Run Oil Burner on Waste Vegetable Oil

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Old 01-15-14, 09:13 PM
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Lightbulb Run Oil Burner on Waste Vegetable Oil

There's lots of info on the internet about running diesel cars on waste veggie oil. Considering I can get 55-gallon drums of the stuff for virtually free, would I be able to run the oil burner in my house on the stuff and cut down on heating costs? It's an EFM from about 1994. I can get you more details tomorrow. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-15-14, 10:34 PM
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The only answer is maybe. You will need to filter the waste oil pretty fine, a centrifuge would be nice but probably not something you have in the basement. You will also probably have to heat the oil to reduce the viscosity and close control on the temperature is needed. The biggest problem will be if you have a normal sized oil burner nozzle. If you have a 1.5 gph nozzle or larger then it might be worth a try but anything less will be a pain. The filtering, heating and all that go with it in addition to the fiddle-farting around may make this an extremely tiresome conversion.


BTW, where's your buddy, Nick?
 
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Old 01-16-14, 09:05 PM
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The only answer is maybe. You will need to filter the waste oil pretty fine, a centrifuge would be nice but probably not something you have in the basement. You will also probably have to heat the oil to reduce the viscosity and close control on the temperature is needed. The biggest problem will be if you have a normal sized oil burner nozzle. If you have a 1.5 gph nozzle or larger then it might be worth a try but anything less will be a pain. The filtering, heating and all that go with it in addition to the fiddle-farting around may make this an extremely tiresome conversion.
That's what I was worried about. It's not as simple as filtering the oil and dumping it down the fill line. If I have to heat it, it's going to waste electricity. The nozzle is 1.25 gph.



BTW, where's your buddy, Nick?
I don't know, he's been on Facebook, but not on any forums.
 
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Old 01-16-14, 10:03 PM
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Some forty years ago I worked in an electrical generation station and we had a little baby boiler that we used to try to heat the dump. This boiler burned, as I recall, something like five to seven gallons an hour and we burned waste transil (transformer insulating) oil. Again, I don't absolutely remember the details but we had an electric heater that held around three gallons of the oil and had probably a 1,500 watt element. Temperature was probably around 125 degrees F. Even then ignition by spark only was problematic so it has a gas-fired pilot that was lit by the spark transformer. Since there was no natural gas in the station we used a small acetylene tank and regulator.

I wanted to try something similar in my parent's home so I built a small oil heater with both an electric and a hot-water coil but I never actually tried it. At the time the boiler (in my parent's house) had a 1.25 gph nozzle but I eventually replaced the boiler with one that burned 0.5 gph. With that small a nozzle the fuel had to be super clean and after a few months of having to clean the nozzle on a weekly basis I converted to a gas burner.


If you see/talk with Nick let him I know I sent him a PM.
 
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Old 01-17-14, 05:22 PM
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Heating oil is very similar to diesel fuel.

To use waste oil in an existing oil furnace without modification, you may need to convert it to biodeisel.
 
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Old 01-17-14, 07:56 PM
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Diesel & heating oil are practically the same but extrapolating that to compare a diesel engine & an oil fired heating appliance is like coparing cats to cows. Yes, they both have four legs but that's almost where the similarity ends.
 
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Old 01-17-14, 08:11 PM
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IF the waste vegetable oil were first processed to the extent of biodiesel and then blended with #2 fuel oil it might be okay in a milder climate or if stored in either a basement or underground tank. Raw waste vegetable oil WILL gel at colder temperatures and most likely will not blend well with fuel oil.
 
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Old 01-17-14, 10:32 PM
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I think I'm going to just abandon this idea and keep searching for a cheap or free diesel engine I can couple to a chinese generator head.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 12:13 AM
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Diesel generators are a lot less efficient than oil furnaces, so if you go that route, you'll need a lot more fuel.

Unprocessed raw waste vegetable oil is not something I would put through an engine or oil furnace long term.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 01:13 AM
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Personally, I'd only use waste oil of any kind, on a double barrel shop heater.
 
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