Biodiesel recipe from mike pelly journey to forever hair electricity dance moms


Mike Pelly is a true renewable energy hero. From the mid-1990s, Mike’s biodiesel recipe pioneered the revolutionary idea that ordinary people could make their own fuel – and it’s better than the stuff Big Oil makes, as well as cheaper, and better for the planet too. electricity in homes Where Mike led the way, others followed, and now there are better, more efficient ways of doing it, along with simple and accurate quality checks that ensure that your home-brewed fuel is safe to use in any diesel – including the high-tech common-rail and TDi diesels of the New Millennium. Mike’s method is kept here permanently as a reference and a tribute – it’s an important part of our heritage.

This is how to make your own biodiesel fuel from used cooking oil. The oil — waste vegetable oil (WVO), used fryer grease, animal fats, lard — is often free for the taking. All you need is a few common chemicals and some equipment you can easily buy or make yourself. The result is a cheap, clean-burning, non-toxic, renewable, high-quality diesel motor fuel you can use in your car without modifications.

Wear proper protective gloves, apron, and eye protection and do not inhale any vapors. Methanol can cause blindness and death, and you don’t even have to drink it, it’s absorbed through the skin. Sodium hydroxide can cause severe burns and death. Together these two chemicals form sodium methoxide. This is an extremely caustic chemical. These are dangerous chemicals — treat them as such!

This procedure is called transesterification, similar to saponification. Sound familiar? Saponification is soap making. To make soap you take a transfatty acid or triglyceride (oil or kitchen grease) and blend it with a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH, caustic soda or lye) and water. This reaction causes the ester chains to separate from the glycerine. These ester chains are what becomes the soap. They’re also called lipids. Their unique characteristic of being attracted to polar molecules such as water on one end and to non-polar molecules like oil on the other end is what makes them effective as soap.

In transesterification, lye and methanol are mixed to create sodium methoxide (Na+ CH3O-). When mixed in with the WVO this strong polar-bonded chemical breaks the transfatty acid into glycerine and also ester chains (biodiesel), along with some soap if you’re not careful (more on that later). The esters become methyl esters. They would be ethyl esters if reacted with booze (ethanol) instead of methanol.

This is how they do it. Raise the temperature to 212 deg F (100 deg C), hold it there and allow any water to boil off. Use the mixer to avoid steam pockets forming below the oil and exploding, splashing hot oil out of the container. Or drain water puddles out from the bottom as they form — you can save any oil that comes out with the water later.

You may be lucky and find a regular source of WVO that doesn’t need to have the water boiled off, in which case don’t do it — boiling means extra energy and time. Personally I don’t boil off the water first, I’d rather avoid the extra step in the process and save the energy it uses. But unless you’re sure, it may be better to be on the safe side.

Follow each drop with vigorous stirring of the solution. gas 99 cents a litre In cold weather the WVO might congeal and not work so you might need to do the titration in a heated room. If conditions are right eventually the solution turns pink (magenta), and stays pink for 10 seconds. This is the indicator color for a pH range of 8-9 (see the photograph in the left column of this page, "Color of titrated liquid sample when at the correct pH"). It’s important to find the exact amount, to just reach this pH without dropping in too much!

It’s a good idea to do this entire process more than once to ensure that your number is correct. I’ve found that depending on the type of WVO, how hot it got in the fryer, what was cooked in it and how long it was used, the amount of lye/water solution needed to titrate it is usually 1.5 to 3 milliliters. You can also use litmus paper or a digital pH tester instead of the phenolphthalein. Try it with fresh cooking oil from your kitchen too, it should need much less lye to reach pH 8-9. The calculation

The first few times you do this process or if you’re planning on transesterifying a lot of WVO it is a good practice to first try out your lye amounts on a 1 liter batch in a kitchen blender. This works really well and you don’t need to heat up the WVO too much, just enough so it will spin well in the blender. Blenders are very thorough at mixing the ingredients so heating is not as critical.

Once the sodium methoxide is prepared, add to the blender 1 liter of WVO. Make certain all your weights and volumes are precise. If you’re unsure of the titration result numbers then use 6-6.25 grams of lye per liter of used WVO, or 3.5 grams for fresh vegetable oil. Blender batches need only be run for about 15-20 minutes for separation to be completed before switching off. The settling takes some time to complete. The solution can be poured from the blender into another container right after switching off the blender.

When too much lye is used the result can be a troublesome gel that is tough to do anything with. (See Glop soap.) When not enough lye is used the reaction does not go far enough so some unreacted WVO will be mixed with the biodiesel and glycerine. This will form three levels with biodiesel on top above unreacted WVO with glycerine on the bottom. If there is too much water in the WVO it will form soaps and settle right above the glycerine forming a fourth level in the container. This layer is not too easy to separate from the unreacted WVO and glycerine layers. 4. Preparing the sodium methoxide

Generally the amount of methanol needed is 20% of the WVO by mass. The densities of these two liquids are fairly close so measuring 20% of methanol by volume should be about right. To be completely sure, measure out a half-liter of both fluids, weigh, and calculate exactly what 20% by mass is. Different WVOs can have different densities depending on what type of oil it originally was and how long it was used in the deep fryer.

