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Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology

User Manual
For

Biodiesel Fuel Processor

Varun Aggarwal
Mishika Singla
Rahul Kumar
Tansy Jindal
Table of Contents

Disclaimer .............................................................................................................1
Overview of the Reaction Process ........................................................................1
Input and Preparation of Chemicals......................................................................3
Mixing ...................................................................................................................3
Separation and Removal of the Glycerin ..............................................................4
Washing and Bubbling the Biodiesel.....................................................................4
Removal of Biodiesel from the Processor .............................................................4
Safety Considerations and Concerns....................................................................5
Maintenance .........................................................................................................5
Notes on Biodiesel Usage.....................................................................................5
References ...........................................................................................................5
Appendix...............................................................................................................6
MSDS of biodiesel:............................................................................................6
MSDS of Dimethyl Ether (Methyl Oxide): ..........................................................7

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Disclaimer
Responsible operation of the fuel processor is essential to human safety. The
creators of the fuel processor and the authors of this user manual do not take
any responsibility for harm or liability which may come as a result of usage of the
processor. The operator of the processor does so at his or her own risk. The
overall reaction process has been roughly adapted from the Utah Biodiesel Co-
operative [1].

Overview of the Reaction Process

The production of Biodiesel in this processor involves the reaction of new or used
Vegetable or Animal Oil, Methanol, Sodium Hydroxide, air and water in a
controlled manner. The products of this reaction are Glycerin, Methyl Oxide and
Biodiesel fuel [see appendix for MSDS of these fuels]. The reaction takes
approximately 48 hours, and produces approximately 200 liters of Biodiesel. A
brief overview can also be observed in Figure 1.

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Figure 1 - Overview of Reaction Process (Image courtesy of Graydon Blair)

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Input and Preparation of Chemicals
1. Open the lid of the main steel tank and add approximately 150 liters of
strained (pre-filtered) vegetable oil into the main steel tank.
2. Turn on the immersion heater. The switch is on the main control panel
which is mounted on the main steel tank. The heater will automatically
heat the oil to approximately 55 degrees Celsius using a thermostat.
3. Caution: The next step creates Methyl Oxide. It is strongly encouraged to
wear gloves, eye protection and avoid breathing the toxic fumes produced.
For more information please consult the MSDS of Methyl Oxide in the
appendix. Add approximately 40 liters of methanol to the plastic fuel tank
beside the main steel tank.
4. Stir the methanol, and while still stirring add approximately 1 kg of Sodium
Hydroxide. Continue stirring for approximately one minute.
5. Loosely place the lid on the plastic tank and let the mixture stand for
approximately 3-5 minutes.
6. Remove the lid from the plastic tank and stir mixture for approximately ten
minutes.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until the Sodium Hydroxide is completely dissolved
in the methanol. Remember do NOT breathe the fumes produced from
this reaction (see step 3).

Mixing
1. Heat the oil in the main processor steel tank atleast upto 55 degrees
Celsius.
2. Turn on the pump on the main control panel (NOTE: Do not let the pump
run dry for any period of time).
3. Once the mixture has begun to circulate, open the valve below the plastic
container and allow approximately 75% of the Methyl Oxide made in the
previous steps to drain into the line and mix thoroughly.
4. Turn on and observe the reading on the electronic pH meter. Slowly
continue adding the methyl Oxide until the pH of the chemical mixture
reaches approximately 8.5.
5. Once the appropriate pH has been reached, close the valve connecting
the plastic tank to the processor and do not allow any more methyl Oxide
to be added to the mixture.
6. Turn off the heater using the switch on the main control panel.

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7. Let the mixture mix for approximately five minutes, then let it stand for ten
minutes.
8. Repeat step six four times. This should yield approximately one hour of
mixing.

Separation and Removal of the Glycerin


1. Let the mixture stand for at least eight hours.
2. The resulting mixture in the steel tank should have clear biodiesel on the
top, glycerin on the bottom and possibly a layer of soap in between the
biodiesel and glycerin.
3. Drain off the glycerin, and soap if present. It should be noted that the
glycerin can be made into soap or degreaser, among a variety of other
things, if desired.

