Vegetable Oil Filtration
How to Find Good WVO
Vegetable Oil Filtration Video shows an Oil Hunt
More Sources of Oil
How to Ask for the Oil
Securing the Oil
Checking out the WVO
Water and particles are heavier than oil, so will settle to the bottom of the container in time. Make sure you ALWAYS collect oil from the top of any container for this reason. Find the settle line where the good oil ends and bad oil begins, and stop collecting before you reach that point. Poking a stick to the bottom of the container can let you feel where the settle line is and how far down you have decent oil. This may stir the oil up, so be gentle.
Gravity is a friend to vegetable oil filtration, so the longer it can sit and settle for you, especially in a black or dark colored container in the sun, the better. The additional heat will accelerate the separation of the good and the bad. Make sure that the container is fully covered so that no rain or moisture
Quality of WVO
The best oil source you find is obviously one which requires the least amount of wvo filtration. Here are some tips to evaluate the oil you come across:
Color: When choosing the oil you will collect, the color does not matter much – good veggie can be dark like pancake syrup, yellowish, or light brown. You should probably stay away from vegetable oil that is greenish, or smells terribly rancid (although some of these holding tanks will just smell a little funny.)
Clarity: What is more important than the color is the clarity. If the veggie looks milky, or is full of debris, move on; there are plenty of other spots to check out. One of the best tests to determine the quality of oil is to dip your finger or a stick into the oil, draw it out, and put it up to the light to let it drip. Can you see through the droplets relatively well? Look for particles suspended in the oil – are there a lot in there, or is it closer to free and clear? Try at home with clean oil first to see how it looks. Cloudy oil is often bad news.
Consistency: The drip test will also determine how well the oil flows, which could indicate how much debris or water is in the oil. If it is warm outside the oil should be entirely liquid, and drip like oil instead of run like water or glob like gravy. STAY AWAY from creamy and thick oil, it is not worth your best wvo filtration efforts!
Water in WVO
Minimizing Vegetable Oil Filtration Mess
Vegetable Oil is very sticky on any surface it comes in contact with. It will stain clothing and fabric, as well as garage floors, driveways, and wood. Be aware of this when filtering as minor precautions can save you a lot of mess.
For instance, wear gloves (lifesavers), and throw on a jumpsuit or wear clothes that can get dirty. While filtering wait for pumps to stop and drips to fall before moving hoses. Put down cardboard or a plastic sheet down around the area where you are filtering, or choose an area that is okay to get messy, or can be power-washed later to be cleaned.
Clean your filtration gear off with a degreaser every so often, such as Greased Lightening which is available at any store with an automotive section, and give it a quick paper towel or rag wipe-down after each collection for cleanest use. Keeping the WVO Filtration equipment covered in it’s own container inside your trunk or truck bed is a smart move.
Operating a GreaseBeast or Inline Filtration Solution
The GreaseBeast Filtration Unit will provide you with thousands upon thousands of gallons of clean vegetable oil for your biofuel needs. We have over a dozen years of combined experience collecting and filtering waste vegetable oil, and have found how it can be accomplished with relative ease, minimum mess, and reasonable savings and speed. Flip the switch, and Vegetable Oil is powered through the GreaseBeast, emerging as fuel grade (when the correct oil is chosen to begin with – the GreaseBeast cannot turn bad oil into good oil.)
The GreaseBeast is designed to remove particulate matter from vegetable oil down to 1 micron – which is a unit of measurement meaning 1 one-thousandths of an inch in size. Most diesel vehicles run fuel filters that are between 5-15 microns, so 1 Micron is very safe. Your vegetable oil conversion system should still have a final heated fuel filter onboard before the fuel goes into your engine. It is recommended to have one with waterblocking capabilities to ensure the best protection of your engine.
This unit removes particles, not water – more discussion below. With correct knowledge and use, the GreaseBeast will be your “On the Go” tool for collecting free fuel. It is the device we could only dream of when we first began using vegetable oil as fuel. We are excited to pass on our experience and provide its convenience to others, and honored to support th e brave pursuit of alternative energy – even if it takes greasy hands.
Collecting & Filtering Vegetable oil has a learning curve. It requires some patience and attention to detail to determine a good batch of oil from a bad batch. The information above advises on locating and testing oil. The best strategy is to settle your oil for a few days or weeks first before running it through the GreaseBeast. This will allow particles and water to sink to the bottom of the barrel, and will substantially extend the life of the GB filters. Always draw from the top of a container. Use helper clamps to assist as they secure hoses where you need them. Due to the variable nature of fueling with vegetable oil, please review these policies and ask if you have any questions!
Point the end of the dispense nozzle into your tank or collection container, push in the pin in the handle (if it has one) to enable auto-flow, and apply a helper clamp if needed to secure the nozzle in place. Then place the intake hose slightly into the vegetable oil, and apply a helper clamp to secure the hose in place. Be certain that the intake hose is positioned to only collect from the very top of the oil source – where the least debris resides.
