BioDiesel a fraud?

I saw on Science channel last week were 2 just out of high school kids converted an old Volkswagen diesel van to burn straight used cooking oil after they were told in their auto mechanic class it could not be done.
They drove cross country stopping at fast food places to fill up.
They only drawback was they has to run regular diesel till the engine warmed up then switched over to cooking oil.
They said they got better performance with the cooking oil.
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The vehicle also passed California emission tests

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NerdRevenge wrote:

There's a local company that will convert your diesel to run on cooking oil. They're doing quite well.
You can buy bio-diesel conversion kits that bring the cost of diesel down to about 70 cents a gallon. Add free waste cooking oil (vegetable) and some common ingredients to purify it and you end up with a higher quality fuel than the petro diesel.
Apparently, the engine smells like french fries when running.
SMH
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There's only one real problem with the idea of "free waste cooking oil".Restaurants sell their waste oil to recyclers so they are unlikely to want to give it to you to make biodiesel and households don't really produce enough to be worthwhile.

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From what I have heard, not all recyclers pay for the waste oil, many actually charge to take it and the restaurants really have no choice but to pay since you can't just throw it in the trash. If they have a way to get rid of it for free, why not. Perhaps you could make a deal with them to pick it up on call or more often than there current recycler so that they don't have to store it. That alone would be worth something to many restaurants. I would suggest that before anyone wastes money on one of these kits, that they do some research and find a fairly reliable source of waste oil first.
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"DonStaples" < snipped-for-privacy@charter.net> wrote in message
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TBone wrote:

A very close family member is part owner of three local Burger Kings here in Ventura. Yes they do get paid for the waste oil but it's really not that much. With the positive press you'd get for helping with the environment and helping keep us "slightly" less dependent on foreign oil, I would think they would jump at the chance.
I'll see. ;-)

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in
and
they
I would suspect that with the high volume of oil that a BK uses, it would be worth it for them to pick it up in those cases.
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DonStaples wrote:

Not around here! They're apparently all too happy to give it away. The local conversion company actually did a cross country drive to demo their product, stopping at fast food joints the entire route out and back, and it apparently was not problem to get the oil for free.
Now of course, if *everyone* was out looking for waste cooking oil, I suspect it wouldn't be long before it wasn't so free!
SMH
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DonStaples wrote:

Around here we pay to have it taken away. Hmmm. Clay
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Stephen Harding wrote:

Damn. I hope I never get behind one. I'll be turning into the first Burger King I see. ;-)

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There recently were two stories in the Connecticut press about burning used cooking oil, the first was a woman who was burning waste cooking oil from Chinese restrauants... all positive press
The second was two- three weeks ago where a guy in Winsted, CT had converted his VW Bug to burn Waste cooking oil, and a black bear trashed the rear window to get to the oil smell. Picture in the paper showed a car I wouldn't wantto drive tochurch in on Sunday, but he supossedly got great milage when th think heated up and he converted from disel to "french fry oil". The down side is his neighbors complained whenever he came home because everyone ended up smelling like they worked at Bugger King.
jem

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Could the smell be from the oil not burning hot enough? Or is that just the inherent smell of cooking oil? It would be interesting to see a comparison between used cooking oil and fresh cooking oil.
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I would think that it is the residual smell from the food that was cooked in the used oil.
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Could something like that be filtered out? How small are these particles? I'm sure little bits of potato cant be all that good for the engine.

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I don't think that it has anything to do with particles. Potatoes have oils as well and some of it must leach out into the cooking oil. When I worked at the drive-in as a cook (god that was a long time ago) we had a few deep fryers and the one used for fries could only be used for fries. If you fried anything else in it, it would taste sort of like French fries and the fries afterward would taste like crap until you changed the oil. I would assume many things have oils that will exchange with the cooking oil and you will not be able to get it out but on the good side, many say that it actually smells good unlike diesel
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Given this country's eating habits... it could be detrimental to the public's health.. since people will be driving along, someone in a fry-oil burner will pass them and then they will want to go get fries. Great marketing for the fast food chains though.

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Trey wrote:

It definitely smells different. i put B20 in my truck for the first time and not only does it run better it smells better.
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That's ok. People need to take some responsibility for their own actions, including their eating habits. I myself would rather be following a vehicle running on bio-diesel and wondering what I'm going to have for dinner than being stuck behind one running on conventional diesel and wondering how far up his ass I could shove that stink bomb he is driving
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