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Old 06-13-2006, 09:05 PM
Dave Barbieri Dave Barbieri is offline
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Lotta time and effort - No bioD

Well, so far, I'm three for three. Got my appleseed processor up and running two weekends ago and made my first 25 gallon batch of bioD. Came out GREAT! After letting the mix sit overnight, I drained off the glycerin (dark tea-colored stuff), and then hit nothing but beer-colored bio. Woohooo! Put the stuff in my standpipe washer for bublewashing, and 2 hours later, had 40 gallons of heavy cream. Crap! OK, batch number two, I simply dribbled the water down the inside of the barrel. I could see the cream begin forming at the bottom of the barrel. (The bio was pretty clear.) I drained of the cream and had about 5 gallons less bio than before I added the water. Let it sit all day and tried again after work. Same result - instant cream and less bio left over. I put the last three gallons in a jug for a keepsake.

This scenario has repeated itself twice now. Great initial bio, then nothing but emulsion when I try to bubblewash. The emulsion doesn't seem to want to separate. I've tried time (4 days), and remixing some of the glycerin byproduct. In one batch I've tried adding methanol, and in another I added vinegar. At this point, I have many 5 gallon jugs of weird stuff, and no usable bioD.

I'm pretty well stumped.
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:45 PM
jgc2521 jgc2521 is offline
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This sounds like a call for fabmanhoweveryouspellhisnamedelux
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:48 PM
willbd willbd is offline
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Dave,

Check out this link... http://www.biodieselcommunity.org/breakingemulsions/

Bryan Will
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:49 PM
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Another good link.... http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/eve/foru...1/m/2811039341
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Old 06-14-2006, 12:52 AM
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try a smaller batch like 15 gallons, my first batch I had the same issue it would instantly immulsify, but tried it with a smaller batch and went ok, have done a couple now and no problems. Something else, what is the temp of your oil when you start adding the metholhydroxide mixture, I found I need the oil at around 145 before I start adding it or it cools down to much, and heating it with the mixture in there seems to boil the methonal off and leaves an incomplete reaction.
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Old 06-14-2006, 07:35 AM
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Sorry about your problems dave, but you know my stand on washing.............

If you MUST wash, mist wash rather than bubble wash. If you bubble wash you add water, oil, and air. This is a sure way to make an emulsion. Mist washing is much more gentler and does'nt add air to the mix. Try heating the emulsion above 150deg F that should break it up.

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Old 06-14-2006, 07:55 AM
Dave Barbieri Dave Barbieri is offline
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Will -
Thanks for the links! Both are great! When the first batch went south, I began trying some of the methods listed on the biocommunity website. I took part of the batch and tried adding back the glycerine - that didn't do much; same crap. On the second failed batch, I tried adding additional solvent (methanol); that was a waste of time and money. The third batch I tried adding the water VERY gently and just letting it sit. No bubbling at all. Nope, no good. The minute the water settled on the bottom of the tank, it started to emulsify. I haven't tried reprocessing or adding heat. I'm really wary of putting that stuff back in my processor. Being a water heater (and closed), I have no real effective way to clean it out if I make things worse. The heat thing does sound workable, and I'm thinking seriously about getting one of those heating belt thingies that wrap around the barrel. Ya know, one of the comments made on the Journey to Forever website was, basically, "If it's this hard to wash, it's very low quality fuel and you don't want it in your car anyway."

MonsterBaby -
I agree with your comment about the scale thing. Several folks on the biocommunity website point out the same problem. I have tried a much smaller batch - 10 gallons. That was my third (and so far) last failed attempt. My next batch will also be 10 gallons. I like your idea about the additional heat. I think I'll replace my 1300 watt heating element with a 1500 watt unit. I've been allowing 3 hours for mixing; I think I'll stick with that. The other thing I'll do is get another set of scales and double check my lye weight. Too much of that generates lots of soap (and emulsion!).