Washing and Bubbling the Biodiesel


1. Adjust the screw on the sprinkler nozzle for a light mist.
2. Add approximately 60 liters of water to the biodiesel via the sprinkler.
3. Allow the contents in the tank to settle down (leaving it undisturbed for
approx. 10 min).
4. Drain off the water.
5. Adjust the screw on the sprinkler nozzle for a heavy mist, and add
approximately 60 liters of water.
6. Repeat step 3.
7. Attach the air hoses to the air compressor and processor if necessary, and
turn on the air compressor.
8. Bubble the mixture for 24 hours.
9. Once bubbling is completed, let the mixture sit for at least 8 hours so that
the fuel and water can properly separate.
10. Drain off all water into a container. Observe the water: if it is clear,
proceed to the next step. If it is not, repeat the washing and bubbling
procedure.

Removal of Biodiesel from the Processor


1. Drain the fuel from the processor into a container, or several containers if
required. In order to safely store the biodiesel, the container should be
also able to safely contain gasoline or normal diesel fuel.
2. The resulting mixture may still contain some water from the washing
process. In order to remove this, place the open container(s) in the sun,
with a screen covering the fuel.

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3. When it is “dry”, the fuel should not be cloudy and the bottom of the fuel
container should be visible.
4. The fuel is ready to be used in any diesel engine without modification.
Store appropriately until it is ready to be consumed.

Safety Considerations and Concerns


The reaction process involves chemicals, which can be harmful to the operator’s
health, and safety precautions should be taken seriously. The MSDS of all
chemicals involved in the reaction should be read by all parties involved and
understood before operating the processor. Several of these are located in the
appendix.

Safety precautions which are strongly recommended include, but are not limited
to the following:

• Wear gloves and eye protection while producing the Methyl Oxide
• Do not breathe the toxic fumes produced by the Methyl Oxide
• Avoid sparks or sources of ignition around any flammable substances
such as the biodiesel fuel itself

Notes on Biodiesel Usage


If the fuel has been created properly, it will be able to run on any existing diesel
engine without modification. However, biodiesel fuel may not run properly in
engines if the ambient temperature drops below 5 degrees centigrade [2]. Also,
biodiesel is known to dislodge any sediments or precipitates which have formed
in the tank and fuel lines of existing diesel engines. As a result, it is necessary to
frequently check the fuel filters of the engines during initial usages [2].

Biodiesel has strong environmental advantages over traditional diesel fuel. For
example, it reduces carbon monoxide emissions by 50%, and eliminates
sulphurous emissions. It is also biodegradable and non-toxic [2]. It also acts as
a natural lubricant for the engine, yielding a longer engine life than normal diesel
fuel [2].

References
[1] - http://www.utahbiodiesel.org/biodiesel_making.html
[2] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiesel

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Appendix: Description of Biodiesel

Section 1 – Product Identification


Common Name: Biodiesel
Chemical Name: Fatty Acid Methyl Ester
Formula: C14-C24 Methyl Esters
Chemical Family: CAS No. 67784-80-9

Section 2 – Ingredients and Hazardous Classification


This product contains no hazardous materials.
SARA Title III, Section 313: Not Listed

Section 3 – Physical/Chemical Characteristics


Boiling Point: >400 F
Vapor Pressure (mm Hg): <5 mm Hg @ 72 F
Evaporation Rate: less than .005 versus (Butyl Acetate = 1)
Solubility in Water: insoluble
Appearance and Odor: light to dark yellow clear liquid / light musty odor

Section 4 - Fire and Explosion Hazard Data


Flash Point (method used): 321 F PMCC
Flammable Limits: N/A
HMIS Rating:
Health: 0
Fire: 1
Reactivity: 0
Extinguishing Media: Use water spray, dry chemical, foam or carbon dioxide.
Special Fire Fighting Procedures: Treat as oil fire.
Unusual Fire and Explosion hazards: Rags soaked with any solvent present a
fire hazard and should be stored in an approved UL listed covered container.

