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Make Biodiesel with Ethanol

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  • Make Biodiesel with Ethanol

    Hi Folk, i have a question to make Biofuel with ethanol instead of Methanol. Before the question is coming why ethanol. I am from Austria. I try to register in a forum in UK but it failed. So i found with google your forum. In Austria itīs forbidden to sell Methanol to private. Unless you have a business where methanol is required. I can only buy 1 l bottles in Chemical Labor Shops . Price 7€/l. Denatured ethanol is possible to buy. I hope i find a way to buy methanol in hungary. Rumors tell the hungary sellers dont ask if you have a business or not.

    Ok, now my questions.
    Is the process same like with methanol ?
    If no where is the different. Can you tell me or write the link to a side who explain it.


    PS: Sorry for my english, i am out of exercise to write in english

  • #2
    Yes, it is possible to use ethanol.

    The main difference is that more ethanol is required for the transesterification reaction. Also pure ethanol recovery is more complicated, because ethanol will combine with water and form an azeotrope. You will need to use a desiccant like Calcium Oxide to remove water from the recovered ethanol.

    Here is a paper:


    Andy Chee


    • #3
      Hi Bernhard, welcome to the forum,
      I remember years ago that people trying to use ethanol had very minimal success. They found that even though on occasion there appeared to have been a reaction occur, there would not be separation- the glycerine would not settle out . I think the likely reason for this is that while biodiesel and methanol are virtually immisable, ethanol and biodiesel are misable, at least to a certain degree. So possibly heating the results of the reaction to drive off the remaining ethanol would result in the glycerine layer dropping out because glycerol and biodiesel are not mixcable.
      Also they needed to be much more careful to remove as much water as possible before performing the reaction. In the 20+ years I have been actively involved in these discussion forums and making biodiesel, I do not recall any backyard biodiesel producer having successfully made biodiesel from ethanol. I can not even recall anyone being successful making small experimental batches with ethanol.
      A long time ago there was a fellow on another forum that has since disappeared who mix the ethoxide with veg oil that did not result in separation but did produce a mixture with reduced viscosity. He then successfully used that to fuel his diesel. Whether there was a reaction or not ??? Just adding ethanol to veg oil will reduce its viscosity.
      Over the years, WesleyB, a poster to this forum has made a number of small experimental batches of biodiesel using various chemicals. He does not actually use biodiesel but seems to enjoy doing experiments. You might try and contact him and ask whether he has used ethanol and what he has found.