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V100 Golf Aces EPA Emissions Tests

Results of the emissions testing. Click to enlarge. Source: AAE.

A 2002 Volkswagen Golf TDi modified to run on straight canola oil (V100) produced emissions below the EPA standards for the vehicle in recent testing at the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety located at Colorado State University (NCVECS).

Albuquerque Alternative Energies (AAE) modified the Golf with a vegetable oil fuel system supplied by PlantDrive and VO Control, consisting of a Hotfox stainless steel heated fuel pickup, Vormax dual stage vegetable oil processing filter, Vegtherm inline electric final fuel heater, and a VO Control Systems VO Controller.

The tests were conducted on an I/M 240 in conjunction with a chassis dynamometer. Three tests were run on ULSD to establish the baseline emissions for the vehicle. Another three tests were run on Canola oil (V100). The PlantDrive/VO Control Systems kit showed decreases in emissions over the entire spectrum analyzed.

The VO Controller precisely controls the fuel temperature to maintain correct viscosities while keeping the fuel temperature within the vehicle ECU range. The Hotfox stainless steel heated fuel pickup ensures that the vegetable oil fuel does not polymerize/oxidize. The Hotfox maintains the heat in the fuel tank locally, providing sufficient heat to maintain oil flow, rather than providing excessive amounts of heat to the tank such as a coil/radiator type tank heater does.

PlantDrive’s large capacity, heated Vormax prefilter/water separator/final filter uses a very fine element to protect against contaminants and water while still minimizing the need for filter changes on the vehicle in regular use.

The Vegtherm inline electric heater, in combination with he Vormax and Hotfox, allows the rapid heating of the vegetable oil to the proper level and the maintenance of the temperature.

The VO Controller monitors and coordinates the system, preventing the vehicle from switching to VO from diesel too soon, and regulating fuel temperatures to within a narrow range. This range corresponds to a temperature and viscosity that allows the vehicle’s ECU to properly meter fuel and adjust timing.




this is to all you people saying that you can't have your diesel and your emissions too.

Sid Hoffman

I fail to see how vegetable oil is any more sustainable than any other variety of biodiesel. I'm glad to hear this variety of BD can be clean too, but it's not like we have enough plants to produce a hundred billion gallons of SVO per week.


When the engine is repeatedly turned on and off, as in running errands on a Saturday, does the driver have to keep switching between diesel and vegetable oil?


Sounds good, but how much space does all that equipment and canola tank take up ?

How would it compare to a CNG setup ?

But well done, lets keep the diversity in fuel systems going - we may end up with a real winner.


The same amount of space any secondary fuel tank would take up. I think it'd be easy enough to build a 7 gallon spare tire tank and go with a donut instead of a full size, best of both worlds so to speak.

Albuquerque Alternative Energies

Vegetable oil is slightly more sustainable than Biodiesel beacause you burn the entire volume of vegetable oil rather than throwing away the glycerin. It also does not need processing with methanol/lye/water. Algae is being researched right now to produce large quantities of oil that will not compete with the food source. If the vehicle is started and shut off mulitple times the VO Control systems monitors engine coolant temperatures and determines which fuel will be burned. If the vehicles is shut off for less than 30 mins it will normally resume operation on VO right way. The equipment if installed properly takes up no space in the vehicles interior, and is far more flexible than a CNG system because you can still use diesel fuel if you cannot return to a fueling station!! You can check out detailed phots of this vehicle at

Rafael Seidl

Lensovet -

the emissions limits tested against were those that EPA had set for vehicles first registered in 2002. That means this company's systems can be used to retrofit a used VW Jetta from that year - it does not mean the vehicle would meet EPA's current standard, much less CARB's.

That does not take away from the achievement, especially wrt the PM values. I wonder if this company has already conducted endurance testing of the modified vehicle. An AutoBild (Germany) report a few months ago suggested that a brand-new 2006 *stock* VW Golf diesel running on SVO suffered severe heat damage to the turbocharger bearings and cavitation damage to the injector nozzles after just a few thousand km.

Lloyd -

this particular system apparently handles the switch from petrodiesel to SVO automatically, as soon as the engine has reached the required temperature.

Albuquerque Altnernative Energies

This was not a full certification test as the EPA, up until now, did not believe that vegetable oil could be made to burn cleanly. As far as CARB/EPA standards the sytems only need to meet in the year that the vehicle was produced in. Each system varies with vehicle to meet the specific needs for each engine type. We are pursuing certification as we speak.

PlantDrive has a vehicle with this type of engine with over 100,000 miles on it.

I have not seen the AutoBild report, but I find it strange that the turbo charger would be affected by a vegetable oil fuel systems. Injector damage from cavitation is usually cause by water in the fuel (vegtable oil) and is of chief concern when using vegetable oil. Temperature is usually not a problem for HEUI type injectors as they are inside of the head and exposed to combustion. DI engines are somewhat more susceptible to lube oil polymerization than the older IDI engines, but this can be mitigated by swithcing at proper temperatures and increase lube oil replacement frequency.

The system does monitor coolant temperature and switches the vehicle when the appropriate temp has been reached for that specific engine as correct switching times vary for each type of engine.


How cost effective is this? A gallon of canola oil can cost $3-4. How many miles you get?

Anyone has any info?

Rafael Seidl

Albuquerque Altnernative Energies -

thx for your prompt comments. Here are the links to the AutoBild articles, if you don't speak German you may want to use Babelfish to translate.

Please note that AutoBild's test was based on a *stock* VW Golf V.


Herr Diesel's invention was designed to run on veggie oil.

Brian Petersen

Albuquerque Alternative Energies,

Congratulations on this work, it dispels certain misconceptions about vegetable oil fuels. It sounds as if your system is a lot more sophisticated than many of the often home-grown (or not much better) systems out there.

I have little doubt that vegetable oil in an UNMODIFIED VW Golf with the "pumpe-duse" engine would cause trouble. But, there are certain other vegetable-oil conversion kits from Europe that maintain the vehicle's emission certification and TUV approval over there.

Any thoughts about the newer "pumpe-duse" (unit-injector) or common-rail systems that are certified to more stringent emission levels?

Rikiki Weisbrich

When I lived on Maui, I used B100 from Waste Vegetable Oil(WVO) which was provided by Pacific Biodiesel. They rescued it from local fry cookers rather than letting it be dumped into the Maui landfill. After 10,000+ miles on my 83 Mercedes 300SD, I found no problems. Now here back on the mainland, the MBZ now has an additional 30,000 miles with no engine problems of any kind. (278,000 total). Mileage is still 25/28MPG.

The big problem here on the mainland using higher concentrations of Bio (such as anything higher than B5) relates strictly to the heating requirement for the fuel. (Maui seldom gets cooler than 60 degrees).

Biodiesel whether from WVO or more pristine sources is a good option except in nice cool climates like Minnesota in January. There, even regular diesel fuel doesn't behave well until warmed up by the engine or other methods. Glad to see so many aftermarket options to be made available.

Round Rock, TX


I use SVO in my indirect injection diesel with no problems (as do thousands of other people here in Europe). Nice to see a Di can also do the same with a modification or two.

By the way, SVO is better than biodiesel because to make biodiesel you need large amounts of methanol or ethanol for the esterification. Where's that going to come from?

Straight from algae to tank with SVO!

Alex Pine

but you still need to start up an SVO car on something.
with a one tank aren't you messing with the emissions control equpment? (the injectors?)

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