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Old 12-03-2006, 10:32 AM   #1
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Veggie oil filtering questions!

Okay, I'm researching converting my engine to run on veggie oil. For me, I'd prefer to filter it all before it goes into my tank. I've read that you can filter like 10 times as much oil if you heat it up first. Is there a good way to heat a 55 gallon drum of oil to 150 degrees using electricity? I live on a military base and don't pay an electric bill! Otherwise, I figure I could put a metal 55 gallon drum on concrete blocks and put a turkey fryer burner underneath. But then I have to buy propane. I figured I could have a big plastic 55 gallon drum that I could put into the back of my S-10. I could then pump the dirty oul right into that drum, then take it home and pump it into the metal drum for heating. Then filter and pump into a clean oil drum or into my tank. I have plenty of room for multiple drums. What do you guys think of this idea? Any heating suggestions? Maybe some sort of heater from a hot tub or something? Also, how much does veggie oil weigh per gallon? I'm figuring around 8 pounds. That would make a 55 gallon drum approximately 440 pounds. Sheesh. Thanks for any info!
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:36 AM   #2
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http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_make.html

probably one of the best sites I've ran into researching this vey idea...have fun *S*
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:19 PM   #3
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My onboard filtering system (which turned out to be kind of a flop....too slow to meet my demand) uses just a lower radiator hose heater rated at ~700 watts and it runs happily off my inverter. It also heats the flowing oil enough that if it stops, it catches fire. Don't ask me how I know...

For your use I might suggest welding a threaded bung in the drum on the bottom and using an electric water heater element with a thermostat. If my little heater can ignite the stuff, I'm sure the electric water heater element would do just fine. It also offers the benefit of being thermostatically controlled. You could even run two. They come in a host of wattages and votlages depending on what is available. Just make sure you don't put two 1500 watt 120v heaters on a 15 amp circuit
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:17 PM   #4
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You can even get an old electric water heater and cut the top off the tank. Since it will not be under any pressure if it has a pinhole leak you can weld it up and it will last a long time. You will have hot oil in no time.
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busone
You can even get an old electric water heater and cut the top off the tank. Since it will not be under any pressure if it has a pinhole leak you can weld it up and it will last a long time. You will have hot oil in no time.
i guess it depends where the tank comes from. At the house i grew up in we had well water that was relatively hard. When we changed out our hot water heaters they tended to weigh at least 100 pounds more than they did when new because of all the rust/scale/lime buildup on the inside.

i'm a huge proponet of having 2 heated tanks on your bus, both heated with engine coolant. The first tank for "dirty" oil direct from the restaurant grease dumpster (using a screen to keep out big particles)
this allows you to use a low pressure high volume pump to quickly fill your tank

once heated, a high pressure (50 psi) low volume pump can force the dirty oil through 3 regular water filters and into the clean heated tank.

The process is nearly automatic and requires very little actual work on the part of the operator.

free electricity at the military base does make heating oil at home more attractive for you than it does for the average person. A water heater element and a thermostat can be had at home depot for about 20 bucks. If you or a friend welded some sort of flange onto a 55 gallon drum you could easily adapt a water heating element and a thermostat. fyi, a 220 volt heating element can be used with 110 volts, it just makes half the output. ie: a 1500 watt 220 volt element will make 750 watts @ 110 volts.
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:06 PM   #6
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Actually, a 220 volt element running on 110 volts will put out about 1/4 of the rated output.

Power=voltage^2/resistance

2500 watts=(220*220)/R

R=19.36 ohms


P=(120*120)/19.36

Power=743.8 watts


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