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  • Using unfiltered oil

    I'm a newbie to SVO, having been a biodiesel maker for some years. Since I haven't quite got my bio mfg system set up yet, however, and I happened to come across a heap of WVO, I thought I'd give SVO a go - using a single tank system with oil that has been washed down with 10% waste fuel from a garage.

    As a filtering medium I used cotton cloth. It looked sufficiently fine to do the job, and took forever to filter into the tank, even when heated. But then - clogged fuel filters.

    Based on some of the sophisticated filter setups I've now seen on this site, none of you are probably surprised by this. So now I have to either set one of these systems up, or put one into the car, and let the car do all the filtering for me. The plan is that when I fill the car I only use a coarse filter (like a Chux) and Bob's your uncle.

    Has anyone else designed an in-car filtration system? I don't want to reinvent the wheel.

    Anyhow, here's my plan. The fuel line is split into two, goes through 2 el-cheapo paper element fuel filters before recombining after 2 more valves.

    In normal operation, teh fuel is flowing through one of the filters only. When it gets clogged (or whenever I feel like it), I do a backwash. This opens the other line, passing fuel through the other element, through a pump that is teed off the main line, backwards through the first filter, and then to waste. The auxiliary pump has another tee going back into the main line, and is hopefully generating enough pressure that it can continue to suppy the main fuel pump while it is backwashing (so it can be done while the car is running).

    I also intend putting a CAV filter in line too, to catch any thing that will separate under gravity.

    Few questions - what is the pore size of those paper filters, and what is the pore size of the standard fuel filters in most cars (300D and Pajero in my case)?

    Also, where do you get 3-way valves (I need 6 in total) - I can only find them on EBay for $57 which sonds a bit rich.

    Cheers
    Mark

  • #2
    Re: Using unfiltered oil

    G'Day mark,

    What you are planning sounds okay in theory, but if you think of all the bit an pieces that could cause trouble, imagine yourself on a trip where you have to be on time or on a long road trip and all of the sudden the car stops. okay bonnet up, filter clogged, no worries change the filter, start again, 5 km further, car stops again, hmmm wasn't the filter what else. Meanwhile the time is ticking or the family is starting to get upset about the situation and so forth. In my opinion in car filtering is something you want to think about twice. I don't know your availability of space at home, but two 44's as a upflow system and a 5 micron filter on the outlet before it goes in your tank sounds easier and more cost efficient.
    At the moment I am setting up a system my wife and I can use when traveling, I am using a centrifuge and a extra tank, the wvo we pick up during the travels gets pump through a filter in the extra tank. As we are traveling along the a pump cycles the oil through the centrifuge and when we get to our next destination we have clean oil. So we than just transfer it into the main WVO tank. This system has been used by other people and is quite hassle free since you are not messing with fuel lines, filters and the like to much. My hilux is set up with a two tank system, and I had a scenario chasing a air leak for ages, as I use my truck for work, its not a good thing to be late al the time because your filter is leaking air or something is clogged and you can't find it on the side of the road. I have had some issues with the old CAV so I stay away from them.

    hope that helps, by the way I was looking a 3 way valves and the manual once here in Lismore are around $60 for a 3/8" size one.

    Happy designing.

    Jens
    1990 Toyota Hilux LN106 with ATG 2 tank system (sold after running 150.000 ks on mainly WVO)

    1993 Toyota 75 Series with 1 HDT conversion, 75l factory tank and a custom 170l under tray tank. (Retired with 680.000ks on the clock mostly running on BIO and on WVO)

    2006 Landcruiser Troopcarrier 1HZ with DTS Turbo Kit, 170ltr long range tank currently not converted, running on B100

    "him who never made a mistake, made no discovery either"

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Using unfiltered oil

      Hi Jens,

      I don't think you've quite understood my setup. The idea is that any filter will clog eventually if only run in one direction. On the industrial systems I work on, it is unacceptable to be always changing media, so we run a backwash. This is where clean water from the other filter (of the pair) is run through the filter BACKWARDS. This unclogs the filter and makes it useable again.

