The Veggie Fuel

Note that this info was compiled in approx 2004-ish when we collectively sourced bulk, filtered chip oil. However that supplier is no longer trading and intermittent projects to do likewise in Nottingham are not currently running. The situation, especially re biodiesel and food security has moved on considerably. This should be taken into account when reading on...

We are not able to enter into general correspendence or offer advice beyond that which can be found from following the links provided on this site. This is a low-maintenance site - we are too busy in the real world to get lost in cyber-space!

This mainly covers UK-based information. Search out overseas info by following the links.

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faq's. Do-it-Yourself . suppliers . Legal Background . links

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Even the most optimistic commentator forecasts that oil supplies will be exhausted within 60 years. Some say, with a growth of 2% per annum, as low as 40. So what are our children to use for transport? How is the so-called "sustainable society" to be achieved?

Biodiesel is a sustainable transport fuel made from organic oils and fats, to be used alongside a policy of reduced vehicle usage.

It is non-carcinogenic and bio-degradable, reducing tailpipe emissions of carbon monoxide, smoke and many other noxious substances. Because plants absorb carbon dioxide whilst growing, CO2 emissions are also substantially reduced.

Five Nottingham-based environmental groups ran vans through 2002 on fuel from EnviroDiesel in Doncaster, which has now closed. In more recent times concerns have been raised about the impacts of biofuels now that oil supply has peaked and we are more cautious about biofuels. Nevertheless they may have role to play as part of a greatly reduced, calorie-controlled diy transport economy.

The global rush to biocrops threatens to bring food shortages and increase poverty, says a UN report (9/5/2007). The report also says the crops are not guaranteed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Biofuelwatch campaigns against the use of bioenergy from unsustainable sources, i.e. biofuels linked to accelerated climate change, deforestation, bio-diversity losses, human rights abuses, including the impoverishment and dispossession of local populations, water and soil degradation, loss of food sovereignty and food security. See http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/

FAQ's answered by Global Commodities UK Ltd, suppliers of driveECO

How is biodiesel different to regular diesel?
Unlike conventional diesel, biodiesel is fully biodegradable and is made from natural renewable resources. Biodiesel smells as subtle as olive oil, is less toxic than table salt and as biodegradable as sugar. Biodiesel is kinder to the environment as it eliminates the black smoke and fumes normally associated with diesel engines.

How will using biodiesel affect my engine?
One of the many advantages of biodiesel is the benefit to your vehicle's engine. Unlike conventional diesel, biodiesel replenishes your engines lubricity - reducing engine problems and enhancing the life and efficiency of your engine. Biodiesel 's natural cleaning properties will also help to clean injectors, fuel lines, pumps and tanks, meaning that the overall engine-maintenance costs are reduced.

How is biodiesel good for the environment?
When using biodiesel in a diesel engine, the emission of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and other harmful substances are greatly reduced, meaning biodiesel eliminates the noxious black smoke and fumes associated with normal diesel engines. And of course biodiesel is produced from largely renewable, sustainable resources which mean significantly less 'green-house' gas emissions are involved in production.

More FAQ's answered by Global Commodities

FAQ's answered by bio-power a North Wales based initiative producing organic fuels for the future

Can I burn bio-fuels in a petrol engine?
NO, bio-fuels are not suitable for use in spark ignition engines and will damage the engine. Ethanol is an alternative fuel for petrol engines.

Are bio-fuels dangerous?
NO, bio-fuel presents a lower fire risk than normal mineral diesel, and is about as safe as ordinary vegetable oil. Try lighting it with a match! All bio-fuels will only explode when heated and injected into highly compressed air. Spilled fat will dissolve into the ground like salad dressing.

Can I mix bio-fuels with ordinary mineral diesel?
YES, the two types of fuel are absolutely inter-mixable, and can be burned together.

More FAQ's answered by Bio-power

Make your own biodiesel

Anybody can make biodiesel. It's easy, you can make it in your kitchen -- and it's BETTER than the petro-diesel fuel the big oil companies sell you. Your diesel motor will run better and last longer on your home-made fuel, and it's much cleaner -- better for the environment and better for health. If you make it from used oil it's not only cheap but you'll be recycling a troublesome waste product. Best of all is the GREAT feeling of freedom, independence and empowerment it will give you.

SchNEWS diy guide - how to make biodiesel.

Instructions are also shown in the SchNEWS Squall 2001 Yearbook (pp.67/68), get yours from Veggies at The Sumac Centre, or send £8.50 inc p&p to Veggies

. . . or . . .

Here's how to do it -- everything you need to know from journeytoforever.org

Residential Weekend Course: how to make biodiesel

Location: Low-impact Living Initiative, Redfield Community, Buckinghamshire
Date: Aug 31-Sep 2 2007
Cost: high-waged £180 / waged £150 / unwaged £120
All food and accommodation included - plus free beers, wine, tea and biscuits! For more details, see: http://www.lowimpact.org/courseoutlinebiodiesel.htm

From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank: The Complete Guide to Using Vegetable Oil as an Alternative Fuel

Joshua Tickell details all of the how-to aspects of making and using biodiesel fuel as well as using straight vegetable oil as a fuel.

