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Biodiesel

135

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 13 banjobeer


    hi im hoping to start making biodiesel but have a few questions,
    what do u do with the glycerine and the water after washing?
    if u drain the glycerine tru a valve at the bottom of the tank logic dictates that there would be some glycerine coating the bottom and pipe work, would this not contaminate the fuel?
    where can i buy methanol and caustic soda for a small test batch?
    how do u know when its mixed enough?
    im in republic of ireland in meath


  • Registered Users Posts: 203 ✭✭imakebiodiesel


    Yes, some glycerol remains in the tank and pipework after draining it off but washing the biodiesel removes any residual glycerol, soap and unused catalyst. The soapy water that results can be disposed of safely in a drain. A 150litre batch of biodiesel yields less soapy water than an average washing machine.
    If you use a drywash system as I do there is no water to dispose of and no hassles with emulsion problems.
    The glycerol is very useful stuff and should not be dumped. If you check out the fairly recent [posts in "Biodiesel in Ireland" you will find 10 different ways to use glycerol. My favourite is to fill 20litre plastic containers with it and use them to build raised beds filled with soil and planted with strawberries. The glycerol collects heat from the sun very effectively and keeps the soil warm at night resulting in early crops. The glycerol does not freeze in winter.
    <MODSNIP> Link to off-site forum removed </MODSNIP>


  • Registered Users Posts: 203 ✭✭imakebiodiesel


    Judging whether a batch has been fully processed depends on temperature and volume. If you are making a couple of litres as an experiment half an hour will do but 150 litres might take anything from one and a half to 3 hours depending on temperature. we use the 3/27 test to determine how far on the conversion has progressed. When written down making biodiesel can sound very complicated but when you see it done its very simple really. you are very welcome to come along some Saturday morning to see how its done.

    Mistralni.co.uk will send you small amounts of chemicals by courier. Its more expensive that way but convenient. I would advise you to start with potassium hydroxide rather than sodium. Its a bit more expensive but much easier to work with.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 banjobeer


    hi all, im in the prossess of gathering a few bits together to build a prossessor and have read some people saying dont use copper as it reacts with the catalyst and some people are using a hot water cylinder,
    what is the correct way to build
    thanks folks


  • Registered Users Posts: 203 ✭✭imakebiodiesel


    Steel or stainless steel is best for the processor tank, avoid copper,aluminum or galvanized steel. Use iron, stainless or pvc for the pipework. Most push fit type plumbing fittings use a rubber o ring which will dissolve in about a week so use compression fittings or threaded BSP fittings. Some plumbing fittings like tank connectors and pump valves come with rubber washers, replace them with polyethylene ones. Use ptfe tape to improve the seals but avoid bosswhite.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,702 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    I posted the following on other thread a while ago about why I dont think electric cars will work for this country and why biofuels are a better option;
    I very much doubt electric cars will catch on any time soon. Battery technology has developed very slowly and batteries use rare earth metals which have a limited supply and are becoming very expensive because China has most of the planets reserves of these and wants to keep them for her own production. Also energy supplies are becoming a worry for most countries and unless nuclear fusion is cracked soon I dont think the world would be able to produce enough electricity to power everything it is all ready powering plus emerging economies plus all the energy that would be needed to run all the electric cars. Certainly Ireland would not be able to produce enough energy to power her economy if all the cars here also relied on the national grid.

    Despite all the advances in technology that have been seen in the past 150 years, all modern cars still use the basic principle of the internal combustion engine, first developed in the mid 1800's, to propel them. Why has this, fairly simple technology, survived so long in the face of huge scientific breakthroughs? Answer: because it is the best. I believe the next generation of cars will continue to use this principle, but will be powered by biofuels. This should certainly be the case for Ireland and we should get ahead of the pack now, even if the rest of the world doesnt follow.

    Ireland has a long tradition of agriculture and we continue to rank among the top countries in the world in terms of agriculture. It makes sense for us to exploit this and grow our own fuel. We could be self-sufficient in this respect. It does not need to take land from food production because the bio-crops could be genetically modified to grow anywhere we cant grow food (people dont like eating GM foods but your car wont mind). We also spent a lot on farm subsidies, growing fuel would see unproductive farms become productive and they would not have to rely on subsidies, saving the government a fortune. Electric cars would be produced oversees where manufacturing costs are lower and it is likely we would have to import some of the electricity needed because we would not be able to produce enough ourselves.