OK guys, I think I've got a plan:

1. Re-weigh everything and be ABSOLUTELY sure that it's all accurate.
2. Increase initial oil temp to 145, then turn off the heater.
3. Add methoxide, mix for 2 hours. Let it sit for 12 - 24 hours.
4. Drain off the glycerine and soap, and transfer the bio to my wash tank.
5. Add about 10 gallons of water and gently bubble for 15 - 30 minutes. Let it sit overnight.
6. Drain the water, add another 10 gallons and bubble for 2 hours. (?) Let it sit overnight.
7. Transfer to my dryer.

Thanks for the ideas! I'll give it a try, starting tonite and see what happens.
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Old 06-14-2006, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Barbieri
Will -
OK guys, I think I've got a plan:

1. Re-weigh everything and be ABSOLUTELY sure that it's all accurate.
2. Increase initial oil temp to 145, then turn off the heater.
3. Add methoxide, mix for 2 hours. Let it sit for 12 - 24 hours.
4. Drain off the glycerine and soap, and transfer the bio to my wash tank.
5. Add about 10 gallons of water and gently bubble for 15 - 30 minutes. Let it sit overnight.
6. Drain the water, add another 10 gallons and bubble for 2 hours. (?) Let it sit overnight.
7. Transfer to my dryer.
Bubble washing is much more likely to cause emulsification than misting.
Try a mist wash for the first one.

If you continue to have emulsion problems try the two stage base - base method. It will drive the reaction toward more complete conversion of the VO and will leave fewer of the Free Fatty Acids that cause the emulsion.

Here is the URL that describes the method
http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_aleks.html
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Old 06-14-2006, 09:45 AM
Dave Barbieri Dave Barbieri is offline
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Fab & Phydeaux -

I'll get started on a mist washing setup this evening after work. I've seen pics of a mist head. What happens to the water that is misted over the top of the bioD? I figure that it settles to the bottom of the tank. Then what? I can hook up a garden hose to the mister thingie, but how long do I let it run?

Fab, what are the alternatives to washing? How can I be sure that the bioD that I pull out of my reactor is 'clean'? The last three batches all looked beautiful to me. Then went completely to crap during the wash phase. So much for my calibrated eyeballs... I'm game to try some other method.

Side note - bubble washing hasn't been the walk in the park I thought it would be. The descriptions are all pretty straightforward: pour in the water, add the little bubble rock thingie(s) and bubble away for a 'few' hours. Uh-huh.... Well, first of all, my bio dissolved the little bubble rocks. Kinda like fishing, when you pull your line back up and there's no worm on the hook. My bubble rocks were all on the bottom of the barrel disentegrating. I went back to Wally World and got a BIG bubble bar. Dropped it in. The plastic immediately softened and the sucker glued itself to the bottom of the barrel. Crap! Drain the barrel, unattach the bubble bar from the bottom. Discover that the bar has now glued itself to my glove. Try shaking the stupid thing off the glove. Smack my leg, which attaches the bubble bar (and my hand) to my leg. *****!! Pull my hand out of the glove and head inside for a (very) cold beer. Marty (Loving Wife) watches me go thru the kitchen with a bubble bar and a big black chemical glove hanging off my right leg, and sez, "Bad day, huh?" I grabbed TWO beers.
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Old 06-14-2006, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Barbieri
Drain the barrel, unattach the bubble bar from the bottom. Discover that the bar has now glued itself to my glove. Try shaking the stupid thing off the glove. Smack my leg, which attaches the bubble bar (and my hand) to my leg. *****!! Pull my hand out of the glove and head inside for a (very) cold beer. Marty (Loving Wife) watches me go thru the kitchen with a bubble bar and a big black chemical glove hanging off my right leg, and sez, "Bad day, huh?" I grabbed TWO beers.


I don't mean to laugh at your problems but the image your description developed in my head was hilarious.
Sorta reminded me of a Tim Conway skit I saw on the Carol Burnett show several eons ago.

