Homebrew Biodiesel

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

first 15 L batch settling

last night, measured out 15 L of soybean oil into the processor, then let it sit overnight to check for leaks. there is a very slow leak, but it should be remedied by some teflon tape and an extra 1/4 turn (all fittings were made hand tight). today, measured 3.3 L methanol and added 75 g lye in a 10 L carboy, put the lids on and swished it around. at the same time, oil was heating up to 125 F. once methoxide was completely mixed (i.e. no more little chunks in the carboy), plumbed it to the processor and opened the valves, but it doesn't flow in easily. will need some sort of system to evacuate processor and push methoxide in. also, need plugs for all flanges and some easier method for decanting.

Monday, March 14, 2005

compiling equipment, building processor

found 2 tight head 5 gallon steel buckets. started turning one into a processor, attached 3 pipe flanges using #14 sheet metal screws and silicone metal epoxy. put together some other plumbing as well.. restrictor for inserting thermometer, and methoxide T and valve.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Getting it Together

last friday, picked up 5gal methanol from ERC in san leandro. also found a bottle of Red Devil lye in OSH, and 2x35 lb of soybean oil (little less than 9 gallons) at costco.

on order:
o phenolphthalein pH indicator
o steel 5 gal pail with lever lock lid
o "drug dealer" scale (accurate to 10th of gram up to 500 gram)
o hot plate
o 12" turkey fry dial thermometer
o 10 L HDPE carboy (x 3)
o 1 L HDPE bottles (graduated, x 2)
o 100 mL beakers (x 12)
o 50 mL graduated cylinder
o stirring rods
o 20 cc syringe (x 10)
o goggles, aprons, gloves (x 3)

still need:
o isopropyl alcohol (at least 70%)