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Home Brew
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, May 11, 2008

The next generation of home brewers?
Every few weeks Gordon Elliott drives 22 miles to the Hare and Hounds pub in Marple, Cheshire, collects a barrel of waste cooking oil from his stepdaughter and takes it back to his personal oil refinery in his garage in Leigh, near Bolton. The retired construction site manager then decants the liquid into a machine and adds a few chemicals.

Twenty-four hours later the waste oil has been purified, filtered and refined and is ready to be used in one of his family's two diesel cars. Instead of paying £1.25p a litre at the local supermarket, he has paid 15p to make his own biodiesel. He says he is saving nearly £100 a month - as well as 90% of the greenhouse gases he would normally emit from driving. The cars perform perfectly, the equipment will be paid for within a year and the pleasure of making his own fuel is intense. "It's the principle. I do it for the environment and to spite the exchequer," he said.

Elliott, 79, is part of a cottage industry of people who have turned to making their own recycled "biodiesel" in response to the doubling of fuel prices in just over a year. Companies making biodiesel "reactors" report booming sales and demand for cheaper diesel is outstripping anything they can produce.
I can see fast food joints selling waste oil instead of having to pay to have it hauled off - a new profit center. Cook your fries and then drive to work.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Not really. Once this takes off (and I’ve considered it myself, ’cept neither of my cars run on diesel), you’ll see the market kick in. Waste oil will be in demand. The supply, being limited, will cause people to start charging for it rather than giving it away. Once that happens, the costs associated with refining it will creep up until it’s not quite the money saving venture it once was.

It’ll still be cheaper than gas (due to the DIY nature of the project), but it won’t be as great a differential as it is right now.

I’m still interested it doing something like this. I’m a homebrewer for beer, I wouldn’t mind being able to make my own fuel too.
Written By: Robb Allen
Well, maybe in the short term this wuff will be in demand. Then the government will step in, seeing it’s losing the tax revenue to be made at the pump.
Written By: Bithead
My step-mother did this with a diesel Mercedes. She used waste oil from Chinese restaurants. The problem was the Mercedes was old and kept needing to be repaired, so it was not cost-effective for her. She sold the car to a mechanic, though.
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Is it legal to burn oil with trans-fats in an internal combustion engine, ’cause we got loads of that stuff.
Written By: Ronald McDonald
URL: http://
They had a lot of people in England buying vegetable oil in stores and cutting diesel by 50-50 with it. It was cheaper than buying diesel from the pump. They cracked down on offenders. There are tax dollars to be had.

The Democrats will nip this in the bud once its more than environment diehards and enthusiasts doing it.

OTOH, there are new processes coming that convert just about any carbon related substance into ethanol. And although you need a E85 ready engine which adds a hundred bucks give or take in terms of more robust seals and gaskets, you are not paying anywhere near the $5000+ premium a new diesel engine commands.

We could see ’carbon waste’ like this soon being collected for a small price drying up the market of the individual home brewer. I could see them actually doing something with grass clippings as well, but I doubt you’ll get a refund from the city. Anyway I’d rather see waste like this go to that use than to be the unlucky resident living downwind from a city’s attempt at a compost facility.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
There once was a Robin Williams joke during the last gas crisis. Dig up old relatives for fuel. "I got 20 mpg from a tank of grandma". That’s actually potential true now.

"Soylent-Diesel is People"
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Wasn’t there an effort a few years ago to use sewage for the purpose?
Written By: Bithead
I think they tried to produce methane for powerplants.

"Not pig sh!t, energy!"

There are already some alternatives to oil on that front of which nuclear should be a more prominant member, though.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://

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