How to convert a furnace to run on waste oil

Written by mercedes martinez
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How to convert a furnace to run on waste oil
Reuse your old cooking oil. (Rena-Marie/iStock/Getty Images)

Awareness is increasing in the use of waste vegetable oil as fuel for converted diesel car engines. Homeowners have been taking this concept and finding success with converting their oil-fired furnace burners to run on vegetable oil. The different types of alternative fuels used are straight vegetable oil, waste vegetable oil, waste motor oil and biodiesel. There are online forums available that discuss information on pre-heaters, heat exchangers, filters, relay devices.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Gun style oil burner
  • Furnace or boiler
  • Siphon nozzle
  • Air compressor
  • Constant level tank
  • Preheater
  • Temperature controller
  • Turbine style retention head
  • Solenoid valves

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Collect waste vegetable oil from restaurants or through a community cooperative.

  2. 2

    Filter the oil several times until clear, or use unused, pure vegetable oil.

  3. 3

    Start with an oil "gun" style furnace burner, for example: Arco, R.W. Beckett, Carlin, Ducane, Esso, International, Riello, Slant Finn and Wayne. You may find them used.

  4. 4

    Discard the high pressure fuel pump and close the opening.

  5. 5

    Install a Hago (or similar) siphon nozzle. Use a 2.25 litre (0.5 gallon) per hour type.

  6. 6

    You must preheat the oil so that it has the proper viscosity, which when filtered allows it to work well in an unmodified diesel motor. To preheat the oil to 48.9 degrees C (120 degrees F), adapt the oil-burning furnace by using an aluminium cover with cartridge heaters embedded into it at the oil pump on the burner. As described by Jesse Parris from Alternative Energy Education, "the oil pump brings the oil up to [1,034 kpa] 150 psi as it passes through a long collar using temperature controlled band heaters that bring the temperature up to [135 to 149 degrees C] 275-300 degrees [F]."

  7. 7

    Connect an air compressor, if not already existing. Maintain the air pressure at 69 to 103 kpa (10 to 15 psi). Wire the solenoid valve parallel with ignition and burner motor.

  8. 8

    There must be a constant pressure of fuel feed. Use a small tank and a float-controlled valve.

  9. 9

    The temperature controller must then be attached.

  10. 10

    Integrate the turbine retention head.

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