BIODIESEL & SVO DISCUSSION FORUMS





Sponsors    Biodiesel and SVO Forums Home    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Biodiesel Connections  Hop To Forums  Ireland Biodiesel    Drying biodiesel in a damp climate.
Page 1 2 3 4 ... 22

Moderators: Shaun, The Trouts
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Drying biodiesel in a damp climate.
 Login/Join
 
Member
posted
I think by now everyone is in agreement that it is very important to dry biodiesel properly before use. The accepted maximum for water content in diesel fuel is 500ppm ( parts per million) but biodiesel is much more hydroscopic than ordinary diesel so there is a strong argument that the limit for biodiesel should be lower, 200 to 300ppm. In a damp climate such as ours in Ireland, badly stored biodiesel can collect another 50 ppm per week, at certain times of the year.

Drying biodiesel efficiently depends on 2 factors, temperature and airflow. Based on these 2 factors I developed my drying setup which has served me well for several years.
The biodiesel is heated to 65 degreesC.
Its pumped through a fitting that creates a bubble or umbrella shaped fountain, exposing a large surface area of liquid to the air.
Hot air is blown over the bubble from a heat gun for up to 6 hours.
This setup reliably reduced biodiesel containing 2000ppm of water down to under 500ppm, usually in about 6 hours.

Although effective this system has a number of drawbacks.
Ir uses a lot of electricity.
It is potentially dangerous.

Just how dangerous it is was highlighted by an incident where a member of this forum set fire to his shed. It is likely that a faulty heat gun was the cause of the fire.

Because of this some of us have been trying out alternative methods.
Trigger had an unexpected success with an experimental setup involving an aquarium air pump and silica gel. In only 2.5 hours he achieved a level of only 120ppm. I decided to duplicate his method and see could it be repeated.

I started with an ordinary 10 litre plastic tub with a snap on lid. I cut a round hole in the bottom of the tub and installed a 6" 12v computer fan over the hole blowing downwards. Inside the tub I also installed an aquarium air pump. The hose from the pump went out through a hole in the bottom of the tub. Rather than use an airstone, which would quickly fall apart in hot biodiesel I blocked the end and made lots of tiny holes with a pin in the last 2 feet .
I had a shallow tupperware container which I drilled many small holes in the base and fitted it into a suitable hole cut in the lid. I sealed all around the tupperware container with hot glue to prevent air leaking past it.

With the lid replaced I filled the tupper ware container to a depth of 1" with silica gel. i suspended the tub over the open top of my processor.

I began by heating the biodiesel up to 65 degrees C while blowing the computer fan down onto the drying attachment of my processor. After I had turned off the immersion heater, I lowered the air hose into the biodiesel and turned on the air pump. The fan remained on.

Using my carbide manometer I had measured the water content of the bio before starting, it was 2300ppm.
After 2 hours it measured 150ppm.
After 4 hours I got no measurable reading.
This is a remarkable result, I have never achieved as low a reading as this.

I believe this system may be a far better and more efficient method of drying than any we have previously used but we need to test it more thoroughly. I only make a batch every two weeks so I cant run another trial for 2 weeks. Anyone who is interested should construct a similar dryer and test it, If you dont have a carbide manometer I will be happy to do the water content tests for you.
be sure to take 150ml samples before you start drying and after every 2 hours od drying.

I shall post pictures of the dryer tomorrow.
 
Location: Lismore Ireland | Registered: November 25, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Excellent IMB. I wonder if there would be a problem if it was a damp day, if it would be better to have a way of removing the damp air. I was thinking of making a lid with two holes, an in and an out, to stop any moisture from the air slowing down the drying.


2001 Citroen Xsara
2002 VW T4 Transporter
on B100
 
Location: Clare, Ireland | Registered: December 16, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I use this product to insure my fuel is dry before it goes into the storage barrel.
http://biodiesel.coorga.com/quik.html
My climate is quite dry by comparison so moisture absorption is less of an issue. A carbide manometer for more accurate testing is on my to-do list when I can find a local source of carbide.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Another great development from IMB and trigger, I think I've got the jist of it but looking forward to the pics. I've just finished conversion on my second batch and was going to dry it tomorrow but I'll hold off now and try this method. As soon as I see the pics I'll get cracking on it. Thanks again to trigger and John for sharing it with us.
 
Location: Clare, Ireland | Registered: May 20, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
thats a fantastic result john! its a massive leap forward in drying, well done IMB and trigger, i'd say it'll save a few sheds, and everyone loves their sheds Smile! and dare i say it save some lives too. starting on mine tomorrow, and sort out a dry wash too
 
Location: meath/ cavan | Registered: April 17, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Reply

Below I have posted a picture of the dryer. If you click on the image it will give you a larger image and also allow you access to the other images stored in my image shack. There are 4 more images of the dryerwhich you can look at.
Frankle, It was wet and cold yesterday in Lismore, not ideal drying conditions.
Both the fan and the air pump can only source air that has been drawn through the bed of silica gel and should be dry.
My plan is to repeat the procedure exactly next batch to ensure I get a consistent result. Then I would like to try it without reheating the bio to see if that works. Finally I would like to try it without the silica gel. With one batch every 2 weeks these tests will take 2 months.
 
