Biodiesel FAQs

Do I need to modify my engine to use biodiesel?

No, biodiesel has almost identical burn characteristics as ordinary diesel and requires no modification or adjustment to use in a diesel engine.

Can I use biodiesel in any diesel engine?

Any engine with a Bosch rotary or inline pump. Use B100 ( 100% biodiesel)

Any engine with any other make of rotary pump. Use B80

Any engine with PD or Common Rail injection Use B50

Any engine with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) use no biodiesel

Will I get the same MPG?

Engines running on biodiesel sound smoother because of the improved lubrication but the milage is reduced by 4%.

Are there any problems to look out for.?

Biodiesel is an excellent solvent and will clean out your tank and fuel lines. This dirt may end up blocking your fuel filter. We recommend replacing your fuel filter after 1 week of driving on biodiesel and again after one month. After that you can go back to routine 20,000 mile intervals.

Seals and Orings made from Viton ( chemical proof synthetic rubber) have been standard in car fuel systems for 30 years but car mechanics will still use cheap rubber replacements. These rubber seals may degrade in contact with biodiesel and cause fuel leaks. A regular visual check of the fuel system for leaks is a good idea and any leaking seals should be replaced with proper Viton ones.

Is it legal?

You are required to pay 44 cents mineral oil tax per litre for any biodiesel you use as road fuel and 6 cents per litre for any used as agricultural, home heating or other uses. We can advise on how to go about registering.

Will my warranty be affected

Yes. A car manufacturer will not guarantee a car run on home made fuel.

How much biodiesel will I get from a 150 litres of Waste vegetable oil (WVO)?

You will get 145 litres of finished biodiesel.

Where can I get WVO?

Restuarants, hotels and cafes are the obvious place but they are also the places most likely to have a contract with a waste oil company. Other sources are worth pursuing, mobile chip vans, seasonal restuarants, pubs in country areas, canteens, nursing homes,clubs, petrol stations etc.  We can put you in touch with a licensed waste oil collector who will supply you with clean dry WVO very suitable for biodiesel conversion.

How much will the fuel cost to make?

Assuming the wvo is free, enough methanol, potassium hydroxide and silica gel to make 1100 litres currently costs 250 euro incl vat and delivery. This works out at 23cents per litre + 1.6cents for electricity. Buying in larger quantities will reduce this price significantly .

Where can I buy the chemicals ( methanol and potassium hydroxide) ?

There are numerous suppliers who sell the chemicals, 4 in Dublin, 3 in Belfast, 3 in Cork and one in Antrim. All will deliver and some will allow collection from their premises.

Are the chemicals dangerous?

Methanol is toxic and inflammable . Potassium hydroxide is toxic and caustic so both require careful handling. These chemicals should be stored in a locked building or shed not directly connected to a dwelling house. Biodiesel on the other hand is completely non toxic.

How long does the process take?

The entire process takes 2 days from start to filling up your vehicle.

Altogether it involves 2 to 3 hours attended work. Most of the time the processor runs on its own.

What about the waste product, glycerol?

Every 150 litre batch of biodiesel yeilds 30 litres of glycerol. Glycerol is not toxic or harmful and has many uses as a detergent, degreasing agent, slip agent, antifreeze, cutting lubricant, coolant etc.
A Free glycerol collection service is now available to all of my customers.  No maximum quantity, 200 litre minimum .  Simply call Tony on 087 1718528 or 078 87755409 in Northern Ireland and he will arrange collection

Why does biodiesel need to be dried?

Water is the most harmful contaminant in diesel ( and biodiesel). Your fuel must contain less than 500 parts per million (ppm) to be safe for use in an engine. This is a particular problem in Ireland with its very damp climate. The dryers supplied with most imported processors will not dry the fuel sufficiently to make it safe for use in a common rail injection system.

Out turbo dryer is energy efficient and will dry biodiesel to less than 200ppm in 4 hours.

Why does biodiesel need to be washed?

The processing of making biodiesel produces a small amount of soap and this must be removed before the fuel can be used. There are two types of wash system, the traditional water wash method and the more advanced dry wash system .

Which wash system is best?

Both systems remove soap effectively.

Our drywash system is automatic, just turn it on and 6 hours later it switches off. Our drywash cartridge will clean up to 5000 litres and can be refilled for 25 euro.

Water washing can be very time consuming, the water must be changed at least 5 times over 3 to 4 days and the slightest carelessness can cause an emulsion, meaning you have to start all over again.

Why is it important to have a testing service?

You need to know that your biodiesel is up to standard before you use it in your car. Repairs to injector systems are very expensive.

Every time you make a batch you send us a small sample , we analyse it and text you back the results. If there is a problem with the results we will have some suggestions on how to put it right.

What about aftersales support?

As well as our very comprehensive manual we provide a day of hands-on training with your processor  and  a telephone help line to advise you on any questions you may have.

What about emissions from biodiesel?

Using biodiesel reduces the CO2 emissions of your car by 80%. Smoke and unburned particles are reduced by 40% and sulphur dioxide emissions are reduced to zero.

What size is the unit?

Its takes up 3ft (1m) x 3ft (1m) of floorspace and is 6ft (2m) high. Access is needed to two sides only so it can go against a wall or in a corner.