Home Biodiesel Production Part 2

Now that we’ve filtered our oil, we’re now going to make a batch of biodiesel. And we want to show you what you do. We now have filtered oil. I have oil in a 55 gallon drum, and I’m going to put oil into this machine. Inside this machine it has marks that tell me the different sizes, and so I will transport this oil in using this big behemoth. Click it on, and then we can start the flow by turning the power on. I’ve already preloaded this machine full of oil, but basically this suck pump would suck the oil up, and put it into this machine. Once the oil is in here then we’re ready to get started with the batch. Remember it takes methanol, and lye, and we use a secret ingredient, we use sulfuric acid and I’ll tell you what that’s for in a minute.

After we’ve loaded our oil into this machine it’s now time to load the chemicals and everything else needed to get it going. Our next is to put methanol into these quarts up here. So I’m going to climb up here, and what we have is; one quart for our methanol, one quart for our methoxide, which is going to be our combination of sodium or potassium hydroxide, we’re going to use potassium hydroxide in this case, and some methanol. I have some handy gauges on the side here that let me know when I get the amount of methanol I’ve needed, into the machine so I’m just going to step down here for a moment, put my methanol in the barrel, and I’m going to chug away, with a pump, then I’ll get methanol into our machine here.

What you see now is a gauge that’s coming up. You’re able to see that we can fill this full of methanol. This tank is going to be used for what we call our estarification process which is where we use sulfuric acid. We’ll show you that in a minute, but for now it’s time to get the methanol into the machine.

The next step that we’re going to do is we’re going to measure out some chemicals. It’s really important that you wear something to protect your face and hands because what we’re about to do is really nasty. Using a scale, we’re going to way out enough catalyst to make our biodiesel with. I have tarred my scale, and what that means is I’ve set it to zero so I know how much I’m putting in. I’m going to bring this up to 1600 grams and I’m going to do it again. So my goal is to put 4800 grams of catalyst into that machine. So with that, we’re going to take it over and put it in.

The next step is to put the catalyst into the machine. This is a very careful process of making sure all the stuff in the pitcher just gets into the machine. It generates lots of dust. It’s kind of gross. It’s basically annoying, but it’s a necessary evil. I have to do this a couple more times and then we’ll be ready to start a batch.

So we’ve got now a certain amount of catalyst in here, and we’re now going to introduce methanol. A chemical reaction is going to occur. I’ll top that off. It’s important that after you’ve put the catalyst in that you seal your catalyst back up. So we’re now going to go over and seal our catalyst before we get started on our next set.

One of the things that we do when we’re done with our catalyst is we seal everything so that we don’t let the catalyst get moist. So, I’ve sealed my catalyst bucket that I’ve got, I’ll get a towel and cover up my scale, to keep it nice and dry. I put this inside here to keep it dry and I cover everything. I don’t want any moisture getting on there. Our next step is to put more methanol in the machine, and we’ll get the batch started.

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