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  #1  
Old 11-29-2006, 09:47 AM
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danny jones
Will this work?

I have 3 thirty gallon steel drums that I want to use to start making my own bio. My plan is to heat wvo in one over a propane grill type flame, at the same time I'll mix my lye/methanol in a 5 gal bucket. Once the oil is warm enough (150 degrees?) I'll pour in the methoxide and blend it (three hours or so?) and then let it settle over night. The next day I'd drain off the glycerin from the same original drum and then mix in magnesol in 2% by weight since I'd rather not go through the extra step of washing it. I don't have a way right now to recover the methanol (any suggestions?) so I guess I can store the glycerin in the second drum till I rig up a still or something. How does this plan sound? I'm open for suggestions or advice cause I don't want to **** off the wife by blowing up the house LOL. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2006, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mongo75
I have 3 thirty gallon steel drums that I want to use to start making my own bio. My plan is to heat wvo in one over a propane grill type flame, at the same time I'll mix my lye/methanol in a 5 gal bucket. Once the oil is warm enough (150 degrees?) I'll pour in the methoxide and blend it (three hours or so?) and then let it settle over night. The next day I'd drain off the glycerin from the same original drum and then mix in magnesol in 2% by weight since I'd rather not go through the extra step of washing it. I don't have a way right now to recover the methanol (any suggestions?) so I guess I can store the glycerin in the second drum till I rig up a still or something. How does this plan sound? I'm open for suggestions or advice cause I don't want to **** off the wife by blowing up the house LOL. Thanks!
Yes and no The drums will work just fine. DO NOT use an open flame for a heat source around the biodiesel process! You can use either a 120 VAC or 240 VAC water heater element installed in the drum to do your heating. If you heat to 150 deg F you should only have to mix for 30 min if you use mechanical mixing. If you use a pump to mix you'll have to mix for a longer period. If you pump from the mix tank to an elevated holding tank right after mixing you will be able to drain off the glycerol from the bottom of the drum the next day, BUT ONLY IF YOU USE KOH! If you use NaOH you will have to deal with a solid glycerol..........not fun to remove out of a closed drum [don't ask me how I know ]. The glycerol can be stored in SEALED 5 gallon buckets till you can make a recovery still.


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Old 11-29-2006, 03:30 PM
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Quick ?s for you fabmandelux, why store the glycerol on sealed buckets, it left open the methanol will evaporate correct? Also, 150 deg F is above the evaporation point of methanol, (yes Iv'e read your formula and know you have been doing this for years this way), but still a fact is a fact. When you do your processing, do you process in a closed system, which would not allow evaporated methanol a way of escape?
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by phish555
Quick ?s for you fabmandelux, why store the glycerol on sealed buckets, it left open the methanol will evaporate correct? Also, 150 deg F is above the evaporation point of methanol, (yes Ive read your formula and know you have been doing this for years this way), but still a fact is a fact. When you do your processing, do you process in a closed system, which would not allow evaporated methanol a way of escape?
Quick answer If you store the glycerol in tightly sealed buckets it will allow you to remove the Methanol at a later date for reuse. Methanol vaporizes at 149.5 deg F at sea level true, BUT, when you add room temp methoxide to 150 deg oil the temp takes a sudden drop [mine drops to 140-145 deg] . I've never had any vapor escape from my mixer because I use a negative pressure system, and vent the exhaust outside. The new system I'm working on uses nitrogen in the tanks to avoid oxidation of the fuel, and for safety reasons.


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Old 11-29-2006, 04:11 PM
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I understand, thanks for explaining that to me. Im thinking of raising my processing temp a hair. I currently use 135 F. I add my methoxide so slow though, I don't really notice a drop in temp. I use a mechanical temp gauge.
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:45 PM
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danny jones
Fabman- I plan on making small batches of around 20 gallons at a time using the formula you gave me before in correct proportions- any idea how long a 120v heater would take to heat this up?
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mongo75
Fabman- I plan on making small batches of around 20 gallons at a time using the formula you gave me before in correct proportions- any idea how long a 120v heater would take to heat this up?
120 VAC elements are 1,500 watts. 20 gallons will probably take less than an hour to heat up. I use a 240 VAC 4,500 watt element, and heat 50 gallons in about 1 hour. It will depend on what the ambient temp of the oil is when you start heating.


