That is my good mate steve Spence,
He used to be Keith Addison's right hand gofer in the USA until Keith found out he was a republican and run him off his forum.
For a thumbnail sketch of Steve's relationship with me look here.
what is the shelf life of biodiesel? any special requirements; container, dark room, ...?
Yesterday I made my first batch using this formula. I used 1 liter of wesson oil, 250 ml of Heet Methanol, and 100% lye (NaOH), Rooto brand, 1 Tblsp (not 1 Tsp). I shook violently for 1 minute (I don't know why).
10 minutes later I had 1 inch of clear dark amber fluid on the bottom and light Cloudy mixture on top. An hour later the line separating the two layers got irregular (lumpy) and two hours later there was glop on the bottom, about one inch and about one eighth of an inch of dark amber liquid then the rest cloudy mixture.
This morning what I found is one inch or so of glop on the bottom and beautiful light clear amber liquid on top. maybe a little more than a liter.
My question is this: Is this biodiesel ontop, and is it worth washing. I am assumming that the bottom layer is soap, glycerine and methonal.
Any feed back would be appreciated,
Hello Jim, welcome to the forum
Congratulations on your success. Yes, it is biodiesel.
You have certainly made extra soap from the excess NaOH but just wash the biodiesel and it should work fine.
Hello & thanks for this technique.
I am fairly new to biodieseling and to be honest originally was a little confused with the amounts of base to use 3.5 or 5. This was mainly cos my first source of learning info was the JTF website but have now become a true convert!
Anyways I have mainly been using some WVO, hydrogenated vegetable oil and using at least 25% methanol and 6.5g NaOH for processing which turns out just fine.
Recently, I got some WVO from a different source which was really thick and black, like engine oil. Titrated to 5 so used 10g NaOH and 25% methanol and processed as usual for 90mins and did the 5% prewash. When I took a sample out, I could not see any seperation, the sample was just all black! After about 15mins, I started getting agitated so started shining lights in all angles trying to find seperation. And lo and behold I found it, clear distinct seperation with looked like really dark soot as the glycerin layer and kind like a blackish red ink layer of what I assumed to be biodiesel.
So as the seperation could be seen all be it with a light I finished the washing drying and decided to put some in my car, even though it was slightly thicker then my normal biodiesel. I had put 20litres of this "biodiesel" in with about 40litres of the good palm biodiesel in my vehicle. Immediately I got problems with my car choking and going off with plumes of white smoke.
It had difficulty starting and when it did, it would chuck out smoke and go off. On opening the filter there was kinda bubbles at the outlet of the fuel filter. I changed the fuel filter to a new one but the same problem so i decided I had no choice but to pump it out. I must of pumped out about 30 litres and then added 20 more litre of my usual biodiesel before my car started to get better but even then it was starting and stopping so I had to put in 20litres of normal petrodiesel before it started running normally.
Any ideas as to why this oil was so dark and why I had problems with it? The other main difference I noticed was with this oil when I was transferring for washing from my processor tank, there were large jellyfish like formations at the bottom of the processor tank which I assumed were soap. Don't normally get these with the palm oil I use.
Could there have been alot more water than I thought in the oil before processing? Which may have under-reacted the oil during processing by taking away some of the NaOH from the main reaction and using it to make soap instead. The symptoms of my vehicle, are they what you'd expect if there is water in the biodiesel used?
The reason, I ask is that although I had vowed to never use that source again, it could well be that I may have a good source of WVO (400litres a month) if I figure out what went wrong and process better.
Many thanks in advance.
Thank you for responding. I went ahead as if it were BD and washed it. I think I lost almost half of my yield in the process. Took ten washings. What I have now is a very pale yellow, somewhat cloudy BD, about 600 ml I would say. That is from 1 liter of oil. So It is now in an open mouth mason jar and i'm not sure how to dry such a small amount or quality test it. Any ideas?
Don't worry about quality testing, you have used plenty of NaOH so should have achieved good conversion.
You can either leave it sit in the sun for a few days or pour the biodiesel into a pan and heat on a stove to 100deg C. Make sure you stir while heating to avoid "Bumping"
The biodiesel will almost certainly be clear at this temp.
