The Glass Nickel Pizza Co. is always trying to come up with new and creative ways to help our neighborhoods and communities. We believe that one thing we can do to help is to use less gas, keep the air cleaner, and reuse a product that would normally cost money to haul away and be disposed of. We can do all of this with our Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) delivery cars. Did you know that Rudolph Diesel patented the diesel engine in 1892? This was just a few years after the gasoline engine was introduced. Diesel’s goal was to create a more efficient engine, and it was originally designed to run on peanut or other vegetable and seed oils.
We now know that for every one ton of fossil fuel burnt, three tons of CO2 is released into the atmosphere, biodiesel only releases the CO2 that it has taken in while the plants it is made from were growing, therefore there is no negative impact on the carbon cycle.
Our vehicles (We affectionately refer to them as "Grease Cars") get about 45 to 50 miles per gallon on vegetable oil, and diesel fuel is only used for the initial start up. This is because at lower temperatures, vegetable oil is too thick to move through the engine. The engine must warm up the oil until it becomes liquid enough so clogs do not develop. It is very important to not turn off the engine when running on vegetable oil, as you will likely need to drain the engine in order to get it to start again! There are several safety features that can help prevent this from happening.
To “convert” your diesel engine to Waste Vegetable Oil you can either purchase a pre-made kit, or create your own version. You need a second tank to hold the vegetable oil, a system to warm the oil, and a few temp readers and switches to control which type of fuel the engine is getting. There are several types of systems, some fancy where the switches turn themselves over as soon as the oil is ready, and more basic systems that require some good old fashioned guessing as to when to switch over to oil, then back to diesel before ending your drive. Check out our links page for references on how to learn more about converting your own car.