I wound up a little high on the acid part of the ASTM test and was planning to use Magnesol D-Sol to reduce the soap content before doing second stage purolite drywash to finish the fuel. Has anyone tried putting Magnesol into a column and running biodiesel through? I'm concerned that the column would just plug up. What do you guys think???
From everything I've heard about using Magnesol, the stuff works awesome at getting out the contaminants. The problem is getting the magnesol back out of the fuel.
The stuff will pass right through a 1 micron filter. So.....you're kind of taking your chances with it. It'll work, but then you'll fight it like no tomorrow to get it back out of the fuel.
If you were to try it in a column, even w/ a 1 micron filter between it & the Purolite, I think you'd find that it'd plug up not only the Magnesol column but would contaminate the Purolite column with magnesol as well.
Most factories have abandoned using it because of how difficult it was to remove from the finished Biodiesel.
I tested a 5 gallon batch of unwashed biodiesel using magnesol.
First I tried a 4" x 12" filter column with a .325 SS screen. It worked for about 5 minutes and then the screen blew out (you could actually hear it pop) when it plugged up. I then switched up and used a 30 micron filter first and then a 0.5 micron filter. The biodiesel came out nice and clear but the magnesol really plugged up the filters big-time. I wound up using 3 - 30 micron filters and then 1 - 0.5 micron filters to get out the magnesol out of 5 gallons of biodiesel. That being said, now that the magnesol has been removed from the biodiesel, I plan on running it through a column of Purolite to polish. Despite the horror of filtering magnesol, I thought that I would continue to use it in the future ***BUT*** definitely with centrifuge removal.
Another thing, just because you can pass a 3/27, 6/27 or 9/27 it doesn't mean you're anywhere near ASTM specs. There really needs to be better quality testing for home brewers thats affordable. The main reason I tested the magnesol was to reduce the acid level prior to ion exchange because my ASTM acid level came out high when I went straight from processing to drywashing. Secondly, I am looking for something that is fast. The two-tower gravity-feed ion exchange process may work fine for home brewing, but is far to time consuming for a production environment. When I went right into Purolite after processing, I pumped it into the column array and it only came out in a trickle.
Try running it though filter socks first. They are cheap, easy to dump out, and reusable. I go through a 50 micron, then a 1 micron, then another 1 micron, and finally through a 1 micron absolute rated spin on filter. I get 600 plus gallons through the spin on filter before it is shot.
When the sock filters are clogged hang them up over a 5 gallon bucket and let them drip dry. Once dry it is really easy to dump out the magnesol.
The guys a Vanderbilt are still on their first spin on filter. They sock filter it a couple of times then use a centrifuge. Their final step is the 1 micron. They have it in there as an insurance policy just in case they screw up while using the CF.
(Edit: PS, I'm the guy who sells the stuff, so don't trust me .)
Jim, a few questions...
Do you put the filter bag into a housing or clamp it to an inflow in the tank?
Do you use an ion exchage resin for polishing afterwards, or do you just filter and that's it?
Have you had the fuel you produce ASTM tested? I'm wondering about a sediment issue...
I use magnesol to polish my fuel at the end of my process.
-I do the 5% prewash to knock down soap and methanol in the biodiesel.
-I air dry out the methanol
-I recirculate the Biodiesel to allow the soap to clump up
-I scoup out the soap and toss it in a sock filter over a 5 gallon bucket to allow the trapped biodiesel to drain out (a couple of days)
-I run the bulk of my biodiesel through a 7 inch ring 1 micron sock filter hanging in a 6 inch hole cut in the top of a plastic barrel.
-This gets me down to 150-300 ppm soap, lower if it is the dead of winter.
-Then I put in an older 50 micron sock filter with some magnesol in the bottom inside of an older 1 micron sock filter and recirculate the barrel through the sock filter with the magnesol in it.
-Then I run the biodiesel through a 1 micron sock filter as it goes into my barrel in the garage.
-Finally, when I pump from the barrel into my car & truck I go through a 1 micron absolute rated spin on filter.
I have not ASTM tested, but the guys at the Dallas Group have.
I do 3/27 my fuel before I shoot in the 5% prewash.
Because my soap levels are so low before I even start using the magnesol it does not take much.
1% by weight per 1000ppm soap
(300/1000)* .01 * 40 gallons * 7.3 pounds per gallon = .876 pounds of magnesol. Half that if you are at 150ppm.
Since there is less used to treat there is less to get back out.
The AVERAGE particle size is 60 microns. Most of the magnesol is trapped by the 50 and the first 1 micron sock filter. Some more gets caught in the second 1 micron sock filter. Whats left ends up getting caught in the 1 micron final filter. I get over 600 gallons out of a single spin on 1 micron absolute rated filter.
Sediment? I still have a sample bottle filled with fuel that was only filtered through two 1 micron sock filters. It has been sitting on the shelf since the fall of 2005. There is still nothing in the bottom of it.