Location: Lismore Ireland | Registered: November 25, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Member
posted Hide Post
For anyone who missed this here is the utube video on how to make and use a carbide manometer.
http://www.youtube.com/user/im...#p/a/u/1/Gf-aoDHmKkc
 
Location: Lismore Ireland | Registered: November 25, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Great stuff John !
Really pleased you got similar results, Smile
And your saying After 4 hours I got no measurable reading !!!

I've been waiting for someone else to try this,as it seemed just to good to be true and was worried in case it was a mistake or there was a mix up in the sample I give you to test.

Funny I had already gathered a couple of round plastic tubs just like the one in your picture to improve on the old hanging basket idea

Fantastic result.
It's feels like the brewers in this little country of Ireland are continuing raising the global benchmark for biodiesel quality and testing for the home brewer...Well done guys
 
Location: County down, Northern Ireland | Registered: August 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
For those of you who aren't local to our forum,My idea originated on the biodiesel in Ireland forum (18/8/11) when imakebiodiesel said he managed to get wet biodiesel dry to 200 ppm by simply heating it to 65c and blowing compressed air(1 -2 psi)through it while some of the other guys decided to further the experiment with the idea of using compressors to dry the air going in and vacuum pumps to extract wet air coming out.
This is my own experience from the Biodiesel in Ireland topic
quote:
Originally posted by Trigger:
I had great success with a drying set up I was experimenting with this month and was very surprised when I received result of 120 ppm(parts per million)of water content,I didn't think it would be anywhere near dry enough as I had only heated the bio to about 55c and dried no more than 4 hrs.
Just messing about really !

Basically I just heated the bio up to about 55c while blowing cold air over the drying attachment( another great invention of imakes that attaches to the inside of the processor and makes the biodiesel flow out in a nice umbrella shape ) I also bubbled air up from the bottom*same as you would if you were bubble washing*

Both the cold air blower and the aquarium pump where sucking in the air through a bag of silica gel(see pic page 68)which would have helped.

You could improve on it again by keeping the fan,aquarium pump and silica gel in a enclosed container if that's possible to stop the silica gel picking up any more moisture than is necessary.(cheers to John for the idea)

But If you wanted to,you could easily heat the bio to 65 and then run the process for 8hrs+,as it costs very little to run an aquarium and processor pump.

The main advantage of getting get our bio this dry,this easy is that it takes much less electric/energy and is safer for those who were using a heat gun. The only time heat is involved is when you heat the bio using the immersion element in your processor.

I didn't really take it serious this time but on my next batch I will properly document drying times,temperatures,amount of silica used,humidity etc and post it here. I'll hopefully have the manometer set up so will be able to test for water without bugging the big man from Lismore.

Simply copying the technique may not get you the exact same result,Things like humidity/temperature on the day of drying,how converted your bio is(lower converted fuel is harder to dry)may make a difference to the end result.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Trigger,
 
Location: County down, Northern Ireland | Registered: August 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
With fans, is there an optimum speed/pressure, or is it just a matter of keeping the running cost down? I'm thinking about using a 220v inline domestic extractor fan, it has a 4" spigot on either side. Too much air? If I vent the exhaust too, it should be ok?
Ger, I think if it's 6v, you'll damage it with 12v.


2001 Citroen Xsara
2002 VW T4 Transporter
on B100
 
Location: Clare, Ireland | Registered: December 16, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Banjobeer, yes you need to weigh down the air tube to make it sink to the bottom of the drum. Activated charcoal can be bought in aquarium supplies.
 
Location: Lismore Ireland | Registered: November 25, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I found that the activated charcoal was far too expensive, so tried the drywash without it. I have lots of granulated charcoal at home for a different use but it's not activated so I'm not sure it'd be any use. Anyway as I say I got the bio down to 50ppm just going through ash sawdust/shavings with silica gel on top of the cartridge, I think that's good enough. Maybe it would work faster with other ingredients, I ran my bio through the cartridge overnight, not a big deal either I think, the circulation pump wouldn't be using much electric.
 
Location: Clare, Ireland | Registered: May 20, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Member
posted Hide Post
i can get activated charcoal that has been used as air filter in a smelly plant, i'm trying to get some new stuff but could the used stuff be ok to use?
finishing off dryer i realised the bottom of a 5 litre can was about the same size as tub IMB uses for the silica, and most importantly it's cheaper Smile, i think it's ok to use, i assume it doesn't need a lid as there is holes in the bottom anyway?
 
Location: meath/ cavan | Registered: April 17, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Reply

A 5 litre container is about the same size and yes it has no lid.
 
