A collection of notes about making biodiesel
I've tried to develop the traditional biodiesel process, to greatly reduce the need for methanol, and to use techniques to limit its release into the environment, which is one of the most challenging ecological risks in the biodiesel process. The use of water in the purification/washing process has also been largely eliminated.
::: Processor designs - minimal methanol release, no water wasted.
- EcoSystem processor - needs no water, recovers methanol (GL 1 day system)
- Advanced Push-Pull processor. Methanol recovery from biodiesel & glycerol
::: System components
- Soldering copper pipe - a simple guide
- A safer electrical heater design
- Plumber's delight methanol recovery condenser
- Make your own vacuum venturi
- A simple pump throttle system
- Carboy filling vents
- Simple, safe stirrer for dissolving lye in methanol
- Never-overflowing wash tank
- Re-ranging a British thermostat
- Electrical control ideas for heater and pump
- Electrostatic glycerol separation videos & ideas
- Electronic dipstick to detect the glycerol or water layer
- Electronic colour detector for titrations - helps automate the process
- Simple solar detector and motor positioner
- An Immersion Heater power controller, by Matt Stevens (240 kb)
::: Safety notes
Making biodiesel involves poisonous, corrosive, flammable chemicals.
WEAR CHEMICAL SAFETY MASK and CHEMICAL RESISTANT GLOVES when you use Methoxide, NaOH, KOH, Methanol, H2SO4, HCL. Do not breathe methanol fumes. Wear a dust-filter mask when you use KOH flake.
Do not make biodiesel in a house or attached garage - use a lockable, ventilated out-house, with running water, suitable fire extinguishers, and suitable safety notices on all hazardous chemicals.
- Pressure testing a tank - beware!
- First aid for chemical burns
- Protect yourself from splashes and burns
- Breathing apparatus for your safety
- MSDS Safety details for Methanol
- MSDS Safety details for NaOH
- MSDS Safety details for KOH
- MSDS Safety details for HCL
- MSDS Safety details for H2SO4
- MSDS Safety details for Phenolphthalein
::: Reference Data
- Mixing fuels of different biodiesel percentage
- Biodiesel specifications
- Methanol purity chart
- Calibration weights for scales - you already have them!
- Methanol technical data
- Methanol boiling points at different concentrations
- Excellent biodiesel users guide - big file 1.7Mb
- Testing biodiesel in the lab
- Calculating volume of liquid in a part-filled cylindrical tank
- Bosch VE injection pump assembly notes
- Phenolphthalein vs. Turmeric comparison
::: Test your biodiesel knowledge
- Take test 1
- Take test 2
- Take test 3