    It would be a lot cheaper to set up than electric cars, we have all the petrol stations, pumps, etc. in place already, just fill the tanks with bio-diesel instead of normal diesel. The infrastructure for electric cars would cost a fortune, we would have to build many new power stations in order to produce the energy as well as a network of high capacity power lines covering the entire country. I have no idea how much extra electrictiy we would need but when you think of all the cars on our roads and imagine all of these charging at the mains, Im sure you would easily double our energy demand.

    Even if the rest of the world goes down the electric car route, this island could use biofuels with no ill effects on our economy. Irish hauliers could use electric vehicles for travelling overseas and we just need to have charge points at service stations for them. This would also accommodate hauliers driving from the continent as well as tourists coming here. This would be possible because with only HGVs and a few tourist cars recharging their batteries it is not putting a huge strain on our energy production. Most of these would charge up at night to avail of cheap energy when demand is low meaning we dont need to increase energy production capacity.

    We could create many jobs in the agriculture sector growing the crops, technical jobs processing the crop into fuel, as well as jobs in distributing and selling the final product. If everyone else was using electric cars it may be even better for us because then we could produce the engines for the cars here as we would have no rivals (just buy in chassis etc. for electric cars from abroad and install Irish made engines). This gives us an entirely new indigenous industry in a sector where we are already strong and we would not have to fear competition from abroad.

    Energy costs are going to continue to rise and the added pressure of powering every car on the planet would push the costs up further. Even if the cost per driving 1km in an electric car is less than driving 1km in a biofuel car, it would still be a better option for this country because all the money would be staying in the country. The fuel is produced here with no reliance on imports and everyone employed producing the fuel spends there money here so more money circulating in our economy, not leaving the country. If needed the government could charge 0% tax on Irish produced biodiesel to make it cheaper. It would be worth it because it would be employing many thousands of people and all the money is staying in the country so they will receive more tax indirectly than by direct taxes on a product produced abroad.
    For those of you who know about biofuels, what do you think? Is/will it be possible for us to grow all our own fuel?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 376 ✭✭LK_Dave


    I always fancied getting one of these if I could ever find a constant supply of used cooking oil

    http://www.greenfuels.co.uk/product/fuelpod-2.aspx


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 banjobeer


    banjobeer wrote: »
    hi all, im in the prossess of gathering a few bits together to build a prossessor and have read some people saying dont use copper as it reacts with the catalyst and some people are using a hot water cylinder,
    what is the correct way to build
    thanks folks
    have picked up two oil barrels today and have a lead on open top barrels with lids, which would be best for prossessor?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,667 ✭✭✭flutered


    check out estima.co.uk, they have plenty of tips, also they have a list of injector pumps that work without any modifications for using new and used veggie oil.


  • Registered Users Posts: 203 ✭✭imakebiodiesel


    I share your doubts about electric vehicles, even though I have one myself. I converted my Peugeot mountain bike to to an ebike two years ago and it is fantastic. A 500w motor mounted in the front wheel and a lithium ion battery in the rear luggage rack and I have a 50k range.
    If you do the maths all of the current supply and projected supply of lithium on the planet could only replace a sixth of the fossil fuel vehicles in use at the moment. With careful recycling that figure could be doubled but with car ownership increasing in China, India and other countries there is no possibility of ever being able to replace conventional cars with electric ones.
    If a material like lithium is in short supply then only one thing can happen, the price will go up and we will be held to ransom by a new lithium cartel instead of opec.

    Politicians like to promote the electric car because it is cool and green and saves them having to wrestle with what is a very complex set of problems.
    Biofuels will play a part in any future fuel strategy but how big a part is not certain.
    In the late eighties and early nineties European governments thought that biofuels, particularly biodiesel was going to solve all our problems. The German and Dutch governments gave tax breaks to producers that made it very attractive to make biofuels. Within a few years most of the waste vegetable oil was being used and producers began to buy European rapeseed oil. Rape seed oil rose in price so they began to buy cheap palm oil from countries like Iindonesia and Thailand. Demand was so great farmers began to clear fell rain forest to create enormous plantations of palm for the European and US market.
    Clearly the environmental benefits of biofuels had been reversed and was now worse than fossil fuels. Governments rowed back from their tax break policies and now we have the situation where 5% biodiesel in ordinary diesel is the max that any government will consider.
    There are many countries in Europe where farmers are being paid not to produce anything, Ireland being one of them. These farms could be encouraged to grow fuel crops and the percentage of biofuel could be pushed up to 15% but not much more.
    Ultimately we have to face up to the fact that we are using up energy resources faster than we are discovering new ones. In that situation we either have to use less or pay more. The 3 euro litre is only a few years away.