Sodium methoxide is also very corrosive to paints. Lye reacts with aluminum, tin and zinc. gas after eating pasta Use glass, enamel or stainless steel containers — stainless steel is best. Used restaurant equipment supply stores and scrap metal recycling yards are two good places to look for this type of equipment. Braze on plumbing fittings for drains, etc. where needed. 5. Heating and mixing

This can be done by draining the reactants out of the bottom of the container through a transparent hose. The semi-liquid glycerine has a dark brown color; the biodiesel is honey-colored. Keep a watch on what flows through the sight tube: when the lighter-colored biodiesel appears divert it to a separate container. If any biodiesel stays with the glycerine it is easy to retrieve it later once the glycerine has solidified.

A proposed alternative using very little electricity is illustrated in Figure 6. This system would use a furnace-type burner run on reclaimed esters to heat its reaction vessel. o gosh The vessel’s stirring action is created by thermo inversion currents generated by the vessel’s external cooling tubes and a baffled exhaust vent that runs up through its center.

Reclaimed glycerine can be composted after being vented for three weeks to allow residual methanol to evaporate off or after heating it to 150 deg F (66 deg C) to boil off any methanol content (the boiling point of methanol is 148.5 deg F, 64.7 deg C). The excess methanol can be recovered for re-use when boiled off if you run the vapors through a condenser.

Another way of disposing of the glycerine, though a great bit more complicated, would be to separate its components, mostly methanol, pure glycerine (a valuable product for medicines, tinctures, hand lotions, dried plant arrangements and many other uses — see Glycerine) and wax. This is often accomplished by distilling it, but glycerine has a high boiling point even under high vacuum so this method is difficult.

The glycerine by-product makes an excellent industrial-type degreaser/soap. One way to purify it is heat it to 150 deg F (65.5 deg C) to boil off excess methanol, making it safe for skin contact (take precautions with fumes). Once the glycerine is back to a liquid the impurities sink to the bottom and the color will become a more uniform dark brown. This can be cut with water leaving it a tan color, less concentrated and softer and easier to handle when washing hands. Produced this way the degreaser could be sold in squeeze or pump dispensers.

Other ideas for disposing of the glycerine are breaking it down to usable methane gas, with a methane digester or, for a much wilder idea, it could be broken down with pyrolisis. Pyrolisis was used extensively to run cars on firewood in oil-scarce Europe and elsewhere during World War 2. The processor has a heat source that heats the fuel (wood or glycerine) in an airtight box without oxygen. This allows the fuel to release its methane while not allowing it to burn. The methane is trapped in an inflatable storage container or compressed into a tank. This is an area of biodiesel development that warrants further work. Soap residue

The part of the process where it’s vital to keep all water out of the reaction is when making the sodium methoxide. Keep the blender and all utensils the lye comes in contact with as dry as possible. The chances of a good clean splitting of esters from glycerine with little soap by-product are much better on a warm dry summer day than on a damp winter day. 7. Washing and drying

The water from the third wash can be used for the first or second washes for the next batch. The impurities can be left in the re-heater for the next batch and removed when it accumulates. The soaps can be concentrated, left-over biodiesel can be decanted out and what’s left is a biodegradable soap good for many industrial-type uses (degreasers etc.).

I had some success with trapping the concentrated very hydrated sodium from this soap. The way I did this was by pouring the soap onto a stretched cheese cloth and allowing the water to run through leaving the sodium on the cloth. This is as far as I’ve gone with this so far but it seems one could press much of the water from the sodium then vacuum dessicate this saturated sodium under dry conditions back to a usable sodium hydroxide.

For final filtering it is best to use a marine-type fuel filter — the ones with a transparent canister so it is possible to keep an eye on the fuel’s clarity. I used to trust when I washed it to just pouring fuel into the tank through folded cheesecloth in a funnel. yoga gas relief pose After running into an increased number of dirty fuel filters I’ve become more careful.

It is important to know also that biodiesel does a great job of cleaning up fossil diesel fuel films coating the interior parts of any old diesel engine. For this reason, take care to check and change your vehicle’s fuel filters when first switching over to biodiesel. I like putting a small, cheap, clear or translucent plastic in-line fuel filter right before my vehicle’s stock filter. This will prefilter the fuel before it reaches the vehicle’s fuel filter, which is more expensive to replace. This also makes it easy to see when fuel is flowing and to keep an eye on the condition of the filter. Limitations

Biodiesel does have some limitations. First it has cold-weather starting problems. Depending on the type of oil used, around 40 deg F (4-5 deg C) it may start to solidify. (See " Talking about the weather".) One remedy is to mix with a proportion of fossil diesel. Or try a Racor or Diesel-Therm electric fuel heater. Heated garages are nice too. Some people report that standard antigelling compounds work fine, others say they’re unpredictable. (Be aware that antigelling agents can be highly toxic.)

There can be an increased rate of corrosion of rubber parts in the fuel system over time with 100% biodiesel. Newer cars do not use rubber parts. Biodiesel has been used in many older motors without any problems. Viton parts are best, but others are just as good. Check this table: " Durability of Various Plastics: Alcohols vs. Gasoline", see Methanol.

Thanks go to Keith and Midori at Journey to Forever, the creators of The Fat of The Land video, to Tom Reed for the assistance he gladly dispensed to me when I first got started, Aleks Kac, Terry de Winne ("Terry UK"), Dave Elliott ("Dave UK"), Bill Battagin, Martin Steele, Peter Pessiki at the Evergreen State College (TESC) in Olympia, Washington, USA, and the many interesting and generous contributors at The Biodiesel Discussion Group and Message Board.