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Thread: Biodiesel fuel made from "Ethanol" and waste french-fry oil

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Exclamation Biodiesel fuel made from "Ethanol" and waste french-fry oil

    G’day mates,
    I found the following report while researching Biodiesel and as I have only read about forum members using methanol to make BD, I was wondering if any of you have tried making your BD using “ethanol” in place of “methanol”, or if you have tried both ways, what, in your opinion, is the best way for making BD?
    Here’s the info’ on Ethanol based BD:

    The HySEE (BD) fuel production process utilizes 70 percent stoichiometric excess ethanol (absolute, 100 percent pure), or a molar ratio of 5.1: 1 ethanol to oil ratio. The total free fatty acids are determined and neutralized with the calculated addition of catalyst. Based on the amount of input oil by weight, 1.3 percent of KOH is used plus the amount to neutralize the free fatty acids. The following equations were used for the quantities processed:

    EtOH = 0.2738 x Oil KOH = Oil/85
    where: Oil = desired amount of oil, in liters
    EtOH = amount of ethanol needed, in liters
    KOH = amount of potassium hydroxide required, in kg

    The waste hydrogenated soybean oil is heated to 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit). The catalyst is dissolved into the alcohol by vigorous stirring in a small reactor. The oil is transferred into the Biodiesel reactor and then the catalyst/alcohol mixture is pumped into the oil and the final mixture stirred vigorously for two hours. A successful reaction produces two liquid phases: ester and crude glycerol. Crude glycerol, the heavier liquid will collect at the bottom after several hours of settling. Phase separation can be observed within 10 minutes and can be complete within two hours after stirring has stopped. Complete settling can take as long as 20 hours. After settling is complete, water is added at the rate of 5.5 percent by volume of the oil and then stirred for 5 minutes and the glycerol allowed to settle again. After settling is complete the glycerol is drained and the ester layer remains. Washing the ester is a two step process which is carried out with extreme care.
    A water wash solution at the rate of 28 percent by volume of oil and 1 gram of tannic acid per liter of water is added to the ester and gently agitated. Air is carefully introduced into the aqueous layer while simultaneously stirring very gently. This process is continued until the ester layer becomes clear. After settling, the aqueous solution is drained and water alone is added at 28 percent by volume of oil for the final washing.
    *********************
    I would like to hear what you think about using Ethanol in place of Methanol to make BD.
    By the way, this project was undertaken by the University of Idaho, Department of Agricultural Engineering in July 1995, under contract to the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR). The project was made possible in part with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) through the Pacific-Northwest and Alaska Regional Bioenergy Program.
    The report was prepared by:
    Charles L. Peterson, Professor; Daryle Reece, Engineering Technician;
    Brian Hammond, Graduate Assistant; Joseph C. Thompson, Engineering Technician;
    Sidney Beck, Professor Emeritus, Bacteriology.

    I’m looking forward to any and all posts on the above as I’m one of those people who enjoys sharing different points of view.

    Cheers mates,
    Bill from Corio
    Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?
    This old dog has been learning new tricks for years and...
    I hope I can continue to do so!:cool:

  2. #2

    Re: Biodiesel fuel made from "Ethanol" and waste french-fry oil

    Interesting that they are using hydrogenated oil - I thought that there were problems using hydrogenated oil, or perhaps that is only for SVO direct use.

    Thoughts anyone?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    524

    Re: Biodiesel fuel made from "Ethanol" and waste french-fry oil

    Making biodiesel with ethanol is a much more difficult process. The biggest problem is one of seperation - it just doesn't want to seperate the glycerin from the biodiesel like methanol does. In the early days I tried doing the process and found that not only was the ethanol more expensive, but you have to use more (I think it is 40% more, have to check) and it has to be 100% pure ethanol. It was the difficulty with seperation that really dissuaded me from further experiments.

    However, as an aside, subsequent testing of high FFA WVO and high doses of methanol (25%) led to some batches that did not want to seperate. I found that by adding a small amount of water, that the seperation would start almost immediately upon the addition of the water. That step could help to start the seperation process in an ethanol batch; I haven't tried it.

    Since ethanol batches have difficulty in seperating, an alternative fuel has been created to take advantage of this phenomena. There is a thread on the infopop forum dedicated to this process called the 'Masters Formula'.

    Essentially, part of the WVO is esterfied and the glycerin that results is kept more liquid by the excess ethanol in the batch. The result is a fuel that has a bit higher viscosity than biodiesel, but utilises ALL the constituents of the process as fuel. In other words, the biodiesel, the alcohol and the glycerin all go into the engine to be burnt. Here is a link to the thread -
    http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/groupee/.../555604723/p/1

    For many modern engines this fuel would have too high of a viscosity to be able to be used. However, for some of the more robust injector systems it could be a very practical fuel that maximises the amount of fuel produced.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Post Re: Biodiesel fuel made from "Ethanol" and waste french-fry oil

    G’day mates,
    Thanks for your thoughts on the use of ethanol in the brewing of biodiesel.
    I’m interested in this ethanol method of making biodiesel as brewing ethanol, 194 proof in pretty large quantities, is easy to make at home...with the right still that is .
    No still will create 100% pure 200 proof ethanol but all you have to do to convert your 194 proof to 200 proof, 100% pure ethanol... is remove the remaining water from your 194 proof ethanol by putting it through a molecular sieve, and the products for making a molecular sieve are cheap to buy, i.e. a large funnel, with a strainer (or make a fine strainer with a piece of brass mesh) and a bag of zeolite. The zeolite can be reused... after the water has been removed from it.
    The making of biodiesel is new to me so I’m starting from scratch, I have never been a bloke to close my eyes/ears to any ideas before checking them out thoroughly...sometimes to my cost , so I’ll be looking into using ethanol in the brew more closely... time permitting.
    Thanks again for your thoughts on ethanol based biodiesel.

