Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And the results!?

Finished processing using the 80/20 recipe and the results were great!  Batch passed the 3/27 test with no fall out or settling what so ever, basically means I had a very complete reaction which is a good thing.

Afterwards I decided to run the biodiesel through one of my resin towers manually.  I poured in a pint of unwashed biodiesel in 15 minute intervals that in the end yielded me nearly 5 gallons worth.  When compared with the unwashed sample it was much clearer but I decide to test for soap content.

Took one sample and poured in hot water and soap began to drop out pretty fast, no agitating required.  Within 5 minutes I had very white layer of water/soap at the bottom of this sample.  Took a sample from the resin washed and repeated the same process.  NO SOAP what so ever!  Water stayed clear the entire time.  Went one step further and shook this sample to see if any soap would fall out.  Drum roll please....................NO SOAP STILL!  Poured the 5 gallons into tank this morning and life is good.  I'll be dry washing the remaining 6 gallons tonight to put into the tank

So, in summary from processing to tank using the resin towers takes 24 hours. 

I'm sold on the resin!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Jerry Rig I out, Jerry Rig II in!

While it's only be a short time that I've been processing using JRI (Jerry Rig I) I've learned a lot!  The greatest lesson is that I need to increase my production output and reduce my time making biodiesel! 

Since I'm logging 600+ miles a week my need has out paced my current capacity of JRI, 10 gallons.  At this rate I have to process every week or twice a week and it seems I'm spending more time processing than with my family.  Not good.  If I were doing city driving I think I would fine but as it is now I'm unable to stay ahead of my consumption.

So, I'm in the planning and building stages of Jerry Rig II, a 55 gallon drum.  This will allow me to process around 30-40 gallons of veg oil.  With this rate I could stay well ahead of my needs and only need to process maybe once a month.  Thereby spending more time with the family.

The JRII will be essentially the same design with one slight modification in the addition of an electric water heater element.  This will allow me to preheat the oil in the processor, compared to using my turkey fryer to do this.  I'll still probably use the turkey fryer to jump start the warming process so as not to have wait and use so much electricity.  The turkey fryer I can heat up 5-7 gallons to 150+ degrees in under 10 minutes.  Now I've got to go find at least one or two more sources of oil!

Planning on modifying JRI to become a methanol recovery system, essentially a still.  I'll be taking some time to research and build that, so as to not blow up my shed!

New 80/20 recipe test

I've got a 10 gallon batch in the JR I ( Jerry Rig I) ready for processing.  This time around I'm going to test using a different processing "recipe".  In this process I'm going to introduce 80% of the methoxide, mix for 1-2 hours, and then drain of the glycerol.  Then add the remaining 20% and mix for another 1-2 hours.  Let settle overnight before draining the glycerol.

Why?!  Well in this process it is assumed that if all of the methoxide were used all at once that it would get exhausted before getting a complete reaction, in simple terms.  By introducing the remaining 20% at the half way point is introducing fresh methoxide that should complete the process of any unreacted biodiesel.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Purolite PD206 Ion Exchange Resin Tower (Dry Wash Tower)

Well, as promised here are the pictures of the completed 24" dry wash towers.  Made with Schedule 40 PVC, whatever that means.  Fellow biodiesel partner in crime, Frank, came over this morning to assist in assembling these.  We end up making up 4 towers total, 2 for each of us.

Into these towers will go 2 pounds of Purolite PD206 resin.  There's quite a bit of space left over to allow for expansion of the resin.  They must swell a hell of a lot to need 24"!  2 pounds of this stuff won't take up more than 4" at best!  I'll report back on how they do and with biodiesel results.