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GL's Ecosystem processor - who is using it?
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I have tried the process twice and am having difuculty passsing the 27/3 test. About how long do you need to let the BD settle before running the test? I have a 30 gallon processor open the air. I did test and there is no meth in the BD, but have not yet passed the 27/3 test. I have waited upto 3 day on the first batch before I needed to use it. The second batch has been about 1 day. A small jar cleared up over night but still failed.

Thanks
Brent
 
Location: Annapolis MD | Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Brent

Let's see if we can sort this out for you. But, need to know a few things about your process first, to be able to offer reasonably accurate suggestions ...

1. Are you doing the 27/3 test before and after removing methanol? You can do the test right after the glycerol has been settled and removed, and also right after the methanol has been removed.

2. What titration oil are you using?

3. How much lye and methanol are you using?

4. What temperature are you processing at?

5. How long are you processing for?

6. What mixing pump flow rate are you using?

7. Was your oil dry?

8. What temperature are you doing the 27/3 test at?

Sorry for all the questions, but there are so many variables which could affect conversion, a clear picture will help us to help you.

You should really have a lid on your processor to prevent all that methanol getting out into the air.


Rover 75 + Skoda Fabia on B100
http://www.graham-laming.com

Bicycle on G100 12,000 miles p.a. ( http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GrahamLaming )
 
Location: UK | Registered: December 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Current batch went as follows. 124 liter WVO, titrated to 5.5, process with KOH, put in 1735 gm KOH, 27.8 liter meth, heated to 145 F, mixed and processed for 3.5 hr. Temp when done was 125 F. Did a 7.5 liter prewash, mixed 30 minutes. Settled overnight, and drained 38L of waste. Distilled and got 2.4L of methanol. Tested for meth in the BD and passed. Took a sample jar (slightly cloudy initially) and let it and the tank (open to air) settle for a day. The jar cleared up but still failed the 3/27 test. I have 31 gallons of BD, which makes about a >90% conversion, seems to high, or really good beginers luck.

I do not know the mix flow rate, and I fully dried the oil before processing, let it run till the clear tubes for the air flow were completly dry.

Thanks for the help
Brent
 
Location: Annapolis MD | Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Missed 1 question, ran the 27/3 test at 70F, and not 90% conversion, should read 90+% yield.
 
Location: Annapolis MD | Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Brent

I've got to admit I haven't used oil which titrates that high, but my guess is you may have better success if you add a little extra KOH

Try a few 1 liter test batches, each with 1 g/liter more than the previous and see how much KOH per liter gets you to pass the 27/3.

The reason I say that is that some KOH purity seems lower than expected, so its effectiveness is reduced.

Anyone else have any ideas?


Rover 75 + Skoda Fabia on B100
http://www.graham-laming.com

Bicycle on G100 12,000 miles p.a. ( http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GrahamLaming )
 
Location: UK | Registered: December 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I thought 5.5 was great compared to the first batch I tried that was a 12. I shopped around and got better sources and will continue to do so.

However you idea of the not as claimed purity of the KOH has some merit, since I had the same problem with the first batch. Someone suggested doing a reprocess test batch to see if any more conversion occures. I will try to do that this week, and is this proves to be the issue I will take your suggestion and raise the base amount by 1 or 2. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for the help
Brent
 
Location: Annapolis MD | Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Well I ran a test reprocess batch this morning and pulled about 8 ml of glycerol out of the batch after 30 minutes of settling. The batch then passed the 27/3 test. So it looks like my KOH is not as pure as claimed. I will adjust the numbers and go from there

Thanks for the help
Brent
 
Location: Annapolis MD | Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Finally starting to put my processor together!!
It is based on a 60 gallon air compressor tank and a 26-99 grundfoss pump. The 2 questions that I have are:

I have an ultra low watt density element that is 5500w @ 240v (1375w @ 120v). I am basing this all on a 40 gallon batch size so will 5500w be to much or should I just run it on 120v. The pump will move about 29gpm so I think I should have enough flow for the higher wattage.

Second is I'll be controlling the heat with a PID and and a 40A SSR. I would like to use 2 thermocouples with one in the return line to control it during reaction and a second at the top of the condensor to control during distillation. Problem is only 1 TC input on the PID. Is it possible to connect both TC's with a DPDT switch as a selector or will the extra conections throw off the reading enough to matter?

Thanks for all the help and inspiration so far,
Tony in Tampa


2002 Ford Excursion 7.3l
1983 Mercedes 300D
GL processor
You're not finished when you lose,
You're finished when you quit.
 
