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Thread: Need help, don't know what went wrong.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    BC canada
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    9

    Need help, don't know what went wrong.

    I tried making my first batch of biodiesel last night. I don't know what went wrong, when I added the methoxide, it's started foaming and starting coming out of the vent hole. I just transferred the oil out of the drying tower. I had the oil in the drying tower for a couple days till it passed the hot pan test, only a couple bubbles. The oil was at 140f. I circulated the oil in the reaction tower till it was at 120f. Because of size restraints I have to mix my methoxide in two different jugs. I hooked up the first jug and started pouring in the methoxide. The jug was about half empty when I heard gases starting to build and blow out the vent. Soon the vent started to spit foamy oil till a steady stream of froth was flowing out. It eventually stopped. The oil that came out was a jelly like consistency. After a little bit, I decided to add the other half of the methoxide. I didn't add it as fast and it went into the tower with no incident. The mixture turned black, like Guinness. I circulated the biodiesel mixture for at least an hour and a half. I transferred to oil in the separation tank, I also put a 1 L sample in my separation funnel. With a flashlight behind the separation funnel you can see that there is a separation between the glycerin in the bio diesel. I let the mixture settle overnight but there is still no separation unless you stick a flashlight behind it. The oil titrated at 6.5 NaOH. My formula was 120L x (5g+6.5g) NaOH into 26.4L of Methyl hydrate. I don't know if my tower was too hot so the methanol just evaporated when it got mixed in. But my methoxide was also still warm to the touch so I don't know if it wasn't done dissolving maybe. And I'm not sure what to make of the black biodiesel. The feedstock was not black when I started.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    BC canada
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    Re: Need help, don't know what went wrong.

    I'm trying to add pics but it I'm not having any luck. Maybe I'm not allowed yet?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    4,182

    Re: Need help, don't know what went wrong.

    Welcome to the forum.
    Unfortunately, the image attachment facility is inoperative. What we need to do is to drop your photos onto an image hosting site and link them back to this forum using the [img]put URL for image here[/img] tags.
    As a newbie, posts with attachments will be moderated, but they will be looked at and approved if appropriate.
    I look forward to your images. I have never heard of it foaming like that. What temperature was the oil in the processor?
    Regards,
    Tony
    Last edited by Tony From West Oz; 25th July 2016 at 01:46 PM.
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab. Running on used cooking oil with 5% to 10% misfuel.
    '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP)


    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup. Died when supercharger stuck at max boost for weeks. Stretched head bolts.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Donor for current Fatmobile coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
    Parts Car C220 1993 SOLD.
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel single tank using 95% used cooking oil and 5% to 10% misfuel (where someone had filled diesel vehicle with petrol).


    Searching the Biofuels Forum using Google
    Adding images and/or documents to your posts


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Townsville, North Queensland
    Posts
    621

    Re: Need help, don't know what went wrong.

    Hello Horsefly,
    Your temp is about right. 140f would be on the hot side. Your base amount (5g) is about right. I would think you may have added the methox too fast. When I first started making biodiesel my processor was an open top drum. mixing was by way of a pump. when mixing started there was a degree of frothing at the surface, but it was never a problem.

    What your problem will be is your oil is a bit over used. Tits of 6.5 is way out there, and you may be better off looking into the acid/base method if that is the only oil you can get. My oil is usually way down around 1.8 to 3. It is much easier to react and wash.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    BC canada
    Posts
    9

    Re: Need help, don't know what went wrong.

    This is the bio after a few washes, I had just shacken it up.

    My processor


    Drying tower


    Home made venturi


    Left to right. Drying tower, reactor, settling tank, storage tank.


    Mess after


    More mess


    Glop on my pump


    Bio in the settling tank

    One liter sample taken during transferring. It was totally black without light a light behind it. this is after a night of settling

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
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    4,182

    Re: Need help, don't know what went wrong.

