- Learn More : PlantDrive™, WVO, SVO vegetable oil fuel system, gas alternative, biodiesel, Canada, US, International
Need to know more before you make the switch? In this section we have compiled articles and information that will help you decide whether or not a Vegetable Oil Fuel System is right for you.
Diesel engines are designed to run on "diesel fuel". Diesel fuel is much thinner than vegetable oil. Used cooking oil is generally thicker than new vegetable oil.
To use Vegetable Oil in a A Diesel Engine as FUEL, it must be made "thinner", so that it can be moved, by the "lift pump", from tank, to filter, to injection pump, injectors, and into the combustion chamber, and burned successfully.
There are two generally accepted ways to thin the vegetable oil: (A) Add a Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) System, or (B) make "biodiesel".
Our business is currently mostly focused on:
"(A) Add a Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) System", although we certainly sell components, and even kits, for biodiesel applications.
(A) Add a "Straight Vegetable Oil"(SVO) System to the engine/vehicle fuel system. This supplies HEATED and therefore THINNED vegetable oil to the engine. The most commonly accepted, practical temperature for this is 70 degrees Celsius which is 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The SVO is heated, in our kits, by a combination of electric heating device(s), and by heat exchangers reliably and efficiently transfer heat from the hot engine coolant ("antifreeze") to the SVO.
In most cases, this is a "two-tank" system. The only exception, for kits from our company, at this time, is that we offer a "SingleTank" system, for older Mercedes engines.
So, you start the engine on diesel fuel, or biodiesel, run it a minute or two (perhaps twice as long in winter as in summer), then you switch a dash-mounted fuel selector switch, and STRAIGHT VEGETABLE OIL (pure 100% vegetable oil, not "biodiesel" or vegetable oil/solvent mixture) is fed to the engine from a second tank. At the end of the trip, diesel fuel (the "start/purge") fuel is selected, and a short "purge" is done, to remove vegetable oil from the injection pump and injectors before the engine is shut down for longer periods (e.g. more than an hour, in warm weather, more than half an hour in cold weather). If the engine is shut off without a purge, a buzzer reminds the driver to do so.
We have also been experimenting with using what we call "Single Tank Heated Blend" or "STHB". This has been on a few cars only, using a 1999 VW 1.9 TDI engine. In this case, we use only used Canola cooking oil as the "waste vegetable oil" (WVO), at 75% WVO and 25% diesel fuel.
We are very careful about preheating the engine, using an engine block heater (minimum 20 minutes to maximum 2 hours, depending on ambient temperature), before any "cold" (engine sitting overnight) starts, even in warm weather. A VM2 filter and a Vegtherm Standard are used as heating devices. The lubricating oil is changed at 5000 km intervals. We are using PetroCanada full synthetic oil. UPDATE as of August, 2015, 100,000 km. We can only recommend the above practice/conversion to a blend of 50/50 diesel/Canola WVO, based on injector coking potential and emissions, etc. Otherwise, a 2-tank system is best.
Scroll down for links of interest:
"Renewable Oil Fuels and Diesel Engines as Components of Sustainable System Design", master of science thesis by Edward Beggs, founder of PlantDrive.
PlantDrive-equipped VW TDI passes EPA Emissions tests (Note that the VOController mentioned in this press release is no longer made. For similar basic automation, consider our NADA Controller).
Canola - A sustainable source for food AND fuel:
- 1-Tank Kits: Mercedes up to 1999 (1)
- 2-Tank Kits: Generic (4)
- Consulting (1)
- Controllers, Sensors, Switches (4)
- Hoses, Clamps, Fittings (2)
- Hotfox (In-Tank Heater) (2)
- HotPlate FPHE's (2)
- Micro Combined Heat and Power (mCHP) (1)
- Oil Collection and Filtering (5)
- Pumps: Lift, Transfer, Circulate (5)
- Tanks (10)
- Valves (3)
- Vegtherms & Other 12V Heaters (2)
- VM2 Filters; Filter Elements (5)
- Welcome! (3)