Actually, a family friend named Jack Jones who owns multiple diesel vehicles asked me one day if I knew how to make bio-diesel fuel, and this started me on a quest. Regardless of who the early promoters were, making your own fuel to power diesel trucks, farm tractors, and back-up generators is a perfect fit for anyone living off-grid or on a farm. Not only is diesel fuel easy to make, but it requires very little equipment to get started. Like all hobbies that can turn into an obsession, it is certainly possible to refine the process with more expensive equipment later, so I will start with the basics.
Make Your Own Fuel Home biodiesel production will help you speed past the gas station on the road to fuel independence. This expert advice provides the necessary know-how for making biodiesel with used cooking oil in a DIY biodiesel plant.
By Lyle Estill Homemade fuel made from used cooking oil can power any diesel vehicle. Photo by Matthew Flansburg Commercial biodiesel is available, but you can save money by making your own fuel. Collect and filter used cooking oil, and allow unwanted water to settle and drain out. Pump the oil into a processor and add a methoxide catalyst.
Agitate the mixture and then allow it to rest. The oil reacts with the methoxide to form biodiesel and a glycerin coproduct; allow the glycerin to settle and then drain it.
Wash the biodiesel to remove impurities and it will be ready to use. Biodiesel can be brewed from waste vegetable oil or animal fats, which you can collect free from restaurants, or you can grow soybeans or canola to press your own oil.
Process the oil with a couple of chemicals to produce homemade fuel that can run any device powered by petroleum diesel — including pickups, cars and home heating systems. The scale is up to you: Brew enough to make your homestead fuel-independent, or join forces with neighbors to produce fuel for your collective households.
The Chemistry of Making Biodiesel Biodiesel production is dependent on two chemical reactions. The first is commonly called the methoxide reaction. It happens when you mix methanol with a catalyst, which can be either potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide.
Always opt for stainless steel equipment when making biodiesel. Sodium hydroxide is commercially produced lye; both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are available online from suppliers of soap-making equipment. Procure methanol at your local chemical distributor or race car shop race car drivers often blend methanol into their fuel supplies.
In North Carolina, where I live, you can carry gallons of methanol on your pickup truck without special permits or licensing. This occurs when you mix methoxide with oil and agitate the molecules. The product of the biodiesel reaction will be a mix of about 80 percent biodiesel and a 20 percent cocktail of coproducts.
You can either drain the coproducts off the bottom of your tank, or decant the biodiesel from the top of the tank. Planning a Home Biodiesel Plant Step one: Find a reliable source of feedstock.
Try sourcing used cooking oil from restaurants, makeup manufacturers or nutraceutical companies. Most brewers who make biofuels for themselves that is, not to sell secure a source of used cooking oil from area restaurants as feedstock for their operations.
A gallon of oil will yield about a gallon of biodiesel.
Build your plant, sized to your feedstock supply. A small homebrewing operation can fit in the corner of a garage, within the footprint of a single parking space.
Allow enough space for a water heater, a tank for storing your incoming feedstock, and a tank for washing your fuel. Pigs love it, and it improves their coats, so ask around to find a local farmer who will take it off your hands. Ensuring Safe Biofuel Production Home biodiesel production is not without risks.
Note that farms are exempt from zoning approval in many areas. You should also get in touch with your area fire marshal or the local building inspection folks about fire-code compliance. The cocktail produced by the biodiesel reaction tends to be filled with methanol, glycerin, free fatty acids and soaps.
Because methanol is a microbial starter for digesters, some wastewater treatment plants will welcome it, as will some commercial-scale composters.
Or, a friendly community biodiesel producer may accept it from you. Water heater tanks recycled into biodiesel reactors are common:Instructable #2 in my series on biodiesel.
This is my tutorial for using my appleseed processor to make biodiesel. This tutorial will get you through the process of making biodiesel, but not the necessary washing process. Biogreen is a renewable energy company that prides itself on transparency, reliability & the determination to deliver the products & services of the highest grade to the market.
New! The Biodiesel Bible. by Keith Addison, Journey to Forever. This is the only book that thoroughly covers the entire subject of making your own biodiesel – all the information at the Journey to Forever website and very much more..
Learn how to make top-quality biodiesel that will pass all the quality standards requirements every time. Instructable #2 in my series on biodiesel. This is my tutorial for using my appleseed processor to make biodiesel. This tutorial will get you through the process of making biodiesel, but not the necessary washing process.
Detailed information on how to make biodiesel at home. Covers both basic and advanced techniques for making biodiesel.
Biodiesel can be made from a variety of sources apart from waste or soybean vegetable oil. The examples of such sources include making this fuel from Jatropha seeds, algae, fungi, hydrogen-powered fuel cells, ground coffee powder, and animal fat.