How To Mix Your Biodiesel
Follow these easy steps to find out how you can measure your catalyst correctly, safely mix it into the methanol and add the mixture to your oil to make your biodiesel.
Step 1: You will need
- Face shield
- Rubber gloves
- Potassium hydroxide
- Plastic bowl
- Large plastic container with valve
- Biodiesel processor
Step 2: Safety First
You are working with some chemicals and vapors that could be dangerous if handled incorrectly. It is very important for you to wear the proper safety equipment and work in a well-ventilated area. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and face shield at all times. The tiny dust particles in the Potassium Hydroxide could cause irritation and damage if inhaled. The face shield and dusk mask will help keep the dust particles and any chemical splash away from your face.
Step 3: Measure The Catalyst
For each liter of oil you're going to turn into biodiesel, you need seven grams of Potassium Hydroxide. In addition to that, you need to add "extra" grams of Potassium Hydroxide equal to the titration. To break it down nice and easy: if your oil titrates at 2, you need 7 plus 2 or 9 grams of Potassium Hydroxide for each liter of oil. Place the plastic container on the scale and fill it with the correct amount of Potassium Hydroxide.
Step 4: Mix The Methoxide
When you have measured out the amount of Potassium Hydroxide you will need for your batch of biodiesel, grab your funnel and place it on the container with the Methanol. Make sure the amount of Methanol you use is 20% to 22% of the original volume of your batch of oil. Pour in the Potassium Hydroxide and let it settle. Place the valve cap on the container of Methanol.
As the Potassium Hydroxide dissolves into the Methanol, the mixture will heat up and boil. Bubbles will appear on the bottom of the plastic container. Hold the plastic container away from you and open the valve to release the vapor pressure. These vapors can be very dangerous if inhaled, so keep the end of the container an arm's length away from your face shield as you release the vapors. Release the vapors about every 20 seconds until the Potassium Hydroxide is completely dissolved. You can tell by looking at the bottom of the container. Once dissolved, you can add this “methoxide” to the oil in your processor.
Step 5: Add Methoxide To The Heated Oil
The oil in your processor should be heated to somewhere between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit before you add the methoxide. The heat cannot rise above 140 degrees Fahrenheit because it will cause the methanol to boil. Slowly add the methoxide into the processor. it should be added relatively slowly; taking about five or ten minutes to add into the oil through an inlet to the pump.
Your oil will change from dark to light in color as it leaves the pump. Let the methoxide mix with the oil for 1.5 to 2 hours.
Step 6: Pre-Wash
After the methoxide and oil mixes for a couple hours, turn on the pump and add water to the mixture to complete the prewash. You need 5% of the original oil volume and let the water circulate in the tank for about 15 minutes. so if you have 40 gallons of oil you need two gallons of water.