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  #1  
Old 11-19-2018, 10:37 PM
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Bio-Newb

Been wanting to do bio for my truck for years but i have 2 problems right now.... lack of funds for setup and finding a reliable source of wvo...

somewhere i do(or at least did) have plans for a water heater based bio processor......

my next problem is the chemistry portion of it....i do not even know where to start....
 
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Old 11-23-2018, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rangernut09011980 View Post
2 problems right now.... lack of funds for setup and finding a reliable source of wvo...

....i do not even know where to start....
Before anything, start by looking around your area for your source of wvo. Restaurants are usually the primary source for most people. If you're truly serious about making biodiesel, then go ahead and make arrangements with these places, and start collecting oil. That, in and of itself is a process you'll need to learn anyway. Without it, you're not going anywhere so there's no need, as of yet, to begin anything else.

After that, you can start by doing a ton of reading here: http://www.make-biodiesel.org/ it has absolutely everything you will need to know about building a processor, making and testing your biodiesel, etc.

I've been producing biodiesel for a bit over ten years now, and have successfully logged over 100k miles on it, between all the diesel Mercedes' I've owned and my 2001 F250 PSD. Saving money is what started me on it, but honestly, today, it's probably the last reason I make it, even though raw material cost is less than a 1$/gallon. It's a major commitment of time and space.

Read up on the link above, and if you have any other questions you can come here. Best of luck to you!
 
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:19 PM
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Just an FYI in regards to "making" and storing your bio-fuel...…. it's illegal as one can get...and this is federal law and it's because just like making your own gasoline, there are similar type hazards (including static safety) that is completely ignored in every "do-it-yourself" kit on the market. The penalties are severe even for equipment making possession and for good reason as well.

Bi-fuels are great..... making it yourself, not a "good thing"
 
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:00 PM
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With regards to it being illegal I know making the ethanol portion is illegal due to regulations on bootlegging and what not and untaxed liquor. However I have never read anywhere about making biodiesel being illegal
 
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:13 PM
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Ok.....To start with, when you collect, store any product that is combustible, flammable or poses a potential environmental effect in quantities of 30 gallons or more, you are required to have a secondary containment system, spill control and a permit, issued by local, state or federal epa or public health agency (local). This is required under both the CERCLA, the international fire code (adopted by local and state agencies) Article 79 and 80, and permit is required by Article 4.

You must also purchase caustics (sodium hydroxide aka Lye) and alcohol (or a derivative such as methanol) to distill the product....a permit is also required for any purchase of sodium hydroxide or methanol, mixing, dispensing and distillation process (since you have to heat the mixed product to well over 100 degrees- well past the ignition point of the product- same codes all apply. These same codes also require you to have Class I, division 1 or 2 electrical wiring for any inside mixing, storage and dispensing. Why, as an example, if lye comes in contact with aluminum, hydrogen gas is produced, if hydrogen gas (a flammable, used in the Hindenburg) comes into contact with any ignition source (including heat, static charge from rubbing your hair) at minimum you are looking at a flash fire, at worst case, an explosion. Even inhaling minor, the smallest particulates of lye damages the lungs, eventually creating a chemical induced pneumonia- to which there is no cure or treatment. If you think a respirator will take care of that exposure, oops again, your pupils of your eyes and ear drums are direct depositories into the blood stream- absorbing those particulates into the blood stream and transporting them to your liver, kidneys, bladder attempting to be filtered (but not) and re-distributed through the metabolic systems including the bone & bone marrow- where a host of results will (not if) occur…of which cancer would be your least concern…..but it does take 10-30 years for those effects to show…even with the best laboratory equipment.
As you pour one liquid into another container, you are creating “static charge” by the mere action of the liquid. Without proper, verified bonding & grounding, the re-routing/reverse of a single static charge will result in a fire or explosion (if it reaches a container)- this evens happens in cars when due to a design flaw (such as in the 1990’s) when GM experienced 2 fuel tank fires in their 2 newest “high mpg” cars because a single static charge was generated during re-fueling, the charge exited the vehicle tank but the newly designed low resistance tires prohibited the charge from “finding the ground” and returned to the vehicles fuel tank. Back in the 70’s (IIRR), the USAF also experience this with a 747 in Texas, causing a fire in one fuel tank and explosion in the center fuel tank which was almost empty.

While it is not illegal in most states to sell the equipment to make the product, it is illegal for anyone to sell the caustics & methanol to you in the quantity required for this process without a business license and other permits- including for transportation (under the Federal code of regulation, part 40 & 49). if you are reported by anyone, they will receive a 10% reward from the national "We-Tip" program- the average (total collected fine and investigation) fine for a "small business" is $1 million dollars, the average clean-up including disposal, assessment and temp permits is $2 million...and this can be instituted by any environmental, public health, fire department, law enforcement agency, district attorney and any local, state or federal agency.

While many will chime in that there's nothing wrong in doing this, or I don't know what I am talking about, check out Tuscan AZ, 2002 the feds came in and arrested a homeowner not for making bio-diesel, but because of the process, they went to jail for child endangerment (seems they had a little fire- I don't recall if it was related to the bio-diesel or not), but the local gov did the reports, the state & feds choose to clean the mess up and prosecute and fine and take everything the guys homeowners insurance would handle...then guess what, although the judge ordered restitution and reduced the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, he can’t get homeowners insurance...from any company. It's really not worth it.
 
