Author Topic: Adventures with WVO, Glycerin, and UMO in one system!  (Read 4021 times)

Bucky

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Adventures with WVO, Glycerin, and UMO in one system!
« on: November 20, 2009, 08:32:23 pm »
Hi everyone, I finally have the time to tell the story of last winter, trying to burn all three fuels separately and sometimes at the same time in the same stove.  First a little back story: As I mentioned in my introduction post I built a MEN heater about 9 years ago out of junk parts (no cost) with some hard to read plans my father printed for me.  After a few boxes of welding rod we tried to light it on UMO and it raged!  It went though its temporary fuel supply and created so much heat that we were afraid to go near it.  I pronounced it a success and left it in my fathers capable hands.  For some reason or another it never worked right again (who knows why).  Fast forward to last winter and I had built a 30X40 uninsulated boat shed to rebuild a wooden catamaran.  The shed had 20ft ceilings and a dirt floor, single layer shrink plastic walls and roof, and a low spot in the floor that occasionally pooled water under the boat and froze into an ice rink.  I dragged the MEN heater out of the woods (literally) and cleaned the rodent nests out.  After some plumbing and piping we had it installed in the corner of the shed.  One of the guys I work with had been making biodiesel for a while and was having trouble dealing with the byproducts, glycyrol, glycerin, bad WVO and gelled biodiesel.  We decided to try and burn all of them in the stove.  Due to temperature issues (0-10 deg F) we could not start up on anything but UMO.  We got the system running and burned about 30 gal before we had the valving, lighting procedures, temp control etc all figured out.  At this point we tried dumping in some glycerin we had heated near another stove in a nearby shop.  As soon as we put it in the UMO tank it gelled and we were stuck.  Get out the heat guns, clear the lines and start up again.  After about a week of messing around with this idea we found a 55 gal drum strap heater.  This thing is great!  It came with an adjustable heat setting and would heat the whole mass of fuel to steaming in about an hour or maintain a warm temperature over night.  At this point we had figured out how to keep the fuel ready but the stove still got down to 0 degrees over night.  We were lighting with kerosene but it would not get things hot enough to keep the fuel lines from the tank to the stove warm...did I mention it was cold?  One solution we came up with was 2 tanks.  One for UMO and the other for the brown glycyrol, glycerin, biodiesel fuel soup that we were trying to burn.  We would start on UMO and then when things were warmed up, gradually add more and more fuel soup.  This worked OK and we got to a point of happiness at about 50/50.  It was about this time that we started to come to the working limits of the original burner.  I will talk about that in the next post.

Russ

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Re: Adventures with WVO, Glycerin, and UMO in one system!
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2009, 08:09:29 pm »
Thanks for sharing Bucky!  The pictures are great.  I see some black smoke coming out of the stack.  Is that how it looks when the heater is running, or just at startup?

You will have to get some more pictures of the boat you are working on too.  Looks interesting.