Friday, October 24, 2008

Proof in the Pudding (Purolite that is!)

Just wanted to share some pictures of the Purolite results.  In the first image you see the biodiesel in it's raw form after the removal of the glyerol.  Next to it is a small sample of the same biodiesel after it's journey through the Purolite resin tower.  As you can see it's clarity is amazing!

In the last image I added water to simulate a water wash to remove out remaining impurities and soap.  I gently agitated the two samples and you can see the amount of soap (white water at the bottom) that the raw sample had in it.  The water in the Purolite sample is clear as can be!  Using water to get the biodiesel to this stage would have take the better part of 2 days to wash and dry before I could use it.

As you can see the Purolite definitely delivers on it's claims.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Stinky Biodiesel?!

Looks like a new crop has potential for the source of biodiesel.  Stinkweed (Pennycress:Thlaspi arvense L.).  This crop is a fall/winter crop that produces seeds that have a 35% oil yield.

More on this in this article.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Water Washing Revisited

Ok, I've taken a detour from the dry wash resin tower, which has been great, to experiment and test something I just read about water washing.  

Up til now I've been using standard tap water from a garden hose and the use of a mister.  Washing would take on average 3-4 days before I was able to use the biodiesel.  I read on the Infopop Biodiesel forum about the use of hot water and static washing as a way to pull out the soap from the processed biodiesel.  So I tested in a small beaker with some very hot water and WOW soap dropped like an anchor within seconds!  I let this sample set and within an hour I had mayonnaise at the bottom of the beaker.  I washed the sample maybe a total of 4 times with  a fraction of the water I would have regularly used.

So I decided to test on a 11 gallon batch to see if the results were the same.   I used the turkey fryer to bring the 3 gallons of water to a boil, overkill most likely and poured it in.  I let the batch settle for a few hours and came back and drained off the soapy water.  I repeated this process 3 times and my biodiesel was perfect!  I think I lucked out on this batch as the oil wasn't as heavily used thus making the soap content less.  On the batch I tested from the Vietnamese place the oil had been used pretty hard and there was a crap load of soap and would have most likely required a few more washes.  But the end result would have still required less water and speed up my washing time.

I will reserve this technique for use on the oil that has been heavily used in order to limit the amount of soap introduced to my resin thereby extending its life.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Latest update

Well, 22 gallons later (2-11 gallon batches) I have had some good results.  These latest batches were done using the 80/20 method and run through the resin towers.  Man I can't say enough about the resin towers!  I can process and have the biodiesel in the car in one day.  No more water! 

On another not I've decided to dump the vietnamese restaurant oil.  The stuff is so over used and nasty that I just don't think it's worth it.  I have found another source, a local doughnut shop that has given me their blessing.  Gonna have to figure out a way of "sucking" oil out of a dumpster.  I know this is questionable at best but I guess I can play dumb and say the owner said I could.