Heating with waste vegetable oil?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Oblio13, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I have access to a restaurant's used vegetable oil if I want it. I researched the whole biodiesel thing and decided that I don't want to put in the necessary time. So I was wondering about heating my home with it instead. As an experiment, I put some in a big cast iron pot, added some crumpled up some newspapers and let them soak up some oil, then set it in my woodstove and lit it. It burned for three hours. Anyone have any thoughts about the safety or efficiency of such a thing? Google didn't turn up much.
     
  2. Bammony

    Bammony Red-dress-less

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    I don't know anything about the safety of it, but if you find out it's fine to use, that's great! What a good idea! [​IMG]
     
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Curiosity? The mother of invention.

    Patent it![​IMG]
     
  4. 1acrefarm

    1acrefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 3, 2007
    Georgia
    I doubt burning waste vegetable would be much different in principle than burning waste motor oil. Google waste oil burner.
     
  5. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    How do you want to use it? If you want to use it in an oil furnace, I'd recommend changing out the rubber gaskets and such to silicone rubber, possibly adding another filter to the oil line. Cooking oil tends to eat through EPDM and latex, and french fry crumbs tend to clog the furnace. The silicone gaskets are easy to get though, all that stuff comes in standard sizes from Grainger.

    Also, you have to think about temperature--if your oil tank and all that is kept indoors at a fairly warmish temperature, then not a problem, but otherwise I'd imagine the oil would become a solid in cooler temps--like Crisco. You could probably blend it with regular heating oil to avoid that issue, but up to what percentage I don't know. You could experiment, make different blends in paper cups and see what remains liquid in the refrigerator. I think I'd try that before dumping any in the oil tank, personally.

    If you want to burn it in a woodstove, I think I would be concerned about creosote buildup. I know when I have those kinds of kitchen accidents, they tend to be smoky things. Maybe you could alternate, or burn it first when you light the fire, then later throw on some hardwood logs to burn hotter and clear out the carbon black?

    As far as efficiency, I don't see any reason why it would be significantly more efficient as a fuel than regular diesel, but obviously it's cheaper and doesn't line the House of Saud's pockets nearly so much.

    Lucky you! I would love to have access to that much veggie oil, I'd start a green fuels business with a multi- renewable fuel station and auto conversion service. We have fuel cell companies out here that are putting up fuel cell recharge stations in anticipation of electric cars (yep, really--fully functional).
     
  6. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:In the simplest, lowest-tech way possible. I'm tentatively thinking of just filling large tin cans with it, and simply setting them in the woodstove. I don't think I'll have a creosote problem, my pipe runs straight up, and I think anything that forms just runs right back down into the stove. The few times I've taken the pipe apart to clean it, there was nothing in there.
     
  7. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    It might be better to figure out a way to burn it only a little at a time, as opposed to a big tin can. When the stove heats up above the oil's flashpoint, it could make a big boom as it all ignites at once. What about using it to soak kindling or something--that way the kindling would burn much much longer (like your newspaper experiment) and you wouldn't run into the flashpoint issue?
     
  8. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:In the simplest, lowest-tech way possible. I'm tentatively thinking of just filling large tin cans with it, and simply setting them in the woodstove. I don't think I'll have a creosote problem, my pipe runs straight up, and I think anything that forms just runs right back down into the stove. The few times I've taken the pipe apart to clean it, there was nothing in there.

    Oblio13,
    Please be careful, [​IMG]
    Imp
     

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