How to make Bio-diesel at home or farm
Hemp Oil Fuels & How to Make Them
By: A. Das
Introduction of Hemp
Biodiesel maybe the liquid fuel of the future. Hemp is a high yield C-4 photosynthesis plant. Hemp can boast a higher oilseed yield than any of today's oilseed crops (soy, canola or safflower).
Thirty years ago soy beans were a joke to American farmers. Who would have guessed that in thirty years soy beans would become the largest oil and protein crop in American farming. Right now Hemp farming is a joke to American farmers. Who knows what the next thirty years will do to American Hemp farming. Hemp fuels are yet another benefit of Domestic Industrial Hemp Farming. As we enter 1997 more than ten states will be considering Industrial Hemp Farm Bills. In the mean times Hempseed must be grown out side the country. The major part of the cost of the inexpensive Hempseed is transportation from across the globe. The seed to produce a gallon of Hemp-seed oil can cost up to $100. All foreign production and shipping plans are doomed to high costs. I look forward to the days when a farmer can produce his own hempseed oil fuel as low as a dollar a gallon.
The following formula for making Hemp Diesel Fuel will work nicely to make small quantities of fuel to run the sound stage at your Hemp Rally this summer. A 4 kilowatt diesel generator uses around one liter an hour .Imagine walking to the microphone and saying, "The sound of my voice is coming to you with the power of Hemp Fuel !". Seeing is believing. I'll drive you around the state capital, Senator, In my Hemp Fuelled Vehicle!
BioDiesel not a new fuel. The DOE and USDA have provided funding for research for years. The Biomass Conference of The Americas in Burlington Vermont had over a dozen papers presented on all aspects of Hemp as an oilseed cultivars. Lets get on with it!
How to Make Bio Diesel
Titration of Free Fatty Acids.
Measure Free Fatty Acid content of your oil: Mix 1 ml oil with 10 ml Isopropyl alcohol = 2 drops phenolthalian solution (available in a hobby shop chemistry set suppliers). Drop-wise add 0.1% lye solution ( 1 gm lye in one liter water ) until the solution stays pink for 10 seconds. (20 drops = 1 ml) Record the millilitres of 0.1% lye solution used.
Methanol You will need 200 ml of methanol per liter of Hemp Seed oil. Methanol may be purchased as Drigas available at most automotive stores, read the label for methanol. Also Methanol is available from racing stores. Avoid hardware store methanol (wood alcohol) as it mat contain excessive water content.
Sodium Methoxide For each litre of hemp seed oil you need one gram of granular solid lye for each ml of 0.1% lye solution used in titration of free fatty acids plus 3.5 grams. Completely dissolve the proper amount of Lye in the methanol (Red Devil Lye can be purchased from the Grocery Store). This combined mixture makes sodium methoxide.
Mixer The type of mixer depends on the size of the batch. A blender works fine for a small batch. An electric drill and paint mixer on an extended shaft works well in a 5 gallon bucket. An electric light dimmer switch provides a good speed control.
Once the lye catalyst is dissolved completely so that there is no sediment, then the oil may be added to the methanol lye mixture while mixing continuously. At first the mixture becomes thicker, then thinner as the reaction proceeds. Collect samples every 5 minutes with an eye dropper into a test tube or clear container. The Mixture will separate into a light top layer of bio diesel and a darker bottom layer of glycerin, soap and catalyst. Continued mixing 30 - 60 minutes until the yield remains constant. Then stop mixing. Go have lunch. When you come back it will have settled into two distinct layers. You have just made what could be the fuel of the future for a self reliant society. Let the mixture settle for at least 8 hours. Pour off and save the bio diesel top layer into another container. A clear funnel bottomed container is helpful.
The raw biodiesel that you have just produced may have some catalyst, alcohol, and glycerin remaining which could cause engine problems, so for long term engine reliability this raw fuel should be rinsed with water. Gently at first then more vigorously rinse with water until the rinse water is clear and the pH of the rinse water is the same pH as the supply water. Settle, decant.
Water in the biodiesel makes cloudy so it must be carefully heated. At 100 C most of the water coalesces and falls to the bottom. This water must be completely removed from the bottom of the container before heating to higher temperature.
CAUTION! Wear protective clothing and eyewear. FAILURE TO REMOVE THIS WATER BEFORE FURTHER HEATING CAN CAUSE VIOLENT ERUPTION OF HOT LIQUID!
Once all water has been removed then heat the bio diesel to 300 deg F (150 deg C) to complete dryness. Cool, filter, and store bio diesel in a well marked dry closed container. 100% HEMP DIESEL FUEL (HEMP OIL METHYL ESTER - HOME FUEL)
This fuel may be mixed in any ratio with petroleum diesel. Dynamometer tests indicate full power output with up to 75% reduction in soot and particles. No engine modification is needed to burn bio diesel fuel.
Other Oil Feedstocks
Hemp Seed Oil at present is too expensive to drive across the country. That is not the object of this article. Our purpose is to demonstrate proof of feasibility of this fuel concept. The time is now to give hemp a chance. The small quantities of Hemp Diesel Fuel can play a powerful role in educating ourselves and the policy makers about the hope in hemp. For other readers the question will be raised. What else can I use can I use as a feedstock that is cheaper between now and domestic hemp seed crops? Soy, Sunflower, Canola, and Safflower oils are being used in field testing programs right now.