I had been reading how it seemed to be difficult to get separation when using ethanol, and I just wondered if anyone had tried electrostatic separation to ease things with ethanol. I have been reading about ethanol and it seems to have a few benefits over methanol but few people were doing it because of the difficulties of separation.
The Quiet Dan; I made the ethyl biodiesel separate quickly. I used lye, palm kernel flakes and ethanol to make it in a standard transesterification reaction. I used 99.5% anhydrous ethanol to start. After the reaction the reaction product didn't separate into ethyl biodiesel-glycerin layers. After a while, I added 1/2 a molar equivalent of concentrated sulfuric acid, with shaking, to my storage bottle. I neutralized the alkali part with strong acid. Decanted off about half the ethyl biodiesel. Heated the remainder of the reaction product 2 1/2 hours at 52-78 degrees centigrade. Decanted the other half of the ethyl biodiesel, leaving a translucent thick liquid(mostly glycerin) in the heating flask. I made the soap in the ethyl biodiesel into free fatty acids and sodium sulfate. I removed the free fatty acids (i think) by using magnesium silicate with heat, stirring and filtering through a 1 micron paper filter. So, no need for electrostatic separation, can be done by simple chemical means. Before I put the magnesium silicate into the crude ethyl biodiesel I distilled off excess ethanol and some water, under a 12 inch vacuum.