I have been looking at you carboy fittings, may I offer a little advice on soldering pipework.
More heat and less solder. As soon as you see a silver ring appear around the fitting it's done, no need to add more solder,it makes a better looking job.
It's just that I spent 22years teaching this stuff, nice work though.
thanks, that is only the second time I have ever soldered, but at least they won't leak, lol
Looks sweet! Thanks for posting. I like the idea of having a quick release/quick connect. I got so wrapped around the axle trying to do it exactly like Graham -- he enlarges the hole and inserts a threaded fitting with lock nut -- that I totally forgot that the carboy lids are already 3/4" thread. Thanks for the head-up!
Jim, does that apply to silphos brazing too with oxy-acetylene? My fittings have a blackened look after brazing, but I got the silphos to flow ok. Copper a nice red colour. Requirement seems to be a decent enough flame (neutral - no feather) and I had most success when heating the work almost at the end of the flame, not near the tip. Mostly used no flux.
Anyway my plumbers delight is now soldered up .
It sounds like the surface could be oxidising due to a lack of flux, all fluxes are used specifically to prevent oxygen getting at the joint.
An other reason for the blacking is that the flame is not quite neutral and carbonising.
Yes the small blue cone would be too hot for the small parts we us, so using the cold part of the flame would be better. An even temperature all round and apply the solder or brazing rod, if it dosen't flow all the way round use the flame to draw the solder/braze and help it flow by adding a Little extra solder.
Use plenty of flux.
Thank you Jim.
Here, the advice when brazing with silphos rod is that no flux is needed for copper only. Do you agree?
Initially my bits were bright and shiny, well sanded, but it was difficult to clean up the parts for adjacent work. And anyway I noticed that the flame cleaned up the work so I ploughed on without worrying too much about the black/grey oxide layer. This was the point where I tried a little flux which seemed to make little difference.
Mostly I tried heating the double joint layer and appeared able to draw the filler in and flow it in, but it is difficult to know how far into the joint the filler penetrates.
I noticed that if the flame wasn't big enough, I was tending to hold the small blue cone closer to push things along. Of course the metal was bubbling or boiling at this point.
But with a nice big flame and plenty of heat (not temperature), with the work bathed right in the end of the flame, the filler would flow nicely and stay shiny, no bubbling or sparking - most satisfying.
A neutral flame is when the outer cone or feather is pulled back to match the small blue inner cone - correct? Any less acetylene and the small blue cone sharpens and the flame is noisier - oxidizing. More acetylene and the cones separate - carbonizing.
For years I thought term was "carburizing" now I see this is not correct.
Also I notice at times that oxy-acetylene flames "squeak" - what causes this?
Your help and advice most appreciated Jim.
"So much to learn and so little time" - Twit Conway
Try 3/4 dielectric unions. they are used to connect 3/4 npt iron to copper plumbing. You can get them male or female, the male will attach right to the 3/4 knock out in the lid and the 3/4 sweat end will take 3/4 copper. They are 3/4 straight through so the rest is easy. Making mine now will post pics when they are done.
2002 Ford Excursion 7.3l
1983 Mercedes 300D
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You're finished when you quit.
Newbie here. Was wondering how long would the distillation process be? 1 hour? 2 hours?
Could this process be scaled to say, 6000 Liters? If so, would the distillation time stay the same?
How long would the total process be from methoxide to complete distillation? 4 hours?
Other than soap, aren't there other impurities left in the Biodiesel?
Graham have been following your expliots for a long time and thankyou for all your input and advise. I do methanol recovery using a 65litre appleseed design plummed into a car radiator fitted with 2 12v electric fans, works fantastic. The recovery rate is very high. One question though, with the recoved methanol what % of it has to be remixed with new methanol. Any ideas?
Your correct with not needing flux with silphos, although if you do use flux use the correct flux for silphos. The flux for soft solder is different. also 15% silphos will flow better than a lower %. We use silphos in a/c work and it will make a very strong joint.
In step 11 of your process where you drain the bioD out to a settle tank. Could this be replaced by pumping the bioD through a filter for a period of time ?
Would this negate the need to let it settle ?
Yes, you can do that. Use large sock filters and allow gravity to pull the biodiesel thru them.
Nice slow flow rate, recirculating the entire tank contents several times.
Too much pressure across the filter can allow the soft soap to extrude thru.
Tough one to answer - similar to asking how long does it take to go from San Francisco to New York.
The more power you put into the job, the faster it will complete.
I process 80 litres, with 3kW of heating power - say 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete distillation.
More heat input needs a bigger condenser, of course.
Should be scalable.
with the 5% pre-wash, how much water drains out with the glyc? And do you distill all the way, or just until the methanol is out, then switch carboy to distill water?