You can order this revolutionary book from anywhere in the world. To order online click on the book cover.

"The Veggie Fuel Video : Making Biodiesel Fuel From Used Cooking Oil" gives the viewer everything he or she needs to know to make biodiesel fuel from new or used vegetable oil. Shot and edited on digital video, this production demystifies the art of making biodiesel. In simple, step-by-step instructions, the video takes the viewer through:
  • Finding supplies including caustic soda (lye), methanol, and used cooking oil
  • Necessary equipment including the type of scale, graduated eyedropper, and safety supplies
  • How the biodiesel reaction works on a chemical level including 3-D animations
  • The tricks and pitfalls of titration
  • Making a simple biodiesel reaction in a blender
  • Testing the biodiesel's specific gravity
The Veggie Fuel Video is available from www.veggievan.org

VeggiePower.co.uk : "All you need to know about making biodiesel at home"

  • Practical hands on tips on designing and building the equipement.
  • Detailed & descriptive case histories of various home-built processing systems, including the one pictured here
  • UK Chemical Suppliers and Material Safety Data Sheets.
  • Advice on conversion to use Straight Vegetable Oil, including vegetarian VW and Merc.307 van, case histories and component suppliers.
  • Independent site solely funded by Amazon sales of "From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank" book. To support VeggiePower click here.
  • Details of other useful books to buy.

See also the 'Make Your Own Biodiesel' information on the journeytoforever.org site.

Make Your Own BioDiesel - Training Courses

The chemistry; supply of used cooking oil and other chemicals; vehicle considerations; Environment Agency and VAT law; plant design and construction using readily-available materials. Produce your own cheap, carbon-neutral diesel - no need for alterations to your engine.

Courses to be held 11-13 Apr; 12-14 May; 22-24 Aug; 5-7 Dec 2003 at Low-Impact Living Initiative (LILI) - dedicated to helping protect the global environment by promoting sustainable alternatives to various aspects of everyday life.

LILI, Redfield Community, Buckingham Road, Winslow, Bucks, MK18 3LZ . tel / fax: (01296) 714184

Legal Background

If you're clever enough make biodiesel yourself, you have to declare the fact and take the full hit of road fuel duty on it. Try to avoid it and HM Customs & Excise will come down very, very hard.


Allied Biodiesel Industries (UK) links suppliers in Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Southport, South Yorkshire, North Wales, Norfolk, Suffolk and Kent, including filling stations in Yorkshire and Gloucester supplying forcourt diesel with 5% bio-diesel.

www.biodieselfillingstations.co.uk aims to provide a list of places in the UK where people can fill their diesel vehicle with Biodiesel.

Ebony Solutions, Northwich, Cheshire, England, CW8 4DU
Tel: 01606 301222 Fax: 01606 872666
email: info@ebony-solutions.co.uk

Global Commodities UK Ltd, Market Street, Shipdham, Thetford, Norfolk, IP25 7LZ
Tel: 01362 821582 . Fax: 01362 821373
email: info@globeco.co.uk

From their website:
"Global Commodities UK is the first company in England to produce biodiesel from a purpose-built factory. Based at Shipdham, near Dereham, the company, under the leadership of managing director Dennis Thouless, claims to be “fuelling a better world”. Started three years ago and now with a workforce of eight, Global produces driveECO (environmentally-friendly diesel), cleanECO (environmentally-friendly cleaning product), pestECO (environmentally-friendly pesticide) and disposeOIL (collection of waste vegetable oil). The problem, as Mr Thouless saw it, was global warming through harmful emissions into the atmosphere, volatile oil prices, depletion of fossil fuels and insufficient environmentally-friendly alternatives on the market. Global has an extensive education programme for schools, colleges, commerce and industry, and promises future expansion".

BIO-POWER is a North Wales based initiative to collect, re-process and market waste organic oils and greases for use as transport fuels, and other purposes.

Contact John Nicholson on 01286 830312 or e-mail john-nicholson@ntlworld.com

From their website:
"Can I burn Straight Vegetable Oil in my diesel engine without converting it into Bio-diesel?"
Probably, but not certainly. Some engines, notably Mercedes engines, seem to run on SVO without any adaptation. VW engines are amazingly fuel tolerant. Other engines may work OK, if you fit a heater fuel filter and / or a heat exchanger. This web page deals with this question in more detail.

The Bio-Power Website contains much more useful information - check it out.

The OceanAir Environmental facility, Florida, produces 10 million gallons of biodiesel a year . . .

Other links

: A most comprehensive library of information of bio-fuel from Journey To Forever - driving overland from Hong Kong to Cape Town on Biofuel.

