Monday, December 3, 2007

Mr. Low Body Fat Goes Green!

Well, it seems that everyone is goin' green nowadays, so why shouldn't I? Actually, this has been something that I've been researching for over two years now before I made the leap. One thing that my readers will eventually learn about me is that I have an eclectic approach to life in general, and I'm interested in a too many things to begin to name. And, the picture on the left is just another subject that piqued my curiosity.

Yes, I'm filling my 84 Mercedes 300 Turbodiesel with Mazola 100% Corn Oil. You should've seen my neighbor's face when I took this picture.

What most people don't know is that when Dr. Rudolph Diesel patented his engine in 1892, it was made to run off of peanut oil. So, I guess it's safe to assume that saving the planet or using renewable sources of energy is not that new of an idea after all. For more information about Dr. Diesel and his engine, check out this Howstuffworks article.

A couple of weeks ago, I had my "hooptie" converted to run off of used or waste vegetable oil (which has been heavily filtered), biodiesel, regular diesel, straight (or new) vegetable oil, or any mixture of the four. Out here in California, many people are starting to convert their diesel cars, especially the 300 series MBZ from 1978 - 1985. These cars are perfect candidates for "veggie conversion", as it's affectionately called, because of the 5 cylinder engine that has the fuel injected directly into the engine block. To get my car to run off of veggie oil, my good friends, Gonzalo and Rodolfo, at Star European Inc. installed a Lovecraft biodiesel conversion kit.

How it works is not that difficult to understand. Unlike biodiesel, which can be used in any diesel engine without a conversion kit, used and new vegetable oils' viscocity is too thick. To solve this problem, they installed new glow plugs (diesel engines don't use spark plugs--see article above), a new heating element (to heat the vegetable oil before it's injected into the engine), and a heavy duty filter (pictured on the right).

So far, I have run soybean and corn oil in my car with no loss in horsepower or performance. Actually, the engine runs more quiet with veggie oil than it does using diesel! Also, the days of black and smelly smoke coming out of the tailpipe are over. They've been replaced by the faint scent of burned popcorn or whatever was cooked in the used oil.

Although diesel engines, unlike gasoline engines, don't contribute to global warming through greenhouse effects, they do, when using regular diesel, contribute to acid rain and smog. Now that I've converted to veggie oil, I can proudly drive around knowing that my car causes no more pollution than the fryers in fast food restaurants; also, I don't need to rely on foreign oil. More importantly, for a cheap bastard like yours truly, I can get used veggie oil delivered to my home for $2.38/gallon--that's more than a dollar and some change less than what regular diesel is going for these days. If I feel like being very adventourous, I can go and collect used veggie oil from restaurants and filter it myself, which means that I would be paying $0.00/gallon. So, not only am I doing my part to help the environment, but I'm saving a lot of money too.

Like her owner, she only gets better (and stronger) with age!


Craig said...

Looks like you found more than one way to burn fat :) Keep up the good work!

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Hey bro, thanks for the compliment!