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Has Anything Changed in the Home Brewing World in the Last 5 years while I was away?

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  • Has Anything Changed in the Home Brewing World in the Last 5 years while I was away?

    I am restarting my home biodiesel setup after 5 years in mothballs. I now have the time to pursue this hobby again and with diesel prices why not? My question is has anything changed with the home batch processing world of WVO into biodiesel in the last 5 years?

    My reactor is a sealed 55 gallon metal drums with 2 external drum heaters bands on temperature control. I load 35 gallons of WVO, heat it to 220F to boil off any water with vent open while circulating with HF pump. Next I load the Glycerol from my last run and circulate for 30 minutes hot. This lowers the acidity and recovers some excess methanol. Settle and drain off reprocessed glycerol. Next I add 18 volume percent methanol with 1650 grams of KOH dissolved. I add 80% of methanol/KOH at 140F for 1 hour under circulation. Then settle and drain off glycerol. Next add last 20%. Circulate another hour at 140F. Settle overnight and drain off gylcerol. Next I transfer to plastic 55 gallon wash drum and spray wash with water, then settle, drain soapy water, repeat til water is clear. Pump over to storage drums with cone bottoms let settle for a week and drain off any water. At this point the biodiesel is clear enough to see through and read newspaper in sample jar. I filter it to 5 micron and pump it into my Diesel Jetta's gas tank. I'm in South Texas so I don't have gel problems but I usually add some petrodiesel just to the tank just be sure.

    Any improvements to be had to make better product or simplify? Surely someone has uncovered some great secret in the last 5 years?

  • #2
    Re: Has Anything Changed in the Home Brewing World in the Last 5 years while I was aw

    G'day DW,
    Welcome to the forum!
    Originally posted by dougwene View Post
    I am restarting my home biodiesel setup after 5 years in mothballs...Any improvements to be had to make better product or simplify? Surely someone has uncovered some great secret in the last 5 years?
    Yes, but they are secret
    I assume you mean you are using about 12.45 g KOH per litre of WVO in the reaction. What you describe sounds pretty good as long as you are not particularity worried about conversion percent or whether you are using excessive KOH. If you want high, ASTM conversion biodiesel without wasting KOH you should be doing a titration to determine how much KOH is actually required to perform the reaction after performing the glycerin pre-wash.
    I typically use around 14% methanol in a single stage, unheated reaction, with around 10g KOH per litre WVO. Conversion percent is not a concern for me

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    • #3
      Re: Has Anything Changed in the Home Brewing World in the Last 5 years while I was aw

      I use a similar method, but titrate every batch and I don't water wash. I add 1% of water at end of the second reaction count to 10 and then turn the mixer off. leave overnight then drain. I then bubble air through the bio for around 2 weeks. or until clear.
      I also do 400l at a time.

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