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Polymerization and filter life
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Sorry to hear your old IDI died.
I also used nested filter bags. 100, 10 , 1

But my first bag is a washable nylon mesh, 100 micron.
It captures 90% of the solids and is easy to clean out.
http://www.mcmaster.com/#mesh-filter-bags/=zkuf8w

Good luck with your new truck and improved setup.


1-tank Elsbett VW TDI , 220,000 WVO miles.
http://ctbiodzl.freeshell.org/votdi.html
and a '92 F-250 with only a FPHE
 
Location: Ct,USA | Registered: November 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dana:

When you say you circulated through the desiccant-filled pipe, you mean you were repeatedly running the oil through it, not just passing it through once, right? Any idea how many passes it takes for warm oil to get dewatering results? I have this sweet gearpump i've been dragging around for months, hoping to use for a pressurized filtering setup, but haven't had the time to design/build anything. I would love to ditch all these buckets (pouring grease in the wind and rain is no fun) and set up something self-contained that can do multiple passes, letting me switch back to cheaper filter bags (with a support basket). Inserting a desiccant tube into that arrangement would be practical.


jburke:

I just added inline Y-strainers to my collection rig -- 80 mesh and 120 mesh -- with spare strainers so i can swap them out and keep pumping if they clog while collecting. That should give me roughly 200u and 100u straining and help the bags last longer. When i was using bucket strainers, the 100u and 200u strainers always plugged the fastest. But those things were difficult to work with and not as cleanable as i had hoped.

Depending on ambient temp and what is actually trapped in the bags, i can sometimes get away with scraping out my 50u, but i gave up on cleanable filtering elements a while ago. Living on the road, my most precious resource is water, and cleaning is just so much harder when you don't have a 'shed' or 'garage' you can work in.


1999 F-250 7.3 Powerstroke
Vegistroke-type SVO conversion
37g. tank in bed
 
Location: Travelling | Registered: July 28, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Any idea how many passes it takes for warm oil to get dewatering results?

Any idea how wet the oil is?

Until you have a means of determining how wet or dry the VO is, before and after any process, then you're playing darts with the lights out, blindfolded.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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John, i take your point. What is the best way to /quantify/ water content? The "best" water test seems to be Dana's hot pan test. Are we talking about counting "bubbles per square inch" during the HPT? It's not exactly "science" but it's better than subjective descriptions. As soon as i can get ahold of some more grease (stuck in Portland, it's hopeless), i'll do the HPT and see what i'm dealing with.

My situation is complicated by the fact that every fill-up is a different source. So i'm trying to come up with a process that can handle a range of water content. Since my equipment must be more limited than a stationary setup, there will be a limit to how much water i can handle, and i'll have to figure out what that is and just not collect grease that is too wet. But i can't know that until i have a system to evaluate, and i'm trying to figure out how to design such a system so that the first iteration is reasonably effective at dewatering. Don't have the resources to try a lot of iterations.

So, my question to Dana (and i should have been clearer) was looking for a ballpark estimate of the effectiveness of desiccants: If it takes weeks of re-circulating through his desiccant pipe to dry out reasonably-good grease, then there is no point in my pursuing desiccant crystals any more and i guess i have to start shopping for a centrifuge. But if it only takes maybe a day, i could potentially design a desiccant pipe with longer residence time and design that into my prefiltering setup. I thought it made more sense to ask in terms of "passes" because that would be independent of the total volume of oil and speed of recirculating pump.

I'm surprised (though relieved) that nobody has yet busted my chops about starting to travel without first refining my collection equipment. All i can say in my defense is that i /really/ wanted to be better prepared, but i wasn't able to make it happen before i ran out of time.


1999 F-250 7.3 Powerstroke
Vegistroke-type SVO conversion
37g. tank in bed
 
Location: Travelling | Registered: July 28, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have to agree with John.
Considering how expensive your injectors might be to replace consider getting a Sandy Brae test unit.

