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firing with vegoil - an update

updated fri 10 jun 05


Paul B on wed 8 jun 05

I thought it would be a good idea to post the progress i make on this
subject, with gas prices going up and up...

I found out that a number of people out there are using waste vegoil to
heat their homes, shops, etc by using a standard Beckett diesel burner
(home heating oil is diesel) and replacing the standard nozzle with "siphon
nozzles" in order to get proper atomization of the fuel.
The Beckett AF burners, while often used in relatively low BTU
applications, are actually capable of over 300,000 BTU's per hour, with the
right size nozzle - which means they are well within range of pottery kilns.
And here is the nice part - these burners get thrown away all the time
because so many people are replacing their oil furnaces with natural gas,
so the installers simply take the old furnace with the perfectly good
burners to the scrap yard...

So, where as a good set of LP forced air burners cost over $1000 each and
LP gas often in the $1.75/gallon range, a good set of Becketts can be had
for little or no money. I just spent $80 for a pair of them, in excellent
condition, and i also bought an extra on ebay for $16.97 as a spare. Plus i
have more coming, i met someone who removes them every day and is saving
them for me, i will probably just trade some pots for them.

I also have access to several thousand gallons of free waste vegoil every
year from various restaurants i hooked up with and am currently running a
GM step van with 6.5 L diesel engine almost entirely on straight vegoil as
well as home brewed biodiesel.

It will be another couple months before i get the burners hooked up, i am
still getting familiar with the concept and have a lot of production work
to do at the moment. First i am just going to add another set of burner
ports for the Becketts and keep the LP's for back up - perhaps keeping them
going on the lowest setting throughout the firing and get the rest of the
btu's from vegoil - then once i get the system down hopefully remove the
LP's for good...

I would assume there are other potters out there who are trying to find a
way around the high cost of fuel, and it seems like this is just about the
best, if not the only way to go aside from wood or electric.

The next time i post on this topic will be when i open a kiln that was
fired with vegoil.


Russel Fouts on fri 10 jun 05


>> I would assume there are other potters out there who are trying to find a
way around the high cost of fuel, and it seems like this is just about the
best, if not the only way to go aside from wood or electric. <<

Wonderful. I'm a big fan of waste oil firing since we followed Denis Parks
example when I was in school back in the 70's. That was sump oil and we
weren't aware (or maybe just didn't care) about the hazards. I still love
it though.

Frying oil is much better but don't think that it isn't also without
hazards. We had a problem here in Belgium with our chickens (we love
chicken) containing dioxins. They finally figured out that it was coming
from waste frying oil (we love our frites too!) that was being mixed with
into feed by a commercial supplier. Really caused a panic until things got
cleaned up. I'm not sure how the dioxins got into the oil, I had the
impression that they were a result of heating and time, not contaminated
oil. They made the process of adding waste oil to feed illegal.

You might want to have some of your oil tested just for your piece of mind.
If you have regular suppliers, you pretty much have a "standard" supply so
a test every now and then (years) should do it.

And then you can really enjoy the wonderful effects of waste oil firing abd
driving that step van from here to kingdom come on peanuts. Dennis rates it
as his #1 favorite fuel. Mine too!


Russel Fouts
Mes Potes & Mes Pots
Brussels, Belgium
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