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Thread: Fat fail

  1. #1
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    Fat fail

    I had an excess of fat which has built up over a couple of years and decided to make bio with it. Much warming in solar cooker, settling and dispensing I had a fairly clean dry batch which was well and truly liquid at 56 degrees or lower. Titration a lot higher than my normal oil at 8.0. Ahhg! Just realised i should have added another 3.5. So it has turned into a creamy mix. What can I do to recover it. I made 90 litres and only have 4 or 5 litres of methanol left.
    Johnnojack
    4WD Isuzu Jackaroo 3.1 190000km on WVO,(2019) 2 tank home built system 6 solenoids heated filter, fuel line and tank pickup for thicker oil. Mk. 9 version now and no changes planned
    Mercedes W201 190D 1986 model: no fuel mods except bigger fuel line from tank, running blend of 90% oil 10% petrol 11000km to date. Motor purrs but car has electrical gremlins

  2. #2
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    Re: Fat fail

    tits of 8 are a bit high for my liking. Dig a hole and bury it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Fat fail

    Not the answer I need, especially as I used around $50 worth of methanol.
    Johnnojack
    4WD Isuzu Jackaroo 3.1 190000km on WVO,(2019) 2 tank home built system 6 solenoids heated filter, fuel line and tank pickup for thicker oil. Mk. 9 version now and no changes planned
    Mercedes W201 190D 1986 model: no fuel mods except bigger fuel line from tank, running blend of 90% oil 10% petrol 11000km to date. Motor purrs but car has electrical gremlins

  4. #4
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    Re: Fat fail

    Hi Johnojack,

    I assume you used KOH in the reaction.
    I have done virtually no experimentation with high titration Fat and KOH, all my experimenting was on high titration fat and NaOH.
    How much methanol did you use per litre of WVO?
    How much KOH did you use per litre of WVO?

    If it were me, I would mix up the contents of the reactor and then do some one litre test batches using the contents of the reactor.
    I would start by adding the missing 3.5g KOH to 10ml or less of methanol and see if that will "push" the 1 litre test batch reaction to completion.
    If that did not work, I would do another test litre and increase the KOH to 4.5g.

    If you do this let us know what happened

  5. #5
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    Re: Fat fail

    Thanks Tilly, I use CaOH not KOH I used 8 grams per litre, should have been 11.5 doh! Haven't made bio for over a year and was a bit rushed at the time and it was stinking hot. The mix went the usual chocolate brown when I added the methoxide then started to thicken up. I thought the temperature had got too low as it was down to 46deg but when I tried to heat up a small batch it didn't seem to melt like normal fat instead bubbled away as if the methanol was boiling off. I don't know why I didnt just get a part conversion, instead it seems to be solid fat which reeks of methanol when you agitate it. I did mix the hell out of it for well over an hour until I realised it was futile.
    Will try a test batch in a bottle.
    Johnnojack
    4WD Isuzu Jackaroo 3.1 190000km on WVO,(2019) 2 tank home built system 6 solenoids heated filter, fuel line and tank pickup for thicker oil. Mk. 9 version now and no changes planned
    Mercedes W201 190D 1986 model: no fuel mods except bigger fuel line from tank, running blend of 90% oil 10% petrol 11000km to date. Motor purrs but car has electrical gremlins

  6. #6
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    Re: Fat fail

    Johnnojack,
    The advice Tilly gave
    If it were me, I would mix up the contents of the reactor and then do some one litre test batches using the contents of the reactor.
    I would start by adding the missing 3.5g KOH to 10ml or less of methanol and see if that will "push" the 1 litre test batch reaction to completion.
    If that did not work, I would do another test litre and increase the KOH to 4.5g.
    is spot on. Just change the KOH to CaOH and follow his process until you get a good separation. then scale up the proportions needed and then reprocess the rest of the batch.