This will tell you with certainty when your wvo is dry enough to use without degrading your injectors.
 
Registered: May 26, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
What is the best way to /quantify/ water content?

"Best" is very subjective. Look at the options and decide which works best for you.
http://www.burnveg.com/forum/about72.html

The best VO cleaning system I've found is: screen - cold upflow settle - filter

The cold upflow settling removes a lot of the 'stuff' that clogs filters, including water.

I've been using this for years to produce UVO for 'SVO' users and to make biodiesel.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Okay, it's silly to think i can get this solved while still driving around with my current (inadequate) setup. This isn't going to be fixed without putting some serious time (and regrettably, $) into it. I think I'm going to find someplace i can park for a while and fool around, without the constraint of having to remain mobile. I might just have to buy a tank of biodiesel to get out of Oregon and into a winter parking space.

Seeing as how the conversation has gotten pretty far from the original topic, i think i'll let this thread die. I'm going to go back through the archives with some newly-learned search terms, and then i suppose i'll end up posting a new topic when i run into more trouble.

Thanks again to everyone who has weighed in on this discussion!


1999 F-250 7.3 Powerstroke
Vegistroke-type SVO conversion
37g. tank in bed
 
Location: Travelling | Registered: July 28, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Zamboni - a quick test for FATS in the VO is to fill a qt. glass jar with "cleaned" VO, place it in the refrigerator for several hr. The fats will congeal at the bottom and the VO will be on top. A well heat conversion system should take care of the fats in the VO. The more FATS taken out will help with longer filter life. With your limited space to clean, you might settle the WVO for longer periods of time and/or use bubble wash to get excess water to settle to the bottom.
 
Registered: October 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dragonfly, thanks for that info on fats. Heat might be a factor in the new conversion but i know for sure my filtration is not addressing water in the WVO so i'm going after that first. Looks like it'll probably be a centrifuge, since i think it can be done pretty compactly and i already have a carbonator motor on-hand (though sadly the pump, which was gifted along with the motor, doesn't make enough pressure to run a 'fuge so i'll have to buy a new head).

My previous conversion on an IDI engine had no trouble with heat - was getting up to 180*F, with most of the components (including filter) inside the engine compartment. Fats were probably not an issue. The conversion on my replacement truck, however, lives on the frame rail and VO temps max out in the 150s as they leave the heat exchanger bound for the fuel rails. So i'm thinking about how i can get more heat into the VO on the truck now, and adding more heat at the filter is one possible way (currently it's just a heated filter head from WVO designs). Haven't got enough miles on the replacement truck yet to know what the filter life will be like.


1999 F-250 7.3 Powerstroke
Vegistroke-type SVO conversion
37g. tank in bed
 
Location: Travelling | Registered: July 28, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
The conversion on my replacement truck, however, lives on the frame rail and VO temps max out in the 150s as they leave the heat exchanger bound for the fuel rails.


Is the heat exchanger on it's own dedicated parallel coolant loop, not in series with any other components?
Is the HEX connected to provide counter-current flow of coolant and VO?
Have you insulated all the heated components of your 'conversion'?
All of those can make a significant difference in temperatures delivered to the IP.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's funny, i started a separate thread to talk about this heat question but i think i made my first post too long and nobody wants to read it : ) I'm glad for any help though, i don't care which thread it's on! Sorry my posts are always so long, i just don't want to waste people's time with back-and-forth.

My coolant loop is entirely series. It flows in this order:
Engine
FPHE
VO filter head
Coolant filter (not for the conversion; they are advised for the 7.3 and i thought this was a good place for it)
Hotstick pickup in VO tank
Heater Core
Water Pump

The FPHE is 30-plate, plumbed counter-flow; hot coolant comes in on the same side that hot VO is exiting.

I do not have a temp sensor on the engine coolant; i measure VO temp as it leaves the fuel pressure regulator (FPR). After the FPR i have a 3-way valve that normally loops the VO back to before the VO filter, so i can recirculate the VO until i see it's up to temperature, before energizing the valve and sending it to the fuel rails. The FPR return port also goes to the same point as the 3-way valve. After switching over, the VO temp typically drops about 5 degrees before stabilizing.

