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Author Topic: Update on Waste Motor Oil Fuel  (Read 2415 times)
Scott Bennett
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« on: May 16, 2012, 04:57:38 AM »

I've been posting a lot lately in a somewhat disorderly fashion, but I know some have been interested in our use of WMO as fuel. Since July of last year we've driven nearly 3000 miles on a blend of WMO and diesel with a little gas thrown in for thinning. Up until this most recent trip from FL to MI we have been running on it without problems. Our problems on this trip exhibited frequent bouts of tons of black/grey smoking and loss of power to the point where climbing a gentle slope dropped us to 30 mph. This issue was intermittent and cleared up every so often. Changed fuel filters. Seemed to help for a small span of time. Thinking it was the oil too thick and not thinned enough we put 75 gallons of straight diesel in. Helped a bunch, but we are near the end of our troublesome tank of fuel and finding it is still occasionally smoking losing power. So, I'm convinced I have some sludge in the bottom of the tank left over from my initial WMO experiment which involved not filtering it much ad just dumping in. I learned my lesson and have been centrifuging and dewatering the oil since last year, but the sludge from my original oil use is likely still in there. I have an aux tank so I'm really not wanting to remove the tank. Anyone have any suggestions on a cleaning chemical I can put it and the drain from the fuel drain? Moral of the story, coach will run on CLEAN and sludge free motor oil but don't ever just throw it in the tank without proper processing.




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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 06:12:08 AM »

Interesting update, thanks for the info.  I'm glad to hear you have improved your filtering techniques -- that makes all the difference.  I've never experimented much with fuel blending, but do have a lot of natural oil and homebrew biodiesel experience in other vehicles.  My DieselCraft centrifuge takes everything down to sub-micron levels, and I found that with proper filtering I could run a fuel filter to its full life expectancy without fouling it.  Alternative fuels are always a contentious subject, but I've had a lot of fun and successful experiments over the last 100k+ miles with the stuff.  It remains to be determined what I'll do with my bus once the rebuild/remodel is complete. 

As for your tank...  Do you have access to any B100 fuel?  That stuff is an amazing solvent.  A few gallons in there swishing around would almost surely dissolve any residue from your bad blend, and then you could drain out the bottom.  Petrofuels will probably work as well, just takign a bit longer.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Cheers, John
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 06:15:45 AM »

If you think there is water in there, probably methyl hydrate would be a good place to start.  Drain or pump out the fuel residue, pour in several gallons, find a way to agitate, pump it out again, repeat.  The alcohol will absorb the water.  I can't think of anything it would hurt in the tank, but I would think twice about using it to flush the lines.

Brian

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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 06:42:14 AM »

John: excuse my horrific ignorance but is b100 biodiesel? And where would I presumably get the stuff? It may be exactly what I'm looking for.

Brian: I'm leaning the coach today and draining the tank but I don't think I have a ton of water in there. Without pulling the tank I have no way of agitating. Unless we can special order a small
Localized earthquake Smiley I'm more concerned with sludge than water at the moment since I'm pretty sure we have dewatered very well including a final step of using Water-block filters


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2012, 06:44:47 AM »

    Scott, I'm sure that you don't want to hear somebody "bashing" the idea of using WMO as a fuel, and I don't mean to come off that way, but you may be wrong that it's "impurities in the WMO that you can filter/centrifuge out" that is the problem.  Motor oil is made to be viscous and "sticky" and to lubricate; fuel oil is made to be easily circulated, clean and lubricate fuel system components (depending on the vehicle design, to a more or lesser degree), and burn clean.  It *may* be that no matter how clean you get the WMO, you're still going to build up this sludge depending on time, distance, conditions etc.

    I know that you're "saving a lot of money" by running WMO, but the price of filters being changed often and repeatedly, the price of cleaning or rebuilding (let's not even think of replacing) injector pumps and/or injectors, the price of fiddling with the system parked in the back lot of the Flying J when you'd rather be moving down the road, and the price of your time to clean and flush your tank, or the price to replace or rebuild other engine components may sure add up fast to wipe out those savings.

    I HOPE that you can cheaply and easily treat the WMO and it works OK from here on and it never gives you a moment's problem and you realize all the savings that you can off this system.  But I fear that it's not always going to work out that way.  Good luck with it.

(11 year owner of a VW TDI -- *ALL* attempts to use "alternative fuels" have turned around and bit me in the b*tt; and I never even got out to the 'fringes' like "home-brew bio-diesel" and "WMO")
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2012, 07:24:55 AM »

Using waste motor oil in your fuel tank is not a good idea.  Think of it-- detergent motor oil hold dirt particles in suspension in the oil, that is why it turns black.  What you are doing is running dirt through your engine when you dump it in the tank.  There is no savings in dumping 8-10 gallons of dirty oil in a 100 gallon fuel tank.  Now you know.  You need a real DD 2 stroke mechanic to diagnois your problems.

