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Build a Biodiesel Processor

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Build a biodiesel processor for under $500 and make your own fuel.

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									BuildYourOwn Biodiesel Processor
Fiona Sinclair, Ph.D.

IF THIS MANUAL IS HELPFUL PLEASE CONSIDER A DONATION via www.paypal.com send payment to: cleugh@nnmt.net

T able of Contents
Introduction .................................................................................................1-3 Equipment for the Biodiesel Processor .....................................................4-7 Safety and Precautions for Biodiesel Production ......................................... 8 Precautions ............................................................................................... 8 Equipment ................................................................................................ 8 Methanol ................................................................................................... 8 Lye ............................................................................................................ 9 Constructing the Processor ......................................................................... 10 Teardown/ Build Up ................................................................................ 10 Electrical conversion (220V-115V) ........................................................ 12 Plumbing Conversion ............................................................................. 13 Steps for Conversion:............................................................................. 14 Tools ....................................................................................................... 15 Installation of the Pigtail ......................................................................... 16 Priming the Pump ........................................................................................ 17 Calibrating the Processor ...................................................................... 18-19 Supplies .................................................................................................. 18 Method .................................................................................................... 18 Trouble shouting……………………………………………………………………… 19 Collecting Waste Grease ............................................................................ 20 Equipment .............................................................................................. 20 Recommended Accessories .................................................................. 20 Oil Selection ........................................................................................... 21 What to Look For .................................................................................... 21 Establishing Rapport with your Restaurant ........................................... 21 Getting it Out of the Dumpster ............................................................... 21 Filtering Waste Grease ............................................................................... 22 The Blue Jean Method ........................................................................... 22 The Sock Filter Method .......................................................................... 22 Cartridge Filter Pump ....................................................................... 23-24 Titration ........................................................................................................ 25

Supplies .................................................................................................. 25 Steps ....................................................................................................... 25 Adding the Lye…………………………………………………………………………..26 Preparing the methonaol lye solution……………………………………………27 Methanol-Lye Conversion Table ................................................................. 28 Processing the Oil ................................................................................. 29-30 Washtank Construction ............................................................................... 31 Wash Tank Parts .................................................................................... 32 Assembly details .............................................................................. 32-33 Washing Biodiesel ....................................................................................... 34 To Wash the Biodiesel ........................................................................... 34 How to Know When the Washing is Complete .............................. 34-35 Disposing of Waste Products ...................................................................... 36 Bibliography ................................................................................................. 37

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Chapter

Introduction

B

iodiesel is a renewable energy source made from vegetable oils extracted from plants, or used waste grease. Mastering the contents of this manual will enable you to make pure 100% biodiesel from waste vegetable oils. This fuel can be used in any unmodified diesel powered vehicle or generator. Because biodiesel is a carbon-neutral fuel, the use of pure 100% biodiesel [B100] in a conventional diesel engine results in a substantial reduction of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and virtual elimination of sulfur oxides and sulfates. This manual explains how to make B100 biodiesel. B20 biodiesel is commonly sold at gas stations and is a 20% - 80% biodiesel/diesel blend. B20 should be correctly labled F80 (Fossil 80).

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December 2006, US Department of Energy

Biodiesel reduces emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) by approximately 50% and carbon dioxide by 78% on a net lifecycle basis because the carbon in biodiesel emissions is recycled from carbon that was already in the atmosphere, rather than being new carbon from petroleum that was sequestered from the earth's crust.

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BIODIESEL STATION

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2
Chapter

Equipment List
Water heater (old or new). Note: If you decide to build the processor with a used water heater, make sure it does not have substantial mineral buildup. Two HDPE 5 gallon carboys and an extra screw on lid. Methanol saftey container 55 gallon plastic container

Parts List
All plumbing should be 3/4 inch unless otherwise noted. All plumbing should be black iron threaded pipe. Galvanized is sometimes the only choice for certain fittings but is not preferred due to its zinc content. A. 3” pipe nipple B. ¾” x ¾” x ½” tee C. Close nipples- x 7 D. Ball valves (¾”) x 5 E. Four way ¾” black pipe cross-fitting x 2 F. Bushing : ¾” x ½” x 2 G. ½” close nipple x 2 H. ½” ball valve I. ½” swing check valve