I plumbed a bypass around the coolant filter in case it gets plugged. If i open the bypass, my VO temps go up 7-8 degrees. I have considered that the stock water pump isn't able to overcome all these added flow restrictions. A booster pump is an expensive solution, but replacing the stock water pump is not exactly a fun or cheap job, either...

Both of the spin-on filters have triple-layer reflectix "coozies" around them. Everything downstream of the VO filter (FPHE, FPR, valve and sensors) is together inside a reflectix shroud. It's kind of like a "rock guard" that wraps between the frame rail and the underside of the bodywork. The space inside is just air; i haven't packed it with insulation (but i plan to try that). I added it as an experiment to see if the airflow under the truck was making a big difference, and gained almost 10 degrees.

The coolant and VO lines are routed HOH. I have a roll of narrow reflectix strip that i can spiral-wrap those runs with. I'm hesitant to put insulation on or immediately next to the fuel pump (Walbro GSL 392) 'cuz i don't want to overheat it.

I drove the truck like this for about 600 miles, taking note of as much as i could. This was in 40-50 degree rainy ambient temps. I'm parked now so i can assemble a centrifuge for filtering/dewatering, and get more heat into the conversion. I'm buying diesel in the meantime until i've solved both these issues so i don't ruin the engine.

It's not clear to me what temp i need to see down on the frame rail, considering that it will cool enroute to the fuel rail but then get some (how much?) warming right before the injectors. I have a second temp sensor i could add right before the VO fuel line splits to the two fuel rails; it'd cost me about $30 in fittings but is mechanically simple. I figured someone on here would know from experience what to expect though, and save me the extra step. I love instrumentation but sometimes too much is just too much.

I can't add more than one photo to this post, so i created a gallery:
http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/ev...1076562/m/1487016083
The 72kb file size restriction makes for pretty uselessly-small images, though.


1999 F-250 7.3 Powerstroke
Vegistroke-type SVO conversion
37g. tank in bed


ImageInsulated-.jpg (18 Kb, 3 downloads) Insulation
 
Location: Travelling | Registered: July 28, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My coolant loop is entirely series.

That explains the low temperatures. There isn't much flow through that series circuit with all the resistance from the long small diameter tubes. If you want more heat, then give the FPHE it's own parallel loop, and run another parallel loop with all the other heating components in series.
Foam insulation sold for water pipes is easy to install.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Zamboni
Might suggest using the MB aux water pump (0008356964 [$62] AutohausAz) to PUSH the coolant water through the HOH system you have. I've used this pump on several installs and have found it really helps. I wire the pump to the ignition - starts pumping coolant water right away - heats up the VO FPHE, VO heated filter and the HOH sooner. A member of our group, Greater San Diego Greasers, used 3" x 10'solid drain pipe (HomeDepot #3550010 @$7.71/10' section) to shield the HOH from cold air and road rash on his trk. He split the pipe length wise, spread the sides to insert the HOH. Then just for good measure drilled 1/16" holes every 18" and filled it with expanding foam ($5/ pan).
 
Registered: October 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I could tee the FPHE into the supply and return coolant lines right there on the rail, which would give it a parallel circuit and more heat. I didn't do that originally because i worried that with all the other restrictions, *plus* the coolant filter, i'd end up with almost all the flow going through the FPHE and not much going to the rest. But tees are cheap and this would be easy to do.

I will start with insulation and see what that gains me before adding the parallel loop (just so i can understand better). Since nobody seems to have guidance on at-rail VO temps, i guess i'll add a sensor in the engine bay and just keep tinkering until i can get that to read 160+.

I never have found standard hardware-store foam pipe insulation that would fit around two 5/8" coolant hoses bundled with two 3/8 fuel lines. That stuff seems to stop at 1 1/4" diameter, and i'd need closer to 3". The stuff for larger pipes is typically fiberglass, not suitable for exposure to water under the truck. Already have the reflectix wrap, so i'll use that and see how it goes.


