Fuel prices are rising daily, making operating even at a domestic level more expensive. Anything that uses petroleum or associated products has become more expensive. The only alternative is to look for a source of fuel that is renewable and, at the same time, cheap. So far, biodiesel, a biofuel, seems to be the answer.
Biodiesel is a kind of fuel that’s made from plant and animal oils. Plants are preferred because their production is easier and cheaper than animals. On a commercial scale, the most used are soybeans, sunflower seeds, canola, and other recycled vegetable-based oils.
Biodiesel production seems to be gaining popularity because it’s generally a cheaper and more efficient way of powering up and because it’s more environmentally friendly with fewer pollutants. Some tests have shown emissions to be nil.
It also has a positive effect on reducing the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Fossil fuel emissions produce plenty of these and are “allegedly” responsible for much of the climate damage present today.
Producing biodiesel is an easy enough process so long as you obtain the correct equipment and necessary materials. As an individual, it wouldn’t be unwise to start thinking about how to make this a part of the way you power your life; the more fossil fuels deplete, the more expensive they will become.
Biodiesel, on the other hand, is relatively cheap to produce. The only thing that might cost you is the initial capital to buy the equipment, but after that, the materials you will use are cheap and easily obtainable. The supplier usually dictates commercial biodiesel costs based on where and how much he sources his raw materials.
You will not need to change your engine if you plan to start using biodiesel, providing it is fortified with the correct additives. Most engines today are compliant, although you should get a warranty that covers biodiesel use. There are advantages to your engine for using biodiesel; it is a great lubricant, but it is important to blend it correctly and fortify it with the correct additives to improve flow, protect against gelling and waxing, raise cetane, correct pH, and improve the combustion quality.
Biodiesel Production Process
The process involves chemically altering the molecular structure of organic oils. It requires a catalyst and alcohol. The organic oil is heated to a specific temperature to initiate the chemical reaction, and then the catalyst and the alcohol are added.
They are then mixed for a while and left to settle. The resulting oil will be in several layers. The topmost is biodiesel, which at this stage is called an ester.
The lower layers contain soap and glycerine. This layer facilitates separation. The soap and glycerine are drained, and the biodiesel is purified and dried. It is then filtered to remove any particulate matter before it is ready to use.
Equipment for making biodiesel has come on a long way; it is now highly automated, and you can create high-quality biofuel faster and more efficiently.
You can have your equipment custom-made depending on your needs, or you can purchase DIY using kits with instructions that are downloadable from the net for free. It’s best to start small, so you can fully understand the process. If you’re going to buy a processor, estimate your needs. It will determine the size of the processor that you will buy. They range from £500 to several thousand pounds. You will pay around £200 for a DIY kit, but kits for more complex systems will cost you more.
Microwave technology has now been incorporated into processors to make the process faster and improve the quality of the final product. It also makes it more energy efficient than the older biodiesel production because the chemical process is shorter.
It is the future. Ensure the fuel is fortified with the correct additives and can outperform standard pump fuel.