View Full Version : Clear Bio

15th March 2008, 08:20 PM
Been having some trouble getting the washed bio to clear. It passes 3/27 and the water "shake-m-up" test but the bio is not clearing.

After a bit of research on the main list I decided to try the pre-wash idea just to see if that helps. All the advice on the main list indicates it will.

Any one here doing this? I'll give you all an update tomorrow night.

15th March 2008, 11:27 PM
If ya wash water is coming out clean then ya bio is clean. The cloudiness will be because you now need to dry it. Put it out in the sun for a few days. That should do it

16th March 2008, 08:37 AM
I agree Qwarla, excpt it still has glycerol suspended in it. I thought the 3/27 or shakem would have given a negative result if glys was still present.

To clarify a little further, after passing the two tests I dry spray washed for 2 hours and scooped about 8ltrs of foam off the top of the bio. This settled and there was a good 2 ltrs of glycerol.

I'm also starting to suspect my dry bubble washing is not agressive enough.

Any thoughts?

16th March 2008, 04:14 PM
A quick update to the pre-wash bio.

The seperation went much better than any batch I had previously made and the bio was about 50% clearer than other batches straight out of the processor.

I have dry spray washed for 4 hours, let settle for one, drained off another 4ltrs of glycerol and it's now dry bubble washed for the past 4 hours.

The bio is now about 75% clear. It has taken 3 days of dry bubble washing in the past to get to this point. I'll update again when the bio is washed.......may be tomorrow night if things keep going as they are.

16th March 2008, 07:29 PM
Hello Maverick,
I was assuming that you wash with water. I always do as water is plentiful and is then used on the garden or lawn so it's not wasted.

The prewash is proberly your best option. For me I don't prewash as I do methanol recovery, and doing a prewash leads to water in the recovered methanol.

16th March 2008, 09:24 PM
G'day all, I find the washing part the most confusing.
This is the method I am using in my beginner stage.

I spray wash using a black plastic pickle drum, plywood lid on top with garden mist sprayers (4 of) in a circle of 300mm or so fitted to the lid. I add about 30% of water to the bio this way, not sprayed too aggressively, and monitored by a sight gauge on the side. Is this enough water? Should I use more pressure ?

After the third wash I then take a sample of bio off the top in a glass jar and add 50% water and give it a very good shake 10-15 seconds and let settle.
The bio seems to settle quite quickly, but sometimes the water in the bottom has a white translucent appearance, and sometimes it's clear.
If I the dry this bio, pumping the bio through a large spray wand against the side of another black drum that gets heated by the sun, it comes out very clear, which I thought must be a good thing.

Any comments ? Good or bad, all appriciated.

17th March 2008, 08:19 PM
Just to clarify, this is the first time water has even come close to my bio. I have been doing all my washing without the use of water as water is not plentiful in Canberra.

I dry bubble wash by simply bubbling air through the bio. I dry spray wash by pumping the bio from near the bottom of the wash tank and spraying it back into the wash tank. I am set up to do meth recovery but have been getting my process right before I go down that path after a few issues early on. Getting a well washed bio has been a priority for me of late.

This dry wash process has on average taken 4-5 days, but it's never been to my total satisfaction.

17th March 2008, 08:23 PM
If I the dry this bio, pumping the bio through a large spray wand against the side of another black drum that gets heated by the sun, it comes out very clear, which I thought must be a good thing.

I like this idea, it has a lot of merit, especially using the sun to heat the black tank, would be a good way of getting the last traces of meth out of the bio.

PS. My folks are in Adelaide and I know there is not enough water there.:D

17th March 2008, 08:25 PM
Second and final update, yes final update as the bio is now crystal clear and passed the Shakemup Test.

Two days of washing and the bio is ready for use.....I'm very impressed.

Thanks for the replys and interest in this thread guys. Please keep comments and/or questions coming.

18th March 2008, 05:08 PM
I do a single stage reaction and recover the methanol. Because spraying the washed bio against the sun heated black drum works so well for drying, I was thinking that after draining off the glycerol from the reaction, couldn't I then use this spray technique to rid the newly made bio of any residual methanol and glycerin by spraying it into my wash drum which enjoys the same solar gain as the drying one, thus allowing the wash to be more efficient cleaning the bio.

Is it the residual methanol in the reacted bio the allows stuff to bind together and make soap ?

Adelaide does not have much water, but I saw that years ago and put in big tanks. My wash water goes on various shrubs and trees and so far they are not complaining. I hope they stay happy.

Whew! a bit long winded. Thanks anyway, any comments please.

18th March 2008, 09:39 PM
If water is in short supply but you have lots of space you can water wash your bio using only one new lot of water for each batch.

You would need 4 containers to hold your used water so it can ge recycled for the next batch.

The way it works is the 1st container is used for your first wash and then discarded. The water in the 2nd container is used for the next wash and then returned to the 1st container. Next wash comes from the 3rd container and returned to the 2nd container and so on. The 5th wash is made up of fresh clean water and returned to the 4th container.

This way you don't use very much water per batch. Because you are using recycled water it will probably take an axtra wash to get the bio squeeky clean. The containers required will take up a bit of room, but will save you lots of water.

19th March 2008, 08:15 PM
I like your method Morelli and I'll be doing something like that once the Easter rush is over. Thanks for the fresh idea.

Qwarla, at this time I have no interest in using any water if I don't have to. This was just an attempt to demonstate that I can get good results in a very short time frame using the very minimum amount of water.

My system is set up for Meth recovery and I'll start using that now and experiment with this and Morelli's idea.

For info, I saved $0.01/ltr using the pre wash method over then next most efficient method I've been used. Doesn't sound like much but every little bit helps.

19th March 2008, 10:27 PM
Thanks qwarla, that is the method I employed on this last batch. Seemed to take one extra wash but only 35 litres in "used" water. The next one,after glycerol removal, I will spray the new warm bio against the solar heated side of my plastic drum for an hour or so and carry on with the washing, just to see the difference.

Maverick, even though I do methanol recovery, do you think some is still in the bio before washing ? And glycerine...how can I tell ? Maybe the spraying will eliminate them both.

Have a great easter break :)...after that I am off for a month surf trip..... stoked.

20th March 2008, 04:56 PM
Well I just finished washing 140litres bio from 150litres wvo took 20 hrs.

I use my 2 still processor and recovered 8 litres methanol from the glycerol and bio then transfer the bio into the washtank and bubbled for 20 hours all finished..

Bio Processor (http://s225.photobucket.com/albums/dd11/KiwiPeteACT/Biodiesel/)

No water and passes 3/27 in a flash everytime...

20th March 2008, 11:07 PM
Morelli I don't think you can get all of the Meth out with Meth recovery unless you run system for an uneconomical time period.

For me I have determined that Meth is still in the bio if the bio is not crystal clear, any haze indicates meth in my book. Glycerol cannot be held in the bio without methanol, remove the meth and the glyc will fall out.

I like the sound of your method and have a large plastic drum (200ltrs) that a mate will be giving me soon so will also give that method a go.