one seems very comprehensive with lots of links to other research and information: <img src=icon_smile_cool.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Post by vanny » 22 Oct 2002, 17:16

This has ecome a very hot topic in the last week or so, a feature on Top Gear doesnt help, the best source of information i have found so far is on a VW forum, ill try to summarise what has been said.
it IS ILLEGAL to run any vehicle on veg oil (or 'BIO diesel') without paying fuel tax to customs and excise. To find out how much they will charge you need to contact your local customs office and ask (i have seen it quoted at 24pence per litre). Suggestions have been made that a second tank could be installed to hold the vegoil so random spot checks can be foiled, but as your car will smell like a chippy it is more than likely they will simply impound your car and take it to be pulled apart and tested at a garage!! The penalties for illegally running vegoil run from imprisonment to hefty fines.
On the technical side there are many different myths and stories about the best solution, exactly which are true and which arent i dont know but these are them. General concesous is that the Peugeot XUD engines with Bosch pumps are the best cars to run vegoil as they require no extra medifications as regards timing etc It is also reported that with little effort an Air cooled flat VW Beetle style engine can happily run vegoil (which in turn assumes that most Porsche will be equally as easy to convert).
Mixture range from 20:80 mix (diesel to oil) to adding none kerosene based white spirit and leaving it for a week. I assume this is to thin the oil and make life easier for the injectors?
As of yet i havent managed to find out about the long term effects of vegoil on the engine, but there are numerous reports of people having run vegoil for years without any problems (on the switch side, i havent heard anything bad about running vegoil!!).
Still investigating, but sounds like an interesting idea, id be interested to hear from anyone who 'has a friend' who runs vegoil.
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Post by JohnD » 22 Oct 2002, 23:49

For anyone interested - this is worth a look -

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Post by NiSk » 06 Nov 2002, 19:52

I have been running my company car (Audi A4 Avant TDI) on RME (Rapeseed Methyl Ester) for nearly 3 years now. It's a vegatable oil extracted from rapeseed which is refracted (to stop it going lumpy when cold). It has very nearly the same energy content as city diesel (95%)and can be used in VAG diesels without any modification. Unfortuanately PSA aren't interested in it, so the maximum I can have in my XM TD12 is 10%. This is because RME is rather agressive towards natural rubber, so the fuel lines, gaskets etc, have to be made from a resistant material, such as nitrile rubber or plastic. Bosch can supply such gaskets for the injection pump, but the problems involved in changing all the other rubber parts has put me off (filler hose, tank gaskets, fuel lines etc, plus all the bits you don't know about).
PSA are more interested in their own particle filter solution, but that won't combat the greenhouse effect nearly as well as a renwable fuel.
The results of using RME are that you don't notice any difference! The fuel consumption is marginally higher, but I think changes in the weather effect that more than the new fuel! RME has a government subsidy in Sweden, which means that it has a constant price, whereas diesel prices change almost daily. Sometimes RME is cheaper by a few pence, sometimes dearer by the same amount.
What really makes it interesting is that as a private person, I can reclaim a tax deduction for every km i drive with RME! this makes it far cheaper than a normal diesel and even cheaper than a petrol engined car (We have a very complicated taxation situation regarding company cars, which I won't bore you with!) while at the same time helping the environment (I hope!). What would be really good would be if a manufacturer offered a car that could run on RME and have a particle filter, but for the time being, that's not on the cards.