Thursday, 2 July 2009


Learn more about how to make Biodiesel.

I have hand picked some information on the processes and techniques of producing your own 'Green Diesel Biodiesel'

Make Biodiesel At Home Article

How to make Biodiesel at Home

Before we go into the details of producing small amounts of Biodiesel at
home we must first stress the importance of safety. The chemicals used
in the process of making Biodiesel are dangerous and if used without
taking the correct measures to protect yourself can cause serious injury
or even death. Please, please be careful and make sure you are in a well
ventilated area with access to running clean water.


1 litre of Vegetable Oil- new (SVO) or used (WVO)

NaOH (lye / caustic soda), at least 6g. This is often used as a drain
cleaner and can often be found in your local supermarket.

Methanol (at least 250ml).Used as an Antifreeze, can often we found in
Motor supplie shops


1 to 2 litre Plastic Bottle - I often use an empty Vegetable oil

A measuring cup

A scale


A teaspoon

A container to mix the methanol and NaOH (methoxide) Not plastic. Heavy
duty glass is recommended

A Funnel


If you are using waste oil (WVO), take one litre and heat to at least
120 deg c to remove all water. If water is present the oil will spit and
pop, when the water is removed this will stop. Be careful - this can be
quite a violent process. Then Allow to cool

If you are using new vegetable oil it should not contain any water so
just heat to 55deg c when you are ready.


WARNING Making Methoxide is dangerous. Methoxide is highly toxic. For
this reason, the safety of the design of equipment and workspace should
be carefully considered before use, and protective clothing and a
respirator should be worn during handling. Only as much as is intended
to be used immediately should be created.


Take 250ml of Methanol and add 4g (about half a Teaspoon) NaOH.

If you are using Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) just use 6g- 7g NaOH (about 1
level teaspoon)

Methanol and NaOH do not easily mix. Start with the methanol at body
temp (not warm). NOTE that as you mix the two chemicals the temperature
will increase. Do not panic... is normal. You will need to ensure all
the NaOH is disolved in the Methanol, this could take over ten minutes.

After **ALL** the NaOH has disolved you may need to top up with fresh
methanol as the process may cause some evaporation

MAKING THE BIODIESEL... the final step

When the Oil's temperature has dropped to 60 deg c or less, using your
funnel, pour the litre of oil into you dry plastic container. Take your
methanol/NaOH (Methoxide) and add to the oil. Ensure the container is
sealed securely then shake vigerously for about 15 seconds.

Leave your Biodiesel to "set". You will notice that after about 10
minutes the glycerine or "soap" will settle from your mixture. It will
take a day or two for the Biodiesel to completely separate. You will see
two defined layers - the Biodiesel and the glycerine.Typically the
glycerine layer is about the same or a bit more than the amount of
methanol used.

Now remove the Biodiesel from the container leaving the glycerine and
you are ready for the washing...


Although the glycerine or "soap" and water has separated from your
Biodiesel - it will still need washing. Please do not violently shake
your unwashed Biodiesel as it will form an emulsion that may take days
or evn weeks to fully seperate. The gentle approach is whats needed.

Wash One:

Pour 1 litre biodiesel into a a clean and dry plaric bottle.

Gently pour in 500ml water (body temp).

Replace bottle top.

Now GENTLY rotate the bottle end for end for about 30 seconds.

After 30 seconds place bottle upright.

Only If you have been GENTLE the water and Biodiesel will seperate

You will notice the water is not clear.

Remove top and using your thumb as a stopper, turn bottle upsidedown and
drain the water using your thumb as a valve.

You have finished wash one.

Wash Two:

Pour in another 500ml water and repeat wash one, except rotate GENTLY
for about 1 minute.

Drain as in wash one.

You have finished wash 2.

Wash Three:

Again pour in another 500ml water and GENTLY GENTLY GENTLY shake bottle
for a minute or so.

When water and biodiesel seperate discard water in same fashion as

Wash Four:

Another 500ml water and a bit more aggitation for about 1 min.

After seperation of water and biodiesel Drain as above.

Wash Five:

You should now be able shake fairly vigerously.

If the washing has been completed sucessfully the water should be almost
clear. Be aware that in your later washes you should be able to shake
mre violently although it will take considerably longer to seperate
because the water forms tiny bubles in the biodiesel that take time to
settle out.

Your washed biodiesel will be VERY CLOUDY and much lighter in colour
than the unwashed biodiesel a. After a day or 2 settling and drying it
will clear

Your Biodiesel is now ready for use!

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