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Old 11-30-2006, 10:16 AM
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danny jones
Cool, thanks. I'm getting there.....
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabmandelux
Yes and no The drums will work just fine. DO NOT use an open flame for a heat source around the biodiesel process! You can use either a 120 VAC or 240 VAC water heater element installed in the drum to do your heating. If you heat to 150 deg F you should only have to mix for 30 min if you use mechanical mixing. If you use a pump to mix you'll have to mix for a longer period. If you pump from the mix tank to an elevated holding tank right after mixing you will be able to drain off the glycerol from the bottom of the drum the next day, BUT ONLY IF YOU USE KOH! If you use NaOH you will have to deal with a solid glycerol..........not fun to remove out of a closed drum [don't ask me how I know ]. The glycerol can be stored in SEALED 5 gallon buckets till you can make a recovery still.


FABMANDELUX.
Hey FabMan,

You talk about mechanical mixing reduces your time vs. pump mixing. Do you know the difference in time? I'm looking to have a processor built by spring. I really like the Appleseed because it looks cleaner than an open system. I have many busy body neighbors and a hot water tank sitting in my garage will not draw as much attention. Has anyone added a mechanical mixer to a hot water tank? or would the direction of the bio coming into the tank change the mix time, maybe a coil of pipe in the top the will cause the bio to stir in a whirlpool format?

At what point do you know when there has been enough mixing?

Thank Dane
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:27 AM
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danny jones
I was thinking about using a drill with a long paint mixing "bit" to mix everything. Or is there something easier or better to use? Also, I need to weld bungs or through pipes in the bottom of the barrels, should 1/2" fitting and pipes be best to use?
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:28 AM
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danny jones
I was thinking about using a drill with a long paint mixing "bit" to mix everything. Or is there something easier or better to use? Also, I need to weld bungs or through pipes in the bottom of the barrels, should 1/2" fitting and pipes be best to use? When you drain off the glycerin, do you just slowly drain it until it comes out clear like the bio or do you siphon off bio first?
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanE.
Hey FabMan,

You talk about mechanical mixing reduces your time vs. pump mixing. Do you know the difference in time? I'm looking to have a processor built by spring. I really like the Appleseed because it looks cleaner than an open system. I have many busy body neighbors and a hot water tank sitting in my garage will not draw as much attention. Has anyone added a mechanical mixer to a hot water tank? or would the direction of the bio coming into the tank change the mix time, maybe a coil of pipe in the top the will cause the bio to stir in a whirlpool format?

At what point do you know when there has been enough mixing?

Thank Dane
Appleseed pump mixing time.....2-3 hours.....sometimes more
Openstyle/w mechanical mixing: 30 minutes................

Seeing if you have a complete reaction.....PRICELESS!


An open style processer can be "cleaned-up" by adding a little sheetmetal.



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Last edited by fabmandelux; 11-30-2006 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mongo75
I was thinking about using a drill with a long paint mixing "bit" to mix everything. Or is there something easier or better to use? Also, I need to weld bungs or through pipes in the bottom of the barrels, should 1/2" fitting and pipes be best to use? When you drain off the glycerin, do you just slowly drain it until it comes out clear like the bio or do you siphon off bio first?

Been there, tried that

I use a 1/4hp 120vac electric fan motor [scrounged 0$] with a piece of 7/8" shaft. I just drilled a 1/2" hole in one end for the motor shaft, and the mixing blade?..........................an impeller from and old "302" FORD water pump

I would start with 1" bungs, you can always use a bushing, and it's real hard going larger.

My "receiver" tank has a pipe in from the top for pumping out the bio. I drain off the glycerol from the bottom drain first, then pump out the bio through a 6 micron filter. There is always about 2" of bio left in the tank because the suction pipe is about 4" off the bottom.



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Old 11-30-2006, 02:38 PM
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Methanol + Spark (from drill motor) = BoomJust be carefull. Maybe use a closed motor (drill) if there is such a thing.
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:52 PM
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danny jones
How much glycerin can be expected if I'm only maxing about 25 gallons of fluid? I want to put my suction tube deep enough so that I don't leave too much bio just lying unused. Also, can the whole process be done in one drum? Or is it best to heat and mix in one and transfer to a second one?
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:52 PM
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