Section 5 – Reactivity Data


Reactivity: Stable
Conditions to Avoid: Non Known
Incompatibility (materials to avoid): Strong oxidizing agents
Hazardous Decomposition or By-products: Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide
Hazardous Polymerization: Will not occur

Section 6 – Health Hazard Data


Emergency First Aid Procedures:
Ingestion: Rinse mouth with water, contact physician

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Eyes: Rinse with water 15 minutes, contact physician
Skin; Rinse with soap and water

Section 7 – Precautions for Safe handling and Use


Steps to be taken in case material is released or spilled:
Avoid uncontrolled releases. Contain spilled material. Transfer to secure
containers. Use absorbent material if necessary.
Disposal; Dispose of according to Federal, state and/or local regulations
Precautions to be Taken in Handling and Storing: Avoid open flames
Other Precautions: None

Section 8 – Control Measures


Respiratory Protection: None required
Ventilation: mechanical
Protective Gloves: Rubber
Eye Protection: Safety glasses / splash goggles
Other Protective Clothing or Equipment: None required

The information provided is believed to be accurate and represents the best information
currently available to us. However, we make no warranty of merchantability, or suitability
for an intended use, or any other warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to such
information, and we assume no liability resulting from its use. Users should make their own
investigations to determine the suitability of the information for their particular purposes.
Biodiesel Industries, Inc.
111 Saguaro Lane, Marathon, FL 33050 • 305-743-3942 • fax 305-743-3943
on-line at http://www.pipeline.to/biodiesel • email rteall@aol.com

Description of Dimethyl Ether (Methyl Oxide):


============= Composition/Information on Ingredients =============
Ingredients Name: ETHANE, 1,2-DIMETHOXY-; (DIMETHOXYETHANE)
(ETHYLENE GLYCOL DIMETHYL ETHER)
CAS:110-71-4
RTECS #:KI1451000
Fraction by Wt: >99%
================== Hazards Identification =====================
LD50 LC50 Mixture: NONE SPECIFIED BY MANUFACTURER.
Routes of Entry: Inhalation: YES Skin: YES Ingestion: YES
Reports of Carcinogenicity: NTP:NO
IARC: NO
OSHA: NO
Health Hazards Acute and Chronic: ACUTE:HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED,
INHALED,
OR ABSORBED THRU SKIN. MAY CAUSE IRRIT. CHRONIC:
OVEREXPOSURE MAY

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CAUSE REPRODUCTIVE DISORDER(S) BASED ON TESTS WITH
LABORATORY
ANIMALS. TARGET ORGAN(S): LIVER, KI DNEYS, BLOOD, CNS, FEMALE
REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM, MALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM. ADDITIONAL
INFO: IN
LAB (EFTS OF OVEREXP)
Explanation of Carcinogenicity: NOT RELEVANT
Effects of Overexposure: HLTH HAZ: STUDIES WITH THIS MATERIAL, BIRTH
DEFECTS, FETOTOXICITY, EMBRYOLETHALITY, ANEMIA, BONE MARROW
DAMAGE,
HEMOLYSIS, IMMUNOSUPPRESSION & DAMAGE TO MALE
REPRODUCTIVE TISSUES
HAVE BEEN OBSERVED.
Medical Cond Aggravated by Exposure: NONE SPECIFIED BY
MANUFACTURER.
=================== First Aid Measures =======================

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=================== First Aid Measures =======================
First Aid: EYES/SKIN: IMMEDIATELY FLUSH EYES OR SKIN WITH COPIOUS
AMOUNTS OF WATER FOR AT LEAST 15 MIN WHILE REMOVING
CONTAMINATED
CLOTHING & SHOES. INHAL: REMOVE TO FRESH AIR. IF NOT BRTHG,
GIVE
ARTF RESP. IF B RTHG IS DIFFICULT, GIVE OXYGEN. INGEST:WASH OUT
MOUTH WITH WATER PROVIDED PERSON IS CONSCIOUS. CALL A
PHYSICIAN.
WASH CONTAMINATED CLOTHING BEFORE REUSE.
================== Fire Fighting Measures =====================
Flash Point:32.0F,0.0C
Lower Limits:1.6%
Upper Limits:10.4%
Extinguishing Media: CARBON DIOXIDE, DRY CHEMICAL POWDER OR
APPROPRIATE
FOAM. WATER MAY BE EFFECTIVE FOR COOLING, BUT MAY NOT BE EFT
EXTING.
Fire Fighting Procedures: WEAR NIOSH/MSHA APPROVED SCBA & FULL
PROT
EQUIP . PREVENT CONTACT WITH SKIN AND EYES. EXTREMELY
FLAMMABLE.
USE WATER SPRAY TO COOL FIRE-EXPOSED CNTNRS.
Unusual Fire/Explosion Hazard: VAPOR MAY TRAVEL CONSIDERABLE
DISTANCE TO

