How To Drain Your Biodiesel
How to Drain and Wash Your Biodiesel
Even if you don't like chemistry, you can make your own fuel. The biodiesel home-brew process is easier than making beer! Draining out the glycerin from your processor and mist washing your biodiesel ensures you a clean burning and efficient batch of biodiesel home-brew. You can mist wash your biodiesel in just a few easy steps.
Drain the glycerin.Take your large plastic container and place it under the reaction tank of your biodiesel processor. You may need a few of these containers, depending on the size of the batch of biodiesel.
- Unhook the hose from the processor.
- Place it in the plastic container and open the valve on the bottom of the reaction tank. The dark glycerin will run out of the tank and into the container. This is the by-product of your reaction and you want to drain it out until you see the color change from black to amber. At that point, all of the glycerin has been drained and you're ready to transfer the fuel to the wash tank.
Clean the pump.Once all the glycerin has drained from the reaction tank and you have collected it in your containers, purge all the remaining glycerin from the pump by placing a bucket underneath the spout on the bottom of the pump and opening up the valve.
- Start the transfer by turning on the pump. The oil will make its way up, from the processor to the wash tank. Wait several minutes as the wash tank fills up.
Perform the shake test.Replace the bucket underneath the pump with an empty testing jar and open the valve on the pump.
- Fill the jar with half water and half biodiesel.
- Screw on the lid and give it three solid shakes. Set the jar on a flat surface and wait five minutes. While the shake test is not an absolute indicator of your fuel quality, you'll know if it will be an easy wash.
- When the solution settles, you will see an intermediate layer called emulsion between the biodiesel and water. The smaller the layer, the easier your wash will be.
Mist wash.There are a couple ways to wash your biodiesel. The mist wash is very effective in removing any leftover methanol, potassium hydroxide, glycerin or soaps from the reaction process. Using fine misting heads, begin adding water into the biodiesel. Looking down in the tank, you can see the misting process. As the mist washing begins, tiny water droplets fall through the biodiesel and bring all the leftover chemicals and catalysts to the bottom of the tank. After several wash cycles, the wash water will be very clear.
Remove water.Before you begin drying your biodiesel home-brew, all of the standing water must be removed from the drying tank. Depending on your processor style, you may need to transfer the "wet" biodiesel to another barrel to dry and prevent standing water from remaining in the tank.
- Use a pump to circulate the biodiesel in the drying tank and spray it against the side of the tank to increase the surface area of the biodiesel. Use a small fan to move air across the surface of the biodiesel. This will cause water to evaporate more quickly. Make sure it is a gentle breeze as high velocity air will blow small droplets of biodiesel around the vicinity of the processor. You can also heat the biodiesel to cause it to dry more quickly.
Wait twelve hours.After this, your batch of biodiesel will be ready to transfer and use.
QuestionWhen draining glycerol, should the ball valve be opened partway?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThat's a good practice, and there's nothing wrong with using the valve as a inconsistent filter. But it's much better to use screening, a woven mat or even a steel-wool pad as a very consistent filter.Thanks!
Video: biodiesel - water wash then drying
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