How to Prepare Used Cooking Oil for Biodiesel
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“Aceite Usado Merida, S.A”
Since: Dec 13
#1 Dec 12, 2013
Biodiesel is an organic, non-toxic and biodegradable fuel made from everyday renewable resources, like vegetable oils or animal fats. It can power your car's engine and help the environment at the same time. It doesn't contain any petroleum, so forget about escalating gas prices. Biodiesel cuts down on CO2 emissions; in fact, it's the only alternative fuel to have fully completed the health effects testing requirements of the US Clean Air Act. Biodiesel can be purchased at a growing number of fuelling stations around the world but you can also make it in your own backyard. Even if you don't like chemistry, you can brew your own.
1- Take appropriate precautions. There are a few important factors to keep in mind when making your own fuel. During all stages of making biodiesel, always work in a well ventilated area and away from pets and children.
2- Collect your oil. You can spend the extra money and buy new cooking oil or you can find a restaurant and ask them if you can take their used cooking oil off their hands. Used cooking oil will have a darker color to it and will most likely have chunks of your favorite fried foods floating around. You will need to get rid of these before making biodiesel homebrew.
3- Remove the chunks. Filtering your used cooking oil will eliminate the chunks of food and other particles before your begin your biodiesel homebrew process. Larger chunks can contain water and can mess up your biodiesel reaction.
As you pour out your used cooking oil let it completely run through the filter. The filter doesn't need to be too fine. A paint strainer or window screen will adequately remove the particles that are large enough to affect the biodiesel reaction.
You will notice large chunks of fried mystery food collecting in the filter. This filtration process can be fairly quick, but you can let the filtered biodiesel settle anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days to let the smaller particles settle out.
Smaller suspended particles should also be allowed to settle so they doesn't attach to your heating element and muck up your processor.
Once settling is complete, begin transferring your used cooking oil to the reaction tank on your processor.
4- Transfer to the tank. Take the hose that connects the collection barrel to the reaction tank on your biodiesel compressor and connect it to the pump.
Open up the valve on the reaction tank and open the valve on the bottom of the collection barrel.
To activate the transfer, simply turn on the pump on your processor.
You will notice the dark, used cooking oil traveling out of the bottom of the collection barrel, through the pump, through the processor and up into the hose that empties into the reaction tank.
5- Heat it up. As your cooking oil makes its way into the reaction tank, you need to heat up the oil to about 120 or 130 degrees Fahrenheit. During the heating process, the pump on your compressor will circulate the oil. Circulating and heating the oil distributes the heat and prevents the oil from getting too hot right near the heating element. This heating and circulation process will take approximately one to four hours. Factors that affect heating time:
amount of oil
temperature of oil
strength of heating element
6- Begin your biodiesel fuel process. You have just finished properly filtering your used cooking oil. By choosing to use an alternative fuel, you are helping to cut down on CO2 emissions, cut dependence on oil imports and saved yourself some money.
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