Vegetable Oil Fuel System - Pro & Contra

Vegetable Oil Fuel System - Pro & Contra (Logo)Pure Vegetable Oil vs. Biodiesel (Header)

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Searching for efficient, clean and sustainable Substitutes for Petroleum Diesel

Biodiesel is attracting a lot of attention as one of the most efficient, clean and sustainable substitutes for petroleum diesel. The biggest advantage of biodiesel is that it uses renewable source - mostly vegetable oil - for its manufacture. Its burning creates much less pollution and it produces no sulfur at all. Conversion of pure vegetable oil, through the process called transesterification in the specially constructed refineries is fairly simple. Such converted oil can be used in regular diesel motors without further alteration. There are also conversions available for the diesel motors so that they can run pure vegetable oil, without having to refine it first.

Using Vegetable Oil as Fuel

While biodiesel can be made of many feedstocks, about 90 percents of current biodiesel is made from soybean oil. Rapeseed oil, mustard, sunflower, palm, coconut, jatropha, field pennycress and other oils are also used.

Used vegetable oil, which would otherwise end in the landfill, offers an excellent source for biodiesel. Unfortunately, its supply is fairly limited and can be considered only a solution for localized use and not as a viable replacement for petroleum diesel.

The use of vegetable oil for the production of biodiesel has some other problems as well. Many people object to using food crops for the creation of fuel. There is also a serious objection to using arable land for the production of crops for biodiesel, as well as increased use of pesticides and fertilizers to ensure high yield. And in order to produce sufficient quantity of biodiesel for the country's needs, much more land would have to be converted. Currently, the USA produces 11 million tons of oil, and uses 160 million tons of diesel fuel. Even if all produced oil was used for the production of biodiesel, it would be far from enough to replace fossil fuels.

Vegetable Oil Fuel Systems

The biggest advantage of using biodiesel instead of pure vegetable oil is in its suitability as fuel for normal diesel engines. But, a number of manufacturers are producing vegetable oil fuel systems which allow engines to be converted to run on pure oil. These systems offer a motor conversion that enables vegetable oil and the engine to be heated to the temperature needed to prevent build- up of carbon in the combustion chamber and the polymerization of lube oil. Vegetable oil fuel conversion system can be used for vehicles, heaters, electric pumps and many other applications.

Biodiesel vs. Pure Vegetable Oil

Not all engines can be converted in order to run on pure vegetable oil

Renewable bio-fuels: Vegetable oil & biodiesel can replace petroleum diesel

While both biodiesel and pure vegetable oil can be used to replace petroleum diesel, there are advantages and disadvantages to both forms of this renewable fuel.

The biggest advantage of biodiesel is that it can be used in existing modern diesel motors without any conversion. The disadvantage is that vegetable oil, together with animal grease, has to be processed in a refinery by removing glycerin. Building refineries is expensive, what adds to the price of biodiesel.

With pure oil as biofuel, there is a need to convert the existing diesel motor, and not all engines can be converted. But, once converted, such engines can run both on petrol diesel and pure oil, without having to convert it. Oil only has to be filtered and de-watered.

Both biodiesel and pure vegetable oil have about 95 percent of heat energy compared to petrodiesel, a very slight loss for a large number of advantages.

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Vegetable oil fuel systems can power conventional cars, but not all engines can be converted in order to run on pure vegetable oil