I fitted the sump drain valve the other day. You can either buy a specific valve off the internet for £30 or make one from parts. Should be easier for me to change the oil which I do every 6k or so.
Making Biodiesel can be a low impact activity - almost everything can be recycled. Plastic containers are washed and put in the plastic recycling. Metal containers are crushed and sold for scrap. Often, containers are re-used to collect and store oil. Cardboard outer packaging is collected by the kerbside recycling.
Excess methanol can be reclaimed via a condenser and re-used. As for the oil, any dregs are used to start my wood burner.
If your residing in the UK then its likely your council tax bill was frozen this year - Hooray! The consequences are you may suffer council cut backs, as they try to claw the money back - Booo! That's why Drayton tip do not accept waste cooking oil any more....So get in touch with me instead or ask one of the guys at the tip
You can listen to my interview here :-)
Biodiesel does not seem to be regulated very well in the UK. Be careful what you buy and never assume it's good quality fuel. There are two tests to put your mind at rest. The Wanquist test measures the purity: dissolve 3ml of biodiesel into 27ml methanol and shake, leave to stand. Biodiesel is soluble in methanol, any drop out is unconverted vegetable oil.
The second test is easier: add 50% water and 50% biodiesel. Shake and leave to stand. The bottom water layer should be clear, cloudy water indicates soap contamination.
I have 6-10 minutes of fame on Monday! Tune in for a brief discussion about biofuels on BBC Radio Oxford.
Hyper-miling is the term used for driving frugally. Anticipating the road ahead, minimising brake use and coasting down hills. There's lot's of techniques on the internet from modifying your car to more controversial methods. I managed to get 47mpg on the way to work last week and I'm sure 50mpg is possible. Not bad for a two ton lump.
Bio users change their engine oil at a regular 5-6k miles. For me this means getting the car up the ramps, removing the splash guard etc. I found a website called "quickvalve" and they make sump valves to replace the plug. All you do is turn the tap, drain the oil and refill - perfect! I think you can make something from standard plumping/gas parts. The local hydraulics shop is on the case!
I am working on an e-book on how to make biodiesel. Its taken me several years to get to a stage where everything works perfectly. The main aim is to simplify the process and avoid the confusion on the internet. Will keep you posted!