How to Make Biodiesel

Biodiesel is diesel made from any vegetable oil or organic oil--olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, palm oil, corn oil, shea nut oil. It can be used for cooking and heating. Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine. In cold places, a mixture of regular diesel and biodiesel is necessary. Biodiesel hardens in cold weather. The fuel is a very green energy. It has no carbon emission and is non-toxic. It can be burned indoors and everyone says "smells like french fries."

Ingredients and Preparation

Biodiesel is easy to make. The ingredients are as follows:
  • Methanol
  • Sodium Hydroxide (lye) or Pottassium Hydroxide (Catalyst)
  • Vegetable oil (palm, canola, peanut, old used restaurant grease)

To make biodiesel, safety equipment must be worn. Methanol is toxic. Sodium/Pottassium Hydroxide are very caustic compounds, don't want it touching flesh. Long chemical resistant gloves, long sleaves shirt, and goggles for eye protection will be necessary.

Producing Biodiesel

To make a 500 ml batch the following steps will be followed:

  1. Vegetable oil will be heated to around 130oF.
  2. 100 ml of Methanol will be mixed with 3.5 grams of Sodium Hydroxide(lye). It will take 15 minute to react and form Methoxide.
  3. At 130oF, mix the vegetable oil with the Methoxide in a plastic container, by shaking gently or stirring with a stirrer.
  4. Laydown the container for 8-24 hrs. In the container, a layer of glycerin (brownish color) settles at the bottom and a clear substance, the biodiesel at the top should occur.
  5. Drain the glycerin from the bottom. Do not use the glycerin. It still might have toxic methanol.

Works Cited

Boy Brews Biodiesel At Home, on Youtube
Utah Biodiesel, Learn How To Make Your Own Biodiesel From Vegetable Oil, on Youtube

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