It sounds like some chemistry is off someplace, the first thing to check is your scales then look at your titration technique.
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Old 06-14-2006, 09:07 PM
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Dave, Please inform us when we're going to get a post like yours! Coffee does NOT work as a lube for my keyboard, It even came out my nose !!

You should of seen me standing inside my first 100 gallon batch that I tried to bubble-wash! I had to cut out the top of my 300 gallon tank and clean it out with a shovel and a 5 gal bucket Now you know why I don't wash! If you are willing to WAIT for 30 days no problem, if not use Magnesol! Then it is ready within 48 hrs. I've got several links to studys that show why Biodiesel SHOULD NOT BE WASHED, I'll try and find them on my computer at my shop tomorrow and post them for all to see.

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Old 06-14-2006, 10:17 PM
Dave Barbieri Dave Barbieri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phydeaux88


I don't mean to laugh at your problems but the image your description developed in my head was hilarious.
Yeah. Mom always said it was cruel to mock the afflicted. Entertaining, but cruel.

Fab -

Sorry to hear about your respiratory distress. For future posts, I'll try to issue a warning: Danger!! Swallow before reading!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Phydeaux88
It sounds like some chemistry is off someplace, the first thing to check is your scales then look at your titration technique.
Well, today, I went to Office Depot and picked up an electronic mail scale. It'll weigh stuff up to 80 oz (5#). OK, so the first thing I weigh is a 4oz sample of lye that I had sealed in a baggie. I put it on the scale, and up pops '5.60 oz'! Well that's just great! I've been using about 30% more lye than I thought I was! Next, I decide to use my spiffy new titrating kit and test a sample of the oil I'm using. For these first few batches, I'm using virgin clear fryer oil from Sam's. According to the results (I tested it twice), I should be using 6.75 oz in a 10 gallon batch. I've been using 12 oz. Oh yeah, that's 12 'heavy' ounces. Jeez, no wonder I've been making soap like Procter & Gamble!

The last thing I did was to install a 1500 watt element in the converter. It's over twice as long as the 1300 - much more surface exposure to the oil. Tomorrow afternoon, I'm gonna come home and se if maybe (MAYBE!) I can actually make a usable batch of bioD. Oh yeah, and I'm gonna order some of that white powder stuff that Fab likes so much.

The adventure continues!
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:58 PM
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White Powder??

UHMMMMM hope the DEA doesnt read this forum
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phydeaux88
White Powder??

UHMMMMM hope the DEA doesnt read this forum
Don't worry, we won't tell them where you live ......unless they ask
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:36 AM
Dave Barbieri Dave Barbieri is offline
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OK, OK. Magnesol. MAGNESOL!!! At my age, memory is a fleeting thing. Marty (Loving Wife) sez she's just happy I recognize her every morning.

I looked pretty closely at the Magnesol website - The Dallas Group. There's a company office located in the Houston area. I'll contact them today for prices. The kicker here is that they recommend using 'the white powder' in oil that's been heated to 175 degrees. That's way beyond the capabilities of my appleseed processor, so now I'm also looking at one of those flexible wrap-around barrel heaters. Not cheap.

One other concept that looks VERY interesting is 'Air Washing'. It's been developed by Graham Laming, a guy in England, who's as hydrophobic as Fab. To read about it go to the infopop biodiesel website:

http://biodiesel.infopop.cc/eve/forums

Then go to the 'Making Biodiesel' forum, and then go to the thread: 'Making washing easier, less water'. It's about 13 down from the top.

The benefit here is that I already have almost everything I need to start using this process this weekend. I'll quit using the stupid bubble rock thingies and switch to a couple of sintered metal airtool mufflers from Grainger or MSC Supply. Sintered metal won't stick to the barrel. They also have the bag filters in stock in a wide variety of micron ratings - everything from 2 microns to 500 microns. I can have this ready to rock this evening, for well under $20.

Wooohooo!
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:36 AM
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