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THE BIODIESEL PROJECTMethane | Ethanol | Wood (Producer) Gas | Hydrogen (Fuel Cells) | Steam Power

Mike Pelly's Recipe for Biodiesel Production

Ethanol based Biodiesel

2 Stage High Grade Biodiesel Production | Waste Oil Burner

Make Your Own Biodiesel Processor



Bio-diesel - Diesel Fuel, Made from vegetable oil, in a process called transesterification. 

Background Information on Biodiesel

Agriculture and industry utilize the diesel-powered engine for a multitude of purpose, but the supply of petroleum derived diesel fuel is limited. The depletion in world petroleum reserves and uncertainty in petroleum supply due to political and economical reasons stimulated the search for alternative sources for petroleum based fuels especially for diesel fuels. Vegetable Oils are the best candidates for diesel fuels in diesel engines. Several vegetable oils have been tried as substitutes, but continued use of triglyceride fuels in the diesel engine has presented problems in fuel injector coking and crankcase lubricant polymerization. Both of these problems have been attributed to high viscosity of vegetable oil, which is approximately 10-20 times higher than petrodiesel. Higher viscosity causes the poor atomization of fuel in the injector system and poor spray pattern. Viscosity can be reduced by following four ways (a) By blending, (b)By transesterification, (c) By microemulsification, and (d) By pyrolysis. By using any of these procedures, appreciable amount of viscosity reduction and improved spray pattern can be achieved.

http://www.exicom.org/cew/oct97/sinha.htm (dead link)

What is Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a diesel fuel substitute produced from renewable sources such as vegetable oils, animal fats, and recycled cooking oils. Chemically, it is defined as the mono alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from renewable lipid sources. Biodiesel is typically produced through the reaction of a vegetable oil or animal fat with methanol or ethanol in the presence of a catalyst to yield glycerin and biodiesel (chemically called methyl or ethyl esters). Biodiesel can be used in neat form, or blended with petroleum diesel for use in diesel engines. Its physical and chemical properties as it relates to operation of diesel engines are similar to petroleum based diesel fuel. Non-Hazardous, Biodegradable.

How much land is needed to replace fossil fuels used for transportation?

by Michael S. Briggs

First, we need to understand exactly how much biodiesel would be needed to replace all petroleum transportation fuels. So, we need to start with how much petroleum is currently used for that purpose. Per the Department of Energy's statistics, each year the US consumes roughly 60 billion gallons of petroleum diesel and 120 billion gallons of gasoline. First, we need to realize that spark-ignition engines that run on gasoline are generally about 40% less efficient than diesel engines. So, if all spark-ignition engines are gradually replaced with compression-ignition (Diesel) engines for running biodiesel, we wouldn't need 120 billion gallons of biodiesel to replace that 120 billion gallons of gasoline. To be conservative, we will assume that the average Diesel engine is 35% more efficient, so we'd need 35% less diesel fuel to replace that gasoline. That would work out to 78 billion gallons of diesel fuel. Combine that with the 60 billion gallons of diesel already used, for a total of 138 billion gallons. Now, biodiesel is about 5-8% less energy dense than petroleum diesel, but its greater lubricity and more complete combustion offset that somewhat, leading to an overall fuel efficiency about 2% less than petroleum diesel. So, we'd need about 2% more than that 138 billion gallons, or 140.8 billion gallons of biodiesel. So, this figure is based on vehicles equivalent to those in use today, but with compression-ignition (Diesel) engines running on biodiesel, rather than a mix of petroleum diesel and gasoline. Combined diesel-electric hybrids in wide use would of course bring this number down considerably, but for now we'll just stick with this figure.

One of the biggest advantages of biodiesel compared to other alternative transportation fuels is that it can be used in existing diesel engines. This completely eliminates the "chicken-and-egg" dilemma that other alternatives have, such as hydrogen powered fuel cells. For fuel cells, even when (and if) vehicle manufacturers eventually have production stage vehicles ready, nobody would buy them unless there was already a wide scale hydrogen fuel production and distribution system in place. But, no companies would be interested in building that wide scale hydrogen fuel production and distribution system until a significant number of fuel cell vehicles are on the road, so that consumers are ready to start using it.

