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Converting a Car to Biodiesel

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Biodiesel

Converting a Car to Biodiesel

Anna Williams
March 23, 2009

Anna Williams

Converting a Car to Biodiesel
A car running on biodiesel can save a lot of gas for its owner. Not only that, but this alternative fuel emits less carbon dioxide, making it more environmentally friendly than an engine which runs on conventional fossil fuel.

A regular car, running with a diesel engine, can run on biodiesel, which is a non-petroleum based type of diesel. This fuel type is sold by various pumping stations in a blend.

But did you know that you can convert your diesel car to run on "Straight Vegetable Oil" or "SVO?"

What is SVO?

SVO is something you can find right in your kitchen. It can be made from a number of vegetables, such as corn, soy, hemp, palm, or hemp. If you want to help make the world a cleaner place for future generations, you can convert your diesel car to run on biodiesel.

Running on SVO can be expensive if you buy your oil off the counter. What some people do is ask local restaurants to purchase their used vegetable oil. Don't settle for a single source. If you have multiple sources, you'll have plenty in reserve, and won't run out of fuel for your car.

Before you can use the SVO on a converted car, you have to filter the waste vegetable oil you've collected. One of the simplest ways to do this is to heat the oil, and pour it into a strainer or coffee filter. The important thing is to get rid of the solid food particles in the oil, before you load it into the SVO tank.

Get a Conversion Kit

You will need to procure a conversion kit for your diesel car if you want it to run on exclusively on SVO. Shop around, and search through a number of online biodiesel communities. They can help you find where to buy one. Prices can vary, for the equipment and the labor. Also, make sure that the kit is compatible with the make and model of your car.

You could find a mechanic to install the kit for you, but you can also save a couple of dollars if you install on your own. Most conversion kits come with instructions that are easy to follow.

There are three typical modifications that are required, for converting your car to biodiesel. These are SVO Fuel Tank, Hose/Seal overhaul for the fuel system, and modification of the heating system.

Running your car on biodiesel can help you save money in the long run. This is one way of not just helping yourself, but your environment as well.

For more information on biodisel please visit http://livingclean.com/alternativeenergy/biodiesel/what_is_biodiesel/

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