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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > Alternative Diesel Fuels (Biodiesel, WVO, SVO, BTL, GTL etc)

Alternative Diesel Fuels (Biodiesel, WVO, SVO, BTL, GTL etc) Discussions about alternative fuels for use in our TDI's. This includes biodiesel WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil), SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil), BTL (Biomass to Liquid), GTL (Gas to Liquids) etc. Please note the Fuel Disclaimer.

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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:46   #1
NaughtyVWGirl
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Default Transformer oil for fuel??

I have a friend who works for one of the public utility companies. He is wondering if waste transformer oil could be used to make biodiesel or burned in a WVO car? Anyone here know?
Thanks
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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:48   #2
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Hi, Girl. Sounds like experimentation there!

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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:48   #3
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I thought that stuff had nasty stuff in it like PCP?
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Old April 10th, 2008, 11:01   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tditom
I thought that stuff had nasty stuff in it like PCP?
Sure in 1964.

Now it's highly refined mineral oil.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 12:00   #5
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Depends on where it comes from. Personally, I wouldn't do it unless I knew for sure what it was. some of that crap will kill you deader than a sack of hammers.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 12:08   #6
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If you could confirm there were no nasties in the oil, I'd think it could be a good fuel, there wouldn't be as much crap in it as other WVO sources.

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Old April 10th, 2008, 12:17   #7
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Old electrical transformers and oil-filled switches had polychlorinated biphynls (PCBs) in them. So did some other hydraulic fluids used in hydraulic power systems. The main purpose was that PCBs make an oil fire retardant. They were found to be a carcinogen and have been known to cause deformaties in aquatic life (Lake Michigan fish, for example). They were banned in the mid 70's (or earlier, I believe) from being used.

Through the years, power companies and industry has gotten them out of the system by replacement. Most were incinerated in EPA approved incinerators like the one here in Deer Park, Texas (Rollins Environmental Services).

If you are going to use transformanr oil as a fuel, make sure it contains less than 50 PPM (parts per million) of PCBs. That is the number that EPA designated as "PCB free".
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Old April 11th, 2008, 03:32   #8
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"power companies and industry has gotten them out of the system "

They missed a couple.
Two years ago a transformer leaked in our town's high school.
It had PCB's in the oil. Cleanup was estimated at 1/2 million dollars.
Burning that oil in a diesel would make you a pariah on the scale of the
captain of the Exx0n-Valdez
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Old April 11th, 2008, 11:17   #9
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Thank you for the responses. I understand that their "toxic department" keeps a close eye on the PCBs. So does anyone have any further details about burning non-PCB mineral oil as a fuel?
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Old April 11th, 2008, 12:04   #10
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You'll be de-watering? One of the reasons for changing transformer oil is absorbed moisture; I used to service the Karl-Fischer equipment used by the local Utility to measure levels...
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Old April 11th, 2008, 13:14   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BioDiesel
"power companies and industry has gotten them out of the system "

They missed a couple.
Two years ago a transformer leaked in our town's high school.
It had PCB's in the oil. Cleanup was estimated at 1/2 million dollars.
Burning that oil in a diesel would make you a pariah on the scale of the
captain of the Exx0n-Valdez
When I worked for Anaconda in Ansonia, CT, we got rid of 25 or so PCB transformers. Yes, there are still lots of them out there.......
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Old February 14th, 2011, 17:28   #12
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BUt really, really look put for the PCBs. They're bad.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 17:35   #13
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This is just a BAD idea due to the fact that the oil could possibly contain PCBs. You just do not know if it's mixed in or not.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 17:37   #14
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The stuff is "fire retardant" as that is why it is used in transformers and hydraulic systems. So it contains some chemicals to render it fire retardant. Don't use it in high concentrations as it does contain chemicals that may be detrimental to pump seals, etc.

I am not a chemist, so I can't provide detail on it's chemical properties.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 17:57   #15
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perhaps the most environmentally irresponsible post i have read during my entire life here at the club

burning ANY pcbs leads to the production of dioxins and furans; two of the most toxic substances known to man

if you have any moral fibre you will stop using this crap today, now, immediately

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformer_oil

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polychl...enzo-p-dioxins

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polychl..._dibenzofurans
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