In 2003 the waste oil research budget was stepped up...

...I had an extra $5 in my pocket.

A lot of people are against waste oil as a fuel and assume it always burns with a smokey, dirty flame. This is only true if your burner design sucks! Therefore in 2003 I took it upon myself to begin perfecting homemade waste oil combustion technology.

I'm convinced that for anyone wanting to melt large batches of any metal at one time or melt iron (except for iron in a cupola), oil is by far the most economical fuel. I think waste oil burners could become the majority in hobby foundries in the future. The burners are destined to become more compact while the ease of use and efficiency continues to increase. And the fuel is FREE! -June/20/2005

CAUTION! Working with or around burning and hot oil/grease can be dangerous, especially when proper safety precautions are not taken. Water should never be used to put out an oil or grease fire. Use dry sand or dirt. Because of the variations in materials and workmanship there are no guarantees on the information in/on this web site. This information is simply what I have been successful with in my own experiments. I will not assume responsibility for any injury, loss, or damage that may result from following the instructions, advice or plans on this web site. There are always dangers in foundry work and they have been pointed out whenever possible but it is not the purpose of this web site to, nor is it possible to mention all known or unknown dangers.

Return to oilburners part; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

This is the furnace unit back in 2003. THE STEAM is from a newly poured open-face mold. This is a self contained unit. The furnace, burner assembly, and fuel tank are attached to a cart-like frame on wheels.

The unit has experienced many modifications since this photo was taken, some small others large. The top goal for this unit is to be able to melt iron as easily as most backyard metalcasters can melt aluminum...

foundry unit mockup

This is a photo of some of the early mockup and initial planning of the foundry unit.

Welding the foundry's frame

Here I'm welding together the framework for the waste oil burner unit. The frame work is made up of steel water pipe and rebar. It was pretty fun to watch the thing start looking like the image I had in my mind.

A blower rotor

This is an experimental rotor that I cast from aluminum for the blower assembly. It has reverse inclined blades because I read that they are more efficient. I also cast a non-inclined rotor for the blower. I didn't notice much difference in efficiency between the two.

Blower assembly

I built the blower for this foundry myself. I made a pattern for each half of the blower housing and cast them. The motor was purchased from Ebay and was originally meant for a home heating system oil burner.

Two previous burner designs

Here is a picture of the original "Hot Momma" Ursutz derived waste oil burner which I refer to as the G1 (generation 1) and next to it is an improved version (built about april or May 2003) called the G2 version.

Notice that the G2 version is smaller and is one piece with no seperate lid.

Metalcaster's friend: Gosh, these french fries are really oily, I think they cooked them wrong...
Metalcaster: I know what you mean, there's entirely too much potato in this oil!

Used cooking oil

This is my stockpile of used cooking oil. There are about 32 gallons here (each jug holds 5 1/3 gallons). At one time (after this photo was taken) I had over 70 gallons of used cooking oil in storage!. A small local "southern fried food" restuarant let me collect all of their used cooking oil (about 15-20 gallons/month). This is cheap vegetable oil, but if you demand the best for your foundry I recomend extra virgin olive oil from sicily.

This is my fuel of choice since it's organic and there's no risk of toxins or heavy metals being in it as is potentially the case with used motor oil. Also, environmentalists call vegetable oil "carbon neutral" because burning it doesn't release any more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the original plants abosorbed from it.

Page contents copyright © 2005 by L. Oliver II - www.BackyardMetalcasting.com
Used motor oil

Here is a small stockpile of used motor oil. The blue jugs are actually 5-gallon capacity kerosine jugs. I can store 15 gallons in the jugs and another 20 gallons in the steel drum next to them if I choose too.

I'd love to obtain a 55 gallon drum. Then I can just pour all my oil into it and attach a manual pump to the top and pump out 1 gallon at a time into a small container for filling the fuel tank during furnace use.

The wasteoil tank

This is the fuel tank made from a barbecue grill sized (20lb) propane tank. A "dipstick" style fuel level guage was added for convenience even though I usually just look into the filler hole.

This tank can hold 5.75 gallons of oil versus the original 3 gallons of propane that they usually contain (propane is stored in pressurized liquid form)

For safety the propane tank was filled completely with water during all welding procedures to prevent fire or explosion from propane fumes.

Testing the waste oil burner

Here's a picture from back in 2003 of the G4 burner in it's test stages without the furnace. The G4 design is very different from any previous versions. One of the biggest improvments is the "intake manifold" for improved air/oil mixing. The flame is about 2 feet long.

No smoke, no soot just clean waste oil combustion. And according to this U.S. government EPA document the clean burning of waste oil for the recovery of useable heat is a form of recycling.

        Next page -->

Can this burner explode? No, oil is far less flammable than gasoline or propane. It requires so much heat energy to ignite and maintain combustion that if too much oil were to enter the burner the flame would cool off and begin to extinguish, not explode!

Return to oilburners part; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Next page -->


Copyright © 2005 by Lionel Oliver II All Rights Reserved.
This site was created Sept. 28, 2000