Please could the seasoned biodiesel producers comment on the use of copper piping in processors. I see that copper piping is used in the GL designs.What about galvanised water pipe as black piping is not available in my location. Copper piping is easier to work with and does a neat job.
copper is a bad idea. it degrades and causes stability issues with fuel. lose lose really.
i think the galvan coat can be stripped if its soaked in a certain solution. you could look into that.
I soaked some galvanized fittings in straight white vinegar for about a week. Took nearly all of it off. Muriatic acid works too, but vinegar is cheaper.
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The English have been using lots of copper, they don't seem to be having problems, and they're very innovative. Does anyone have a link?
I have used brass barrel nipples on all my tanks, including the processor, and they have done a good job for years now. Dunno if copper pipes are otherwise.
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Wherever I've seen copper in contact with UVO there has been greasy, green corrosion and erosion of the copper. UVO also reacts with the zinc coating on galvanized pipe. Brass is relatively unaffected by UVO in most cases, which is perhaps odd since it's an alloy of copper and zinc.
If you can't get black iron pipe and fittings, then removing the galvanized coating with dilute acid is an option if you've got the time.
The plastic pipe/tube used in domestic hot water and hot water heating systems is another option which is inexpensive and easy to install.
i've seen the greenish residue in brass fittings as well. i suspect both copper and brass would hold up for years, but no point in using them if there are alternatives.
Ive been using PVC pex pipe with brass compression fittings for 8 years with no problems. Its cheaper and easier than both steel or copper pipe. Beware of the various plastic fittings for plastic pipe, the seal in these fittings often use a rubber o ring which will only last a couple of weeks.
Copper, and to a lesser extent brass, will react with the biodiesel and will reduce the shelf life of the fuel but most brewers use their fuel as fast as they can make it so shelf life doesnt really matter.
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