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Friday, September 17, 2010

Fundamentals When You Want To Learn How To Make Bio Diesel On Your Own

By Victor Garlington

Although bio diesel production has gained huge popularity only recently, it is not a new idea. The idea was present when the first diesel engine was developed since peanut oil was used to fire the first compression-ignition engine.This should not be forgotten when one wants to learn how to make bio diesel.

Bio diesel therefore refers to the non-petroleum-based fuel made from animal or vegetable fat. This fuel is usually mixed with ordinary diesel or used alone with an ordinary diesel engine. As such it is a viable alternative fuel source especially with the increase in fossil fuel prices.

The process of making bio diesel is relatively easy. This means you can learn the trade from various sources. There is also a huge variety of materials which can be used in making bio diesel including oils and feedstock such as soybean oil and rapeseed oil. It is also possible to get diesel from waste vegetable oils such as those used in restaurants. Other viable sources include animal fats such as tallow, chicken fat and lard. Algae is also used but most of these sources are not viable for commercial production.

The first step when you want to learn the art of making bio diesel is identifying the source oil. This is because the process varies slightly with different materials. Some of the materials will also necessitate the acquisition of special equipment like a bio diesel processor. Some of the cases however do not require such equipment like in the case of making the diesel from used cooking oil with methanol and sodium hydroxide. This method however, does not produce large amounts.

After establishing the oil source, the next step is testing it. This is necessary since the quality of your final product is usually determined by the ingredients. The two main factors that determine the quality of bio diesel you get are how acidic the source oil is and how wet it is.

The best sources are those that provide relatively dry oil, which is low in acidic content making the process easier. This means that the learning process will involve studying different methods of testing such as the heating method or using water-testing kits. For the acidity, you will learn how to use titration kits. This involves mixing the oil with a ph neutral alcohol.

Filtration is another major step in making bio diesel. This is vital especially when one is using vegetable oil from restaurants as it helps remove food particles or any other contaminant. Filtration is normally done using drums, which are highly effective. For better filtration, it is good to understand micron rating. A filter with a smaller rating has smaller holes.

Finally, before one can start full production of bio diesel, it is important to have a test batch. This can be prepared from materials purchased from the local shops. This is also the time you will make a final decision regarding the production equipment. Normally these include collection containers, bio diesel processor, oil filter and transfer capability and bio diesel washing vessel.

The intended production capacity will be one of the main determinants of the equipment you acquire. With these you should be prepared to learn how to make bio diesel.

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