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DONT put your methanol carboy above your Appleseed!

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April 06, 2006, 11:23 PM
Legal Eagle
DONT put your methanol carboy above your Appleseed!
Yup and once you get it in the mail then the customs people take over at the other end and hold your stuff hostage until you pay the ransom.
Nice "fatboy" water heater Graydon; the thermometer isn't at the right place though Roll Eyes

Since this thread got started and I was in the process of moving my set up at the same time it was useful to me in designing the new methoxide feed table. It is now barely just above the inlet port of the pump and works like a charm. Much easier to work with, not to mention safer too. I still use the aquarium air pump in the Delrin sleeve through the vent cap and that works like a charm too; nothing is clamped so should the pressure build too high it will simply pop the hose off and relieve pressure that way, but hasn't happened yet.

** Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide
- on 5 continents helping people make & sell soap from the Biodiesel Glycerine.

April 12, 2006, 02:21 PM
Can anyone answer the qustion about rate of methoxide addition? Say for a 40-gallon batch of oil, how long should it take to add the 8 gallons of methoxide???

April 12, 2006, 02:38 PM
Using the HF 5 GPM pump, 40 gal.+8 will circulate in approx. 10 min.
I'd add the methoxide over a 20 min. cycle. That should distribute and mix it evenly.

April 12, 2006, 02:46 PM
If it's being added to the top of the processor, it can be added as fast as possible. If it's being added by suction just upstream of the pump, it needs to be slow enough to avoid cavitation (funny noise from pump, and lots of foam created inside the mixer). I've successfully used a Facet fuel pump (an old one from before their quality turned bad) to pump in 8 gallons of methoxide over 20 minutes. I've also used the pump to suck in the entire 8 gallons of methoxide in one-go, so it's not mixing with oil until it's all inside the processor.
The methoxide tends to sit on top of the oil once it's inside. It slowly gets incorporated from normal agitation. If the stream of oil from the pump outlet is above the methoxide, so there's violent mixing of strong methoxide with unreacted oil, it may cause gelling, and therefore slow addition would be called for. If (like mine) the pump stream is introduced just at the level of the top of the oil, it can all go in at once.
My processor was strongly influenced by the Appleseed, but isn't exactly one.
June 01, 2006, 09:24 AM
I am about to get some basic bits for a processor and dont no what capacity pump to use i am in australia and its litres per minute or per hour i was going to build a processor to do 150 litres i think that is about 40 gallons and was thinking of using a pump capacity of 100 to 200 litres per minute for good mixing, and would like to know why other people dont or maybe do use a similar capacity.
June 01, 2006, 09:30 AM
Dave in Texas
The HF pump most use costs around $25.00 (USD). I would imagine the one you are talking about costs considerably more.
June 01, 2006, 09:42 AM
Yes $400 aus.
June 11, 2006, 11:59 AM
BE CAREFULL WITH PRESSURE! If you figure out the total surface area of the container in square inches, and multiply the surface area by the pressure you are using, you will be unpleasantly surprised by the total amount of force trying to blow the container apart. BE CAREFULL.
June 21, 2006, 10:51 PM
I am currently building my processor at home for automation testing. It is a VERY small reactor, most would call it a nano processor as it makes less than 1 gallon per batch.

I have been reading this thread with some interest in mixing rates. From what I gather, the main pump should be able to "turn over" the entire oil batch in 10 min, and the methoxide should be added at a rate that allows it to be mixed in over a 20 minute period?

I would think that a proportioning pump of some type would be the best for this, as mixing rate would essentially balance out no matter what the main pump being used. In other words, use whatever pump gear (ok) or centrifugal (best) for circulation. On the intake side of the pump put a T fed by two gear pumps: a big one on the oil side, and a small one on the methoxide side. No motors on these gear pumps: they are simply connected to each other with a common shaft. Then the mixing ratio would be a function of the difference of size between the pumps. If, however, for economics reasons the same pump was used for both, then a reduction gear of the proper ratio would be placed between the reactor outlet gears and the methoxide injection gears. Since total methoxide is about 20 percent of the batch size, then about a 40 to 1 ratio seems to be about right. I think a planetary reduction gear would work between the two halves.

Please correct me if I'm wrong!!
May 26, 2011, 11:32 AM
I used to do that as well until I had a near catastrophe during my first batch run. I had a full load of methoxide on top of my 55 gal drum reactor (modified appleseed) ready for the next batch. As I was pumping the new BD to the wash tank I forgot to turn off the heat. As the BD level descended below the heating element the element over heated and ignited the methanol fumes in the reactor...BOOM! It blew the lid off the reactor, the metal rack the meth container was on went over my head across the garage and the meth container fell into the reactor. No methoxide spilled and I was not hurt. Near miss to say the least! This incident plus the act of lifting 8 gals of methoxide above my head gave me the creeps so I decided to come up with a better method.

I now use a 10 gal (26" high, 14" wide )round carboy that sits on the floor and pump the methoxide out into the reactor. This is accomplished by extending a pipe from the carboy lid to the bottom of the container. I allow some oil from the reactor to run into the line but not into the meth container to prime the process. It takes about 30 seconds for the pump to begin to draw but once it gets started it drains the meth container in less than two minutes. The carboy is vented through a second port so pressure equalizes in the carboy as the meth is sucked out. Not perfect and not fumeless but it works. I wear a respirator and open up all the doors to provide as much ventilation as possible.

Dana Knight "dckfly"
Boulder, CO

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