Although bio diesel production has gained huge popularity only recently, it is not a new idea. The idea was present when the first diesel engine was developed since peanut oil was used to fire the first compression-ignition engine.This should not be forgotten when one wants to learn how to make bio diesel.
Bio diesel therefore refers to the non-petroleum-based fuel made from animal or vegetable fat. This fuel is usually mixed with ordinary diesel or used alone with an ordinary diesel engine. As such it is a viable alternative fuel source especially with the increase in fossil fuel prices.
Since the production process is quite easy, it makes it possible for one to learn from different sources. Considering the production materials, there is a very wide variety used in producing the diesel ranging from rapeseed, soybean oil and other feedstock. In some cases, it is also possible to extract the diesel from used vegetable oils from hotels. Animal fats such as chicken fat, tallow are also other viable sources. Apart from these oils, the diesel can also be extracted from algae although this is not feasible for commercial production.
The first step when you want to learn the art of making bio diesel is identifying the source oil. This is because the process varies slightly with different materials. Some of the materials will also necessitate the acquisition of special equipment like a bio diesel processor. Some of the cases however do not require such equipment like in the case of making the diesel from used cooking oil with methanol and sodium hydroxide. This method however, does not produce large amounts.
After establishing the oil source, the next step is testing it. This is necessary since the quality of your final product is usually determined by the ingredients. The two main factors that determine the quality of bio diesel you get are how acidic the source oil is and how wet it is.
The best oil sources, which will make the process easier, are those with relatively low water and acidic content. This necessitates the need to learn how to test the oil using different methods such as heating or using a water testing kit. Acidity is tested by adding the oil to a pH neutral alcohol, a process called titration.
Another major step when making bio diesel is filtration. This is done when using used vegetable oil and helps remove food particles and any other contaminants. Filtering is done mostly with drum filters which are very effective. You should learn about micron rating as it will help you select the most effective filter. The smaller the rating number, the smaller the holes in the filter will be.
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.
The intended production capacity will be one of the main determinants of the equipment you acquire. With these you should be prepared to learn how to make bio diesel.
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