IMB Biodiesel Reactors.
From my reading, it appears that the IMB reactors are by far the most commonly purchased reactors in Ireland. I looked thorough the Ireland forum and can not find a thread devoted to the IMB reactors.
Knowing that there has lately been a thread that talks about trying to speed up the reaction times of the IMB reactors I thought it would be useful to start a thread devoted to discussing the qualities of the reactor with possible recommendations how to improve their overall performance including mixing.
I had a look at the IMB website and these are pictures of the 2 biodiesel reactors sold
IMB150 Biodiesel Processor (150 litres of biodiesel)
The first thing I noticed with this reactor is the small size of the mixer pump.
After further research on the forum I found a discussion that suggests the mixer pump is a central heating circulation pumps rated at around 90 Watts. 90 Watts is slightly more than 1/10 HP.
Most people would say that a ½ HP pump would barely be adequate for making 150 litres of biodiesel and that a pump around 1/10 HP would not be nearly adequate.
IMB300 Biodiesel Processor (300 litres of biodiesel)
(larger picture here http://imakebiodiesel.webs.com...to?photoid=156283049
This reactor appears to use a ½ HP mixing pump.
I think most people would say that a ½ HP pump was not adequate for making 300 litres of biodiesel.
My thoughts are that if you want to improve the mixing capabilities of these reactors the first thing you would do is install substantially larger mixing pumps with an appropriate increase in diameter of all relevant plumbing.
There is not much information available on the internet about the IMB reactors, at lest I can not find any.
I am surprised no one has added there thoughts and experiences with the IMB reactors.
From what I can see, the mixing of the IMB150 seem to be along the lines of the Appleseed.
It is a commercially produced and sold reactor costing around $1142 US
When I looked at this photo on the IMB website it made me smile.
I am still not sure whether this was really posted to demonstrate how safe and easy the catalyst addition is or whether they are just having us on.
A 20 litre plastic drum containing methoxide placed on it's narrow side with the back of the drum propped up under a brick and the lower front of the drum balancing on it's screw on cap while perched precariously on top of the reactor with a plastic hose running out of the middle of the cap so that the methoxide runs down to the pump does not really fit my definition of safe or easy.
Considering this is a commercial unit, I would expect something a bit more Safe and Easy.
See bigger photo here http://imakebiodiesel.webs.com.../bio%20add%20008.jpg
There is a sticky on the forum “DONT put your methanol carboy above your Appleseed! “ that I recommend you read.
I have been looking through your site and find it interesting.
I noticed a few mistakes in your instructions for making titration fluid so I thought that I could help sort it out for you.
The first thing is where you instruct people to:
”Place a milk container on the scales and zero it. Slowly and carefully add exactly 11 grams of KOH. now add exactly 1000 grams of distilled water.”
You should add the KOH to the water, not the water to the KOH.
You then explain:
”The reason we use 11 grams of KOH instead of the normal 10 grams is because KOH in Ireland is only 90% pure.”
You need to ask yourself “Why Do we perform a Titration on the WVO?”
The reason we perform a titration on the WVO is to find out how much KOH is required to neutralize the Acid in the WVO when we perform the reaction.
Therefore, you should make this titrating fluid solution using 10g KOH from the bag of KOH you will use for the reaction mixed into 1 litre of water and NOT 11g KOH as you instruct.
Then, when you make up your titrating fluid you will have 1g KOH mixed into 1 litre of water and not 1.1g KOH.
This will tell you directly the titration amount of your KOH that is required per litre of WVO with no further maths needed.
If you use 1.1g KOH mixed into 1 litre of water as you instruct, you will then have to do further maths to determine how much of your KOH is required for the reaction.
There is also an inaccuracy when you say:
“Place the second container on the scales and carefully weigh in 100gms of the solution you have just made....”
Because you are weighing everything, as well as weighing the 100ml of water (100g), you also need to add the weight of the KOH (1g). So it is 101g of the solution, not 100g.
If I can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to ask.
Is there a problem with the reactors?
In a recent thread started by IMB titled Accelerated Conversion, he was trying to develop a new procedure to speed up the reaction.
During the thread IMB said:
[quote]...In my business as a designer and builder of biodiesel processors most of my customers are not enthusiasts or experimenters. They simply want the highest quality fuel for the minimum amount of time and expense...
The main objective of this project is to achieve full conversion in less time and trouble than 2 stage processing. Currently my 2 stage processing takes about 4 hours including mixing and circulation times...
...What Im hoping for is to be able to achieve high conversion with a simpler and faster process. This is what many of my customers and other homebrewers want...
