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Greasel Vs Bio-Diesel

There is a lot of interest among Diesel owners to operate their vehicles on something less expensive than pump diesel fuel.

Some have “converted” their engines to run on reclaimed fry oil, “Greasels”, while others choose “bio-diesel” which also use reclaimed fry oil, but process this oil first to remove the glycerin component.

Which is the best option here and what are the drawbacks?

Pump diesel or commercial bio-diesel that meets ASTM D6751, nothing made from waste oil with potential contaminates. Fuel is cheap, engines are expensive.

Except that people don’t believe that until they have to pay for that expensive engine. 20/20 hindsight, et al…

The problem with Greasels is that you really should run the engine on dino-diesel or processed bio-diesel until the engine is warm and then again before you shut the engine off. Then you might be able to shift to greasel fuel safely, but the jury is still out on that. I haven’t seen any real high mileage experiments done on greasel fuel. In order to make greasel work without damaging the engine, signifigant changes need to be made to the fuel system.

The good news is that experiments with real bio-diesel show that trucks using the fuel require less maintenance than those that run on dino-diesel. If memory serves, it has something to do with the fact that bio-diesel is a pretty good lubricant.

My understanding of bio-diesel is that they do not use reclaimed fry oil, but use new oil from plant or animal sources.

There are some backyard experimenters in my area that do the reclaimed fry oil conversion, generally aging hippies in clapped out Mercedes from the late '70s. One fellow started up a small business recycling oil and grease from restaurants, processing and selling it as fuel. He got in trouble with the state for failure to pay road use taxes on the fuel. The state doesn’t seem to bother the backyard guys who are just doing it for themselves.

So, if I were to have a diesel I’d be looking at bio-diesel from commercial sources that meets recognized standards, like Craig58 says. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any commercial bio-disels retailers in my area.

Out on The Cape, where there is unlimited used fry oil, there seems to be a growing fleet of Greasels and shops doing the conversion…No mention is made of the road tax issue…

I need about 2 gallons of milk a week, and I buy it from the store in a Mayfield Milk Jug and let Mayfield handle milking the cow, pasturizing the milk and bottling it up.

The same logic goes to diesel for my truck.

If I were in a situation where I needed 20 gallons of fuel a month and I didn’t have anything to do other than to piddle fart around the garage straining grease, separating parafin, and watching paint dry I might hunt around Long John Silvers for a few buckets of grease to make my fuel.

As is, I need about 200 gallons of diesel a month. That means I’m using my truck and equipment. I don’t have time to sit around and watch oil pour through filters and sit in a still settling the parafin wax out of it and then figuring out what to do with the left over glycerine and hunting 400 gallons of used oil to make 200 gallons of fuel.

While this may be a worthy endeavor to figure out how to do, I can’t help but think it would be far more efficiently accomplished by some outfit that had a tanker truck picking up 3000 gallons of oil a day and the equipment to process that oil and produce a couple thousand gallons of fuel a day.

That doesn’t even account for the fact that you have to build in a second fuel tank to your truck. One for diesel, one for grease. Extra heaters for the grease tank, and change fuel lines and seals more often because of the chemical reactions between the rubber seals and the grease fuel.

Put simply, if you need your truck and fuel, and you want to do something other than make fuel for a hobby, it’s not practical.


The same is true for beer. There are people who brew their own, but they spend more time brewing the beer than drinking it. Fortunately, the beer market is competitive and one can price shop for beer. The diesel fuel isn’t competitive.

They sell Spinnerbaits in the store, but I prefer the ones I build to the store bought ones. Why? I think they are better quality, and they catch more fish. The same could be said for a beer brewer. However, milk and diesel fuel are commodities.

IMO, it would be a good opportunity for someone to get into that business in a big way with an actual store and pump to sell it. If you can make it, and it works, and can sell it, maybe there’s an opportunity there, but to most people it would be an expensive prospect reinventing the wheel when the wheel is already there.


How much time does making the spinnrbaits take away from fishing? Does the increased catch make up for the time invested in making the spinnerbaits? I’ll bet a government grant might be available to study this problem.

To me, biodiesel implies that it is equivalent to diesel fuel but the source is different. Greasel, on the other hand, may just heaters on the fuel system to prevent congealing during cold weather. But you have to process it, and that is a drawback. Another drawback is that you have to pay tax on your greasel or biodiesel if you DIY. No fooling. You have to keep records and send the money to the taxing authority, based on how many gallons you use.

It depends on the kind of fishing you are doing. If it’s tournaments where half an ounce amoung 5 fish might make the difference between a $500 check and a $10,000 check, then it might make a difference. I used to fish tournaments and it’s kind of like racing cars. To a Nascar team, it a quarter pound of air pressure makes a great deal of difference in a tire and they have an engineer charged with the responsibility of determining if they should put 19 pounds, 19.25 pounds or 18.75 pounds of air in a tire. To me or you, our air guage doesn’t make that much difference. I once fished a tournament with over 300 boats in it. It paid back about 75 places, but only the top 10 were worth writing home about. 1st was around $20,000 and 10th was a couple thousand, below that it didn’t pay back your entry fees and fuel. Between the 3rd place and 85th place there was a total difference of around 3/4 of a pound. I finished 76th, 1 place out of the money and broke off a darn good keeper fish because I didn’t take the time to re-tie a knott. That was at least a $5000 fish. Wanna bet I learned to check knotts after that?


Sorry about losing the $5000 fish. At any rate, since the Earth is 3/4 water and only 1/4 land, a man should spend 3/4 of his time fishing.