    Bill from Corio
    Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?
    This old dog has been learning new tricks for years and...
    I hope I can continue to do so!:cool:

  5. #5
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    Jan 2006
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    Re: Biodiesel fuel made from "Ethanol" and waste french-fry oil

    Bill, very interested in the still for the same resons you are and a few others!

    Have you actualy made 194 proof at home, if so could you share some info regarding it?

    Thanks,
    Matt

  6. #6
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    Post Re: Biodiesel fuel made from "Ethanol" and waste french-fry oil

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt
    Bill, very interested in the still for the same resons you are and a few others!

    Have you actualy made 194 proof at home, if so could you share some info regarding it?

    Thanks,
    Matt

    G'day Mat,

    I have not made ethanol of any kind for some years, I did at a time make my own ethanol, the drinkable kind, Irish vodka (Potchen) made from spuds but that was back in my youth... a long time ago it now seams.
    I have ordered the plans to build a 194 proof still and the plans should be here this week or early next week, I will then build the still and see what results I get... I plan on using spuds, apples or prickly pear to brew/distill the ethanol and I'll keep you posted on the results.
    By the way, the ethanol from this still can not be consumed by drinking it, if people want to build a still for brewing/distilling drinkable ethanol, they would need to build a fractionating still and the still I'll be building is a
    reflux still rated at 7.5 gallons per hour of 180 proof alcohol, or 5 gallons per hour of 194 proof.
    Anyway I'll see how it goes when the plans get here, I've built the still and brewed/distilled a few batches... then I'll let you all know the results.

    Cheers,

    Bill from Corio.
    Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?
    This old dog has been learning new tricks for years and...
    I hope I can continue to do so!:cool:

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Location
    American Fork, Utah USA
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    3

    Smile Re: Biodiesel fuel made from "Ethanol" and waste french-fry oil

    Bill: Which plans did you get? I have a set that call for 3" copper pipe and boy is it expensive and hard to get. I can get 2 1/2" copper at the local Bix Box stores. Anybody have any experience or suggestions about using the smaller diameter for the still?

    I don't drink, and will be using the ethanol for BioDiesel. I have a feedstock of week-old bread. Using enzymes, I have been successful in creating 15% sugar solution so far. I have done that with a 5 gallon test batch. Next step is to move it up to a 55 Gallon production batch.

    I have the zeolite, but still need to make the still. I want to make a vacuum distillation rig.

    Karl Peterson

  8. #8
    David Guest

    Re: Biodiesel fuel made from "Ethanol" and waste french-fry oil

    Making Ethanol to then use in biodiesel production makes the whole process sound extremely energy and labour intensive. It may be OK for doing small " proof of concept" batches, but it would appear to be a difficult way to make decent quantities. I think if you took into account the energy costs of making ethanol and then Bio, they would be significant and given how that energy would be created, It would make the resulting fuel anything but "green" or enviromentally friendly. There is also the consideration of having a still AND a bio reactor from the investment of building them, having space to put them and the inherent dangers of running them.

    I would think that if you are going to make your own ethanol, you may be better off running it in a Petrol engined car which would be easier and cheaper to get than a diesel and you could leave out the secondary Biodiesel process all together. Has anyone tried blending the WVO and ethanol like people do with unleaded and wvo?

    When it is all said and done though, nothing ventured, nothing gained. You never know what other processes may be discovered when experimenting with this one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    melbourne
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    Re: Biodiesel fuel made from "Ethanol" and waste french-fry oil

    Hi All
    I think you are on the mark on this David
    Ethanol production is certainly an energy hungry as well as a wasteful process when caried out in the shed as the remnants of the feedstock can not be used
    If your raw material is glucose or sugar it is uneconomical in both cases grow the crop refine the products ferment distill etc
    There is a case that can be made using molasses as the feedstock if its close to the production site
    The ethanol production in the USA from corn is only viable due to the subsidy as well as the sale of the "brewers grain" been sold as stockfeed
    There is a thread some time ago where we went into the ins and outs as well as the legalities of the whole thing
    It was started by Healthy earth, may be a search would most likely provide a few clues, certain information there may also be useful
    The issues of ethanol production and then biodiesel is a rather poor example of green energy
    Any way there is information on that thread for people interested on the subject including the use of various feedstocks
    Cheers
    Chris
    Never give up :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    western australia
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    Re: Biodiesel fuel made from "Ethanol" and waste french-fry oil

    Hi All,fficeffice" />>>
    Search for” reflux stills’ will give some good results.
    When I built mine I used stainless steel exhaust pipe.
    What I find is the expense is to heat the large amount of water to be distilled and the water use in cooling it.
    I am trying to build a solar still to reduce the amount of water and residue that I have to distil.
    Anybody with any ideas would be appreciated as my first attempt failed (would use it to heat WVO as well).
    Cheers
    Maxwell
    >>

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