Here is a diagram of a hypothetical WVO acquisition and filtration system based loosely on one of our own. We drew this for the purpose of a zine produced by Art Of Cultural Evolution, a non profit org dedicated to promoting sustainability through the arts and thought we’d share it with you.
Being that we install everything within our buses, which are by their nature mobile, many of the system diagrams found on this website (this one included) have integral acquisition tanks and pumps where as home based, immobile systems are typically dedicated to processing and supplied by separate mobile acquisition systems usually comprised of a pump, maybe some filters and a tank mounted in a pick up truck, for example.
Despite trying many times to devise a reliable and replicable formula for producing fuel grade WVO, other constants such as our ever improving understanding of these systems and the need to pull them apart in order to re-appropriate components has meant that we are always re-thinking and refining our set-up.
The system detailed above uses both cleanable and reverse osmosis spun nylon sediment filters to metastasize the oil and a WVO Designs centrifugal filter to polish it to less that 1 micron.
In the system we currently employ there is actually no gravity tank, but instead a coolant heated holding tank after the 5 micron filter. From this tank the oil is pumped to a four way splitter. Two lines from the splitter go to the centrifuge (one directly to the centrifuge, the other to the bolt on heater) via a ball valve that restricts the flow, another to a pressure relief valve that dumps back into the heated holding tank, and the fourth to a 1 micron filter used to by pass the centrifuge in a pinch. Each line is opened separately with the exception of the pressure relief line which is always open. Both the centrifuge and 1 micron filter feed into our clean tank.
The continuing goal with our system – beyond reducing errors, improving efficiency and striving towards a permanent design – has been a state of autonomy. However, while we definitely have to babysit less than we initially had to, and feel increasingly comfortable doing so, we appreciate that for us a fully or even semi automatic system is impractical. Moreover, far from being an unnecessary burden, being on hand when processing individual batches of oil actually proves incredibly valuable in terms of quality control and undoubtedly saves us time in the long run. As beggars can’t be choosers the range of oil coming in varies so drastically that the notion of treating it all the same just seems like a recipe for disaster.Show on map