Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mahindra Diesel Trucks

It's nice to see other diesel options finally entering the US auto market. Indian auto and tractor maker Mahindra is about to offer two new vehicles to a small truck and a 4 door SUV Truck. Both will be sporting a 2.2l Common Rail diesel engine. The specs on these are pretty impressive.

-2,765 payload capacity
-236lbs of torque
-4 year/60k Bumper To Bumper Warranty

From reading the news there's plenty of interest in these trucks. Here's a link to their site for more info.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

IT'S SPRING! Time to brew!

Well it's spring time and the smell of used vegetable oil is in the air! Must say the smell of WVO is not that pleasant when you figure all that's been cooked in it. With the price of diesel now up over $3 a gallon it's time to fire up Jerry Rig II!

So this first batch I will be experimenting with a slightly modified way of brewing. In this process rather than start with the WVO and slowly add the methoxide you just reverse the process. To begin the process titrate the WVO as you usually would to determine the amount of catalyst you will need, then add methoxide to your processor. Then you heat up your oil and the first 20% if you WVO and mix for 5 minutes. After the first 5 minutes add 50% of the remaining amount of WVO to the processor and mix for 10 minutes. After the 15 minutes add the remaining amount of WVO and mix for another 10-15 minutes. As you can see the time for processing are quite a bit less than the standard process. But to make sure your process is complete pull a sample a do a 24/7 test.

This method should increase quality of conversion, reduce processing time, and reduce amount of catalyst needed. Here's a link to better explain the process.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Little Down Time and Side Project

Well with winter upon us and temps colder than hell, biodiesel production will have to be put on hold for awhile. Although I do have an idea I need to work to test out.

But in the mean time I've been playing around with another "green" project, a passive solar collector heater. I found a very novel take on this technique through the use of soda or beer cans. At first I thought this was a complete joke but after a Google and YouTube search the concept is very sound.

Basically you cut the bottoms, and in some cases the top, off, glue and stack the cans together, paint the cans black, and then build a frame/box to house the cans into. Insulate the interior and then cover the enclosure with a piece of glass or plexiglass. Place on south facing side of house and VOILA you have an environmentally safe supplemental heat source. From the information I located outside temperature can be as low as 15-20 degrees fahrenheit out side but the unit will produce temps up to 130 or more! Due to the thin aluminum wall of the cans they collect and transfer their heat quickly. Downside is that once the sunlight is gone they don't hold any residual heat. Might look into lining the bottom of the enclosure with 4" ceramic tiles as a thermal mass to store some heat.

I've got the cans glued together and just about finished with a 4" enclosure. Should be ready to paint the cans black tomorrow and test this sucker out. I imagine I could do something with this sucker to preheat in the biodiesel process. Hmmmmm.......