Fuck the Oil Cartels

posted August 15, 2005 by Con Bard Drew

Con Bard Drew

Gasoline is at record highs, as you may have noticed. Locally, the "cheap" place is at $2.59 for Regular.

But thinking about it, i don't expect the Ebon Hawk (my van) to last too much longer (as it's a total shitbox, really). So when it goes, i'm going to be getting either an older Volvo/Mercedes diesel car, or a diesel panel van. Why? Well, there's a $900 german conversion kit available for biodiesel engines, that allows you to run them on 100% vegetable oil; or you can get used fryer oil for practically free, and reprocess it yourself at home. (The clean raw (unprocessed) vegetable oil only burns in converted engines. The used (reprocessed) oil can be used in *any* engine, although it's best to cut it with regular diesel/kerosene to prevent it from waxing in cold weather. Some people use a second tank, starting the engine with diesel, switching over to veggie to run, then back to diesel before shutting down; thus preventing fuel-line clogs.)

With all the driving i do, i need to cut back on costs. I've done more than 45,000 miles this year, and at ~19 mpg, it works out to ~2370 gallons of gas. At the average cost of $2.38 a gallon, that's some $5600. (As i mentioned, it's currently at $2.59 a gal here; and i expect it'll break $3.15 by the time home heating oil season starts.)

Researching on the web, i find that diesel autos generally average about 32 mpg. That's only 1406 gallons; and at an estimated $.20 a gallon, it's some $280, for a total savings of $5320.

I've even found my first local source of free fryer-oil, at a rate of approx ~20 gallons a week. He'd LOVE to get rid of his waste oil for free; as he currently pays someone $45 a month to dispose of it for him.

Yeah. total no-brainer there. The oil companies can go fuck themselves.

Edit: Found a 1983 Benz with the dual-tank system already installed. 250k miles on it, in excellent shape, $2000. (blue-book value is some $4500 for it. He's dumping it because he's leaving the country. Many of these vehicles last for 500k miles or so, with good treatment.) Knowing it'll pay for itself in less than 5 months, i'm considering jumping on it while i can.

Edit Edit: Oh yeah, that Otakon thing is this weekend. Fugginay.