--Geoff
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 07:51:58 AM »

Each injector has a filter I have changed those on a friends bus 3 times with him trying to save money on fuel mixing he does his own now I quit lol,Scott you gave it a good shot I will hand that to you
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 08:56:54 AM »

Cliff mentioned filters in each injector. As a matter of information for myself and anyone else who might not know, where in the injector is that filter located? Is it as simple as pulling off a fuel line and removing a nut and filter like the old carburetors used to have? Scott, with all the junk you've run through that engine, it might be good insurance for you to do that.
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 09:14:38 AM »

The primary filter on the Detroit engine is a 20 micron filter, the second filter is a 10 micron filter.  The screens in the injector body (located just under the fittings that the fuel lines attach to) are just a steel mesh which seem to be there just in case metal (like from a failing injector) trys to get through.
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2012, 10:48:27 AM »

Thanks for all the great discussion. I'm still not convinced we can't run WMO in a mechanical two stroke but I do know you have to filter it really well. My first batch had sludge and that might be what ruined me. Just picked up 15 gallons of B99 straight soy. Tank is drained completely and ready for the bio diesel. This stuff will clean things good but I can't leave it in there for long. It eats rubber for lunch!! Hoping to flush the system and then fill er up with pump diesel today and change fuel filters once again and hopefully she will be good to go. Again, I still think the WMO blending can work. But I am through experimenting with the coach as will move onto a car or truck with much less at stake. Hopefully she runs better tomorrow. If not, I'm in trouble.


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 10:54:48 AM »

Geoff most of the blender do not run the 10 and 20 micron filters then they replace the lines with rubber that come apart stopping the injector filters and fwiw I use the stone type not the metal screens

good luck
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2012, 11:17:35 AM »

Geoff most of the blender do not run the 10 and 20 micron filters then they replace the lines with rubber that come apart stopping the injector filters and fwiw I use the stone type not the metal screens

good luck

I've never dealt with waste oil or veggie oil systems but if they have to remove the factory filters for the engine they are in trouble.
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Geoff
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2012, 11:28:43 AM »

The 4 or 5 I know use a 30 micron on both filters they tell me they do that because of having to change the filters every day or so not my cup of tea the stuff eats up hoses 
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 11:41:13 AM »

Sorry to be slow responding...  Yes, B100 is straight biodiesel.  (B20 is 20% biodiesel, 80% petro diesel, and so forth.)  You say you got some B99 "straight soy."  I don't know what that means.  Biodiesel is not vegetable oil -- it is methyl esters, chemically derived from oils such as soybean oil.  Anyway, veg oil will help clean things up, but far more slowly than FAME (fatty acid methyl esters = most biodiesel).  I'm hoping you actually got B99.  

The comments about rubber are correct -- biodiesel is hard on certain types of material.  If you're going to be running most sorts of alternative fuels with any regularity, you'll want to replace your soft fuel lines, seals, o-rings, etc. with as much Viton as possible.  The rubber deterioration is a process that occurs over time, though aged lines will fail much earlier than newer ones.  Most of the time it won't cause you anything worse than a plugged filter or a fuel leak.  In my systems, I have always added filtration -- never taken it away.  The alt fuel passed through a dedicated filter, then also through the standard OEM filter(s), before injection.  Again, proper filtration should happen before the fuel ever goes in the tank.  As a point of reference, my primary fuel experimentation was with veg oil on a 1998 Mercedes E-class (210k+ miles), and with ASTM-quality homebrewed biodiesel in a VW Touareg V10TDI (105k+ miles) -- not counting various farm tractor equipment, generators, etc.

Good luck with the tank cleanout.  Keep a few filter elements handy and keep us posted.

Cheers, John
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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2012, 01:57:12 PM »

    If you have the 35 gallon aux tank it has 2 large metal lines under the bus connecting the 2 tanks. So it will take several gallons of fuel just to fill them, even IF you drain the main/aux than fuel/sludge remains in these lines. mine is a mc-8 with 179 gallon, total.
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« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2012, 03:15:28 PM »

  Sorry to be slow responding...  Yes, B100 is straight biodiesel.  (B20 is 20% biodiesel, 80% petro diesel, and so forth.)  You say you got some B99 "straight soy."  I don't know what that means.  Biodiesel is not vegetable oil -- it is methyl esters, chemically derived from oils such as soybean oil.  Anyway, veg oil will help clean things up, but far more slowly than FAME (fatty acid methyl esters = most biodiesel).  I'm hoping you actually got B99.   (snip) 

     I'm thinking that what he got was "real" biodiesel.  Many sellers list properly chemically derived biodiesel as being "straight soy" to differentiate from biodiesel that's made from whatever waste oil that somebody can scrape off the dumpster behind the Chinese restaurant.  "Straight soy" is supposed to sound higher-quality!  Of course, in my experience, even "quality" biodiesel should specifically list the amount of snake oil that in it because it seems to be full of it. 
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2012, 04:39:03 PM »

I thought Scott was talking about "Waste Motor Oil Fuel", not restaurant veggie oil waste.  That is what the title of this thread is.  Big difference.

