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Can one use Peanut Oil for bar oil in chainsaws ?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Gooserider, Apr 21, 2007.

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  1. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Not sure if this should be here, the Green Room, or Gear... BUT...

    I have several gallons of used, elderly, probably somewhat rancid peanut oil left over from frying turkeys... (the birds, unfortunately - not our favorite politicos!) The problem is the stuff is a bit of a challenge to get rid of.

    The used motor oil places won't take it because it's not motor oil.

    The trash guys won't take it because it leaks out of the garbage trucks. (I have on occasion "snuck" it by them a gallon at a time in old laundry detergent bottles, but I feel slightly guilty about it...)

    The haz-mat guys won't take it on the town's hazmat collection days because it's not haz-mat.

    In theory I could make it into bio-diesel, but I don't have anything that runs on diesel, and I'm not sure it's practical for such a small amount.

    I could try mixing it with my wood ashes and making soap, but what would I do with 20 gallons of home brewed soap? (and I'm not sure it would work...)

    I was wondering if one could run it through the chainsaw instead of the $7-8/gallon bar oil? I still probably wouldn't use as much oil as I've got, but it would make a dent in it. Arguably it would be better for the environment than using petro based bar oil (Currently using Stihl or Husky brand, AFAIK those are petro base, I haven't seen anything that advertises itself as veggie base) I'm not that worried about attracting squirrels, and I don't think I need to worry about attracting elephants in MA... :coolgrin:

    If I can't use it in the chainsaw, any other suggestions on getting rid of it?

    Gooserider

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  2. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    No harm in trying it, I'd say. I use peanut oil mostly for stirfry. :)
  3. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Goose..."You gotta be ^hitting me!"
    Gonna TRY to keep it brief. You could do one of three things. Dump it in the oil burner barrel, do a little "Midnight dumping" into the grease dumpster at the local "Chinky food place"...You got a woodstove don't you? Throw a cup or two in at a time on a roaring fire and get some BTU's out of it. :) or last and least try it in the saw...although I wouldn't recommend it for one simple reason: It will run fine (I'm sure)...but god forbit you get a cut...and get that oil into the wound. You might be in for one nasty infection.

    I mention this because a friend, fellow woodburner, and machinist by trade rants up and down "The damn green WACKOS need to get a life and leave us alone"...he isn't too happy working in "Enviromentally Friendly shops that use so called enviromentally friendly oils."
    Nature of the beast with CAPITALISM though...company is trying to play by the rules...but keep the oil for as long as it can...old "food type oils" harbor bacteria...get a cut...get a nasty infection.

    Knowing my luck...I would try the oil...and my luck being what it is..."that one in a million of slips" would gouge me deep...and end up with deadly infection.
    "Yup....he woulda lived if he used regular bar oil..."

    Err Umm...not a chance I wanna take...My life is worth more than $8 worth of bar oil.

    Ain't being green nice?
  4. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Mixed reviews to this for sure... I doubt there'd be much bacteria in the oil as it comes out of the fryer having been at 350* or so for an hour, but you are right about what might be growing on the saw bar... Of course if you go sawing off bits of your anatomy, infection seems pretty likely no matter what considering that they don't exactly sanitize the woods....

    Might try burning it, but peanut oil isn't noted for being good burning - indeed that is why I use it, it's more stable at high temps...

    Gooserider
  5. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    If you need to get it out of the way, check to see if there is a bio-diesel organization locally. They will pick up the used oil, rancid or not. Also, ask the next time you're in a fast food place, where they dispose of theirs. If it's a big friendly Mac's they may say bring it by and add to their tank. Lastly, advertise it on Craigslist as available for a reasonable price or barter for bar oil. There may be a buyer who is using a used oil burner, it would sweeten his fuel.
  6. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Great suggestions on getting rid of it UR, hadn't thought of it as something that someone might actually want...