Includes interesting views on whether biofuels divert divert food crops into biofuel production (they think not) and the Biofuel Mailing List - "the biggest and fastest-growing alternative fuels mailing list. An information-sharing resource for the growing number of people all over the world who are making their own fuel or would like to".


www.veggievan.org : It's called "The Veggie Van" and it's fueled with used vegetable oil from fast food restaurants. During the summers of 1997 and 1998, the Veggie Van took America by storm, logging over 25,000 miles on biodiesel fuel.

Pure Plant Oil

Pure Plant Oil (PPO) is often confused with what has become termed biodiesel. Biodiesel is essentially chemically processed vegetable oil. PPO, as the name suggests, is just pure plant oil without any chemical processing – it is produced literally by crushing seeds and filtering the oil. The fact that no chemical processing needs to take place means the fuel has a very low energy footprint – or in plain English is better for the environment.

See: http://bloomingfutures.com/.

Straight Veg Oil Conversion

In August 2003, Daniel Blackburn set out to drive from Land’s End to John O’ Groats - but instead of filling up his car with diesel at petrol stations, he’ll be buying vegetable oil at ordinary shops and using that instead. Vegetable oil, taken from plants such as rape, sunflower, linseed and hemp, is carbon neutral. This means that the carbon dioxide released in combustion is re-absorbed from the atmosphere when the crop is grown again. Mr. Blackburn said: “Many people do not know that vegetable oil is a better fuel than diesel for car performance and it is perfectly legal if you pay duty on the cooking oil. Being from a farm I also know how farming needs new ideas to survive. If vegetable oil becomes a fuel for the future, farmers and rural economies could, for a change, benefit from the results of our nation’s addiction to motoring.”

Ph: 07976903637
Website: www.vegoilmotoring.com - Click on 'What Car?' for advice on converting diesel cars to run on vegetable oil.

www.veggiepower.co.uk is a vegan-run company, providing information, conversion kits and assistance for running a car on vegetable oil.

www.dancingrabbit.org : A sustainable living project, with particular experience of winter use of Biodiesel and Straight Vegetable Oil.

www.biofuels.fsnet.co.uk : Info includes an analysis of the (lack of) government policy on sustainable fuel supply.

[permaculture] Re: Biodiesel : Discussion forum, including reservations about plant based substitutes for petroluem based fuels.

4Car (Channel 4) review of biodiesel, including Biodiesel Compatibility Chart for most makes of vehicle.
"Oh, and we forgot to say that biodiesel has considerably better lubricity than normal derv, and that's vitally important to fuel-injection systems. While conventional diesel needs a package of chemical additives to boost its lubricity, biodiesel does not."
"Once the limited quantities of used industrial frying oils have been fully given over to biodiesel production, raw feed-stock will need to come from the cultivation of rape seed crops - which grow freely in the UK's climate. While the former are available virtually for free, specially cultivated rape will, of course, be more expensive. With the higher costs of crop-grown oils, the UK will need to see a much more generous biodiesel duty concession before we get full-steam-ahead production."

Find more links from Veggie Power UK Links Page

Changing fuels is not enough - we must also change the way we travel

Carbusters website and magazine (available from Veggies at the Sumac Centre) offers valuable resources and inspiration to break the car habit.

If you want to get involved in climate change campaigning contact Rising Tide on 01865 241 097 or see www.risingtide.org.uk

BP -- Beyond Preposterous
BP Amoco won a Corporate Watch "Greenwash Award" for its thoroughly misleading ad campaign "Beyond Petroleum". The slogan "Beyond Petroleum" is supposed to mean moving "beyond fossil fuels" to renewable fuels, but BP uses it to refer to its marketing push for natural gas -- a fossil fuel. BP spent more on its new eco-friendly logo in 1999 than on renewable energy. This was BP's second Greenwash award in 18 months. Read how BP boss Sir John Browne won a Greenpeace "Academy Award" for "Best Impression of an Environmentalist" for creating "an environmental fantasy of epic proportions". And behind the fantasy? Spin, lies, cheating, abuses, broken laws, pollution on a grand scale.
From www.journeytoforever.org

Shell wins Greenwash Award
Corporate Watch awarded its Greenwash Award to Shell for its ad claiming that Shell is at the forefront of reducing harmful greenhouse gases. Kenny Bruno, co-author of "Greenwash: The Reality Behind Corporate Environmentalism", takes a deeper look and finds that the company is full of hot air. Journey to Forever takes a further look, and finds that it's worse than that.
From www.journeytoforever.org

Exxon CEO Draws Anger Over Climate Change
Like his predecessors, Exxon Mobil Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Lee Raymond keeps a relatively low profile. He's reluctant to grant interviews and make public appearances. But ever since he assailed the Kyoto initiative to combat global warming in a speech a few years ago, Mr. Raymond has been inextricably linked to the issue.
nb Exxon is marketted in the UK as Esso, and has now taken over Mobil too.
from the Wall Street Journal, quoted by www.corpwatch.org - visit their site and search for the environmental-terrorist company of your choice.


Some excellent cartoons are available, explaining in far fewer words why we should encourage the use of bio-diesel. Those posted here, are from the CD-ROM copy of the 100+ images from Andy Singer.

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