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Low titrating animal fat
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I seem to have stumbled upon a regular supply of lamb fat, potentially about 120L a week which is just right for me. Made a sample 1/2 L batch to see how well the stuff would process. As the fat is solid at room temperature I had to heat the oil, methanol and container inorder to do the titration. If I didn't heat the sample the oil immediately solidified and came out of solution. The titration came out 1.75ml of titrant solution so i thought there would be no need to do acid estrification.
I went ahead and made the sample batch in jam jars. (I have found Dr pepper bottles are prown to springing leaks from the bottom!) The process went extremely smoothly the glycerin layer formed as usual and drained off. Then i evaporated off the excess methanol. And left the unwashed bio to stand overnight. The next day i examined it it and it had jelled, it was like a runny jelly, still translucent but lumpy, it would slosh around in the jar if shaken, the colour was still the same as it had been when fully liquid, a nice orangey golden colour and totally transparent. not the usual creamy fat colour of normal solid saturated fats. Anyway i heated it and it liquefied quickly so i washed it with warm water. It required a total of three washes with half the volume of water to oil before the last wash water was totally clear (it washed easier than bio made from veg oil!). Now the bio stays liquid at room temp. So i deduced it was a high concentration of soaps causing the jelling. As the FFA content was low i assumed that there must have been some water present in the oil although no liquid water was seen. so i did a second test batch, this time heating the fat well above 100deg C in fact to the point of smoke to drive off any water that might be present, some was indeed present as it did liberate small steam bubbles then when these stopped the oil had gone from a transparent orangey yellow colour to a cloudy dark brown with carbon particles visibly in circulation in the oil. I centrifuged the oil to remove particulates which also considerably lightened the colour of the oil some what. I titrated again but this time I used Isopropyl alcohol instead of methanol as I’d read that it dissolves animal fats better than methanol, and got an even lower titration value of 1.5 so went ahead and a second 1/2L sample batch of bio, the only difference this time was that the resulting bio was now a very pail yellow instead of being orangey in colour. but it still turned to jelly at room temperature before the final wash.

My question is this, was it soap that was causing the gelling or some other chemical present in the lamb fat, gelatin?. If it was soap why did my titration come out so low?

Out of curiosity I neutralized the glycerin byproduct, and got about 75% FFA to about 25% raw glycerin. and some solids which are salts formed by neutralizing the caustic soda. The FFA layer freezes totally solid at room temperature. The resulting bio remains liquid to about -1deg C and also passes the 27/3 test.

I have now also made a full batch in my processor, the results are the same as the test batches but I haven’t yet de-meth’d the bio, if it is soap causing the gelling I’m going to try and centrifuge out the soap, if its soap. Unfortunately work is not going to permit me doing any more to this batch until next weekend.


VW Passat 2.0 TDI with a BKP engine 86,000 miles on B100 and not going strong. Bio-diesel broke oil pump drive shaft! ..No oil pressure, dead turbo.
 
Location: Calne, Wiltshire, England | Registered: October 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting post-never tried animal fat
 
Location: UK | Registered: October 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The biodiesel cleaned up ok with the centrifuge, the substance that was causing the gelling had the appearance of fat when amassed in the centrifuge bowl, but had a very high melting point, above that of water. Using animal fat makes for a more labor intensive process, and also more energy intensive, more heat has to be used to first melt the fat before it can be heated to processing temperature. Still it seems to make perfectly good biodiesel. Will be interesting to see if it gives an improvement in performance when I use it, I certainly notice a power loss when running regular bio as compared with fossil diesel.


VW Passat 2.0 TDI with a BKP engine 86,000 miles on B100 and not going strong. Bio-diesel broke oil pump drive shaft! ..No oil pressure, dead turbo.
 
Location: Calne, Wiltshire, England | Registered: October 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm curious whether this will still smell the same as bio from your exhaust,or not-be interesting to know-good luck with the processing
 
Location: UK | Registered: October 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So am I, would imagine i'd go round smelling like a barby-Q :-) In my previous post i meant to say the fatty looking substance in the centrifuge melted at a temperature above the boiling point of water it also smoked once it was liquid, and smelt like over heated bio diesel, and was highly flammable so perhaps its just tranestrified waxes that were present in the original solid lamb fat.


