Fuel Prices are volatile and they depend on the current world market prices. Biodiesel is a fuel alternative that you can use if you want to save on gas. There are a lot of devices you can use with biodiesel, like cars, home heating systems etc. And you can actually produce your own petroleum diesel, or Biodiesel from recycling used oil like vegetable oil, animal fats or you can also produce your own canola oil or soybean oil. It is one way to become a self-reliant household – by producing your own biodiesel to power your vehicles and you can also use it for energy production or generators.
How is diesel produced? There are two types of diesel , the first one is petroleum based – which is made from oil, and the 2nd type is biodiesel- which is made from organic sources like soybeans, canola, corn or slaughter waste.
The process of making diesel undergoes two processes. The Methoxide reaction and the Biodiesel reaction. Methoxide Reactions happen when methanol is mixed with potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. This reaction produces heat, and this is where the biodiesel reaction takes place.The Methoxide is mixed with the oil and causes the molecules to react. The result will be 80 percent biodiesel and 20% by-products. The byproducts are then drained at the bottom of the tank.
Building a DIY Biodiesel Plant at home:
- Source out your oil or feedstock.
You can source out used oil from restaurants and other manufacturing companies. Or you can grow soybeans and sunflower seeds to produce your own vegetable oil. Once you have the oil you’re going to use, you have to let it pass through the filter so that you can remove any food chunks that are stuck in the oil. Paint filters can be used for this process. Although, most of the time, the only chunks of food you’re going to be filtering out is breading, but then again, you never know what else got stuck in the oil. You can source out oil from different areas and then mix them together so that they are more or less an equal sample.
Once you’ve filtered out any chunks in your oil, make sure you spend enough time taking the oil’s acidity. This can get a little complicated, but the Math behind it is pretty simple. Vegetable oil has to be transformed into biodiesel and that process takes a lot of Science and basic knowledge of chemistry.
- Build your homebrewing plant
The space should be enough for a water heater, a tank for feedstock and a tank for the fuel. Make sure the oil you are using is free from water and bits of fried food. Your homebrewing plant must be safe for use and is only made with the highest quality of materials. You need a minimum of $1,000 in order to start making your own diesel fuel. With $1,000, you can already get a stainless-steel reactor tank, fuel containers, and a wash station. You can also attach an electric water heater and a biodiesel reactor together, or you can get your own kit. However, if you want something that does the process automatically without need for human intervention, then expect that it’s going to cost more than $10,000
Once you get started, about 20% of the oil that you manage to gather will be water and chunks of food from the oil. If you don’t know what to do with the excess water, then you can look for a local farmer who has a pig so that their pigs can benefit from your cleaning of the oil.
- Be extremely careful when producing your own biodiesel
It requires your full attention and the right safety procedures because you are dealing with flammable materials. And, before you jump in and make your own biodiesel, then you should check with your local authorities. Some states, towns, or cities could ban the creation of biodiesel, especially if you don’t have a good way to dispose of it. That’s why it’s important that you have a system in place before you even start so that you can gain the attention of the firefighters. They’ll know to be ready in case your house ever caught fire by accident. Learn about your area’s fire-code laws and ensure your house has been thoroughly inspected
If you’re looking for a way to dispose of the waste matter that comes from your production of biodiesel, then you should look into wastewater treatment plants, commercial-scale composters, or someone who also makes biodiesel to help you get rid of it. It shouldn’t be that hard since the waste matter produces works as a great microbial starter. It contains glycerin, methanol, soaps, and free fatty acids.
- Your diesel tanks should be made with stainless steel and not plastic because the entire process involves heat production, which can cause the plastic to melt or explode.
When you’re making your own biodiesel plant in the comfort of your own backyard, you’re usually going to end up with something unique to your personality. Most people reuse water heater tanks and turn them into biodiesel reactors. Meanwhile, other people can make their own reactors from scrap metal, while others just order it and get a readymade kit with parts. However, you can also consider a biodiesel set up that is mobile. It will cost more, but they are considerably more flexible. They’re also less likely to be fined or noticed by local authorities. Brewers that are built to be stationary have a higher likelihood of being inspected by the authorities. Meanwhile, mobile processors have the added benefit of sharing it with other consumers of biodiesel fuel. You can attach it or build it on top of a pickup truck so that you can easily provide for the fuel of other families within the area. Despite all of this, ensure that you have followed the regulations in the tank that you build. Remember, biodiesel brewing is not without its disadvantages. You are dealing with highly flammable materials so ensure you know how to react in case a fire occurs.