Biodiesel Handbook

Online Documentation

Produced by Arie van der Winden

Table of Contents Preamble 7 Chapter 1: Introduction 8 Should You Make Your Own Biodiesel? 8 Chapter 2: Biodiesel 9 What is Biodiesel? 9 Advantages of Biodiesel 10 Disadvantages Biodiesel 11 Specifications 13 Quality 14 Chapter 3: WVO Collection 19 Negotiating for WVO: 20 What to be aware of: 21 Chapter 4: WVO Preparation 22 Heating 22 Filtration 23 .

Health and Safety 31 Environment 31 Health 32 Safety 33 Chapter 7: Storage 40 Biodiesel Containers 40 Chapter 8: Equipment-41 Chapter 9: How I make Biodiesel 42 Introduction 42 Making Sodium Methoxide 43 Heating & Straining the WVO 44 .Testing for Water 24 Chapter 5: Chemicals 27 Iso Propyl Alcohol 27 Methanol 28 Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) 29 Sodium Methoxide 30 Chapter 6: Environment.

Chapter 9: Biodiesel Batch Information 49 Appendix 1: Frequently Asked Questions 53 Can I use Biodiesel in my old Diesel Engine? 53 Will it affect the Fuel Lines? 54 What is Methanol? 55 Is Methanol hazardous or dangerous? 56 What can I do to reduce my exposure to Methanol? 57 What do I do if I breathe in Methanol or spill some on myself? 58 What do I do if I spill Methanol? 59 What do I do in case of a Methanol fire? 60 How should I store Methanol? 61 How should I dispose of Methanol? 62 How can I buy Methanol? 63 Where can I find more information? 64 Appendix 2: Glossary of Terms 65 .

The book is divided into the following chapters: • • • • • • • • • • • Chapter 1 : Introduction Chapter 2 : Biodiesel Chapter 3 : Waste Vegetable Oil Collection Chapter 4 : Waste Vegetable Oil Preparation Chapter 5 : Chemicals Chapter 6 : Environment. I decided to put some of this information in a book. Health & Safety Chapter 7 : Storage Chapter 8 : Processing Equipment Chapter 9 : How I make Biodiesel Appendix 1 : Frequently Asked Questions Appendix 2 : Glossary of Terms . My aim is to keep this up to date and make it available on the Internet as an eBook. which will be easy to access.Preamble I have been researching Biodiesel for several years and had so much information available that it became difficult to keep it organised.

It’s up to you as you will loose your warranty of any fuel related problems. make sure you have a reliable supply of feedstock and chemicals. The use of highlevel blends (B20+) and pure Biodiesel (B100). Can you assure that the quality of the Biodiesel meets specifications? Many Biodiesel producers have in-house labs or take other measures to ensure that the quality of the Biodiesel they produce meets ASTM standards for optimal performance of diesel engines and vehicles.Chapter 1: Introduction Should You Make Your Own Biodiesel? You can make your own. How much Biodiesel will you actually use? If you use a small amount of Biodiesel. Check with your local Council about their fuel storage regulations. should you decide to go ahead and make your own. should probably be avoided. I hope to share my experience to make the operation safer. • • • • • • . why not? You will help the environment and safe money. Here are a few points to consider: • In no way should you be making your own Biodiesel unless you receive proper training and instruction from a professional on how to handle the chemicals and any other components used in the making of Biodiesel. Before you purchase anything. At what percentage will you use the Biodiesel? Most engine and vehicle manufacturers warrant their vehicles for use of up to 5% of Biodiesel in Petrodiesel (B5). The question is. How will you store the Biodiesel? Storage is another quality-related issue as Biodiesel should not be stored for more than six months as it will degrade. should you? Yes. it may be more cost-effective to simply purchase your Biodiesel from a reputable producer or retail distributor.

Canola Oil. Cotton Seed Oil. Many studies have shown that the properties of Biodiesel are very close to Petrodiesel. beef and sheep tallow and poultry oil from animal sources and also from used cooking oil. Biodiesel can be easily mixed with Petrodiesel to create a Biodiesel blend. . It is produced by the Transesterification of Vegetable Oils and Animal Fats – all of which belong to a group of organic Esters called Triglycerides. no aromatics. These characteristics of Biodiesel reduce the emissions of Carbon Monoxide (CO). Therefore. These esters have become known as Biodiesel. Biodiesel has a higher Cetane Number than Petrodiesel. and particulate matter (PM) in the exhaust gas compared with Petrodiesel. and contains 10 to 11% oxygen by weight. Hydrocarbon (HC). from vegetable sources. Typical examples are Rape Seed Oil. biodegradable. Soya Bean Oil. and renewable alternative diesel fuel. Sunflower Oil. The chemistry is basically the same irrespective of the feedstock. Biodiesel can be used in diesel engines with few or no modifications. Petrodiesel. Biodiesel requires no special storage or fuel dispensing facilities. or additive to. Biodiesel is an environmentally friendly replacement for. Palm Oil. Biodiesel is a mixture of Methyl Esters of long chain Fatty Acids. etc.Chapter 2: Biodiesel What is Biodiesel? Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) are receiving increasing attention as a non-toxic.

