I know that the topic of "BIODIESEL" is all over this forum and I have done some looking and reading about it (here, at biodiesel.org and other internet sites). I was kinda hoping to talk with a forum user who is local to the Killeen/Coppers Cove/Harker Heights area. I am a normal guy, I don't have any engines hanging from my trees or transmissions in any of my bath tubs.
Here is what I want to know:
~How it has worked for you and your vehicle as far as:
~cost and savings vrs diesel
~has it jacked-up your engine
~do you need a METH LAB look-alike setup
~If you have been using it are you willing to help me get setup to use it?
I am also looking to start brewing my own 'juice' or as I will be referring to is as an 'additive' in mass.
I have made small batches (less than 5% per tank) and noted it's very simple..the hardest part (for me) is the titration (I was horrible in chemistry..infact..withdrew failing both times in HS, and Passed (due to extra credits ONLY) in College...my math skills however are helping to comensate.
There are many resources avail online. The basics are simple. You supply a reactant, source of heat, and then (for stovetop production) settle it to allow glycerine and any residing water to seperate.
I am looking at using the appleseed processor (have most of the parts either on hand, or ordered (hot water heater element for 110 was the hardest to locate..ended up buying online).
I dont yet have MY truck (looking to HOPEFULLY find one today..wish me luck), but from what I have read, there are MANY that are running home-brew 100% without negative affects. Some have been running it since new (2003.4 and below to 2001), others have converted over for their earlier models (94-). The ONLY complaint I have seen is that people forget to have spare filters at the ready as BD can and WILL 'clean out the fuel delivery system from tank forward' and their trucks die on teh side of the road due to clogged filters.
I have been running ~5%BD in my TDi for a while..moreso to get the positive affects of BD (lubricity is fantastic, as well as the higher cetane). In the winter I still run DK Winter additive...but that's because I can be sent from here in the DC metro area to Boston...and I may use merely half a tank of fuel, and need to ensure it wont gell/wax over the road.
As for the Meth Lab look....I honestly dont know what one looks like, but as long as you take precautions, you should be GTG....I would recommend using a methanol recovery process instead of straight venting to the outside (this will also reduce your costs overall), this will make it more 'treehugger' acceptable as well.
If your local authorities ask...show them your setup....you may be suprised. Many local authorities dont care..so long as if you're making your own fuel you are paying the taxes on it...if your making a fuel additive, you may or may not need to pay overroad taxes to your local and federal friends...check with your local offices to find this out.
I'd suggest making your first several batches to play with and get used to handling the chemicals....you need minimal things...BUT..SAFETY FIRST.
Get a GOOD respirator..preferably one that has the ability to have an outside air inlet adapted so you are getting fresh air from OUTSIDE...Methanol in the body forms fermaldihide(sp)...you dont wnat to embalm yourself trying to make fuel.
Safety goggles...ones that COMPLETELY protect your eyes...nod just those over the ear things you buy for working with wood...spend the extra 5 bux to get chemist goggles....and yes..Home Depot DOES sell them.
Chemical safe gloves..buy them...again...Methanol can and is absorbed by the skin...no embalming while making fuel..that's what I would call Bad(tm).
Wear full overclothes..and have an emergency shower and eyewash station..these are SIMPLE to build...and a must.
To be honest...the entire safety setup cost MAYBE 100bucks...but 100 bucks is better than pushing up flowers.
I will try to get some pics together of my emergency wash station..but it consists of simple materials...and can be triggered quickly for both full shower, and eyewash or just shower..or just eyewash.
Good luck...it's a fun experience to have a hobby, but just ensure your playing safe.
sorry not local, but I am making it also; its kind of fun actually, but I teach chemisty. No I wont run it in my new 6.0 because of injector issues. I have ran 10+ gallons through a tractor and pressur washer, worked great so far.