Got to go!
www dot FryerPower dot com
1987 300DT (The sedan, not the wagon.) Some modifications to the fuel system.
1995 S350D Unmodified fuel system.
I plead the 5th.
After saying all of that I still wonder why people water wash at all. The first part of the process drops the soap levels from 1300ppm down to 150 or so.
After that it is just a matter of polishing. Magnesol is cheap and easy enough to deal with in small quantities. (It was a bit of a bear when you had to use 4+ pounds for a 40 gallon batch.)
Resin seems like it should be fairly cost effective and a whole lot easier to filter out.
But the real exciting stuff is using wood shavings or saw dust to drop the soap content.
I now have a bucket of shavings and am planning on adding a step after the soap filtering, before the final magnesol polish. If it works well I may even drop the magnesol, or go to resin for the last bit of insurance cleaning.
1300 ppm -> remove methanol, clump the soap, scoup/filter it out -> 150-300ppm soap -> wood shavings in a sock filter -> ?50 ppm soap??? -> final insurance polish of some sort -> filter & put in car.
I ordered a couple of different filter bags with a clear housing and am going to stick with the Magnesol. I put together a single tower of Purolite and ran the bio through after the Magnesol and it came out great.
Another thing.... I read on another thread about using a breathalizer to test alchol level and it also works great. I concocted this gizmo using a fish tank air pump and a mason jar, going thru the lid, and it does a great job. You can actually bubble out the methanol until your reading falls below the 0.158 (for 0.2% alchohol by volume) and then go into the drywash. I went all out and stopped bubbling at 0.02.
Hello all, My processor recirculates bio diesel with magnesol D-Sol for half hour then to get it
out of the fuel it is recircultated through #2 Size, Stainless, Bag Filter Housings with a 3HP pump 1.5" inlet/outlet, 5 micron bag filter 1st and then switched of to 1 micron bag filter, it recircultates for several hours at 120 degrees and seems to filter out better the longer it cakes up magnesol in the bags, this setup has dual bag filter housings that can be swithed over by closing
one and opening another vessel. Drip dry bags into a bucket,dump and reuse the bag many times over.
They are poly ester bags for high heat, with snap rings at top of bag which makes a super tight fit
in the filter vessel, pressure gauges show 10-30 lbs during operation, a pressure rise greater than
30 lbs. leads me to dump the bag and reinstall bag or just change to a bag that is dry and clean
for reuse. My batch size is 350 gallons
Does anyone know who sells magnesol at a good price? The price has gone up alot over the last year
to $89.00 plus tax and shipping for a 50 lbs bag
In the next week I am about to run my first dry wash (purolite). I had a few questions about your process..
- How long do you settle after 5% prewash before separating off your glyc/water layer?
- Do you use NaOH?
- What are your soap readings after 5% pre?
- Air dry out methanol? Do you leave lid off for 12 hours with bubbler or something?
- When your biodiesel is cold do soaps fall out easier?
I think JimD sells magnesol. At least he used to.
Isn't magnesol just magnesium oxide?
Perhaps check with your chemical suppliers to see if you can get a lower price that way.
Would a centrifuge be good enoungh to do a final polish to remove magnesol? Graydon Blair made
some comments, saying magnesol will even get through a 1 micron filter, and that commercial plants
are dropping the use of magnesol. It seems most bio equipment suppliers naturally push their
products. Not long ago, alot of sellers were all into Magnesol D-Sol.
Are Purolite towers a good system for a small producer? It looks clean and easy in the pictures
of these towers. My bag filter vessels are messy when changing bags, but the effort seems worth it. I'm still looking for the best solution for dry washing and polishing. I cannot afford to
buy two big towers yet, so I am going to keep the magnesol setup for now.
My comments above were not directed at Graydon Blair. He is a great friend to anyone getting into
this bio diesel/ homebrew quest and one of the most informed sellers on bio diesel.
Yes thats what ive been told too by people in the commercial game. Said they had numerous problems not just in filtering the final product, but cleaning of the equipment, compaction of the magnasol plugging equipment etc..
once u have purchased your resin, the setup costs arent too bad.. i got some water softener resin tanks (like legals) and theyre pretty cheap..very cheap compared to those yellow ones you buy from BD websites.. Im sure they work like a dream, but kinda pricey..
Where did you get your tanks? How much? I have only one in my setup, but would like to get a second or third one.
Has anyone tried using wood chips to filter out the magnesol? I think you can fuge it out, but I have heard it was a pain.
Yer, fuging is the most common way to effectively remove the magnesol.
I went to a water store that sells home water purification systems (RO, DI, distilled, softeners, dechlorinating shower heads etc etc). They just did a special order for me for the tanks as selling just the tanks is not a common product. It was $150. I bet in the states u could find them cheaper
Dry wash with "MAGNESIL" meets ASTM D6751
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