--I'm out of here.

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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2012, 04:53:20 PM »

He was but he took it to the bio diesel and the crap in used oil is just as bad lol
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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2012, 05:45:39 PM »

He was but he took it to the bio diesel and the crap in used oil is just as bad lol

Thanks, Cifford

I must be jumping into these threads without following the bezerk thought process. 

The topics that follow seem to follow the same thought-pattern.

When are we going to meet?

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Geoff
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2012, 05:49:29 PM »

Even these are a pain WMO burner....

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« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2012, 06:00:03 PM »

Scott -

It would be cheaper at 4 bucks a gallon of diesel to run 25k miles on motor oil and just have the engine pulled and rebuilt than to keep putting Diesel in it. I am a big fan of what you are doing.  Every mile you go over 25k is another dollar in your pocket.  Plus you'll be dumping the money into the mechanics pockets instead of big oil companies.  Run baby run that motor oil Smiley

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« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2012, 07:36:36 PM »

Sean, you top us all with that one lol makes no sense to me to destroy a engine that will last for 4 to 500,000 miles and you are saying rebuild one at 25,000 miles for money saved on fuel 
 
 Depending on the depth of a  rebuild you can stick up to 20,000 grand in a 6v92.The used engine oil is starting to tell on his engine hate to see it happen to Scott he seems like a real nice young man but he is  going to have the big ONE just a matter of time for him but we all see different lights in the tunnel
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« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2012, 08:50:57 PM »

Thanks for the vote Sean Smiley I've spent some quality time with you and your family and respect and appreciate our friendship Smiley Cliff has been a blessing many times on this forum and most recently on the phone (as well as Bryce)  and I do appreciate the collective wisdom here. Just because I'm still a tinkerer with WMO doesn't mean I don't partially agree with both sides. But again, my experimentation will continue on other vehicles smaller and less expensive to deal with. Here's the end all: I personally have a handful of friends running everything from waste tranny fluid (in a diesel rabbit) to veggie oil (power stroke dually). They have done this for years carefully filtering, extracting water and running it. Study centrifuging and you'll learn it is scientifically proven to filter to sub micron levels. So particulate matter is the least of our worries. Oil not thinned enough and acids or cylinder coking is
More scary to me and largely an unknown. There is a guy who posted photos of his perfectly healthy engine torn down to view after running 17,000 on WMO. Again your mileage may vary (pun intended). I'm just posting my results so people can realize that this is serious stuff to get into. Don't take lightly what you feed your engine unless you're a gutsy one. I happen to be with many things in life. Maybe that's why I snowboard backcountry and double xx blacks at 13,000 feet every winter and it may explain why I quit running my fathers successful IT company bagging excellent income for 7 years so I could travel the country with my cute bride and sing my heart out in diverse places including churches and even the Pentagon soon after 9-11. Gutsy, but occasionally I make a smart move. Geoff, sorry you can't follow my bezerk posts. Someday we will meet and you'll find I'm much more organized in real life. There's a Brad Paisley song that says "I'm so much cooler online" but maybe the opposite is true with me Smiley cheers!


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2012, 08:56:09 PM »

  I thought Scott was talking about "Waste Motor Oil Fuel", not restaurant veggie oil waste.

     Right.  His engine and/or fuel system may have been sludged up by using WMO (Waste Motor Oil) as fuel.  To try to clean the fuel system, he bought some biodiesel which is often made from WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil) -- biodiesel is a pretty aggressive solvent and it will clean up a lot in a fuel system.  Besides being made into biodiesel, some people burn raw WVO as fuel but we haven't gotten into *that* issue on this thread yet.   All this stuff is "big difference" and that's a big difference that's not understood by many people.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2012, 09:07:43 PM »

Ditto what he said  ^      Smiley


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2012, 06:08:40 PM »

Geoff, sorry you can't follow my bezerk posts. Someday we will meet and you'll find I'm much more organized in real life. There's a Brad Paisley song that says "I'm so much cooler online" but maybe the opposite is true with me  cheers!

