lunes, 27 de mayo de 2013

How to Make Homemade Biodiesel with used cooking oil? Is it Possible to do it at home?

Let me share an experience which took almost six years without stopping at a gas station except to buy a soda or a bag of cubes. I fabricate my own biodiesel for private use, and I use it 100%, that is, not a drop of oil. The car is going great ever since. I have NOT noticed any strange. It's an Opel Zafira 2.0 DTI I bought new eight years ago.

1. What is biodiesel and biodiesel do not

Two. Qualities of Biodiesel
2.1 Regarding the engine
2.2 with regard to the environment
2.3 With regard to strategic considerations

Three. My experience. The beginnings.

April. How to Make Biodiesel with quality and safety
4.1 Collect oil
4.2 Oil Pretreatment
4.3 Reagent Preparation: Methoxide
4.4 First transesterification
4.5 First drain glycerin
4.6 Second transesterification
4.7 Second drain glycerin
4.8 Wash
Dehydration and desmetanolizado 4.9
4.10 Filtering and packaging
4.11 Control Panel

5 Bibliography of interest

1. What is biodiesel and biodiesel do not
Some people, no more, throw sunflower oil deposit and the car runs, but in winter this is not feasible because the oil is very viscous and it is necessary to give the car a second vessel for heating oil. And I have my doubts about any oil containing glycerin. Can cause coking in the nozzles and deposits in the engine. That's not biodiesel. That's oil.

Biodiesel is obtained by subjecting the vegetable oil in a chemical reaction called transesterification. Cumbersome Notwithstanding the name, is a chemical reaction that is available to home technology, as will be seen below, and I'm not the only one doing it. Biodiesel can also be made from animal fats, but is more difficult because they are semisolid at room temperature and contain many free fatty acids that hinder the process. I will describe the process for oil. Specifically, used oil, to be exact, sunflower.

The oil to make biodiesel can be:

- New: The process easier, but the new oil is expensive, and besides, biodiesel could be accused of "provoking hunger" in the world.

- Used: From fryer. The process is complicated by the increased presence of free fatty acids in the oil, but it is still possible to do. The attractiveness of used oil is that usually go free, and incidentally withdraw a product that is toxic to the environment if disposed of in the sink. Nor can we be accused of promoting famine. The oil from the fryers is changed precisely because there comes a point where there is healthy food preparation with him. Then comes the turn of the tank car.

Two. Qualities of Biodiesel

2.1 Regarding the engine
It is logical to be afraid of a fuel "strange", but biodiesel has the following mechanical advantages compared to its cousin, the fossil diesel. He says the technical literature and I see it in my car, car certainly not have given me.

- The car does not have to be modified at all. The only exception: in cars manufactured before 1998 would have to change the rubber sleeves for Viton or Teflon other, as the biodiesel dissolves natural rubber.
- Lubricates and cleans the engine including injectors
- Higher cetane number, you can compress the mix: More power
- More safety. By violent it's an accident, it is highly unlikely to burn.
- Despite having 5% less energy than the diesel, points 1 and 2 equals
- Respects and does not deteriorate the exhaust catalysts.
- Consumption regarding Liters / Mileage not vary
- Acceleration, top speed, idling, not modified.
- Extends engine life

2.2 with regard to the environment
- No emission of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic
- No emission of sulfur and lead, and heavy metals
- It is renewable. The CO2 emitted by combustion of biodiesel is needed by the plants from which oil is removed, therefore, a rolling cycle. Can not say the same oil, as the CO2 generated by burning diesel oil produces nothing.
- It is biodegradable. Holding bottles protected from light and air, dust cap tubeless and can be stored more than 6 months. But if released to the environment, biodegrades within 3-4 weeks.
- Has the same table toxicity than table salt.
- The raw material is a residue (used cooking oil)

2.3 With regard to strategic considerations
- Provides energy independence with regard to third countries.
- No need for economies of scale to manufacture
- Take advantage of local resources, both material and labor.
- Is exceptionally safe handling. Your "Flash" is like oil which it came. Nobody has a 25 liter bottle of oil as a fire hazard.