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J. Nylon or Brass 90° thread-to-barb fitting (male thread end is ½” thread, hose barb end is 3/8” barb) and hose clamp. K. Length of 3/8” vinyl tubing – 3 to 4 feet L. Straight or 90° ½” threaded to clamp.
3/8”

barbed nylon or brass fitting, and hose

M. ¾” Hose Barb (Plastic, grey PVC, sometimes in irrigation departments for about 30 cents). N. 1 or 2 feet of clear vinyl tubing as a drain/filler tube. O. Union (¾”) P. 1” x ¾” bushings x 2. Q. Length of Braided ¾” vinyl hose. Prepare to replace this hose every few months as it does deteriorate due to the heat. R. 90° elbows x 2 S. Length of Pipe nipple approx 12”- 18” (purchase correct size after assembling everything else) T. 2” long pipe nipple x 2 U. Automotive mechanical temperature gauge (not 12V electrical type). Such as a heavy-duty Sunpro from Pep-Boys. The numbers should have a high range range from 100F to 150F. V. Length of ¾” threaded black pipe, relative to water heater size to attach to pressure relief vent and direct fumes away from processor (if operating indoors). Add hose barb and threaded piping for additional length. W. Water heater strapping, or other earthquake strapping to secure the processor. You can also use webbing strapping. X. 1” Water Pump. The Clear Water Pump from Harbor Freight is cheap ($35) and works, but is slow. Dayton pumps ($300-$500) work very well. Y. 115 volt heating element. Z. Plumbers Teflon Tape (PTFE Thread Sealing Tape) and 12 x ¾”– 1 ½” hose clamps

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7

3
Chapter

Safety Precautions for Biodiesel Production
Precautions
There are two main dangerous ingredients used in Biodiesel production, Methanol and Lye. Methanol is by far the worst; it is calculated that as little as five teaspoons could kill a grown adult. Methanol can be inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed into the skin, and is carcinogenic. Lye is highly caustic, especially when mixed with any liquid, including methanol. Make sure your entire body is always covered when using lye. In biodiesel production, you want to act smart and take precautions to not harm yourself or others. Always work in a well-ventilated area or preferably outside.

Safety Equipment
     Gloves: chemical-proof with long cuffs to fit over sleeves Apron Eye Protection Long Sleeves, Pants, and Boots. Do Not use any type of respirator or mask. Even though Methanol fumes are highly toxic, a mask or respirator will not protect you and may isolate the fumes you are breathing. The only device that works is a SCBA (SelfContained Breathing Apparatus), but these are expensive. Many just choose to work wisely, and not breathe the fumes.

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Methanol
Methanol is both a flammable and explosive material. The most important thing to remember is that Methanol should always be kept in a closed container and in a wellventilated building without any ignition devices such as: open flame, open electric motor housings, and/or combustible fuels. To keep Methanol fumes to a minimum, always keep in a sealed container such as the one pictured below. Your methanol supplier should have them. Always pump the Methanol through a series of connecting tubes so that it is not exposed to the air. Seek immediate medical attention if methanol and/or lye is ingested. If it comes in contact with the skin wash immediately with water and seek medical attention if necessary.

Methanol Container

Carboy

Lye
Lye will chemically burn skin. The best method of avoiding a burn is to always keep covered! Wear protective goggles, gloves, and clothing. Take off any jewelry, as the lye will corrode it. If you get lye on your skin flush the area with vinegar immediately to neutralize burn and then wash with soap and water. If the lye and/or methanol gets into your eye, go to the hospital immediately.

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4
Chapter

Constructing the Processor
An old ELECTRIC hot water heater tank can be adapted to make a safe and inexpensive oil heater and processor. An HDPE 5 gallon carboy or similar receptacle provides a passive small-scale methanol-catalyst mixer, and an inexpensive centrifugal pump mixes the two liquids to enable the biodiesel reaction to take place. Prior to constructing a biodiesel processor, thought must be given to the desired elevation of the finished system. An elevated system is easier to access and maintain. Utilizing gravity (in particular elevating the caustic solution during mixing) may prove faster and more efficient than relying solely on the pump. The processor pictured in the introduction uses a small table as a stand. Stands are often made of wood, similar to the stand made for the wash tank (Chapter 11), incorporating a board on top for support. Stands may be painted or coated for durability. Metal stands can also be constructed and can be safer and longer lasting. New heaters range in price and size. The processor shown in this manual was constructed from a new 30 gallon heater. It is easy to transport and heats quickly due to its low capacity . Anything larger than 30 gallons will need to be secured into postion with access to electrical outlets.

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Cutaway View of Water Heater

NOTE: cutaway of a standard, double element electric water heater. On slender and tall units the top element needs to be removed for safety. It is sometimes preferable to use both elements on shorter, wider units. SAFETY NOTE: a full tank may weigh as much as 300 pounds. Shim and secure your processor prior to filling. SAFETY NOTE: when empty, the tanks can be manipulated by two people; they are glass lined and so care must be taken. NOTE: Rheem brand water heaters are the industry standard in water heaters they are common as are their replacement parts.

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T eardown/ Build Up
Once placement has been determined, the teardown of the water heater may begin. Allow yourself ample working space. This process will take place in two stages: 1. Electrical conversion (220V-115V) of the heating element, and thermostat if needed 2. Plumbing conversion of the heater tank.