      I'm proposing the same system for my car. There are two filters in parallel. At any one time only one is being used. Every now and then it gets backflushed, with clean fuel coming through the other filter. The only question I have at the moment is how frequently this would need to be done, and can it be done while the car is running. The frequency of the backflush is determined by the filter capacity, and type. Sand filters are particularly good for this type of thiing, so I'm currently looking into that.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Using unfiltered oil

        Mark

        In theory this sounds like a good option.
        You are going to need two or more tanks and one having good clean fuel to use for the back flush. you will also need filter assemblies that will allow back flushing.
        In a water environment you will likely have clean water to back flush with . In the engine compartment you will need clean fuel to back flush with.


        You will need a motor to back flush with so will have to have a bypass function with your pusher pump so you can change the flow direction back to the tank. You are also going to have to route the dirty fuel you have just flushed to a storage of some kind or get blocked filters again or worse still have a build up in your tanks.

        Draw up a diagram and post for critique. you will find many feedback options.

        Good luck

        Michael
        97 Jeep XJ Cherokee on B100. 0 km's on B100 and counting !!!! (Sold)
        2002 Merc ML270 now on B100. (Sold)
        2006 Ssangyong Musso 2.9 t idi (Sold)
        2015 NP300 Navara ( Sold )
        2018 NP300 Navara ( B5 )

        Stainless processor with blue water pump.
        Tetragonula Hockingsi

        Take the Leap and grow wings on the way down

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Using unfiltered oil

          Yes, what to do with the backflush is my biggest question for now. If I put it back to the start (as I would in an industrial setting) it'll just build up and increase the load on the system. I could dump it on the road, but I'm not keen on that for several reasons. Or I could have a small tank to collect it, which is probably what I'll do. It all depends on the timing of the cycles. My experience is that backflushes need only be short - 10 seconds or so - so that may be feasible.

          Where's the best place to get 3 way valves from $57 a pop on EBay seems a bit rich

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Using unfiltered oil

            Search out Jeffrey S. Brooks on the internet - he has a forum, I think.

            He had/has a back-flushing system in place, I seem to remember.
            1987 Mercedes W124 300D
            1997 Ssangyong Musso Wagon

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Using unfiltered oil

              Sounds an interesting idea Dr Mark.

              The way most of us have been approaching filtering is to make the best out of vehicle system we can. This avoids putting gunk into our tanks that settles out, or forms lumps with the fats and is just a real nuisance. The fine brown stuff that is possibly flour is our enemy and clogs the vehicle filters. Excellent at home filtering also avoids filter changes on the road, which even tho they can be quite quick, are an annoyance. Space for extra filters is always an issue too.

              I understand your aim is to avoid on road filter changes, which is what makes your idea interesting.

              Regarding the OEM filtration, we hear various ratings of between 5 and 15 micron.
              The best of the home based filtration systems work on 1 micron, in order to reduce onboard filter changes to a minimum.
              Certainly the view of Alex Noack from Greasenergy, see write up in another recent thread, was that you should never rely on the OEM filters as 'the' filter for the engine. It should be regarded as a tool of last resort in order to provide the greatest protection for the internals of the injection pump.

              Jeffrey S Brooks frequented the blending section of the forum until he was banned. He presented and defended his otherwise interesting ideas in a way that led him to being banned, but nevertheless some of the ideas themselves had merit.

              Our next WARFA meeting might be another place you could talk over these ideas. Western Australian Renewable Fuels Association for dates.