However, with biodiesel, since the same engines can run on conventional petroleum diesel, manufacturers can comfortably produce diesel vehicles before biodiesel is available on a wide scale. As biodiesel production continues to ramp up, it can just go into the same fuel distribution infrastructure, just replacing petroleum diesel. Not only does this eliminate the chicken-and-egg problem, making biodiesel a much more feasible alternative than fuel cells, but also eliminates the huge cost of revamping the nationwide fuel distribution infrastructure.

II. Large scale production

There are two steps that would need to be taken for producing biodiesel on a large scale - growing the feedstocks, and processing them into biodiesel. The latter step would perhaps be best accomplished by existing oil refineries within the US being converted to biodiesel refineries, but could also be accomplished by new companies building new plants. The main issue that is often contested is whether or not we would be able to grow enough crops to provide the oil for producing the amount of biodiesel that would be required to completely replace petroleum as a transportation fuel. So, that is the main issue that will be addressed here.

The Office of Fuels Development, a division of the Department of Energy, funded a program from 1978 through 1996 under the National Renewable Energy Laboratory known as the "Aquatic Species Program". The focus of this program was to investigate high oil yield algaes that could be grown specifically for the purpose of wide scale biodiesel production1. Some species of algae are ideally suited to biodiesel production due to their high oil content (some as much as 50% oil), and extremely fast growth rates. From the results of the Aquatic Species Program2, algae farms would let us supply enough biodiesel to completely replace petroleum as a transportation fuel in the US (as well as its other main use - home heating oil).

One of the important concerns about wide scale development of biodiesel is if it would displace croplands currently used for food crops. With algae, that concern is completely eliminated, as algae grows ideally in either hot desert climates or off of waste streams. NREL's research focused on the development of algae farms in desert regions, using shallow salt water pools for growing the algae. Another nice benefit of using algae as a food stock is that in addition to using considerably less water than traditional oilseed crops, algae also grows best in salt water, so farms could be built near the ocean with no need to desalinate the seawater as it is used to fill the ponds.

NREL's research showed that one quad (ten billion gallons) of biodiesel could be produced from 200,000 hectares of desert land (200,000 hectares is equivalent to 780 square miles). In the previous section, we found that to replace all transportation fuels in the US, we would need 140.8 billion gallons of biodiesel, or roughly 14 quads. To produce that amount would require a land mass of almost 11,000 square miles. To put that in perspective, consider that the Sonora desert in the southwestern US comprises 120,000 square miles. As can be seen in Figure 1 below, the Sonora desert is located along the Pacific ocean, making it an ideal location for algae farms. The arid climate of the desert is very supportive of algae growth, and the nearby ocean could supply saltwater for the algae ponds. Enough biodiesel to replace all petroleum transportation fuels could be grown in 11,000 square miles, or roughly nine percent of the area of the Sonora desert.



1 hectare = 2.4711 acres

1729770 acres can produce 1 quad

14 quads needs 24216780 acres

640 acres = 1 square mile

24216780 acres = 10811 Square Miles

Additional Pages:

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FALL 2001
Three days a week, Peter Arnold's workday begins well before he gets to his office at Chewonki. Peter is the man with the baby blue truck that has a small hydraulic barrel hoist mounted in the bed-"the vehicle that looks like an oversized and off-color praying mantis" he says-and it is his job to pick up the oil. Leaving his home in Damariscotta, Peter stops first at Reunion Station Restaurant on Route 1 and hoists aboard a 55-gallon metal drum of used cooking oil. Although a full drum can weigh almost 500 pounds, Peter handles the job easily by himself, thanks to the hoist. His next stop is the Sheepscot River Inn, but here the barrel is only half full, and Peter makes a mental note to stop again tomorrow.