Electrical conversion (220V-115V)
SAFETY NOTE: ALWAYS test yor work with a voltmeter! With the power off remove the top and bottom access panels (generally two or three Philips head screws per panel) and insulation. This will expose the existing electrical harness. Now remove the bottom panel and insulation.

Disconnect the heating element at the base with an element socket wrench (1 ½”) (available from plumbing supply houses). Remove the old (220V) heating element and
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replace with the purchased(115V) element. Tighten the 115V element in place. Oil can leak from this hole so make sure your connection is tight.

Plumbing Conversion

Top View of Processor

Any galvanized steel pipes and fittings must be replaced with black pipe fittings and pipe length. Biodiesel reacts when combined with galvanized steel. Secure all threaded fittings with TEFLON white tape.

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Steps for Conversion:
1. Remove the supply dip tube and hardware from the tank, generally marked blue (for cold water), and hot water return red (for hot water). The temperature/pressure overflow, white, may be retained. 2. Replace the supply and return fittings with ¾” black pipe sections and two ¾” 90° elbow fittings followed by a black pipe section and one ball valve each followed by enough pipe to clear the tank and another 90° elbow, each facing down. Before you screw anything together wrap Teflon tape on all threaded ends so there is a nice tight fit. 3. With the tank empty, remove the old (generally plastic) drain valve and short pipe section (if fitted) which exposes the threaded tank penetration. 4. Prior to securing the pipe section wrap the threaded joints with Teflon tape and attach a female/female brass ball type valve and replace with ¾” (diameter) section of black pipe (the length and turn angles may be varied depending on your space requirement and manifold configuration) 5. Align ball valve for optimum operation, make sure there is enough clearance to open and close the valve, and tighten all fittings from the tank to the valve end. 6. Align and tape the threads on all male manifold fittings and valves. 7. Assemble the manifold finger-tight starting from the installed valve. Wrench all fittings into place where valve placement is necessary. 8. Manifold assembly: The completed manifold includes two vertical clear vinyl tubes running the height of the tank. The sight tube must be vertically aligned with the tank in order to insure accurate calibration of the system. The other section should be as plumb as possible. 9. Using the supplies list gather the manifold parts. Most black pipe section lengths will depend on the alignment of the tank and manifold. Don’t forget to Teflon tape the threaded ends. 10. Where the manifold attaches to the ball valve on the bottom of the tank hand tighten and DON’T wrench the following: three or four (depending on the bushing and thermometer used): ¾” pipes of desired lengths, e.g.: 2”, 3”, etc. to the ¾” four way tee or “cross”. Three part of the “cross” will receive a pipe piece, and the fourth the bushing/thermometer. 11. Calculate the desired length of threaded pipe fitting into a 90° elbow to accommodate the sight tube. 12. Tape the pipe on both ends. Fit a 90° elbow to one end. 13. Fit another short section, ball valve and hose nipple to that section. 14. Fit a bushing to the other end of the tee to receive the thermometer. 15. Wrench all connections tight 16. Fit the other ¾” cross with 1 bushing and 2 pipes, to receive a bushing. 17. On either side of the four-way cross fitting fit one: 1x female ¾” to 1” bushing (pump side) and 3/4 male to 5/8 male bushing (check valve side). 18. Tape and fit the check valve and 2x pipe sections, on either side of the valve, with the flow direction arrow facing towards the manifold.

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19. Prepare a ball valve and 3/8”-¾” bushing for the methanol/lye solution inlet. The fill tube for the methanol/lye solution is best kept out of the way until needed. It is hose clamped in place when it is time to be added. 20. On the pump fill tube (top) attach the valve and fill hardware: 1. 1”-¾” bushing, 1. 3-way tee with 3 pipe sections wrenched tight, 2, ball valves, 2. ¾” pipes, 2. ball valves 1. 3 way ¾” tee. Attach the pump 21. Use hose clamps to secure a section of reinforced tubing from the manifold to cold inlet blue 22. Secure a measured and cut piece of tubing in place with two hose clamps directly to the ridged hose nipple forming the sight tube from the manifold to outlet red. 23. The last valve and corresponding hose barbed fitting can be secured at the terminus of the manifold.

T ools:
• 2 standard pipe type wrenches and/or channel lock type pliers • 2 standard screwdrivers. 1 slotted, 1 #2 Philips head for hose clamps • 2 adjustable crescent or “monkey” type wrenches

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Installation of the Pigtail

A UL rated three pronged 120V pigtail must be wired to the existing electrical harness. These are available at home centers and other retail outlets and come in several lengths. Longer is generally better. The cord needs to safely reach a grounded outlet. With the power off and the cord unplugged! Remove the knockout plate screws located on either the top or side of the heater. Strip approximatley 1/8 inch of insulation off the wires on the pigtail and push through the knockout to the tanks wiring. Match like colors and secure with wire caps/nuts. Several types of wire retention devices designed to keep the harness connections secure are commercially available. Twist and cinch ties also work well. Replace the knock out plate(s) Check the electrical system with a multimeter at both the thermostat and heating element. Make sure the multimeter is set to measure at least 12 volts. If the system has power, replace the panels and you’re on your way. If not check your wiring and the heater element.