...This process will appeal to them, a bit of extra methanol and KOH is fine if it halves the amount of time spent processing...[quote]
I'm thinking to myself, If all your customers want is a quick and simple reaction and they do not mind a bit of extra methanol and KOH, why are they doing a 2 stage method? It makes no sense to me. They should just do a single stage procedure and be done with it.
Everyone knows that as long as you use the correct amount of chemicals and you have a properly designed reactor, at 50C the single stage reaction will be finished in about an hour. That sure beats the 4 hours IMB says his two stage procedure takes.
Then IMB posted his graph that showed that his single stage reaction did not finish for at least three hours at a 63C start and did not pass Warnqvest.
Later he posted “..over the years of testing for my customers and other homebrewers, I have rarely found single stage bio to test above 97% by the 30/270 test...”
Finally it occurred to me that there seems to be a problem with the IMB reactors.
I do know that over the years a number of people have had problems passing Warnqvest in a single stage when using the cheap little Chinese ½ HP (375 Watt) clear water pumps for mixing and IMB had said several times in the thread that his mixing pumps were small. I thought IMB meant small as in the cheap ½ HP Chinese pumps a lot of people are using.
In my wildest dreams it never occurred to me he meant small as in an 80Watt- 100Watt central heating circulation pump on his 150 litre reactor.
I was amazed when I discovered he is installing such a tiny mixing pump on the 150 litre reactors he makes and sell.
I suspect that the reason why his customers are having trouble making biodiesel that will pass warnqvest in a single stage is because the mixing of the reactor is not adequate.
My recommendation to owners of these reactors is that before you go buy a €100 glycerol removal kit for your reactor, you should seriously look at improving the mixing vigour of your reactor.
I thought I would move this post from imakebiodiesel to this tread so people would have a better understanding of his thoughts about the problem his IMB 150 biodiesel reactor has making biodiesel that passes Warnqvest in a single stage.
I have tidied up the structure of the post for easier reading.
Originally posted by imakebiodiesel
posted November 13, 2014 09:36 AM
I thought I would reply since you must be feeling lonely over on "IMB processors."
I have sold 154 IMB150 processors so far and all of them produce biodiesel to a high standard.
>98% conversion. <300ppm of water, <70ppm of soap.
They may be slow but they are sure.
In any case your information is out of date, I offer an option of a second larger pump with an eductor which, although it makes no difference to the quality, it does reduce processing times. So far only one customer has availed of this.
Most customers are more interested in the quality of the fuel, many drive modern common rail diesels which unlike an ancient Mercedes will not run on badly made fuel.
To the many members who have contacted me about tillys posts on "IMB processors" I would like to say please dont be concerned. He is entitled to say what he likes about my processors.
Over the years tilly has used this tactic to commercially damage other members who he dislikes.
Fortunately I have never used this forum to drum up business, in fact I believe all the members who use my processors joined after they bought their units.
I attract customers through localized advertising in Ireland and the UK .
Eastern European countries are now about 1/3 of my sales and come entirely through word of mouth. So I am perfectly happy for him to waste his time."This message has been edited. Last edited by: Tilly,
The Ignore Function is an effective tool for dealing with trolls who try to turn a discussion into a personal confrontation. LftClk on the troll's name then Clk on 'add to ignore list'. All messages from the troll are removed from your screen. Like AdBlock it's one of the most useful tools on the net.
If someone wants to address a member personally then use the Personal Message function, also accessed by LftClk on the member's name.
Most of the useful discussions on the forum are now in the personal message section where an invited group of users can have a civil discussion and share information in a troll-free zone.
Learn to use the forum tools to your advantage, and don't feed trolls.
Coming from the biggest Troll on this forum, that's very ironic advise.
I'm sure many who purport the use of this function are also the biggest Hypocrits here and watch everything that is said about them. I hae caught this several times which makes it quite a joke and very telling about the level or more over lack of credability some have.
An option of a second larger pump.
Do you mean you are going to continue selling unsuspecting new customers your original design that does not reliably make biodiesel that passes warnqvest in a single stage?
I looked on your website and you make no mention of this optional second larger pump with an eductor being available or why someone would want to buy it.
That would be a good reason only one person has bought one.
Please post a link to the location where you offer this second larger pump and eductor for sale on your processors.
Please go into great detail about your "Optional" larger pump and eductor design. Things like the name and model of the pump and power rating and a link to it on the internet.
Also the eductor name and model number and a link to it on the internet.
Of special interest is how much time your exhaustive testing has shown that a single stage reaction will take to pass warnqvest at 50C or 60C with the new design.
I am sure prospective customers and former customers who want their current IMB 150 reactor upgraded to work up to the standard of most biodiesel reactors will be very interested to hear what you have done to fix your reactor problems.
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