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  #1  
Old 08-28-2005, 08:26 AM
AMH AMH is offline
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Homebrewed Biodiesel

Saw this on the television yesterday. Of course the inital investment was not even discussed, and it was so easy to use.....etc. etc. etc

http://www.freedomfuelamerica.com/index.asp

The web site does not give a price. Alan
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2005, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMH
Saw this on the television yesterday. Of course the inital investment was not even discussed, and it was so easy to use.....etc. etc. etc

http://www.freedomfuelamerica.com/index.asp

The web site does not give a price. Alan
I just saw the front page so I dunno how much it is. However I know from other kits that it can go from $400 to $1000+. Of course over time, this will be nil compared to the gas prices paid today.
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2005, 08:45 AM
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Here is a link to their site. Not cheap but will pay for itself over time.

FuelMeister
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  #4  
Old 08-28-2005, 03:33 PM
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I've made biodiesel (small quantities) at home in my garage. It takes time and effort, so if your time is worth $'s then it's definately not a great deal. You're also dealing with chemicals that are somewhat dangerous (methanol/ethanol, sodium hydroxide (lye)/potasium hydroxide) and creating a third chemical (eth/methoxide). All of these have a combination of the following: dangerous fumes, can be absorbed directly through skin, burn skin, cause nerve damage and burns. I concluded although it was interesting, and kinda fun, it's not worth the effort, or danger to my family and kids for me.

I will continue running on 25-30% filtered, dry WVO mixed with with diesel. It's been working fine for me (last 5K miles) here in warm California. I'm sure it wouldn't work well in cold climates. On several particularily chilly mornings (mid 40's) the first start of the day ran rough for 30 seconds or so. I have read several university and gov't funded studies on the topic of mixing WVO/VO with diesel, and it has minimal long term side effects (some additional coking and maybe no so good for Direct Injection systems). The engine actually seems to run smoother with the WVO in the fuel --- go figure. I know it's not the free fuel panacea everyone hypes, but it does reduce fuel costs by 25-30% and thats pretty cool these days.

Some others have been mixing 90% WVO with 10% Regular Unleaded Gas or Kerosene. I may try this soon, but I want to learn more about it first. I haven't seen any long term studies on this method, so I'm a bit leary of it.

By the way, my first experiment with Veggie was to buy a gallon of new corn oil from the store and mix it in the tank with about 10 gallons of diesel. When I was satisfied that my engine was happy I started using clean used oil which I filtered. I increased % by 5 points on the next tank and so-on, and arrived at 30% as a good comprimise for the morning temperatures here.
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2005, 04:30 PM
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david,

if its reading you want check out the tech papers available on the frybrid.com site.

running wvo straight on a 40 deg. morning is a good way to ruin that hard to break engine.
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2005, 11:02 PM
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As I said, I don't use straight WVO --- I mix it 25-30% WVO 70-75% D2.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2005, 02:47 AM
Brandon314159
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I make my own biodiesel here at home in about 15-20gallon batches at a time.

If you go all out and get the fancy tanks/pumps, the processing of biodiesel is next to harmless for you or anyone else around you. The only danger from these chemicals that you have to worry about is keeping them in their containers and the fumes thereof.

I am a chemisty major and I can tell you that there are a LOT worse things out there

I use a 30gal barrel and a 5gallon bucket for my mixing purposes.
Their tanks are nice becuase they come to a point at the bottom and this makes glycerine seperation a LOT easier

My time isn't too often worth my money. Mixing up a batch (filtering the WVO and doing the reaction) takes me about an hour-hour and a half. Its a niec thing to do in the evening before retiring for the night.
The next evening, come on home and filter the fuel off and dump it in the car.

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  #8  
Old 08-29-2005, 02:01 PM
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You can mix 10 gal VO with 1 gal kerosene, 1/2 gal RUG, some cetane boost, and a few ounces mineral spirits.

What exactly is supposed to break by using cold SVO aside from the pump? Carbon can be cleaned with a purge, no?
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2005, 06:40 PM
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That kit is SOOOO expensive, and it won't even make proper biodiesel. You need a heater to perform a complete reaction, and heat doesn't do so good in most plastics, that one included unless they've upgraded it. I make mine in a water heater with iron plumbing, much safer than plastic, and my "kit" was less than $300, 10% of the cost of a FuelMeister.
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2005, 07:17 PM
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I applaud the effort...but...

The fuelmeister seems to me to be a product that is destined to fail...this is why:

1) It is so costly that the payback is measured in years, and that is assuming you don't add any value for your time. Just assuming a savings of $1.80 per gallon makes the break-even 1,667 gallons, or enough fuel to drive a 300D 45,000 miles at 27MPG. That's 2-3 years for the average person to drive. That's just to recoup the cost of the unit.

2) It is so poorly conceived that "normal" people will never be able to use it with success.

3) Anybody who is clever enough to master it would simply build one themselves out of pumps, drums, valves and containers for 10% of the cost.

In short, if you are going to make a product to homebrew biodiesel to sell for $3,000 it has to 1) Have an industrial design that makes it look like a *REAL* product, not a cobbled together set of valves, drums, tubing and pumps, and

2) Be the "bread machine" of brewers...in other words, you pour raw ingredients in one end, press a button and come back after the cycle is over to find 40 gallons of biodiesel. Then there would be a chance for success.

But, like I said, this is a start and it's the way all of these revolutions begin.
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Last edited by nhdoc; 08-29-2005 at 07:25 PM.
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2005, 10:08 AM
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what about DIY?

does anybody know of an online guide for a DIY version of fuel meister?

It would be alot better for me to spend 800 smackers on a bio-d production unit than on a greasecar system. We have two vehicles around here that use diesel.....

Barrels aren't an issue, I can get them from my uncle for almost nothing. (55 gal) They are paint barrels that the road paint comes in. Removable tops and everything! Just clean 'em up and you're off. Pumps, hoses, valves, not a problem. Timer circuits, also not a problem. I can forsee that automating a homebrew system really wouldn't be that hard.

any thoughts?
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Last edited by deerefanatic; 08-30-2005 at 10:14 AM. Reason: forgot some info
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2005, 11:23 AM
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This is the best DIY biodiesel processor I have come across lately:

http://www.veggieavenger.com/avengerboard/viewtopic.php?t=332&sid=a61f704a551d99e71b6539c7148e83c9

And the Appleseed processor can be made for a few hundred dollars.....
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2005, 09:19 PM
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Lets all make our own fuel and let the arabs keep theirs.
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2005, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Giant
Lets all make our own fuel and let the arabs keep theirs.
They won't, they'll just sell it all to China. Besides, we get most of ours from So. America and Canada.

Making an "appleseed" processor is the way to go. $150 in parts, a sat afternoon to build and you're making fuel.

We (at Colorado Biodiesel - when I'm back into a house) have a design already for an industrial automated (oil, methanol, KOH in, biodiesel out) processor, but won't be selling here in the US for all the lawyers (liability.)
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  #15  
Old 08-31-2005, 10:33 PM
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Talking oh come on!

could you at least distribute some "under-the-table-DIY-at-your-own-risk" plans for us? That would be awesome! (Add ingredients, go to bed, fill up tank day after next....)


Be like having your own little fuel station. Maybe get an old gas pump and calibrate it for $.60/gal for laughs while you fill.
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Ahh the smell of Diesel Fuel, it's like coffee in the morning!

My Car:

1982 300SD Turbo Diesel (231,500 miles!) RIP

1984 300SD Turbo Diesel Custom (235,500 mi on driveline.) - On Road!!

www.icsrepair.com

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