At the beginning of the summer I experimented with running our old VW T4 van on vegetable oil, mixed 50/50 with diesel. It worked great, until we hit about 95km/h when the engine lost power momentarily. Not a huge problem as most of the roads we use are 90km/h, but it doesnt really inspire confidence.

Assuming it to be a fuel filter or pump issue, I am taking things to the next level and removing the glycerine from the oil to make Biodiesel, which is apparently better for the engine than regular diesel, and its definitely better for the wallet at about 30 cents per litre (depending on the vegetable oil source).

Today we bought some chemicals to test the process. Sodium Hydroxide, Phenolphthalein, Methanol, and Isopropyl Alcohol. This should be fun (safe fun with goggles, gloves, and a well ventilated area of course).

I wont bother ¬†with details, check out the sites below for the process. My main feedback for anyone interested would be to consider of the amount of water needed to wash the biodiesel after making it, it can be as much as 3-4 times the amount of biodiesel produced. So now I’m looking into filtering the water to reuse it before diving in any deeper into the process.

Well, I made my first 30 litres of biodiesel anyway!

http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_mike.html

http://www.dangerouslaboratories.org/biodiesel.html

http://biodieseltutorial.utahbiodieselsupply.com/titratingoil/

http://www.make-biodiesel.org/The-Appleseed-Biodiesel-Processor/