Thermostat
The thermostat controls the heating element and is usually located in the same compartment. If the heating element does not come on turn up the thermostat!

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5
Chapter

Priming the Pump
The earth's atmosphere extends approximately 50 miles (80 Km.) above the earth, and rests on the mass of the earth with a weight equivalent to a layer of fresh water 34 feet (10 meters) deep at sea level. To remove air from a pump and produce suction the pump must develop enough head to equal the equivalent of 14.7 psi (pounds per square inch). Your pump may not need to be primed depending on the length of tubing, temperature and viscosity of liquid, or gravity and the power of the pump. The 1# Clearwater pump (pictured in Chapter 2) has a removable plug for priming. Remove the plug and fill with oil while the pump is running. This will displace the air and create a vacuum. Make sure the tube you are using to suck oil is actually in the oil! OPEN the pressure release valve at the top of the processor. If you use a centrifugal pump you can install a foot valve in the suction piping to insure the liquid will not drain from the pump casing and suction pipe. Keep in mind that these valves have a nasty habit of leaking.

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6
Chapter

Calibrating the Processor
Supplies
- jug that measures liters - 5 gallon plastic bucket - marker pen

Method
(First time only) The mixture of Methanol and Lye to be added directly into the heated and circulating oil depends on an accurate reading of the amount of oil in the processor. It is for this reason that you want to calibrate your processor. A 30-gallon water heater, processing 90 liters of oil will still leave enough empty space to add the Methanol/Lye mixture. To make sure you have an accurate measurement of the amount of oil in the processor you will first need to measure and add the oil in liter increments (metric system), marking the sight tube to calibrate it for future batches. Biodiesel is processed in litres because measurements are more accurate and the resulting biodiesel is cleaner.  Step 1: Make a measuring bucket. Find a device that measures liters (such as a juice pitcher, etc.) and pour 10 liters of water into a bucket. Mark this level on the bucket, then add 10 more liters and mark it at 20 liters so that now you have a bucket that measures both 10 and 20 liters. Step 2: Pump Oil.* Fill the bucket with 20 liters of oil and pump 10 liters at a time of it into the processor using the pump on the processor. For every 10 liters pumped into the processor, replenish the bucket with 10 more liters of oil. A potential problem can be lack of suction with the pump. To avoid this never allow the pump to suck in air. Always keep the bucket at least 10 liters full to keep suction constant. Also note that elevating the bucket and maintaining a short distance between the pump and bucket will ensure an efficient suction process.



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

Step 3: Mark Calibration. After each 20 liters pumped into the processor tank, stop the pump and let the oil level settle. Once the level has settled record it with a permanent marker on the site tube (e.g. 20 L., 40 L, 60 L). Continue this process until the processor is filled to capacity.

For future batches, the site tube will provide an accurate reading of the amount of oil being processed without needing to calculate the volume prior to pumping into the processor.

Troubleshooting
*Make sure that all valves are open except the methanol valve. *Make sure to periodically vent out the processor. If the pump is no longer taking in oil, it probably means that the pressure inside the processor is too great and you must vent the air through the pressure release valve at the top to allow more oil to be pumped in. Closing all the valves creates a vacuum!

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7
Chapter

Collecting Waste Grease
Collecting grease requires patience and sometimes a strong constitution. It is also a way to form relationships and talk to people about what you are doing. Eventually you will develop your own system but this will get you started.

Equipment
55-gallon hand-crank pump Long handled stovetop pan Funnel (the wider-mouthed, the better) Sealed containers (carboys, five gallon buckets, etc.) Long Stick!

Recommended Accessories
Work clothes and gloves. Eye and Face protection Boots Tarp Environmentally friendly degreaser

Oil Selection
Waste grease is often found behind local eateries in brown or green greasy looking dumpsters that inhabit a dark corner of the parking lot. Veggie oil dumpsters are often
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equipped with a trap door, which look like prison bars. Asian and Japanese resturants cook more vegetableas and less meat so there are usually less free fatty acids (FFA) in their oil. It’s best to perform a titration (see chapter nine) before you haul your oil home. For best results don’t touch anything that titrates out over 5. An excess of FFA in the oil is bad for the reaction because it will impede the separation of the glycerol and produce soapy biodiesel.

