Let The Brewing Season Begin!
With winter hopefully behind us, it's officially time for the Biodiesel brewing season to begin again. With that in mind, this newsletter is devoted to advanced Biodiesel production techniques.
Everything from the great 80/20 method for high conversion rates to a cool technique for reducing the amount of water needed to water wash Biodiesel. We also have a few new products to show off, a prize to announce, and a few other fun things as well to share.
So, pull up a chair, grab some popcorn, and let the fun begin!
The 80/20 Biodiesel Production Method|
|Made famous by Dr. Jon Van Gerpen from the University of Idaho, this
technique is in use in many a commercial Biodiesel plant yielding
How To Do It:
When making Biodiesel, instead of adding the full amount of methanol
& catalyst to the oil, split it up into two separate reactions.
In the first reaction, add 80% of what normally would have used,
pull the glycerin off, and then add the rest of the methanol &
catalyst and react the oil again. This will generate even more glycerin
that can then be removed as well.
In most cases, Biodiesel reacted using the 80/20 method tends to be more highly converted than the traditional method. Because it works so well, it's ideal to use with oil that titrates higher than normal.
100 Gal oil titratingat 5 on a KOHscale (1 gram KOHin 1 liter water)
20 Gal Methanol
4542 Grams KOH(7 base + 5 titration= 12 x 378.5 liters)
Here's how to convert it to an 80/20 recipe
The "80" Part
100 Gal oil
16 Gal Methanol (20 x .80 = 16)
3634 Grams KOH(4542 x .80 = 3634)
1) Heat the oil up to 130-135 Deg F
2) Fully dissolve the KOHinto the methanol
3) Add the methanol/KOHmixture to the oil & mix for at least 2
4) Allow the glycerin to separate & drain it off (about 10-12 hours
The "20" Part
Same 100 Gal oil
4 Gal Methanol (20 x .2 = 4)
908 Grams KOH(4542 x .2 = 908)
1) Reheat reacted oil up to 130-135 Deg F
2) Fully dissolve the KOHinto the methanol
3) Add the methanol/KOHmixture to the oil & mix for 2 hours
4) Allow the glycerin to separate & drain off (about 10-12 hours
Then run a 3/27 Biodiesel Conversion Testto ensure it's thoroughly reacted. If reacted, wash the fuel as normal (either with dry washing or water
This same method works with NaOHreacted Biodiesel as well.
Why It Works
To explain how this works, imagine all of your oil, catalyst, and
methanol on the left side of a balance scale. As the reaction occurs,
the reacted Biodiesel, glycerin, and any soap will end up on the other
side of the balance scale.
In this particular chemical reaction (called transesterification), the
reaction likes to occur until the scale balances out (or reaches
something called equilibrium). Once equilibrium is reached, it's
difficult to push the reaction much further; even if there's still a lot
of unreacted oil sitting on the left hand side.
So, with the 80/20 method, we react a portion of the oil into Biodiesel
& glycerin, then strip away the glycerin, making the scale out of
balance again. We then add more catalyst & methanol to the left hand
side and the reaction starts happening again until it brings the scale
back into balance (even more Biodiesel & glycerin is produced). By
splitting the production process into two separate reactions, we're able
to push more oil from the left side into reacted Biodiesel on the right
side and thereby get more completely reacted Biodiesel.
If you're finding that you continually don't pass 3/27 tests,
give this method a try. You may just be able to "push" your reactions
all the way to completion!
Make Biodiesel.org Two Stage Base/Base Recipes
Biodiesel Tutorial Base/Base Two Stage Processing
Water Pre-Wash Method|
|Want to reduce the amount of wash water you use? How about reducing the amount of methanol left in your fuel before it's washed, which is ideal if you're going to use dry wash technologies? Then you might want to try the 5% Water Pre-Wash Method!|What It Is:
This method involves "pre-washing" Biodiesel with a little water after
it's reacted but before
the glycerin begins to settle. Adding the water to the mixture before
glycerin separation aids in removing the water soluble methanol,
glycerol, and other contaminants. In use, this has been shown to significantly
reduce the amount of soap, glycerin, and methanol left in the Biodiesel
once the glycerin has separated.5% Pre-Wash Benefits:
- Faster glycerin separation from reacted Biodiesel
- Better removal of methanol from Biodiesel
- Results in less soap formation during waster washing
- Requires less water to completely water wash the Biodiesel
- When dry-washing, reduced methanol levels allow for better soap
removal with ion exchange resins
- Results in ion exchange resins lasting longer (because there's less
soap to be removed)How To Do It:
1) Figure out how much 5% of your total batch size would be (oil +
2) Mix your oil & methoxide together as normal
3) Just before shutting down the mixer or pump, add the 5% water
4) Continue to mix for about 15-20 minutes
5) Shut the mixing down and allow the glycerin to separate as normal
6) Commence washing your fuelExample:
40 gal oil + 8 gal methoxide = 48 gal liquid
48 x 0.05 = 2.4 gallons
After reacting for the normal period of time for the equipment, add 2.4 gallons of water
to the processor. Allow it to mix into the batch for 15 to 20 minutes.