He then heads for Red's Eats and Nick's Pizza in Wiscasset. Both small eateries set aside several 5-gallon plastic jugs of used fryolator oil for Chewonki, and Peter simply plops the jugs into his truck bed. The last stop is the Sea Basket Restaurant, a few miles farther down Route 1. "This is by far our largest supplier," Peter explains, and here he uses the hoist again to pick up another 55-gallon drum of used vegetable oil. Full Article

 Join biofuel! 

Biodiesel Discussion Groups:








"Fuel for Thought: The Carbohydrate Economy, Cooperatives, and Rural
Development," by David Morris, Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR),
article in Farmer Cooperatives Magazine, April 1995.

Agricultural Cooperatives and Marketing Bioenergy Crops: Case Studies of
Emerging Cooperative Development for Agriculture and Energy, Mark Downing,
et al, presented at BioEnergy 1998, Madison, WI, October 1998.  See

Biodiesel and the Development of New-Wealth Industries: A Contract for Rural
America, by William C. Holmberg American Biofuels Association.  Paper
presented at 1994 International Winter Meeting of the American Society of
Agricultural Engineers, December 1994.

"Macroeconomic Effects of a Community-Based Biodiesel Production System," by
D.L. Van Dyne, J.A. Weber, and C.H. Braschler.  Article in Bioresource
Technology, Issue 56, Elsevier Publishing 1996.

Biofuel Tax Issues (UK)

Diesel to Vegetable Oil Conversion - http://www.goatindustries.fsnet.co.uk/conversionkits/conversionkits.htm

The Alternative-fuel Vehicle Directory - This directory includes links to alternative fuel Web sites. There are EV conversions, the electrochemistry of batteries and fuel cells, U.S. Government research sites, university hybrid projects, regional EV associations and international automobile manufacturers, among others. Enjoy! http://www.vwc.edu/library_tech/wwwpages/gnoe/avd.htm

Charts on Grain Usage and Exports - University of Maryland http://www.arec.umd.edu/areces/grain/graincharts.htm

Making Bio-diesel From Used Kitchen Grease or Waste Vegetable Oil

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Kielich, 202/586-5806

Trees and Trash to Paint, Plastics and Power

Energy Department Sponsors Growing Fields of Research in Biobased Energy, Product Development

U. S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson today announced that over $10 million will be available to help develop technology to produce industrial chemicals and a host of everyday consumer goods such as plastics, paints and adhesives from biomass sources like crops, trees and agricultural and forest wastes. An additional $675,000 is being made available to research and develop "biomass co-firing" -- combining renewable biomass sources such as wood and wood residues with fossil fuels such as coal to produce electricity. http://www.doe.gov/news/releases00/junpr/pr00151.htm




Canadian Renewable Fuels Association - Biodiesel Information Centre - http://www.greenfuels.org/bioindex.html

http://www.civilizationroad.org/links/biopower.htm - Biofuel Links

Journey to Forever - Mike Pellyís recipe - Mike Pelly lives in the US North West. He has much more knowledge and experience of biofuels than we do. "I live for renewable energy projects," he says. Mike's been making his own biodiesel fuel from waste cooking oil for the last three years, using it in several different cars. He finds it "far superior" to fossil-based diesel fuel.

BIODIESEL FUEL FACT SHEET - Biodiesel is a liquid fuel that can replace regular diesel fuel. Itís made from vegetable oil. Biodiesel can run diesel engines that are commonly found in big vehicles such as trucks, buses, or boats. On the island of Maui, Biodiesel fuel is already available to county and private fleets.

http://www.howstuffworks.com/diesel.htm - Rudolf Diesel developed the idea for the diesel engine and obtained the German patent for it in 1892. His goal was to create an engine with high efficiency. Gasoline engines had been invented 1876 and, especially at that time, were not very efficient.