Three. My experience. The beginnings.
It all started when I went to fill up and I forgot to get the nozzle of my car making. Tore and I almost took the pump rennet. My car was also damaged. Luckily I asked the gas station responsibility for an accident that I should be very frequent and it really is. That bothers some that when refueling you have to turn into makeshift worker responsibility that entails. That if I had to pay for the damage to my car. Later I thought how can designers to suppliers not have occurred to give the supplier of a material that "give" or breaking thus saving himself the supplier and car refueling. I remembered the lizards, which when attacked lose the tail, but life-saving change. Are they smarter lizards that some designers? ...

In one incident, an idea came to me, half seriously, half-jokingly: "If I can make my own fuel for the car, will not happen again." And I searched the internet and found a page.

This page:

At first I did not give much credence to that of biodiesel. I thought it was an eccentricity of an environmentalist, but I kept looking and saw that there was enough technical literature on the subject, especially in English. And most surprising, is not hiding the details of manufacture. By that time I had in my small laboratory all the ingredients needed to make a small-scale test. Had it not been for having the ingredients on hand, it is more likely that I would not have bothered to go buy, so having the ingredients was something providential.

In a glass put some sunflower oil, other prepared the reagent: methanol with dissolved caustic soda, which is called sodium methoxide (this must be handled with care, is flammable, toxic and corrosive). I mixed both oil with methoxide and spent several minutes shaking the mixture with a steel spoon. I let the mixture stand for an hour and there it was: In the top of the glass, the supposed biodiesel. And at the bottom, glycerin. Reaction had occurred.

This encouraged me and I did my first mini-reactor to produce biodiesel on a small scale, only two liters per batch.

It's nothing to write home: A new paint pot with a washing machine motor pump that takes the liquid from the bottom of the boat and re-injected into the top. The purpose is to move, stir, stir the mixture (oil and methoxide). Also sees a white wire into the cap: An electric heater to keep the mixture at 50-55 ° C, optimal temperature for the process. The dark wire probe is a digital thermometer to measure this temperature. The point of this mini-machine is that it is airtight. Thus we prevent the escape of methanol, which boils at only 64 degrees, which would have two consequences: First, lose methanol by evaporation supposed impoverish the biodiesel, and secondly methanol fumes are toxic and flammable. So, the reactor, however modest, must be airtight, watertight and airtight.

After being stirring the mixture for an hour, turned off the motor pump and heater, opened the can and poured everything in a glass jar container type olives, a gallon (about four liters). Within a few hours, thanks to the transparency of the bottle could clearly see a dark, dense deposit on the bottom (glycerin) while on it, swam biodiesel. Glycerin, denser going to the bottom by gravity, whereas the much less dense biodiesel floated up.

With a small hose drip type biodiesel extracted a second clean jar, leaving the glycerin in the first bottle. Now we have two jars with two products follow two completely different paths:

1. The first vial, with glycerol, which also contains methanol and the catalyst used soaps (potassium hydroxide in my case). This is a "residue" of the production of biodiesel, and even if profits do not need as biodiesel. With this dense dark residue and can make good soap. This website explains how to do it and refers specifically to the residue from the manufacture of biodiesel at home. It has pictures and soap looks great. You see, in this of all biodiesel is used:

Two. The second flask containing biodiesel and without glycerin. But we can not use it even in our car. It should be washed first to remove the remains of hydroxide, methanol, soaps, and substances that would harm our engine. The method used is the "bubble method at the University of Idaho." Here you have a photo which shows the device for washing.

It is a stone grinder, sold in hardware stores. This stone is embedded in a metal lid of a jar (to be sought that lid and stone are properly sized to fit) and sealed with epoxy-type adhesive, of two components. Then the center hole is inserted the tube coming from the pump also breather and sealed to make it airtight. The air is forced out through the micropores of the stone. That's the idea.

