No, its not some ad in the back of a kids magazine. There’s plenty of people across the country who are brewing up their own biodiesel… not just the big plants you normally hear about.
This story on YourHub.com talks about how many people are using (usually) free old cooking oil from restaurants. But the article points out you can’t just throw ingredients together and have biodiesel. They recommend using a home kit from retailers such as EZBiodiesel.com:
In order to make quality Biodiesel, properly designed equipment and instruction is required. And an innovative Colorado based company, Summit Enterprises LLC, owned by Guy Purcella, offers just such a line of equipment called their EZBiodiesel processors. Summit Enterprises LLC designs & manufactures the processors in Grand Junction, CO & markets them worldwide. Processor sizes range from 20 gallons up to 5000 gallons.
The prices range from about $2,000 for a small, 20-gallon-per-batch model… and up to about $120,000 for a big 5,000-gallon model. I would think that those costs would cut into any savings… but maybe in the long run you could end up ahead. In fact, if my simple math is right, assume you could use the smallest, cheapest model to produce 20 gallons every three days (based on EZBiodiesel’s estimates of production time). If regular diesel costs about $2.85 a gallon, and the ingredients to make biodiesel cost 85 cents a gallon (assuming the old restaurant oil is free), you would be $2 a gallon ahead. Once you figure in the $2,000 for the kit, you’d have to make 1,000 gallons to start breaking even. If you drive a lot, you could probably use the 1,000 gallons in the 150 days it took to make it. Maybe after six months the kit would pay for itself. Maybe. Maybe someone should check my math.
Either way, it might be worth a click on the EZBiodiesel.com web site