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eBook - How to Make Bio-Diesel

eBook - How to Make Bio-Diesel

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Published by travking
technical descrip tion how to make you own bio diesel
technical descrip tion how to make you own bio diesel

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Published by: travking on Oct 06, 2008
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Home Power #72 August / September 1999 
aking your own fuel fromvegetable oil can be easy, cost-effective, and environmentallybeneficial. What makes this fuel evenmore attractive is that you can make itfrom the waste vegetable oil producedin the United States every year, whichamounts to more than three billiongallons. With a bit of know-how andpersistence, you can run any dieselengine on vegetable oil.
Only diesel engines can run on vegetable oil-basedfuels. This means that any engine that has spark plugsand is made for leaded or unleaded gasoline cannotuse vegetable oil fuel. If you want a practicalhomemade fuel for a gasoline engine, you mightconsider making ethanol, methane, or wood gas.
Grow Your Fuel
We produce a large quantity of used vegetable oil in theUnited States, but there is an oilseed crop you cangrow no matter where you live. The possibilities includecoconut, soybean, canola (rapeseed), sunflower,safflower, corn, palm kernel, peanut, jatropha, andhundreds more. To learn which vegetable oil crop isbest suited for your area, contact your state’s office ofagriculture, the agriculture department of a localuniversity, or talk to local farmers.One of the crops with the highest yield of oil per acre iscanola. From just one acre of canola, you can produce100 gallons (379 l) of vegetable oil. The most commonoilseed crop in the U.S. is soybeans, which produce 50gallons (189 l) of vegetable oil per acre.Growing your own oilseed crop has an added bonus.The meal that is separated from the oil is an excellentsource of protein. This meal can be used as animalfeed or in breads, spreads, and other food products.Pressing the oil from the seed does not require a large,expensive press. TabbyPressen of Sweden makes a
Joshua & KaiaTickell
 ©1999 Joshua & Kaia Tickell
Restaurant fryer filters are available at restaurant supply stores and are excellent for filtering food particlesout of used cooking oil.
Home Power #72 August / September 1999 
tabletop press for around US$1,000. Although the pressusually comes with a 240V/50 cycle electric motor, youcan buy the press with a 120V/60 cycle motor from theU.S. distributor. The press looks like a powerful juicer.To operate it, pour the oilseed into the funnel and waitfor the vegetable oil to pour out of the bottom. The mealoozes out of the side of the press.
The Three Ways to Use Vegetable Oil as a Fuel
Diesel engines that are found in cars, trucks,generators, boats, buses, trains, planes, pumpingstations, tractors, and agricultural equipment can all runon fuel from vegetable oil. Pure vegetable oil, lard, andused cooking oil work just as well as diesel fuel.
The most conventional method of running a dieselengine on vegetable oil fuel is to produce a fuel calledbiodiesel. Biodiesel is made by combining 10 to 20percent alcohol with 0.35 to 0.75 percent lye and 80 to90 percent vegetable oil. Avery reliable reaction can bemade with 80 parts new vegetable oil, 20 partsmethanol, and 0.35 parts lye. These ingredients aremixed together for an hour and left to settle for eighthours.After the chemical reaction is complete and the newproducts settle out, you have biodiesel fuel and glycerinsoap. The fuel is yellow to amber in color and flows likewater. The soap is brown in color and has theconsistency of gelatin. The soap settles to the bottom,allowing you to pump, siphon, or pour off the biodiesel.
Veggie/Kero Mix
The second method for using vegetable oil in a dieselengine is to simply “cut” the oil with kerosene. Thismethod is best suited for emergencies, heavy dutyengines, and warm temperatures. Although it ispossible to mix other petroleum products with vegetableoil, kerosene is most suited for the diesel engine.Depending on ambient temperature, the blend ofkerosene to vegetable oil will be anywhere from 10percent kerosene and 90 percent vegetable oil to 40percent kerosene and 60 percent vegetable oil. Afairlyreliable blend is 20 percent kerosene to 80 percentvegetable oil.The effectiveness and reliability of the veggie/keromethod is increased by starting and cooling down thediesel engine on diesel fuel or biodiesel fuel. This canbe accomplished by installing an extra fuel tank andswitching to the veggie/kero mix when the engine iswarmed up.
Straight Vegetable Oil
The third method for running a diesel engine onvegetable oil is to use straight vegetable oil. As with theother methods, you can use either pure vegetable oil orused cooking oil. To ensure the reliability and longevityof your diesel engine, the engine must be started andcooled down on diesel or biodiesel fuel. This alsorequires the use of an extra fuel tank and a valve toswitch between the tank of diesel or biodiesel fuel andthe tank of vegetable oil. Think of it as a startup tankand a running tank.The key to running a diesel on straight vegetable oil isto heat the vegetable oil at every stage—in the fueltank, fuel hose, and fuel filter. The vegetable oil must beheated to at least 70°C (160°F).Most diesel engines have hoses that carry hot coolant.This coolant can be channeled to heat the vegetable oilhoses, tank, and filter. You can make simplemodifications to the coolant hoses. These modificationscombined with some extra fuel and oil hoses, an extrafuel tank, and an electrically operated switch will allowyou to run your diesel engine on straight vegetable oil.
