Details on the benefits of BioDiesel and how to make it are
covered in great detail on several web sites. My favorites are
Forever for a wide ranging discussion of biofuels, the
Tutorial for specifics on how to make your own, and the
National Biodiesel Board for what's
up on the commercial end of the industry.
Inspired by Josh Tickell's From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank,
I started making BioDiesel in 2003. Each year I have expanded my production
capabilities to the point that I'm now making 50 gallon batches. While many
people are making these processors, the real goal is to raise awareness and
get cleaner-burning, renewable BioDiesel at every filling station.
Pictured to the right is my blue 55-gallon oil collection barrel.
The turkey cooker and pump system allow preheat and dewatering capabilities.
Used fryer grease, waiting to be filtered and added to the barrel, is in
the buckets and cubies piling up on the left. At the end of the process,
finished fuel is stored and dispensed from the white 55-gallon barrel pictured
to the right.
Once 50 gallons of vegetable oil has been collected, it is pumped
processor, pictured below. This, my latest processor, is based on a used
82-gallon hot water heater. An (110V) electric heater element in the bottom
of the processor keeps the mixture at 120*F. Once the oil is in the processor
and heated, 12 gallons of Methanol/lye mixture is pumped in from the (3)
white cubies. The entire mixture is pump-mixed for 2 hours. Then the mixture
is allowed to settle, usually overnight. A dark soap mixture, which has settled
to the bottom, is drained into cubies. Once the bulk of the soap has been
drained, the fresh fuel is pumped to twin 55-gallon wash tanks to the right
of the processor. After several mist and bubble washings, the fuel is pumped
to the drying tank to be dewatered, and lastly through the micron filter
to the storage tank.