    The Biopod/ fuelmeister is a hopeless machine. Any one who tells you you can press a few buttons and biodiesel will come out of a hose is a con man. I know of three of them sitting idle here in Ireland including a large one in the premises of Frylite oil in Strabane. After a year of struggling to make the machine work Frylite abandoned the whole project.
    At 5000 euro for the smallest 50 litre machine the price is outrageous. A good 150 litre processor costs about 800 euro and works first time every time.
    If you are building your own processor avoid open top barrels with those clamp on lids. Firstly they do not seal well and the gasket material disintegrates quickly, secondly the yellow/ brown pain finish on the inside dissolves in biodiesel contaminating your fuel and blocking your filter.

    I tried the estima.co.uk site but got nothing, is that the right url.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13 banjobeer


    eBay item:Potassium Hydroxide KOH (Biodiesel HHO Soap) 500g Tub (#290559331227) this stuff look ok? on ebay in uk for €7.81 plus postage €5.45


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 banjobeer


    sorry..... eBay item potassium Hydroxide KOH (Biodiesel HHO Soap) 500g Tub (#290559331227)


  • Registered Users Posts: 203 ✭✭imakebiodiesel


    Yes that should do. Small quantities of chemicals are always expensive. When you scale up you will pay about 3 euro per kg but you are right not to buy too much to begin with.
    Do a search for World Famous Dr. Pepper Technique. Its a great way to get familiar with the process using equipment you will already have in the kitchen.
    I would do 3 or 4 small batches by this method before tackling a full size batch.


  • Registered Users Posts: 203 ✭✭imakebiodiesel


    If anyone would like to see biodiesel being made I am doing a demonstration on Saturday 7th May at 9.30am. I will be making 150 litres of high quality fuel. You will also be able to see my central heating boiler which runs on waste veg oil. It has kept our house cozy and warm for 3 winters now at a total cost of zero euros.:)
    All are welcome, no charge
    My address is <MODEDIT>Please don't post personal contact details</MODEDIT>
    Pm me for details or directions if you need them.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3 mijennie


    imake biodiesel how's it, just wondering how it went the other day, i was working unfortunately, think i'm off this saturday so would defiinitely be interested in viewin. or next time then if not this week. cheers


  • Registered Users Posts: 203 ✭✭imakebiodiesel


    I had a busy weekend, 5 people turned up on the saturday and a further 3 on Sunday.
    Everything went very smoothly. I had filled the processor the night before with 150 litres of waste veg oil and the heater came on by timer at 6.oo am.
    So when I came out at 9.00 the oil was at the correct temp, 63 degrees C. I took a sample and did a titration test on it to determine how much acid it contained. Based on that result I worked out the correct amount of Potassium hydroxide required. I dissolved the potassium hydroxide in 30 litres of methanol and added it slowly over an hour to the veg oil. I let the mixture circulate for a further 2 hours and then switched the processor off.
    Next morning the biodiesel and glycerol layers had fully separated and I was able to drain off the glycerol from the bottom of the processor. I then reheated the biodiesel to evaporate off any residual methanol and water. After it cooled down I inserted the drywash cartridge to remove any soap and after 6 hours the fuel was ready for use.
    The procedure on the second day is largely automatic only needing attention for about 30 minutes over the whole day.
    I think my visitors were impressed, reading about processing it can seem very complicated but when you see it done its just a matter of a simple routine.
    One visitor ordered a processor from me on the spot and at least one other, Banjobeer from this forum was motivated to start building his own outfit.
    Im not doing another demo for a couple of weeks but I will post the date here.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,927 ✭✭✭paddyp


    Don't have the time nor inclination to get into collecting WVO is anyone selling PPO anymore and if so what cost?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13 banjobeer


    IMB hi, you mentioned in a post crazyhorse was near navan, thats near me, do you know if he`s still prossessing? any of his posts are years old,
    thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 203 ✭✭imakebiodiesel


