Anyone have experience with removing water from wvo? I know that settling over a period of time is a great start before doing a pan test, or other water testing methods. Once it's been discovered that the water level is too high or not desirable to use, what is the best way to remove the oil?
My current goal is to make a very simple, relatively quick batch of Bio-D with no more than 3-4 gallons, and wondering what I should do if I test the oil and the water level is a factor....
Two quick ways:
1) Heat the oil up past the boiling point of water (212 deg. F) and keep it there for a while (20-30 minutes or until you don't see any bubbles coming up through the oil).
2) Heat & circulate the oil and if possible, fan the oil out back on top of itself.
This method doesn't require heating the oil as hot and works really well and can be done on a relatively small scale. Blowing a fan across the top of the vessel the oil is in while heating & circulating will make it go even faster.
The thinner you can spread the oil as you spray it back on top of itself, the faster the water can evaporate out of it.
Here's an example:
The trick is to get a nice film of oil and not a mist of oil.
The film keeps the oil contained in the drum.
Thanks Graydon! Of the two options, is the second one best? Or is it the method you like best? Could lightly heating the oil and then filming it also be used for drying the biodiesel after it's been converted, and then thoroughly cleaned and washed?
That is exactly the way to dry wvo and wet polished biodiesel. You will be surprised by how it goes from cloudy to clear in no time!
Hey I have that nozzle from GB. It's great, does what its designed to do, and makes things easier.
I would say this way is easier plus safer. You don't have to heat the oil up to dangerous levels.
I understand how the nozzle works but I'm sometimes a little plumbing challenged. What's everything from the valve back to the end? The elbow fitting and then the end piece with the two little rings on either side? And does that valve itself do anything for the nozzle? It looks like it sits AFTER the nozzle????
Here's a view of how it's all plumbed up:
The valve helps control how agresive the spray pattern is.
The elbow helps direct the over flow. The piece w/ the two rings is a quick connect fitting to hook a hose up to the barrel so that you can empty the barrel using the same pump.
You can see more about this particular setup here:
You can also see a video of it in action here:
The nozzle itself is something Legal discovered several years back for making the ideal fan like spray pattern. I nick named it a Dry Pro nozzle because of how well it dry's the oil out.
The boiling method probably is quicker, but the heat & circulate is definitely safer and still extremely effective. You only have to get the oil up to about 100 to 120 and it'll still work great. If you can get it up to about 145-150, it'll dewater even faster.
Several people have built variations of these kinds of tanks over the years with great success. My plumbing layout was just going for using as little plumbing as possible to get the most effect. It really works well!
Also, yep, you can definitely use this style of setup to dry Biodiesel with as well. Works great!
You can use an M67 Immersion heater.
Bought mine for $55 on eBay.
It works perfect and burns (Gas, diesel, motor oil, lighter fluid and BIO)
BIO takes other method to start burning over the instructions. Basically a soaked rag dropped down in the burn to start it.
Can heat my oil up over 200F in 20 minutes.
Cool to use suspected poor fuel or waste to run.
This is a dangerous practice. Oil sits on top of water and if you then apply heat to the bottom of the container then the water will begin to boil while the oil is still on top of it and you risk getting a "bubble" come up and scald you.
A safer way is to heat the water and oil to well below the boiling point and then let it settle overnight and cool; the water will sink to the bottom and the oi will float. You can then siphon the oil off the top.
Those nozzles are great! Available worldwide from Bete. They have distributors almost everywhere, just use the contact field.
I first started using these years ago. You can see the set up I did for drying biodiesel here, but it would work equally well for humid oil. It would work also for wet oil but would take considerably longer.
If you don't want to spend a bunch of money on a heater then I suggest you go for Joe_M's heat spear found at Rilla Biofuels in the "products" section. You can get just the cap and build it yourself. I have 2 of these and they've worked great for several years now.
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Here is my 2 cents to add to this discussion...
1) Spray drying exposes the oil to air which increases the oxidation. You can do it to the raw veg oil or to the almost finished biodiesel, but if you do it to both, you will most likely fail any ASTM oxidation stability testing. (if it even matters to your own fuel usage)
2) The heat and settle method works good for removing free water but not as good at removing dissolved water. In short, the heat and settle technique is fine if you're just doing a transesterification (base stage hydroxide production) but will most like not remove enough water to perform an esterification and then a transesterification (two stage acid then base)
3) Heating the oil up past the boiling point of water will increase your titration and will also NOT remove dissolved water very well.
4) Most water removal methods work fine (in one way or another) to dry the oil enough for a single stage transesterification (base reaction only). If you must do an esterification (acid stage), then you must get all the water out and that usually requires more work.
hope that helps,
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I understand the concern here, but we are talking about cooking oil here. During normal use it is heated to 375+ F and cooks in short sleeves throw frozen lumps of food in and everyone survives. If one pays attention to what is happening and stirs the mix, this isn't that unsafe.
And if you're going to hold your batches to three, four or even ten gallons then you are correct in that it is not a very dangerous procedure.
However, please keep in mind that when you fill up a 55 gallon drum and it becomes 30+ inches of head pressure pushing down on the water at the bottom, it is a completely different situation..
