Posted by "Neutral", an Industrial Research Chemist (PhD) with over 40 years in alternate fuel R&D in answer to a thread concerning "a thin skin on top of bioD":
"is certainly soap. If a skin appears on top of unwashed biodiesel it is due to the fact that the methanol helps to hold it in solution and as it evaporates this effect is lost.
It can be removed by washing...
...If you have a skin form on the top of biodiesel and then skim it off, and then see another skin form, there is no way it can be anything else but soap. Oxidation is far too slow. And there is no way it can be due to anything else but the evaporation of methanol...
...The person who started this topic described it as jelly. Jelly is certainly caused by soap and soap can be washed out with water.
On the other hand I freely share my accumulated knowledge with anyone who asks. This message has been edited. Last edited by: Tilly,
Thanks for the explaination Wesley. As I posted earlier I cannot see that the Magnesol filtration would be the cause of UncleGenes' problems.
If anything the magnesol treatment would make the oil process better, not worse.
If it is contaminated by some other crap that is causing a polymerisation-type reaction, perhaps that would explain the plastic-like stuff floating on the top.
Maybe they are using linseed oil in their fryers.
Or maybe it is just soap after all like it has been every other time for the last 15 years
The only polymerization reaction that I know of that biodiesel undergoes is oxidation where the product is two fatty acid chains with double bonds linking to each other through an oxygen atom. A further reaction might occur where a double bond present in the fatty acid carbon chain might link to a third fatty acid chain with a double bond in it through an oxygen atom. That makes insoluble crud that has been discussed on biodiesel forums in the past. I made an organic chemical in the past that I put into a plastic bottle. Later I saw the liquid organic chemical dissolved the container it was in and spilled onto a wooden shelf. So, it might be that your product plastic floating on your failed batch might be a plastic lining of your 50 gallon barrel that softened up or dissolved to some extent to float to the top being caused to float by a lower density. That's speculation.
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