For over two years I am working on to getting fuel from waste vegetable oil, animal fats and waste plastics. In the beginning of my green fuel adventure i was trying to make biodiesel with using commercial E85 fuel instead methanol,which is not easy to get in my region(I live close to Czech Republic border where E85 is still in the pumps,but it will not last long thanks to crude oil prices,czech 100% Biodiesel is not avaiable from the end of 2015).I tried many methods of brewing, using various catalysts, homogeneous and heterogeneous, with different results (usually miserable). Finally I decided to change the way of thinking-why use fuel to make fuel? Pyrolysis seemed to be the only alternative, but after reading the terms and conditions about pyrolysis of vegetable oil, I came to the conclusion that I am able to perform the process only by using the "back door", something like combination of different methods, like saponification, vulcanization and decarboxylation at once. And I did it. I've managed so far to develop the way of a pyrolysis process base on very cheap and harmless catalyst.I obtain (several times) very clean pyrolysis oil,with yield up to approx 70% an initial load by volume.Process is repetitive and very simple (no high pressures and temperatures,harmful acrolein is polimerized by using Na2S2O8 at presence of water from hydrates, the results obtained under a slight vacuum and the using of a induction cooker as heat source), the catalyst is activated in the course of pyrolysis, as raw has no activity(most important part of catalyst is produced from one of the raw material which is additive to the used oil / fat).As if that was not enough- this catalyst after described pyrolysis process,can be probably used to pyrolysis of waste plactics, such as PP, PE, PET(I checked this in a small extent,this is only initial observations) To this moment pyrolysis oil from wvo/fats has been tested one time as a fuel in a diesel engine with indirect injection (VW 1.6 BOSCH pump) with succes in short ride(there was no difference in engine performance).This type of pyrolysis oil (no matter what its made of: cooking oil,pig/chicken lard or palm oil) is resistant to low temperatures(no gelling even in -10 degress Celsius,just precipitate a wax like summer diesel fuel) in this regard has an advantage in FAME, is transparent, visually falls into the color orange/red(in the most time of pyrolysys process the oil is stay yellow, but I don't have separate condenser traps yet,to catch the poorly processed oil at beggining & end of pyrolysis,so it contaminate the final product, weakens its resistance to freezing,and change its colour), its density is likely to be similar to the mineral diesel fuel.This pyrolysis oil only been studied by IR analysis, for more accurate studies I don't have enough funds (test result showed that majority of the oil contains aliphatic hydrocarbons,aromatic hydrocarbons,some esters, at this moment I solve the problem of presence of carboxylic acids,ph of pyrolysis oil is about >5 after deacidification with using coal ash, and there is probably smaller amount of aromatic hydrocarbons,after some changes in composition of raw material). Financial issue is basically the biggest problem for me, I do not have the possibility of further research, I wanted to start experiments using microwave radiation ( I practically confirmed the functioning of a catalyst under microwave irradiation,catalyst absorb microwaves,change them to heat, and decomposes raw material to hydrocarbon vapors, this solution looks very promising in terms of efficiency and simplification of the larger scale apparatus).
As soon as possible I will show some photos of raw pyrolysis oil (how it looking just after condensation) and the graph of IR analysis in pdf. file ( there is a graphic comparison with fossil diesel fuel,this will be a result of the test sample before improvements,current samples should be more similar to dino diesel)
I'm not a professional chemist, but I can explain the essence of my solution, I have only technical education in the field of electronics but I define myself as a amateur "garage" experimenter,fascinated by science,especially in alternative energy. I'm not looking longer for support i my country (I live in the southern Poland). In my country,its sad to say, there are not really favorable legal conditions for practical solutions in the field of renewable fuels, the business community are currently not interested in them.
I looking for people who see potential in the non-standard solutions, from my side I can offer my practical experience.It seems that it would be needed professional conditions for the further development of this method, I reached the end of my modest possibilities. I am open to various proposals.
I hope that this translation is right (my english is mediocre,google translate helps me a lot)
Yes sir; I recognize doing that pyrolysis. A goal in producing synthetic fuel from vegetable oil is capturing the energy of the sun for enthalpy increase on the earth. But pyrolysis is energy expensive. For example, I made about three ounces of biodiesel from oak tree acorns that probably cost me fifteen or twenty dollars to make. There is a concept of energy profit that amounts to coming out ahead, you obtain more energy out of the material than you invested into it to produce it. Ideally you capture energy from the sun via photosynthesis to gain an energy advantage. That's part of why manufacturing fatty acid esters, biodiesel, is attractive. Pyrolysis may work, but it is energy expensive. It probably costs more to do than you can get out of it when it is combusted.
Thanks for your reply,Mr.WesleyB.I know that in the world of fuels,everything is spinnig around EROEI factor.When I started the pyrolysis experiments, I had a same,fatal problems with energy efficiency.But, in this case,Im sure that more energy I can get, than it's need to invest, even if the pyrolysis oil would be used to fuel a diesel generator that will powering the induction plate.I can estimated it by watching a pyrolysis oil flow rate. My apparatus is not finished even in the stadium of prototype, before i got a several leaks of fuel vapours,I got the pyrolysis oil flow at the level of circa 10 mililiters by minute,at the electric power of 1300W (in the specific moment,when the catalyst is activated,the reaction increases rapidly,last time the gaskets blow out,so I need to power off the heating).Probably the three times more efficient cooling system will do the job.I repeat, this is not a straight wvo processing, the combinaton of diffrent reactions greatly lowering the energy consumption.Also,the secret lies in the active surface of the catalyst.
Here is the link to the photo of raw,contamintated pyrolysis oil,before deacidification:
Here is IR analysis graphs with comparison to mineral diesel (blue line at second picture):
Translation of the descriptions under graphs:
Fig. 1 The sample was identified as a mixture of aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons with a large advantage of aliphatics.
The mixture revealed the presence of toluene, xylene isomers, aliphatic hydrocarbons and their oxidation products: mainly acids
carboxylic acids and aldehydes. The spectrogram samples revealed the presence of water below one percent.
Fig. 2 Pyrolysis oil(black line) compared to diesel fuel(blue line)
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