There is a guy in Louisiana who heard that farmers used to blend a little kerosene and gasoline into vegetable oil and run it in their diesel trucks. He added a commercially available cetane booster rebranded as his secret sauce, then sells the plans under the name “Diesel Secret”. He paid top dollar for Google adwords matches, so just about any search for biodiesel or WVO will generate his ads. Because of the success of the ads, the question has come up more and more – “can I use vegetable oil in my unmodified engine?”
While biodiesel is itself considered an experimental fuel, the use of WVO is sort of the stepchild. Most people in the biodiesel industry neither support nor endorse the use of unmodified vegetable oil as a fuel. However, there is a vibrant community of vegoil users – even a national organization (which, unfortunately, is shutting down) was formed to support these efforts. By using a heated second tank, it has been shown that vegoil can be used in most diesel vehicles with fantastic results. There isn’t much debate that it can be done, and most of the back and forth relates to either poorly designed systems or misconceptions/mistakes (in part due to poor cooperation among vendors).
…and then there’s Diesel Secret, aka DSE. With diesel prices hitting an all time high, and alternative energy being the buzzword of the decade, many people are confused about all the choices – ethanol, biodiesel, LPG, CNG, hybrid, etc. Then they hear that they can drive for FREE. Well not quite free, you still need a bit of nasty kerosene and gasoline and the special sauce – but they claim 40 cents or so per finished gallon. Some have tried and failed, while others have had good luck. Overall, there’s no consensus, no community, no knowledge base, not a single company who would make the finished product and stand behind it. Some say that this type of blending is the new “homebrew”, but I think it’s way too early to tell.
My personal opinion is that the risks are too high, the kerosene, gasoline, and special sauce too nasty for me to even consider it. As a business, I have to say that we don’t support, approve, endorse, or otherwise even like the idea of using a blend of vegetable oil and other chemicals directly in an unmodified diesel engine.
So, please stop calling and writing – we don’t want to hear about it, don’t want to give advice, and don’t want to get involved. I’m sure this may sound a bit harsh to some folks, and I mean no disrespect. But as a business, we have to draw the line somewhere – and that line is directly between the not-so-secret idea of blending oil with kerosene/gasoline and those folks applying heat to thin the oil, or converting it into biodiesel.
This is our official position and will not be changing unless some day there is a considerable body of scientific research and evidence to support an exact formula that will work for a given application. Until that day comes, I suggest the proponents of mixing should start their own messageboard and begin to build the kind of community that we have for vegoil and biodiesel.