Making Biodiesel At Home
Biodiesel is a fuel or a type of diesel that is prepared from the degradation or processing of biodegradable material as substances. Biodiesel is a fuel that burns more efficiently than any other fuel and also burns more cleanly. The clean burning of the fuel also results in the low emission of harmful gasses, i.e. we get a better environment to live in. The biodiesel is the only unconventional fuel that is recommended by the American and the European Governments.
Biodiesel is quite easy to prepare and hence can be easily made at home. Making biodiesel at home is a lot more cost effective. For making biodiesel at home you will need the following materials.
1. First you will need a fresh cooking vegetable oil. For the biodiesel to be more cost effective you can use the cheapest oil that you can find
2. Then you will need the ‘Lye’ or the caustic soda. You will need approximately 5 grams of caustic soda. The caustic soda can be found anywhere. Most of the drains cleaning powders have it.
3. The third thing you will need is Methanol. You can find it in supply stores for the auto industry. It is usually found in the anti-freeze section.
4. Some of the other materials that you will require are one plastic bottle of 2 liter capacity which should be clean and dried.
5. A funnel that can fit in the neck of the bottle.
6. A washed and dried container for the blending of caustic soda and methanol. The container should be sealed so that not a drop of liquid comes out.
7. A measuring cup for measuring methanol.
8. Weight scales.
For the safe production of biodiesel, you must also have aprons, goggles or face shielding equipments and hand gloves.
The following is the method to prepare biodiesel at you home:
* Firstly you must choose a place that has proper ventilation, and warm the material at room temperature.
* Now put 250 ml of methanol into a jar and add about 5 grams of caustic soda or lye to methanol and seal the lid so that not a drop of liquid comes out.
* Blend the mixture at a low speed for upto 10 minutes. Do not panic if the temperature starts increasing.
* Now heat the vegetable oil at 1300F. Now put the oil in the plastic container with the help of the funnel. Do not overheat the oil.
* Now pour the mixture of lye and methanol which has now become sodium methoxide. Avoid breathing vapours. When the mixture is put into the oil, blend it for 15 to 20 minutes and then let the mixture settle.
After the mixture is settled for 20 minutes, you will see that two separate layers have formed in the bottle. The upper layer of liquid, which is visibly light coloured, is the biodiesel and the lower layer is the by-product glycerin. You can then pump out the biodiesel with the help of a handpump.