    Have fun,
    Tony
    ps, It seems to me that people normally use NaOH or KOH for their biodiesel process caustic. Is there a reason that you are using CaOH?
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
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    Previous Vehicles:
    '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup.
    '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. Engine donor for W123 coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
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  7. #7
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    Re: Fat fail

    Hi Johnojack

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnojack View Post
    The mix went the usual chocolate brown when I added the methoxide then started to thicken up. I thought the temperature had got too low as it was down to 46deg but when I tried to heat up a small batch it didn't seem to melt like normal fat instead bubbled away as if the methanol was boiling off.
    I don't know why I didnt just get a part conversion, instead it seems to be solid fat which reeks of methanol when you agitate it.
    I assume you mean NaOH and not CaOH.
    What you describe is "classic" not-enough-caustic-in-the-reaction.

    Assuming you are using enough chemicals (Which you didn't), when you add the methoxide to the WVO, after a minute or five (depending on the vigor of the mixer and the temperature of the contents of the reactor) the contents of the reactor suddenly becomes much thicker and much more viscous and then after a short time just as suddenly becomes thinner and much less viscous.
    The higher the titration of the WVO, the more viscous the oil becomes before finally dropping in viscosity.

    HOWEVER, if you do not use enough caustic in the reaction as in your case, the reaction will "Hang up" at the high viscosity stage and the reaction just stops.
    All that is required to get the reaction going again is to add the missing caustic (mixed in the minimum amount of methanol required to disolve the NaOH) to the reactor.
    You do not want to lose any of the original methanol already in the reactor.

    OR possibly there was water in the reaction and you have made a lot of soap. If you have made soap there is no easy fix that I know of.
    But I suspect that all you need to do is add the missing Caustic dissolved in a minimum amount of methanol to get the reaction going again.

    In experiments I have performed over the years I have "saved" test batches that have sit on the bench in the high viscosity stage for over a day by just adding the missing caustic to the high viscosity litre of glop and mixing vigerously. The reaction then continues as if nothing had happened.
    Depending on the viscosity of the contents of the reactor, it may be difficult to mix the methoxide with the contents of the reactor.
    I am sure you will figure out something.

    Please let us know what happens
    Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 2nd March 2019 at 08:06 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Fat fail

    Oops yes I meant NaOH. The mixture is very thick even in 30 deg heat, it's like thickened cream, the good stuff not cheap brand. I have had it in open drums, had to ladle it out as the reactor is an open one. I have put lids on the drums in an attempt to stop the methanol from evaporating. Not confident of heating it without making the methanol boil off. Maybe in plastic bucket in the solar cooker with lid on tight. This is getting very labour intensive now.
    Johnnojack
    4WD Isuzu Jackaroo 3.1 190000km on WVO,(2019) 2 tank home built system 6 solenoids heated filter, fuel line and tank pickup for thicker oil. Mk. 9 version now and no changes planned
    Mercedes W201 190D 1986 model: no fuel mods except bigger fuel line from tank, running blend of 90% oil 10% petrol 11000km to date. Motor purrs but car has electrical gremlins

  9. #9
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    Re: Fat fail

    Hi Johnojack,

    The higher the titration, the more viscous the oil becomes.
    If you had used the correct amount of NaOH, the oil would still be this viscous at this stage of the reaction. The only difference being that if you had used enough NaOH the oil would have quickly passed through this high viscosity stage and the viscosity would have quickly reduced.

    I have "Saved" test batches when the glop was very thick. I just added the extra methoxide to the thick glop and shook vigorously. The thick glop quickly broke and became much thinner and the reaction continued.

    If it were me, I would put a litre of the glop into a 2 litre bottle (no heat) add methoxide containing 3.5g NaOH and shake it hard and see what happens.

    PS- If you are using reduced methanol that also tends to make the glop more viscous.
    Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 2nd March 2019 at 11:48 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Fat fail

    Ok I mixed 10grams of NaOH with about 50ml of methanol warmed up 2 litres of 'fat' and mixed with paint mixer for 5 minutes. Put lid back on container and left for 4 hrs. Now it is sloppy mix but not exactly a liquid, hmm, will leave overnight and see if it separates.
    Johnnojack
    4WD Isuzu Jackaroo 3.1 190000km on WVO,(2019) 2 tank home built system 6 solenoids heated filter, fuel line and tank pickup for thicker oil. Mk. 9 version now and no changes planned
    Mercedes W201 190D 1986 model: no fuel mods except bigger fuel line from tank, running blend of 90% oil 10% petrol 11000km to date. Motor purrs but car has electrical gremlins

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