Friday 27 July 2007

The plastic card I ordered from the environment agency arrived this morning. It is the size of a credit card, with our details on one side and the environment agency details and a hologram on the other side.

The environment agency had accidentally put my private mobile phone number onto their public register. When I called them about it, they apologised and removed it from the register.

Thursday 26 July 2007

Got a 12v veggie oil pump today to help speed up the waste oil filtering in the boot. Gravity would work but we prefer it a little faster really.

We did a test fit of all our stuff in the boot and have realised just how little extra space we will have available for the filtering. Going to have to keep it all very compact. 2 and a half weeks of stuff including camping gear takes up quite a lot of space.

Saturday 21 July 2007

This morning, I received a certificate from the Environment Agency, confirming my registration as a waste carrier.
This means that I can legally collect waste oil from restaurants, as long as I keep a waste transfer note for each collection, and I dispose of the waste responsibly (e.g. by fuelling my car).
The registration process took 2 months.

I had ordered a plastic card, which didn't arrive with the certificate. For some reason, they put my mobile phone number on the certificate, in the section for Telex numbers. That was a bit unexpected, especially as I only gave them the number on the section of their form headed "Please give us your contact details in case we have questions about your application". These are minor points, but generally the Environment Agency were very helpful on the phone and processed the application in the expected time.

I'm off to my local kebab shop for some oil...

Thursday 19 July 2007

There was a change in the law from 30th June which affects producers/users of vegetable oil as a road fuel. I have today received a letter from HM Revenue & Customs about the changes in the law.

Amongst other things, the letter says "Your recent Biofuels and other fuel substitutes return indicates that you may be producing less than 2500 litres per annum. We therefore propose to remove you from our current list of registered producers of biofuels and other fuel substitutes."

I will tick the box, sign it and post it back to them, freeing me of the burden of sending them a tax payment each month. As the letter points out, I do still have to keep records of the vegetable oil I am using.

Thursday 12 July 2007

Well, the ferry tickets are booked so the dates are set. We are leaving Dover at lunchtime on the 23rd August and returning home on the 9th Sept. We are now stepping up a gear on the route planning. Thank god for google maps.

We are also collating laws from around Europe with regards to using veg oil as a fuel. It is an ongoing project so for now it will be a blog, if it does ever become complete we will make it a static page :-

Wednesday 11 July 2007

Got lots of mechanicals fixed now. The heater and dashboard lights are now working and thanks to the fantastic service from we have managed to get the correct glowplugs so it starts much better from cold. I really can't recommend this seller enough, service far beyond the call of duty and cheap too.

I have replaced some dodgy looking fuel lines too, just to be safe. Total spend just £21.00

Friday 6 July 2007

I had a great plan to take the car to France next week. A friend is getting married near to Paris and it would be a good opportunity to go to the wedding and to try out some french vegetable oil, or "huiles végétale", as they call it over there.

Sadly, it turns out that it is illegal for a private individual to run a car on vegetable oil in France. It is only legal for companies in a limited set of circumstances, and I'm fairly sure I wouldn't easily qualify. So I'll have to find another way to get there:-(

Kenny is planning a trip around Europe in the car in a few weeks time. In the light of this new information, he is going to have to redraw his route to avoid France. That's pretty tricky, but not impossible - there are ferries from England to Belgium, for example. We need to find out about the laws in a few other countries. If anyone has any good sources of information on this, please could you get in touch?

Wednesday 4 July 2007

Thanks to adrian for including us in his article in the sunday observer ! Its great to get coverage.

I have done a fair bit of work neatening the front end of the car (in the pouring rain), we want her to look her best for the car show this weekend. The play in the driveshaft has turned out to be the diff, we are ignoring it for now.

We plan to use waste vegetable oil to power the car once our carriers license arrives, before adding it to the car the oil will need to be filtered. For the Europe trip this will all happen on the move. The filter and housing arrived and initial tests for the boot mounted system are looking good. We think we can get an acceptable filter speed for waste vegetable oil using gravity alone (no pump).