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Old 02-10-2013, 12:43 PM
okrp okrp is offline
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New Here And Would Like Info About Biodiesel

I have been interested in biodiesel for many years and with diesel just going over 4 dollars a gallon here I am ready to make the move.
What info should I be looking for to make my own biodiesel?
What systems do you guys have and which one should I buy. Or should I make my own? I have seen systems from 399 dollars to tens of thousands. For right now 80 to 120 gallons a week would be more then sufficient. How hard is it to find that amount of used cooking oil?

Next on the list is what they are calling for black diesel convertors. Waste oil converted to diesel. I do know where I can get all the waste oil I would like.
Any and all info is greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:44 AM
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SkySkiJason SkySkiJason is offline
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Welcome to the forum.

The first challenge will be securing a source or sources of WVO. 80-120gals a week is quite a bit of oil. A typical Mom and Pop restaurant will usually produce 10-15gals/wk. A busy buffet place might get closer to the volume/week you are looking for. The 'challenge' is, there are few markets left where the restaurants do not get paid for their WVO. This in itself is not an insurmountable obstacle, but due to the competition for the WVO - it definitely makes it harder to come by. Let us give you some advice BEFORE you go out asking for oil if ya haven't already got an 'in' for some.

The second challenge with bio-d is processing. You are correct, processors range from inexpensive DIY 'appleseed' designs to $10k or more units like the BioPro models. The old adage 'ya get what ya pay for' applies here. The cheaper units/designs typically involve greater amounts of hands on time and safety is often lacking. I have seen some really, really nice DIY processors that rival even the BioPro in terms of safety and production - but they were not 'cheap'. Also, consider you'll be dealing with some very toxic chemicals and the risk of bodily injury and FIRE (as well as hazardous spills) is high. Several people I've met fail to take the health risks involved very seriously. It is a fact that skin contact with methanol is BAD for you and the inhalation hazards of methoxide are far worse than that. These are industrial chemicals and as such would never be allowed under you kitchen sink because people would kill themselves. In addition to the health hazards from processing bio-d, there is a waste stream that must be dealt with. You cannot dump glycerol down the drain or into your septic system. In some places, you can give (sell?) this by-product to commercial bio-d makers and it can be burned in some multi-fuel furnaces, so that may be a disposal option for you. (we burned ours to heat the shop)

Then, there is the economics. We have not made bio-d for a couple years now, but our last cost was about $1/gal for chemicals. In addition to that expense was the cost to collect and pre-filter/dewater the WVO and electricity to run the processor. It is not uncommon for restaurants to get $1/gal for WVO in many markets now. So, you are potentially at $2/gal for your fuel not including the cost of a processor and more importantly the cost of your TIME to produce it - much less disposal costs of the by-products.

My suggestion is to have a solid plan for all of these concerns BEFORE you dive into this endeavor.

Personally, I chose to run WVO straight in my vehicles. There are some up-front costs involved in modifying the vehicle to run WVO and to set up a system for dewatering and filtering it. In a nutshell, the vehicle needs a 2nd, redundant fuel system that is capable of heating the oil up to the point that its viscosity resembles diesel. The dewatering/filtering process has a lot of overlap with what ya have to do to WVO to prepare it for bio-d production - this can be done for under $100 pretty easily.

The fact is, very few have reported plausible long-term success burning WMO/ATF/etc in diesel vehicles. There are plenty of stories out there where people dumped some concoction in the fuel tank and the truck ran - but unfortunately, many people have ruined perfectly good engines trying this and never came back and posted their failures. This cycle of reporting limited success and almost no reports of failures provides a steady crop of experimenters doomed to failure. I always say 'Choose wisely, or please post pics of the carnage'.

Anyway, this is kind of a long-winded reply. Good luck and keep us posted!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by okrp View Post
For right now 80 to 120 gallons a week would be more then sufficient. How hard is it to find that amount of used cooking oil?

Next on the list is what they are calling for black diesel convertors. Waste oil converted to diesel. I do know where I can get all the waste oil I would like.
Any and all info is greatly appreciated.
In most places it is VERY difficult to find that much used vegetable oil. I used to have 11 restaurants that gave me oil for free. Now I have 2. The renderers are paying upwards to $1.75/gallon of used vegetable oil.

Waste motor oil is toxic, contains metal fragments and pollutes the environment when you burn it- or spill it. And you WILL spill.

Start by seeing how much oil you can collect. If you can collect 300 gallons of veg oil, go for it. If not, sell what you collect to someone who is already converted. I collected 400 gallons of veg oil before I bought anything else.

Look for mom and pop restaurants that have no space for a grease dumpster. Also, concessionaires are good sources. Utilize craigslist heavily.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:42 PM
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I certainly thank you both for responding to my post. So far in my adventure has only led me down the garden path. What I mean is it seemed so simple before and I knew they would be some problems. Now I at least realize that it is not as simply as what someone always makes it out to be. I am going to follow this project out a little further and see where it may lead. I will post any results at a later date.
As for the WO, I was going to purchase a waste oil heater also. I have what I think is a pretty good source of used oil and would like to use it.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:09 AM
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If you have a good source of oil, go for it! Go ahead and get your filtration system set up, and see if you (and your family) can handle the mess, smell, collection, storage etc.

There are some plans on how to make your own drip waste oil heaters available online.

