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is a little herring oil ok in my soybean or canola oil stock?

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July 17, 2017, 09:04 PM
is a little herring oil ok in my soybean or canola oil stock?
Hey All,

I picked up some 275 gallon totes I plan on storing my used soybean oil in until I process it. I was told them were empty, but when I showed up to get them there was some left over oil inside.
I was told it was herring oil, which matched the label on them. And it looked like it, and smells like it (which is very disconcerting when my hands retained the odor and i was eating Oreos later...). The containers range from having a residual coating in the lower 2 inches, to having about 2" of oil in the bottom of the tote. anyway, a few questions....

1 - can i make biodiesel from herring oil? if so, will i be ok if i simply fill the other 270 gallons of the tote with soybean oil and process the mix?

2 - if i cannot make BD with herring oil, how much contaminant can i have in the totes when i fill them and still be ok? if i tilt drain them and get almost all of it out except for the coating left on the inside (guessing maybe 1/2-1 quart) will it be ok if i dilute it heavily with the other 275 gallons of soybean or canola oil i add to it?
thanks much
July 17, 2017, 09:46 PM
Should be fine.

The process of making BD converts animal and vegetable fatty oils, known as triglycerides, into another form called a fatty acid methyl ester. Herring oil is one such oil.
July 18, 2017, 12:13 AM
I found a reference that talked about how Herring oil makes solid biodiesel. Would it be safe to assume that if I only have about 2 or 3 gallons diluted to 275 that it would have negligible effect and the resulting fuel would appear to be normal?
July 18, 2017, 01:13 PM
Try a test liter batch with the oil for yourself.
July 18, 2017, 10:36 PM
Vegetable oil has fatty acids with carbon chains from 12 to 18 carbons long. Animal fat can have fatty acids with more than 18 carbons long. Generally a longer chain fatty acid melts at a higher temperature. The methyl ester of palmitic acid (hexadecanoic acid) has 16 carbons in the fatty acid chain and melts at 28-34 degrees celcius. Methyl stearate (octadecanoic acid methyl ester) has 18 carbons in the fatty acid chain of carbon atoms and melts at 39.1 degrees celcius. Eicosanoic acid methyl ester (eicosanoic acid) has 20 carbon atoms in a straight chain and the methyl ester melts at 54.5 degrees centigrade. Since like dissolves like, part of the eicosanoic acid methyl ester will be in solution below the melting point temperature. When I made biodiesel out of swine lard, pig fat and beef grease when the liquid was at a cool room temperature some of the higher melting methyl esters crystallized out and precipitated out as white crystals. Animal fat and grease has drawbacks for use as cool or cold weather fuels. Now at 76 degrees F room temperature there is a little solid in the bottom of methyl biodiesel I made from beef fat and lard. But I've had a problem with corrupt thieves stealing fuel research information from me (theft of trade secrets) and burglars may have adulterated my pure biodiesel in my storage bottles. Insane investigators go ballistic if a person has a chemistry lab making something. I've had people burglarize my home related to my fuel research activities. I hate law enforcement corruption. I expect your herring oil may have eicosanoic acid in it in a small percentage and in cool weather it might solidify in your storage barrels or fuel tank . A chemistry teacher I had said molecules like fatty acids occur in nature that are made by living organisms are made in even numbered chains, not odd numbered chains like 3,5,7 carbons long . Natural fatty acids occur as 12,14,16,18,20 and maybe 22 carbon atoms long. Animal fats have the longer fatty acid carbon chains. I would have to look that up.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: WesleyB,
July 19, 2017, 01:22 PM
On biodiesel forum Ireland (years ago), a person made biodiesel, in cooler weather he/she used the liquid portion off the top in his storage barrels when the lower portion solidified. Later the solidified portion liquified at higher temperatures and was used as fuel. This proceedure could be named fractional crystallisation.