Ok, for anyone interested the results came back today. Very encouraging!! ASTM standard for Sodium/Potassium combined is 5ppm. My salt dried sample was reported as < 2.0. I'm assuming that 2ppm is the detection limit of method EN 14538:2006. So that would mean my sample contained less than detectable limits of Sodium. Thoughts, suggestions, comments, all are welcome.
Since I couldn't post up pics of the experiment here on infopop, Graydon was more than happy to let me post them over on his site, biodieselpictures.com Here is the link if anyone would like to see what I did. Thanks a ton Graydon!!
Wow, that is so cool!!!. Would this drying process work better in an upflow set up? once the salt gets saturated with water would it disolve and fall as salt water to the bottom of the container or colum?
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Exactly!! I had the same thoughts about 2 mins into this project! Ha!! I've noticed water accumulating at the bottom of the salt column. So a small diaphragm pump would be all that was required from a "power input" stand point. This was the whole drive behind this experiment...eliminate the heating, pumping, spraying of BD to get it dry. I think a bottom up column would definitely be better! Thanks for the input Biotom! I greatly respect your experience and insight. I've learned a whole lot from you!!
Oh, did you happen to notice the Na analysis results?? Pretty cool eh??
Yes, upflow would make it work even better.
How dry is the BD after going through the salt column?
Have you built a simple carbide manometer to quantify results?
Nice jugs with the bottom drain.
I've not quantified water content. I have heated the salt dried BD to 100C and higher in a closed container with no boiling, steam, vapor or condensation formation. For my personal use, that's good enough for me.
I work in a laboratory so I have access to lots of neat toys!
I've seen the manometer you're talking about on Rickdatech's site. Probably should get my @$$ in gear and put one together!
Here's pics of the one I put together:
simple, easy, accurate.
Thanks John! I'll send you a pic (if the site will let me) when I get it constructed.
Outstanding results. Thanks for breathing new life into drying biodiesel with salt!
Thanks Rick..that's big kudos coming from you!
I've always been skeptical concerning the solubility of Na in oil. Too many folks (including myself) use brine to break emulsions specifically because the salt is attracted to the water, thereby breaking the emulsion. If oil was soluble in oil, this wouldn't work.
This little bench test seems to support that. But, like I said in a couple posts up I am beginning to see water accumulate at the bottom of the column. Which is to be expected and like others have said, a bottom feed column would work better and also eliminate the chances of pulling the water out with the dried fuel.
I hope I can move forward with this and incorporate it into my own process.
So guys, how would you see this working in the real world ?
1) Make my BIO through whatever method
2) Water wash until satisfied it is clean
3) Have a drum half full of salt that i allow the new BD to slowly enter - presumably the top of this drum already contains my last batch of BIO and then the new lot slowly pushes the dried BIO out the top to long term storage ?
Question: How do i then drain the salt/water longer term that is going to collect in the bottom ?
What would the bottom of the drum look like - would i end up with a sludgy goo similar to the bottom of my WVO upsettling system ? and would i just drain a couple of litres every now and then ?
Well, this is kinda where I'm at too. As Biotom and John Galt mentioned, a bottom up feed would work much better. I'm thinking something similar to a dry wash tower with a drain valve in the bottom for draining water. A sight glass would be handy too so as to keep an eye on water level. By pumping wet bio in through the bottom the water would wouldn't be nearly as likely to come out with the bio as it would want to fall. Trying to draw dry bio off the bottom from a top feed set up wouldn't work too long as the accumulated water would drain out with the bio.
I've not applied this on a production scale myself...only small tests. So I can't offer any personal experience using this technique full scale; although I intend to be able to so soon!
OK here is what i am going to put together to test this out and how i would use it
1) my processor is a 400 litre water heater with a domed bottom and open at the top
2) I have a take off at the bottom for dumping glycerine etc out when processing and circulating
3) i have a 2nd take off 4 inches from the bottom that enables me to drain the BIO without taking everything from the bottom
4) After making a batch i would then bubble for a day to drive off excess methanol then start water washing
5) i usually do 3 water washes until my water comes out nearly clear
6) after the 3rd wash i would let the batch settle for a day to let excess free water drain to the bottom and discard.
I intend to use a 60 litre drum filled with two bags of pool salt
I will place this on the ground next to my processor - the top of this drum comes level with the raised takeoff in 3 above
I will put a tap in the very bottom of the drum and tilt it slightly towards this tap
I will put another tap 2 inches from the bottom of this drum as the inlet from the processor - this will connect to the outlet in 3 above.
I will put another outlet about an inch down from the top of the drum - this will lead to my long term storage tank
After making a batch and doing all the steps above, i will slightly crack the outlet in 3 above to let a trickle of BIO into the bottom of the drum - as this fills the drum it will slowly work its way up through the Salt - once it fills the drum it will then (hopefully) be dry and then be forced out through gravity to my long term 200 litre storage drums.
Will report back once i have put it together and started it working.
Sounds good...couple of things I might suggest from what I've seen in my small tests. 1) You may need to allow your wet biodiesel to sit in the salt drum for a bit. Maybe 20-30 mins, especially since I'm not sure exactly how much salt you will be using in comparison to the volume of bio you're going to run through the salt. 2) You might consider trying to apply some type of screen inside the salt drum, ahead of the drain valve for the bio, just in case salt tries to plug the valve opening.
Sounds like a great start up plan to test this on a larger scale. I wish I had the physical room to set something up myself but right now I simply don't. Good luck and I'm really looking forward to hearing your results!!
thanks for the ideas - i intend to let this upflow settle at a very slow trickle - so probably take say 4 or 5 days for 200 litres to pass through.
Good idea re the screen - will have a look what i can fab up - or maybe i will do a 5 micron CAV filter on the outlet prior to entering the storage drum
FWIW, as far getting the bio dry, it's not gonna take 4-5 days. Of course I realize that this may be time constrains based on your set up or personal reasons; however, the salt will dry the bio much faster than that, from what I've seen in my testing. Again, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this works out for you. Good luck and keep us posted!
At the stage of drying the Biodiesel, are there any impurities likely to be left in the salt, or will it only be water? Jim.
I am also interested in cold-up-flowing out of a drum then through a bed of salt, before final settle/filtering.
Obviously the idea is to cold up-flow the nastiest bits out then use the salt to dry whats left. But I am also afraid of impurities in the salt and/or actual salt itself passing through the system and into the tanks. What would a few hundred thousand 5 micron pieces of salt do going through the IP?
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In the original spirit of this thread, drying WVO with salt, I decided to give it a go with my original set up with this change....I simply filled the salt column with some pretty gloppy, wet WVO and allowed it to sit overnight. The results were nothing like they were with the wet bio. Probably because the water content was so much higher. The WVO didn't seem to have been affected at all.
I think that putting the salt in the bottom of the barrel as LE suggested in Post #1 might assist in drawing the water downward, i.e., speed up gravity's work.