              Tim
              Toyota Landcruiser 1988 HJ61 Manual Wagon
              12H-T turbo Direct Injection.
              Twin Tank setup runs on 100% WVO after warm up. 30 plate FPHE with 80C output, 12mm fuel lines
              Start up and shut down electric fuel pump feeds IP direct.
              Front 4WDSytstems Lokka, Rear ARB airlokka for quick escapes up sandhills. Performance GTurbo with 600mm FMIC gives 450nm @ 1700rpm at 20psi boost.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Using unfiltered oil

                Originally posted by Dr Mark View Post
                Yes, what to do with the backflush is my biggest question for now. If I put it back to the start (as I would in an industrial setting) it'll just build up and increase the load on the system. I could dump it on the road, but I'm not keen on that for several reasons. Or I could have a small tank to collect it, which is probably what I'll do. It all depends on the timing of the cycles. My experience is that backflushes need only be short - 10 seconds or so - so that may be feasible.

                Where's the best place to get 3 way valves from $57 a pop on EBay seems a bit rich
                For the 3 way valves check out Omar's listings - i think he is still on the forum or also sells on EBAY - i have a number of his filters and they are very good.

                What sort of car are you going to be putting all this gear into - you will need a lot of room for this much equipment.

                I think you also need to ask yourself why you would do this type of filtering - what do you hope to gain ? The only advantage i can see is if you are planning on long trips and collecting on the road - and i would still be dubious about the benefit there over an off-board filtering solution.

                If space is an issue at home look at a centrifuge based system - it probably will not end up costiing much more than what you will end up paying.

                If it is to make sure you do not get stopped by the side of the road by a blocked filter - then there are better ways to achieve this - some of which need to be built into any sort of system anyway.

                Your WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) is going to be very low with a system as complex as this - the more complex the harder it is to find and resolve problems.

                Lastly - those cheap paper filters you were talking about - i assume you mean the toilet roll/hand paper towel systems that are designed as bypass oil filter systems for the cars engine ? I use one on my suburban for Bypass engine filtering and they are brilliant for their intended use - i tried one with oil as an experiment and the flow rate could not keep up with my engine as the primary filter and i found that if the oil was wet it started to make channels through the paper and was not filtered well at all.

                If you did want to go down the route you are saying then i would look at some of the whole of house filters and use them in series - say one with a 100 micron filter, then the next with say 20 micron and then a final 5 micron - but you are then going to need multiple pressure gauges and bypasses.

                Craig
                Holden Suburban K2500 1998 6.5L Turbo GM engine
                210,000KMs (90,000 on new crate motor)

                Currently 2 tanks in and working - 90 litre BIO tank and main tank of 160L WVO

                30 plate FPHE in Engine bay and Helton Dual coil in rear
                Walbro FRB-5 pusher pumps x 2

                50,000KM on Veg and 10,000Km on B100

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Using unfiltered oil

                  Interesting idea, however my experience with backflushing blocked filters (at home not on the road) has found that the backflow seems to shift a little patch of dirt/fat/stuff and very soon after re-using it again it blocks as before. Not worth doing I decided, especially as filters are so cheap. These days with a 4 drum upflow system my filters never seem to block. On the road filtering has been discussed before on this forum. I use this (see pic) it has been good for 2 big trips totalling 20000ks. That is a 15 litre container.
                  Johnnojack
                  4WD Isuzu Jackaroo 3.1 200000km on WVO,(2020) 2 tank home built system 6 solenoids FPHE, heated filter fuel line and tank pickup for thicker oil. Mk. 9 version now and no changes planned as trouble free.
                  Mercedes W201 190D 1986 model: 2 tank system, bigger fuel line from tank, no heat exchanger, electric pump for diesel 22000km so far sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Using unfiltered oil

                    Thanks for the replies and suggestions. The car I will be doing this on is an old Pajero, so plenty of space to add stuff. The plan is to have two el cheapo paper filters for my backwash setup and a Frantz 1 micron downstream to catch any fine stuff that gets through. I used to run a similar system on my landcruiser a while ago (on bio) and found that I only had to change the Frantz element once every 3 months. I'll chase up some of those contacts for the valves as well

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Using unfiltered oil

                      G'day Mark, as others have said many have tried this and failed for a number of reasons. A mate and I set up a number of systems to filter oil on the go over the last 20 years and unless you have a filter for solids which can clean itself, you have never ending problems.