That small bit of pressure pushing down on the water is just enough to make some pretty spectacular spit-and-spatter happen when the "just right" conditions exist. Its not a bomb or anything like that but hot oil hitting you in any one of a dozen soft spots is going to hurt like hell and could potentially leave permanent damage. (think eyes, lips, etc etc.)
Heating slowly and stirring frequently will both increase the effectiveness of water removal and lower the chances of any small steam explosions.
Good luck and be safe!
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This is so true. It is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS to boil water out of oil.
I had a friend who wad boiling some waste oil on the stove and it suddenly erupted and sprayed him all over with boiling oil and start a fire in the kitchen. He has two big scars on his face.
I developed a high temp/pressure fully closed flash evaporator (HERE) that will dewater VEG totaly in a single pass but it takes a good bit of extra electricity to heat it, it also has a tendancy to plug up due to high pressure/temp and water causing the oil to plymerize in the plumbing. Changed my dewatering method because of these problems.
I circulate my 100 deg oil through filters for up to 3 days continuously, the output from the last filter runs up to the center of the top of the filter barrel where it is restricted down to a 3/16 inch I.D. outlet, this restriction increases the speed of the squirt of oil such that it draws a LOT of air down into the hot oil in the barrel, the air bubbles pick up water and release it as vapor when the bubbles break back on the surface of the warm oil, the vapor flows up and out of the barrel.
This is a continuous process, as is the filtering, so works slowly but does the job without using any extra energy.
this is a pic of the bubbles on the top of the oil in the filter barrel.
plumbing_and_air__bubbles.jpg (28 Kb, 50 downloads)
Tim I use a similar method to you only where your oil appears to be gently flowing into the drum, I have mine blasting in as hard as I can get it. I believe this sends air all the way to the bottom of the drum and allows it to come up all the way through. I don't normally heat the oil over about 40oC but if I can get it to about 30-40 above ambient, I can dry 200L of oil in as little as half an hour.
I settle my oil as long as possible but it always has dissolved water and this is what I have to remove. I also filter at the same time thanks to a large volume pump and have a fan on the top of the drum EXTRACTING air and keeping a fresh flow being drawn in.
I am able to get my oil so dry I can add several drops of water to a cup full before it bubbles on a hot pan test.
Have you thought about using a WVO burner to heat your Dryer? I use one when I want to heat my oil. I can run it on dirty oil or WMO and the heat output is as much as I want.
So far my best burner will run over 200Kw output but thanks to the acquisition of a bigger tank for the burner and a hugely more powerful fan, I don't think I'll have much trouble cracking the 500Kw mark.
What I am intending to do is modify my very successful drier/processor design so I can hook it up to IBC'S/ totes and pump from them, into the dryer where the oil will be heated, filtered and dried in a continuous process and the overflow return to the top of the IBC where it can be sealed for storage.
I will pump only settles and relatively clean oil into these IBC's from my main " dirty" settling tanks to avoid putting excessive and needless rubbish into the filter bags.
With this setup I'm hoping to only need an hour or so hands on time to hook up, heat and remove the processor to do the 1000L batch. Not sure how long I will have to leave the setup running, that will have to be calculated on filtration rates probably more than drying time but the thing will be I can set it going in the evening and have it finished by morning.
I prefer vacuum! Its fast and highly effective on dissolved water.
Simple schematic for a pump and heater control with a high limit
Sensor for the biodiesel/glycerin layer
I only need to clean and dry about a thousand gallons of veg per year so processing 50 gallon batches every 3-4 days works for me without taking much time or expense. Once I start circulating the oil through the filters I just walk away and return days later to usable oil. The pump on the setup is a Shurflo RV water pump that only flows 1.8 G/M so the stream of oil is pretty gentle but it can produce over a hundred pounds pressure so gets the most out of the water filter elements. Even during the winter the entire filtering/drying setup, including the 500 watt heaters (that run no more than half the time), uses less than a nickle/hr of electricity even when the heaters are on so the average cost is no more than about 2 1/2 cents/hr to operate.
what's the titration of the oil?
simply put, but not directly answering you question
the lower the water and better the oil the higher the yields
water - oil - caustic ---makes soap..
but absolute dry oil for base only processing isn't required..
and what's absolute dry? 5ppm..1000ppm?...0ppm
do we ever process with 0ppm..
my bet would be NO! not even during AE( for processing higher T oils)
don't forget adding the caustic to methanol creates water..so even if the oil is at 0ppm..you're not processing at 0ppm..
one of the later simple tests for dry oil, for AE processing, is the heat the oil and bubble air through it..then put a cold glass plate in front of the output..any condensate..if any..not dry enough for AE.
I do agree with the others..heating the oil too hot may lead to a steam explosion..the oil floats to the top --water to the bottom..and boils..too much pressure from the water boiling..steam..bad news..if you're going to heat the oil over the boiling of water keep it stirred!
I don't recommend heating oil this hot.
putting frozen foods( like french fries( frozen) in hot isn't a problem..your adding water to the hot(375F) oil..the water boils off before it can settle to the bottom..no problem..
ever dump the frozen turkey in hot oil?? its not a pretty sight..
hey just my thoughts
yes I melt my oil over a fire in a pot..gotta get my rocket stove working better..its still in process
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Anybody using Bentonite to dry their oil?
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