Renewable fuels like Biodiesel are sustainable source of fuel because. which is released when the fuel is burnt. is captured by growing plants. This means that not only do vehicles running on Biodiesel produce less harmful air pollution. the oil of which. The great thing about Biodiesel is that it can be made from waste vegetable oil. aromatics and particulates are reduced when using Biodiesel. The big advantage in using Biodiesel is that harmful exhaust emissions are substantially reduced compared to Petrodiesel. . Using Biodiesel also has the potential to greatly reducing our reliance on expensive imported oil. low toxicity and high flashpoint. Carbon Monoxide. is processed into another batch of Biodiesel. torque and fuel economy. This is because CO2. they are also benefiting the environment by reusing oil that would normally go into landfill or be used for feedstock. Biodiesel has also been shown to greatly reduce net CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions such as unburned hydrocarbons. Biodiesel provides better engine lubrication than Low Sulphur Petrodiesel. Sulphur. as long as they are produced in a ecologically sustainable way. Fossil fuels (like petrol & diesel) are non-renewable. Biodiesel is also safer to handle due to its excellent biodegradability characteristics. they will not run out. leading to the creation of local jobs and the improvement of our balance of payments situation. Biodiesel performs very much like Petrodiesel as it has similar power.Advantages of Biodiesel One of the key advantages of Biodiesel is that it is renewable fuel.

my first batch. made of Cotton Seed WVO. had a Cloud Point of + 5C. . This could cause some problems in the winter as temperatures drop to -5 C were we live.Disadvantages Biodiesel Biodiesel experiences difficulties in cold weather.

It’s a great feeling you have driven past the Service Station on your own home made fuel.Drivability I have used a mix of 30 % Biodiesel up to now and have noticed no difference in performance. .

they are: • ASTM D 6751 This is a test used in the USA and several other countries. This test is a standard of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN). Two sets of standards may be used. • EN 14214 This is a test used in the Europe. .Specifications Biodiesel specifications have been implemented in several countries around the world. ASTM stands for: American Society of Testing and Materials.

injector and engine damaging substances.Quality Modern Diesel engines require quality fuel. Making your own Biodiesel is taking a risk as you may end up with three potentially fuel pump. they are: • • • • Free Glycerine Poorly Converted WVO. Sodium Hydroxide Sodium Methoxide .

and triglycerides (poor ester conversion) will form gum-like deposits around injector tips and valve heads.Free Glycerine Free Glycerine and mono-. di. For Glycerine analysis get a test kit for determining Ethylene Glycol in motor oil. This test is simple and it generates a purple colour if substantial free glycerol is present. .

will substantially increase cold starting problems and filter plugging. The Biodiesel will have a high Pour Point and may solidify in your fuel tank. which has not been converted. .Poorly Converted WVO WVO. I test each batch by refrigerating 100 ml of the Biodiesel overnight. Our fridge operates at + 5 C and if I see any cloudiness I will not use it.

and measure them accurately.Sodium Hydroxide Sodium Hydroxide can damage the injector pump. Proper washing will remove Glycerine. Follow the instructions carefully. Sodium Methoxide and Sodium Hydroxide. The key to good Biodiesel is: • • • Use pure chemicals. .

Sodium Methoxide Sodium Methoxide is highly toxic and corrosive can damage your health and your vehicle’s: • • • Fuel Pump Filters Injectors As mentioned above. . proper washing will remove Sodium Methoxide.

might require preheating to liquefy.Chapter 3: WVO Collection Animal fat or vegetable oil can be used to make Biodiesel. virgin oil is the most expensive to obtain. including: • • • • • • Canola Oil Soybean Oil Sunflower Oil Corn Oil Peanut Oil Cotton Seed Oil Of these oils. These may be used. The first step in setting up to make your own Biodiesel is to secure a regular supply of WVO. WVO in this book refers to oil collected from Fish & Chips shops and restaurants. Because of their high levels of Free Fatty Acids. In the middle is the Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO). Virgin vegetable oil will be the best to use. On the bottom of the list are coconut. It took me some time to establish a regular supply within a reasonable travelling distance from home. A wide variety of Vegetable Oils can be used. Unfortunately all of my supplies are solid at room temperature. followed by the corn and peanut oil. I provide my suppliers with clean empty 20 litre steel containers. some are more preferred then others. make sure you follow up and take the WVO away as soon as it is available. Unfortunately. Animal Fats should be lowest on your list. palm and hydrogenated oils due to their tendency to be solid at room temperatures. sunflower and canola are best. the soybean. Once you have a regular supply. but. .

Do buy their take away from time to time or dine at the restaurant. Always clean up after yourself. most are willing to help you. Be sure to be courteous and clean when collecting from your source. They are looking for a person that they can depend on and will collect the WVO as agreed. .Negotiating for WVO: If a restaurant owner or manager is offered a way to reduce their operation cost.

If your unsure. restaurants will just give you their WVO. If the water contamination is heavy. . the batch can form chunks of soap. but they don't put much effort into proper storage. Try to avoid these sources all together. If your source of WVO has been contaminated with water. Water in the WVO will cause the batch to have foam on the top of the Biodiesel. The most important thing to be aware of is WATER contamination. you will need to get the water out before processing. always pre-test before you process with it.What to be aware of: Often.

