At its core, a biodiesel processor needs to be capable of mixing heated oil, methanol, and a catalyst collectively to retort it into biodiesel and glycerin. It can be as trouble-free as a pan on a heater or as complicated as a completely mechanized biodiesel processor such as a BioPro processor. The final result is still the same: combining heated oil with methanol and catalyst to obtain biodiesel.
Whatever the mode or method by which you try to produce your own biodiesel, remember that the big claims of some that used motor oil can be used to make biodiesel is not worth a trial.
Biodiesel from Used Motor Oil
Most motor oil is created from crude oil. Some, like the synthetic Mobil 1, is unnaturally invented. The molecular arrangement of crude oil products is completely dissimilar from vegetable oils and animal fats. This means that it is not feasible to make biodiesel from used motor oils and they are not appropriate biodiesel raw materials. Of course you can find all the equipment required to convert old/used motor oil into fuel, but remember that it is a lot more costly than biodiesel equipment and employs a completely different process.
So if you have heard great tales and big claims that used motor oil can be used to make biodiesel just skip it and be certain that used vegetable oil is the best raw material for making biodiesel oil. In fact making use of used cooking oil is believed to be environmentally friendly because it is a throw-away product, and its carbon trail is already reported for from its principal use – cooking.
The quantity of fuel which can be produced from cast-off oil would only fuel a small percentage of vehicles on the road. Thus even though this is a great idea as well as cost saving, it is not going to resolve the fuel calamity any time soon.
Using cooking oil, or for that matter any bio product as well as ethanol at the moment is not environmentally accountable, and it has been the change towards bio-fuels which has advanced wheat prices to record degrees ensuing famishment in poorer countries. Consequently this situation has raised the income required to make ends meet above the poverty line in all nations. It is not environmentally accountable or moral to use biodiesel other than those which are formed from waste products for this rationale.
Tips and Tricks about Biodiesel
First of all the safety issues when producing biodiesel with the help of those commercial home processors has to be considered. Avoid inhaling any of those vapors since methanol leads to blindness and death. Sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide also results in harsh burns and death, and when they come into contact with methanol they form methoxide which is an exceedingly caustic chemical. Try to avoid using processors which have organic vapor cartridge inhalators since they are more or less ineffective against methanol evaporations. My professional opinion is that you should not use organic vapor cartridges for longer than a few hours.
Cost of making Biodiesel
It is in fact somewhat cheap to produce biodiesel at home. The present price of making one gallon of biodiesel is about $1. The cost of the processor is between $150 and $250 depending on the rate of hardware in your area. When making or purchasing a biodiesel processor, it can be either expensive (thousands of dollars in some cases) or cheap since the option is in your hands, but the consequences are much the same.
Bio diesel processors
Conclusion and References
Biodiesel is a grand thing but the manufacturers taking gain of the half truths with their biodiesel 40 gallon processors for sale at absurd prices is damaging this industry for those who are actually attempting to make a difference and not just feeding on a trend. Managing these chemical substances at home or on a petite scale is unsafe.
1. Keith Addison - Re: biodiesel processors
For extra guidance and equipments you can visit:
Graydonblair - Biodiesel pictures