Thursday, September 5, 2013
Fair Food and alternative fuels
It's Fair season in New England. I didn't go to the local one, but friends did. They called me the morning after the fair. They'd noticed quite of few jugs of waste fryer oil that was headed for the trash. Knowing that I run vehicles on waste oil, they gave me a call.
Now I've got good steady local sources, but I'm not one to pass up bonus fuel.
The jugs were piled up just where they said they were. I grabbed the first two, but something didn't feel right. There was no liquid slosh to the jugs. In fact, it wasn't waste oil in those jugs but waste shortening.
Shortening is a lot harder to use than waste oil. It needs to be heated to a liquid state, filtered, then pored into my vehicle's heated veggie tank. It takes longer to switch from diesel to alternative fuel. When shutting down, it's critical to switch to diesel first and really flush the shortening out of the engine. There's some thought on the WVO forums about shortening and other high transfat oils being hard on an engine's rings. I know it's tough on pumps and filters.
I unloaded the jugs and left them for the trash, as I'm not desperate for fuel.
Since then I've learned that those traveling Carnies use the heaviest shortening they can find. Once the fryers cool, the grease is in one solid lump. Liquid oils would slosh around as they drive down the highway.
So not only do I know something about alternative fuels, now I know why Fair food takes me three days to digest.