Read every post by SkySkiJason on this forum and on the frybrid.com forum and then you will be informed enough to decide if you want to get into this thing of ours.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:13 PM
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Am I making progress

OK this week at another internet site I have found 2 people who are trying to sell WVO. One has 3000 gallons and the others is selling 300 gallons. What are the biggest worries I have trying to buy WVO from someone on the internet?
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:29 PM
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Price

Type of oil (liquid, PHO, ATF, etc)

Is it filtered or unfiltered

Dewatering and filtering method of the seller

Where they got the oil/ quality of oil

Contaminants ( Boil Out, methanol, water)

How will you pump it into your tote to get it home

Will you need to dewater and filter it again because you don't trust the sellers' methods

And finally, do you trust the seller
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2002 F-250 Super Cab, 295,000 miles, 95,000 on WVO; Greasecar conversion, 20 plate heat exchanger, AIH delete-water injection in its place, DIY stock fuel bowl delete, 6637 air filter w/ Pete's cover, Straight Piped, GPR LED mod, CAT ELC, 203* thermostat, Bosch auxiliary coolant pump, ext coolant filter, fumoto oil drain valve, Aeroforce Interceptor scan gauge, ISSPro trans temp, boost, EGT, elec fuel pressure gauges, Cyberdyne coolant, veg oil, ambient air temp gauges, 80W low beams/100W high beams. No major grease related problems.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:31 PM
okrp okrp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkharrod View Post
Price

Type of oil (liquid, PHO, ATF, etc)

Is it filtered or unfiltered

Dewatering and filtering method of the seller

Where they got the oil/ quality of oil

Contaminants ( Boil Out, methanol, water)

How will you pump it into your tote to get it home

Will you need to dewater and filter it again because you don't trust the sellers' methods

And finally, do you trust the seller


I guess all fair questions.
I have been told it is 100% used vegetable oil.
I do not know either seller. I have completed many internet deals and in the pats have only been burned once. Not a bad record, but not infallible.
Am I going to be stopped by DOT for hazardest waste?
I can carry up to a 1000 gallons safely by myself.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:20 PM
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binuya binuya is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okrp View Post
OK this week at another internet site I have found 2 people who are trying to sell WVO. One has 3000 gallons and the others is selling 300 gallons. What are the biggest worries I have trying to buy WVO from someone on the internet?
I wouldn't put any money up until I saw it. You have to know what your working with, especially with that much oil. Countless times I've passed on 100's of gallons of free WVO because it wasn't worth my time messing around with it, whether it was moisture content or excessive solids. Look at it first.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okrp View Post
I guess all fair questions.
I have been told it is 100% used vegetable oil.
I do not know either seller. I have completed many internet deals and in the pats have only been burned once. Not a bad record, but not infallible.
Am I going to be stopped by DOT for hazardest waste?
I can carry up to a 1000 gallons safely by myself.
Yes, but how will you pump the oil onto your vehicle if the seller doesn't have a SERIOUS pump. I sell WVO sometimes. I can pump about 4 gallons per minute in winter (8-10 in summer) with my pump. That's over 4 hours of pumping for 1000 gallons.

I've never been stopped but you also have to think about what will you do if you 1) spring a leak 2) god forbid, wreck with 1000 gallons. The most I have toted is 330 gallons.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:44 AM
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Moisture content

OK, lets talk about moisture content. Anything that sits for any amount of time usually is going to have some condensation occurring. What is to much? I mean if you have a barrel filled with Vegetable oil and you have a water line on 10% of the barrel you know you have a problem. How do you check this out? Is there a meter for this? Like I said in the beginning, I am new at this and know very little about the pitfalls that are likely to occur. All the shows and articles i have read make it seem like you pour it in this end and magically it comes out the other end ready to use. I knew that was not the case and that is why I am here in the first place.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:51 AM
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OK, lets talk about moisture content. Anything that sits for any amount of time usually is going to have some condensation occurring. What is to much? I mean if you have a barrel filled with Vegetable oil and you have a water line on 10% of the barrel you know you have a problem. How do you check this out? Is there a meter for this? Like I said in the beginning, I am new at this and know very little about the pitfalls that are likely to occur. All the shows and articles i have read make it seem like you pour it in this end and magically it comes out the other end ready to use. I knew that was not the case and that is why I am here in the first place.
Obviously you don't want to pay $1+/gallon for water. 10% water is WAY to much. If the oil is in cubies, you can usually see a layer of water at the bottom. If I see a layer of water, that's red flag. That means they are putting the water that they wash the fryers with in with the waste oil. Possibly could have Boil Out in it, a corrosive cleaner with lye that will ruin your injectors.
The layer of water can be clear or it can be in an emulsion, which looks milky. Water will cause the oil to degrade and make the oil smell like old pizza or puke. That is the smell
Of bacteria breaking the oil down.
There is a test: The Hot Pan Test. A sample of the oil is poured onto a hot cast iron pan. If bubbles form in the oil (or worse, it crackles) there is water present. This is why we de-water the oil. If there is too much water present, it becomes difficult to de-water because of time and energy. Gravity and time will eventually separate the water and oil, but some oil can be so bad, it is not worth the trouble, like Binuya said.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:37 AM
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OK, lets talk about moisture content.
Test Methods for Water in VO | Quality Testing

The rest of the site at this link contains the latest information of all things biodiesel. Lots of good, valuable reading.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:37 AM
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