Jump to content
Tinman875

Fellow BioDieselers -Sorry so long

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, mudddy called and picked my brain abit on this subject since i did make my own for a while and after about a 45 min conversation he suggested I make a post. I read some of the other threads and for one question, I got all my stuff at a place in nampa where my dad used to work call great western chemical, now it's BHS Marketing. It is located off franklin on Fargo st. which is the road that runs next to the john deere dealer on your way to pacific steel. They are on the right hand side about half way down. They have everything lye (sodium hydroxide) ,Methanol, and even potassium hydroxide (which if used the by product is fertilizer). LIke lumber or steel the prices vary day to day, wierd i know.

So I was watching "trucks" on a fall saturday and it was about making bio diesel. He made it look sooooo easy heck my kid could do it. I wish i could have a word with ol' Stacey David.....:-x Ok when i finally decided to make bio i jumped in with 2 feet. I sold my 1 year old kawasaki prairie 700 with trailer to invest in it. Ya my wife was not happy at all, but hey i was out to save money on fuel and at the same time stick it to the "man". So after about 1 1/2 months to 2 months of online research I was ready to make my own reactor. I have sooooo many pics that it would be easier to email them to you all rather than post them on here. Let me say that it cost me 1500 for material to make it. It turned out real nice powdercoated and everything ( and yes the powder coating was the best idea of it all because it handles everything well and it's easy to clean). It now resides in Phoenix arizona making bio today for a fellow diesel owner.

As good and as easy as it sounds, making bio is not at all EASY. Remember ALL the ingredients are really dangerous. Methanol has no odor and a virtually invisible flame when lit. Sodium Hydroxide is very caustic USE GLOVES!! It takes alot of time and energy and pulling out your hair and wasting money to get it right, but as you have been finding out each batch is different because of the titration level. Another very important factor is the PH level of the oil. Do NOT buy from Darling Co!!! Their stuff is crap, way to acidy. When you use fresh oil out of the cupboard, there is not any protiens, and fatty acids in it and yes it will titrate well because of that. When you use used oil, things are alot different. Stick a piece of ph paper in it and it will be red. Can't use it unless it is NEUTRAL. YOU'll waste your materials, because it will titrate off the chart. Sulfuric Acid ( if i remember correctly) will neutralize it, but that is another cost. Boy after talking to muddy, it is all coming back to me. I have not made it for a year and a half now, due to time. I had a friend in it with me, not even a diesel owner. We started out "shaking off" a batch as like you guys in the kitchen just playing with it. What works the best is to use a glass semi coned bottom container like a whiskey bottle or something, and when you let it sit to separate the glycerin, prop the bottle upside down so all you have to do is just crack the cap and let the pressure push out the glycerine. Then you can turn it over and add a slow i mean SLOW stream of water ( if not it will foam like soap because of the leftover residue) and once the bottle is about 2/3 full put the cap back on and let it sit. THis begins the washing stage. You will see a slimy separation again, but usually white in color. Small batches like this is the easy part. Trying it on the first 40 gal is scary. Just prepare for failure. Sorry to be blunt but it is true. Please email me if you want pics of my reactor, and I will post another so this one is not so long. Someone let me email my pics to you and you can post what you like. my permission. Pick my brain. I did make about 200 gal that i burned through my cummins, but the cost of my time, materials, filters, water, power not every batch turning out ,the winter setting in, gelling issues, I finally gave up. The first time you have to drop your tank and clean it out, and replace your filter 5 times a week, start replacing o rings and hoses the nickel and diming starts. Bio is a very strong solovent, amazingly strong. Sorry to be so truthful, but i try to stay that way. Bio is a good idea if you can use new oil, but who can afford that unless you grow your own seed. Then there is another game. PIck my brain let me email some pics out. Tin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tin, I am glad to hear your input. As soon as I built the "appleseed" I had my doubts about it. Like you said, you cant see inside it, Two, there is no efficient way to drain off the glycerin. AND....my big problem is the book I have does not cover oil that titrates over a 3!!! They said don't mess with anything over that until you have more experience. WTF?.... I haven't found any oil that titrates that low. Making bio-diesel is not easy. My first batches worked out simply because I went high on the KOH and Methanol. Thats not to mention the wash stage. After what I have seen in making small batches, I can't even think about filling up the "appleseed" and trying to make a 25 gal batch. All I can see is a big batch of bio-goop. Anyway..Your advise would be appreciated.

