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Thread: Pumps for Methoxide mixing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    17

    Pumps for Methoxide mixing

    Hi All

    I have searched the threads for information on pumps and still have the following questions wrt mixing the methoxide.

    - What sort of pump is best for mixing NaOh and methanol i.e. gear, centrifugal, diaphragm?

    - What materials should this pump be made of i.e. brass, stainless steel, plastic and which type etc?

    - Where am I likley to find a pump of this type i.e. from a used machine, dealer etc?

    Thanks heaps
    Sirus

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    23

    Re: Pumps for Methoxide mixing

    Hi Sirus,

    I am wondering the same question. In the States many of the 'Appleseed' or hot water heater type reactor builders are using a 'Clearwater 1 inch water pump'. They purchase these for around US$25-40 and seem to be the standard unit for this type of reactor. They can be used for filling the reactor with WVO, adding methoxide and for circulation during reaction.

    I have found an Onga pump that is supplied in Australia that looks mysteriously similar to the Clearwater. See pics below:

    Attachment 268

    Attachment 269

    The Onga in Australia is double the price of the Clearwater in the US.

    My question:

    Those who have Appleseed reactors, what pumps do you use? Would you recommend the Onga TF30 and where is the best place to buy one? If you don't recommend this pump, what do you recommend?

    Thanks
    GM
    Change the world, one diesel engine at a time...:D

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Hervey Bay, Qld
    Posts
    169

    Re: Pumps for Methoxide mixing

    Hi Guys,

    My pump works well for loading (although not got good lift - load from drum and valve from 60 litre drum on same mount as pump and processor) the processing, moving to wash tanks pumping from wash tanks through filter to drum. Methoxide is introduced during circulating of processor. Pump is a 1" water pump off the ebay reduced to 3/4" braided piping. pump is 40 lts /hour. Runs quiet, runs cool for over 4 hours at a time and never misses a beat. Was about $50 AU.

    LOL

    Dillyman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    South West Sydney
    Posts
    414

    Re: Pumps for Methoxide mixing

    There are plenty of these types of pumps available on Ebay quite cheaply and work very well for biodiesel reactor circulation.

    Sirus, why do you need a pump specifically for mixing NaOH and methanol?

    Are you going to be making very large batches?

    The NaOH or KOH can usually be dissolved in the methanol by sloshing it around in a suitable closed container (+frequent venting). Most commonly a 20L opaque HDPE cube type, often called carboys on american sites.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    289

    Re: Pumps for Methoxide mixing

    SIRUS,
    I Have six different pumps all scrounged, and available,,(Geewizz i thought you would have seen them on the marketstall table on Sat.) from old Washing machines or dishwashing machines,, Hard rubbish on the side of the road. They are all centrifugal so have there own kind of agitation from blades to help mix in the caustic. They are all designed to work in a highly alkaline environment, Like dishwashing or laundry powder. And they all cost me nothing but the postage to send them home from northern NSW to Melbourne.
    If your interested i'll photograph them and you can choose,, or keep an eye out for hard rubbish washing machines , and when you find one just gut it on the side of the road.
    Cheers Darren.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    South West Sydney
    Posts
    414

    Re: Pumps for Methoxide mixing

    Yeah I sure did Daz, and I understand these will work well for mixing the oil and methoxide. But the way I read it, Sirus is requesting a pump to mix methanol and NaOH.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    17

    Re: Pumps for Methoxide mixing

    Hi Dudes

    Thanks for all of the responses and my apologies for the delay in responding. Had a birth to attend. In answer to some of your questions:

    - I need the pump as I currently mix the methoxide in 2 of 25L HDPE drums (carboy) but I am wrecking my back doing this and I also want to scale my operation up to 400L of WVO at a time. So, I was hoping to get away with using the pump to recirculate methanol through the methoxide container until the NaOH was thouroughly dissolved, and then use the same pump to transfer it to the mixer.

