I have somehow posted the same issue in two differnet threads. The results were fabulous after 5 minutes of circulation. Just shy of passing a shake test in 5 minutes.
Thanks all for writing this thread and the few that came before. I am little confused by all the various set ups you folks are using. I think Jerhu posted something about his set up but I was never very clear with his 'Scottish' accent and all.
Could I not use a 55 gallon poly drum set upside down (bung side down) and cut open the top (which used to be the bottom). Then screw in a 3/4" pipe with mesh screen on the barrel side into the bottom bung. Then fill the barrel about 1/2 way up with hardwood sawdust. (25 gallons of sawdust.) Then after the bio has been processed, demythed, glycerin drained, and the bio cooled (and probably a second glycerin draining) pump that into the barrel full of sawdust. Let it sit for 1 day. Then, just drain off the bio into another holding tank?
1. Does this setup work?
2. Any chance of spontaneous combustion during filtering or after the bio is drained.
3. Will gravity be enough to drain the sawdust/bio barrel or will a mesh filter just clog? Or do I need to force out the bio, which basically means using a steel tank and some welding fitting instead of the poly.
Pipe in a 3/4" pipe in the bung with a Fill the drum with 25 gallons of cool biodeisel. Let it sit for a day.
That sounds like it would work. I tend to let my BD soak longer, but try it and see and report your results back.
I would not do it in a poly drum unless you intend to take the chips out and away from anyhting you don't want burned. I would worry about it catching fire. If it were to heat up enough to soften the barrel and let O2 get to it then you have troubles. You can do the exact thing with a 55 gallon drum and then just put a lid on it.
I would think you would also need a way to stir the fuel in the wood chips. They are either going to float or fall to the bottom. They are not going to suspend.
The screen column over your drain. If you just have a screen over a 3/4 pipe I do believe our going to get it blocked up. That would be a pain in the arse. I just learned about blocked up a minute ago. (see next posting).
As expected some slight snafus have developed. Came home and turned on the Woodchipper and the top spray over took the drain through the wood. Fortunately I caught it in time because I have not been too trusting of it anyway. Off to the wash tank with that fuel and filled it again. Through the sheet under the woodchips it is slow draining to the sump area. The pump was starving for fuel but the top was full. AHHHHHHH air. The sheet adhered to the side of the barrel because of pressure and no air was getting to the sump. PVC pipe down the side of the barrel twix the sheet and the barrel took care of that. It was starving for air. Now I have to figure out how to stop the wood chips from reaching the pump and I have to get the sheet out of there. The wood against the sheet is blocking its gravity feed to the sump now that it is all packed in.
"Get the sheet out of there" I kill me sometimes
Anyway I I am on satellite here and it is way too slow in the evenings to load a picture of the first 10 gallon wash. I will post them in the morning.
Hi Doug, the poly drum is a great idea thats exactly what I'm about to do, except with a 200L garden water tub (what we call a butt, but apparently a butt across the pond is something altogether different and much bigger ) which is very similar. (Actually I'm using a 30L poly drum at present but it has a lid so I cant use it inverted, so I had to put a tap on the bottom). I have a steel mesh sports car air filter wich i intend to screw onto the bottom to trap the sawdust. (at first some fine sawdust will emerge but just put the intial biodiesel back thru and no more sawdust will come out).
I havent had any problems with spontaineous combustion, and I store both dry sawdust and sawdust soaked in biodiesel.
I presently use gravity thru the sawdust and thats what I intend to do with the 200L set up, but shavings and wood chips might need longer in a gravity set up.
Just to be clear about the mesh filter. When you say 'trap the sawdust' you mean to prevent it from draining out of the pipe at the bottom of your 'butt'
Two things to distinguish between here: as you say the mesh prevents the sawdust being simply flushed out thru the tap, but what I was getting at was that when new sawdust is put in the very fine stuff gets thru the mesh with the inital biodiesel flow; the first few gallons of biodiesel from new sawdust is put thru again - the sawdust itself then traps the restof the very fine dust. I think this is easier than installing a final filter, but of course that can be done anyway.
I have a batch of bio that I made a few weeks ago and has been settling. Shook it up with some water and the water is a little cloudy. So I went out and bought a 2kg bag of shredded redwood bark and filled a 600ml mason jar full of the bark and the bio. Shook it up and waited 5 minutes. Using a paper towel as filter, I poured the mixture into a new mason jar, filled that relatively clean bio with water, shook it up and.......
holy crap, it works. The water is clear. The bio is still foggy and I am waiting for the water to settle out of it, to comment more, but it seems to work.
So here is my question and idea. The question is what size micron filter is going to be required to to get the bark out. Actually let me ask this another way.
I am thinking now of buying some filter bags and filling them up with this material (or sawdust) and dropping them into the settling tank and then pumping bio over the sacks. The reason for this is to facilitate of loading and unloading spent wood chip material.
