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"No Waste" Waste Oil Burner
Now you can build a simple waste oil heater that doesn't release lots of soot and smoke. It also doesn't rely on filtration systems and high-pressure nozzles that can plug up from dirty oil. Best of all, says designer Paul Oliver, it's built from recycled "junk".
"I've discovered ways to use things others throw out," he says. "The heat shroud is from an old oil barrel, the combustion chamber is an old LP tank, and the fan on top can be salvaged from a junked furnace."
Oliver has assembled his designs in a set of plans he sells through his company MurphysMachines.com. The plans require some basic welding skills, but nothing too fancy. He says almost any MIG or TIG welder will do the trick. Some people have even used an arc welder.
"It's very basic stuff, like slicing a 55-gal. drum in half," says Oliver. "Just about any garage tinkerer can build one of these things."
Three key elements to the efficiency of Oliver's design are fuel delivery, an extremely hot combustion chamber, and effective heat capture. To get a good burn, oil has to be atomized, and controlled high-pressure air does the job without filtering, without water removal and with no injectors that can plug up.
The combustion chamber is a salvaged 14-in. dia. propane tank. Once the oil begins to burn, it quickly heats up to several hundred degrees, providing near complete ignition with very little waste. With adjustable fuel feed, the burner can produce from 70,000 to 200,000 btu's.
The unit uses less than 0.5 CFM of air at about 80 psi. It stands less than 6 ft. tall and 30 in. in diameter and weighs about 250 lbs. without the oil tank.
The 55-gal. drum sliced in half surrounds the propane tank combustion chamber to capture the heat produced. The furnace fan pushes air into the chamber for heating and distribution out hot air ports cut in its side.
Simplicity carries over into the controls. Although some plan buyers have figured out ways to automate their unit, Oliver prefers to keep it simple.
"It's a very manual system, more like a wood stove," he says. "You have a pump you plug in and a fan. That's it, but it will burn just about anything. I've even mixed old RustOleum paint in with other oils and burned it with no problem."
Waste vegetable oils can be burned with no dewatering needed. "A lot of waste oil burners will burn petroleum waste, but not vegetable oil, because it often contains a lot of water and the flash point is so high," says Oliver. "This design burns it all. It doesn't care."
Plans are $54.99 for online access. Printed versions with 60 pages of text and illustrations are $84.60. Comments at various websites suggest people have found the plans easy to follow and the burner very satisfactory.
Oliver says he has had good feedback, including one customer who built a number of units to use to heat his orange groves. "He said he put plastic over the tops of the trees and ran the burners with the heat directed at the ground," says Oliver. "Most people use them to heat greenhouses and shops."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, MurphysMachines.com, 11375 Faircrest Dr., Washington Township, Mich. 48094 (ph 586 995-0101; information@murphys machines.com; www.murphysmachines. com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6