                      The only way to go is a centrifuge, we use one for all our oil and BD now and it has saved us loads of time, energy and filtering. Now our change over of throw away filters has gone from up to 1000klm to not having changed one on the Sahara for many months. Just load up a 100 lt tank, with a mossie wire pre-filter in a big area so as to spread the junk around and that's it, an hour later we have 80lt of filtered oil. Do the same with BD, let it sit for a few days, chuck it in the centrifuge and out comes clean dry BD with no drop out.

                      Currently we are making a portable centrifuge so we can process dirty oil on the road for our bus, we purchased a small centrifuge from the UK, which unlike our big 2 phase motor driven USA one. The small one operates on the incoming oil pressure at about 7-8 bar and can get that from a 24v or 12v gear pump using a bypass valve. The only problem at the moment is designing a container for the oil, as the processed oil comes out of the bottom of the centrifuge, unlike the big one which has a hose outlet. So we have to have a low profile metal container which catches the oil, is not large and is stable and we can score from the metal recycling place near us.

                      We are leaving tomorrow for the Devonport jazz festival for a week or so and after that will be doing the centrifuge. If you haven't worked out something, will post some photo's of our finished setup, if it works.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Using unfiltered oil

                        Industrial systems where downtime is important and the qtys of liquid to be filtered is huge as is the cost of filtering media are one thing. Filtering oil for a vehicle is something else. Industrial filters are MADE to be backwashed. Anything that would go on a vehicle I can think of would not be and that's a highly significant thing. Further more, the industrial environment would be stationary where obviously a vehicle is subject to a lot of motion so that could well affect any industrial filters made for stationary use.

                        I tried backwashing Disposable paper and string wound filters in my early oil days and it was useless. These filters still trap dirt in the pores and the amount of oil you can get through them significantly diminishes with each flushing. After very few flushes, the things block faster than it takes to flush them. The other thing is when reversing them, the media isn't always secured in the reverse direction and can be bypassed by the oil on the backflush so it doesn't flush at all. I found on some types of filter, they are folded or wound to resist the pressure in the correct flow direction but very easily torn or ruined when used the other way.

                        They just aren't designed for backflushing and unless you can find something that is and would not be affected by motion, I think the idea is dead before you start.

                        Aside from that, the expense, complication, potential for problems and space on the vehicle this would take make the idea rather pointless to me. Just having 6 valves with 18 connections ( read potential points of trouble/ failure) plus those on the filters, pumps and whatever else you have to hook up and the thing is going to be a plumbing nightmare.... then you have the electrics, tanks and so it goes.

                        Compare that to throwing oil in a drum or IBC for 3 months and not touching it, pumping the oil out through a bag or house filter and into your tank with the occasional change of a $2 disposable filter plumbed ahead of the main filter or replacing it all together. You might like to add in one of those 3 way valves so if one filter gets blocked, you just switch over to another and replace the dirty one later.
                        Alternately, the cost of fuges has come down a lot with the decline of the oil fuels thing so you can get an industrial type machine cheap as chips now that will filter cleaner and easier than the setup you propose.

                        The simplicity and low cost of that just makes the other idea extra trouble for no gain at all.

                        All that said, I get the distinct impression you are set on doing this anyway so let us know what you come up with.
                        I'm sure it will be interesting at very least.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Using unfiltered oil

                          Originally posted by peter1 View Post
                          into your tank with the occasional change of a $2 disposable filter plumbed ahead of the main filter or replacing it all together. You might like to add in one of those 3 way valves so if one filter gets blocked, you just switch over to another and replace the dirty one later.
                          peter1, do you run a 2 tank system? If so, do you share the main filter between both fuels, or use 2 separate ones?

