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Cherchez la coeur...
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Discussion Starter #1
Figured we needed a place to discus this in the TDI world. Me and 3 other TDI folks around here are in the process of building a biodiesel reactor to produce it for ourselves. Mine is the only NB, however, the others are a Jetta and Passats.

As we get closer to completion, and once we start, I'll post some pix and notes as to how it's going and what the issues and problems might be. The whole process has been pretty much demystified for me due to some friends in Austin from www.tdiclub.com (see www.austinbiofuels.com).

Keeping it sooty....
 

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strange things are afoot
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1,535 Posts
I sure am... would love to burn me some good sauce I made myself. good luck!

hope you are building an appleseed style (water tank) reactor. thats the best design for a home brewer IMHO.
 

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I plan on getting either a TDI or just a diesel down the road and running it on WVO.
 

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Cherchez la coeur...
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Well, we've done a lot of research, and determined the same thing - an appleseed-style reactor will be best for us initially. It's going to reside at my place, so I want it as mess-free as possible, and that's it. Main constraint now is finding an affordable continuing source nearby for methanol and a good source of oil that isn't high in FFAs or H20. We'll see how it goes...

Aaron can just cruise down the road and buy it. Nearest BD to me is a good 2 hrs one way! I guess it's good for me that the other folks live in the city and it has to be at my place, out in the country. Once we're up and running, I should never run out of fuel! Watch out, BioWillie!

NOTE:
I am far from an expert on BD, and there are folks over at Fred's that know a lot more than I do, but if anyone has a biodiesel question, they can ask it here. I'll answer it, find the answer, or send then to someone that can.
 

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a.k.a. porkchopzz4
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890 Posts
mgwerks said:
Well, we've done a lot of research, and determined the same thing - an appleseed-style reactor will be best for us initially.
I assume you saw the great write-up in Home Power magazine a couple months ago? www.homepower.com

It had all the info on setting up an appleseed reactor using a water heater. Total cost was about $150. It looks awesome. I'm itchin' for a TDI now. Might look at late 70's Mercedes.
 

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Cherchez la coeur...
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Discussion Starter #7
Mercedes

Porkchop said:
I assume you saw the great write-up in Home Power magazine a couple months ago? www.homepower.com

It had all the info on setting up an appleseed reactor using a water heater. Total cost was about $150. It looks awesome. I'm itchin' for a TDI now. Might look at late 70's Mercedes.
Actually, I didn't see it. We've had the plans for a few months already, and are just finishing materials gathering. There's a lot more to it than a WH and a pump. We're talking settling tanks, filtering, wash tank, etc. Not to mention the stuff for handling the methoxide and titration steps. But we're almost there, and I have a line on a huge supply of WVO that's very handy. Just need to check it for FFAs and water.

As far as the Mercedes, those old diesel engines are great and seem to burn almost anything. They are very forgiving and run WVO really well, and BD transparently. Everything I've found indicated that the Mercedes diesels are MUCH better candidates for WVO than the VW TDIs, mostly due to tolerances and the VW injection pump. But I know from experience (thanks Kurt and Robbie) that the TDI just *blasts* on B100...

Keep it sooty...
 

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Cherchez la coeur...
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Discussion Starter #11
Another milestone reached:

Brought home a 55 gallon barrel of pure methanol on Sunday, running 100 miles on the interstate. It was on my little utility trailer, pulled by Oso. Let me tell you, that's some serious pucker-factor! Anyway, we now have just about all we need to go through processor construction - except the water heater. I guess if we can't find a good candidate, we'll have to buy a new one...
 

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One really good source of clean waste oil is your local fork truck service dealer. I work for a Cat dealer in Michigan and about 80% of our trucks use propane and the waste oil we drain out looks just as clean as the oil we put in. If you can hook up with one of the Road Service Techs I'm sure they might even drop it off for you. I go through about 20 gallons a week. I'm also watching and reading all I can about what your doing. I just purchased a 1999 Beetle TDI 83,000 miles last month and have done a bunch of work to it including a timing belt, cam seal, water pump etc. I'm planing on driving this car for a long time. I'll be watching your progress.
 

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Cherchez la coeur...
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Discussion Starter #14
Eeyore said:
Good luck!
take pictures of your setup as you build it for us!
Picked up all the materials for the platform to support the processor and tanks and stuff.. Pressure-treated lumber is priced like gold these days, it's been a long time! Anyway, my partner in this endeavor is off deer hunting, so we'll hop on it next week again, Aaron.
Mr. McNew said:
One really good source of clean waste oil is your local fork truck service dealer. I work for a Cat dealer in Michigan and about 80% of our trucks use propane and the waste oil we drain out looks just as clean as the oil we put in. If you can hook up with one of the Road Service Techs I'm sure they might even drop it off for you. I go through about 20 gallons a week. I'm also watching and reading all I can about what your doing. I just purchased a 1999 Beetle TDI 83,000 miles last month and have done a bunch of work to it including a timing belt, cam seal, water pump etc. I'm planing on driving this car for a long time. I'll be watching your progress.
It's a good thought, but I think that it has to be made from vegetable oil. Mineral and dino oil, as well as synthetics, aaren't going to work. If they are using canola oil for sums, I'd be willing to try it!
 
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