Fuel Comparison
The chart will show you the differences between thethree vegetable oil fuel methods. As you can see,biodiesel is a good substitute or additive fuel for dieselfuel. Veggie/kero mix is decent for use as anemergency fuel. And using straight vegetable oil is goodif you have the time and know-how to properly modify
Our friend,Hugo Brown,pouring grease.A container ofused cooking oil can be found behind most restaurants.
Home Power #72 August / September 1999 
your engine’s heating and fuel tank systems. Dieselengines are used in many different situations. For eachsituation, there is a way to make fuel from vegetable oil.
How to Make Biodiesel
This section outlines the process for making biodieselfuel from new vegetable oil or used cooking oil. Thisfuel can be made in a blender or in a larger, homebuiltmixer. The materials you’ll need are vegetable oil,methanol, and lye.If you are using new vegetable oil, always use 3.5grams of lye per liter of oil. Since each batch of
cooking oil is different, the amount of lye in each batchof biodiesel will be different. To ensure that you areusing the correct amount of lye, make a small test batchof biodiesel in a blender before attempting a reaction ina large mixing tank. For the test batch, use 100milliliters of vegetable oil and 20milliliters of methanol. Then youmust determine how much lye touse.If you are using used vegetable oil,use 0.45 grams of lye for the firsttest batch. If this batch makesbiodiesel and glycerin, use the sameproportions for the large batchreaction. If the test batch does notform two distinct layers, increase theamount of lye to 0.55 grams andmake another test batch. If thisbatch is unsuccessful, make anotherbatch and increase the amount oflye to 0.65 grams. If that batch isunsuccessful, make another batchwith 0.75 grams of lye. Make sureyou can make biodiesel on a smallscale before attempting a largereaction.Once you have made a successfulsmall test batch of biodiesel, multiplythe number of grams of lye you usedby ten to see how much lye you willneed for each liter of oil in the largereaction. For example, if you used0.55 grams of lye in the test batch,you will need to use 5.5 grams of lyeper liter of used cooking oil for alarge reaction.Here is the basic procedure formaking biodiesel fuel. Read thesafety information at the end of thisarticle before you begin.1.Purchase or collect new or used vegetable oil.2.If the oil is used cooking oil, use a restaurant fryerfilter to remove burned food bits, etc.3.Purchase some methanol alcohol from a localracetrack or chemical supply store. Ethanol alcoholcan also be used, but the process is different.4.Purchase some granulated lye (Red Devil is onebrand) or caustic soda sold as a drain cleaner fromthe hardware or grocery store. It must be puresodium hydroxide (NaOH).5.Measure the amount of vegetable oil you want touse in liters. We will call this number V. Pour thevegetable oil into the mixing container.6.When the temperature is below 70°F (21°C), orwhen the vegetable oil is solid or lumpy, it will be
Comparison of Different Vegetable Oil Fuel Methods
PropertyBiodieseVeggie/Kero Mix Straight Veggie Oil 
Can be used as lubrication additive to diesel fuelyesnonoRequires vehicle modificationnoyesyesReliably cuts emissions in all diesel enginesyesnounknown *Considered an alternative fuel under theUnited States Energy Policy Act (EPACT)yesnoyes **Simple way to run a vehicle in an emergencynoyesnoStable fuel at room temperatureyesnonoRequires added chemicals to produceyesyesnoRequires startup tank of biodiesel or diesel fuelnoyesyesGood startup fuelyesnonoBetter lubrication than diesel fuelyesyesyesGels in cold weatheryesyesyesCovered by many engine warrantiesyesnonoCan be made from used cooking oilyesyesyesCan be made from pure vegetable oilyesyesyesSafe to store and handle, biodegradable, won'tspontaneously ignite, and non-toxicyesnoyesWorks in all diesel enginesyesyesyesCan be reliably mixed in any proportion withdiesel fuel without vehicle modificationyesnonoApproved for use by EPACT in a 20% mixwith 80% diesel fuel ***yesnonoEngine life, power, torque, fuel mileage, andoverall performance are relatively unaffectedyesyesyesCan clog fuel injectors if used improperlynoyesyesRequires heating for operation at any temperaturenonoyesTested and documented by U.S. universitiesyesnoyesPossible substitute for home heating oil in furnacesyesnonoCan be used in Petromax brand and similarlanterns and stovesyesnoyes
* No recent U.S. University studies have been published on this.** Under EPACT regulations, any biologically-derived fuel is considered an alternative fuel.*** EPACT legislation states that a fleet must use a minimum of 450 gallons (1703 l) of biodiesel per year.

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