Chapter 4: WVO Preparation The next step is preparing the WVO for use in the Biodiesel processor. It takes about half an hour to completely melt the WVO in the pail. To clean the oil I carry out the following steps: • • • • Heating My supply of WVO is solid at room temperature and needs to be heated before I can use it. to about 60°C. The oil is then fluid enough for the “Filtration” step. The WVO will contain crumbs and other solids. settled in the bottom of the drum. It may also contain water. with a gas burner under a 20 litre steel drum. Safety Do this step slowly! Water. Have the burner on the lowest setting until the oil is all fluid. can suddenly boil and blow the oil out of the drum. I heat the WVO. Heating Filtration Testing for Water Dewatering .

Cartridge Filters Cartridge filters work by pumping the oil through a spin on filter or in-line element filter. I use one filter for each 10 litres of finished Biodiesel. I use a kitchen strainer with cheese cloth. Coffee Filters Coffee filters are paper filters. they are: • • Bag Filters Bag filters are simply screened bags the WVO is poured through to filter the oil. from the WVO. I use a steel kitchen strainer followed by fine cloth. similar to cheese cloth. The more you can remove before processing.85 for 40 filters. They are cheap at A$ 1. the better. Many people choose to make their own screen filter while others choose to purchase pre-fabricated filters. There are two main types of filters you can buy. To filter the solids.Filtration WVO often contains foreign matter such as crumbs and it always wise to filter the WVO before processing. This takes out most of the solids. I use them as a final filter. Bag Filters Cartridge Filters .

Heat the oil to 60°C. on my barbeque plate.Testing for Water I test a small batch for water. before I do anything else. Picture on the next page. I heat the oil to 120°C. Any WVO drained this way will solidify (in my case) and I skim this off for reuse. maintain the temperature for 15 minutes and let it settle for at least 24 hours. Heat the oil slowly and stir frequently if possible. to about 70°C. This means I will have to heat the whole batch! If any water is present remove it by the following methods: • Settling the water This method saves energy. Drain the water in a slop bucket. . and helps to form more FFA in the oil. I put about 100 ml of WVO in an old frying pan an heat it. WVO must be dry for the conversion process. • Boiling the water off Less-preferred method as it uses more energy. If any water is present it will “bubble”.



The chemicals I use are: • • • • Iso Propyl Alcohol Iso Propyl Alcohol is used for titration. Iso Propyl Alcohol Methanol Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) Sodium Methoxide .Chapter 5: Chemicals Chemicals described in the book are the ingredients used in titration and the WVO conversion process.

It is a cumulative poison and repeated exposure to relatively low concentrations could cause harm in the longer term. It can enter the body through breathing in the vapour. Safety Methanol is a toxic chemical. dizziness and visual disturbances that can result in blindness. It can cause nausea.Methanol Methanol is used to make Sodium Methoxide. direct skin contact or by accidental swallowing. . Swallowing small quantities could pose a significant health threat to the central nervous system and could also affect other vital organs.

Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) is used to make Sodium Methoxide. Safety Sodium Hydroxide .

Sodium Methoxide Sodium Methoxide is the catalyst used in the conversion of WVO to Biodiesel. Safety Sodium Methoxide .

Biodiesel replaces the exhaust odour typical of petroleum diesel with the pleasant smell of fried chips. . Environment Biodiesel is nearly carbon-neutral. Reduction of soot emissions. Reduction of carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. Reduction of all Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). Reduction of sulphur dioxide (SO2) emission. depending on the age of the vehicle and the tuning of the engine. Reduction of hydrocarbon (HC) emissions. meaning it contributes almost zero emissions to global warming! Biodiesel has the following environmental advantages over “Petroleum Diesel”: • • • • • • • • Reduction of net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Health and Safety Section 6 of this book gives a description of the following: • • • • Environment Health Safety Housekeeping Space has been provided on many pages to assist in future updates. Reduction or increase of nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions.Chapter 6: Environment.

it becomes foremost in our minds. This book often mentions the dangers of the chemicals used in making Biodiesel and I suggest you take heed. .Health Your health is the most important thing in life. When we are young health is not a topic we dwell on frequently but as you get older and health problems occur.

To assist in this I use the following safety equipment: • • • • • • Triton Powered Respirator Plastic Gloves Rubber Safety Boots Safety Shower Eye Wash Fire Protection . Protection of people and equipment must at all times be the number one priority. Safety is a vital part of all work carried out in the Biodiesel Processing Shed. Production Superintendent and Production Planner and I am very concerned about the safety and health of people making Biodiesel at home.Safety I worked for 46 years in the Petroleum & Chemical Industry as an Operator.

Triton Powered Respirator I purchased a Triton Powered Respirator last year to give me protection when working in dusty conditions. This unit is useful for splash protection and when handling Sodium Hydroxide powder. The cartridges supplied are not suitable for handling Methanol or Sodium Methoxide. INSERT PICTURE HERE

Plastic Gloves I use Plastic Gloves when handling WVO and the chemicals used in Biodiesel processing. Rubber Safety Boots When I work in the shed I use steel capped rubber safety boots. The steel caps are needed when handling heavy drums of oil and chemicals.

