Benny?s Landcruiser goes like a well-oiled machine
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
THE slogan on Benny Glassman's fuel drum reads 'liquid gold', but it's completely free. Benny and Rohan Stewart, both of Rose- bank, run their Landcruisers on used vegeta- ble oil, courtesy of local fish and chip shops that would otherwise throw the fat away.
Unlike biodiesel, which is about 80 per cent vegetable oil and 20 per cent diesel, Benny and Rohan's vehicles run on pure vegetable oil. And, with diesel prices hovering around $1.30 per litre, the pair are saving a fortune. "I was inspired by the lower exhaust emis- sions that come from vegetable oil, but the huge added bonus is it's free," Benny said. "It's not a solution that would work on a mass level. There's the hassle factor with mod- ifying your vehicle and it only works in older diesel engines." The 'hassle factor' includes installing a sec- ond fuel tank for the vegetable oil, a small purpose-built heater to give the oil a runnier consistency and a switch to turn the vehicle into vegetable oil mode because the engine must be started and turned off using normal diesel or biodiesel from a separate fuel tank. The used oil must also be cleaned with a filter sock. They get 8km per litre of vegetable oil ? compared to 9km per litre of diesel ? and still travel hundreds of kilometres each week at speeds of up to 100km/h. "What we hope this does is get people thinking about more than their $1.30 and the impact on their hip pocket," Benny said. "You have to ask the question whether hav- ing our entire earth covered in roads and trucks is a viable path to go on anymore. We take for granted that we will always have vehicles on roads, but how we will continue to power them hasn't been solved."