What to Look For
Things to look for are color and consistency. The best oil resembles maple syrup, it has the same golden brown color and is not too thick. Water content can be tested by scooping a small sample and heating it above 100°C (212°F), if it stutters and bubbles water is in it. Once you’re a veggie oil expert you will be able to discern the good from the ugly.

Establishing Rapport with your Restaurant
It is a good idea to establish rapport with the businesses you choose to pull your grease from. Owners may come to view your interaction as a mutually beneficial relationship rather than a parasitic one. They will also take more kindly to you if you explain what you are doing. You’ll be amazed at how receptive people are to the subject of energy independence.

Getting it Out of the Dumpster
A 55-gallon drum hand-crank pump works well and can be picked up at Harbor Frieght for under $20. Fancier DC connect pumps can also be purchased for a higher price. Simply scooping the oil out with a long handled pan also works well. Use a long stick to test where the putrid gunk lies toward the bottom. Always try to take oil from about 3 inches below the surface.   Insert the long end of the pump halfway into the grease, or scoop from the top to avoid trapping debris that has sunk to the bottom of the dumpster. Keep lots of rags handy. This is messy!

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8
Chapter

Filtering Waste Grease
Before putting the grease in the processor, it must be filtered to get rid of particulate matter. Filtering grease can be accomplished by various methods that utilize time, price, electricity or gravity. It is best to filter the grease to under 3 microns. Because there are so many ways to filter grease, it is best to choose one that works best for you. Below are several methods for filtering grease, from the super cheap, slow and sustainable, to the faster, pricier energy sucker. The best way to filter grease is to filter in stages, scaling down gradually from 50, to 3 and to 1 micron. The slower you filter, the less chance of clogging difficulties.

The Blue Jean Method
For those who may have more time on their hands, less money in their pockets and more concern for re-use the Blue Jean method is the way to go. Simply take an old pair of Blue Jeans and sew the bottom of the legs shut. Cut two holes in the top of a barrel and stick the pant legs through. Pour the grease into the legs and wait. The Jeans will filter at least the bigger chunks out, but be prepared to wait a while. You will need to combine this process with another that has a finer filter. Following the Blue Jean tradition line a second pair of jeans with muslin to provide a finer filter.

The Sock Filter Method
For a small price, you can purchase a few sock filters available online (www.goldenfuelsystems.com). Sock filters vary in size from 200 microns down to even .5 microns and are very simple to use. Set a few of them in a vertical arrangement with a barrel underneath and collect the filtered oil in. This process also takes a while, so be prepared to wait. In general, you can make your filtering process faster by pre heating the oil to 80°F or 90°°F before filtering.

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Cartridge Filter Pump
For someone with less time on their hands and more money to spend a pump hookedup to standard car/truck filters work well. Don’t run hot oil through the cartridge filter pump.

Parts: 3 filters ranging from 50 - 3 microns with pressure gauged housings, 10 feet of ¾” inch automotive hose 1 foot of clear ¾” hose 8 hose clamps 1/2 amp industrial pump & 12V pigtail if not provided Ply wood, screws and bolts. Note: The smallest filter should be 3 or 5 microns. Donaldson Filters work well. Check the Yellow pages for filter suppliers in your area. 1) Build a wood housing for your filtering system (the size and shape may vary depending on the pump, filter size and personal preference.) 2) Bolt oil filter housing heads in a supporting horizontal or vertical arrangement so that the oil passes through the largest to the smallest filter. Be sure there is enough room to connect the filter housings with the ¾” hose. This step may be completed before the filter housing is bolted onto the filter box. 3) Screw on filters 5) Screw hose barbs to each end of the housing. Plumbers tape on the threads of the barbs will ensure a leak tight fit. 6) Secure pump into position, attach tubing between the pump outlet and the biggest filter 7) Connect the three filters with clear sight tube 8) Attach enough tubing to both the smallest filter outlet and the pump inlet to accommodate your needs.

Note: A dimmer switch was added to this filter system because the industrial size pump was pushing to much pressure through the filters, including the debris. The switch enables control of the flow. The pressure gauges on the filter housing indicate particle build-up in the filters.

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9
Chapter

Titration
Through titration, we can test the FFA (Free Fatty Acid) content in waste vegetable oil to determine whether or not the oil is suitable for making biodiesel. In the processing stage a second titration will be performed to determine precisely how much catalyst (lye) is needed for processing the veggie oil into biodiesel.

