Most diesel engines are capable of running on regular diesel, biodiesel, and a refined form of vegetable oil. Biodiesel can be produced from either algae or from oil-producing plants such as palm or soy. It is refined like standard gasoline oil making it a usable replacement or additive to diesel. Throughout Australia it has become increasingly more prevalent to find the biodiesel option at the fuel pump, with many manufactures releasing specific biodiesel cars and the Internet buzzing with how-to biodiesel conversion kits.
However, it is relatively easy to make bathes of biodiesel in your own backyard, a biodiesel usable on any diesel engine. Refining biodiesel is an organic chemistry project similar to baking and, while it is important to use the correct safety measures, experimenting with your own fueling creations is a fun way to save money. This project involves taking either new or used vegetable oil (connecting with a local Chinese or similar restaurant and offering the disposal of their used oil may even create a free option) and converting it into two compound types: the wanted biodiesel, a liquid thin enough to be used in diesel engines’ fuel-injection systems, and glycerin, the aspect that retains the thick, syrupy properties of oil. The goal is to separate and drain away the glycerin while keeping the biodiesel. While mixing this separated oil with standard diesel oil can work in any diesel engine, new conversion kits on the market offer the ability to create systems capable of running solely on this refined vegetable oil.