Biodiesel at Dancing Rabbit - Given that our only motorized vehicle right now is a diesel van we have chosen to focus our energy now on biodiesel, with plans to look into methanol, ethanol, and biogas soon. With help from the Veggie Van folks we learned to make our own biodiesel from waste oil from fast food restaurants and we are building our own little biodiesel factory. We are also looking into possibilities of buying biodiesel from a distributor in Kansas City since so far we have not been able to make all we need ourselves given our limited labor and the local waste oil supply. In the future we hope to set up a local production system using waste oil and locally grown feedstocks (ie soybeans).

http://www.kelseyville.com/biodsl/ - I am using waste fryer oil (WVO) to make bio-diesel (methyl esters), and am using that to run my Datsun diesel pickup!!
The process is called transesterification. It is a simple operation, you mix some organic oils with methanol and lye. Proper proportions must, of coarse, be followed.
I am using Old Fryer Oil, also known as WVO or waste vegetable oil.

http://www.biodiesel.org/ilbc/final_agenda.html#Biodiesel - INTERNATIONAL LIQUID BIOFUELS CONGRESS

Unlike ethanol, which is an alcohol, biodiesel is an ester (similar to vinegar) that can be made from several types of oils such as soybean, rapeseed, and vegetable or animal fats. Through a process called transesterification, organically derived oils are combined with alcohol (ethanol or methanol) and chemically altered to form fatty esters such as ethyl or methyl ester. The biomass-derived ethyl or methyl esters can be blended with conventional diesel fuel or used as a neat fuel (100% biodiesel). http://www.biofuels.nrel.gov/what_are.html

Waste Oil Burner, Fuel Oil Conversions - TCD Enterprises has developed a burner that is able to burn any grade of waste oil. It can be used to convert any regular oil furnace into a furnace able to burn waste oil. This burner includes many features that make it more attractive than burners that are available commercially. Some of these features are:

More: Waste Oil Burner, Fuel Oil Conversions - Basically, it uses the air atomization principle, with a vaporizer strip as a secondary ignitor. It lights easily and delivers a bright clean smoke free flame with very little chance of fouling or plugging from dirty oil. It requires a small volume of air - about .3 cfm - from your shop air compressor. There are no fine screens or small orifices that the oil has to be forced through. All construction materials are simple, inexpensive, and available almost anywhere. these units can be built in two or three days at a cost of from $50 to $200. Factory-made heaters with comparable or less efficiency cost from two to ten thousand dollars. At the present time we have three sets of plans available. Following is a brief description of each.

Welcome to Lather Land! I'm Elaine White, author of "Soap Recipes". I compiled a lot of online soapmaking information for you!

Homemade Soap
Information Compiled by Kathy Miller - http://users.silverlink.net/~timer/soapinfo.html

E L S B E T Tģ - Pioneer of the diesel- & multifuel-engine-technology

Handmade Projects , Journey to Forever Project -Biofuels "How can you say you're environmentalists?" asked a local sceptic. "Your Land Rovers aren't green at all -- one runs on leaded petrol and the other's a dirty diesel."

Making Your Own Fuel - Making fuel isn't just for the big oil companies. You CAN make your own! Hydrogen gas, Alcohol and Methane gas can be made at home for fun and profit. Well... its not very much fun and there isn't much profit in it, but it can be done.

Cruisin' on corn oil - It's a perfectly ordinary car, except for the message painted on the side: THIS CAR RUNS ON VEGETABLE OIL.

http://www.biodiesel.de/english.htm - Since 1750 the Connemann family from Leer has dealt with green soap, with oil seeds, oil and cake or meal, with flax and wood, today named renewable resources. In the year 1887 the first German oilseed-extraction unit was built in Leer.

The National Biodiesel Board, formerly known as the National SoyDiesel Development Board, is a not-for-profit corporation created and based in Jefferson City, Missouri, dedicated to the commercialization and industrialization of biodiesel.