    Gooserider
  7. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    Give you an idea how quirky some are. A local ecologist bought an older school bus and converted it to bio-diesel to give lectures and demos at groups and schools. She takes part of her charges in used oil. Then demos converting to diesel. I personally wouldn't want to carry the chemicals and have them around children, but it has it's fascination.

    I have a friend bugging me to check out a surplus 38 passenger transit bus converted to compressed natural gas. He wants to return it to diesel and run multi-fuel. My part would be converting it to a motor home. Nice challenge, but the thought of going to bed in it at night with a light odor of french fries is not too appealing.

    My friend that does car restorations is now looking at using waste oil to heat. He knows that it's more expensive than natural gas, but he is now looking at the charges he has to pay for hazardous waste disposal for liquid oils and solvents. He can safely burn the oil, tranny fluid, hydraulic and brake oils. Saves him a bunch in hazardous waste fees, but it means keeping a detailed paper trail. It's a hassle in time, but a blessing in bucks. He's quite the engineer and is already working on the burner units and pre-heaters. Comes from a background in aeronautics.
  8. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    It all depends - My GF's father recently retired from a long career as a tenured physics prof. at Yale - one of his part time things was doing "outreach" to High School students, specializing in pyrotechnics and other "impressive" demonstrations about how "physics can be fun" - OTOH I once read an article where one of the lead scientists that helped invent all the various "dip-stick" medical tests was doing a presentation on her specialty to an elementary school class - went through a long lecture about how the sticks worked, with demonstrations using simulated "product" - got to the end, asked for questions, and a young voice pipes up "What's Urine?" This is known as not covering the basics....

    I know that these days everyone's gotten all paranoid, but back when I was in school we had all sorts of "interesting" chemicals in the science labs, and were given a lot of hard core lectures about lab safety - I don't recall any serious problems, and the few we heard about the student involved was considered rather dumb - like the kid who saw the sodium in water demo, thought it was cool and swiped a chunk - Stuck it in his pants pocket (w/o the oil cover) and discovered in the next class just why they keep metalic sodium in a bottle of oil...

    I'm not all that sure what the chemistry is for making bio-diesel, but my understanding is that it isn't all that noxious, and it does seem like a good demo tactic.

    Could be worse things, I'd rather have a diesel power and generator motorhome than a gas one - My parents had some friends that had a gasoline powered motorhome, lost one kid and a second w/ permanent damage due to an exhaust leak one night while they were sleeping - at least you can SMELL diesel exhaust! I will admit that I've had the occasional fantasy of doing a bus conversion as a retirement strategy, not sure it would work, but it would be fun.

    Seems like a good approach to me, though I wonder how he deals with the metals in the waste oils, I've heard that's the biggest issue in burning them. (Of course, in regards to the paperwork, sounds like typical gov't busywork to make life more difficult...)

    Gooserider
  9. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    UR:
    That's a "new one"...kinda interesting. As time passes, I'll bet the waste oils become a precious commodity.
    Do you think the Govt. has a "stratedgy" behind supporting/diverting the waste oil to bio plants? (Make it more valuable...so less people will be able to convert it themselves, ultimately tax$$$'s???)
  10. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    I dont see why not. When we cut near wetlands and water shed areas we run vegetable oil for bar oil. It works fine for us.
  11. colsmith

    colsmith New Member

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    I suggest you offer it up FREE on Craigslist and your local freecycle. Should be some bio-diesel user out there, or somebody who knows one. Or maybe a homemade soap maker, who knows, offer some ashes up as well!

    As for the ecologist converting oil to diesel with chemicals, UncleRich, are you sure about what you're saying? My understanding is there is no 'converting' to diesel, no need for weird chemicals. The vegie oil is simply filtered to remove impurities, and burns in that state in a diesel engine. Generally real diesel is used to start up the vehicle, and then you switch over to the bio-diesel.
  12. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    this will get me in trouble..dig a hole and dump it in and cover it up.
  13. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

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    The conversion process is the difference between burning veggie oil and biodiesel. You can burn veggie oil in a diesel but you generally need to heat it up so it sprays properly. With biodiesel there is almost no difference from dino diesel in how it works in the engine.

