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DeWatering and Sterilizing WVO for long term storage
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Hi All

I want to store my WVO for extended time for use in the winter for my car and home heating. But in California I have a problem with growth in the oil during the hot summer. After 2-3 months it gets cloudy and afraid to run it in the car. The Waste Oil heater for the house will burn anything, so it not a problem.

So many years ago (20years – 1983 I think) I spent 5 months in Central Africa with my father. When I was there the cost of diesel was $3-$4 a gallon, so the locals were mixing an oil with the diesel at about 2:1 mixture and running it in the cars/trucks.
They went to lengths to dewater and sterilize the oil, so it would not damage the engine and would not “grow”. I don’t know what the oil was, but it was grown locally.
The system would vent the water and volatiles off as a gas/steam at 108 or so Centigrade.

Would a system like this (see included diagram) allow me sterilize and store the WVO for long periods. ?
I would like to store extra year of reserve WVO. My current supply is 30% more than I can use. Currently I take it to recycle center on weekends, but they will only take 15 gal at a time.

I use about 500 Gal/year for the car and 700-1000 Gal/Year for the house. Say 1500 gal/year. I currently store it in 55 gal barrels in plastic liners (Much easer to clean).

What is the practical life of WVO (soy) in storage?
Do I need to go hotter (if so how hot)?
I assume that this type of system would dewater it ?

Thanks
Mindy

ImageWVO_dewater.jpg (35 Kb, 163 downloads) DeWatering and Sterilizing diagram
 
Location: California | Registered: March 29, 2005Report This Post
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I stored my 300-gallon winter's collection of WVO in an insulated milk tank after heating to 250*F, to sterilize and dewater it.
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Report This Post
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Several past posts on the biodiesel side discuss using a hotplate/ electric skillet type setup to dewater continiously, may be simpler than a vat type system. Try a search, don't know just what to look for other than dewatering, maybe skillet. ( Search seems to be a bit wonky these days but I find it sorta works using single words, just end up with a lot of things to wade through.(


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92 dodge cummins with over 260,000 miles. Running an unheated 50% diesel/50% WVO blend for about the last 75,000 miles when temps above 50 deg f, no modifications or heating except the addition of a throw-away in-line fuel filter (removed during cold weather).
As of 8-01-05 I have been testing a 75% WVO/15% gasahol (90% RUG/10% ethanol)/10% diesel blend. Works fine down to about 65 f then starts rough. Runs ok once engine warms up. Back to a 50/50 diesel blend sence 9-15-05, just to cool now. -- 11-01-05 Modified stock fuel tank internal fuel pickup to have I.D. of 3/8 inch, this eliminated cold start slow idle and bogg on acceleration. Now adding 1 ounce each of acetone and pure gum spirits of turpentine to each 5 gallons of any blend, seems to help keep the fats in solution to a lower temperature --Heated 2nd tank fuel system installed january 2010, now running on a heated blend of 90% veg/5% diesel/5% RUG (no acetone or turpentine, heat replaced these).
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Report This Post
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I'm toying around with this idea here too. I'm building a flash evaporator for my de-watering, and then I was thinking of putting in a tank/vessel or something that can be sealed up. Pulling a vacuum on it, and pressurizing slightly (back up to and over) atomspheric pressure with nitrogen. No Oxygen or moisture, should *hopefully* slow down any growth, plus good filtration.
 
Registered: October 12, 2004Report This Post
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I've got the electric skillet continuous-flow dryer setup, you mentioned, but the search function has been wonky for a while and now I can't even find myself. Here's the really brief description though: a little pump pushes wet oil through a heat exchanger into the skillet, set to about 275*F. Wetness flashes off as steam, cooling the oil. A temp sensor in the oil stops the pump if/when it drops below 250*F, restarting once the water's gone and the temp goes back up. The hot dry oil flows back through the heat exchanger to be rough filtered and saved. The 55 gallon drums I filled this way last summer still smell like lightly used cooking oil, 9 months later, with no indication of unwanted growth. The 300 gallons of unfiltered boiled WVO in the insulated almost-open-top milk tank is still gelled, but also life-free.
My 4-year old sealed sample bottle of unfiltered boiled WVO is also free of yucky stuff, and looks perfectly clear. I'll smell it for polymerization indications, but don't expect bacterial stinks.

Imagebirdwaterer_oil_dryer_closeup.JPG (121 Kb, 227 downloads)
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Report This Post
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Johno

How much flow can you get through your system ?

Mindy
 
Location: California | Registered: March 29, 2005Report This Post



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Last summer it was processing about 25 gallons per "day", actually about 8 hours of operation. I'll explain:
The 25-gallon supply drum has a screen in it that eventually clogs up (mostly with tallow!). A float switch senses the oil level in a 2nd 25-gallon barrel and shuts everything off if the oil stops flowing from the first barrel. That happened every few days, but could pass about 200 gallons before clogging in warm weather, less in cold (my wvo solidifies between 60 to about 80F). The screen was fine enough to protect the pump from clogging.
The principal cause of stoppages was the paper cone grease filter, which seemed to pass about 25 gallons before clogging, with tallow, and some grit. A float switch would shut off the process when the filter filled up. If I started everything going in the morning before leaving for work, by the time I got home it would have shut off due to: 1)a full paper filter (almost daily), 2)clogged supply barrel screen (weekly), 3)full end-barrel (huzzah!, every few days), or 4)out of wvo (actually pretty rare). The routine was to change paper cone filters, scrape most of the tallow out of the barrel screen, change end-barrels, and it'd be off and running again.
If you don't have much tallow, or if your oil will separate significantly from simple settling, this arrangement would probably run much longer without stopping. In that case, the daily through-put could be around 100 gallons.
I hesitate to say the oil has been "dried" by this process - there's probably still water locked up in it to some extent, even though it saw 250F. Nevertheless it seems to run ok in the SVO system of my truck, and makes biodiesel without many problems.
Energy consumption is something less than 8 hours x 50% of 800 watts/25 gallons = 128 watt hours per gallon, or about 8 gallons per KWH ($0.035). Filters cost $0.06/25 gallons (paper cone filter), about $2/25 gallons (string-wound water filters), and $6.50/100 gallons (Goldenrod), for a cost of $0.15/gallon of dry, filtered oil.
 
Location: Moses Lake, WA, USA | Registered: August 15, 2001Report This Post
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