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To prevent cold weather gelling....looking for additive ideas for a project!
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My daughter is seeking out ideas for a project. She would like to make biodiesel (I have one family member that has successfully done this with help from this site, although I do not recommend the pop bottle method!) and then either compare fuels made from different oils to see which gels slowest OR are there any unique safe things that can be added to homemade biodiesel that she could try to see if they gel less? Where to start?? Thanks for any ideas you can help her with!
 
Registered: December 24, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes sir; I'm sorry I'm slow in responding. I am pleased to assist your daughter in education in synthetic fuel manufacture. Your question of the gel point with biodiesel can be determined in part from the freezing points of the methyl esters of the free fatty acids present. I'm not a PhD doctor of chemistry. There is something called empirical determination where you just do it and see what happens. But in empirical determination a person might blow their butt off, as all good bomb makers should. Gel point is akin to freezing point that is caused by intermolecular attraction. You compare the electronegativity of atoms bonded to each other and note the difference. A different electronegativity creates an increased electron density around the atom with the higher electronegativity. That produces a three dimensional molecular structure with varying negative charges. Also a carbon atom bonded to identical one bond atoms (hydrogen) has no areas that would attract that molecule to another molecule of the same material, that's how the material freon the refigerant was figured out. You need the freezing points of the methyl fatty acid esters plus their per centages in the material for starters. Then you might dilute your biodiesel with hydrocarbon to decrease the gel point. Other than That I'm not sure.
 
Location: Texas | Registered: April 27, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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