1999 F-250 7.3 Powerstroke
Vegistroke-type SVO conversion
37g. tank in bed
 
Location: Travelling | Registered: July 28, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dragonfly, you must have posted seconds before i replied to John Galt.

I really appreciate your very specific reply with part numbers. If i can add an aux water pump for under $100, i will definitely consider that as my next step (after insulation), since i've been nervous about overloading the stock water pump as it is. Apparently they have plastic impellers and aren't as beefy as their IDI predecessors.

Splitting a section of hose and filling with spray insulation sounds great. I think i'll start with a wrap, and then once i've gotten temps up to where i want them, go back and add the split-hose insulation. I don't want to do that first, then have to remove it for another addition. "Great stuff" foam is not so 'great' when you want to remove it Smile.

I just ordered the temp sensor adapter fitting need to more accurately measure VO temps going into the fuel rails. I want to make these changes one at a time so i can see how much of an impact each one actually has.


1999 F-250 7.3 Powerstroke
Vegistroke-type SVO conversion
37g. tank in bed
 
Location: Travelling | Registered: July 28, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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almost all the flow going through the FPHE and not much going to the rest.

Yes, that's what you want. The fuel only has to be kept warm enough to flow from the tank to the FPHE, where it can efficiently absorb most of it's heat. Then insulate the lines and components between the FPHE and the IP. Insulate the injector lines if you can.

Use the hardware foam insulation around individual fuel lines and coolant lines. For the straight section of HOH bundle, the 4" perforated ABS pipe used for septic fields easily splits lengthwise and clips around the bundle to protect the foam wrap.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Okay, sweet. I'm going to try this. I'm out of grease though, so first i have to find some, put together the centrifuge and clean the grease, then try these mods. Thanks!


1999 F-250 7.3 Powerstroke
Vegistroke-type SVO conversion
37g. tank in bed
 
Location: Travelling | Registered: July 28, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Zamboni,
I still suggest the 3" [I]SOLID sewer pipe to house the HOHs and Armacell Tubolit 1/2" x 6' #OEP05838 @ $.97/6' section to wrap the HOH. Holes will allow air to flow around the insulated HOH kinda of defeating the purpose of using insulation wrap. Are you cleaning the RAW VO on the road? If you are considering a CF, I would suggest using an OPEN Bowl CF. If you are a DYI guy, there are two CF companies that offer the bowl and motor for around $500. Might check out the Absolute Centrifuge's web site as they have published via a second party to verify how clean their oil really is. Quite impressive test results - water content, particle size, etc. I think they are the only company that publishes the results - I could be wrong. I've used the Sandy Brea Water Testing kit to test my CF'd oil. The last S.Brea results: Raw WVO 750 ppm of water, CF'd with my Simple CF bowl/1/3 AC motor @ 3450 RPM, dropped to 75 ppm. The Raw VO is settled for a few days, CF'd cold @ 1/2 gal per minute. Back to your original point of filter life, water and fats are the problems. IMHO, Open Bowl CF are an effective tool to remove them. More details if wanted.
 
Registered: October 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Holes will allow air to flow around the insulated HOH kinda of defeating the purpose of using insulation wrap.


The half inch holes allow water to drain out of the pipe if they're oriented down and there is little or no airflow. The holes are NOT "defeating the purpose of using insulation wrap".
The insulation reduces the heat loss and the pipe protects the insulation from road dirt and abrasion.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Easy solution to keep water out of the 3" sewer pipe - plug it with insulation foam at each end. IHMO, the drain holes are a minus for retaining as much as heat as possible. There are two types of the pipe insulation foam - open cell (rough surface) and closed cell (smooth surface). I'd suggest using the closed cell - Air conditioning techs use it on home AC cold lines from the compressor to the heat exchanger.
 
Registered: October 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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