Safety Shower I have installed a Safety Shower just outside the shed in case I get splashed with chemicals. It is a simple shower head with a quick action valve operated by a a chain and handle. See picture. below: INSERT PICTURE HERE

Eye Wash I purchased an Eye Wash Bottle from a safety equipment supplier and keep it nearby in the Biodiesel Processing Shed. INSERT PICTURE HERE .

causing serious burns. My Biodiesel Processing Shed is equipped with the following Fire Protection: • • A Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher. A CO2 Fire Extinguisher. for example gas burners. It is also possible that a violent chemical reaction could occur by: • • Making a mistake with the recipe.000 litre Fish Pond. I also have a Fire Water Pump and a 30 m Hose Reel set up about 10 m from the shed. for example kitchen appliances. Poor mixing. for example getting the quantities wrong or adding the chemicals in the wrong order.Fire Protection There is a serious risk of fire and explosion because Methanol is highly flammable and there are many potential sources of ignition in most homes such as: • • Normal electrical equipment. plugs and switches. Any of these could result in the mixture splashing or boiling over. Open flames. I test the pump before I start processing each batch of WVO. . or making too much at once. The Fire Pump draws water from a 20.

Wash your plastic gloves. carry out the following: • • • • • • Safely dispose of all paper filters and rags in the rubbish bin. • Clean all spills immediately. Chemical spills are a health and fire danger. Hot water wash all your titration and testing equipment. Oil spills are slippery and could result in falls and injury. well ventilated area. . Cleaning personnel is often forgotten in safety discussions. Place your slop bucket in a locked.Housekeeping Housekeeping is an important part of the overall operation. Put your clothes in the washing. After processing your Biodiesel. Note: Please make sure the person who cleans your clothes is not exposed to any dangerous chemicals. Clean your breathing apparatus and store it in a clean bag or case.

usually on the bottom. This is HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene). keep the Methanol and Sodium Methoxide away from the area. . Store all chemicals out of reach of children. Biodiesel Containers Look for the triangular shape with the "2" inside. Any container designed to hold fuel will safely hold Biodiesel. preferably in a locked cabinet. which is what you are looking for.Chapter 7: Storage Storage is important as you are using flammable materials. If you use an open flame when heating your WVO.

. 20 litre Pails for WVO collection. Gas Burner to WVO. Biodiesel Processing Vessel. not blue ones. pH meter. With steel containers you can use LPG heaters to heat the WVO. Chemical Goggles. Aquarium air pump. 2 Litre Clear Glass Container (Flagon). Respirator with filters suitable for Methanol vapour.Chapter 8: Equipment This chapter describes the equipment I use and will show pictures of my setup. To make Biodiesel. hose and a “T” piece. wooden type. Glass measuring cylinder ( 1000 ml ). you need the following equipment: • • • • • • • • • • • • • Plastic Gloves. Air stones (2). as per the process in this book. then switch to an immersion heater before adding the Methanol.1 gram accuracy. Glass measuring cylinder ( 20 ml ). Scales that weigh 0 to 50 gram with 0.

This process takes care of the free Fatty Acids. because it is easy to obtain. during base-catalysed Transesterification. present in WVO. in 500 gram containers.Chapter 9: How I make Biodiesel Introduction To make Biodiesel efficiently. Soap reduces the yield because it bonds the Methyl Esters to water. for A$ 3.95. . I buy it from supermarkets. from WVO. when Sodium ions combine with Free Fatty Acids. The bonded Methyl Esters get washed out at the washing stage but make water separation more difficult and increase water consumption. I use Sodium Hydroxide. we have to avoid one major problem: • Soap Formation Soap is formed.

5. 3. generating heat. with the international code "2". It must be thoroughly mixed before you use it. .Making Sodium Methoxide 1. Measure 2 litres of Methanol into the container. with all the Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) dissolved. Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) and Sodium Methoxide! Use a tough. It's nasty stuff and it's not easy to mix. 4. Do this four or five times and check the results. Slowly release the cap the let any vapour escape. Tightly fit the cap and swirl the mixture vigourously for a minute. Take full safety precautions. I make enough Sodium Methoxide to process 10 litres of WVO. plastic gloves and clothing. wear Breathing Apparatus. Mixing Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) with Methanol is an exothermic reaction. Add the amount of Sodium Hydroxide obtained from the titration result. container made of HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) usually marked "HDPE" on the bottom. have running water nearby. with a tight stopper and a screw on cap. Do not breathe the fumes. safety goggles. Safety Sodium Methoxide and Methanol are DANGEROUS CHEMICALS. thick. Safety Take FULL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS when working with Methanol. 2. 1.

. Heat the WVO in your Biodiesel Processor to 55°C. Pour 10 litres of WVO into your Biodiesel Processor. then strain through a metal kitchen strainer and a fine cloth.Heating & Straining the WVO The following is the procedure I use to make a batch of 10 litres of Biodiesel: • • • Melt all WVO.

If the solution changes back to yellow add some more until the pink colour stays for 5 minutes. . Add enough drops of Turmeric Mixture until the solution turns yellow. • • • • • Add 10 ml of Iso Propyl Alcohol into your titration container. Add 1 ml of the WVO to the titration container.Titration Now you should be ready for titration (testing). Add enough of the 1 % Sodium Hydroxide Solution until the liquid in the titration container turns pink. I use a spice container.

The mixture will become warm and may produce some vapour. . Safety: Remember. put the Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) into the Methanol.Making Sodium Methoxide When the Titration is successfully completed. make enough Sodium Methoxide for the quantity of WVO you are going to process. I suggest you start with 10 litres of WVO initially until you are confident enough to make larger batches.

