equip-misc-01Can portable diesel generators be run on waste oil? This is a hot question circulating in the generator industry. Given the environmental state of affairs, companies and individuals are in the market for green-friendly products, as well as looking for affordable solutions to power.

Depending on the particular generator and its overall configuration, the type of fuel is determined. Diesel fuel is derived from crude oil, is most commonly purchased at gas stations, and can also be produced by synthesizing vegetable oil or alcohol.

In short, the answer is “yes.” But because not every generator has the capabilities of running on waste oil, you will want to research and check with the manufacturer before making your purchase.

Here are a few examples of companies using waste oil:


The Steam-Flo generator was introduced by Sioux Corporation and operates on waste industrial and automotive oils to generate steam. The Steam-Flo can produce up to 345 lbs. of steam for every 3 gallons of waste oil per hour. The steam is used in the concrete industry, commercial greenhouse industry, and to thaw pipes.

Sioux Corporation of Beresford, SD, a leading supplier of steam generators, has introduced a waste-oil burner option to its line of steam generators. Waste-oil, if readily available, is an option to eliminate fuel costs while providing hot water or steam for your operation. The waste-oil Steam-Flo® produces 345 lbs. of saturated steam per hour and burns 2.9 gallons per hour of waste-oil. Steam-Flo® generators are often used in commercial greenhouses, nurseries, precast concrete, ready mix concrete plants and industrial applications including closed-loop heating systems, heating steam jackets, and thawing pipes and valves.

Phoenix 5-Series

The Phoenix 5-Series generator from Cyclone Power Technologies uses used, waste engine oil to produce steam power. The engine works by injecting used oil, or any number of other types of fuels and oils, into a centrifugal chamber where the oil is ignited and mixed with heated air. The chamber heats coils of water to 1,200 degrees F, and the steam is used to push pistons. Cooled water is then returned to the combustion chamber in a closed loop system so the water never has to be refilled.


The Vegawatt generator from Owl Power Company runs on waste vegetable and cooking oils. The generator is designed for use in restaurants that produce a lot of waste cooking oils. You poor in unfiltered, raw cooking oil and the generator filters, de-waters and heats the oil for use in a modified diesel engine. The Vegawatt can produce up to 5 kilowatts of electricity, which covers around 25 percent of a restaurant’s energy consumption.