    That is a LOT of byproduct in the sample you took. What proportion of the total sample is it?
    Tony
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab. Running on used cooking oil with 5% to 10% misfuel.
    '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP)


    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup. Died when supercharger stuck at max boost for weeks. Stretched head bolts.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Donor for current Fatmobile coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
    Parts Car C220 1993 SOLD.
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel single tank using 95% used cooking oil and 5% to 10% misfuel (where someone had filled diesel vehicle with petrol).


    Searching the Biofuels Forum using Google
    Adding images and/or documents to your posts


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    BC canada
    Posts
    9

    Re: Need help, don't know what went wrong.

    I started the transfer into the settling tank, after a minute or so, I stopped and pumped that sample. But the pump draws from the bottom, obviously, so maybe I took more from the glycerin layer; I don't know. I will take a sample from the top when I get home; that will be about a week of settling time. I will also do a 27/3 test. What does the dark bio mean? Does that mean that I didn't convert the oil fully? Or is it a result of high tit level?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    ลึก ประเทศอินเด&
    Posts
    2,009

    Re: Need help, don't know what went wrong.

    Hi horseflybiodiesel,

    Quote Originally Posted by horseflybiodiesel View Post
    What does the dark bio mean? Does that mean that I didn't convert the oil fully? Or is it a result of high tit level?
    There are many variables that affect the colour of biodiesel.
    1. The type of oil being reacted.
    2. What was cooked in it.
    3. Acid/ Base biodiesel will usually be darker than base only biodiesel made from the same oil source.
    4. Higher conversion biodiesel will usually be lighter in colour than lower conversion biodiesel made from the same oil source.

    I am sure there are other things too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Location
    Brisbane
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    3

    Re: Need help, don't know what went wrong.

    Mate I'm having a consistently similar thing. Using WVO which is six months old and has been left in an unsealed container; it titrates no lower than 8 g or so, and the mean titration I'd say would be around 12. Took a little reading of these threads to realise how difficult it is to work with this.

    If it got above 57-58 C prior to meth-lye being added, it was a much lower yield at the end, regardless of methanol and/or lye proportions and processing times. If kept in the 50-55 range prior to and during the reaction, yields turned out alright for quality and, in terms of quality, at about 50-80 % (v/v) of light washable biodiesel.

    I found that once a sample of the dark heavier oil had water poured into it, it quickly turned to a glycerol-like substance. Was there anything like this with yours?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
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    4,182

    Re: Need help, don't know what went wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by scttmcknnn View Post
    Mate I'm having a consistently similar thing. Using WVO which is six months old and has been left in an unsealed container; it titrates no lower than 8 g or so, and the mean titration I'd say would be around 12. Took a little reading of these threads to realise how difficult it is to work with this.

    If it got above 57-58 C prior to meth-lye being added, it was a much lower yield at the end, regardless of methanol and/or lye proportions and processing times. If kept in the 50-55 range prior to and during the reaction, yields turned out alright for quality and, in terms of quality, at about 50-80 % (v/v) of light washable biodiesel.

    I found that once a sample of the dark heavier oil had water poured into it, it quickly turned to a glycerol-like substance. Was there anything like this with yours?
    Is there a reason that you need to use this oil? There may be a lot of oil in better condition just waiting for you to make contact with the supplier. Much easier and cheaper to use good oil. Alternatively, you could use the Acid/Base reaction to get a better outcome.
    You can process it at even lower temperatures. I do mine at 35-40C and agitate the reactants for 2 hours. Agitation is much cheaper than heating.

    I found that once a sample of the dark heavier oil had water poured into it, it quickly turned to a glycerol-like substance.
    I take it that this is raw oil not processed. Perhaps you can take a photo or 2 to show what it looks like.
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab. Running on used cooking oil with 5% to 10% misfuel.
    '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP)


    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup. Died when supercharger stuck at max boost for weeks. Stretched head bolts.
    '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
    '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Donor for current Fatmobile coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
    Parts Car C220 1993 SOLD.
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel single tank using 95% used cooking oil and 5% to 10% misfuel (where someone had filled diesel vehicle with petrol).


    Searching the Biofuels Forum using Google
    Adding images and/or documents to your posts


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