Although the idea of bio diesel is not a new concept, it has gained a huge following recently. Actually bio diesel is as old as the diesel engine since the first compression-ignition engine was developed with peanut oil. This is an vital consideration when one wants to learn how to make bio diesel.
By definition, bio diesel is the non-petroleum-based fuel obtained from animal and vegetable fat. The fuel can be used on its own or blended with normal diesel in ordinary diesel engines. This makes it a viable alternative for the ordinary fossil fuel, which is expensive.
The process of making bio diesel is relatively easy. This means you can learn the trade from various sources. There is also a huge variety of materials which can be used in making bio diesel including oils and feedstock such as soybean oil and rapeseed oil. It is also possible to get diesel from waste vegetable oils such as those used in restaurants. Other viable sources include animal fats such as tallow, chicken fat and lard. Algae is also used but most of these sources are not viable for commercial production.
When you want to learn how to make bio diesel, the first step will be identifying possible sources of oil. This will help you learn the right procedure since different materials introduce slight variations to the process. Some of the cases will also necessitate specialized equipment such as bio diesel processors while in others, this may not be essential. For instance, extracting bio diesel from exhausted cooking oil using sodium hydroxide and methanol is quite simple and does not require the processor. This method is however suited for limited production.
The next step once you have established the sources is learning how to test the oils. This will help you maintain consistency of the final product by choosing the right ingredients. The main factors determining the quality of the final output are the acidity and water content in the oils used.
The best sources should be the ones providing relatively low acidic and dry oil as it makes the process much simpler. This means you need to learn how to test for water either by using the heating method or by using a water testing kit. The acidity is tested through titration where the oil is added to pH neutral alcohol.
Filtration is the other major step in making bio diesel. This is very important especially when using exhausted vegetable oil as it helps remove food particles and other contaminants. Drum filters are normally used since they are very effective. In filtration, one should learn about micron rating in order to choose the right filter for your equipment. Normally, a smaller rating means smaller filter holes.
Before you can embark of full production of bio diesel a test batch is very important. You should therefore learn how to make this using items obtained from the local grocery stores. You will also need to obtain the actual production equipment. Some of the equipments needed include oil collection containers, oil transfer and filtering capability, a bio diesel processor and bio diesel washing vessel. You also require storage containers, transfer pumps and a titration kit.
Normally the projected production capacity is one of the main factors determining the equipment to be purchased. With all this information in mind, it will be possible to learn how to make bio diesel.
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