Adding the Sodium Methoxide to the WVO • • • Add the 2 litres of Sodium Methoxide to the 10 litres of WVO in the Biodiesel Processor. the Glycerine is quite hot and caustic!. After 24 hrs. Dispose of the Glycerine into a slop container and store in a safe. noticing the dark colour (near black). . Safety: Take care. switch receptacles as this is your raw Biodiesel. turn on the agitator and mix for 50 .60 minutes. When the colour begins to lighten (honey colour). well ventilated area. drain the Glycerine from the Biodiesel Processor. Keeping the solution at 55 °C. This must now be washed.

Drain any remaining water. Drain most of the cloudy water. Below is the procedure I use. To wash the Biodiesel I use a 20 litre HDPE drum with a drain valve and a screw on cap. Drain most of the cloudy water. • • • • • • • • • Add 3 litres of hot water to the container and shake gently. Add 3 litres of hot water to the container and shake vigourously. Do this five times. Leave to settle for one hour. . Let the washed Biodiesel settle for 24 hours. Leave to settle for one hour.Washing the Biodiesel Some people do not wash their Biodiesel but I do not want any soap or Sodium Methoxide in my vehicle fuel tank. which has been quit successful.

Chapter 9: Biodiesel Batch Information In this chapter I will give details of the batches of Biodiesel I made. Batch 1 Batch 1 was made from Cotton Seed WVO. I lost some during the washes because I didn’t let it settle long enough. . This WVO is a liquid at room temperature. Quantities used: WVO: 10 Litres Methanol: 2 Litres Sodium Hydroxide: 65 Grams Biodiesel Yield: 9 Litres. Picture of Batch 1 Biodiesel below.


Quantities used: WVO: 10 Litres Methanol: 2 Litres Sodium Hydroxide: 65 Grams Biodiesel Yield: 10 Litres. This WVO was a solid at room temperature. The Biodiesel was waxy and needs to be processed again. Picture of Batch 2 Biodiesel below. . I probably didn’t use enough Sodium Hydroxide as my titration was difficult to do.Batch 2 Batch 2 was made from unknown WVO.


Buy a new filter before using Biodiesel and be prepared to change filters soon. there's a chance that your first tank or two of Biodiesel could free up all the accumulated Petrodiesel deposits and clog your fuel filter. .Appendix 1: Frequently Asked Questions Can I use Biodiesel in my old Diesel Engine? Biodiesel will clean your injectors and fuel lines. If you have an old diesel vehicle.

Almost all new vehicles should have no problem with Biodiesel.Will it affect the Fuel Lines? Old vehicles (older than mid-90s) might require upgrades of fuel lines as Biodiesel may swell certain types of rubber. but check with the vehicle manufacturer. .

also known as wood alcohol or methyl alcohol.What is Methanol? Methanol. from plastics and paints. as much as 500 milligrams per day of Methanol is safe in an adult’s diet. According to the FDA. and can also be produced from renewable resources such as landfill gas and digester gas. . formate is essential for survival. and drinking diet soda containing artificial sweeteners. Methanol is metabolised in the liver. As a building block for many biological molecules. is made primarily from natural gas or coal. converted first to formaldehyde. Methanol is a chemical used to make hundreds of products that touch our daily lives. to construction materials and clothing. In the body. and then to formate. Methanol is actually present within the human body in small quantities from eating fruits and vegetables.

loss of consciousness. Methanol is extremely toxic to humans if ingested or if vapours are inhaled. drowsiness. . Ingestion of as little as one to four ounces can cause irreversible injury to the nervous system. nausea. which may cause dermatitis. Patients may improve and then get worse again up to 30 hours later. Methanol is a hazardous chemical that is highly flammable and toxic. blindness or even death. blurred vision. as Methanol can be harmful if swallowed. drunkenness. or inhaled. difficult breathing. Methanol can cause poisoning. absorbed through the skin.Is Methanol hazardous or dangerous? Yes. systemic acidosis. and possibly death. weakness. eye irritation. transported and used by people that have been properly trained in its handling. Methanol can also degrease the skin. optic nerve damage and central nervous system (CNS) effects. Direct exposure to Methanol should be avoided. Methanol must be properly stored. Symptoms of acute Methanol exposure may include headache.

temperature. spark-proof fans should be implemented. make sure that you receive proper training and guidance on handling Methanol. . The type of ventilation will depend upon such factors as dead air spaces. type and capacity. If mechanical ventilation is used. Proper ventilation is required to ensure safe working conditions. Avoid breathing of Methanol vapour. At a minimum. Be aware of the hazardous properties of Methanol.What can I do to reduce my exposure to Methanol? First. convection currents and wind direction and must be considered when determining equipment location. and exercise caution to avoid contact with it. wear side-shielded safety spectacles and plastic gloves.

and referral to an ophthalmologist considered. remove the individual to fresh air. Transport immediately to a health care facility where standard Methanol ingestion treatment can be administered. Immediate medical attention is critical! . If Methanol comes in direct contact with eyes. and seek medical attention if irritation occurs.What do I do if I breathe in Methanol or spill some on myself? In case of Methanol contact with skin. Asphyxiation from vapour may require artificial respiration. immediately flush eyes with copious amounts of tepid water for at least 15 minutes. Ingestion of Methanol is life threatening. The decision to induce vomiting should be left to a medical professional attending the victim. remove contaminated clothing. wash with soap and water for 15 minutes. The patient should be taken to a health care facility. do NOT induce vomiting. Onset of symptoms may be delayed for 18 to 24 hours after ingestion. Due to the risks of aspiration into the lungs. In case of inhalation of Methanol vapour.

