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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fuel to burn


I returned home to find a message on my answering machine. A cousin let me know of another place looking to get rid of waste vegetable oil. Even though my storage is already near to overflowing, I can't say no. Finding WVO to burn in my diesel can be a feast or famine situation. It's the summer tourist season and restaurants are busy. Americans eat a lot of fried food.

Free motor fuel changes the math on a lot of things. For example, sometimes it's cheaper to drive home for lunch rather than eating in town. If we were paying for fuel, eating at a restaurant would be cheaper. Shopping further away is worth while. It makes sense to haul my own firewood rather than have it delivered. It makes living out in the woods way more affordable.

As the price of regular fuel has gone up, the number of visitors to our house has gone down. Most other people are in the petroleum economy. Hard numbers on motor fuel usage is hard to get. In my opinion, the government statistics are pretty squishy. Anecdotally, looking at the people around me, they are driving a lot less. Our home out in the woods is further away than it used to be -measured in miles per dollars.

We are driving around in a one ton van while paying the fuel bill of a moped. I keep expecting this loop hole to get closed sooner or later. While it has gotten a lot harder to score free or cheap WVO on the road, I still have good sources at home.

At least WVO stores a lot safer than gasoline or even diesel. It's not explosive and is biodegradable. Storing hundreds of gallons of diesel would require special handling. Don't even think about storing large volumes of gasoline. Really, as a former firefighter, please don't do it. Veggie is stored in the same 4.5 gallon jugs the restaurants got the fresh oil in. All I do is pile it on shelves or pallets. Once it settles a while, I just pour it right in the fuel tank. On board filters take the French fries and chicken bits out.

There are other grease burners in my area, so I've sent them some of my surplus. Between that and all the traveling planned for the summer, I should be able to just barely find storage for all my free fuel. When the cool weather returns, those stocks will be drawn down, so I'm stocking up while I can.

-Sixbears



12 comments:

  1. Congrates on the free WVO.Sixbear you have a lot of knowledge on WVO set up have you thought about writing an E book.I know most of it is avalible on the web but you have the writing skills to make it less intimidating for the reader.Think about it "Half a million miles and a 1000 sights on WVO" could make a little money for the boat fund.

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    1. I had a book half written years ago. Then my photographer with all my photos and diagrams had a stroke. Most of that got lost. Enough things have changes since I first wrote it that I'd have to start from scratch anyway. Kinda lost the will to push the project on.

      The photographer is a good friend. His right side is still pretty useless, but he's doing a lot better and living on his own again.

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  2. Driving a one tonne van with the fuel costs of a moped.
    You have a wonderful system going there.
    With no reason to change.
    I like that...
    I did try using WVO in the Bedford but there was a huge loss of power. I now know I can get a system sorted but unlike you, I have nowhere to store a large supply so I'll continue with diesel.
    It's obvious isn't it, I'm a very bad person...

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    1. Yeah right. No judgements here. Besides, only a tiny fraction of the diesel fleet can run on veggie.

      At one time I could just pull up to a restaurant, talk to someone inside and get permission to toss a hose in their waste tank. Not all the time, but often enough to keep me going. That can't happen anymore. The stuff has value to biodiesel plants.

      For a while there were guys with big pump trucks raiding tanks under cover of darkness to then sell the WVO. Crazy times.

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  3. Well, if or when your fuel oil source dries up, you can always use it as a place to live or a BIG storage locker. Way better than most cars, they might be used as food dehydrators when left in full sun . . . :^)

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    1. I could drive it one last time down some back logging road. It'd make a great camp.

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  4. Good for you, Sixbears! I have to fill my car today (never let it get below 1/2 tank, especially in hurricane season), and I'll think of you while I watch the little numbers go 'round to become larger numbers...

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    1. I go from northern NH to the middle of FL with the jugs of veggie I carry stashed under the van's bed. How's that for range?

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  5. Like the old saying goes, "make hay while the sun shines".

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    1. I'm going to ride this for as long as I can.

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  6. They'll eventually make "non-traditional" fuels illegal under the guise of no hard science on their pollution.

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    1. It burns a lot cleaner. The big problem they have is that I'm not paying road tax. NH looked at it years ago and figured it cost more to collect that what they'd get. Not worth the hassle to bother the few of us who do it. A wise and rare decision.

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