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Old 12-14-2009, 07:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DIY biodiesel

Hi everyone,
I just recently started a job as a heavy duty diesel mechanics instructor at a college. As one of the exercises for the students we had a fellow come down for a biodiesel demonstration and I must say, I was impressed at the simplicity of the process. If done correctly it can be a cost effective alternative to fossil fuels. The variety of materials that the biodiesel guy had made fuel from was impressive. Some materials lend themselves only to a warm climate, but there are some that work well in a cold climate such as here in manitoba. A few of the more typical materials used were new and used corn and canola oil, which with the correct additive you can safely operate to -30c. Some of the most surprising sources were pressed in an oil seed press, used coffee grounds, yield around 5% oil by wt. and another very interesting prospect was using weed seeds from an edible grain/oilseed cleaning plant. The weed seeds had been removed from the edible grains as part of the cleaning process and were otherwise simply a waste product. This is a very ingenuitive use of a product that has already used all of the energy input of producing an edible product but does not divert food from the market like using new oilseed harvest.

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Old 01-06-2010, 04:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Swede,

I went to a tech college for a weekend bioD seminar a few months back. Great, I'd do it again as a refresher. I've got a processor under way, a variation of an apple seed using a 55 gallon drum & also working on my wash tank.

Great job in exposing your students to this.

Dave
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Very interesting. On the wet coast, the equipment operators start up and shut down on regular or converted bio-diesel, and then run straight, filtered and heated, waste vegetable oil all day.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yep, that's called a two tank system. But since I have a Kubota 3 cyl. diesel & a Dodge Cummins it would be more practical for me to just make bioD.

Until this VX landed in my lap, I was looking for a diesel daily driver as well.

A friend of mine runs 2 tank systems in an 81 VW Rabbit & an 84 MB. He loves it.

Smells like fries & no one dies!
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I told my farming friend about the pressed weed seeds, and he says that they are used for cattle feed here. Too bad people still eat animals- it increases our land use by several times.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I gave up eating animals over 11 years ago. I hear you on that one. My cholesterol went from borderline to all my number totaling 164 the last time I had it checked at the Cleveland Clinic.

I never really eat that much even as a kid.

Happy New Year,
Dave
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Interesting thread, I believe the best way of making Biodiesel is using a solid catalyst where you add nothing and take nothing out, just electricity.

Anyone remember what the catalyst was? I believe there is one company using it but only on massive installations.

Making that system DIY would remove the chemical concerns out of making Biodiesel.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Really, I've never read anything on that. I even get the Biodiesel Magazine & never was enlightened on that process.

Very interesting, do you have any links on that?

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The only way I know is to replace the glycerine (glycerides) with alcohols (ehtyl or methyl, depending on your skill/preference, mostly)
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've heard of the lye and alcohol method, which leaves glycerine behind, and a method with enzymes; never a solid catalyst.

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