New to svo, need some answers on setups

Collecting, filtering and dewatering of WVO SVO vegetable oil. For Biodiesel producers too.

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New to svo, need some answers on setups

Postby zurgprot » Fri May 02, 2008 12:52 pm

Hello everybody. I just purchased an 03 excursion diesel and am very excited to start burning vegetable oil. I've been reading up as much as I can on the subject, but I figure the best way to learn is by doing. I do have a few questions before I can start anything though.

Where can I get 55 gallon barrels? Everyone seems to have them, but no one ever says where they got them. These are pretty much first on my buy list as any setup can use them.

For collection, what kind of rigs can I fit into my Excursion? I was thinking about a 50 gallon propane tank for a vacuum system or just a regular barrel if I go with an electric pump. Of course cubies would be ideal to start out with, but possibly not the best use of my time in the long run.

For filtration/dewater, are these centrifuges really all they're cracked up to be? They seem vastly superior versus filters because they don't need replacement. What's the catch?

Also, I'm pretty much completely new to all this so any advice you could give me would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Re: New to svo, need some answers on setups

Postby SunWizard » Fri May 02, 2008 1:07 pm

zurgprot wrote:Where can I get 55 gallon barrels? Everyone seems to have them, but no one ever says where they got them. These are pretty much first on my buy list as any setup can use them.

Recycling places are an easy place around here. Both for plastic and metal.
For collection, what kind of rigs can I fit into my Excursion? I was thinking about a 50 gallon propane tank for a vacuum system or just a regular barrel if I go with an electric pump. Of course cubies would be ideal to start out with, but possibly not the best use of my time in the long run.

Whatever you like, but be prepared for making a mess!
For filtration/dewater, are these centrifuges really all they're cracked up to be? They seem vastly superior versus filters because they don't need replacement. What's the catch?

They are great, the catch is the price and you have to plumb and wire your own since there still aren't any ready made rigs I like.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
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Postby 240Volvo » Fri May 02, 2008 1:42 pm

You can get the plastic barrels (in 2 sizes) for free from most car washes. You will need to rinse them out until the water runs clear (and be ready for lots of suds), and then air dry. How do you plan to lift a 55 gal. barrel out of the Excursion? The smaller barrels are easier to haul around. I use 5 gallon buckets, but you are going to need more fuel for your vehicle than I do.

I assume that you have researched already that others with the same model year as yours have done successful conversions, and you know what problems they have encountered. That is very important to understand before you get started.

Good luck!
1984 Volvo 240 diesel with a single tank Elsbett conversion: electric fuel filter heater, FPHE, glow plugs, and injectors. Also injector line heaters and block heater, running 20%kero/80%WVO winter blend.
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Postby zurgprot » Mon May 05, 2008 2:56 pm

240Volvo: I had planned to keep a drum inside the vehicle most of the time and simply pump into and out of it. But now it looks like I may be going with a small trailer.


I have managed to get 2 free drums that were used to carry silicon. I'm hoping I'll be able to clean them out enough to be used as wvo containers. I'm also planning on going with a centrifuge for filtering so hopefully any trace silicon will get filtered there.

I'm kinda scared about this though. How badly can I screw myself up here?

I also realized that the 55 gallon drums won't stand upright inside the vehicle, so I may get a small trailer. I'm not sure about that though.

Anyway, I'm really excited to get my filtration setup going.
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Postby John Galt » Mon May 05, 2008 3:40 pm

zurgprot wrote:I'm kinda scared about this though. How badly can I screw myself up here?

Worst case, you'll lunch the engine if the oil is not completely dried and filtered to at least 5µ.
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Postby 240Volvo » Mon May 05, 2008 5:27 pm

What about using the smaller sized barrels (30 Gallons?) from a car wash?

You haven't described the system you will use in the Excursion. What are you planning?
1984 Volvo 240 diesel with a single tank Elsbett conversion: electric fuel filter heater, FPHE, glow plugs, and injectors. Also injector line heaters and block heater, running 20%kero/80%WVO winter blend.
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Postby zurgprot » Mon May 05, 2008 6:54 pm

I called 6 car washes and none of them had any barrels. Most of them seemed like they thought I had the wrong number.

I'm going to get a Golden Fuel conversion done in Tampa (about 2 hours away). I don't have nearly the expertise necessary to do my own install, so that was out. And of all the kits I researched, this was the closest place I could get it installed.
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Re: New to svo, need some answers on setups

Postby WD8CDH » Fri May 30, 2008 11:13 am

[quote="zurgprot"]<snip>For collection, what kind of rigs can I fit into my Excursion? I was thinking about a 50 gallon propane tank for a vacuum system or just a regular barrel if I go with an electric pump. Of course cubies would be ideal to start out with, but possibly not the best use of my time in the long run.

For filtration/dewater, are these centrifuges really all they're cracked up to be? They seem vastly superior versus filters because they don't need replacement. What's the catch?
<snip>quote]

If I didn't get my oil in covered pails, I would go back to a vacuum system. Electric pumps are too troublesome and expensive for me.

The catches on CFs are cost and the attention/cleaning that they need. I like to keep my processing (warm upflow settling) as "hands off" as possable.

A CF is really just fast artifical gravity settling. :)
Ron Schroeder
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'85 MB 300DT 2 Tank
Since '81 former WVO conversions:
'83 240D
'80 Audi 4000D
'83 Isuzu Pup
'86 Golf
'76 Honda Civic with Kubota engine
Prior to the cars, several generators
Kubota Tractor
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Postby John Galt » Fri May 30, 2008 11:37 am

I agree with Ron about the 'hands off' low maintenance aspect of upflow settling. Dirty oil in one end, clean oil out the other, with some occasional filter cleaning and pumping a bit of sludge off the bottom of the barrel.
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