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Thread: Room Temperature Biodiesel process

  1. #1
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    Room Temperature Biodiesel process

    One of our WARFA members is using a room temperature process to make biodiesel.
    He demonstrated it a few weeks ago and again last Sunday. It was simple and made good biodiesel in about the same time as processing at 45C .

    The trick is to take the water out of the methoxide.
    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.)
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab well body. [Head gasket blew!]
    '04 Rexton SUV 2.9L Turbodiesel same as Musso - Our Family car.
    '06 Musso sports Crew Cab Trayback - My hack (no air cond, no heater).

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  2. #2
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    Room Temperature Biodiesel process

    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '06 Musso Sports 4X4 Manual Crew Cab tray back.
    '04 Rexton 4X4 Automatic SUV
    '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP) - Wife's car

    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.)
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab well body. [Head gasket blew!]
    '04 Rexton SUV 2.9L Turbodiesel same as Musso - Our Family car.
    '06 Musso sports Crew Cab Trayback - My hack (no air cond, no heater).

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


  3. #3
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    Re: Room Temperature Biodiesel process

    G'day Tony,
    The trick is that there is no trick. There is nothing special about what he is doing. I have been making biodiesel at ambient temperatures for years.
    I have posted my procedure on this forum several times. And I do not mix in a 20 kg bag of cement in the methoxide.
    As long as everything remains liquid, the reaction goes forward regardless of the temperature.

    This procedure has been discussed several times on this forum and shown to be nothing special.
    As I demonstrated on this forum, It is only "foolproof" as long as you do not react high titration oil, just like every other "foolproof" method has proven to be.
    Basically, he just whacks it with a HUGE excess of KOH (20g KOH per litre WVO!) and hopes for the best.

    When you say it makes good biodiesel did he do a 3/27 test on the biodiesel produced?

    Did you notice he is mixing his methoxide in an open top drum. I do not recommend doing that.
    Also, after mixing in a bag of cement, it takes several days for his methoxide to be ready to use. I am sure he does not include the time it takes to make his methoxide in the time to make a batch of biodiesel.
    I make my methoxide in less than half an hour and I use less KOH (10g KOH per litre WVO).
    Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 16th November 2020 at 09:55 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Room Temperature Biodiesel process

    I took organic chemistry in college for two semesters . If I recall correctly the professor said , generally for a ten degree celcius temperature increase the reaction rate is twice as fast . There is an activation energy below which the reaction is very slow . There are other factors besides temperature that might affect reaction rate . Increasing methoxide concentration is one thing that can increase reaction rate at the same temperature . An example of exception to the 10 degree temperature increase doubling the reaction rate may be high explosives . I have made biodiesel at a room temperature of about 23 degrees celcius before . Mixing was necessary since the methanol floats on top of the vegetable oil . It takes less heat energy added to make it but it's slower at room temperature . I used the normal amount of catalytic potassium hydroxide in making the methoxide solution , based upon titrating the oil .

  5. #5
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    Re: Room Temperature Biodiesel process

    I tried it and it worked well but, there was a couple of things I didn't like, waiting for the cement to settle, disposing of the cement, buying cement, and also the finished product, looked like it has white flakes in it after it had settled for about a month, just sitting on the bottom and it could be stirred up, to look like a snow globe.

  6. #6
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    Re: Room Temperature Biodiesel process

    Quote Originally Posted by smithw View Post
    I tried it and it worked well but, there was a couple of things I didn't like, waiting for the cement to settle, disposing of the cement, buying cement, and also the finished product, looked like it has white flakes in it after it had settled for about a month, just sitting on the bottom and it could be stirred up, to look like a snow globe.
    Are you going commercial on the snow globe market?
    Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

    Current Vehicles in stable:
    '06 Musso Sports 4X4 Manual Crew Cab tray back.
    '04 Rexton 4X4 Automatic SUV
    '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP) - Wife's car

    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.)
    '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
    '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
    '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
    '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab well body. [Head gasket blew!]
    '04 Rexton SUV 2.9L Turbodiesel same as Musso - Our Family car.
    '06 Musso sports Crew Cab Trayback - My hack (no air cond, no heater).

