With gas prices on the rise in virtually every country in the world, many are looking towards biodiesel fuel as a new and inventive way to get the most out of their gas mileage. This type of fuel is made to run in diesel engines although it can be blended to run in gasoline engines as well. A very popular method has been found in making one’s own biodiesel fuel and can save you a lot of money at the pump if you own a diesel burning vehicle although you should have a licensed mechanic inspect your car before running anything other than regular diesel.
Step 1 - Prepare the Area
Since you will be working with highly caustic materials, you will want to prepare a space to work in. A space that is open and ventilated is a must. Be sure you have all of your safety equipment (gloves, goggles) ready to go.
Step 2 - Mixing
After gathering your materials, you are ready to begin. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to be in an area that is warmer than 65F. Temperatures under 60F may cause incomplete reactions. Measure 200 mL of methanol into your glass pitcher and pour into the blender. Carefully measure 3.5g of lye, turn the blender on low, and add to the methanol. After your methanol and lye are blended, you are ready to add your oil.
Step 3 - Adding the Oil
You should now have a mixture of methanol and lye. Now, it is time to begin to slowly measure in your liter of vegetable oil. Turn the blender on a low speed and slowly pour in the vegetable oil. After your mixture is complete, you will then transfer your mixture into your wide mouth glass jar. Once you have transferred the mixture to the glass jar, it then becomes a waiting game.
You have completed the actual steps to make the biodiesel and must now wait for it to settle. After a due amount of time, usually anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, you will start to see a dark sediment on the bottom and a lighter colored solution on top. This lighter colored solution is your biodiesel. You can now run a modified diesel engine with this fuel although you should always make sure the engine has been thoroughly checked out by a licensed auto mechanic before running your home made fuel. Safety is the key to any process, and with the proper working space, you will be making your own fuel in a short amount of time.