Then separate the glycerin.
Additional Notes:1) Ensure Fuel Is Reacted Before Adding Water
It's important that you ensure your fuel is well reacted before adding
the water. Once the water hits the oil/methoxide mixture, it'll stop the
reaction dead in it's tracks. Some people pull a sample of their mixing
fuel prior to adding the water, quickly separate the glycerin (allow it
to settle in a vial), and run a 3/27 Conversion Test
If it passes, they go ahead & add the water. If it doesn't they
continue to let the reaction run and pull a test again a few minutes
later.2) Adding Water To Glycerin Makes It Difficult To Recover Methanol
When adding water to the process before glycerin separation, a large
majority of the water will end up in the glycerin. This will mix with
the methanol in the glycerin and can cause problems when trying to
recover methanol from the glycerin (because the water will come out with the methanol resulting in fairly wet methanol).
3) Using With The 80/20 Method
- Don't add water until the "20% Reaction" part
- When adding the water, also re-add all the glycerin removed during the
- Otherwise, too little glycerin in the mix can cause emulsions to occurAdditional Resources:Biodiesel Tutorial 5% Glycerin Pre-WashMake-Biodiesel 5% Glycerin Pre-Wash
Thanks For Entering Our Contest!|
|Congratulations to Tom Leue of Williamsburg, Massachusetts! He's the lucky winner from last issue's contest!|
We'd like to thank everyone for entering this great contest as well as NEEDASTICKERfor providing this great which Tom will be receiving.
Tom was randomly selected from all the entries we received and gets this great embroidered cap!
We have a long and successful relationship with NEEDASTICKER.com,
a company almost entirely devoted to promoting Biodiesel and other alternative fuels. They
offer a large variety of decals, chrome emblems, license plate frames,
magnets and even apparel, all unique items designed with one idea in
mind - to spread the word about Biodiesel and raise overall public
awareness of low impact living. Be sure to check out their great website at: www.needasticker.com
Waterless Reduction Of Soaps & Methanol|
From Biodiesel By Air Bubbling
Bubbling air into Biodiesel has been around as a method for cleansing
the fuel almost from the beginning. However, it's always been utilized
during the water washing process to help agitate water up into the
Biodiesel layer or as a method for drying the water out of the cleansed
In this case, however, it's utilized BEFORE
any water washing or dry
washing is performed. After the glycerin has been removed from the fuel,
air bubbles are passed through the fuel for a period of time to help
accelerate the evaporation of methanol from the Biodiesel. By removing a
portion of the excess methanol from the Biodiesel, soap suspended by
methanol separates and falls to the bottom of the vessel.
When properly performed, this method can greatly reduce methanol and
soap left over in the Biodiesel prior to washing it. By reducing the
methanol and soap amounts, washing can occur much more rapidly and less
water may be required to fully cleanse the fuel of it's impurities.
If the fuel is to be dry washed
through ion exchange resins (such as Thermax
cellulose material (such as Eco2Pure
bubbling with air can greatly increase the life of the dry wash media.How To Do It:
1) Process the Biodiesel as normal
2) Allow the glycerin to settle and remove it from the Biodiesel
3) Place a bubbler into the Biodiesel and with the lid to the vessel
open, bubble aggressively for at least 8-10 hours
4) Blowing air ACROSS the opening of the vessel (not into the vessel,
but across the top of it) will help to pull the evaporated methanol up
5) Turn off the bubbler and allow the Biodiesel to settle for 2-4 hours
6) Remove anything that settles to the bottom (most likely soap)
7) Proceed to wash the fuelExample Bubbler Setup:
This bubbler setup
, available on our website, works great with vessels that are up to 65 gallons.
