Friday, August 15, 2014
Do petroleum companies still advertise the quality of their fuel products? I don't watch TV so I don't know if they do or not. Those old commercials occurred to me as I was fueling up the veggie van. The grease it's been burning lately is the consistency of cold gravy. The fuel jugs have to sit in the sun for a while before the grease can be poured into the fuel tank. Sometimes the plastic jugs have to be squeezed to get the waste veggie to flow out fast enough.
The van starts on diesel. The engine coolant runs though a copper coil in the veggie tank. There's a second coil wrapped around the veggie fuel filter. Before long the grease gets hot and looks like it did when it was in the fryers. At that point a switch is thrown and the van burns grease.
For a few years my waste veggie source, a popular restaurant, had switched to canola oil. While I'm not sure about health claims for the oil, it makes a more convenient fuel. Canola stays liquid at much lower temperatures than the soybean oil the restaurant currently uses. That was great when my veggie vehicle was a pickup truck as the jugs rode in the unheated truck bed. Now that we have a van the veggie rides inside a heated compartment and soybean oil isn't a problem.
Since the van came back from the garage it's been all over the place. Yesterday my lovely wife and I took a ride over to the lumber yard. 12 foot long lumber fits right inside the van -very handy when the weather is nasty. That heavy thick veggie oil burned just fine on our 100 mile round trip and that's what really matters.