The golden colour is right for triacetin.
Im not so sure about being unable to make money from this. When medium and large companies look for consultants to help them solve problems they place a lot more importance on practical experience than theoretical knowledge. If you can show that you have done this on a lab scale and perhaps on a pilot size project that experience is a very saleable product.
I know you dont make large quantities of biodiesel yourself but Im sure you could obtain some waste glycerol from a local homebrewer to experiment with. Most homebrewers are glad to get rid of it.
Just to update you on my progress on refining raw glycerol. The last test batch I did took 6% sulfuric acid to cause the 3 way split. It has settled for a month now and you can see the three layers clearly but there are layers of potassium sulfate trapped above the glycerol. These will contaminate the ffas when they are decanted off. I think this was caused by the high water content in the original sample as it has not happened before. I am going to do another batch soon and this time I will demeth and dry the glycerol before dosing with acid. This will mean I will need much less acid and should help with fast clean settlement.
I have been messing around with splitting some koh glycerol with santex acid drain cleaner (conc sulphuric acid). I dont have any interest in making triacetate at the minute so I hope this isnt a tangent for this tread. Initially I thought of making soap with the glycerine but then more so in ffa's as a fuel source. I have very little experience making soap and it turns out 100% glycerine soap refers to the fact that the soap has 100% of the original glycerine that existed in the oil/fat used to make it, left in. I have some other uses for the glycerol I have been testing out which I'll try out on the refined glycerine when i get enough to test. The ffa layer then caught my attention as another fuel source for heating my house after IMB suggested it could be used blended with kero in a pressure jet burner.
I hope the picture uploads ok, I started with 500ml of glycerol in each bottle heated to 60c as IMB suggested and from left to right in the picture I added 2%, 3%, 4%, 5%, 5.5%, 6%, 7%. I did 5.5% as initially it looked the most promising so I thought I'd see if I could get a bit more accurate but in the end 4% seems to have done it. The process seem to need heat to work right, I was unable to keep them at a constant temperature and had to reheat them from time to time and I could see a big change at different temperatures. It needs at least 20c to settle out, 30c or more works better so interms of doing this on a larger scale to take care of your biproduct I think it might be a summer job settling (in a green house might be the most energy efficient way). 4% gave me 3 distinct layers, from here on up I got more glycerine in each as the percentages went up there is also an extra darker layer below the glycerine in each, I dont know what this is maybe there is more settling to do.
About 45% of each of these is ffa's, so after pretreat I would get approximately 10L of ffa's per batch costing (rough back of envelope calculations) approximately 30cent per liter to produce. That spread out over a years worth of processing could add up to quite a bit of fuel as well as taking care of your biproduct! A simple titration method like we have for the oil would make things a lot easier (subtle hint for those chemistry minded people, haha).
Thanks for the help getting this far hope this is useful to someone.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Womble,
Thanks for that very clear picture. The 4% sample is the one I would go for as its the minimum amount of acid to produce a clear 3 way split.
Some one is sure to jump in and correct us for referring to the upper layer as FFAs and point out that it is impossible to have that much FFAs left over after producing biodiesel. They would be right, the upper layer is in fact everything that is not glycerine or water. It will contain FFAs, biodiesel, mono, di and triglyerides. The important thing is that all of these are potential fuels.
The stuff on the bottom is a solution of water and potassium sulphate, a very useful inorganic fertilizer.
The actual amount of glycerine seems to be only about 30% of the original raw glycerol which is quite a reduction.
It should be possible to work out a titration for the process but only after the raw glycerol has been fully demethed and dewatered. A titration using bromophenol blue as the indicator and either HCl or H2SO4 as the titrating fluid should work. The trick would be relating the titration result to the actual quantity of acid required in a large batch. Perhaps Wesley could help with that one.
You are right about needing warm conditions, my last trial failed to separate because my workshop is so cold. A greenhouse in summer would be perfect for larger quantities.
I would really like to test the FFAs for viscosity, flash point etc but I would need at least a litre to do it, I only have about half that amount at the moment. Perhaps you could let me have your FFAs for testing and I would return it to you.
No problem john Ill separate it out send what I have down to you down to you
Thanks womble, im looking forward to testing it. As you can see its quite a thin liquid and should not need much addition of kero to make it into usable fuel.
No worries 950ml winging its way to you as we speak, its all I could siphon off easily. Yes it seems quite free flowing I'm interested to see how it is with cold temperatures as well as how it will burn in a blend.
The idea of a titration test to determine how much acid needed to neutralize glycerol has been discussed before on this forum by no less than Girl Mark. See the initial posts here on http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/ev...9605551/m/7741093382
Wombles bottle of free fatty acids arrived and I duly carried out 3 tests to it that I think are the most relevant to use as heating oil. Specific gravity, viscosity and flash point.
Before proceeding I should explain the method of measuring the viscosity. My falling ball viscometer is not suitable for testing very dark liquids so I have adopted an much simpler but possibly less accurate method. The apparatus is very simple, a pet drinks bottle, one or two litre size. Make a tiny hole about and inch from the bottom with a hot pin. stick a strip of masking tape on the bottle and make a mark about an inch above the hole and another mark about six inches above the first mark.
With your finger over the hole fill the bottle with diesel/gasoil to above the upper mark. Take your finger off the hole and start the stopwatch when the level falls to the upper mark. Time how long it takes for the level to fall to the second mark. In the case of my bottle it took 122 seconds
I then tested my black gasoil at the same temperature, result 129 seconds.
When I tested the FFAs the result was 158 seconds.
The flash point of the FFAs was 85°C, Exactly the same as diesel.
The Specific gravity of the FFAs was a surprise .91 ( diesel is around .84)
Womble Im going to post this on " Biodiesel in Pressure jet burners" as I think it is a bit off topic here.
Conclusions FFAs are very close to being a usable fuel, in fact could be used in a pot burner like the Alaska burner without any modification. For use in a pressure jet burner, I estimate that 10-20% kerosene would bring the viscosity into line with diesel/gasoil, the flash point is already good enough and the high specific gravity would ensure a high level of calorific value per litre.
Womble, Im going to post this result on "Heating with Alternative Fuels" as I think we are getting a bit off topic here.This message has been edited. Last edited by: imakebiodiesel,
|Powered by Social Strata||Page 1 2 3|