Project Veggie began a few months ago when I read a Slashdot posting
about home biodiesel production. I had not even heard of biodiesel.
After some trawling I turned up lots of interesting facts about our
best friend the car, and about our perhaps worst enemy, the
petrochemical companies that earn mega bucks from the pretty exclusive
It all boils down to a stranglehold on innovation and an
effective blanket on what we can do with our friend the car. Heres an
interesting point: did you know that when Rudolph Diesel invented his
famous engine, it ran on just about anything: Parafin, Corn oil, you
Turns out that the early petrochemical companies, in a
shrewd move, named one of the waste products from Petrol production
after good old Rudolph, and the rest, as they say, is history.
In fact, even the modern diesel engine found in a typical family car
can still run on a pretty wide range of fuels. The limiting factor
turns out to be the delivery method: the fuel pump and injectors are
geared towards a specific viscosity of fuel and don’t take too kindly
to this being meddled with.
Thus is born project veggie: To move my car from A to B without
mess, fuss or bother and without using anything made by a petrochem
Step one, the acquisition of a suitable vehicle has been completed:
enter one Ford Mondeo, 1.8 TD, 1998, with 90k on the clock.I suspect
there are another 90K miles not on the clock, but there you go!
steps now are to make the car safe (it has a wobble at speed, perhaps
wheel balancing or bearings), then to get a couple of tanks of the
dreaded DERV through it so I can check it runs okay.
Check back soon for more on project veggie!