Cost of Producing Bio-Diesel to Fuel a Greenhouse

Final Report for FNE03-453

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2003: $4,367.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $1,882.00
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Carl Benson
Back Acres Farm
Expand All

Project Information


Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE03-450

The goal of this project was to demonstrate that a farmer can reduce greenhouse heating costs and dependency on fossil fuels through the use of farm made bio-diesel.

Carl researched how to make bio-diesel and found local sources of waste vegetable oil. He made 50 gallon batches of bio-diesel, spending about 5.25 hours of time per batch.

Carl found that the bio-diesel worked well in his greenhouse furnaces. He strongly recommends first making a test batch (with the accompanying titrations) for each 50 gallon batch of bio-diesel. When he stopped doing the titrations, he ran into fuel quality problems, resulting in clogged fuel filters and a furnace that didn’t work. Carl also wants to reduce the time spent per gallon of fuel made. Counting just out-of-pocket costs, he was able to produce bio-diesel at a cost 40% less than fuel oil. However, due to the size of the batches and the labor involved, the cost with labor included was at least 33% more per gallon than fuel oil.


Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Vern Grubinger


Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.