You will probably notice water puddles on the bottom of the pan.
Decant the biodiesel into a dry non-plastic container and allow to cool. If it turns cloudy as it cools re-heat to 100deg C and it should stay clear this time.
The biodiesel is now ready to use.
I suggest you start a new thread with your question. I have not experienced what you described but I bet there are people who have.
It looks like we are on the computer at the same time, Thank you for all your help. I will dry as you suggested. I am going to make another small batch with WVO this time. and am getting very exciited about all this. Thanks again,
Will start a new thread and see what I can learn from others experience.
I just wanted to add one more note for the sake of completion. When I came home to dry as you suggested, the BD was a light amber in color, comletely clear liquid. I could very easily read a letter through it. Just putting it in the wide mouth jar allowed it to dry overnight. I have ordered some lab equipment and will make a batch of WVO BD next. Thank you for your help.
I am a newbie at making biodiesel and was wondering what is the perfect consistency of Bd and can you put Bd in a gas tank that alredy has dino diesel in it.
Hello Radical53, welcome to the forum
The perfect consistency is ASTM (or DIN in a pinch).
Mix and match in all proportions
Hi all. 1st time bio-d person here and I've just messed up 2 litres of store bought oil.
I cant really say whats gone wrong I hope you can.
1st litre, 10g KOH into 250ml of Methane, totally disolved. Poured into the 50-60c warm oil. Mixed the thing like crazy since I believe in that, good 50-60 reversals of the bottle then left to settle. Almost immed. the glycerine started to settle but it only went down 3cm then stopped!!!
2nd litre, 15g KOH and everything else the same and it didn't start to separate at all!
Used more KOH than listed for NaOH since I read you need 1.4 times KOH than NaOH.
Whats gone wrong????
Try it with 8 grams Koh and 200ml methanol and you should get better results . With 250 ml methanol it is likely that the excess methanol is keeping the glycerine in suspension . I have had this happen before and got the glycerine to settle by evaporating the methanol out of the batch . Do not try to evaporate methanol inddors though .
Good Luck ,
Hello Daryl, welcome to the forum
Yes, I have seen that with high amounts of KOH.
Add about 50ml water to the two batches that did not seperate and give them 40 good shakes.
I bet you get seperation.
Thanks for responses. Actually by morning both had settled and I can tell you one thing the high KOH batch is clear and wonderful looking! The 1st one is still cloudy and doesn't seem to want to clear.
I made a 200ml methanol and 8g KOH batch as you suggested but its looking just like the 1st batch, staying cloudy but yea reaction and settling out of the glycerine happened much faster.
But wow the high (15g) KOH batch looks great! Why is it so clear and the 10g and 8g KOH batches stay cloudy?
Also could someone please post links that you think are good for the how2s on titration and for the washing of the BD?
PS Well done for making posts editable!
I'm new to The Biodiesel game and my interest is its use as a model airplane fuel. I've managed to run a small, two stroke diesel engine on ALL Biodiesel,(no added lubrication)with just 2% of an ignition improver made by Amsoil called a cetane booster. I don't believe it really boosts the cetane number, just that it improves ignition thus allowing the engine to respond to the fuel as IF it had a higher cetane number.
At any rate, I'm experimenting with various fresh oils such as olive oil. Can anyone advise if one type of oil or the other might be better suited to my uses.
I've also tried to biodiesel coconut oil. Yes, this is an EXPENSIVE Biodiesel if you use it in you 500 HP Mack truck but this engine has only .15 cubic inches capacity. Even then, this is only an experiment.
Right now I've got a fresh batch of olive oil and coconut oil sitting to allow as much gunk to settle to be drained off. Yes, the glycerine was drained first and Tilly's wash method employed. Experience has shown that even in a sealed bottle, a few days of settling allows for an absolutely clear product to form.
Any comments please.
In making, the reaction seems to go smoothly and settles fine however I seem to get soap when washing comes around.
I've even gone so far to just add water and turn it around a little. Same thing and it doesn't seem to separate either. I've made certain that I'm not getting any glycerine, quite certain but still it persists. This after giving 48 hours to settle. Am I not letting it settle long enough or is this the byproduct of an incomplete reaction?
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