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SOURCE OF IGNITION AND FLASH BACK. CONTAINER EXPLOSION MAY
OCCUR
UNDER FIRE CONDITIONS. FORMS EXPLOSIVE MIX IN AIR.
=============== Accidental Release Measures ==================
Spill Release Procedures: EVAC AREA.SHUT OFF ALL SOURCES OF
IGNIT.WEAR
NIOSH/MSHA APPRVD SCBA, RUBBER BOOTS & HEAVY RUBBER
GLOVES.COVER
W/AN ACTIVATED CARBON ADSORB, TAKE UP & PLACE IN CLSD
CNTNRS.TRANSPORT OUTDOORS.VENT AREA & WASH SPILL SITE AFTER
MATL
PICKUP IS COMPLETE.
Neutralizing Agent: NONE SPECIFIED BY MANUFACTURER.
================== Handling and Storage ======================
Handling and Storage Precautions: DO NOT BREATHE VAPOR. AVOID
CONTACT
WITH EYES, SKIN AND CLOTHING. POSSIBLE TERATOGEN. KEEP TIGHTLY
CLOSED. KEEP AWAY FROM HEAT, SPARKS, & OPEN FLAMES.
Other Precautions: STORE UNDER NITROGEN. STORE IN A COOL DRY
PLACE. USE
NONSPARKING TOOLS. FLAMMABLE: KEEP AWAY FROM SOURCES OF
IGNITION.
NO SMOKING.
============= Exposure Controls/Personal Protection =============
Respiratory Protection: WEAR APPROPRIATE NIOSH/MSHA APPROVED
RESPIRATOR.
Ventilation: MECHANICAL EXHAUST REQUIRED.
Protective Gloves: CHEMICAL-RESISTANT GLOVES.
Eye Protection: CHEMICAL WORKERS GOGGLES
Other Protective Equipment: SAFETY SHOWER AND EYE BATH. OTHER
PROTECTIVE
CLOTHING.
Work Hygienic Practices: WASH THOROUGHLY AFTER HANDLING.
Supplemental Safety and Health
MFR TRADE NAME/PART NO: 99+%, 25952-7.
=============== Physical/Chemical Properties ==================
HCC:F3

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HCC:F3
Boiling Pt:B.P. Text:185F,85C
Melt/Freeze Pt:M.P/F.P Text:-72F,-58C

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Vapor Pres:48 @ 20C
Vapor Density:3.1
Spec Gravity:0.867
Appearance and Odor: COLORLESS LIQUID
================= Stability and Reactivity Data =================
Stability Indicator/Materials to Avoid: YES
OXIDIZING AGENTS, STRONG ACIDS.
Stability Condition to Avoid: NONE SPECIFIED BY MANUFACTURER.
Hazardous Decomposition Products: TOXIC FUMES OF CARBON MONOXIDE,
CARBON
DIOXIDE.
================== Disposal Considerations ====================
Waste Disposal Methods: BURN IN A CHEMICAL INCINERATOR EQUIPPED
W/AN
AFTERBURNER AND SCRUBBER BUT EXERT EXTRA CARE IN IGNITING AS
THIS
MATERIAL IS HIGHLY FLAMMABLE. DISPOSAL MUST BE IN ACCORDANCE
WITH
FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCA L REGULATIONS .
Disclaimer (provided with this information by the compiling agencies):
This information is formulated for use by elements of the Department
of Defense. The United States of America in no manner whatsoever,
expressly or implied, warrants this information to be accurate and
disclaims all liability for its use. Any person utilizing this
document should seek competent professional advice to verify and
assume responsibility for the suitability of this information to their
particular situation.

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