Supplies:
     

 

 

1 bottle of phenol red indicator or phenolphthalein. Turmeric powder also performs the same function, and is non-toxic 1-gallon bottle of distilled water 1-clean, air-tight container to store .1% NaOH/water solution (lye/water) which will be used as the reference tester solution container of NaOH (lye) or KOH-Red Devil Lye isopropyl alcohol – at least 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol, or 99% in the form of red bottle IsoHeet from auto parts stores 3 oral syringes-graduated in ml: one marked for oil, one for alcohol, and one for lye/water solution *IMPORTANT* only use syringes for their designated substance. Do not mix! one liter measuring container several small jars – one to use for titration, one for a sample of oil, and one for handling a small sample of .1% NaOH/water solution so as not to contaminate the reference tester solution rags to wipe out the jars in between titrations scale-either a triple beam or a homemade Dixie-cup scale to accurately measure the lye

Steps:
1. Make a reference tester of 1% NaOH/water solution (to be used for multiple future titrations). Dissolve 1 gram of catalyst (lye or KOH) in 1 liter of distilled water.

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Keep this container sealed tight. If you use NaOH (lye) as a catalyst, use the NaOH for the solution, and if you use KOH as a catalyst, use KOH for the solution. 2. Start a blank titration to ensure that the real titration only reads the FFAs instead of the acids in the isopropyl. This step will neutralize those acids. 3. First add 10 ml of isopropyl to a jar. 4. Add a few drops of phenolphthalein, phenol red, or a pinch of turmeric, and swirl until it becomes a yellowish color. 5. Add the lye/water reference solution drop by drop and keep swirling. 6. As soon as it turns completely clear/purple and maintains that color for more than a couple of seconds, stop. This will be the starting point for adding oil to the titration solution. 7. Mix exactly 1ml of oil into this blank titration solution with the oral syringe designated for oil. The liquid will now be yellow. 8. Now add more of the lye/water solution (in 1/4 ml increments), swirling the contents while adding the lye water. Keep accurate record of how many 1/4 ml increments are added until the solution turns a lavender or pink color that lasts for 30 seconds of swirling. 9. The number of 1/4ml increments added will indicate the titration value for the oil sample. For example: if the oil took 2-1/4ml to turn purple, this oil titrated at 2. Quality oil should not exceed a titration value of 3.

Adding the Lye:
The oil titration calculates the point at which the lye neutralizes the FFAs, thus each 1milileter of lye/water added corresponds to 1 gram of lye to be added for each liter of oil in the batch. Beware of adding over 3 grams per litre as you will have soapy biodiesel. To calculate how much lye is needed use the following formula: For NaOH: number of liters of oil x (5grams NaOH + titration results) For KOH: number of liters of oil x (7grams KOH + titration results) For Methanol: add 250mL methanol for every liter of lye/water?

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Preparing the Methanol Lye Solution:
When mixing lye and methanol, it is preferable to use a plastic carboy container. Make sure it has the “HDPE 2” mark on the botton, as other types of plastic carboys will degrade quickly. Get two containers with four threaded stoppers and a vent cap. Carboys have a second set of plugged, optional threads molded into the lid. Cut the plug out with a knife, and the exposed internal threads will fit a ¾” standard pipe fitting. Screw in a ¾” brass hose barb, secured with Teflon tape and attach the 3/8” vinyl tubing to this barb. Use this hose to transfer liquid securly To fill the carboy, first add methanol. Next, add the calculated amount of lye. Immediately close using the regular extra lid and gently swirl mixture every ten minutes for thirty mins. To ensure that the lye is completely dissolved, check the bottom of the carboy for any clumps. Your solution is ready to add to your processor once it has dissolved. When you are ready to make fuel, attach the lid with the barb to the carboy and attach the hose to your processor. Turn your pump on. Lift the carboy onto a shelf, stool or chair above the level of the mixing pump and let gravity feed it into the processor Caution: Methoxide is highly caustic. 200% proof ethanol may also be used in place of methanol however this process is more difficult and not recommended for beginners. See: www.green-trust.org/2000/biofuel/biodiesel_ethanol.htm

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Methanol-Lye Conversion T able (Calculated at 20% Methanol per volume Oil)

For 18% methanol mix, multiply methanol values by 0.9; for 22% multiply methanol values by 1.1. Working in litres/grams gives a more exact reaction. To covert to Liters, multiply methanol and lye quantities by 3.79.

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Chapter

10
Processing the Oil
From waste grease to an alternative fuel

(Please reference picture for correct open/closure of valves for each step.) 1). Make sure the processor is unplugged. Connect a hose from your container of filtered grease to the nipple on the main valve (#4). Turn on the pump to pump the oil into the processor. [All valves open except #5] 2). Once the grease has been pumped into the processor, unplug the pump. Plug the processor into a power source to begin heating the oil. (While the oil is heating complete step 5.)

