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Old 08-10-2006, 05:54 PM
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Question confused newbie...

So, I have spent pretty much all day researching building my own biodiesel processor. I was very encouraged after reading all about the apple-seed processor on biodieselcommunity.org, however, after coming here and reading the posts from the subject matter experts (Fabman, phydeaux, et al) I am a little less enthusiastic. I am confident that I can do the things described on the biodieselcommunity.org website, but most of what you guys talk about are variations on what they have done. I guess what I really need to know is if I go with the steps they have described for titration, processing, and cleaning, am I going to actually be making a fuel that I can safely run in my truck without fear of damaging crucial engine components? I am very excited about trying this and I think I even have the wife convinced that it will be a good thing to build as a family, I just want to make sure that I do it right, and I definitely don't want to hurt my baby, um, I mean my truck. Thanks for the help.

Bob
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert6401
So, I have spent pretty much all day researching building my own biodiesel processor. I was very encouraged after reading all about the apple-seed processor on biodieselcommunity.org, however, after coming here and reading the posts from the subject matter experts (Fabman, phydeaux, et al) I am a little less enthusiastic. I am confident that I can do the things described on the biodieselcommunity.org website, but most of what you guys talk about are variations on what they have done. I guess what I really need to know is if I go with the steps they have described for titration, processing, and cleaning, am I going to actually be making a fuel that I can safely run in my truck without fear of damaging crucial engine components? I am very excited about trying this and I think I even have the wife convinced that it will be a good thing to build as a family, I just want to make sure that I do it right, and I definitely don't want to hurt my baby, um, I mean my truck. Thanks for the help.

Bob
Let me try to help. The appleseed style of processer was basicly designed by "hippys" for people who have no welding or fabrication skills, that could be made simply and cheaply. And no I'm not "bad-mouthing" the appleseed at all. The unit will make perfect bio just fine. There are thousands out there making biodiesel everyday with appleseed processers.

That being said, the appleseed has certin design flaws that some of us don't want to deal with. #1. The top "port" in a hotwater heater is usually 3/4" so you have to pre-heat and filter your oil before you can put it in your "reactor", this takes time and energy. #2. Pump mixing has been proven over and over again to be not nearly as affective as mechanical mixing, requiring more time to mix= more energy and time wasted. #3. I cannot explain how nice it is to WATCH the reaction as it happens, sometimes it can make the differance between a good batch and a bad batch. If by some chance some water makes it into the batch, [it will happen, believe me...] you could mix till he.. freezes over, and wind up with nothing. But you wouldn't know that till you quit mixing. #4. If you use NaOH you MUST remove the glycerol before it hardens, or you CAN'T get it out!

I use an "open" style of processer I designed myself. It does not require pre-heating or pre-cleaning. My mixer is open top with mechanical mixing. I can mix a 50 gallon batch in just 30 min, not 3-4 hours. Because I can see the reaction as it happens if any water has made it into the mixer I can tell within 1-2 min. If the "change" has'nt happened in that time I can add more KOH 1/4 pound at a time untill it does change! I also use KOH not NaOH because it stays liquid down to 0 deg F, and is much easier to recover the Methanol from. My system is not for everyone. I have the skills and experiance to build most anything I need, and I'm always trying to improve my system. In the last 3 years i've made many changes that have cut my time by about 80 percent.

You can see my equipment in my gallery to get a better idea. If you need anything else just ask.

FABMANDELUX.
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:17 PM
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Thanks Fabman. I think my biggest dilemma is the fact that while you have the "skills and experience to build most anything" you need, I don't, especially considering how new I am to brewing my own fuel. I am, however, very good with directions, which is what makes the appleseed processor so appealing. One thing I didn't realize is that you have to heat and filter the used oil before it goes into the reactor. It says nothing about that in the instructions that I have read. I guess I need to do a good bit more research before I start building anything. As I said, I want to do it right, even if it is more difficult. Thanks for the help Fabman, I'm sure that if I do decide to embark on this endeavor I will be referring to you for a lot of help in the near future.

Bob
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:37 AM
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Most of the variations you see discussed here are aimed at improving the process.
While Appleseed Processors produce good BD they come with built in limitations and risks. As Fab pointed out there is nothing more frustrating than spending the time and energy to mix a batch only to find, at the end of the 3 to 4 hr mix time, that the reaction didnt occur. It's equally frustrating to turn out an apparently perfect batch then have it turn to mayonaise during the wash.

If you take the time to read thru this whole forum, a monumental task, you will find multiple solutions offered to almost any problem encountered in the making of BD. The idea being that if one idea wont work for your situation another will.

As you read you should notice somthing else, no one condems the Appleseed. It is a good basic processor but it isn't the only way to skin this cat.
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:40 AM
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Thanks for the input. I guess I will continue to research before I jump on any bandwagon. If you noticed my other post, you will see that I am also torn between making my biodiesel or converting the truck to run wvo. Thanks.
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:40 AM
 
 
 
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