The pre-filteration barrel will seriously extend the life of you bag filters and is recommended, a newer design that is much simpler to make is available here.


Top for a 55 gallon barrel. Oil is poured warm from the fryer into the hole in the barrel top and must pass the screen which catches all big chunks, the oil then must pass through an air filter from a 1974 Ford F250 (what I had in the shop) which filters the hot oil down to 30 microns +/- . The hinged top should have a lock on it and a gasket around the inside rim so that it seals well when closed.

If you have developed a good relationship with the establishment and know that their oil has been drained hot from the fryers (if it is not it will not flow through the filter easily) then you can be fairly certain that the oil is water free. In this case you could (climate allowing) simply connect a pump to the cam lock end and pump the oil through a 20 micron and a 2 micron filter and into your fuel tank (defendant on your vehicles micron requirement).


Alternatively, you can build a "Frybrid Still" in your garage. This system allows you to fill the water heater unit with oil, heat it for several hours, then allow it to cool, this will precipitate the water and solids to the bottom where it may be drained off. The oil is then heated again and cycled through the filters for an hour or so "polishing" the oil, the hot oil may then be pumped from the heater unit into storage tanks or directly into the vehicle.



In this diagram the basic plumbing can be seen.
The water heater will have 4 threaded fittings on it; H = Hot, V = Vent, C = Cold and D = Drain.

You will need the following:
13 hose barbs 3/4"
6 Street "T"s
6 Valves
25' 3/4" fuel hose
6' Poly tube (clear with braiding)
1 check valve
Assorted close nipples and pipe lengths (3/4" black iron pipe)
1 Bag filter housing
1 Self priming pump

1 Fill nozzle

Filter: I have used the #51655K6 filter housing ($237.50) from McMaster Carr for some time with good results.
Pump: I favor the Northern Tool pump #36057 which comes with a mounting, hose and fill nozzle ($249.99)
Water heater: I use a 80 gallon because it is what I found on the roadside. It needs to be a 220VAC model, wire it to use 110VAC so that the elements run cooler (oil needs 1/3 as much energy to heat than water). Disconnect the upper element so that it does not function (don't want the element getting hot when the oil level is below the element). NEVER turn on the heater when the oil level is below the lower element. Set the thermostat to 140F.

Prepare yourself for a dozen trips to the hardware store

Plumbing is as follows:

1 connects to 5
2 connects to 4
3 connects to the filler nozzle
6 connects to the pump outlet
7 is the drain
8 connects to the suction tube (used to suck oil in from a container)
9 connects to the pump inlet
1 pipe cap
Thread sealer

Function is as follows:

Oil should be settled and as clean as possible, I have a pickup tube with a screen on the end, the hose then connects to a Marine Raw Water Strainer before it runs through the pump and into my transport container.

Fill: Valves #6 and #2 are open, all others are closed. Suction tube is placed into container of oil and pump turned on. Oil is sucked up through the suction tube and pumped into the "Still". When you have all the oil you need pull the suction tube out of the container with the pump running and listen for a change is the sound of the pump. This will clear oil from the suction tube so it doesn't drain out on your floor.

Heat: Close all valves and turn the heater on after making sure that the heater is at least half full. Wait about 2 hours and the oil should have heated in the first hour to about 140F, after this point the heaters thermostat should have kept it there.

Cool and separate: Turn the heater off and let it sit overnight. During this time the heated oil will cool and heavy particulates and mush of the suspended water should drop to the bottom. Now open valve #4 (all others closed) and drain off the sludge and water at the bottom, when the oil looks like oil, shut the valve.

Filter: Turn the heater back on and wait about an hour for the oil to heat up. Once hot open valves #5, #3 and #1 (all others closed) and turn on the pump. This will draw oil from the bottom of the heater, through the pump and push it through the filter and back into the heater. Allow it to cycle for about an hour.

Fill'er up: With the oil hot and the heater turned OFF, open valves #5 and #3 all others closed. Turn on the pump, place the fill nozzle in a container or VO fuel tank and open the handle on the nozzle. The pump will draw oil from the heater bottom, pump it through the filter and out the nozzle.

Collecting Oil:

For collecting, oil we like Tuthill's 12/24V DC Fillrite pump (FR1604). It can be obtained from Strick Equipment or AWDirect.


Vegetable oil should be filtered to at least 5 microns (2 microns is preferred) and dewatered to 500ppm or less (checked using the crackle test). The oil should then be placed in a container with no air space in it and sealed. Oil to be stored for some time should be kept as cold as is easily possible, in a basement or cellar should be adequate. Exposure to oxygen, sunlight or heat will decrease the amount of time which VO can be stored. If stored oil has become quite clear and has a paint like smell, discard it. When the oil is to be used, it should be pumped from the storage container, through a filter and into the vehicle. Leave a small amount in the bottom of the container and never draw fuel from the bottom, this oil can be poured into the next batch of oil being prepared and reused.

All storage vessels should be thoroughly cleaned after filling and stored in a secure area to prevent the attraction of pests and the possible rupture of the storage containers by pests. The smell of VO will attract insects, rodents and large carnivores like Coyote or Bear. Keeping the stored oil containers and area clean is essential.

Rewiring the heater:

Images courtesy of Utah Biodiesel Supply

The wires going to the top element are removed and the thermostat bypassed. The GFI breaker has not been bypassed but has been wired through.

And the bottom element.

And the wiring on top. Notice that the ground is connected properly.

Frybrid has provided these images and text as an example of what we have done, we in no way accept any liability arising from the use of these concepts. The risk of fire, electric shock, damage to persons or property rests solely on the person building such a device. Remember this design uses 110VAC to heat up to 80 gallons of oil to temperatures which can burn flesh and anyone who has ever seen a grease fire will tell you how fierce they can be, imagine an 80 gallon grease fire.

Never plug the heater in unless the level of oil in the heater fully covers the heating element. Never leave this unit unattended when plugged in.


Here is a YouTube video showing a Frybrid Still

Here is a YouTube video of a couple of Frybrid system users.





Typical electric water heater.