VW Passat 2.0 TDI with a BKP engine 86,000 miles on B100 and not going strong. Bio-diesel broke oil pump drive shaft! ..No oil pressure, dead turbo.
 
Location: Calne, Wiltshire, England | Registered: October 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The stuff causing the bio to jell and which was spun out in the centrifuge was indeed solid soap all be it not much about 0.5 litre for a 50 litre batch of animal fat bio. Although the centrifuge gets most of the soaps out it is still slightly hazy so i do a short water wash and dry to get it sparkling. Once this is done the bio is safe to use down to about 1 deg C before clouding. So it makes a good summer diesel, but a bit of an iffy one if you get chilly weather. I haven’t tried blends yet to improve cold weather usage.


The only thing you have to watch out for if using animal fat is that the glycerol layer solidifies at a much higher temperature than for veg oil though when liquid it has less viscosity, on my second batch I let the reactor temp drop to low while settling and it solidified in the pipe work at the bottom of the reactor. As i have an external flow through heater on my processor I couldn't re heat the batch so had to quickly dismantle the pipe work and drain the glycerol into a bucket before it to set in the reactor. On my to do list will be a way of keeping the pipe work warm. Prob will have to box in the pipe work and have a warm air blower keep it warm.

As this is fresh fat almost straight from the slaughter house, only two weeks old and never been subjected to high tempritures and titrates real low, it makes better biodiesel than used veg oil.


VW Passat 2.0 TDI with a BKP engine 86,000 miles on B100 and not going strong. Bio-diesel broke oil pump drive shaft! ..No oil pressure, dead turbo.
 
Location: Calne, Wiltshire, England | Registered: October 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Taralec, I've put 20 Litres of lamb bio in the tank, and in answer to your question the smell was a bit disappointing, it smells more like regular dino diesel than Bio, guess it’s because of the similar type of long chain carbon molecules, its just a sweeter smell than normal diesel exhaust, definitely got a burning oil smell with a subtle hint of something savory. sort of resembles the smell you get when grilling lamb chops and the fat spits onto the elements and catches light. The performance is definitely better though, you can feel the turbo kick in at over 2000RPM where as on vegi bio, you couldn’t really tell if the turbo was doing anything or not. Top speed over around 95 MPH again instead of 80 and enough power to overtake safely, yea!


VW Passat 2.0 TDI with a BKP engine 86,000 miles on B100 and not going strong. Bio-diesel broke oil pump drive shaft! ..No oil pressure, dead turbo.
 
Location: Calne, Wiltshire, England | Registered: October 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sounds good so far-do you think this fuel will gel quicker in winter-also what colour was the finished lamb bio-also was the glyc usual dark brown.
Good luck with this fuel.
 
Location: UK | Registered: October 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Taralec,

Yes it does gel, about 5 deg warmer than veg bio, its cloud point is about +1 deg C, and goes solid about -1 dec C. The Glycerin is paler than for veg bio, but I put this down to the fact the oil hasn't been burnt in fryers. It the colour of pail straw, if you get it really hot during drying. otherwise its orangey. I don’t bother to get it real hot as there is no need, but if you do it goes black till you fuge it then it comes clean, the contents of the fuge being a carbon sludge. Can attach pix if you like.


VW Passat 2.0 TDI with a BKP engine 86,000 miles on B100 and not going strong. Bio-diesel broke oil pump drive shaft! ..No oil pressure, dead turbo.
 
Location: Calne, Wiltshire, England | Registered: October 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What % of FFA did you have before and after?
 
Registered: June 26, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Cineman:
. . . (I have found Dr pepper bottles are prown to springing leaks from the bottom!) . . . .


People that mix caustic and methanol in 2 liter bottles have reported leaks when the mixing is incomplete and small particles of caustic set too long in the bottom of the bottle.
 
Location: Illinois | Registered: February 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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