Energy & Sustainability
Homebrew Biodiesel reactor plans…

Top Plumbing New MexicoTimbuktuchronicles writes “This is essentially a water heater attached to a pump, the only other thing you need is a barrel to wash your fuel, attach some hoses and valves from Home Depot and that’s all you need to make fuel from vegetable oil that will run on any unmodified diesel engine.” Link.

6 thoughts on “Homebrew Biodiesel reactor plans…

  1. You don’t need this at all.

    You can safely run any diesel car directly on vegetable oil. And if you live somewhere it gets cold, you can get an inexpensive two-tank system from Greasecar among others.

    What this link fails to mention is that while the set-up may be simple, the chemical process that follows is certainly not. People have died doing this. No one has died filtering restaurant oil directly into their secondary tank. I have yet to be convinced that making biodiesel in the backyard is either safe or environmentally responsible.

  2. People who feel the need to provide completely uninformed comments really torque me. In this case it is enough to prompt me to create a login on this site to rebut these statements.

    Nobody has died making biodiesel. Can I prove this negative? No… but I challenge wyandots to prove the affirmative. A single instance will do please. It is dangerous, but the chemicals involved are completely biodegradable (naturally occurring) and are likely things you have some exposure to already. I wouldn’t want to downplay the danger, but it can be done safely by the average person and there are, to my knowledge, NO reported cases of a person dying and there are LOTS of people doing it.

    Further, you CANNOT just run straight vegetable oil (SVO) in any diesel engine without modification. The viscosity of SVO is higher and it must be preheated to achieve adequate atomization. Other characteristics such as the FFA and water content as well as acidity are important. Use some common sense. Do you really think the entire world is tied up in a conspiracy that prevents them from pumping SVO at the local truck stop? Why aren’t fleet owners cutting their costs with SVO? Finally, would you extend your statement to suggest that “waste” vegetable oil (WVO) can also be used? Because you can make biodiesel from that too. There are also kits (not really cheap) that will allow you to run a dual tank system with WVO but they are not in widespread use.

    I am not an expert on this subject, but I would recommend this site for a wealth of information on the subject, including extensive commentary on the environmental aspects of it (which pale in comparison to geopolitical and cost aspects for me):

    Make your own biodiesel

    Note that those people aren’t trying to sell you anything and they outline the conditions under which running SVO (or WVO) is acceptable.

    Or you could wait for wyandots to be convinced… because that’s really important.

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