Graham et al,
I have recently run a batch using a set-up and process similar to the GL One Day Eco-System. However, my results were not quite as nice as those shown on the Eco-System site. A water test reveals that there are considerable water soluble impurities remaining -- see attached photo. I am wondering if I still have (or had) significant methanol present that has fouled my result. That said, I have several questions:
1. How do I know when to stop methanol distillation? Is it temperature based, or is there some other parameter that I need to follow?
2. What is the smell of methanol? What is the smell of pure biodiesel without methanol? My 'final' product has a slightly sweet smell that I have been associating with B100 but am now wondering if that slightly syrup-y sweet smell is not the sign of residual methanol. How to tell difference?
3. My oil titrated pretty high; ~7.65 g/L (avg. over three titrations). Could my high residual impurities be a result of such high FFA content? Or should the impurities still fall out if all the methanol is driven away?
4. I still have not been able to source the parts to make the venturi as Graham does. Could my impure fuel be a result of not using the venturi?
Thanks in advance for all your help!
This message has been edited. Last edited by: Shaun,
What method did you use to remove the soap after distillation?
Did you filter or settle under gravity? Was the biodiesel CRYSTAL clear? If it was crystal clear, and you got the result shown in your photo, then there was way too much methanol left in the biodiesel.
Traditional distilling to 90C won't remove enough methanol. The venturi will allow you to remove more methanol than simple distillation, because it promotes evaporation also, albeit in a closed loop. Traditional distillation doesn't involve evaporation as such, only boiling, and the boiling point of methanol rises as its concentration in biodiesel drops.
The venturi improves the recovery by continually recirculating the same air thru the hot biodiesel, then thru a condenser, and you can get better liberation of methanol this way.
Don't try to detect methanol by smelling - the varying aroma of biodiesel will mask low concentrations of methanol, and the smell will depend on the composition of the original oil, so if you use WVO, there will be no 'standard' smell. And, of course, as you know, sniffing methanol has health risks.
I run the venturi at 90C until methanol recovery has reduced to a drip every few seconds. That gives a consistently good level of cleaning. There WILL still be some methanol present, but it will be minimal.
Then you need to filter out the soap. This is easier if you use NaOH.
High FFA will generally result in more soap - but if the conversion was good, and methanol removal complete, you should be able to eliminate the soap easily.
Hope that helps,
well, after weeks of rebuilding the processer, pounding out a venturi out of copper fittings, I tried the one day process. The venturi just didn't have the suction that it should have, would not draw a 1/2 inch column of water over a foot, but even though I screwed it up, I though it would be good to go for pulling the vapor in the closed loop of gram's design. well it took 4 hours to get a gallon of methanol back out of the bd after I drained off the glycerol. I never got more than a drip of methanol. I ran the temps to 180 F, pump's spec's said it was good to 180 and well, the seal started leaking...all in all, I guess I'm going back to water washing and using KOH so I don't have to spend so much time with it. BD is now in the settling barrels waiting for the soap to settle to the bottom.
Is there any other way of removing the soap apart from filtering or waiting for settling to happen?
We transferred the biodiesel to a separate tank and recirculated it through a 5 micron bag filter for 2 hours. The biodiesel WAS crystal clear and a very much lighter color in the processor (clear braided recirc line) during the distillation. The next day the fuel was transferred to the settling tank for filtering. The transfer was done by the farm owner, and when I arrived later I noticed that about 6" of a clearer, lighter colored fuel than what was in the settling tank remained trapped above a closed V6. Above this clear fuel, there was about 3/4" of clear color fluid. Was this water or methanol?
I am still having difficulty finding the parts to make a venturi. It seems that the 3/4" compression fit T is only made on Graham's side of pond. Any suggestions?
I am a definite hypochondriac relative to sniffing methanol. I only ask because as I tried to troubleshoot the issues with this fuel, I tried more 5 micron filtering. After about an hour in the same room, and smelling that sweet smell, I swore I felt a bit off. Just wondering if that would point to a residual methanol issue.
Switched back to NaOH after reading about the GL One Day.
After all this, I believe it has to be one of two things that has fouled this fuel.
1.) Residual methanol. We are not using the Venturi -- anyone care to make us one? -- AND we just shot right past 90 deg C during the methanol distallation. We emptied our carboy at 90 deg C, but then just kept adding heat to 100 deg C, at which point we shut the system off. I probably took about an hour to go from 90 to 100.
2.)Poor glycerol draining. After reading several threads on this forum about not being able to achieve total glycerol drainage because of the location of the drainage on the Appleseed, I have been kind of watching for this phenomenon to see how it might mess things up. As indicated above, the fuel was crystal clear and very light while distilling methanol, but when transferred to the settling tank the fuel was light brown and a bit murky, while the bit of fuel trapped above V6 was still yellowish and clear.
Thanks again for all the help. It does totally help!
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