Location: Tampa, Fl | Registered: April 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Tony

Sounds good!

Keep your heating on 240V 5500W and let the PID controller do the power regulation for you.

You can switch thermocouples, but you need to choose your switch and connection method carefully.

Here are the important points:

1. Use self-cleaning-contact switches.
Because you are not switching any current, the switch contacts can become oxidized and develop high resistance. So use self-cleaning contacts. These tend to slide against each other, rather than just meet face-to face.

Many rotary switches are self cleaning.

2. Use switches with gold plated or silver plated contacts. These develop lower thermal error voltages than cheaper contacts.

3. Soldering your thermocouple wire to a switch can be difficult, depending on thermocouple type.

If you have type J, you can solder resonably easily.

Type K thermocouple wire is a pig to solder reliably, because it has aluminum and chrome alloys, which don't 'wet' well. If you have type K, choose a switch with screw terminals.

4. Keep the switch out of drafts and away from sources of heat.

No switch is perfect, and anywhere you connect different conducting materials together, you create a thermocouple. To minimise thermal errors, your whole switch should be at the same temperature, and at as constant a temperature as possible. The actual temperature is unimportant, but you want to avoid sudden changes in temperature or differences in temperature across the switch.

If you cover these points , you can quite reliably switch thermocouples.

Remember to use the appropriate thermocouple extension cable and NOT copper cable, for all your thermocouple wiring.

Switch examples ....

http://export.farnell.com/jsp/search/productdetail.jsp?SKU=1190371


http://export.farnell.com/jsp/search/productdetail.jsp?SKU=1190380



Hope that helps,


Rover 75 + Skoda Fabia on B100
http://www.graham-laming.com

Bicycle on G100 12,000 miles p.a. ( http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GrahamLaming )
 
Location: UK | Registered: December 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Graham
I've been using a system which is based on your GL dry wash system.
I get really great BD, though it takes more than 1 day.
I plan to make a exact replica of your system and keep u posted
 
Registered: November 13, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by applhead:
Well I ran a test reprocess batch this morning and pulled about 8 ml of glycerol out of the batch after 30 minutes of settling. The batch then passed the 27/3 test. So it looks like my KOH is not as pure as claimed. I will adjust the numbers and go from there

Thanks for the help
Brent


Hey Applhead, glad to hear that you seem to have it figured out. It looked like you were using 14 gram of KOH per batch (8.5 gram base amount per liter?) Andrew Morris typically uses the industrial standard of 1 wt% (~9 grams/liter).

I was most interested though in your mixing rate and method - since methanol will tend to float on your batch tank and glycerin will settle as it is produced (if your pump is too low of flow)you can end up circulating glycerin and oil and not getting adequate surface area contact. The catalyst facilitates the reaction since methanol and oil are mostly immisible.

The catalyst works at the surface of contact thus amount used may be influenced by the method of mixing used/the degree of surface area created for direct contact with unesterified mono,di,tri-glycerides and fresh MeOH...

Also where are you measuring the temperature of the batch. In my personal experience if your measuring the temp. at the outlet of your heaters or near the heater element - it might not accurately reflect the temp. of the whole batch.

Just some thoughts.

GCG
 
Location: Michigan | Registered: May 08, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Graham following post on reducing methanol amount needed for complete reaction thread (and methanol removal prior to glycerin separation) but wanted mention some results we're seeing using the GL-1 day process.

In doing some experiments on air injection into the biodiesel stream for methanol removal; we decided to use a diffuser stone from a fish tank bubbler. We don't have a venturi yet, so we're using an air compressor to inject into the recirc line. - well when injecting air into the line and through the diffuser stone: the methanol removal rate was AWESOME (done in 30 minutes on a small batch)

However a tremendous amount of very fine soap bubbles were formed...

Anybody have experience with this.

Lastly a venturi can be used to inject very precise amounts of any fluid chemical (CO2, H2SO4, Acidified Glycerin, etc.) So using the venturi to add the neutralizing agent of choice and immediately aspirating the mixture using a diffuser stone to remove methanol content might be a perfect combo... Or something along this line i.e. can CO2 gas act both as the neutralizing agent for the catalyst and the methanol liberator!!!

GCG
 
Location: Michigan | Registered: May 08, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Graham,

Are you using KOH or Naoh for Lye? How do you filter the soap or gly from using KOH??

I really like the idea of no or little water to wash the bio-d.

Do you reclaim the methanol in the glycerine? Like save it and after every thid batch, put it all back into the processor and drive off the meth??

