Diesel Secret Energy, LLC recently unveiled its product, also called Diesel Secret Energy (or DSE), to the American public. The DSE product (valued at $12.99, but shipped to the customer, along with the how-to manual and video, for free; just pay the $10 shipping per bottle) is used in conjunction with certain chemicals and a homemade mixing/pumping station to thin and clean used cooking oils. DSE encourages you to offer disposal of used cooking oils to local restaurants in order to obtain it for free.
The website, www.dieselsecret.com touts the product as a cheaper and safer alternative to traditional biodiesel, but many internet-savvy biodiesel users are blasting DSE, calling it a "snake oil." A primary complaint about DSE is not even about its product. Veteran posters (and biodiesel users) to the many biodiesel forums found across the internet complain that DSE is simply selling a product that chemically thins waste vegetable oil through a process that is freely available to the public with just a minimum of internet research.
This, then, is one of the first major points of contention one will find if researching DSE on the internet. Some diesel drivers, such as those who post regularly on the Infopop message board, have been using SVO or WVO biofuels for a while, and some have even tried DSE for themselves. Two of the main active ingredients in DSE were found to be xylene and naphthalene, the latter of which is commonly used in mothballs. Xylene, while less dangerous than methanol, is still a dangerous chemical, and equally stringent safety precautions should be taken while working with it.
Although safety is supposedly a primary selling point of DSE, Diesel Secret Energy's manual calls for a cost-effective Wal-Mart garbage can as the user's mixing station. Mixing chemicals in a plastic garbage can cannot honestly be called a safe practice. However, the garbage cans are cheap, and DSE's other main selling point is the inexpensiveness of the product. The company knows that most people will come across it because they are looking for a cheaper alternative to petro-diesel. Even the assertions of big savings do not stand up to the scrutiny of the biodiesel veterans, as many claim that their setup is as cheap or cheaper than Diesel Secret Energy's proposed mixing system.
This is a very expensive procedure (a point Diesel Secret Energy is quick to make), but as Journey to Forever's authors point out, the more people attempt to use SVO systems, the more car manufacturers will sit up and take note. As heated SVO systems become more popular, they will become cheaper. The supposed advantage of DSE is that, since it is specifically made to thin the WVO, it requires no heating to work. Those who have tested the product's resistance to cold temperatures disagree, saying it gels pretty easily at low temperatures. Diesel Secret Energy's cure for this dilemma is to add more chemicals, but this seems to just be an attempt to avoid having to heat the product, which would seemingly make it just like (and possibly as expensive as) standard biodiesel.
It should be noted that Diesel Secret Energy, LCC simultaneously claims its DSE product is not a biodiesel, and that it is a "true biodiesel." The reason for this, as described on the company's website, is that, although its additive produces the same result as biodiesel, it is theoretically cheaper and less dangerous than the chemicals and materials used in biodiesel processing. It is supposedly a true biodiesel, according to the website, because it is closer to what Rudolph Diesel himself used in his original diesel engine.
Although biodiesel is widely accepted as a much cleaner alternative fuel, Diesel Secret Energy scantily covers information concerning the hygiene of its product. The website states, "Depending on the vehicle, [its] general condition, etc, the fuel made with our system produces emissions that are significantly less than petroleum diesel and two-to-four percent higher than biodiesel. This is due to the fact that our fuel is 87 percent pure vegetable oil, [which gives it] a significant advantage over petroleum and [is] a small tradeoff against bio-diesel for the benefit of easier and safer manufacture."
This is just the risk that biodiesel veterans are concerned about. The general consensus of those who are "in the know" is that DSE stands to "coke" up the fuel injectors pretty quickly, which will cause a domino effect in the engine, which could, in turn, render the engine useless.
Although we at NaturalNews have not been able to try a sample of DSE -- requests for a sample were not answered -- the evidence seems to all point to one answer: There is not enough information yet. Even if DSE does work, with no long-term test results available, there is no way to know how DSE will affect a diesel engine in the future. The aggressive advertising points to this product possibly being too good to be true, and is a common tactic of people who want to sell a product quickly before a market collapses. DSE's response as to why this technology is not mainstream, or has not been seen before today is because it saw most of its widespread use in Europe, spurred on by Europe's gas prices, which are much higher than the U.S. Truly, the only real way to test the effectiveness of this product would be to try it yourself, but unless you have an old diesel engine that you are not relying on, taking this leap could be risky.
If you want to begin using an alternative fuel in your diesel vehicle (at which point you should check your state laws to see what taxes are applicable to you, and also go to biodieselcommunity.org for more information), it would seem that the more established biodiesel techniques are the safest ways to go. Although biodiesel too is still in its infancy, it has been around long enough for there to be veteran users who swear by it, and whose vehicles run smoothly on it every day. The DSE product appears to be an opportunistic pounce on people who want to save the money they are pumping into their cars, but without actually having to go through the admittedly long, potentially dangerous and arduous process of researching biodiesel and processing the fuel for use. Unfortunately here, as in many other cases, there is no such thing as a free ride, even on diesel power.
Note: Neither this author nor Truth Publishing was paid anything by the company mentioned here to write this product review. Read our Declaration of Journalistic Independence to learn how we adhere to a higher ethical standard than most newspapers, magazines and online media.