    - Like you all I am thouroughly disgusted that a 1" clearwater pump cannot be purchased as cheap as it can in the US. I will try to get one of these for transfering the mixed batch into settling containers.

    In case you are interested, and as a lesson in safety, my reason for transferring the batch immediately following mixing is that I caused a fire by trying to reheat the the solid glycerol so I could drain the mixer. The plug of glycerol in the outlet suddenly gave way and liquid glycerol splashed into the catching bucket, but it also splashed up onto the burner that I was heating the mixer with. My advice...don't try this at home and always keep a fire extinguisher next to your mixer even if you heat electrically. This was the only thing that prevented a real and expensive disaster.

    By transferring immediately I also keep the mixer clean and can process another batch almost straight away. I have not gone down the KOH path as my wife has developed a sudden interest in soap making, and I also intend to burn the glycerol to heat a boiler for heating the larger 400L setup.

    - My main concern with pumps is the materials the housing, impeller and seals are made of. This information is really difficult to get hold of, but I have an old dishwasher water pump that I will give a go. Since the fire I am wary of the pump situation with the methoxide because if a seal or housing fails while the pump is operating you could be in real trouble.

    - I have researched and found a drill powered pump with brass internals. By using an air drill to drive it I eliminate any ignition sources, but no pump sales people can tell me if methoxide attacks brass. Does anyone here know?

    Thanks heaps for your help with this.
    Sirus

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Montana USA
    Posts
    2

    Re: Pumps for Methoxide mixing

    Hello,

    It's interesting to see what you folks down under are up to in the world of biodiesel. Sometimes I take for granted that we do have a lot of cheap stuff in the US. To address the pump question presented earlier in this thread:

    I set up a small biodiesel plant in my home state. I used compressed air to power a stainless steel diaphragm pump with teflon seals. This was the transfer pump. The mixer was an explosion-proof electric mixer that powered a large stainless shaft in the catalyst/alcohol tank. Safe, effective, and expensive!

    If you're looking for safe methoxide mixing, I would avoid any electric pump that is not rated explosion-proof. Your idea of using a simple air-powered mixer is right on the money. Brass works fine with methoxide. I know that a lot of home-brewers in the US are using a popular cheap cast-iron pump sold by Harbor Freight, but it makes me a touch nervous.

    Erik

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    17

    Re: Pumps for Methoxide mixing

    Hi Erik

    Thanks for responding to my query about suitable pumps for methoxide. Brass is the word I wanted to hear. I have a brass gear pump that I will use to tranfer the methoxide to the mixer. This will be driven by an air drill, as will the methoxide mixing paddle.

    Like you I am nervous about sparks and methoxide in close proximity.

    Thanks again
    Sirus

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Iran
    Posts
    41

    Re: Pumps for Methoxide mixing

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Pritchard View Post
    Hello,

    It's interesting to see what you folks down under are up to in the world of biodiesel. Sometimes I take for granted that we do have a lot of cheap stuff in the US. To address the pump question presented earlier in this thread:

    I set up a small biodiesel plant in my home state. I used compressed air to power a stainless steel diaphragm pump with teflon seals. This was the transfer pump. The mixer was an explosion-proof electric mixer that powered a large stainless shaft in the catalyst/alcohol tank. Safe, effective, and expensive!

    If you're looking for safe methoxide mixing, I would avoid any electric pump that is not rated explosion-proof. Your idea of using a simple air-powered mixer is right on the money. Brass works fine with methoxide. I know that a lot of home-brewers in the US are using a popular cheap cast-iron pump sold by Harbor Freight, but it makes me a touch nervous.

    Erik
    Can you more explaine about air-powered mixers(picures or principles)?
    I haven't seen this type of mixer yet.

    Thank you Erik
    Last edited by khatamifar; 15th November 2006 at 04:04 PM.
    http://brteam.ir
    Biofuel Research Team (BRT)


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