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Thread: Fat fail

  1. #11
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    Re: Fat fail


    Hi Johnojack,

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnojack View Post
    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.
    A word of caution.

    "NaOH keeps you honest" when using it in the reaction.
    Too much NaOH in the reaction will produce excess soap which can immediately turns the contents of your reactor into glop. I have made many test litres of glop by using too much NaOH in the reaction.
    Too little NaOH can result in a "Hung" reaction which also results in a reactor full of glop.
    They are different types of glop.

    You said you were 3.5g NaOH per litre of WVO short, however you added 5g NaOH per litre of WVO to the 2 litre test batch.
    Too much NaOH in the reaction can result in a reactor full of glop.

    When you have WVO that requires more than 10g NaOH per litre of WVO in the reaction, you are always very close to making soap that will immediately turn in to a reactor full of glop. Extra care is required in this situation to not use too much NaOH.
    This is why so many people (me included) have changed to using KOH. KOH is very forgiving in this situation.

    You say your test batch is now a bit liquid.
    It is quite possible that by using excess NaOH you have made some soap.

    There is a test I have used to see if I have made excess soap.
    1. Put about 300ml of the contents of your 2 litre test batch into a Dr Pepper bottle and gently add about 500ml warm water to it.
    2. Screw top down tight
    3. GENTLY turn the bottle over top to bottom about a half dozen times.
    4. If you have soap in the biodiesel it is likely the water will remove some of the soap and you will have a layer of white soapy water on the bottom of the bottle and a layer of biodiesel on top

    Is it correct that your WVO titrated 8 NaOH? If not, what was the NaOH titration of the WVO?
    How much NaOH did you use in the initial reaction?

    If it were me, I would try another test batch using just 3.5g NaOH per litre of glop and see what happens

    Some Things That Can Result In Glop When Performing The Reaction Using NaOH
    1. Water in the reaction
    2. Too much NaOH
    3. Not enough NaOH
    4. Too little methanol
    5. Playing Heavy Metal Music within four meters of the reactor.
    6. Many other unknown things
    Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 3rd March 2019 at 03:28 AM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    South Australia
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    Re: Fat fail

    Thanks Tilly I didn't know that was the reason people use KOH . When I started making bio about 12 years ago I went to Scotcher fuels to get some methanol etc and they only had NaOH so I got that. After a rocky/gloopy start I have been mostly successful with my infrequent batches. As I said I haven't made any for some time due to time constraints and not needing much diesel anyway. I was a bit apprehensive about the high titration as usually my liquid oil is less than 2 (+ 3.5)
    This lot titrated at 8-8.5 so when weighing out the NaOH and the scales clicked over from 8 to 10 I figured it was close enough. Will try the soap test.
    Johnnojack
    4WD Isuzu Jackaroo 3.1 180000km on WVO,(2018) 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 5000km to date. Motor purrs but car has electrical gremlins

  3. #13
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    1,174

    Re: Fat fail

    Tried the soap test, went a bit lumpy so popped the jar in the solar heater and it settled into 4 layers, from bottom, brown water, black byproduct, browny white layer, soap? Top layer of biodiesel. White layer is about 1/3 of the depth of biodiesel layer
    Johnnojack
    4WD Isuzu Jackaroo 3.1 180000km on WVO,(2018) 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 5000km to date. Motor purrs but car has electrical gremlins

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
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    Re: Fat fail

    Was this the reprocessed 2 L sample?
    If so, repeat with some unprocessed material from that batch as a reference.
    Reprocess another 2 L with 3.5 g NaOH in methanol.
    Then, tomorrow, do the water test on the 3.5 g Reprocessed batch.
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    2000 Ford Courier Crew Cab 2.5L Turbodiesel on Blended veggie oil.
    '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).
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab. Running on used cooking oil with 5% to 10% misfuel. [Head gasket blew!]


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


  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    188

    Re: Fat fail

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnojack View Post
    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.
    Hi John,

    Your problem is that you were using the wrong method. If you'd used my FRT method you wouldn't have had that problem, and of course you wouldn't have had to bother with a titration.


    But as to how to break the emulsion, if anything'll work, it's salting it out. But it probably won't
    Last edited by Dr Mark; 3rd March 2019 at 09:42 PM.

  6. #16
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    Re: Fat fail

    Hi Johnnojack,

    This sure brings back found memories. These are the type of problems that we often talked about 15 years ago when just about everyone used NaOH.
    Now that just about everyone uses KOH instead of NaOH, there is virtually no "glop" produced. You either have separation or you don't.
    That is because KOH makes liquid soap, not solid soap.
    Even the latest nonsensical "foolproof" procedure that uses 20g KOH per litre of WVO! does not produce glop, it just produces lots of liquid soap that ends up in the glycerine layer.

    How much of of the sample that you washed do you think is biodiesel?

    Two things I would do

    1. I would wash a sample of the glop from the reactor the way you washed the last sample and see what it looked like
    2. I would do another reprocess cutting the NaOH back to around 3.5g per litre of WVO
    Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 4th March 2019 at 12:30 AM.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    York UK
    Posts
    121

    Re: Fat fail

    Hi Johnnojack, one problem with a gloopy batch is that continuous fiddling around with it is very confusing if nothing works, leaving you with more problems. As Tilly says doing trails on small samples is best.

    I have never personally had a batch like this but have recovered plenty for other people. I always add glycerol derived from KOH with heat and mixing and the batch always splits. Anyone near you with some liquid KOH glycerol?

    After the split you can do a warnqvist test on the oil/bio layer to see roughly the conversion you have achieved.

    A few months ago someone brought me 100 litres of jelly (too much added catalyst) after heating to 60degs C and mixing in 60 litres of glycerol I managed to recover 70 litres of biodiesel.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    1,174

    Re: Fat fail

    Tony yes this was the reprocessed sample. It finally settled to about 70% bio 20% glyc and 10% soap. So it looks like it should convert with a bit less catylist. Although with the high titration level I'd expect a bit of soap formation anyway. My problem now is the batch is so solid in consistency that heating it without the original methanol evaporating is a problem. I don't have a sealed converter with an electric element. I normally just pop a few open 20 l drums of oil in the solar cooker on a sunny day and by mid afternoon it is plenty hot enough, if I don't get to it it stays there and will be hot the same time the next day. Simple and safe and has worked well for over a decade, till now.
    Johnnojack
    4WD Isuzu Jackaroo 3.1 180000km on WVO,(2018) 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 5000km to date. Motor purrs but car has electrical gremlins

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    4,224

    Re: Fat fail

    Johnnojack,

    Now is the time to decide whether it is worth your while continuing with the re-processing of this batch. If you lose the methanol then you need to add it back to the heated failed batch. How much do you lose? How much do you need to add into the re-processing?

    Do you continue to re-process, or do you write off this batch as a bad experience?
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    2000 Ford Courier Crew Cab 2.5L Turbodiesel on Blended veggie oil.
    '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).
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab. Running on used cooking oil with 5% to 10% misfuel. [Head gasket blew!]


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


  10. #20
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    Re: Fat fail

    Hi Johnojack,

    I would not be in a rush to write it off just yet.
    You have a reactor full of glop, If you keep it covered I doubt that the methanol will evaporate off too soon.
    In past testing I have been able to recover test litres that were quite solid by simply adding the missing methoxide and shaking vigorously.
    It surprised me how quickly and easily the glop broke and the reaction resumed.

    I would be inclined to do another test batch where I reduced the the amount of NaOH and possibly increased the the methanol slightly.

    If that does not work you might even add a small amount of petro-diesel to the reprocess and see if that will make things liquid enough to get the reaction going.


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