Call your local fire department for immediate assistance. For releases into soil. stop or reduce discharge of material if this can be done without risk. surface water or groundwater. and follow local emergency protocol for handling. sand or other non-combustible material and transfer to containers for later disposal. and stay upwind. . caution must be exercised to avoid contact with Methanol. and given its high rate of biodegradation. Isolate the spill or leak area immediately for at least 100 metres in all directions. cannot be contained. Methanol is used extensively in the nation’s wastewater treatment facilities to reverse the damaging effects of nitrate build-up in sensitive aquifers and waterways by accelerating biodegradation. basements or confined areas. Methanol has a half-life of just one to seven days. dike far ahead of liquid spill for later disposal. Eliminate all sources of ignition. such as rivers and oceans. Prevent Methanol from entering into waterways.What do I do if I spill Methanol? If a Methanol spill occurs. For small spills (up to 200 litres) absorb with earth. For large spills. sewers. Methanol spills are not likely to persist. Spills into large natural bodies of water. As a flammable and toxic chemical. Do not touch or walk through the spilled material. A vapour suppressing foam may be used to reduce vapours.

For larger fires involving a tank. Keep any Methanol containers cool by spraying with water. gloves and boots. and wear impervious clothing. self-contained breathing apparatus. . also consider evacuation for 1/2 mile in all directions. Dry chemical powder. isolate for 1/2 mile in all directions. rail car or tank truck. sparks and oxidants away from Methanol. and containers filled with Methanol may rupture violently if exposed to fire or excessive heat for a prolonged duration. Methanol flames are almost invisible in bright sunlight conditions. Fire-fighters should use full-face. but they may be detected by the heat generated or the burning of other materials. Large amounts of water will remove heat and can be effective in diluting Methanol to the point where most fires can be readily extinguished.What do I do in case of a Methanol fire? Accumulations of Methanol vapours in confined spaces may explode if ignited. carbon dioxide and alcohol-resistant foam extinguish Methanol fires by oxygen deprivation. To prevent fires keep open flames.

Containers should be labelled in accordance with local regulations and site requirements. Furthermore. zinc (including galvanised steel) or aluminium are attacked slowly. While plastics can be used for short-term storage. Methanol is non-corrosive to most metals at ambient temperatures. You should have comprehensive product handling procedures and systems in place at all storage and transfer points. they are generally not recommended for longterm storage due to deterioration effects and the subsequent risk of contamination. zinc (including galvanised steel). magnesium and platinum.How should I store Methanol? Methanol should always be kept within closed systems or approved containers and never left open to the atmosphere. coatings of copper (or copper alloys). Mild steel is usually selected as the construction material. exceptions include lead. . Tanks built with copper alloys. Materials and methods of construction must be compatible with Methanol service. aluminium or plastics are not suitable for Methanol-water solutions.

or water contaminated with Methanol. Do not pour Methanol down the drain. must never be discharged directly into sewers or surface waters. .How should I dispose of Methanol? Large quantities of waste Methanol can either be disposed of at a licensed waste solvent company or reclaimed by filtration and distillation. Check with local environmental officials for instructions on how to safely dispose of Methanol in your community. Methanol is a hazardous material and must be disposed of properly. on the ground or into any body of water. Waste Methanol.

org Click on the “Biodiesel” page. and go to: “Want to Purchase Methanol: Fill out our Methanol Source Request. . letting them know what your Methanol needs are.How can I buy Methanol? The Methanol Institute serves as the trade association for the global Methanol industry. and members supply most of the world’s Methanol. Biodiesel facility operators and engineering firms interested in obtaining Methanol for Biodiesel production should visit their web site at: http://www.methanol. and they will forward this form to major Methanol suppliers and encourage them to contact you.” Simply complete and submit this on-line form.

Where can I find more information? Visit the “Biodiesel” section of: Standards and Handling. .” You can also visit the web site of the National Biodiesel Board at: http://www.biodiesel. and click on the report “A Biodiesel Primer: Market & Public Policy Developments.

and are normally sour and corrosive. The Aniline Point is the temperature at which the aniline-oil mixture changes colour. Alkali A classification of substances that liberate hydroxide ions in water. for example Sodium Hydroxide. indirectly measuring the aromatics content of oil by its reaction with aniline. A compound or atom that donates protons. . to form caustic and corrosive solutions which turn litmus paper blue.Appendix 2: Glossary of Terms The following is a glossary of the most common terms used in this book: Acid A classification of substances that liberate hydrogen ions in water. A compound that reacts with or neutralises hydrogen ions. with a pH higher than 7. with a pH lower than 7. Lower aniline points indicate higher aromatic levels. Alcohol A large classification of organic compounds containing one or more hydroxyl groups attached to carbon atoms. Aniline Point A laboratory test. Used to fight alcohol fires. AFFF Aqueous Film Forming Foam. Aliphatic Any non-aromatic organic compound having an open chain structure.

