Farmer, use the 1/2 ton of KOH to make liquid soap out of your glycerin. Or sell it locally to other biodiesel producers who for some strange reason want to use KOH.
All, Graham said he uses a 15/50 Grundfos pump to recirculate water from a drum through the condenser. If you don't have one available you can use a cheap submersable pump. They are readily available at Lowes or Home Depot. I got a small one for under $20 that will do 80 gallons per hour. It can only lift 3.5 feet, but if the discharge of the line is back into the barrel then there will only be a couple of inches of height difference between the surface of the water and the end of the tubing. Getting it going the first time will be the only problem if the top of the condenser is more than 3.5 feet above the surface of the liquid. Don't be afraid to suck on the tip of the line to get it going the first time. If you have the tip of the tube below the surface of the water it will never get air into it again. You will only have to do that once.
If you need more flow than 80GPH they have a 150GPH pump for $34.
In the gardening section by the foutain supplies.
Gram, using this closed loop condenser on the reactor to recover methanol, what is your recovery time, and do you push the heat up to recover, how large is the batch that you are processing
Thanks Jim for your tip on the circulator pumps. I was wondering how we would move the water through the condensor... we used to run the warmed water into the wash tank but now that we are possibly ditching the water wash...
I will save my nice grundfos 15-58 for more important jobs (wow what a nice pump!) and pick up a submersible at lowes.
Hey are you serious about your bias against KOH? Have you tried it in the 1 day process with no luck? I have been promoting KOH since it dissolves so much more easily in the methanol, and the liquidity of the byproduct is a plus at times as well...
I love KOH for its ease of use, liquid glycerin, and ease to dissolve in methanol. The problem is that I can't get below 400ppm soap with 100% KOH catalyst and the soap clogs up my filters in a heart beat.
With NaOH the soap floats on the top of the tank in a "soap pancake" I just scoup it out and set it aside. Straight from the tank I was at 115ppm. I need to test the stuff I ran through a 1 micron sock and see if it went lower. Since most of the soap is in the pancake there is not much left to clog the filter sock.
www dot FryerPower dot com
1987 300DT (The sedan, not the wagon.) Some modifications to the fuel system.
1995 S350D Unmodified fuel system.
I plead the 5th.
Thanks Jim... can you describe the tank you are pumping into to get the floating soap pancake?
Are you pumping to an open topped steel tank after recovering methanol?
Are there any steps between recovery, pumping to settling tank to floating pancake? I had to pump my fuel through a 10 micron sock filter for a few hours to get the soap to scum up on the surface. I thought the soap would settle to the bottom, not rise to the top.
Ant posted on another thread about mixing KOH and NaOH to encourage settling of the soap. Might be worth a try...but it will involve some higher math.
OK Jim D I see that you see from the thread "mixing KOH and NaOH" that YOU have some experience with mixing catalyst. Have you found a ratio that will allow the soap to settle and filter?
PS I just bought a pile of stuff from fryerpower.com, thanks for the hook-up
I have not found a magic percentage. The NaOH soap clumps up just fine. The KOH soap is a jelly that clogs up the filters.
After you out the methanol put the biodiesel in a removeable top barrel and pump the fuel back into itself. I let it run for 12 hours or so. Make sure the discharge shoots right back into the fuel. This seems to help it stick together into the pancake.
to clarify is the fuel falling through the air as it pumps back into itself, or is it pumping into itself via a submerged outlet tube? Based on my experiences thus far I would assume you are falling through air.
Any concerns with oxidation here?
Falling through the air.
I guess there could be concerns of oxidation, but I have not noticed a problem with my fuel yet.
Many thanks to Graham for developing and sharing this design with everyone! As I consider re-tooling my appleseed, I still have a few questions:
1. I am very concerned about methanol exposure and would like to minimize it as much as possible. What I don't see addressed in the new Eco-System is the mitigation of methanol exposure while draining glycerol. Am I missing something? Could this be achieved by using Eco-System Carboy Vents? What about reducing exposure when changing lid(s)?
2. In the NEW Eco-System design I am having difficulty understanding the purpose of the venturi. I guess I understood it's primary advantage in the original Eco-System design as being able to inject methoxide without pump cavitation. What advantage does it provide in the NEW?