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[Valve #7 open. All other valves closed.] 3). Monitor thermostat until the oil reaches 130ºF. Turn the processor off when it reaches this temperature. 4). Carefully open the main valve (#4) and obtain a 1ml sample of oil. Perform an accurate titration to determine the amount of lye and methanol needed for processing. (See Chapter 9.) 5). Mix calculated amounts of lye and methanol into the methanol carboy. Always follow appropriate safety measures when handling methanol and lye (See Chapter 3). 6). Connect the container’s hose to the ½” barb methanol intake (#5) with a hose clamp tightened around the connection. Open the valve on top of the carboy. Elevate the carboy above the methanol valve (#5). Regulate the rate of methanol inflow by adjusting the ball valve. This process should be done gradually. You’ll be able to tell that the methanol is mixing once the pump is on because there will be a slight color change in your mixing tube. Note: Usually a full cycle of circulation in the processor takes about 2 hours, this should be taken into consideration when gradually adding the methanol/lye mixture. [Opened valves 1,3,5,7. Closed valves 2,4,6.] 7). Plug in the pump to circulate methoxide in the processor tank (2 hours). [Opened valves 1,3,7. Closed valves 2,4,5,6.] Note: close valve #5 if the methanol/ lye mixture is completed within 2 hours 8). Unplug the pump and allow oil to separate overnight (approximately 8 – 12 hours). [All valves closed except for #1] 9). To empty the glycerin layer into a disposal receptacle, open the main valve (#4) The glycerin layer will be dark and the biodiesel golden. As soon as the golden biodiesel starts coming out of the processor, close the main valve. Note: Glycerin (glycerin, glycerol) is the main by-product of making biodiesel. The name comes from the Greek word glykys meaning sweet. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous, nontoxic liquid with a very sweet taste and has literally thousands of uses. That is, pure glycerin has thousands of uses -- the biodiesel by-product is crude (and it's not colorless, and it's not only glycerin) [Opened valves 1,4. Closed valves 2,3,5,6,7.] 10) Empty the biodiesel from the processor into the wash tank.

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Chapter

11
Wash tank Construction
The recommended method for washing biodiesel is the misting method. To construct a mister wash tank, the top of a 55-gallon barrel is lined with a mister hose that slowly mists water into the mixture. As the droplets sink they absorb residual methanol and water.

Wash T Parts ank
  55-gallon or 30-gallon plastic barrel with two threaded holes in the top. * Plumbing: All parts ¾” unless otherwise noted. All parts are PVC . 1 x Bushing 2” to ¾” 2 x 2” pipe nipples
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      

2 x 90º elbows 2 x 3” pipe nipples 2 x Ball valves 2 x Hose barbs. The grey plastic ones work well. ¾” vinyl tubing, long enough to reach a bucket or drain. Standpipe. Total length ¼ height of washtank for ¾ biodiesel ¼ wash water. Outdoor patio mister kit. These are usually only seasonally available and tend to break, so stock up before winter! We are working on a replacement system.

T ools
    JigSaw or Reciprocating saw Screw Driver and Drill Hammer Pliers

Assembly details
Turn the barrel upside down and remove the bottom using a jig or reciprocating saw. This is now the top of the washtank. If there are no openings in what is now the bottom of the tank, you will need to saw holes that correspond in size to the ¾” PVC pipe you will insert. Use a hole saw. Both pipe assemblies are the same out of the barrel. The only difference is the standpipe. All parts are constructed in the same fashion. Connect the 90° elbows to the two ball valves, connect these to the hose barbs and then connect to the clear vinyl tubing. The water drainpipe is connected through the hole with a bushing. The biodiesel pipe is connected through the hole without a bushing. Use a 2” nipple and screw into the threads inside each of the two barrel openings. You will need PVC cleaner and sealant to ensure a leak tight fit. Connect the mister to the top of the tank by drilling ¼” holes and poking the jets through to the inside of the barrel. Attach the tubing with tape or wire.

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This apparatus sits on top of a wood frame. To build a wooden frame out of 2x4s construct a cube that measures 20”x20”x20”. The barrel sits on top and the ball valves tuck in below. Casters can be added to the bottom of the washstand for mobility.

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Chapter

12
Washing Biodiesel
Washing removes any impurities used to catalyze the reaction. Since these impurities (methanol, lye, soaps and free glycerin) are soluble in water, washing biodiesel with water causes them to dissolve. Soap and methanol impurities gradually corrode fuel injection systems and hoses so it is important to remove these impurities.

T Wash the Biodiesel o
1). Put the unwashed biodiesel in the wash tank. This process can be done manually or by using the pump. To use the pump close all valves besides #1 and #4, connect a hose from the main valve to the wash tank, then turn pump on. 2). Attach a hose to the mister and turn on the water. 3). Wash for approximately 5 hours. 4). Let it sit for 24 – 48 hours. Because water is heavier than biodiesel it passes through the biodiesel and sinks to the bottom of the washtank. Droplets efficiently pick up debris as they sink to the bottom.

