Saturday, 6 September 2008

Making Biodiesel At Your Home - Made Easy

What is Biodiesel? The term Biodiesel refers to a fuel type derived from natural resources, for example straight vegetable oil - which if often called SVO -, waste vegetable oil (WVO for short) and animal fats (tallow). It can be used in regular diesel type vehicles without any modification. It's a common misconception that you have to buy expensive conversion kits to be able to use this new technology. The process that transforms vegetable oil into fuel is called transesterification and it is so easy that you can do it yourself. More on that later.

Pros and cons Using Biodiesel is not only good for your wallet (it's often 10-20% cheaper at gas stations already!) but you can help save the Earth, too by not using fossil fuels. The environmental benefits include reductions of the rate of biodegradation, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and deforestation. It is clearly a win-win case, the only problem is that most of the time you cannot find a Biodiesel tank station nearby you, although the number of these are increasing day by day.

Making Biodiesel The best part is that you're able to produce biodiesel in your own backyard using free waste oil from restaurants for example. The ingredients are simple: vegetable oil, alcohol and lye. The ratios are 75%, 22% and 3% respectively. Mix these and then let it sit for an hour. The mixture will separate into two parts: the glycerin will stay at the bottom, and the biodiesel at the top. It's recommended to clean the BD through a water wash. Then it's ready for use!


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