My question is then, what size micron sacks would I need. I never have used filter socks before. Will buying a bunch of these, stuffing them, twist tying the tops with steel wire to close them, and dropping them into a 55 gallon tank work? I think it might. Is there some other economical way to purchase a micron filter that comes in a sack form, like the 2kg bag the bark came package. If not, where can I buy just the filter micron material to sew my own?
Anyway, what size micron
Some folks over here use J cloths to filter their bio, I think they are around 10mu, again if you used the J cloth in the tub to hold back the wood shavings etc, you could use a 1mu filter bag or housing to final filter before use.
I would say 5 micron maximum. You may even start out higher and then go to the smaller sizes. Use a 1 micron bag for final filtering.
I am not sure about your proposed method. I would place maybe half of the bark in a barrel, pour the BD on top, mix it up good a few times during the day and filter through sock filters much the same way the guys that use magnesol do.
Here is a link to how I do woodshavings and it works great:
I am sure this would work for bark as well. Redwood is one of the woods high in tannins. I wonder if the bark has more than the heartwood?
I am thinking of overall ease of use with a consideration to cost. So my idea is to just fill up a few filter bags (Eight 5 gallon bags? You don't want them too heavy to pull out of the 55 gallon barrel when they are wet and they are no longer filtering) of the 'wood chips' (bark/chips/sawdust) and leave them in a settling drum. Pour the bio into it. After a day, pump out the bio into its final drum. Then after the 'chips' are no longer filtering soap, pull the bags out, wash the bags, and refill with wood chips.
1. Can you put filter bags in a washing machine?
2. What material is good and strong and resilient for filter bags?
After my last post: The water is now spotless and after heating up the bio/water in its jar in the microwave for 12 seconds - the bio is clear! I am going to chat with friends of friends at Cal-Tech to see if I can get a CG test on the various samples of Bio I have. If anybody else has access to one of these machines and is willing to run the test, I will send out samples. Lets do some science!
Euro, My setup is very similiar to yours, If you were to cut a hole in the top of barrel just slightly larger than your big blue bucket in your picture. Then drill a dozen or so holes in your blue bucket, lay a screen in the bottom, and fill it with sawdust, then set it in the barrel like a big funnel. Then I use a pump to draw it off the bottom and dump it back on top of the wood chips. I do this for about 8 hours.
Mine has a pillowcase clamped around the bottom of the funnel,so the pump only sees very clean bio. To clean out the woodchips just lift out and dump. Works slick!
Sounds like a good setup. I probably need to upsize mine, but by doing small amounts I have an excuse to hangout in the Biodiesel Lounge.
I have 5 micron Hayward bags, 36"x6".
I guess they are polyester. I'm wondering if they lose micron value if you machine wash them.
Anyone tried this?
I went for the column option on woodshavings.
It's 6" pvc and 6' tall.- expensive fittings, mainly the threaded cleanout and caps. $40 in parts.
It has closed cap on the bottom and the ports are both on top (cleanout cap) like a water softener tank.
It has a .5" pvc pipe inside to the bottom with a strainer mesh. At any time, I can decide to flow up or down.
It's mounted verticly to the 2x4 frame of my mistwash/dry tanks cart. As is my steel resin tower.
This means I can pass into the dry tank to test for soap as many times as it's going to take, then into the Purolite. Hopefully it will only take one pass and bypass the tank- into the resin or mist wash.
I'll be using an air diaphragm pump set to low flow.
I like the smaller footprint of the columns.
If the 'WoodChipper' drum style proves better, I will try it. I have one of those convenient store coolers that looks like a soda can, only the size of a drum. It's designed to strain & drain melted ice water. It was $3 at a yard sale. So it's 1/2 built already.
It's all built, but I cant find a source for the wood shavings. So I'm mist washing.
1996 K2500 4x4 6.5TD
I have taken the filter bags to the local coin-op laundramat. They got cleaner, not perfect. I have no way of measuring if the micron rating changed. I think the wife would end me if I tried putting them in the front load washer in the house.
Hello welder, Don't really think one is going to work better than the other really. I just wanted to use what Ihad on site and only pay $29 for a pump instead of figuring out gravity feed to a tall column or buying a slow rate pump. I like the bucket idea as well. The poly drum I am using is going to get derned heavy, especially trying to get it out of the top of the two drums. I believe I will wait a day or two to make sure gravity has pulled as much BD out of the wood as possible.
I turn my filter bags inside out and wash with a hose. Let them dry on a clothesline out in the sun. Reuse. I hadn't even considered throwing them in the washing machine.
Ok, next week I am going to do some rigorous soap, water (Sandy Brae), titration experiments on my unwashed bio and then bio filtered through redwood bark. I will report back later.
2 questions. Does anybody have a bead on what is really going on here chemically? I mean, it can't just be magic. Which brings me to my second question which is, is there any other test you think I should preform? I have already run a 27/3 test and the bio passed, but was cloudy - which I am guessing means there was some water in there - methanol seems to really cloud up with water.