I am in the process of fab'ing a "plumbers delight" but, for the water jacket I am going to use PVC. Just because copper costs so dang much here. I have smushed the 1/2" copper inside vapor tube and have found a close fitting to transfer from it to PVC.

Is settling really only two days? at what temp? I am really intrigued in not using so much water to wash. Even if I had to wash once... that's better than 2-3 times.

Thanks, c.


C.


2006 - Jeep Liberty CRD - Wife drives
 
Location: New England | Registered: July 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Carl

I use NaOH. Other folks may be able to offer their experiences of using KOH.

Yes, 2 days is normally enough, just sitting in a drum, no heating. I don't use a whole drunm in one go, just take from the top and work my way down until I start drawing soap.

Then just add more on top.

When the soap level rises to a point where I think I won't be able to fit a whole batch in, I just scoop it out into a big cloth bag, and let it gravity filter any biodiesel out. I use a pillow slip.

Make sure your PVC will be suitable for the temperature at the top of the condenser where it touches the hot ingoming tube.

I do recover methanol from glycerol from time to time, but not always. I'm trying to find a way to make this more practical and economic.


Rover 75 + Skoda Fabia on B100
http://www.graham-laming.com

Bicycle on G100 12,000 miles p.a. ( http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GrahamLaming )
 
Location: UK | Registered: December 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Graham,

My thought for the processor is a hybrid type. Some of your ideas, some appleseed, some apple turnover. I have a name for it but I won't spill the beans just yet. It has to work first.

You said two days sitting. What about winter performance? I know your winters are lighter than mine. I spent 3 months on that little island to the west of you this past winter. I thought I died and went to heaven! The UK got a few cm of snow and I had to laugh... We got about 2 cm in Dublin that same storm and I went out to play in the car and could hardly get teh tires to spin!... But I digress.

Mark suggests using KOH. I would like to distill as much meth as possible. I plan on making "glycerol logs" for the winter fire.

I am wondering about the PVC performance as well but, it is rated for 23 degree C. at 450 psi Confused For burst/melt temp I am Googling working temps of the pipe.

You also mention practical and economic for recovery of meth from glycerine. Is that because you are using NaOH and more heat has to be used to get it to flow? I have enough oil on hand right now that will make about 50 gallons of glycerine Eek I don't want this to become a full time job to dispose of the glycerine.

Enough ramblings. Time to get to work this weekend building my hybrid.

C.


C.


2006 - Jeep Liberty CRD - Wife drives
 
Location: New England | Registered: July 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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today was the first time i have actually de-watered using the GL's setup. i recovered approx 1 litre from a 140l batch. i believe it ran for about 8 hours, thermostat by-passed. this some pretty cruddy wvo (color of applesauce) and i imagined i would get a lot more water out. what kind of results have you all had with de-watering as far as recovered water?
 
Registered: February 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Question for those who use this process. I have done about 5 batches. Unfortunately I do not yet have enough fuel to allow it to settle long, typically 1 day. I use it faster than I can make it right now. But I have done many test batches, washed and dried. I have never been able to make the no water method produce fuel as clear as a wash and dry. DO other people get fuel as clear, and perhaps I am not settling long enough.

I typically get about 1 day settling, and run it through a 1 micron filter.

Brent
 
Location: Annapolis MD | Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Isettled my first batch done this way about 4 days and it was as clear as my test batches. Still planning on a filtration setup though. Call me paranoid.

Tony


2002 Ford Excursion 7.3l
1983 Mercedes 300D
GL processor
You're not finished when you lose,
You're finished when you quit.
 
Location: Tampa, Fl | Registered: April 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Dewatering - best if you don't recirculate the vapour. Heat to 80*C or so and just draw air in through the venturi and then outside via the condenser.

Clarity - this cannot be stressed enough you have to get out all the methanol and water I heat to about 75*C and circulate the vapour through the condenser for about three hours. Then, whilst still warm, pump into your settling barrel and chuck in a bubbler for another 3 hours. It will be so clear after three days that you can see clear to the bottom of the barrel. Complete methanol removal is the key.

Nick


Free collection of waste cooking oil in the Nottingahm area http://wastevegoil.co.uk
 
Location: Nottingham UK | Registered: December 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I de-meth up at about 85C. But your saying I should not have a closed loop. If I read correctly you use the venturi to draw air into your tank (now at a slightly higher pressure) and this then pushes it out through your condenser to outside.

Currently I de-meth until the circulating tube (clear tube entering the venturi) is dry, usually several hours.
 
Location: Annapolis MD | Registered: September 26, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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