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


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Re: Room Temperature Biodiesel process

    I'll mention , Portland Cement is about 60% calcium oxide , made from limestone . Methoxide made with calcium oxide has some of the calcium hydroxide dissolved in the mix . So calcium soap is produced from the free fatty acids that are a bit of a problem . Here in Texas from minerals in bath water , and sodium bar soap , there's ring around the tub . Calcium and magnesium soap that are insoluble in water . That type of soap in biodiesel would be hard to remove from the product .

  8. #8
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    Re: Room Temperature Biodiesel process

    Hey guys, I have been following this discussion a fair bit over the years. This whole thing with cement in the fuel, trying to let it settle and so on.
    For me there is no real gain to be seen. Yes one doesn't have to heat the oil, fair enough. My heating is done by solar. Doesn't cost me a cent. Sure it takes up to 2 days (daytime obviously)to heat 1000ltr to 55deg, especially in winter. But my fuel is made, washed, dried and stored in 2 days after the methoxide went in.
    There is nothing dropping out after a month, especially not cement slurry. I don't thing that that would be good for the IP either.

    So so why would one bother? unless one wants to make fuel while on the move and lacks the ability to heat oil. But even then, a few HE's would fix that.

    please enlighten me. I am not having a go at anyone, just curious.

    good night!
    1990 Toyota Hilux LN106 with ATG 2 tank system (sold after running 150.000 ks on mainly WVO)

    1993 Toyota 75 Series with 1 HDT conversion, 75l factory tank and a custom 170l under tray tank. (Retired with 680.000ks on the clock mostly running on BIO and on WVO)

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  9. #9
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    Re: Room Temperature Biodiesel process

    Part of the idea of using cement is for calcium oxide in the cement to react with water produced by the methanol potassium hydroxide reaction to produce methoxide and water . The calcium oxide becomes calcium hydroxide when water adds to the calcium oxide . When methoxide is produced by the reaction of alcohol and potassium hydroxide some water is produced . The water decomposes the methoxide into methanol and hydroxide . The production of methoxide from methanol and potassium hydroxide is an equilibrium that goes both ways . But by drying the methanol + potassium hydroxide ------> methoxide + water the reverse reaction doesn't occur so at least theoretically the methoxide concentration is increased which ought to increase the reaction rate at room temperature or higher . But one drawback is calcium soaps can be produced by free fatty acids plus calcium hydroxide . Calcium soaps are insoluble in many things and you don't want them in biodiesel . One arguement for making biodiesel is energy efficiency . Not having to heat the reaction improves energy efficiency of making biodiesel . I have made low temperature biodiesel at room temperature by using technical grade calcium oxide , not cement to dry the methanol + caustic ------> methoxide + water step . By making the water unavailable for the reverse reaction the concentration of methoxide ought to increase .
    Last edited by WesleyB; 28th December 2020 at 12:33 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Room Temperature Biodiesel process

    G,day Bueff,
    Quote Originally Posted by Bueff View Post
    Hey guys, I have been following this discussion a fair bit over the years. This whole thing with cement in the fuel, trying to let it settle and so on.
    For me there is no real gain to be seen. Yes one doesn't have to heat the oil, fair enough.
    So so why would one bother? unless one wants to make fuel while on the move and lacks the ability to heat oil. But even then, a few HE's would fix that.

    please enlighten me. I am not having a go at anyone, just curious.

    good night!
    Whether you add cement to the mix or not, the reaction goes at room temperature. As far as I have been able to tell, adding cement to the mix does nothing and offers no benefit. I have made biodiesel at room temperature for years without adding cement.
    However, I do intone the "Happy biodiesel warriors chant" when I first turn the mixer on.

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