. usually producing hydroxide ions when dissolved. Store Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) and Methanol in (separate) air-tight containers. Base A classification of substances which when combined with an acid will form a salt plus water. products. systems and services. and water in Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) or Methanol renders it less useful or even useless. Water in the vegetable oil causes either no reaction or cloudy Biodiesel. depending on how much water is present. ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials . have poor oxidation stability and a low VI. or heat the oil and boil off the water. Either let your vegetable oil settle for 2-3 days before using and drain the water off the bottom. These hydrocarbons are of relatively high specific gravity and possess good solvent properties.Anhydrous Without water. Liquids and solids (powders) are sold as "anhydrous" when they have been processed to remove water from the end product. especially those with two or more benzene rings. Transesterification of Biodiesel must be an anhydrous process or funny things international voluntary standards organisation that develops and produces technical standards for materials. Aromatics. They are called ”Aromatics” because many of their derivatives have sweet or aromatic odours. Aromatics A class of hydrocarbons of which Benzene is the parent. dry.

. the air bubbles carry water up through the Biodiesel by surface tension. Volatile oils have shorter chains. A higher cetane number correlates with improved combustion. improved cold starting. Typical Cetane numbers around the world are as follows: Europe: 43 . Simple diffusion causes water-soluble impurities in the Biodiesel to be extracted into the water. Like the octane number used for gasoline. At the Water / Biodiesel interface. Catalyst A substance which without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.57. and waxes have extremely long chains. As the bubble reaches the surface and breaks. Carbon chain The atomic structure of hydrocarbons in which a series of carbon atoms. white smoke. saturated by hydrogen atoms. Bubbles from an aquarium air pump and air stone are injected into the water causing the bubbles to rise. average 50 U. present in most organic acids. Biodiesel floats above a quantity of water. CO and particulate emissions particularly during early warm-up phase. Cetane Number Measure of fuel ignition characteristics. facilitates or enables a reaction between other substances.the univalent acid radical (-COOH). Fats have longer chain lengths. reduced noise.Bubble Wash A method of final washing of Biodiesel through air agitation. lower. Carboxyl Carboxylic . the water is freed and percolates back down through the Biodiesel again.S. The EPA uses this parameter as a measure of aromatic content in fuel. form a chain. this making them biodegradable. minimum 40. average 43. the higher the value. the better the fuel performance. HC.

Unstable emulsions will separate over time or temperature. colloidal emulsions. foams. Ethanol C2H6O or CH3-CH2-OH . radical. Ethanol is also a great solvent. A multi-phase system in which one dimension of a dispersed phase is of colloidal size.An organic alcohol also called ethyl alcohol. or by chemical processes. formed when fermenting sugars or glycerine. Biodiesel is often described as a Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME). the sample first exhibits a haziness or cloud due to the separation of minute wax crystals. Dispersions where the particle size is in this range are referred to as colloidal aerosols. . under test conditions similar to those of the Pour Point test. Any of a large group of organic compounds formed when an acid and alcohol is mixed. Milk and smoke are both colloids. colloidal foams. CH3COOCH3 (Methyl Acetate) is the simplest ester. emulsions. Colloid A stable system of small particles dispersed in something else. aryl. Colloidal size is typically 001 micron to 1 micron in any dimension.Cloud Point The Cloud Point is the temperature at which. Emulsion A usually unstable dispersion of two liquids which do not normally mix (they are immiscible). produced by replacing the hydrogen of an acid by an alkyl. A compound of an organic acid bonded via an ester bond to an alcohol. stable emulsions will not separate. Emulsions can be formed either by mechanical agitation. Ester A classification of organic compounds occurring naturally as oils and fats. and suspensions within the colloidal size class. or colloidal suspensions. Colloids are the liquid and solid forms of aerosols.

Flash Point The lowest temperature at which it can form an ignitable mix with air. Fatty Acid A carboxylic acid (or organic acid). like glycerol. Fat A classification of natural Esters of glycerol. a commonly used chemical term for Biodiesel. Free Fatty Acids Fatty acid hydrocarbon chains detached from other molecules. They store a great deal of energy. Hydrocarbon A compound of hydrogen and carbon. . either saturated or unsaturated.Lower Explosivity Limit The lower explosive limit (LEL) of a flammable liquid is defined as the minimum concentration of the vapour in air for which a flame can propagate. FAME Fatty Acid Methyl Ester. The Methanol LEL is 6% by volume. often occurring as long atomic chains in which each carbon atom is attached to two hydrogen atoms forming a long chain. often with a long aliphatic tail (long chains). and fatty acids existing as solids at room temperature.

they are the predominant fat used in most commercial baked goods. . Biodiesel absorbs water to about 1200 parts per million (PPM). Hygroscopic The tendency of something to absorb water (usually from humidity in the air). in which all the inputs and outcomes of a reaction are fully considered. which is why the liquids become semisolid. Methanol and KOH are also hygroscopic. Keep containers closed. Phenolphthalein is commonly used in titration measuring the acidity of WVO. Changing the degree of saturation of the fat changes important physical properties such as melting point. Iodine Number Standard natural oil assay to measure the degree of unsaturation (or the number of double bonds present) in Vegetable Oils and fats. and because they have other desirable characteristics leading to longer shelf life. When the process is carried to completion it converts unsaturated fatty acids to saturated ones. Life-cycle analysis A total valuation of a process.Hydrogenation A chemical reaction in which unsaturated bonds between carbon atoms are reduced by attachment of a hydrogen atom to each carbon. Indicator A substance which changes colour at a given stage as a result of a chemical reaction. Since partially hydrogenated Vegetable Oils are much less expensive than most other fats with similar characteristics.