Location: Lismore Ireland | Registered: November 25, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Does it make any difference how much air the aquarium pump delivers per minute? Is the standard hose ok in the bio?
 
Location: Offaly, Ireland | Registered: June 04, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Those are some fantastic results and far more cost effective than heat gun drying or compressor drying like mine.
Had an interesting one today which I still haven’t figured out. For the last few batches I use the compressor for drying without any heating of the oil. Thirty to forty minutes gives me nice clear bio but I usually give it an hour. Having my manometer back up and calibrated I tested the batch. 1500ppm was ok as I like to do a quick water wash after dry filtering. I know sounds odd but I like to be sure I have no glycerol. After about 10 minutes I needed a litre or two for power washer. I noticed it was very clear. I took another sample so clear you could read the back of a lotto ticket through it. Excited I expected it to be 200ppm or less. It hit 910ppm. I re tested with the same result. I panicked and tested a sample from the last batch in the car which came in at 180ppm. At this stage the compressor had been running for a hour so I shut it down. Got my calibration samples out and recalibrated and allowing for the 2 deg difference it was spot on. Over three hours after shutting down the compressor I took 3 samples top middle and bottom of processor. All came out from 120 to 130ppm. The first sample still read 910ppm. I have often used bio which may not have been this clear. Has anybody come across this before, clear bio but still very high water content. I have had one hell of a day with carbide and the lump hammer.

Sean


Eagles may soar but hogs don't get sucked in to jet engines.
BMW 530D B100 VW POLO B100 Ford TW15 B100 Hitachi E60 B100 Ford FM274 B100
 
Location: Dingle, Co. Kerry | Registered: May 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Ninja, last week I spent an entire day trying to calibrate my carbide manometer, crushing carbide, testing my reference samples, washing and drying the vessel, struggling to get consistent results until I had used up all of my reference samples, a litre each of 500ppm and 2000ppm. I gave up in disgust and frustration after that. I've no idea what I am doing wrong, the vessel (a plastic beaker) does seal, I'm drying it thoroughly before each use, my reference samples are as accurate as they can be I think, I dried a pot of biodiesel over a stove for 2 hours at 120C and then took 2 litres and to each litre I added 0.5ml and 2ml of water from a syringe. For each sample I weighed out exactly 100g to which I added a wine bottle capful of powdered calcium carbide. When testing the samples I shook the vessel for however long it took for the water to stop rising in the u tube. I couldn't get consistent results, they were varing up and down by 50 to 150mm.
 
Location: Clare, Ireland | Registered: May 20, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Reply

Ninja, clarity does not tell you much, its affected by lots of factors including feedstock, conversion, residual glycerol, residual soap and of course temperature. The reading of 910 would seem to be genuine so my guess is that a droplet of condensed water contaminated the sample.
I know from testing your samples that normally your bio is very dry. What were the readings of your 500 and 2000ppm samples ?
Gerard b, something is wrong and I suspect it is your plastic cup. I originally used a plastic cup because I was concerned about the pressure inside a glass vessel. The pressure turned out to be less than 1psi so the jam jar worked fine.
The plastic cup can malfunction in 2 ways. First when screwing it closed you can compress the air inside giving a high reading, second the vessel can expand under compression giving a low reading. both effects lead to inconsistent readings. An ordinary glass jam jar is best, one that the 100ml sample roughly half fills.
 
Location: Lismore Ireland | Registered: November 25, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Member
posted Hide Post
Thanks IMB and I think you might have hit on something there. I was using a glass jam jar to start with but I was losing pressure all the time even when I tried a different one, that was when I switched to the plastic jar. I'll try again with a glass one.
 
Location: Clare, Ireland | Registered: May 20, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Gerard B calibrating can be a pain. My first one used 3mm hose. It worked great but took a lot of fiddling to get the water settled in it. This time I used 6mm. This gave me a different problem. My 500ppm and 200ppm were pretty close and like you they kept moving around a bit. I reduced the amount of water in the tube and it got more consistent so I removed more until I was happy with it. IMB is right about the plastic beaker even though I am using one but it is very strong. I’m only guessing here but I think if there is too much water to be lifted the beaker will expand instead and depending on temperature at different times the whole thing goes into a see saw and you get different readings. I intend changing mine to a 4mm or 5mm tube and a glass jar.
IMB what was left of that 910 sample was still clear this morning but didn’t have enough to test. I will definitely not be judging dryness by clarity in future. The manometer is your only man Wink

Sean


Eagles may soar but hogs don't get sucked in to jet engines.
BMW 530D B100 VW POLO B100 Ford TW15 B100 Hitachi E60 B100 Ford FM274 B100
 
Location: Dingle, Co. Kerry | Registered: May 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2 3 4 ... 22 
 

Sponsors    Biodiesel and SVO Forums Home    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Biodiesel Connections  Hop To Forums  Ireland Biodiesel    Drying biodiesel in a damp climate.

© Maui Green Energy 2000 - 2014