                          Originally posted by peter1 View Post
                          Alternately, the cost of fuges has come down a lot with the decline of the oil fuels thing so you can get an industrial type machine cheap as chips now that will filter cleaner and easier than the setup you propose.
                          The cheapest I can get a WVO designs centrifuge for is almost $2000, direct from them... do you know of anywhere cheaper?
                          1987 Mercedes W124 300D
                          1997 Ssangyong Musso Wagon

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Using unfiltered oil

                            Originally posted by 83Patrol View Post
                            peter1, do you run a 2 tank system? If so, do you share the main filter between both fuels, or use 2 separate ones?
                            I run a single tank system with the occasional bit of Diesel or petrol blended in depending on the oil I have or the temp at the time. I run unheated except for the metal case fuel filters I sit on the manifold for a bit of heat to melt any fats through. Works a charm.

                            When I did run a 2 tank system I used the same filter for all fuels. Running 2 filters I see as just added complication and failure points. Yeah, I know the theory, if one blocks up etc... In practicality I have never had a problem with this and If I did I'd just change the filter. Hardly a big deal. The comment about the 3 way was mainly with wives or other non mechanically minded people driving the vehicles.
                            My wife and kids have been changing filters for years so I don't bother putting a 2nd filter in as anyone who drive the vehicles can change the filter in 2 min or less.



                            The cheapest I can get a WVO designs centrifuge for is almost $2000, direct from them... do you know of anywhere cheaper?
                            My wording of industrial type CF was probably misleading in the pure context. All CF's are industrial to me as that's generally the only place you find them.
                            The ones I was refering to are the pressure type like this rather than the bowl type you are thinking of.
                            VEG OIL Cleaning Centrifuge FOR Biodiesel SE 20 | eBay looked into Cf's outside the veg oil use and found that the bowl types also have issues with bypassing fluid that may escape before it has sufficient residence time. I also saw a while back that one of the bwl type makers ( could be the one you refer to) added a lip or something to their bowls to reduce the chance of the fluid being emitted before it was sufficiently spun.


                            BTW, you don't actually put any faith in anything that crackpot Brooks says do You? The guy is the biggest fruitloop on the net!
                            He claims his concoctions work but at last count several years back the guy had been through 8 injector pumps and a pile of injectors and he had only been doing oil about 3 years by then.

                            Aside from the mad max look of the van he drives, his claims and advise is just plain dangerous and idiotic.
                            I looked at his forum some time back. about 90% of the posts were his own. The other user may have been a shill so he didn't look like he was talking to himself All the time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Using unfiltered oil

                              Originally posted by peter1 View Post
                              I run a single tank system with the occasional bit of Diesel or petrol blended in depending on the oil I have or the temp at the time. I run unheated except for the metal case fuel filters I sit on the manifold for a bit of heat to melt any fats through. Works a charm.
                              Interesting idea. I guess it'd have a similar heat-sink effect of the fuel filter housing being bolted to the head on a Merc diesel, only more so. Are the metal case filters you use just the EFI petrol ones, like on a Commodore (eg. Ryco Z200?) or "proper" diesel filters?


                              Originally posted by peter1 View Post
                              My wording of industrial type CF was probably misleading in the pure context. All CF's are industrial to me as that's generally the only place you find them.
                              The ones I was refering to are the pressure type like this rather than the bowl type you are thinking of.
                              VEG OIL Cleaning Centrifuge FOR Biodiesel SE 20 | eBay looked into Cf's outside the veg oil use and found that the bowl types also have issues with bypassing fluid that may escape before it has sufficient residence time. I also saw a while back that one of the bwl type makers ( could be the one you refer to) added a lip or something to their bowls to reduce the chance of the fluid being emitted before it was sufficiently spun.
                              Yeah, you're right - they offer a "booster cone" at an additional (over $100 on top of the CF) cost.

                              The one-pass thing is mainly what's kept me from committing to buying one of the bowl-type ones. That, and the cost.

                              The fact that Alga seems to swear by it has kept it in my eBay watch list, though.
                              1987 Mercedes W124 300D
                              1997 Ssangyong Musso Wagon

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