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.