Oil from your fries into your tank

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 2:00 PM


Anybody can make biodiesel. It's easy, you can make it in your kitchen -- and it's better fuel than the standard diesel sold by the oil companies. Your diesel motor will run better and last longer on your home-made fuel, and it's much cleaner -- better for the environment and better for health.

Biodiesel production is nothing like the production process for traditional fuels. There is no risk of explosion or harmful vapors. Biodiesel is safe, so safe, in fact that it has been proven less toxic then table salt. Biodiesel production can be done in your own home, although most people prefer to do it in outside in a building like a garage. The biodiesel production process involves four simple steps. To make biodiesel you start by making sodium monoxide. You then mix that with the oil and allow the byproduct to separate out. You then clean the fuel and it is ready for use. Biodiesel production is not complex and it actually something you can do at home.

If you make it from used cooking oil it's not only cheap but you'll be recycling a troublesome waste product that too often ends up in sewers and landfills instead of being recycled. Many convenience stores and small restaurants will welcome the chance to provide you with all the oil you can handle.

Most people in the US use about 500 gallons of fuel a year (about 10 gallons a week), costing about US$1,200 a year at the fuel pump (December 2008 prices). Biodiesel homebrewers using waste vegetable oil as feedstock make biodiesel for 50 cents to US$1 per US gallon, so their 500 gallons a year costs them $250-500, while a good processing system can be set up for around $100 and up. Biodiesel burns clean, which means it does not harm the environment and contribute to pollution.
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Processing kits and supplies for making biodiesel are readily available locally. One such supplier is Cascade Biodiesel, http://www.cascadebiodiesel.com/index.php.

by Erik Richardson

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