Biodiesel is the name for a variety of ester-based oxygenated fuels from renewable biological sources. It can be used in compression- ignition (diesel) engines without any modifications. Pure biodiesel is biodegradable, nontoxic and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. http://www.nbb.org/ http://www.biodiesel.org/ 

Biodiesel is a diesel fuel replacement made from vegetable oil. The University of Idaho has been involved in Biodiesel research since 1979. Dr. Charles Peterson is a leader in this field and has headed many Biodiesel research projects for various local, state, federal, and private agencies.

The University of Idaho has run many diesel engines on various forms of Biodiesel. Farm machinery, stationary engines, Cummins Diesel engines in Dodge Pickups, Navistar engines in Ford Pickups, and soon to be run in a Caterpillar engine in a Kenworth Truck.

Biodiesel can be made from most any plant derived oil. Biodiesel is actually an alcohol ester of vegetable oil. Research at the University of Idaho has involved the following types of oils. http://www.uidaho.edu/bae/biodiesel/ 

http://www.soygold.com/sd-msds.htm Soy Diesel MSDS - http://www.soygold.com/ 

http://pipeline.to/biodiesel/ - Biodiesel Development Corporation

http://www.nopec.com/ - NOPEC Corporation is a Lakeland, Florida based manufacturer of methyl esters, glycerin, and biodiesel fuel.  NOPEC also provides Contract Manufacturing Services and Biodiesel Production Technology.  The plant is a world showcase of the latest processing technology.  This state-of-the-art facility is the largest producer of biodiesel in the United States.

http://www.afdc.nrel.gov/altfuel/biodiesel.html - Alternative Fuels Data Center

Athens Transit has joined with the University of Georgia in an alternative fuels project. The project will measure fuel economy of a transit bus powered by biodiesel. Biodiesel, a fuel produced from vegetable oil, animal fats, or used cooking oils, is produced by combining fat with alcohol. Transit and University staff were joined by local Mayor Gwen O'Looney and Commissioners Tal DuVall and Charles Carter for the demonstration.

"Biodiesel as an alternative fuel is considered a more cost efficient choice among the available technologies for transit systems this size," said Richard Matthews, Transit Director of Athens. "The high capital costs associated with renovating the maintenance and fueling facilities to operate equipment on compressed natural gas is not present with biodiesel. The only facility modifications needed are a separate fuel storage tank and pump. Facility modifications were necessary for this project because only two buses were operated on a biodiesel blend. If a bus system would switch the entire fleet to a biodiesel blend, separate infrastructure would not be necessary. No modifications to the equipment are needed if the vehicle is run with a blend of 80% standard diesel and 20% bio-fuel. A vehicle can be run on a "neat" or 100% biodiesel, but some fuel system components may need to be changed." http://www.bae.uga.edu/outreach/biodiesel/

References & Sources Fill 'Er Up . . . With Veggie Oil

Vegetable oils are moving from the kitchen table to the car engine http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc98/12_5_98/bob2.htm

Tallow Diesel

Nebraska leads the nation in commercial cattle slaughter, producing about 1 billion pounds of tallow annually. That tallow could provide the cheapest large quantity source of raw materials for biodiesel available. To help producers of beef tallow capitalize on this material, the Industrial Agricultural Products Center has developed new uses for it.

Researchers have combined 65 percent of tallow methyl esters with 35 percent of fuel ethanol. Mixing 20 percent of this blend with 80 percent No. 2 diesel resulted in a fuel with a viscosity identical to diesel alone. Engine performance was good.

The method most commonly used to convert fats and oils into biodiesel is transesterification. The products of the conversion are alcohol esters and glycerol. With a new processing system, the IAPC expects to make smaller manufacuring facilities economically competitive, and compatible with rural communities. Small-scale biodiesel processing facilities could eventually provide a base for other bioprocessing opportunities. For example, facilities might be adapted to extract tallow's components to make other products such as lubricants, solvents, polymers, and plastics. http://ianrwww.unl.edu/ianr/iapc/tallow.htm

