If you dream of free energy, building a waste oil burner could turn your dreams into reality. There are plans for homemade burners to suit many different applications, from simple open flame types to complex injection units.
There may be an oil shortage, but there is certainly no shortage of waste oil. Every restaurant that serves fried food produces waste vegetable oil (WVO) by the gallon. All vehicles create waste oil as well, in their crankcases, transmissions and gear boxes. Even electric cars produce some waste oils.
Waste oil burners can supply heat for all sorts of homemade projects. You could start small with plans for a backyard foundry for casting metal or perhaps a kiln. Or you can take on a more ambitious plan like heating the garage. There are even retrofit burners for firing furnaces or boilers to heat your whole house.
Look for plans that are up-to-date with current technology. Older plans might work well with biofuels or WVO, but the automotive oils of today have a host of additives that elevate their combustion temperature, making them difficult to use in old-style burners. A well-designed waste oil burner should burn clean, with little, if any, smoke or fumes.
Steve Hamilton has been writing professionally since 1983. His credits include novels under the Dell imprint and for Harlequin Worldwide. A remodeling and repair specialist with over 20 years experience, he is also a Certified Pool Operator and holds an EPA Universal refrigerant certification.