Monday, May 01, 2006
Gas Up And Go
Regular or Unleaded... or Cholesterol-Free?
As recent gas prices continue to plague us at the pumps, more and more people are seriously looking into alternative fuel sources. And these days people with cars that run on diesel powered engines, are finding a proven source right there in the kitchen pantry.
Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) - Straight vegetable oil refers to any vegetable oil that can power diesel engines but has not been optimized for usage in automobile fuel systems under all temperature conditions. The major drawback of using SVO is that it gels at colder temperatures and must be heated prior to reaching the engine's fuel injectors during cold weather. You can buy cooking oil and use it straight from the bottle (very expensive), or you can get it used from restaurants, which is commonly called Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO). WVO must be filtered prior to use since it contains many food particles. SVO/WVO are derived from plants such as peanuts, soy, canola/rape seed, and other grains. Both thicken at colder temperatures and can clog fuel systems unless they are heated and filtered before reaching the engine (vegetable oil can even solidify below 25 degrees Fahrenheit). Vegetable oil conversion kits include a heating system and usually a second gas tank to circumvent the cold weather issues. SVO also produces extremely low emissions.
Honestly, at this rate I should probably kick myself for not holding on to that old Volkswagen Diesel I owned back in the 90s. Needless to say, after filling the tank on my Ford 500 at $3.12 per gallon for regular in Westchester County, New York yesterday morning, I'm open to any and ALL alternative options.
So as for filling my tank then saving the rest perhaps for a nice dressing for my endive and artichoke salad? You can count me in, big time. Heck, I'll even take my trusty gas can and hang out at the backdoor of a few restaurant kitchens -- for the bulk WVO I mentioned above.
Which all pretty much boils down to a whole lot of wishful thinking on my part, of course.
At any rate, good luck at the pumps in your neck of the woods, and make it a good Monday, all. Peace.