Biodiesel blends are a mix of diesel and biodiesel (usually cooking oils). Making a blend of these two fuels provides drivers with an alternative fuel. The fuel is more cost effective and environmentally friendly. Yet, compared to unmixed biodiesel, it is very easy to prepare. Full biodiesel needs more preparation before it can be run in a vehicle. It is also quite easy to find an oil that can be used in a biodiesel blend. Any household vegetable oil can be used for this purpose.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Vegetable oil
- Large plastic bucket
- Stir stick
Choose an oil that you will mix with your diesel. This can be any kind of vegetable oil. You do not need to buy an expensive oil to add to your diesel mix. The cheapest oil that is available at your supermarket will work. Depending on what region you live in, canola and corn oil are usually inexpensive.
You may also choose to use waste vegetable oil (WVO). This is used vegetable oil that you can get from your own kitchen or from restaurants, delis and manufacturing plants. This oil will need to be filtered before it can be used. (See Resources)
Mix equal parts of oil and diesel into the bucket and stir them. A ratio of 50:50 diesel and oil is a good place to start. This is particularly important if you live in a cooler climate since vegetable oil is thicker than diesel. A higher ratio of diesel will thin out the fuel and allow it to run better. If you live in a warmer climate, or have hot summers, you can try running your car on a ratio of up to 80 per cent oil and 20 per cent diesel during the warmer parts of the year. The warmer temperature will help the fuel stay thinner.
Funnel the fuel into the car. You can also use a jerrycan to store and pour your fuel if you have one available. Once the fuel is in you will be able to run your vehicle as you did before.
Tips and warnings
- Look online to find local resources for biodiesel users and oil supplies. Talking to local people can help you find out what restaurants will share their used oil and what is the ideal mix for the local climate.
- If you think you may frequently use this type of fuel you may consider a fuel heater to keep the oil thin. This will allow you to use higher percentages of oil which will save you money.
- Using oil with your diesel may void the warranty on your car. Some car manufacturers now offer extended warranties for biodiesel blends with lower ratios of oil.
- It may be harder to start your car from a 'cold start'. This is most likely to happen in the morning after a cooler night.
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