It's made with a lime wood bubble stone,
a variable flow air pump
, some aquarium tubing
and small air fittings
You can use pretty much anything that's compatible with Biodiesel to bubble with. Even a piece of 1/4" tubing for plumbing water to a refrigerator works well! The air supply can come from something as small as an aquarium pump
or as large as an air compressor. The goal is to simply bubble large amounts of air through the reacted Biodiesel.Additional Notes:
- Be sure the area you're bubbling the Biodiesel in is well ventilated as you'll be
evaporating methanol into the air
- Ensure that the bubbler is near the bottom of the vessel and that the
air supply is sufficient to generate aggressive bubbles
- It's helpful to use a vessel that fully drains at the bottom to ensure
full removal of any settled soaps
- Bubbling can possibly oxidize the Biodiesel. If you plan on storing
the Biodiesel for extended periods of time (3-4+ months), you may want
to add an oxidative stabilizer
to the fuel afterward
- If it's possible to heat the Biodiesel while bubbling, it will help
remove methanol faster.
|New Product Announcements|
We have some exciting news about existing products, re-releases of old products, and a few new products that have been released in the last two months.75 Micron Bucket & Drum Oil Filters!
The manufacturer of our famous bucket
and 55 Gal Drum
Filters have released a new smaller 75 micron size for these great filters. We just received these in stock and now have them available on our site!
These strainers are extremely durable and can handle literally thousands of gallons of oil going through them before they wear out. We had one customer report running over 10,000+ gallons through one! They've always been a popular item on our site and now with the smaller micron size, they're even more versatile! Click here to see the 55 Gallon Drum StrainersClick here to see the 5 Gallon Bucket Strainers
12/24 Volt Portable Oil Transfer Pump
We're excited to announce the return of our popular 12/24 DC Volt Oil Transfer Pump
! This great pump was unavailable for a while, but has now been re-released by the manufacturer. We were able to secure several of these pumps for our store and now have them ready to ship!
If you've never used one before, you'll be amazed at how well they perform! Unlike several other transfer pumps, this one was designed FROM THE GROUND UP
to pump thick oil! I've personally used these pumps several times, have always loved the results and am absolutely thrilled to discover that they're available again. If you're looking for a tough 12 volt transfer pump, this is it!Click here to learn more about this exciting pump!
The B100 Biodiesel Station Map
recently released a really cool map of the United States that shows all of the gas stations across the US that have B100 Biodiesel available at a pump for public purchase.
name, address, and phone number is listed
in an easy to read format making it a great traveling companion for
your cross country road trips!
completely laid open it stretches to a gorgeous 22" tall by 34" wide and
folds down to a convenient 8 1/2" x 11" size.
makes a great wall poster, traveling companion, and even a great
piece of history of the Biodiesel movement! It can be purchased
separately or as part of the set of back issues.Click here to read more about this exciting new map!
Liquid Biodiesel Glycerin Soap
We're excited to introduce a really cool line of Biodiesel glycerin based liquid soaps. These come from the Knice-N-Clean Soap Making Company
and have incredible fragrances! They've figured out how to make some of the clearest, most transparent Biodiesel glycerin based liquid soap we've seen!
Available in two lines, the Essentially Yours and the Naturally Yours, there's sure to be a fragrance available that your sniffer will love! As with all Knice N Clean Soaps, these soaps are incredibly moisturizing, have a great feel to them, and perform extremely well! They're available individually or as a sampler pack. Pick some up today!Learn more about these exciting new fragrances here!WVO Designs Is Releasing A Monster Centrifuge!
WVO Designs, manufacturer of the Raw Power Centrifuge
and the Monster Gear Pump
, are getting ready to release a monstrous new 210 oz centrifuge with an optional self-cleaning vessel. You can see the massive size difference above with their standard RPC centrifuge on the left and the huge to-be-released centrifuge on the right.
With it's massive bowl, rotor, and motor, it should easily be able to handle flow rates from 50 Gallons Per Hour clear up to an amazing 100 Gallons Per Hour!
Base pricing will be around $5,000 with a pre-release beta model being made available for around $4,000 with a $2,000 deposit. You can learn more about this exciting new centrifuge by visiting the WVO Designs blog
. Once released, we'll be making this monster available as well. Click here to read more about this exciting new forthcoming centrifuge!
Be sure to sign up on their site to receive details or watch our newsletters for more information.Free Shipping On All Decals & Magnets!
We're excited to announce that we now have free shipping on all of our high quality vinyl decals and magnets! These decals are a great way to promote Biodiesel in your community, on your car, or on your Biodiesel equipment.