    You could drop a message here, likely someone nearby will pick it up.
    http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x
  14. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    I would dump it (in small quantities at a time) in my outdoor bonfires or when burning brush and leaves.
  15. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    Tiki torches. Honestly I just dump mine into my compost pile. it's vegetable oil. I use the pitchfork to turn it in just a bit and that's it.
  16. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    The process is a bit nastier than that... I just did a bit of skimming on the net, you may be able to do a hybrid dino/veg vehicle as you suggested, but that isn't quite the same as bio-diesel. BD is vegetable oil, either new or used (i.e. fry oil) that has been put through a catlytic chemical conversion process that changes some of it's properties.

    The chemistry involved is relatively simple stuff to do, but does involve some moderately nasty chemicals. Essentially you mix lye (can be either NaOH or KOH) and methanol together, then add that to the oil in the proper sequence. You get out glycerine and BioDiesel, which then needs to be "washed" to remove the methanol and lye which catalyzed the reaction.

    Lye is mildly nasty stuff, doesn't pose great challenges to handle and isn't that bad to deal with if handled properly.

    Methanol is much nastier - it's a neurotoxin - kills brain cells, makes you go blind, etc. It is difficult to protect against, goes right through cartridge respirators and most protective clothing. It is highly flammable, evaporates readily and it's vapors are even more flammable / explosive. It also eats many rubbers and plastics, which causes it's own problems... There are severe restrictions on it's possession and storage in a home environment because of it being such a fire hazard.

    I didn't go into the details, but it sounded like the BD process actually generates a significant amount of moderately hazardous waste - The wash water is contaminated with lye and methanol, and the glycerine also has a lot of methanol contaminating it - one article suggested sending the glycerine to a haz-mat disposal outfit... Just how good for the environment IS this stuff?

    Gooserider
  17. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    hole it or burn it
  18. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    hi guys,

    Some like it hot is correct. free cycle will work.

    My local trash authority has last week added that to the list of recyclables because so many people have turkey fryers and they cannot get rid of the oil either. They collect it and give it to a biodiesel plant.

    Carpniels
  19. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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    I've got the perfect use for you. This is copied from another post I made on how I start my fires:

    I buy small dixie cups, and put about two tablespoons of vegetable oil in the cup, and add a crumpled up half of a paper towel. I light that with three logs around it.

    Before you object…

    I’ve been doing this for years, and have never had any flare up. The oil starts burning slowly, through the paper towel that acts as a wick.

    The oil burns cleanly—there’s no buildup (don’t compare it to splatters on your cooking stove, those come from splattered unburnt oil).

    Chimney sweep inspecting flue confirmed that there was no residue or other problem from using this.

    It only costs only about 2 cents per firestart (compare to 15 cents for Supercedars broken in four pieces).

    I don’t need kindling—this works even with larger logs.
  20. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    A lot of guys burn it in their oil burner. It is supposed to be heated but if you thin it way way down and filter it it should go right through a Beckett type gun with no problems. There is a yahoo group that deals with burning waste motor and waste restaurant oil. If you got with them they could tell you how to filter and mix it thin enough to burn correctly. There isn't much too it and you get free heat.
  21. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Interesting idea Driz, but our backup heat is Natural Gas, so we don't have a Beckett gun...

    I've seen the dixie cup idea elsewhere WG, and that also sounds like a good one (though I hate to think how long 15 gallons will last at 2tbl per fire) although I've found the method I use right now of newspaper, kindling, and "splitting powder" (the stuff I rake up from the splitting area, mostly bark and small chunks of wood) all of which I have in greater quantity than I can use, gets me great fires in 5-10 minutes with the smoke dragons - a better stove might be harder to light...)

    Gooserider
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