11,000km trek powered by vegie oil

Two Queensland Technical and Further Education (TAFE) teachers, Chris and Alex, have set out on a self funded trip to promote renewable energy. The vehicle for the trip is a dual cab Toyota Hilux diesel.

The journey will take them from Noosa in Queensland, through the Northern Territory to Broome in Western Australia and back again. They departed Noosa on the 26th of May and are due to return on 8 July 07. You can keep up with their progress here.

This project has a strong educational component, achieved by promoting renewable Energy in a number of schools, throughout QLD, NT and WA.

The Sunshine Coast Daily and ABC NewsOnline have more information.

The Desert Trek web page has more and you can e-mail Chris and Alex at this address.


16 Responses

  1. I have been watching this and thank the team for doing it and showing that there are alternatives. Schools are benifiting
    great bring on science

    cheers Warren

  2. Watched there road side presentation
    well done TAFE.

    Sunshine TAFE here I come

    cheers Jane

  3. Great to see Tafe being real and showing the way and promoting the future.
    Will there be a follow up?

    Bill Halls creek mob

  4. Bill,
    I had a quick look at the Desert Trek web site. It appears Alex and Chris completed their journey today. They are yet to post the information on using vegetable oil as a fuel but they have achieved a lot:
    – Successfully traveled 11,108km on primarily vegie oil.
    – Delivered 46 presentation on Renewable Energy and Sustainability. Some focused principally on vegy oil use in diesel engines.
    – Promoted the Diploma and the Advanced Diploma of Renewable Energy and current students as system designer and installers.
    – Promoted TAFE as a pathway to learning.
    – Crossed 3 deserts.
    – Conducted a stack of media interviews.
    – Established network links across Australia with vegy oil suppliers, renewable energy participants and interactive computer access.
    If they post good information on using vegetable oil as fuel I’ll put it up here in a new post.

  5. Great I look forward to their follow up and yours.
    It is exciting that waste can be fuel and that if you can get it on the run you refine it and use it.
    I havent been able to make their slide shows work but will keep an eye out

    thanks again bill

  6. Hi
    Had a look at their site and watched the slide show, what a trip and what a testimony to alternative fuels.
    Still waiting for the update

    cheers Warren

  7. Hi
    Thank you for looking at our journey. Since returning we have striped the injector pump and injectors to inspect for wear. Interesting nothing unusual was found. The vehicle has now been running on veggie oil for about 18 months and has 240,000 km on the clock.
    We did have problems along the way which required that the system be modified. The system over the 11,000 km evolved into a veggie system which will work in both cold and hot climates with good reliability.

    We will be posting an article on our web site shortly.
    The most important elements to us about using veggie oil particularly waste oil is
    • The use of veggie oil is sustainable
    • It is virtually carbon neutral
    • Reduces emissions 70 to 90%
    • Reduces sulphur emissions to almost zero


    Thanks again Alex

  8. Thanks for getting back to us Alex and keeping us up to date. We look forward to reading your report.

  9. Hi Luke
    I have been watching this space on your web site and
    I have been to the web site http://www.energy-wise.net and found the trek to be very adventurous. And would love to know more. Thanks to Chris and Alex for promoting alternative energy and showing it can be done.

    My questions are:

    • Will using straight veggie oil damage the engine?
    • Being waste veggie oil do the contaminants affect the engine and its performance?
    • How long will the oil keep when it is stored?
    • How do I process the oil
    Is the oil better for the environment

    Thank you
    PS. I have posted this question energy-wise.net also (blog)

  10. Those are good questions Darrel. I’m particularly interested in what filtering, if any, the oil was subject to before use and the impact of remaining contaminants. With a little luck Alex will answer our questions on http://www.energy-wise.net soon.

  11. http://www.energy-wise.net/deserttrek/documents/Desert%20Trek%202007.pdf

    This is our update
    Thanks for the questions
    cheers Alex

  12. what type of milage did you get to the liter

  13. Thanks Luke, I have found the report most use full and now have my own system up and running , with winter approaching it will be interesting. The report was both informative and interesting

  14. Hi Darrel,
    I’m glad you found it beneficial. I’d be doing the same thing if I had a diesel but I can’t see the point in buying another vehicle just so I can run it on waste oil. However, when my Honda gives up (assuming that is in the next few years) I’ll be looking for a diesel.

  15. “• The use of veggie oil is sustainable
    • It is virtually carbon neutral”

    My reading of current literature is that neither of these statements is close to being achievable in the real world. One needs to look well beyond the tunnel-visioned enthusiast who picks up waste from the local fish and chip shop. Extrapolating it to running the world’s transport fleet in such a way as to comply with these two statements is just pie in the sky stuff.

  16. Just a quick comment re Tony Lee’s comment.

    I agree that WVO will never become the panacea for all th transport need but I dont think that was ever implied but I may be corrected on this one. I see any alternate that fills the gap between now and a sustainable solution worthy of being considered. Veg Oil is sustainable in as much as it can be grown. The emissions associated are much lower so a step in the right direction. There are other oil crops showing yeilds where perhaps a solution might be closer than we think. Carbon nueteral well yes in as much as the maximun carbon that can be emitted by burning Veg oil can only equal the amount used o grow the plant. get my drift. using a waste product that reduces the demand on traditional fuels should be appluaded
    Nevertheless I think we need to always question.
    thank Tony

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