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:29 AM
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It's one of those "gotcha" kinda things where there may be no law specifically stating you're not allowed to make biofuel, but you may be required to have certain safeties and permits to do it legally because of the other things involved. Beechkid presented a scary reason for not making it, but I'd like to see proof that anyone's been convicted of a crime for doing it.

I run wmo, no processing, just filtering so it's a totally different deal. There's rarely more than a 5 gallon bucket of it sitting around so no major storage issues.
 
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rangernut09011980 View Post
With regards to it being illegal I know making the ethanol portion is illegal due to regulations on bootlegging and what not and untaxed liquor. However I have never read anywhere about making biodiesel being illegal
I don't thing ethanol is used for biofuel, only methanol.
 
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rangernut09011980 View Post
With regards to it being illegal I know making the ethanol portion is illegal due to regulations on bootlegging and what not and untaxed liquor. However I have never read anywhere about making biodiesel being illegal
Originally Posted by '88 E-350 View Post
I don't thing ethanol is used for biofuel, only methanol.
^^^This is correct. Methanol is used to make the methoxide for reacting the vegetable oil to make biodiesel. Ethyl alcohol however, is used in the titration process to measure the free fatty acid content of the vegetable oil. This done to determine the quantity of catalyst needed to convert the oil.
 
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:59 PM
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Everything that makes a person self reliant is illegal in the state of California. Make your biodiesel and keep it on the low down. I had a 200 gallon per batch processor setup and bought sodium hydroxide by the 100lb pale and methanol by the drum and never had any trouble. I ran it in my 2000 powerstroke, my John Deere tractor, lawn mower and heating oil furnace and laughed like hell every time I rode by a filling station. Once you get a good wvo source you’ll learn the oil you’re getting and it makes the whole process easier and more economical. My processor had a drum to dry the wvo, a main processor unit, a settling tank, a washing tank and a drying tank. I then ran the fuel through a series of filters down to 5 micron to ensure clean fuel and then through a water separator at the fuel pump to catch any water that may have slipped through. The initial investment can be large but it is worth it in the long run to keep good quality fuel. If you have any questions about this feel free to hit me up on here through PM. “Mako314”
 
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:28 PM
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Ah and for the record your typical 40gal batch of bio requires about 8 gallons of methanol and +or- 2lbs of lye. The lye can be readily purchased without any bs permits on eBay and methanol is a dang racing fuel and can be bought by the 55 gal drum at any speed shop or race track. There are federal laws governing how much bio you can make tax free in a years time but there’s ways around that as well just mix a min of 10% petrol fuel in with your home brew and even the tax man stays happy.
 
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MAKO314 View Post
Everything that makes a person self reliant is illegal in the state of California.
This is beyond saying....Completely, absolutely, not true"....this I federal law...…………….
 
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Beechkid View Post
This is beyond saying....Completely, absolutely, not true"....this I federal law...…………….
with all due respect sir if you would do a little research you’ll find that what I said about the materials used to make biodiesel are true and you’re wrong. There is absolutely nothing illegal about making or storage of biodiesel. Yes you most post flammable and caustic placards on the building that said materials are stored in but this is simply because in case of an accident or fire the first responders or fire department will know how to treat the situation. Methanol burns with a clear flame and can be very dangerous if not handled properly. I’m not going to argue with you on the matter of state law because all I know about California is that a lot of bull crap that has made it rough on everyone else in this country has been born there. I had the state fire marshal come to my farm and check out my whole setup and storage and all he said was be careful and please place the applicable placards on the building . And for the record, I’m not speaking of all the people of California just the people there that think everyone in this country gives a crap what they think.
 
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:15 AM
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Someone mentioned distilling earlier; know that distilling anything, even just owning a still, is illegal in some states without a permit. Getting a fuel distilling permit from the feds is cheap & easy, but you still have to consider local laws. Some states allow distilling spirits for personal use, but it would still be a federal issue without a liquor distiller's permit which is not cheap & easy.
 
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:51 PM
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I noticed that someone mentioned distilling earlier in this thread. I'm not sure what it was in reference to but there is no "distilling" in the biodiesel making process. When I was making it the hottest the oil ever got was roughly 100 - 120 degrees prior to pumping it into the processing chamber. As for the methanol and lye, my local fuel supplier delivered to my driveway and I could still get the lye at the local Ace store. I only needed a pound or two and they still sold the lye drain cleaner so it was really that easy. I stopped making it because the processor took up way too much space in my garage and was replaced with a metal lathe. All in all it really was kind fun and really not that difficult but the whole process of collection, storage, and processing was time consuming.
 
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by '88 E-350 View Post
Someone mentioned distilling earlier; know that distilling anything, even just owning a still, is illegal....
Yeah, I was wondering about the relevance here too. There's no distilling involved in the making of biodiesel.

Originally Posted by cowens726 View Post
I noticed that someone mentioned distilling earlier in this thread. I'm not sure what it was in reference to but there is no "distilling" in the biodiesel making process. When I was making it the hottest the oil ever got was roughly 100 - 120........
Yep. I heat the vegetable oil to 130F when I process batches. Once the methoxide is dosed in, the heat generated from that carries the batch for the rest of the 2 hours.
 

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