A 12V pump can be powered by attaching it to a battery via the “alligator” clips, with the red clip on the positive and black clip on negative. This method may be useful in your garage, or if you have a battery in your truck bed. CAUTION: Whenever working with batteries, be aware that it may be dangerous, and very careful to not touch the clips to the same battery terminal. It can also be convenient to use quick-connect plugs such as those shown to the right. Install them so that the battery clips can be removed and the pump can be plugged into a line in the trunk or bed of the vehicle that is run under the vehicle and then hardwired to the battery. You might instead or also use a 110 – 240 V pump, which is one that plugs in at home. If you have a heavy duty alternator, battery system, and inverter onboard your vehicle, this type of pump can be powered this way. One could also plug into the veggie powered generator!
While filtering, depending on the quality of your oil, you may need to switch out your filters. Usually, if you choose oil wisely and it is reasonably warm outside, you can get typically 40-60 gallons through one set of filters. If you choose very poor or cold oil you may get only 10 gallons through. On a day with hot sun and amazing oil we’ve had 120+ gallons through.
There are a few ways to determine when a filter should be changed. How is the Vegetable Oil flowing out of the nozzle? If it has appeared to slow down, you may need a filter change. Try this filter life test: leave the pump on and remove the suction nozzle from the grease trap (so that it sucks air). This should begin to drain the filtration canisters. If they drain immediately and steadily then you probably have considerable more life in the filters. If they drain a very slow few inches, or not at all – it probably means that they are clogged.
Another indication may be if the pump begins to sound different. This may indicate a change in flow, or that you are pulling in air or thicker veggie.When you’re looking at a used filter rod, you may see it covered in particles and goop. They also take on a deeper color towards the center of the rod (when looked at from the top.) These may be indications that the filter rods are ready for a change out.
In a GreaseBeast setup the vegetable oil goes through two filters. The 10 micron is usually the first to need switching as it gets hit with the veggie first and catches most particles. You do not necessarily have to remove each filter at the same time, as one may hold more life in it.
Putting filters inside the Filter Canisters is easy. Drain the canister of oil a few inches to avoid spilling when opening your canisters. To do this, simply suck air for a minute by removing the nozzle from the veggie and letting the pump run. To unscrew the canister, Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey! Screw the canister on TIGHTLY or you will have an air leak and your suction will be low or not work at all. See the Trouble-Shooting section below to learn more about how to handle this. If filters have been left in oil in the canisters for an extended period of time, they may clog more readily, or need to be warmed to be used again Use the included Filter Wrench to make this an easy task. It may also help to have a helper hold the GreaseBeast to keep it stable. To keep everything tidy, we highly recommend wearing a pair of latex gloves during this process.
A GreaseBeast is quite straightforward and simple to operate. This also goes for diagnosing and fixing it if it is not working properly. In our experience, and through helping our customers, most solutions can be found here.
Thick Oil: In addition to the above recommendation, make sure that you have relatively clean oil (meaning it is transparent), and that it is liquid and flowing. The filter rods can take up to 125*F, and the warmer your oil the better it is going to flow. So if your oil is thick, cold, and dirty – your filters are going to clog much quicker.
Tight Canisters: Make sure the clear veggie canisters are as tight as possible. Sometimes this takes two sets of hands or the filter wrench to make sure. The smallest air leak will make the biggest difference when it comes to suction!
Dispense Nozzle: Make sure the dispense nozzle is open! Secure the handle into Auto-Flow mode by pushing the pin in to hold the handle in the open position.
Battery Power: Make sure your power connections are correct, with red on positive and black on negative, and that your 12V source is supplying ample power. Make sure electrical contact surfaces are relatively clean, and not wet.
Fittings: Turn the pump on and listen at each of the junctures/fittings on the GreaseBeast for a hissing/bubbling sound. Fittings may be loose, or there may be stripping to the fitting or threading of the parts. Make sure to use plenty of tephlon tape or pipe dope to seal the fittings in place. Another possibility is that the hose clamps should be tightened.
Pressure Release Button: Check out the Red Pressure Release button on top of the black Canister housing as it may have broken or fallen off during shipping or your travels. If you do not see a red button, or there is a hissing/bubbling sound coming from it- then chances are this could be letting air in. A temporary fix for this problem would be to pull off the button and simply jam the little hole with something like a piece of a filter rod wrapper, or use some sealant. The pressure release doesn’t play too much of a role in the GreaseBeast, so not having it is not an issue.
Plastic on Filters: Though it may be a silly question- did you make sure to remove the plastic from the filter rods before installing them? If not, that would block veggie from flowing through the filters.
Backwards Canisters: Make sure the vegetable oil is coming in through the ‘IN’ port!
O-Ring: The O-ring is a circular rubber piece that creates a seal preventing air from leaking into the canister. if you unscrew the canister, do you see a black ring resting on a lip inside the canister, right below the threads? If not, email us for a replacement.
Hose Length: Make sure not to use hose that is too long. 6-12 feet should be enough to get you to any grease trap you want.
Pump: Perhaps your pump was damaged during shipping or is malfunctioning. Check the fuse and power connections. A replacement is available under the warranty period.
Shipping: Your GreaseBeast or items could have been damaged during shipping. If there are visible cracks contact OM.