World Energy Biodiesel Fuels FutureTruck Innovations (PR Newswire)
The United States Department of Energy, General Motors and other automotive industry leaders are teaming up with the nation's top engineering schools in order to develop cleaner, more fuel-efficient sport utility vehicles for the 2000 annual FutureTruck competition held this week in Phoenix, AZ.
- Jun 16 12:46 PM ET

Golden Gate Petroleum Joins Growing List of Southern States Power Company Fuel Distributors Bringing Nationwide Total to Five (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company Southern States Power Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Golden Gate Petroleum of Concord, California as its OXyGB-60 Biodiesel distributor for the West Coast.
- Jun 13 12:27 PM ET

Rising Gas Prices are Raising Tempers: FutureTruck Teams Say, 'Fight Back By Using Less Gas' (PR Newswire)
Drivers, gas station owners and political leaders are in a rage over this week's sudden run-up in gasoline prices -- particularly in the Midwest.
- Jun 11 10:28 PM ET

Merit Oil to Distribute Southern States Power Company's OXyGB-60 Biodiesel for Southern California (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Merit Oil of Bloomington California as its OXyGB-60 Biodiesel distributor for Southern California.
- Jun 08 1:28 PM ET

Southern States Power Company Announces Distributor of OXyGB-60 Biodiesel For the State of Arizona (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Western States Petroleum of Phoenix, Arizona as its OXyGB-60 Biodiesel distributor for Arizona.
- Jun 07 12:50 PM ET

Southern States Power Company Announces Distributor of OXyGB-60 Biodiesel For The State of Nevada (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company Southern States Power Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Tri State Petroleum of Las Vegas Nevada as its OXyGB-60 Biodiesel distributor for Nevada.
- Jun 06 12:19 PM ET

SSPC Expands Burgeoning Biodiesel Market to the Southwest (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company announced today that two major Southwestern cities are employing a natural solution to tame the exhaust stacks that spew those darks clouds of diesel soot.
- May 23 10:16 AM ET

Green Mountain Wind Farm Flips Switch (PR Newswire)
The gusty wind was drying the season's first hay crop near the old coal drag line at the Decker Farm in Garrett Pennsylvania on Saturday.
- May 22 5:26 PM ET

Southern States Power Company Highlighted at the United States Department Of Energy 6th Annual National Clean Cities Conference (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company announced today that they were highlighted at the 6th Annual National Clean Cities Conference and Exposition held in San Diego, California May 7-10, 2000.
- May 11 12:02 PM ET

Cross Country Run to 'Tour De Sol' Planned in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Using Southern States Power Co. OXy G B-60 Biodiesel Fuel (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company announced today it will be donating biodiesel fuel to the Deer Valley High School ERAD Club for use in a hybrid electric pick-up truck.
- May 02 11:57 AM ET

Did Somebody Say French Fry Oil in My Diesel Engine?; SSPC's Biodiesel Can Give You a Higher Cetane Diesel Fuel That Makes Your Vehicle Exhaust Smell Like French Fries Instead of Diesel Fumes (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company announced today that the Biodiesel fuel it is now marketing under the trade name "OXy G B-60" has higher cetane rating than regular diesel, making it a new grade of "premium" diesel that leads to increased power and better performance from diesel engines.
- Apr 25 11:15 AM ET

Southern States Power Company Assists and Supports Arizona Legislature in The Passage of Alternative Fuel Bill (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company announced today that the Arizona Legislature has passed Senate Bill 1505, which creates a new category of alternative fuels entitled "Clean Burning Fuels".
- Apr 19 10:00 AM ET

Volvo, Union of Concerned Scientists Agree On Importance of Environmental Impact in New Car Design (PR Newswire)
Volvo will be at the "birthplace" of Earth Day on April 22 to showcase new vehicles built to the strict standards of its groundbreaking Environmental Priorities System.
- Apr 19 9:07 AM ET

Southern States Power Company Captures the First and Largest 21st Century Biodiesel Bid in the U.S. (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company announced today that the company captured the first and largest 21st century Biodiesel bid in the U.S.
- Apr 10 3:51 PM ET


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