The washing is to add water to biodiesel. This will go to fund its higher density, while the biodiesel floats above it is less dense .. Then we put the photo montage shown on these lines. Connect aerator pump and bubbles begin to rise. The bubbles have externally a film of water passing through the phase of biodiesel cited absorbs impurities. When the bubble reaches the surface and "explode" the air bubble remains in the atmosphere, but this film of water, devoid of the support of the bubble, due to the higher density, falls back to the bottom traveling through biodiesel and absorbing more impurities. So that, thanks to the bubbles, there is a continuous traffic rising and falling water impurities sequestering biodiesel. In the first of these washes see that the water turns black quickly. The impurities that water has impurities are no longer biodiesel. With the same method of the mini-hose biodiesel floating bag and bring it into another clean jar, being careful not to get water. And the washing is repeated, typically about 3-4 times until the water remains unstained. It signals that biodiesel has no impurities to clean.

Finally, clean the biodiesel and is almost ready for use. But it lacks one last thing: Take away all traces of water. I am not referring to the excess water that would go to fund its higher density (assuming that the transposing it from bottle to bottle with the hose and no water). I mean the water dispersed in the biodiesel in minute quantities. That water is responsible for that biodiesel is not transparent despite being in a clear glass jar. Appears murky orange. A well finished biodiesel is a waterless biodiesel, and is amazing clarity and transparency, despite coming from something so dark and murky as used fryer oil.

To remove the water, gently warmed the bottle containing the biodiesel-flameless clear-at 40-50 ° C for one to two hours and let stand. We will see that suddenly becomes a liquid with incredible clarity and a beautiful pale yellow hue. No wonder they call it "white gold". If it does not, if the biodiesel does not end with this clarity and transparency is that we have done something wrong in the process. Precisely because water has the atmosphere is a nuisance to make biodiesel, and low winter temperatures do not help, we recommend making biodiesel during the summer, if possible, in sunny and dry.

This is the look you should have a well finished biodiesel. Corresponds to a sample from the last batch I made a little over a month in October:

Time for the truth: Trying on my new car. What if it breaks? I started to look for a old diesel engine to test biodiesel, but I found that any little old engine that was costing me a small fortune. Moreover, the entire biodiesel spent on that engine would only test for that: To try.

I just "take a chance" with the new car was almost cheaper, faster and safer.

For starters, there was no breakdown occurs because if the biodiesel was well done, (and there are several ways to know it's done right). When run, the biodiesel would have served not only to test, but for something useful and practical: To commute. In the worst case, a good repair on the new car would cost no more than an old diesel engine for testing.

So I ventured to the new car, but I started using a low percentage. Nothing 100% biodiesel. Taking in the tank about 20 liters of diesel I took two liters of biodiesel. That is, a proportion of approximately 10%.

I take now to say that biodiesel can be blended with diesel in any proportion. So that night I took the car and walked the streets of my neighborhood, putting the five senses in the car: any hitch, any noise, any stranger. Had something happened, would stop the car (before the thing was over) and call the tow truck to take the car to the shop the next day to make him a purge of the fuel. But nothing happened. And that was the most exciting. I remember that night with a special longing. I settled for a few laps in my area, I thought maybe that was consuming fuel goes from the tank to the engine, which was not yet the diesel-biodiesel mixture to the engine, so I decided to take the highway, and I walked away heading south to Cartagena first, and towards Orihuela northbound after, covering a total of more than 70 kilometers I could not believe. Not the slightest difference in the behavior of the car. And that we all know the sounds and behaviors of our cars, even the slightest little noise.

The previous 2-liter reactor remained small and became a larger, 15 liter, and then came another 35 liters. Only photo I have 35 liter reactor, the 15 liters I had so little time that I did not photograph.

I did more biodiesel and I raised the percentage to 20% biodiesel 80% diesel, without feeling either no abnormality.

Then came a 50% and 50% biodiesel with diesel. With this percentage biodiesel thought if it was a bad fuel could not disguise its consequence, as to 50% and was a really big percentage to be forgiven by the engine. With this mix I went to spend the weekend at the beach. And it turned out to be eerily usual. I did not notice anything special, or at startup, or when accelerating or overtaking or idling ... nothing. Nothing at all. It was clear that at least in the short term, that was good fuel biodiesel.

So a few months continued until the 35-liter reactor was also small.

In the next post, I describe the fourth and last (and final) reactor I did and I use today and for over 5 years, which I do lots of 150 liters of biodiesel.


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