The decals are made of high quality vinyl and can stand up to some serious abuse! The majority come in green, white, and white mirror (mirror decals adhere to the INSIDE of a rear car window but still read correctly when looking at the window from the back of the car). Check out all our great decals
, license surrounds
, and our great selection of bumper stickers
and promotional apparel
Great Biodiesel Websites
|In our never ending quest to learn more about Biodiesel and keep up to date, we present our latest find of cool websites on Biodiesel.|
This website is a treasure-trove of knowledge for the budding Biodiesel producer or for the experience brew master. It contains insightful articles on just about every aspect of producing Biodiesel, has a really nice photo gallery, an exceptional set of video's, and a forum that's well balanced and laid out. Think of it like the old Collaborative Biodiesel Tutorial on steroids.
Not only are the articles well laid out, but they're chalked full of high-quality information on how to make Biodiesel. We're quickly becoming a huge fan of this place and refer customers to it many times a week.
The author of Make-Biodiesel.org ran across this great website and shared it with us. It looks to be a somewhat dated, but incredibly thorough page on making Biodiesel with content contributed by none other than world renowned Dr. Jon Van Gerpen; one of Biodiesel's Godfathers as far as I'm concerned.
Much of the information presented in the exceptional National Renewable Energy Lab's document Biodiesel Handling And Use Guidelinesalso shows up here as well. Great stuff!
Got glycerin? Want to burn it? Then make this website one of your stops! Lyle Rudensey a.k.a. BioLylesent this one our way. He said that he has a customer that bought one of these ingenious burners and is now burning their glycerin. As in crude, methanol laden, unrefined glycerin; burning great and giving off lots of heat! Yep! We thought that sounded cool too!
Looking to go big time with your soap making adventures? Then you'll want to pay a visit to this site. They have the absolute largest selection of soap making equipment and supplies I've ever seen. From the small stuff to the big, commercial grade soap making pots to video's on how to use half their stuff, they've got it all! This place is mecca for soap makers! If you're looking for really cool supplies, looking to go big, or just want some cool ideas on how to further the craft of soap making, then you've gotta stop by!
No Freeze Water Hose
Looking to water wash your Biodiesel in the cold but the pesky hose keeps freezing on you? Then stop by this nifty site to learn about a heated hose (Yep! You read right! A garden hose with a heater in it! How's that for cool!) A customer tipped us off to this one and we were really impressed!
Diesel Power Magazine
Diesel Power magazine is like candy for diesel nuts; which means I've been eating a lot of it lately. The site is the online presence to their kick butt magazine on diesels. They cover everything from modding up your older diesel pickup to customizing the latest diesel trucks around. They also have a great tech section on their site as well where they talk about every type of problem you might encounter under the sun and how to fix it.
Here's the link to the tech section:
I refer people to this site all the time for tips & tricks on getting the most out of their rig. They even cover Biodiesel from time too!
US Energy Information Administration
This website is run by the US Department of Energy. They monitor diesel fuel prices, gasoline prices, and just about every other consumable energy price in the US. Want to know how much oil the US imported by week? by month? by year? by county? by region? Yep! It's all there! I use their kick butt graphs to stay on top of what the going price of diesel fuel is doing for any given week (Hint: it's on the rise again). They also have a cool article that explains how diesel prices are set in the US, what influences them as well as what is built into the price. Great stuff!
Government Track on H.R. 4213
(Biodiesel Tax Incentive Bill)
This link tracks the status of the current HR 4213 Biodiesel Tax Incentive Bill that so many of the commercial Biodiesel producers depend on to produce Biodiesel at a profit. As of 3/10/2010, the bill has passed both the House and the Senate. Follow the link for details.
Piedmont Biofuels ASTM D6751 Analysis
Rachel Burton of Piedmont Biofuels, put together this incredible document that breaks down the BIodiesel ASTM standard piece by piece. It discusses each test method, why it's there, how to perform the test, and what the results may indicate. It also discusses several tests that a home brewer can use that are close to the ASTM methods. This is an excellent resource to have on hand if you're trying to hit the ASTM specification! Highly recommended!
Thanks for being a part of the Biodiesel Review family! We hope you enjoyed this issue.
Do you have a topic you'd like to see covered in future issues? We're always looking for cool topics to cover here so send in your idea! Send it to email@example.com
with the subject line NEWSLETTER SUGGESTION
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