3. In the state diagram does "Adj." mean "Adjustable" or similar? And, if so, should it refer to V4 in the state diagram?
Thanks in advance!
1. the "new" Eco-system I think was drawn up quickly and the original vented carboy has not been drawn in yet on the drain.
2. the venturi's main goal is to pull air through the condensor in a closed loop system so that no outside air is introduced when distilling the methanol. It can be used to inject the methoxide in the system, but I think GL drew in the one way valve before the pump, because that is the way alot of people are doing it now.
3. I think this new diagram was also drawn up quickly ( I think GL was gone all this week and wanted to get in online before he left) and adj. means to adjust the valve (in this case it should be v4) so it takes 20 minutes to put the methoxide in the system.
that's the way I see it, I could be wrong though
Hi used2ski and lshonda310
Sorry about the drawing - you're right it was part done only. lshonda310, you got it right, thanks for clarifying the operation.
I've updated the drawing which I hope will help to make it clearer.
The venturi is normally not operating, V7 is normally closed.
We use it when we want to pass vapours thru the condenser. When we open V7, the venturi sucks vapours in the direction shown, and the only path the vapours can take is thru the condenser.
Note that the vapours then get mixed into the hot liquid spray, where they pick up more voltatiles, which then get passed thru the condenser again.
So it helps remove water during dewatering and methanol during distillation.
Anything else not clear, just shout.This message has been edited. Last edited by: GrahamLaming,
Thanks for the clarification, both Graham and lshonda!
The updated diagram is huge help. Graham, is it necessary for the venturi and the inlet to the tank to be plumbed exactly as in the diagram? I currently use one of the top ports on the water heater and imagine that inserting the venturi in the current set-up would be a bit easier that completely re-tooling that area. Is there anything particular about the horizontal flow? BTW, what do you use to draw your diagrams?
I've tried the big box shops (Lowe's and Home Depot) for the tank connectors to make the Eco-System Vent Carboys and they were (typically) clueless. Even a Google search failed to yield something that looks the same. Are these called something else in the US? Are these something that I can find in a specialty plumbing shop? Does anyone know where I can find them online?
I've added an optional arrangement for you, for the venturi.
I use Paintshop Pro 6.02 - an old graphics program which I really like.
You can pick it up really cheaply as shareware - look around for a good deal.
A pump shop here has shown me a polypropylene venturi by Netafim. This one is second-hand, but new these venturis are expensive. They are normally used as fertilizer injectors in agriculture/horticulture.
The main flow orifice is small and there is a pressure drop of around 30%. No doubt a flow drop also.
So the injector can be set up in a bypass configuration.
One way to do this is to run the outlet back to the pump with a small amount of recirulation.
Another way is to put a restriction valve on the main flow to cause sufficient pressure drop to make the injector work. Inflow to the injector occurs before the valve, and injector outflow rejoins the main flow after the valve.
This may suit my setup because my pump really needs a lot more head than the height of my 55 (44) gallon cone drum to work efficiently and I was planning on throttling flow to create backpressure anyway. Just a matter of moving one of the valves on the pump outlet pipe to above the drum fluid level, and plumbing the venturi around it.
Graham, may I ask a question please? Concerning your plumbers delight condenser.
The copper we have here is -
- 19mm ID, 21mm OD for the larger size, and
- 12.5mm ID, 14.8mm OD for the smaller.
Foresee any problems with these sizes? I note you refer to 22mm tubing, here it's called 20mm for the old 3/4".
The venturi bypass sounds fine.
Try to have the venturi as the main direct path, with the valve as the added detour, so that you don't affect flow smoothness/backpressure around the venturi.
The copper pipe sizes you mentioned should work fine.
I am still having trouble sourcing the parts -- particularly the tank connector -- to construct the Eco-System carboy vents. Today, I tried a specialized plumbing supply house today and an awesome Mom and Pop hardware store. Again, no luck. Has anyone else constructed these? If so, where did you find the tank connectors (manudacturer and part # would be awesome)? Or, has anyone come up with another design that meets the same need?
heres how I did mine, I used a quick coupler that I took apart and took the valves out of so the 1/2" copper pipe could slide all the way through. the cap for the carboy had 3/4" pipe thread already on it.
This message has been edited. Last edited by: Shaun,
another pic of it assembled
This message has been edited. Last edited by: Shaun,
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