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Old 09-16-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Posts: 115
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: Ford B-800
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: 55
Where to get a reliable bulk amount of cheap/free bio-fuel?

I want to convert my bus to run off veg oil or some other alternative fuel (maybe ATF) just so I can save money on long distance travel / full-timing, etc. I'd like to be able to find fuel on-the-go and have an on-board filtration system that can get all the crud out and just pump raw fuel into one 55-gallon steel drum (mounted underneath), possibly heat to the right viscosity, then filter, then feed to the engine.

My first question was whether a heat exchanger is necessary when the oil is heated via coiled coolant lines inside the tanks. Is it the proper temperature? Will that work in colder months at all (ie 20 deg F)? Or does the temperature drop too low (and viscosity worsen) in the travel distance?

I was curious what luck people had at finding alt fuel arbitrarily. Having relationships directly with restaurants is not an option, and I don't want to deal with driving around all day asking place to place and them all saying no. I haven't had any luck so far. I was hoping there was a way to get bulk amounts of alt fuel, anywhere from 50 - 200 gallons, all at once, without the hit-and-miss situation.

The best options I can come up with are:
1) Depend upon large waste oil recyclers/resellers and do some research ahead of time to find where they are located and get pricing, etc from them.
2) Get used ATF from transmission shops where I may be able to get it in large quantities

#1 has added cost issues, and I'm worried it'll be more than $2/gal or even $3/gal, which is why I really want to stick with WVO so there is no biodiesel processing time. I'd like a heated WVO system if possible that makes it a no-brainer and cheaper. I am more concerned about the money/self-reliance than some environmental thing.

#2 is problematic when ATF is contaminated, as I have a friend who has experienced issues with ATF that has other fluids, ie brake fluid, engine oil, etc. Something happens when they heat up together and he experienced severe performance issues, ie really sluggish power.

Any other obvious options? I would like to be an on-the-go fulltimer and need a reliable (and still cheap) set of options for alt fuel.
tomas_maly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2012, 11:21 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 11
Year: 90
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Alister
Engine: Cummings
Re: Where to get a reliable bulk amount of cheap/free bio-fu

I travelled across the USA this last summer and I had some trouble finding decent veg, and a good supply willing to give it up for free. I found communicating with as many restaurants as possible and educating them on how the system works, and why they should keep their grease as clean as possible was a very helpful way to bitch myself into 20-50 gallons. Also calling the number on the barrel and offering them $$ so they don't have to pick up the veg. Most veg places are pretty cool.

Depending on your pump I would not skimp on a heat plate exchanger. Also keep your veg away from metals as they will polymerize. Inline engine up ps need an extra pump, extra clean veg, and a decent heat exchanger. Outline pumps (some cummins) can get away without an extra pump.

Hope this helps.
j12784 is offline   Reply With Quote

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