Welcome to Biomotors.co.uk

The green revolution starts here...

"The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become in the course of time as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time."
Rudolf Diesel, Patent application, 1912

The pioneers of a new technology

Over 25 years ago, Elsbett laid the foundation for a whole new way of environmental driving when they presented the revolutionary Elsbett motor to the world. They showed that the technology for driving modern engines on pure vegetable oils was no longer a pipe dream, but an achievable goal, and in doing so, started a global discussion that is growing in importance every day.

Today the Elsbett conversion technology lets most modern Diesel engines run on straight vegetable oil, and what was once a niche market is now enjoying rapid and sustained growth, both nationally and internationally. As market leaders, Elsbett continue to guide and support that growth with products, services and information.

We are actively promoting the Elsbett conversion technology in the UK, because we believe that it is better to recycle cooking oil from a restaurant or buy fuel from your local farmer than form an international oil company. We want to make the important message that it is better to upgrade an engine to take raw vegetable oil, than chemically process the oil to suit modern engines.

Contact us for more information.

Our motivation is environmental, not financial. We don't drive on vegetable oil to save money (even though it does), but because we want to be part of the solution to the environmental crisis we are facing.

Conservation begins at home

As a technology company, how else can we encourage conservation? That is a question we asked ourselves some time ago, and believe that the answer is in everyone's back gardens. We established NatureCounters to encourage the study of wildlife. Not only does our NatureCounters project invent, design and manufacture ecology equipment, such as the Nestbox Counter and Data logger, but we also have a web shop where we sell a wide range of wildlife and environamental products.

Special requirements for Vegetable Oil

To use vegetable oil as your fuel, we offer conversion kits with precisely matched technical characteristics for almost all regular diesel engines for cars, lorries and agricultural machines.
Our partner Umotec offers conversion technology specially adapted for construction site equipment.

Conversion technology is needed to compensate for the special characteristics of vegetable oil:
§ being a product of nature, its quality varies greatly,
§ it has a higher flash-point than diesel (which is why you can cook with it!),
§ it flows less freely than diesel (higher viscosity),
§ it ignites less readily (lower cetane number).

As the quality of plant oils vary, it is up to the driver to select an appropriate quality fuel. The most commonly used fuel in northern Europe is Rapeseed oil, and there is a special quality standard for rapeseed oil as a road fuel. This should be adhered to, to avoid the most common cause of driving problems.

Road Fuel sold by Biomotors (whether new or recovered) will have passed this E DIN 51 605 Quality Standard "Vegetable Oil as diesel fuel", and has further been tested that its Ester and Sulphur content so it meets all the requirements of the UK Fiscal Definition of Biodiesel as described in the Finance Act of 2002. There is a public notice from HM Revenue and Custome describing the definition of biodiesel, which is here

We are actively campaigning against recent moves by HM Revenue and Customs to impose the full diesel duty rate of 47.1 p/l on Pure Vegetable Oil, the greenest of road fuels. Such a rise contradicts directly the intentions of EU Directive 2003/30/EC to promote the use of biofuels. The Directive forced member states to introduce laws regulations and provisions necessary to comply by 31st December, and states explicitly that Pure Vegetable Oil shall be treated as a biofuel. We have wide-ranging support from MPs, MEPs, the National Farmers Union and the Country Landowners Association, as well as sustainability groups.

We have prepared our legal case against the duty increase. This is the Request for Formal Departmental Review (word document 68kB) which we are submitting to HMRC. It has been reviewed by one of the top VAT experts in the country, by the lawyers of the Country Landowners Association, and peer-reviewed by fellow Vegetable Oil drivers.

Test results on typical samples of new and untreated used oil are here. These results, carried out by a German fuel testing organisation, show how pure rapeseed oil conforms easily to all requirements, whilst used cooking oil, even when filtered to 1 micron, does not. For that reason we cannot recommend that customers run their vehicles on used cooking oil, unless it has been purified using advanced filtration techniques (progressive cooling, filtering agents, etc.) and has been tested to conform to the E DIN 51 605 Quality Standard.

N.B. The Elsbett warranty will only cover your vehicle's engine if this quality standard is adhered to.

A good conversion will cater for the other special characteristics of vegetable oil, by including the following features:
§ Pre-warming of the fuel, fuel lines or motor,
§ Modifications to the fuel system / pumps,
§ Additional filter stages,
§ Adjustment of the electronic engine control,
§ With the 1-tank conversion, modification to the injection system
§ Control elements and relays.

Engine suitability for vegetable oil

Most Diesel-engine vehicles are suitable for operation on vegetable oil, but to judge the suitability of a particular vehicle, you should consider the following points:

1. Technichal suitability
As a rule, almost all diesel engines can be converted unless they have an injection pump made by CAV, Lucas, Stanadyne, RotoDiesel or Delphi, which are mechanically unsuited.

2. Cost savings
The more fuel you use, the greater the cost saving.

3. Filling
The more often you can fill up from your own supply, the less you will have to stop at a petrol station and fill up with diesel. (but you can always do that when you need to)

4. Journey type
The less your engine cools down between journeys, or spends time just idling, the less it will be at a suboptimal temperature (when you can switch back to diesel in the 2-tank system), so long-distance journeys and brief "courier" style stops are ideal.