How to Know When the Washing is Complete
The purity of the final biodiesel product can be checked by visual examination and by checking its pH (using pH paper or by titration). The pH of the biodiesel should be neutral (pH 7). Biodiesel should be clear, almost golden with no cloudiness, films, or particulates, and with a uniformly brownish tint. Heat tends to mask impurities in biodiesel, so a better measure of its purity may be determined at cooler temperatures. After washing, the biodiesel separates into two layers: biodiesel on top and wash water beneath. At this point, the wash water may be drained from the bottom of the wash tank and safely disposed of. Alternatively it my be stored and reused to wash future

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batches of biodiesel (See Chapter 13). The washed biodiesel can now be left to dry before being used as fuel. Biodiesel is dry when it is completely translucent (when you can clearly see through it), with no trace of cloudiness or haziness. To dry your biodiesel let it sit for 24 hours in a container with the lid off. Wrap a piece of guaze or muslin around the top to prevent things getting in.

Your biodiesel B100 is now ready to run in any unmodified diesel engine.

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Chapter

13
Disposing of Waste Products
The waste products produced when processing biodiesel are: 1) Glycerin 2) Wash Water These byproducts contain harmful methanol and lye dissolved in the waste mixture. Improper disposal of hazardous materials is both harmful and illegal, but also unsustainable. If we are to make decisions about the carbon we put into the atmosphere, we need to be aware of the pollutants that go into the ground. Methanol is a hazardous waste and should be disposed of at an approved waste facility. Check with local authorities to determine where and how these waste products should be disposed. If you will be making biodiesel frequently and have space to store the leftover wash water, the wash water can also be reused for future batches. This is known as the counter-current method, or one step back approach in which you reuse the wash water for biodiesel that is more soapy than the one it was previously used to wash. If possible, it is recommended that all wash water be used three or four times before disposal. An alternative for removing and reusing excess methanol from the waste products is to perform methanol recovery. Methanol recovery involves the use of a condenser or still system to distill the methanol from the processor through the vent at the top of the tank. This process requires energy to generate heat and the methanol is condensed through a copper coil. Reclaimed methanol can be reused in future biodiesel reactions.

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Bibliography
Addison, Kieth. Journey to forever: Glycerin.. http//journeytoforever.org/.copyright 2006 Alovert, Maria. Biodiesel Homebrew Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Make Quality Alternative Diesel Fuel out of Waste Restaurant Fryer Oil. M. Alovert, 2005. Bauman, shelly. Transportation Fuels : Biodiesel. NEED 2006-2007 putting energy into education. www.NEED.org Bickell. Ken. Cold Flow Properties of Biodiesel and Biodiesel Blends – A Review of Data”, University of Minnesota Center for Diesel Research Donner, Howard J. French Fries—To Go. Grassolean.com, 2002. Video recording. Kemp, William H. Biodiesel: Basics and Beyond: A Comprehensive Guide to Production and Use for the Home and Farm. Tamworth, Ontario: Aztext Press, 2006 Knothe, Gerhard and Jon Harlan Van Gerpen. The Biodiesel Handbook. Champaign, IL: AOCS Press, 2005. Mittelbach, Martin and Claudia Remschmidt. Biodiesel: the Comprehensive Handbook. Austria: Martin Mittelbach, 2004. Sharman, Robert. Simple Biodiesel: A Guide to Making Diesel Fuel from Used Cooking Oil. Deloraine, Tasmania: Tasman Publishing, 2001. Tickell, Joshua. From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank: The Complete Guide to Using Vegetable Oil as an Alternative Fuel. Covington, LA: Tickell Energy Consulting, 2000 Tickell, Joshua. The Veggie Fuel Video. Tickell Energy Consulting, 2001. Video recording. Tyson,K.. Biodiesel handling and use guidelines. U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 2004. <http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy05osti/36182.pdf>

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Special Thanks To Nate Campbell

F.D.C Sinclair 2007 Disclaimer: The author bears no repsonsibility for damages to persons, property or environs resulting from information in this manual.

Dr. Fiona Sinclair lives completely off-grid in Northern New Mexico where she has restored her adobe from localy sourced and sustainable materials with her own hands, strength and ingenuity. She harvests water, composts all waste, eats food grown within a 10 mile radius including her garden, strives to have zero waste & carbon emissions, and is active in her community. A self described systems thinker and sustainability mentor, Dr. Sinclair believes theory and practice are the foundation of all knowledge claims. Since 2005 she co-founded one of the first degree’s in Sustainability Studies in the country at UNM, however was “let go” after refusing to stop her work protecting one of the last pristine watersheds in the state. She also secured Acequia water and transfer rights for her community; taught classes on various aspects of sustainability; zeroed out her carbon footprint; has driven 20,000 miles on waste vegetable oil and is a mentor for sustainable living. Currently unemployed, Dr. Sinclair greatly appreciates monatory donations to support her sustainability quest. Send any amount via www.paypal.com to cleugh@nnmt.net

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