Also called methyl alcohol. the glycerine being the head and the ester chains being the tails. The units are gram equivalents per litre of the solution. Used to make Methoxide in Biodiesel production. . Methanol CH3OH . so keep the container closed tightly.9% pure. Methanol absorbs water from the air. (i. including fatty acids. Lower numbers indicate increasing acidity. but also any increase in oxidisation state. oils.Lipid A classification of organic compounds. that are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents. Each unit of change represents a tenfold change in acidity or alkalinity. Oxidation Burning in oxygen. Lethal if consumed. Various materials. waxes and steroids. Results in the formation of an oxide. and purchase Methanol which is known to be dry (anhydrous) or is 99. A triglyceride is a type of lipid. such as copper and brass.A volatile colourless alcohol. may oxidise in the presence of vegetable oil or Biodiesel. derived originally as wood alcohol. pH is mathematically found by taking the negative logarithm of the effective hydrogen-ion concentration or hydrogen-ion activity. used as a racing fuel and as a solvent.e. and higher numbers increasing alkalinity. loss of electrons). normally highly exothermic (heat releasing). They consist of a polar head with one to three non polar tails. pH A measure of acidity and alkalinity of a solution on a scale with 7 representing neutrality. rusting or corroding.

Mixing with fluids usually causes heat. and if you wish you can turn the semi-solid bottom layer into soap by adding more Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) (make sure you know how much to add. No worries . For Biodiesel.. This happens sometimes when you use too much Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) in a Biodiesel reaction. Store separately. and water turns Biodiesel into soap.Pour Point The low temperature flow characteristics of lubricating oil are measured by a Pour Point test. Saturated A fat or fatty acid in which there are no double bonds between the carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. which is then placed in a refrigerated bath.. Store this product in an airtight container to prevent KOH from absorbing water and CO2 from the air.). A thermometer is placed in the oil and the tube is tilted at regular intervals. . The lowest temperature at which the oil continues to flow is called the “Pour Point”. Sodium Hydroxide Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). The Pour Point refers to the lowest temperature at which the oil will flow under specified conditions. Strongly alkaline and extremely corrosive. Rape Seed Oil A vegetable oil produced from rape seed. The making of soap. so add slowly. Make sure you are purchasing "anhydrous Sodium Hydroxide. Used mainly in Europe to make Biodiesel. and can create enough heat to ignite flammables (such as Methanol)." Anhydrous means it's dry. this is one of the main reactants. The test is carried out by putting a small quantity of oil into a tube of standard can re-react the resulting top layer of unreacted liquid. Saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature... Saponification The reaction of an ester with a metallic base and water.

Also highly explosive. . thus making it more reactive. Making Sodium Methoxide is the most dangerous step when making Biodiesel. Acids can catalyse the reaction by donating an electron to the alkyl group. Transesterification The process of making Biodiesel by the separation of the three hydrocarbon chains from a lipid triglyceride to form glycerol. or solid Tallow One of the harder organic fats derived from animal carcasses.Sodium Methoxide An organic salt. made by rendering the internal body fat found within the abdominal cavity under the backbone and surrounding the kidneys. thus making it more reactive. It is the process of exchanging the alkyl group of an ester by another alcohol. and wear protective clothing and a respirator when handling. Rinse with water and seek medical attention immediately. In Biodiesel production. Use immediately as Sodium Methoxide loses reactive properties with time. while bases can catalyse the reaction by removing an electron from the alcohol. liquid. yielding a solution of Sodium Methoxide. and Biodiesel. Sodium Methoxide is a liquid that kills nerve cells before you can feel the pain. "Sodium Methoxide" is a product of mixing Methanol and Sodium Hydroxide . composed of glycerine and three fatty acid chains. Triglyceride Natural fats and oils. Carefully consider the safety of the design of your equipment and workspace before producing. Suspension A dispersion of a solid in a gas. This material was greatly used in manufacture of soap and candle wax. in pure form a white powder. These reactions are often catalysed by the addition of an acid or base.

Test batches Whenever you're trying a new method. A type of diesel fuel promoted in recent years in an attempt to reduce atmospheric pollution but at the expense of engine wear. Fat molecules are monounsaturated if each contains one double bond.but don't use it for food again afterwards! . Viscosity The viscosity of a fluid is a measure of the resistance to flow. it's always a good idea to make small test batches of a litre or less first to familiarise yourself with the process before moving on to bigger batches. Most people use kitchen blenders for this -. and polyunsaturated if each contain more than one. WVO Waste Vegetable Oil. Unsaturated A fat or fatty acid containing double or occasionally triple bonds. The oil we collect from restaurants and Fish & Chips shops. Many Vegetable Oils contain Fatty Acids with one of more double bonds in them. Higher VI indicates a smaller decrease in viscosity as the temperature is increased. VI is calculated from the kinematic viscosity of oil at 40 and 100°C. Viscosity Index Viscosity Index (VI) is a measure of the change in viscosity of an oil with temperature.ULSD Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel.

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