Many folks are recycling waste motor oil into fuel for waste oil burners and diesel engines. It’s also known as black diesel. Thus, used motor oil from engines is a waste product that can be turned into fuel. Once the oil is cleaned and viscosity reduced, it is becomes a great cheap and abundant fuel source. Many folks are doing this around the globe. While still in its experimental stages, many continue to engage in “Maverick” experimentation on our vehicles in the name of cheap diesel and energy independence. Basic information from other’s experimentation is gleaned from forums and we refine our processes through a never ending trial and error.
Used Motor Oil is full of contaminants that will damage your fuel system and engine. It’s so crucial that you reduce risks by finely cleaning your oil to the tolerance of your fuel system and engine. This will save a host of problems and greatly reduce risk of damage to your vehicle and mental health.
Engine-based contaminants include heavy metals (lead, copper etc), water, soot, glycol (antifreeze), unburnt fuel, and metal bits from engine wear. Remember, engines constantly filter the oil, so the particulate contamination isn’t as bad when sourcing straight from an engine. However, 30 micron
engine oil filters aren’t fine enough for to reuse the fuel in vehicles.
Some of the worst contamination happens when the oil is outside of the engine, sitting a the autoparts store, where folks tend to pollute with spent filters, antifreeze, and who knows what else.
Alas, pre-filtering and de-watering our WMO is the lynchpin to success in burning the oil without destroying our engines. There are hundreds of ways people have come up with to pre-filter oil. While it can be quite confusing, it is nice to have options, allowing you can design a filtration process that
meets your budget and abilities.
I wish there was a way to simplify pre-filtering. You almost need to become an expert on the subject to confidently clean waste oil. I’ll give you some basic information to help get you started.
Some basics to remember about oil cleaning:
- 10 Micron Absolute is the magic number for most fuel systems.
- All free and suspended water needs to be removed from the oil.
- Oil is lighter than water and most contaminants, so time and gravity will separate the good from the bad. Settling is key!
- The warmer the oil, the faster it will settle, centrifuge and filter.
Don’t let the cleaning of your oil scare you off from running WMO.
Most people that run WMO do use an oil centrifuge to finely clean the oil and save themselves a ton of trouble. It’s only a matter of time before an injector gets clogged or worse an IP damaged from using marginally filtered oil or only settling. The pros use a centrifuge to turn their waste motor oil into black gold. There really no reason to mess around with filters.