Changes in driving and servicing

Driving on vegetable oil won't cause you any great inconvenience, but there are some guidelines you should follow to avoid any problems:

§ Shorter service interval between oil-changes. Alternatively, you can have your engine oil analysed. These measures prevent potentially damaging "Polymerisation" of vegetable oil mixing with the engine lubricating oil.
§ Adding normal Winterdiesel to the vegetable oil in the tank in sub-zero temperatures.
§ On 2-tank conversions, running on diesel for the last few miles before letting the motor cool. This flushes the vegetable oil out of the injection system ready for a cold start next time.

These requirements are described in detail in your ELSBETT conversion kit, or when you have your ELSBETT conversion done.

Converting cars with the 1-tank system

With this system, there is no additional tank; all the fuel is held on the original tank of the vehicle. This solution relies on the adaptation of the injection process to the injection characteristics of vegetable oil, so typically, the glow-plugs, injectors, and injector mounts are modified.
With this system, you can drive entirely without diesel, except in the winter months, when a certain amount of winterdiesel should be added to the vegetable oil in the tank to keep it flowing freely.
As with the 2-tank system, you can still run on straight diesel, or in any mix of diesel and vegetable oil.

The ELSBETT 1-tank system can be fitted on pre-chamber diesels of most makes, as well as on traditional TDI engines from the Volkswagen group (AUDI, SEAT, Skoda, Volkswagen and some Ford and VOLVO as well as 1.9 dTi motors from Renault)

The typical 1-tank conversion kit would contain the following parts:
§ injector components
§ glow-plugs
§ additional fuel filter
§ sometimes additional fuel pump
§ coolant-water heat exchanger to pre-warm fuel
§ electrical fuel heater/filter
§ temperature switch
§ cut-off valve
§ Relays and sockets
§ fuel and water pipes
§ fuel hand pump
§ cabling
§ fitting instructions
§ User instructions

If an auxiliary heating system or night-heater is desired, then a small secondary tank should be fitted for diesel, as these heaters do not run on vegetable oil.

Converting cars with the 2-tank system

The 2-tank system has a separate diesel tank to start and warm up the engine. Once the engine is warm, it switches over, automatically or manually, to take vegetable oil from the main tank of the vehicle for the main part of the journey. Before long stops where the engine might cool down, the driver switches back to diesel for the last few kilometers of the journey. This flushes the vegetable oil out of the injection system ready for the next cold-start.

The auxiliary tank for a car typically has a capacity of 20-30 litres. In some countries it must be noted in the vehicle particulars by a testing centre, and may be required to have a filler pipe on the outside of the vehicle. In this case, external filling is provided for in the conversion kit and in conversions performed by ELSETT.

The typical 2-tank conversion kit for a car would contain the following parts:
§ small auxiliary fuel tank
§ in some cases glow-plugs
§ additional fuel filter
§ electrical fuel pumps
§ coolant-water heat exchanger to pre-warm fuel
§ temperature switch
§ changeover switch
§ Relays and sockets
§ fuel and water pipes
§ cabling

§ fitting instructions
§ user instructions

Converting Trucks to run on Vegetable Oil

We offer vegetable oil conversion kits with precisely matched technical characteristics for nearly all popular truck engines.

This patent protected ELSBETT technology features a standardised, easy to install kit for trucks with 12V and 24V systems.

The standard kit does not include the auxiliary tank, as most customers have special requirements for the size, shape, colour and material, so choosing and buying is left to the customer. We recommend a capacity of at least 100 litres for motors over 140kW / 190 bhp, otherwise at least 50 litres.

The conversion kit comes with comprehensive, illustrated fitting instructions. Installation will pose no problem to trained fitters. The total time required by a trained fitter will be 2 or 3 days, after fitting the auxiliary tank.

The typical 2-tank conversion kit for a truck would contain the following parts:
§ electrical fuel pump
§ coolant-water heat exchanger to pre-warm fuel
§ fuel filter unit and filter
§ control valve with pressure regulator
§ heavy duty relays
§ pipe set
§ cabling

§ fitting instructions
§ user instructions

Other Diesel motors besides vehicle engines can be converted economically to vegetable oil, such as larger combined-heat-and-power systems, and generators, which can soon no longer be run on subsidised heating oil.
A standardised kit is not suitable here, and each conversion requires some engineering work.


Diesel powered railway stock is another interesting application for vegetable oil conversion technology.
ELSBETT have already converted locomotives and railcars of between 220 and 2000 kW using a specially modified variant of the 2-tank system.

Railway vehicles are particularly economical to convert:
§ they use a lot of fuel, so save a lot of money on running costs once converted,
§ they have a regular load pattern and are subject to a regular maintenance schedule
§ they have their own tank systems.

Scope of Warranty

The warranty on the ELSBETT service pledge extends to two years for private customers and one year for business customers. Warranty claims may apply to direct and justifiable consequential damages, such as possible (even if unlikely) motor damage.

Our service pledge covers materials delivered in conversion kits sold by us, and the operability of the kit design. When the conversion is carried out by ELSBETT employees, the service pledge also covers the installation of the kit. However no responsibility is taken for the installation service of an independent ELSBETT service partner.

Consequently, all potential damages relating to the conversion for which we are responsible are covered by ELSBETT. The car manufacturer remains responsible for other vehicle claims, as long as a manufacturer's warranty exists.