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Question for the Chemist out there...

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Old 09-01-2015, 03:17 PM
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Question for the Chemist out there...

After distilling Methanol out of my Bio, I pump it into a settling tank. After sitting overnight, I get some glycerine settling out. Since there is always still some methanol in the batch even after distillation, I was curious to know if bubbling the bio would release more methanol / glycerine before dry-washing? Still have the stones from my attempt at water washing. I bubbled it for about 3 hrs while Refilling the processor. Did I gain anything by doing this?
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Rushmore X View Post
After distilling Methanol out of my Bio, I pump it into a settling tank. After sitting overnight, I get some glycerine settling out. Since there is always still some methanol in the batch even after distillation, I was curious to know if bubbling the bio would release more methanol / glycerine before dry-washing? Still have the stones from my attempt at water washing. I bubbled it for about 3 hrs while Refilling the processor. Did I gain anything by doing this?
Well, I am NOT the chemist you were looking for and you have likely produced a lot more bio-d than I have - but I'll throw my $0.02 at your question.

I'm assuming you are heating the mix to remove/distill methanol from it? After the reaction and draining off the glycerin???

Any methanol not used in the reaction should leave with the glycerin. Some will distill the methanol back out of the glycerin so they can use it again. We often pre-treated our WVO with glycerin to take advantage of the unused chems still in there....

If you still have methanol AND glycerin in your biodiesel - my knee-jerk response would be you did not get a complete reaction. That would also explain your problem with water washing. I know we made a couple batches of emulsion by attempting to water wash without getting a full reaction... Then we started doing the 3/27 test and even washing a sample of the oil before mist washing.

I like the water wash because if you can wash the fuel - it is GOOD! You can't wash fuel that is not fully reacted. I've been offered homemade B100 before and after asking a bunch of questions (and not liking the answers) - took a sample and mixed it with water in a bottle. If you shake this up and create a milkshake - the fuel is not fully reacted or separated. The water should quickly separate and the fuel remain clear if the fuel is 'good'.
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Old 09-04-2015, 10:45 AM
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Btw, the secret to breaking the water-wash emulsion is to add glycerin to it.

We would fill a cubie with 1/3 emulsion and 1/3 glycerin and shake it up. The fuel will rise to the top as the water/glycerin fall out.
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Old 02-02-2016, 03:44 PM
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POst biodiesel making questions at biodiesel.infopop.cc in the making biodiesel forum
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Rushmore X View Post
I was curious to know if bubbling the bio would release more methanol / glycerine before dry-washing? Still have the stones from my attempt at water washing. I bubbled it for about 3 hrs while Refilling the processor. Did I gain anything by doing this?
Bubbling air through the biodiesel will most definitely release more methanol. In doing so, more glycerine will drop out of suspension. I have a couple friends who do this, except they bubble it for a few days, then let the remaining glycerine drop out before they run it through wood chips. Me? I still water wash due to some of my equipment limitations, but I still produce great fuel.
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