Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Keeping the Veggie Voyager Afloat

How it all Works ( or sometimes doesn’t). Keeping the Veggie Voyager afloat.

The Veggie Voyager, an ’87 Ford F-250 four wheel drive ¾ ton pickup with an 8’ cabover camper, is a multifuel vehicle, able to run on diesel fuel, bio-diesel, or straight vegetable oil (SVO). Our fuel mileage varies from 12-15mpg.
Diesel fuel has been cleaned up considerably in the past year with the removal of most of the sulfur, but is still a dirty fossil fuel when used in older vehicles like ours, so we only use it for the first few miles while waiting for the SVO to warm up enough to burn.
Bio-d and SVO are both derived from vegetable oil, but Bio-d requires a complex chemical process using methanol and lye to strip off the sticky triglyceride part of the oil molecule. It would be difficult to do while on the road.
SVO only needs to be cleaned or filtered and have any water removed. In order to burn it as fuel we have to heat it up to ideally 150-170 degrees F.
To heat up our veggie oil we have a heater hose from the engine that heats up an oil pick up tube in our veggie tank, then goes to a heated filter and finally to a small heat exchanger box. The veggie line is sandwiched between the heater hoses, so it gets warmed all the way to the fuel injector. A temperature gauge tells me if its hot enough to burn. If its not, there is an electric heater that kicks in.
There is no obvious difference in engine performance when running on veggie. We do lose the nauseating diesel smell, the black soot on hard acceleration, and we have the good feeling of not burning fossil fuel. The gas mileage, unfortunately, is about the same.

The above is from Michael. He hasn't had time to post before and this isn't really complete but it's a start on the info you'd want if you were going to convert your diesel vehicle to veggie. He said the place you'd really learn the most is at biodiesel.infopop

We just came out of the hills from beautiful Blue Lake where we got some time to just read, play Scrabble, nap, canoe, bird watch (Loons!) and not fuss with maps, truck business, or the long unknown of the road ahead. Now I'm in the OROVILLE, WASHINGTON library looking out through hollyhocks to the main road (to Canada) ahead. I can tell that most of the weekend traffic are the summer people the librarian told me about. The town (really the lake it sits on,) was "discovered" by investors two years ago and the town, which was about 1200 people, now has 950 new condos on it's lake, taxes and problems have gone way up and the county has responded with a moratorium on building but the city council is still making unwise decisions. She said you can see the greed around them and it's really disheartening for the townspeople. We are just here to provision ourselves but one of the things that I miss on this thread of roads we have been travelling, that we found a small sample of at Blue Lake, is open space that doesn't have to be shared with other humans or isn't posted off by private property. Our human population really is pushing its limits...


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home