Sorry, but I have read posts from other people trying to save the planet by doing alternative fuels plans and it is usually a disaster.  It might work on your 35 year old MBZ to get around town, but we are talking buses here.  2-stroke DDA's will run on the low-sulfer fuel just fine.  If your are doing any long distance traveling that is what you have to deal with and pay for.

--Geoff
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« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2012, 08:22:54 PM »

Oh trust me. Im trying to save dough not the planet though that would be a nice thing too. I lost prime today when I blew
My fuel lines out with compressed air back to the tank. So you all know what I will be doing tomorrow :-/


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2012, 02:40:04 AM »

I've always believed that alternative fuel installations can be entirely satisfactory if done correctly, and will probably install a veg oil system on the bus at some point, although the limited mileage it does at the moment doesn't justify the effort.

I do have a Range Rover with an LPG conversion (which isn't really an 'alternative' fuel anymore), and have often wondered whether a veg-oil system should be configured in the same way as LPG systems are - ie., with a completely separate tank and filter system for the second fuel, which is fed into the main fuel line via a metering valve just before it enters the engine. This would seem to give much better control of the ratio of fuels entering the engine (and the 'alternative' fuel supply could be completely turned off in the event of problems or doubt), and it would also bypass all the problems associated with putting the alternative fuel into the existing tank and running it through the existing lines and filters.

It's maybe a more complex installation, but surely worthwhile as a way of avoiding these commonly-occurring problems?


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« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2012, 04:53:25 AM »

I've (snip) often wondered whether a veg-oil system should be configured in the same way as LPG systems are - ie., with a completely separate tank and filter system for the second fuel, which is fed into the main fuel line via a metering valve just before it enters the engine. This would seem to give much better control of the ratio of fuels entering the engine (and the 'alternative' fuel supply could be completely turned off in the event of problems or doubt), and it would also bypass all the problems associated with putting the alternative fuel into the existing tank and running it through the existing lines and filters.

It's maybe a more complex installation, but surely worthwhile as a way of avoiding these commonly-occurring problems? 

        Jeremy, as you probably know, diesel-powered passenger cars are very rare in N. America (mostly due to government policies that penalize their sale and use) so the possibilities of using veg-oil systems are limited.  That in mind, it should be noted that most of the veg-oil systems in use are designed as you have described.

        However, some companies who can make money off the deal have sold many American farmers on the idea that they can be wearing burnooses and driving Rolls Royces if veg oils are used as diesel fuel (thus consuming their base crops and pushing the price up for the sale of the remainer sold in traditional markets) so the farmers' government lobbies have pushed hard for minimum bio-diesel %-ages in ordinary road diesel fuel.  Thus, most veg-oil that's used as fuel in N America is processed into biodiesel and mixed as small quantities into ordinary fuel supplies.  This is done by tax subsidies on bio-diesel use and outright minimum bio-diesel mix specification requirements.  A side effect of this is that waste biodiesel has become valuable (the tax and "mandated use profit" advantages go to waste veg-oil as well as farm-supplied veg-oil) so in many places it is impossible for ordinary users to obtain waste veg-oil because it's collected and sold by restaurants, etc. to waste oil wholesalers; another side effect is that veg-oil use is a rather unique tax that takes money from ordinary consumers and rather than allocating it to the government for use in government policy spending instead passes the money along to farmers.  This is sold as a "green" policy, although the costs of handling, preparing, distributing, and sale of the veg-oil fuel are actually similar to or higher than the provision of petro diesel fuel (which is basically a waste product of gasoline production in N America); the cost efficiencies and moral effects burning food that could go to alleviate hunger in the world as road fuel are also ignored.  (A similar situation applies to ethanol as an adulterant in gasoline fuels.)  So, the prospect is for an owner to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on an "alternative" fuel system for a bus as well as fuel handling and storage systems only to find that waste veg-oil is expensive or impractical to obtain.  This scenario -- in combination with some impressively expensive engine damage histories caused by deposits from the heavy non-fatty-ester components and contaminants in waste veg-oil -- has meant that waste veg-oil systems are rarely seen on diesels in N America.
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« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2012, 06:15:55 AM »

i dont understand a word bruce said, but im sticking with diesel... Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2012, 06:44:04 AM »


    Scott,

    If you (continue) and anybody else, decides to use WMO, check out the video for FS 2500 bypass oil filter.

    This might help to reduce some of the problems of WMO before you add it to your fuel.  I have no interests
   
    in this product, however it might help with your problem.  Maybe someone on here might clue in on how you

    could plum it in to your system befor it goes in the tank. 

   
    Steve 5B......
 
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Scott Bennett
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« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2012, 11:15:39 AM »

Thanks for the link. I'll ceck it out. Definitely have to have a system in place to switch to straight diesel when needed.  Exhaust is finally invisible again. I would love some thoughts on why I'm still short of power when going uphill.


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
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