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if you don't put out alot and try and make a million, it is fun to experiment. I know that using the potassium Hydroxide (koh) Is even a little different than Lye. I believe it takes more. But the sites, and shows make it seem so simple, only 79 cents in ingredients,and a couple hours work. Wrong. I have never seen any one with an apleseed approach. Was it a used water heater? Anyway I commend anyone trying thier hand at this. :thumbup: Sorry to sound " down" on the subject, but I think hearing about my experience may help if not hands on- the truths. Tin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

jason,

good to hear what ya came up with on this. sounds scary. appreciate the info. good to hear the negative along w/ the positive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WELL... we have about 400 gallons of unused Canola and Soy oil. So we are ahead on that curve. Only issue I can see with our oil is there seems to be a fair amount of water in some of it, so there will be some drying that will need to be done soon.

Jason's statement on the pH is VERY true based on the reading and studying I've done. Gotta start with a decent base if you are expecting a decent fuel when finished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as to some of the oil, the kids got the bag up and i let out some that was majority water then when the oil flowed i saved it in a 3 litre jug and let it settle. then i froze. the water in bottom turned to ice and i pored the top oil into a pan to cook off. a cone bottomed tank wld sure benice, one ya can see thru.

i took another sample from one that was way watery and it had this light colored snot stuff that sits in the bottom. is that the algae crap they speak of?????????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be nice to have a source of free unused oil, but I don't think I will ever be that lucky. I don't ever expect to make a ton of fuel, but I would like to continue experimenting. I think I want to try one of the methods of pre-treating the oil, like using KOH and salt water. Supposedly this method with bring titration levels down. The article I read claimed they were able to take oil that titrated 10 all the way down to 1! Muddy, I think your right, a see through cone bottom tank would be better than a hot water heater. Do you think a poly tank could be adapted to accept some type of heating element?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good pics jason :thumbup: looks like quite the setup.

gary, ive heard of fires from heat elemnts in plastic tanks. however jgk hung his down from the top,,,,,,, right in the center to avoid problems in his vs the side of tank where it may melt the plastic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...I did make about 200 gal that i burned through my cummins, but the cost of my time, materials, filters, water, power not every batch turning out ,the winter setting in, gelling issues, I finally gave up. The first time you have to drop your tank and clean it out, and replace your filter 5 times a week, start replacing o rings and hoses the nickel and diming starts. Bio is a very strong solovent, amazingly strong. Sorry to be so truthful, but i try to stay that way. Bio is a good idea if you can use new oil, but who can afford that unless you grow your own seed. Then there is another game. PIck my brain let me email some pics out. Tin.

Tinman,

Sorry to hear about your issues. But after making bio-D for over 2 years and burning it in 2 '98 CTDs (mine and my friend's) at up to 85% concentration neither of us have ever had to drop a tank or replace an o-ring or hose. And its all been used oil. I guess we've been lucky!

-Jay

P.S. 55 gallon cone bottom processor set up with methanol mixer for sale. Time to upgrade to a bigger system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to see you been doing it with sucess! how are you fighting the gelling issues? Unless using a heated tank, the bio will still gel abit by itself and settle to the bottom. I never had to replace hoses or o rings, but it is something that can happen. I talked to a guy with an 03 ctd that had those issues. I was doing it good enough to run b 100 on the warm months, then as it got colder slowly adding more and more #2 till it was not worth the time to make. After a 10 hr day of work, then to come home and work another 8 hrs on it.... well not for me. The hardest part i found was the washing and polishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't had any gelling issues. I know the glycerin can get pretty thick and stiff if NaOH is used. I use KOH for just that reason. But I've had no problem with processing or washing because of gelling. And I do this in an unheated shop except for a multi-fuel space heater. The oil is heated to about 110º before pumping into the processor, then its heated to at least 135º before processing begins. I do most processing at 140º. Washing is mostly automatic once the wash tank is filled with bio-D. It's all on a timer. 2 6-hour mist washes followed by 6 hours of bubble washing. Then it's back into the processor for about 4 hours of drying. Then its ready to burn.

And as for gelling during the winter... I just changed back to running B80 the first of the month. Since about November 1st we've been running B66 all winter. My truck sits outside every night. I do use the block heater starting at about 3 am. But gelling hasn't been a problem.

-Jay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



  • Upcoming Events

    No upcoming events found
  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

×