    Ive spoken to him in the last few months. He still has his processor but I dont think he is making any biodiesel at the moment. Send him a pm, he is a very approachable guy.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 34 chipper


    banjobeer wrote: »
    eBay item:Potassium Hydroxide KOH (Biodiesel HHO Soap) 500g Tub (#290559331227) this stuff look ok? on ebay in uk for €7.81 plus postage €5.45

    hey banjo, I'm in ashbourne and love the idea of diy bio, no luck sourcing oil yet though. anyway 500g sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) Durabond brand is in atlantic homecare for just €4 or something and 1kg for €7 ish


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13 banjobeer


    thanks chipper,
    yeah getting waste oil is seriously tough, anywhere i went said there was loads of other people before me looking for it, tho i got lucky with a few places that im a regular customer, usually companies who deliver oil collect it. so i might just see it oil collectors would sell some to me, although that`ll take the fun out of it


  • Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭liptonvillag


    dathi wrote: »
    5000 euro fine if you are caught burning waste oil without a licence from the EPA

    Have ya not learnt yet about this crazy country. It's a great country for rules and regulations but when it comes to enforcement..you have little to fear. who's going to catch him. They have 9 taxi regulators policing 45,000 taxi drivers. How many EPA enforce officers are looking in people back yards for wate burners ? Answer - Zero. The only way he would get caught is unless he advertises it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 203 ✭✭imakebiodiesel


    Just to make things a little clearer, there are several fuels being discussed here at the same time .

    Biodiesel is a high quality fuel equivalent to diesel. It can be used in diesel cars and heating systems that can me adjusted to burn diesel or gasoil. This includes most domestic burners.

    WVO or waste vegetable oil. Wvo can be filtered and blended into kerosene to burn in a conventional domestic burner. If you blend in more than 15% you will have to adjust the settings on the burner. There are no legal restrictions on burning wvo.
    100% Wvo can be used to fuel a vapourizing pot type burner such as the alaska burner. However this involves a bit more than the average diy skills.

    WMO or waste motor oil has a very high heat content as a fuel but contains highly toxic metals and dioxins. If burned in a conventional burner these unburned toxins will be released into the atmosphere and deposited onto the soil surrounding your property. These poisons are impossible to remove and persist for hundreds of years. For this reason wmo can only be burned legally in an approved burner with a licence from the EPA.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 905 ✭✭✭easychair


    Have ya not learnt yet about this crazy country. It's a great country for rules and regulations but when it comes to enforcement..you have little to fear. who's going to catch him. They have 9 taxi regulators policing 45,000 taxi drivers. How many EPA enforce officers are looking in people back yards for wate burners ? Answer - Zero. The only way he would get caught is unless he advertises it.

    Is your argument that its fine to break the law just as long as you don't get caught?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1 zerograze


    Hi I'm looking to source vegetable glycerine to use on my dairy farm.Does anyone know if it is possible to source glycerine near Cork/Waterford ?

    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 203 ✭✭imakebiodiesel


    Im in county waterford and I produce about 40 litres of glycerol every 2 weeks. Currently I use all my own glycerol on site but I could let you have some to experiment with. I know of a biodiesel brewer in Tipperary who has over 1000 litres available.
    The glycerol we produce still has contaminants so would require some treatment. Im no expert in glycerol as a food additive but Ive read some articles about it. Residual methanol is removed by heating to above 70 degrees C. Residual KOH is neutralized by acetic acid.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 6,376 Mod ✭✭✭✭Macha


    <mod> Biodiesel threads merged.</mod>


  • Registered Users Posts: 10 leckyjim


    I have a 00 avensis diesel, does it need to have any alteration for biodiesel or ppo.


  • Registered Users Posts: 203 ✭✭imakebiodiesel


    I would not need any modifications to run on biodiesel.
    It would need either an Elsbet type conversion or a two tank system to run on ppo. Its not an ideal engine for ppo.
    John


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  • Registered Users Posts: 29 salut


    I would not need any modifications to run on biodiesel.
    It would need either an Elsbet type conversion or a two tank system to run on ppo. Its not an ideal engine for ppo.
    John
    I wonder if the avensis uses a Bosch fuel pump, someone said it gives trouble with 100pcent biodiesel? Did you buy your biodiesel making equipment?


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