From what I can gather, this Permaflow cold weather biodiesel is an additonal process added to the production of biodiesel and claims to prevent B100 from gelling all the way down to -67F for less 10 cents a gallon. Anyone heard of this? Seems too good to be true…This message has been edited. Last edited by: Craig1565,
http://www.greencarcongress.co...cold-weather-te.html This is a good link
That is a good link, at the bottom of the page you can download a PDF and on page 16 it shows a little diagram of the process: http://www.purdue.edu/dp/energ...007%20symposiuim.pdf
it likely is too good to be true and some petroleum lobby will likely buy up the patent for millions and it will never come to market
I'm surprised this isn't getting more attention. It seems to solve a BIG problem with biodiesel.
I have found a good deal of information on the process. It seems that it is actually pretty darn easy and uses commonly available materials. You can even reuse the Urea over and over to separate the saturated and unsaturated biodiesel molecules. You can then re-blend to the temp range you need, as -60F is a little extreme for most.
Nothing is said about anybody having made any actual fuel with this process, it's often a long, long way from theory to finished product.
Well, actually a lot was said last winter when they did tests with the Permaflow fuel in Fairbanks Alaska. Do a Google search on those keywords to learn more. This is a proven product.
I did a little experiment to try and replicate the process. I was able to find some information including the patent for the process. The basic process is to combine biodiesel/methanol/urea, heat to about 55C, then cool to 25-30C. The saturated fats bond with the urea and precipitate out as a solid on the bottom while some biodiesel precipitates out between the methanol and urea. I was able to remove a sample of biodiesel. I think that there is a lot of biodiesel trapped in the excess methanol still.
The sample I pulled off was tossed in the freezer. While the viscosity did get thicker, it did not gel, even at 0-5 degrees F.
Now I need to find a kitchen scale way to distill the excess methanol from the process to isolate the the other portion of cold weather biodiesel.
Where I live it gets cold enough for saturated fat BD to precipitate out as a solid naturally without the urea catalyst or the methanol. Mix in kerosene, let it chill to below freezing and the saturated fat BD and any residual soaps or glycerin precipitate to the bottom of the barrel. The clear fuel component can be blended for thirty below or colder without separation or gelling. If the fuel blend barrel is kept at ambient temperature the system is self adjusting for temperature.
But are you still blending with perto-diesel or kerosene to get down to -30? The process that I am investigating does not need to be blended. You get to use all bio-diesel as cold as you want.
I use kerosene instead of methanol, much cheaper, less hazard.
I suppose I could use methanol from Chile, Trinidad and New Zealand, which is made from natural gas or use kerosene from wells in Alaska or Canada. The goal is low temperature fuel, there's going to be a petro component no matter how you make it.
Got it fluid at thirty below?
But you are using the kerosene correct? ie burning it with the biodiesel.
In this process the urea and methanol are recovered and can be used over and over. The only added cost is an extra heating cycle to recover the methanol from the low temperature bio-diesel and you can either water wash out the urea from the warm temperature bio-diesel or heat it up melting the urea and bio-diesel...then they separate just like biodiesel and glycerin.
What percentage of Kerosene are you having to add at -30F?
I am still in the experimentation phase. I thought it was great research and worth investigating.
The sample in the freezer still hasn't gelled. I need to find a thermometer that goes colder than zero....and then I need to find something or somewhere -30F....that's cold!
Interesting experiment metcalf!
Where did you find the patent? Can you detail your process a little more?
I blended our last batch with about 9% K1. The sample I have in my garage has precipitated out some solids at cold temps the past few nights but the rest is still clear. It got down to 20F, not sure about inside the garage I don't have a temp sensor there.
The patent number is US20090199462A1. I was able to find it on freepatentsonline.com and download a pdf.
The process is more complicated than I would like.
Basically you combine biodiesel, urea, and methanol. Then you heat the mixture up to 55C to homogenize it. Next you cool it down to 25C to cause the precipitation of the Urea bonded to the saturated fat molecules. The precipitate is like a crystal that falls to the bottom. Some of the biodiesel stays suspended in the excess methanol and some falls out of suspension between the methanol/biodiesel and the Urea crystals.
You can pour off the methanol/biodiesel through a filter to isolate it. The excess methanol now needs to be distilled off the biodiesel. It can be reused. The remaining biodiesel is the low temperature fraction.
The other biodiesel is trapped in the urea crystals. You can separate them by washing the urea crystals with water and then the biodiesel floats on top of the water. Or you can heat the urea crystals to over 90C and they melt releasing the biodiesel which floats on top.
The only downside I see is the gross amount of methanol needed. Though it is recoverable and useable again, it seems like the downfall to the process. No one really likes dealing with methanol anymore than they have to. The process also works with ethanol however.
Hard for me to believe that this isn't getting more traction in this community.
What do you now about it Kumar? You holding out on us?
It's more complicated than folks like to play with, I suspect.
Heh heh. I wish. But I do hope to have a "permaflo" type fuel offering next cold season. Our engineering team thinks this sounds relatively simple, and the biggest issue may have to do with patent stuff.
Since most folks don't require - 67° fuel then adding diesel and chilling it to just above the cloud temperature then filtering it is more than adequate to remove the troublesome components.
The point is to not add diesel. Plus chilling costs energy.